Whether you’re trying to connect to the internet or connect a device to your computer, it can be useful to know your IP address. Here’s how you can find and identify your IP address and why it’s a good idea to know how to locate it.
This is a private piece of information, so be careful where you post your IP address!
What Is An IP Address?
An IP address is a unique address that allows your device to connect to the internet and communicate there. These addresses exist to help the internet differentiate between different computers, routers, and websites. It’s a unique identifier that gives your computer a place on the internet, like a nametag that traces back to you.
You can use a VPN to hide who you are or where you are, and that can help for security purposes but isn’t something most people need.
When Will You Need Your IP Address?
Your IP address is useful for many reasons, ranging from troubleshooting your internet connection to allowing you to remotely gain access to your computer when you want to use it in a different location. Private and public IP addresses also will enable you to gain access to other networks so that specific people can see and share information with you.
If you’re on windows, you can find your IP address in less than six clicks. First, select start, or tap the windows button, and then go to settings, network, and internet, Wi-Fi, and then tap whatever network you’re connected to. Under properties, your IP address should be listed next to IPv4 address.
Finding your IP address on Apple devices can be simple as well! To do this, open the Apple menu and then click on system preferences. Next, double click on your network icon, or use the View menu to select your network. Finally, click Wi-Fi or ethernet in-network preferences, and your IP address will be listed in the middle.
Using Online Companies
Many websites offer IP lookup services! These services are often free and allow you to skip the steps of digging through your computer or device to find your IP address. Please don’t fall for any scams that require you to pay for them. Your IP is easy to locate and shouldn’t be something you pay money for.
Many of these services will also list what city, zip code, state, and time zone your IP says you’re in: this information is working off of your IP itself, so it may not be correct for your location. If the zip code is off by a couple of numbers, or the city isn’t quite right, that’s often because that’s where your server is located.
What To Avoid
If a website isn’t safe and seems risky: don’t use it. Your IP address can be used to figure out your general location and can be spoofed if someone wants to take your identity so that their own identity is covered. Also, avoid clicking on any links in emails or on websites that don’t lead to a site you can trust, or that is safe.