As I understand two computers can't have the same public (external) IP address. Except for if those two computers are connected via the same router, then they can have (share) the same public IP address and have different private (local) IP addresses.

The situation

My friend and I are using a Internet service provider "X". We both have different usernames and passwords (different connections), but ISP is common between us. Yet we have the same public IP address! How is this possible? When we both Google "Whats my ip" we're getting this as a public IP address and in my router it says


I've Installed an Apache webserver on my PC. I know an Apache server can be accessed by the public IP of my computer. But in my case I do not have a unique public IP address. So it is impossible. No one can access my PC with this public IP

My friend (who using the same ISP) can access my PC by this address:, and his router's IP is

Do we have some common ISP DNS?

If another friend is trying to access my pc with Y Internet Service Provider using this link he is not able to access it.

How is my ISP doing this? My requests to any server is pinned with my public IP, and then the server responds to the request based on the Public IP. But we both have the same public IPs.


1 Answer 1


Well, as DavidPostill said 26 mins ago, your ISP is using NAT on their routers before enrouting your traffic to the internet.

This means that basically, you and other clients inside your ISP are in a big Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), The same way your home router is creating a Local Area Network (LAN) but in a bigger scale.

Why would your ISP do this?

Well, the answer is simple; 1) they want to,2) or need to use a lower amount of public IPv4's, probably because they have more customers than public IPv4.

As you may know, the pool of free IPv4 exhausted a couple years ago. Carriers that are growing can not get new IPv4 subnets unless they buy them from other ISPs closing somewhere else.

The solution is to use IPv6, but obviously requires changing a lot of network equipment, re-configuring networks... investing time and money! So doing a huge MAN is just easier and faster for them.

You can call them and ask about getting a dedicated IPv4, but probably, they will require an extra payment from your side to have it.

  • It could also be a web proxy. Mar 26, 2016 at 18:58
  • @BarryTheHatchet If it was a web proxy, then the friend of the OP cannot connect using the internal ip address
    – Ferrybig
    Mar 26, 2016 at 20:09
  • @Ferrybig: I suppose. It's not impossible, but you're most likely right because any other network layout would be kinda silly. Mar 26, 2016 at 20:11
  • Is there a chance I could get a port forward from my ISP? Mar 26, 2016 at 21:06
  • 1
    @JanDvorak You'd have to ask them, but I doubt it. Leads to conflicts if someone else on your MAN wants the same port forwarded. The only option is probably a dedicated public IP.
    – user366447
    Mar 26, 2016 at 21:42

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