For those who have set up a router, the IP address “192.168.x.x” indicates the local IP address. However, many people may not understand this concept. To address this confusion, the global nonprofit responsible for managing the Internet’s address space has proposed a new domain: .INTERNAL.
While most routers handle local IP addresses automatically, a new generation of AI apps are using local IPs as a server interface, bringing the local IP issue back into relevance.
On January 24, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) proposed the .INTERNAL domain as a solution to the local IP issue. ICANN highlights the need for a designated private-use namespace in the Domain Name System to avoid potential conflicts with the root zone or other designated purposes.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a department of ICANN, assigned global IP addresses and manages zones in the Domain Name System.
ICANN considered two potential strings, .PRIVATE and .INTERNAL, ultimately choosing the latter due to concerns that the term “private” implied a higher degree of privacy than necessary. The proposed domain will undergo a period of public comment before the board votes on its adoption.
While encountering local IP blocks is uncommon for the average consumer, certain AI apps, such as variants of Stable Diffusion, create local servers that are accessed via a Web GUI. The new .INTERNAL domain aims to make it crystal clear that users are accessing a local server, not a different one.