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[ih] What is the origin of the private network address 192.168.*.*?

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I had a smart (but non-technical) user ask me today:

Why did they pick 192.168.. for a private network address?

The only answer I could come up with is because 192 = 11000000 in binary. And 168 is 10101000 in binary. Both of which are kind of cool looking.

Is there a real historical reason for that particular choice of numbers? Why not 127.127..? Or 128.128..?

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