Every internet user has an IP address. This is your ‘virtual postal address’, as it were, so that any website you visit, knows where to send their information. Without an IP address, you wouldn’t be able to surf the web.
Your IP address reveals a lot about you. It’s linked to your internet provider and can be used to determine your location as well. Because this is quite an invasion of privacy, many people choose to artificially change their IP address. This can be done with a VPN, such as Surfshark:
Your IP address is your digital home address, which you can use to exchange information on the internet. Whenever you visit a website, you’re essentially sending a request for information to that page. They’ll send that information to your IP address, allowing you to see their site. You can see your public IP address in the table below. This IP address enables other parties to track your online behavior and identify your person. Websites can see which internet provider you use and where you’re located. You’ll find further information regarding IP addresses and your internet connection below the table.
|IP details||Your details|
|ISP or organization|
If the table doesn’t show any details, it might help to turn off your adblocker for a short while and reload the page.
Note: the given location is an approximation provided by public databases. Internet providers (and government authorities) can pinpoint your exact address.
How do websites see my IP address?
The IP address shown above is the address our site was given when you connected to this webpage. This may be the address of your home network, your mobile data connection, your school network or even your VPN connection. Public IP addresses are necessary because they show websites where they have to send information. Without IPs, no communication between devices and websites would be possible at all. Sites are therefore able to see your IP address because your device (computer, laptop, smartphone) automatically relays it to them so your system can function.
Determining the location of an IP address
Geolocation databases determine your location by linking your IP address to a pre-defined geographical area. These databases contain miscellaneous IP addresses and their associated countries, districts, cities, postal codes, coordinates, ISPs, and all sorts of other data.
Your IP address location is found via a search of such a database, which is how our website was able to see where you are. It’s worth pointing out that such databases are not 100% accurate. Your actual location might differ slightly from what’s listed in the table. Unlike a lot of other websites, we do not create user profiles. This means we may not be able to determine your exact location.
Your internet provider can connect your IP address to your internet subscription. This means your IP address is linked to your legal name, address, and other personal data. In certain circumstances, government authorities (think of the police and the justice department) have the right to access this information. If a serious online crime has been committed with a certain IP address, the police might use that IP address to figure out more about the suspect to eventually arrest them.
Furthermore, your IP address is consistently tracked by companies like Google and Facebook, so they can create personalized profiles. These companies put together an extremely detailed set of data about you, including a precise location based upon your IP address, by following your internet activities.
What exactly is an IP address?
You’ve probably landed on this page either through a link on one of our other pages or via a Google search that looked something along the lines of ‘what is my IP’ or ‘what is my IP address’. But do you know what the word IP address actually refers to?
IP stands for Internet Protocol. Your IP address is a code allocated to your device to enable its identification, meaning it contains the information that allows your network, laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone to be recognized by other parties. As we’ve already mentioned, these codes are used to identify the two addresses between which communication takes place.
To simplify things, you can think of IP addresses as postal addresses or telephone numbers, but specifically for computers. This is how communication between computers via IP addresses works:
In most cases, your IP address is allocated to the modem provided by your internet provider. Therefore, everyone using the same internet network (family members, roommates, colleagues on a business network) will have the same IP address. This IP is sufficient to pinpoint your location with great accuracy.
What’s the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
When talking about IP addresses, a distinction is made between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. The majority of IP addresses are IPv4. In fact, IPv6 addresses have been created solely because IPv4 addresses are running out. After all, each IP address needs to be unique. An IPv4 address consists of 32 bits, which can produce approximately 4.3 billion code combinations. An IPv6 address consists of 128 bits, resulting in 340 undecillion (meaning 3.4 with 38 added zeroes) possible code combinations – in short, a lot.
There are so much more IPv6 address combinations possible when you compare it to IPv4. Due to the consistent rise in internet connections (all of which require a unique IP address), the introduction of IPv6 was a necessary step. The average internet user won’t notice any difference between these two versions. IPv6 simply gives you a longer range of numbers.
|Number of bits||32||128|
|Number of potential IPs||4.3 billion||3.4 x 10^38 (3.4 with 38 zeroes)|
|Example of IP address||18.104.22.168||2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334|
What is an IP address used for?
IP addresses are used to determine which two servers or devices are exchanging information. This works along the same principles as placing a shop order. When you wish to order a product and have it sent to your house, you need to fill in your address details to ensure the package will be delivered to the correct destination. The same happens when you’re browsing the internet. Whenever you visit a website, you ‘order’ a package of data (the information on the webpage you want to visit) from the (IP) address of the site. This data is subsequently sent to your address, meaning your device’s IP.
Your IP address changes the minute you connect to the internet using a different modem. In other words, you’ll have a different IP address at home than you do when you’re at work, even when you’re using the same laptop. Sites and devices know which address they need to communicate with to deliver data packages to the right person. This is why your IP address is automatically passed on when you visit a website or download a file: it’s essential for communication, although it also strips you of your online privacy.
IP addresses can be used to determine your location. Your IP is linked to an internet provider, which already gives an indication of your general location. The provider has a customer database that includes the details of the user(s) of a particular IP address. This information could, for example, be utilized in court.
However, connecting an IP address with a specific user is not quite as simple as that. An IP address will tell you whether a file has been sent or downloaded from a specific connection, but when a computer or WiFi network is shared among people, it’s hard to determine exactly who sent or downloaded that data.
An IP address is not necessarily person-specific. Whether the owner of the internet connection is responsible for any use or misuse of certain data is a topic of much debate. Download fines, for example, are dealt with differently in different countries.
Should you hide or change your IP address?
Nowadays, most of us are connected to the internet 24/7. Therefore, we shouldn’t underestimate the huge volumes of personal information and data we make available online. Every detail and pattern of behavior can be linked to an individual by way of their IP address.
Even if you’re not doing anything illegal, it might give some peace of mind to know you’re doing something to keep others from observing and following you all over the internet. Luckily it’s quite easy to hide or change your IP address. When you do that, it’ll be much harder for others to see which sites you’ve visited.
Hide your IP address with a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) encrypts all your data traffic and sends it through an external server before it goes on to its destination. This way, you take on the IP address of the external VPN server, meaning your real IP address will remain hidden to the outside world. Therefore, a VPN allows you to go online in a more anonymous and safer way. Similarly, you could use a VPN to get access to a freer internet, especially when your country or one of the online services you use has placed online geographical restrictions. When you use a VPN server in a different location, for example, one in the USA instead of Europe, you could suddenly have access to websites you weren’t able to visit before.
If you’d like to hide your IP address to guard your privacy, Surfshark might be a good VPN to get you started. Surfshark is cheap, but also very trustworthy. Moreover, it has a lot of options. If you’d like to check out their website, you can click the button in the banner below.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
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- Cheap with many extra options
Find your router’s IP address
Just like your regular internet connection, your router has an IP address as well. This router IP address is not the same as that of your internet connection. In order to change your local (home) network settings, you will need to log in to the router. Most routers will allow you to access and change settings such as your network name and password. You can usually access this area by typing in the IP address of the router on your browser. The short steps below show how to find your router’s IP address.
Finding your router’s IP address in Windows
You can easily find your router’s IP address on Windows using a variety of methods. The quickest is to use the built-in command prompt:
- Simultaneously press the Windows key and the letter “R“. If your keyboard doesn’t have a Windows key, click on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner to open the start menu.
- Type “cmd” in the blank field that appears and press enter.
- Type “ipconfig” in the black screen that follows and press enter.
- Various data will be shown. Your router’s IP address can be found behind “Default Gateway“.
Finding your router’s IP address on Mac (OSx)
Apple has made finding a router IP address on either a Mac or MacBook (OSx) extremely simple. Follow the steps below to find your router’s IP address:
- Press and hold the option key.
- Click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Mac menu bar.
- You’ll see all sorts of data concerning your network connection, including your router IP address and the Mac address of your network card.
Finding your router’s IP address on Android
When your smartphone is connected to a home Wi-Fi network, your data will be going through that home router. Take the following steps to find the router IP address used by your Android phone or tablet:
- Go to Settings and click on “Wi-Fi”.
- Click on the three dots in the right-hand corner of your screen.
- Click on “Advanced”.
- Scroll down. You’ll find your router IP address under “IP-address”.
Finding your router IP address on iPhone (iOS)
You can find the IP address of the router your iPhone or iPad is connected to by following these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Wi-Fi.
- Tap on the blue circle with an “i” inside, which you can find on the right side of the name of the network you’re currently connected to.
- You will see various data, including your network and router IP addresses.
Your IP address says a lot about who and where you are. Websites and online services use your IP to be able to communicate with you. Without an IP address, it’s quite impossible to surf the world wide web. Because an IP address reveals your location, it can be quite damaging for your online privacy when you share this IP online freely. That’s why it’s often a good idea to hide and change your IP address manually. If you use a VPN, for example, your local IP address will remain hidden, as you use the VPN’s IP address to communicate with other web pages. You’ll remain a whole lot more anonymous online, and your location as well as your online activities won’t be visible to everyone.
Do you have a question about IP addresses, or aren’t you sure how to find yours? You’ll find a number of frequently asked questions below. Simply click a question to read the answer.
IP address stands for ‘Internet Protocol’ address. This is a code that’s assigned to your internet connection when you access the internet. It works similarly to your home address, but is virtual instead. Thanks to your IP address, the websites you visit know where to send their information. However, your IP address is also linked to your location, so anyone who can see your IP, knows where you are. That’s why many people choose to hide their IP address.
It’s very easy to figure out what your current IP address is. We’ve created a special tool that allows you to instantly see your IP address and the location it reveals. Click here to try out that tool.
Your router’s IP address is different from the IP address of your internet connection. Are you looking for your router’s IP address on a Windows computer? Then you need to open the Command Prompt screen. If you type in ‘ipconfig’ there, you’ll see your router’s IP address right after ‘Default gateway’. On a Mac, you’ll find your router’s IP address by holding down the option key and clicking the Wi-Fi icon.
Your IP address is linked to your location. So if someone has your real IP address, they know approximately where you are. They’ll also be able to see which provider or organization is providing that IP address. Since your IP address leaks sensitive information about you, many people choose to change their IP address so that it no longer spreads their physical location.
Hiding or changing your IP address can be done in several ways. The best one is to use a VPN. A VPN changes your IP address to the IP address of the VPN server you’re using, which means your real IP address will remain hidden. Are you looking for a good VPN? We have listed the best options for you right here.