If someone asks you for your address, you will either provide them with your residential or business address. A computer, similarly, has an address. This address is not the name of your computer. However, it is an address through which networks and the internet, in particular, recognize your computer.
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Computers obviously prefer numbers as their address, and these numbers are used to identify them, which is also called an IP address. You should know that IP stands for “internet protocol” and it is part of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is the language used for communication by most networks.
What are different types of IP addresses?
A computer actually has several IP addresses and it depends how your computer is communicating with the rest of the network. In order to connect to the internet, your computer uses the IP address of your router. This IP address is generally assigned to the router by your internet service provider. As a result, these IP addresses are dynamic and will change at a later stage.
Once the ISP assigns an IP address to your router, it handles all the traffic going from your computer to the worldwide web. When you visit a website, the website only sees the IP address from where the request is generated. Further, the router is capable of routing the information to/from the computer.
All the computers on your internal network, be it wired or wireless, have their own IP addresses. As mentioned earlier, these devices will all have dynamic IP addresses to communicate with each other. You can, however, assign a static IP address to your computer so that it does not change.
IP addresses are 32-bit numbers shown as four decimal numbers with a range of 0 to 255. These are separated by dots and each set of three numbers is called an octet. This IPv4 address can range from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255 and has limitations of over 4 billion IP addresses.
The newer standard is called IPv6, which is 128-bit and increases the range from four to 16 octets. This allows it to have a lot more than 4 billion IP addresses. With knowledge about IP addresses out of the way, here is how to find IP addresses.
How to find your public or Internet IP address?
What is your IP address? This is not a question that you will get asked a lot. However, there may come a time when knowing your IP address will come handy. It will be useful for VoIP calls or for setting up remote software connection.
With an IP address, one can find out information such as your internet service provider or the general location. The easiest way to find out your router’s public address is to run a Google search. Here is how.
The result is basically limited to just your public IP address. However, there are websites such as WhatIsMyIP.com, IPLocation and WhatIsMyIPAddress.com which show additional information including names of your ISP, your city and even maps. If you are using VPN then this GeoIP cannot be deemed as accurate.
How to find your internal IP address?
Every device connecting your internal network, be it your phone, PC, Smart TV, Printer, etc, has an IP address. Whether it is using WiFi or Ethernet, there is an IP address associated with each device. They are all talking to each other or to the internet using your router.
Your router will mostly have an IP address like 192.168.0.1 and it is called a gateway. It will show up whenever you look for IP addresses of devices on your network. Only the last octet will change and a subnet mask will be used to divide your network into groups in the case of a large internal network.
To find IP address, gateway and subnet, all you need is access to Command Prompt on your Windows 10 PC. Here is how.
- Search for “cmd” on Windows search.
- Type “ipconfig” in the window.
- Press Enter and you should now have all the information in front of your eyes.
You will see a good amount of information including IPv4 address, the subnet mask, and the default gateway. As you can see the information is grouped under “Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection”. If you are on WiFi network, it will show under “Wireless LAN adapter WiFi”.