How to Identify Your IP Address

ip addresses

Computers and devices are able to identify each other in a network through IP addresses. When you’re using hosting server software or inviting friends to join your LAN game, you may need to tell them your IP address. But first, you need to find out what it is.

Every device typically uses two basic kinds of IP addresses. One is public or external that acts as the device’s address when it’s connected to the Internet, while the other is private or internal that makes the device identifiable by other devices in a local network. A device can have multiple IP addresses if it has multiple network interfaces. If the device is directly connected to the Internet (no router in the middle), then its IP address is public.

To determine your device’s public IP address, simply do a Google search for “IP address” or “what is my IP”. Google will then return search results, including your public IP address. Alternatively, What is My IP Address and other sites dedicated to lookup services are available online. IP addresses are usually based on physical locations, which is why they can be used to pinpoint where you are in the world. That’s also why search engines can give you localized results.

For the private IP address, check your device’s network settings. For instance, the information can be found at the Network and Sharing Center applet at the Control Panel for computers running Windows. In smartphones, the IP address may be listed in the Wi-Fi menu or panel. If you have admin access to your router, all devices connected to the network should be listed at the DHCP clients list or a similarly named section in your router’s control panel.

For security reasons and other purposes, IP addresses can be changed. Internet service providers may automatically change your public IP addresses from time to time. It can also be done manually.

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