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Avast Academy Privacy IP Address How to Find Your IP Address on Windows or Mac

How to Find Your IP Address on Windows or Mac

It’s important to know how to find the IP address of your computer and network. When you want to set up a network or troubleshoot a connectivity problem, finding the IP address of your computer is a common first step. This article tells you how to find your IP address for both Mac and Windows.

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Public (external) IP vs local (internal) IP

Humans use plain-language addresses (such as “mywebsite.com”) to refer to websites. Computers store everything digitally, which means the internet translates those human-readable addresses into “internet protocol” (IP) addresses, which consist of a series of numbers.

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    There are two types of IP addresses: public (or external) IP addresses and local (or internal) IP addresses. The public address is provided by your internet service provider (ISP) and is how the internet recognizes your network. Each device on your local network, including your computer, has a unique local IP address that is usually assigned by the router on your internal network.

    You may need a local IP address to do things like setting up printers or solving technical problems on your network. If your problem isn’t on your own network -- if the trouble is out on the internet -- knowing how to find your public IP address is an important troubleshooting step. For example, you may need to tell a tech support person your public IP address if you lose your internet connection or if you want to give someone permission to administer your network remotely.

    (It’s worth knowing, though it’s not necessary to find your IP addresses, that the entire internet is based on a series of standards called TCP/IP. If you’re curious, this article explains what TCP/IP is.)

    Even if you think you know your public IP address, you should check anyway because it may have changed. In some cases, the IP address you’re assigned by your ISP is “static;” – that is, it never changes. But your ISP usually has the right to change your public IP address for its own business reasons -- what’s called a “dynamic” IP address. The difference between static and dynamic addressing is at the root of a lot of connectivity problems.

    As you dig into finding your IP address, you may see two different versions, expressed as IPv4 and IPv6. The computer industry is slowly moving from IPv4 to IPv6, but for most purposes, you only need to care about IPv4. If you want to learn more, you can read about the differences between IPv4 and IPv6, and which is better.

    How to find your public IP address

    There are several simple ways to identify your public IP address. The easiest way to find your IP address is by using a free online tool such as HMA’s IP checker. The HMA tool quickly tells you your IP address, your location, your ISP -- and even the color of your pants (although this feature isn’t always accurate).

    Another way to find your public IP address is to use Google search. Simply type “what is my IP address,” and the search engine will tell you. It won’t reveal your ISP or location – and although Google may already know what pants you’re wearing, it won’t say so.

    Remember: all these tools tell you your public IP address -- the one the internet uses to find your network -- not the local IP address behind your router.

    Is my IP address secure?

    No. Your public IP address is public. Just as there are tools that let you find your public IP address, there are tools that let other people find your public IP address, too. That might alarm you, and rightly so.

    Everything you do online is tagged with your IP address: your emails, your online shopping activity, your browsing history. Someone who knows your IP address can identify your location, just as you can. This is how online advertisers can feed you ads based on where you’re browsing from.

    It’s hard to associate a public IP address with a particular person and, in the vast majority of cases, it’s not worth the effort. But a motivated stalker or criminal might make that effort; so may law enforcement.

    The best way to disassociate your public IP address from your location is to use a virtual private network. A tool like Avast SecureLine VPN routes your internet traffic through another network with a different IP address. That IP address may be assigned to some other place in the world and can’t be traced back to where you really are, effectively masking you.

    How to find your local IP address on Windows

    It’s simple to find your local IP address (the one on your local network, usually assigned by your router). It usually takes just a few clicks, but those clicks are different depending on which Windows version you’re using.

    Windows 10

    Here’s how to find your local IP address in Windows 10:

    1. Right-click on the Windows logo in the lower-left corner of your screen and select “Settings”:

      To see your local IP address in Windows 10, start by right-clicking the Window icon and picking “Settings.”

    2. Click “Network & Internet”

      In the Windows 10 Setting screen, click on the Network & Internet icon to see your local IP address.

    3. Select either “Wi-Fi” or “Ethernet” in the left-hand menu, depending on whether you’re connected wirelessly or via an ethernet cable.

      In the left column, pick the kind of network you have, in order to see your local IP address.

    4. Click “Network” in the center column. Your IP address appears in the next window, in the entry “IPv4 address.”

      Your local IP address is shown, along with several other network parameters.

    Windows 8/8.1

    Here’s how to check your local IP address in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1:

    1. Click the Network Connection icon and select “Open Network and Sharing System.”

    2. Double-click “Wireless Network Connection;” or if you use a wired connection, double-click “Local Area Connection”.

    3. Click ”Details” and your IP address will appear.

    Windows 7

    Here’s how to find your computer’s local IP address in Windows 7:

    1. Click the Network Connection icon and select “Open Network and Sharing System.”

      To see your local IP address in Windows 7, start by clicking the Network Connection icon on your Desktop.

    2. Double-click “Wireless Network Connection” or “Local Area Connection” for wired connections.

    3. Click “Details,” and your IP address appears.

      Windows 7 first shows you the speed and quality of your internet connection. There’s one more step before seeing your private IP address.

      Clicking “Details” shows this screen, which includes several network parameters, including your local IP address.

    Windows Vista

    Here’s how to find your computer’s local IP address in Windows Vista:

    1. Open the Windows Start menu and right-click “Network.”

    2. Click “Properties.”

    3. Click “View Status” to the right of “Wireless Network Connection,” or ”Local Area Connection” for wired connections.

    4. Click “Details” and look for the IP address in the new window.

    Windows XP

    Here’s how to find your computer’s local IP address in Windows XP:

    1. Open the Windows Start menu and right-click ”My Network Places.”

      In Windows XP, you can see our local IP address by first opening the Start menu and right-clicking on “My Network Places.

    2. Click “Properties” and you see a Network Connections screen.

      The Network Connections screen is the next step to seeing your local IP address in Windows XP.

    3. Double-click “Wireless Network Connection” or “Local Area Connection” for wired connections.

      Double-clicking “Wireless Network Connection” in Windows XP shows you the status of your connection, but not your local IP address.

    4. Open the Support tab and click “Details.” Your IP address now appears.

      Clicking the “Details” tab in the Windows XP’s Wireless Connection Details screen shows a number of network parameters, including your local IP address.

    Find your local IP address using the command prompt (CMD)

    If you’re handy with a keyboard or you don’t like tapping through a multi-step process, you can use the Windows command prompt to find your local IP address. Here’s how to find your IP address using cmd:

    1. Get to the command prompt by opening the Start (Windows) menu and typing “cmd” (without the quotes) in the search bar. If you don’t have a search bar, open the Start menu and click on “Run”.

    2. At the command prompt or in the Run box, enter “ipconfig” (without the quotes). A window opens with several pieces of network arcana; the IP address is one of them.

      Entering “ipconfig” in a Windows Command Prompt screen displays several network parameters, including your local IP address.

    How to find your local IP address on a Mac

    Getting your local IP address on a Mac is straightforward:

    1. Pull down the Apple menu and select “System Preferences…”

    2. Pull down the View menu and select “Network.” (Or you could double-click on the Network icon in the System Preferences window.)

      There are several ways to see your local IP address on a Mac. Start by opening the Network System Preferences pane, either with the View menu or by double-clicking the Network. icon.

    3. In the left column, click on the network connection, generally either Ethernet or Wi-Fi, depending on whether you have a wired or wireless connection.

    4. For an Ethernet connection, the local IP address is shown.

      If you have a hardwired connection, the Network preference pane shows you your local IP address when you click on the Ethernet menu choice.

    5. For a Wi-Fi connection, click the “Advanced…” button in the lower-right corner, and then the “TCP/IP” button along the top of the window. The IP address is shown.

      To see your local IP address for a wireless connection, click the Wi-Fi menu item and click the “Advanced…” button in the lower right corner.

      To see your local IP address for a Wi-Fi connection, click the “TCP/IP”button in the top menu. Click “Cancel” to get back to your normal work.

    How to find your local IP address using the MacOS Terminal

    If you don’t like menus and windows, you can start the MacOS Terminal app and use the command prompt to find your local IP address.

    1. Start Terminal. It’s probably in the Utilities subfolder of the Applications folder.

    2. Enter the command “ipconfig getifaddr en1” (without the quotes but with the spaces) at the command prompt. That tells you the IP address of your wired Ethernet connection, if you have one. Or:

    3. Enter the command “ipconfig getifaddr en0” (without the quotes but with the spaces). That tells you the IP address of your wireless connection, if you have one.

      The Terminal app can quickly show you your local IP address and your public IP address at the command prompt with one simple entry.

    To get your public IP address from the Mac Terminal, enter the command “curl ifconfig.me” (without the quotes but with the spaces).

    Now, stop anyone else from finding your IP address

    Your public IP address is how websites and snoops find you on the internet. Sometimes that’s useful, because it means you can get personalized and localized information. But sometimes that’s tiresome or even dangerous. You should make it harder to be targeted.

    The best way to stop people from finding your IP address is to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. It’s a simple piece of software that routes all your traffic through a third-party server, making it nearly impossible for anyone to know where you are or what your public IP address is.

    We may be partial, but we like Avast SecureLine VPN. You can download it here:

     

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