Melanie has a BS in physical science and is in grad school for analytics and modeling. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
What is an IP Address?
IP stands for Internet Protocol. Each computer network, like your home network, will have a unique external or public IP address. Each device within a network (such as your tablet or laptop) will have a unique internal or private IP address.
An external IP address is linked to the world wide web. For example, if you visit a website, the website server will receive your IP address. Think of your IP address as your online mailing address.
Note that your internet provider may change your external IP address from time to time. Within your network, your devices' internal IP addresses may change vary frequently as they connect and disconnect from your home network.
Why Know Your IP Address?
Knowing your IP address can be very useful for a number of reasons. As a webmaster, I like to exclude my IP address from my Google Analytics reports so it doesn't show my own visits in my traffic reports. If you'd like to host an online game, perhaps you need to give out your IP address to others who will be playing on your server. If you have a file server at home, having your IP address handy can help you access your files while you are away. Whatever your reasons, this guide has got you covered.
Finding out your IP address really simple and there are several ways to do it. This tutorial will show you different ways to find your IP address depending on your situation. So let's get started!
How to Find Your IP Address in Windows
Before getting started, you'll want to figure out how you're connected to the Internet. If you're connected to your router (this is usually the case if you have wireless Internet in your home, even if the computer you're using isn't wirelessly connected to the Internet), follow the steps marked "Router."
You're Connected Directly to Your Modem:
If your computer is connected directly to your modem, you'll want to follow these steps. You can view your IP by clicking "Start", then "Run." Type "cmd" (without quotes) and hit "Ok." This will bring up your command prompt.
Once you're in your command prompt, type "ipconfig" (without quotes) and hit enter. Your IP will be shown next to the words "IP Address."
You're Connected to Your Router
This is usually the case if you have wireless Internet, even if the computer you're using isn't wirelessly connected to the Internet.
If you're connected to a router and you follow the above steps, you'll be able to get your internal IP. This can be really helpful if you need to do something like port forwarding, but if you're wanting your external IP, you'll need to follow some different steps.
You can get your IP address by logging into your router. If you're comfortable using your router's firmware and know your way around, it's a great way to find your IP. Since there are so many different brands, I won't give a tutorial on how to do this, it's just good to know that you can get some information about your network there.
How to Find Your IP Address in MacOS
Follow these instructions to use Terminal on your Mac to find your IP address.
For your internal IP address:
- Open Terminal by clicking Launchpad, then click Other, and finally, click Terminal.
- If you're connected wirelessly, type: ipconfig getifaddr en0 and hit enter. If you're connected directly to your modem, type: ipconfig getifaddr en1 and hit enter. Terminal will show you your internal IP address.
For your external IP address:
- Open Terminal by clicking Launchpad, then click Other, then click Terminal.
- Type: curl ifconfig.me and hit enter. Terminal will then show you your external IP address.
Google Your IP Address
You can just ask Google what your IP address is. It really doesn't get much easier than this! Just head on over to Google search and type "IP address" (without quotes) and hit search.
At the top of the search results, there will be bold text that says "Your public IP address is." The number next to it is your IP address. Cool, right? If that doesn't work out for you, at least one of the websites in the search results will show you your IP address.
© 2012 Melanie Palen
psychicdog.net on September 01, 2012:
thanks melbel - I tried and got it - also go subnet Mask and default gateway???
Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on August 06, 2012:
Mel, I love reading your hubs because I always learn something new and useful. Kinda like having my own special geek friend. :)
Dianna Mendez on July 17, 2012:
This is so simple to follow. Thanks for sharing this. I am going to keep it handy. I see that we all are connected through routers from your poll.
iamaudraleigh on July 17, 2012:
Another great tutoral! Thank you!
Jasmine on July 17, 2012:
I filtered out my IP address from Google Analytics a long time ago. It's a smart thing to do if you want more accurate reports. Great idea for a hub!
BethDW on July 17, 2012:
Ah this is so useful! I've always wondered how to do this, thanks for sharing :)
Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 16, 2012:
I didn't know you could use google to ping either! Wow...very good job of making this really understandable. I totally could do that! Ha!
I feel so much smarter now...wait until my computer guy comes over...he will be so proud of me:)
Looks great too!
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on July 16, 2012:
@Josh3418 I'm totally stoked that you like this hub!
@diogenes IP stands for Internet Protocol. As a hubber, it's really nice to exclude your IP address from Google Analytics, so it doesn't show your own traffic on your hubs. As an avid reader of my own hubs (lol), it's nice to have them show stats without the pollution that is my views. :) Thank you for your question!
@Winterfate Thank you!
Darrin Perez from Puerto Rico on July 16, 2012:
Great hub melbel! I'm sharing this with my followers! :)
@diogenes: IP stands for Internet Protocol, if I recall correctly.
Joshua Zerbini from Pennsylvania on July 16, 2012:
I never knew you could google IP, and it would just give it to you. I just tried it, and it worked! Thanks for this informative hub. You rock! :)