Knowing your computer’s IP address is like knowing its digital location. It can help you connect to it in certain applications, or find out what it’s connecting to. Whether your interests in your computer’s IP address are academic or pure intrigue, it doesn’t matter. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to find your IP address in just a few quick steps.
In order for us to find your IP address though, we need to know which one you want to find. There are actually two IP addresses for your system: Your public address and your local address. The former is the one that the world sees when you connect to websites and other computers across the world. The latter is the one that devices like your printer or router use to locate you on your network. Both are easy to find, but the techniques for doing so are a little different.
If you want to find your router’s IP address, here’s how to do so.
Public IP address
There are a number of tools you can use to find your public IP address, but the easiest are online resources. This technique works on both MacOS and Windows PCs.
Step 2: Search for what’s my IP?
Step 3: Google will list your public IP address as the top search result.
Alternatively, visit WhatsMyIP.com and it too will tell you your public IP address.
Local IP address
Finding your local IP address is a little more convoluted than your public one, but it’s still quick and easy. Here’s how to find your IP address on Windows machines.
Step 1: Open the Windows Command Prompt by searching for CMD in the Windows 10 search box and clicking on the corresponding result. Alternatively press Windows key + R, to bring up the Run box. Type in CMD and press Enter.
Step 2: With the Command Center window selected, type in ipconfig and press enter.
Step 3: You’ll see a lot of information appear on the screen. It’s all related to your local network, but the entry you’re looking for is next to IPv4 address. That number, which likely looks like 192.168.0.2 or similar, is your local IP address.
Here are some more tips on how to use Windows’ Command Prompt.
Windows 7 and 8.1
Finding your local IP address on older versions of Windows uses the exact same method. You still need to access the Command Prompt and input ipconfig. The only difference may be how you access the Command Prompt, though the Run method should work on all of them.
Finding your IP address on Apple’s MacOS is, if anything, a little easier than Windows PCs, so if you’re reading this on an Apple system, follow the quick steps below.
Step 1: Click the Apple logo in the top left-hand corner and select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Click on the silver globe Network icon to open your network settings menu.
Step 3: In the left side window, look at your internet options and choose the one that’s currently connected, whether Wi-Fi or wired. In the Status section here, you will be able to see information on your IP address.
Step 4: If you can’t see your IP address in the status or want more information, select the Advanced button, and then choose the TCP/IP tab at the top. This will give you information on your IP address and other connection data.
Step 5: Like Windows, you also have the option of seeing your address through a command. Open the MacOS Terminal, which you can find in Utilities, and input the command ifconfig |grep inet, which will return a section of information. At the end of this data should be your IP address.
Now that you know how to find your IP address on MacOS, here’s a guide on how to forget a network.
If you’re on Linux, finding your local IP address is also quick and easy. Start by opening up the terminal by pressing the keys Ctrl + Alt + T at the same time — this usually works on most Linux configurations, but if not, look up the best way to access the command line for your particular Linux machine. When the terminal window pops up, type, hostname -I and select enter. This should directly return your IP address.
Note on IPv6
You’ll see that our examples here use IPv4, which remains the most common protocol for IP addresses (and has been since the internet first came together). However, you’ll also see sections for IPv6, which are often — but not always — blank. IPv6 is a newer IP address standard that’s designed to replace IPv4 as IPv4 runs out of room for new addresses. IPv6 is a slightly different configuration with a lot more room for new addresses and some extra security.
While IPV6 is widely available, adoption remains slow and a lot of internet companies are still resistant to the change. Eventually, IPv6 will replace IPv4, while doing essentially the same things. It can also be found in the same ways — just look for IPv6 information instead of IPv4!