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Automatic private IP addressing

Automatic private IP addressing

(also APIPA)

Automatic private IP addressing definition

Automatic private IP addressing (APIPA) refers to a Microsoft Windows feature that allows the computer to communicate with other devices on the same local network (LAN) that have also been assigned APIPA addresses.

How automatic private IP addressing works

When a computer is configured to use DHCP to obtain its IP address and the DHCP server is not available, APIPA automatically assigns an IP address from a specific range (169.254.0.1 to 169.254.255.254). This way, the computer can communicate with other devices in the same network.

APIPA benefits

  • Automatic configuration. APIPA doesn’t need manual configuration, so setting it up on a small network can be very convenient.
  • Network continuity. It ensures that devices on a local network can still communicate with each other even if they can’t reach a DHCP server.
  • No third-party apps. It’s already built into Windows.

APIPA drawbacks

  • Local network only. Devices with APIPA addresses cannot access external networks or the internet.
  • Lack of gateway assignment. It does not assign a default gateway, which limits its utility to local network communication.
  • No DNS server assignment. Devices using APIPA do not receive DNS server information, affecting name resolution processes.

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