I was wondering about the IPv4 problem and thought about one of the solutions where endpoints do not have their own public ip address, but rather an address only used within the VPN and a mapping by the router.
These local addresses fall in the range of 192.168.x.x, and in my experience mostly 192.168.0.x. But what happens to the public ip addresses in this range? Who owns them, and what are they used for? Can they even be practically used, and if they can, how does the endpoint know whether to connect to a local address or to the public one?
I tried to ping random addresses from the range, but none of them returned a response (except of course endpoints on my local network). So I would suspect the range is not used publicly. But isn't that a wast of the addresses?