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We know that there are three distinct classes of private IP addresses that were created to avoid IP exhaustion of IPv4. Why were there three distinct ranges that were created?

Assuming that the largest organization would be able to fit all its devices in a 10/8 network, is there any reason to even have the other classes? If there is such a large organization that uses the entire 10/8 block, wouldn't it have been possible to just use the next sequential segment like 11/x? Could all home and SOHO routers simply just use a private ip address like 10.0.0.1?

Additionally, assume that you have a small network with no VLANs or other uses for private IP addresses, is there an issue with using the entire 10/8 in DHCP in a home network besides being just wasteful (performance degradation or otherwise)?

192.168.0.0 - 192.168.255.255 (65,536 IP addresses)
172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255 (1,048,576 IP addresses)
10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255 (16,777,216 IP addresses)
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  • “that were created to avoid IP exhaustion of IPv4.” – No. Back then, this wasn’t a topic. // What does your research show? – Daniel B Sep 30 '19 at 4:58
  • Hmm well Wikipedia says otherwise, "Private IP address spaces were originally defined to assist in delaying IPv4 address exhaustion." Care to enlighten me about the real reason? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_network – ayao1337 Sep 30 '19 at 5:01
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    Far-far ago, when network classes had a meaning, one network per each class was set aside for private use. However, classes has long been an anachronism. – Akina Sep 30 '19 at 5:07
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    We know that there are three distinct classes of private IP addresses that were created to avoid IP exhaustion of IPv4. More. See RFC6890. – Akina Sep 30 '19 at 5:13
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    Possible duplicate of Public/Private IP addresses. It doesn't explain the why but most of the rest should be covered. – Seth Sep 30 '19 at 6:05
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Since private IPs are used for intranet purpose whereas public IPs are for the internet which are unique in an environment so cant be used multiple times whereas private ips can be used in multiple organizations multiple times so there are only 3 classes of private IP

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  • The part before "so" is true, but doesn't explain the part after "so" at all. – gronostaj Sep 30 '19 at 5:56

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