Tech & Cheese

Technology. Explained.

Computer, Internet, Mac (OS X), Privacy & Security, Utilities, Windows

IP address lookup: what is my IP address?

Vectorial world

What is an IP address

An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a unique number that is assigned to each device which is part of a network. This network, though, has to obey the Internet Protocol in order for its devices to be characterised by IP addresses. When you browse the Internet, you do so by connecting to a network thanks to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and thus gaining access to the Internet. Whenever you are at home, an IP address (public, more on that later) gets assigned to you by your ISP right when you connect to the Internet. If not home, the network might not be given by your ISP but might be your company’s network; the same is valid for hotels, restaurants and so on.

Private vs public IP address

IP addresses, as mentioned above, can either be private or public. A private one cannot be reached from the Internet, and every device has one. From the outside world, though, all devices connected to the Internet through the same router have the same public IP address. This means that if your smartphone, laptop, printer, console or whatever device are connected to the same router via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, they will all share the same public IP address when browsing the Internet. At the same time, each one of these devices will have its own private IP address that won’t be seen from the rest of the Internet.

Often you are given a dynamic public IP address, so that if you turn off and on again your router, you get assigned a whole new IP address. “Then what is my IP address?”, you might be wondering. We’ll start from the public IP address, since it is the one that people usually look for.

Public IP address

IP address lookup: how to find IP

There are many tools or websites that allow you to find out your IP address, you can even look it up without having to visit any website at all! Let’s see different ways to find your IP address.

Websites: find out your IP with these sites

This option is really easy, you only have to connect to a website and read what your IP is.

For example, let’s browse to whatismyipaddress.com. When you visit this link you’ll find the following screen:

what is my ip address screenshot

whatismyipaddress.com main screen

There are also other services that will do the same check. whatismyip.com is another very common tool that can be used:

whatismyip.com screenshot

whatismyip.com main screen

Other websites that will do the same are, for example:

Each of them will have a slightly different interface and may display different kinds of informations together with the IP address.

Command prompt: IP address lookup from terminal

IP address lookup on Windows

  1. Open your command prompt: to do so, press Win + R on your keyboard and then type cmd or cmd.exe. Now press Enter.
  2. In the black window that will open, type

    nslookup myip.opendns.com. resolver1.opendns.com

  3. Your public IP address will be printed.

IP address lookup on OS X (Mac)

  1. Press together Command (โŒ˜ symbol) โ€“ Space on your keyboard to access Spotlight research.
  2. Type in “terminal” and press Enter (Return)
  3. In the black window that will open, write exactly the following text (or copy and paste it):

    curl ifconfig.me

  4. The number you are going to get is your IP address.

 

Private IP address

Finding your private IP address is even easier since it can be done directly from softwares already installed on your computer or laptop.

Private IP address lookup on Windows

  1. Open your command prompt: to do so, press Win + R on your keyboard and then type cmd or cmd.exe. Now press Enter.
  2. In the black window that will open, type

    ipconfig

  3. One of the prompted lines will be “IPv4 address”, what is written on the right is your private IP address!

Private IP address lookup on Mac

  1. Press together Command (โŒ˜ symbol) โ€“ Space on your keyboard to access Spotlight research.
  2. Type in “terminal” and press Enter (Return)
  3. In the black window that will open, write exactly the following text (or copy and paste it):

    ifconfig getifaddr en1

  4. You will be prompted your local machine’s IP address (private IP address)

As always feel free to leave a comment for any question you may have. If you found this helpful, share with your friends ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply