Every internet user has an IP address. Think of it as your virtual postal address; websites need to know “where you live” so they can send you their information and you can view their content. 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. Because this is quite an invasion of privacy, many people choose to artificially change their IP address. To do so, you’ll need to download and install a VPN.
For a quick and easy setup and an affordable subscription, we recommend Surfshark.
Your IP address is your digital home address. Whenever you visit a website, you’re essentially sending a request for information to that page. Websites then send that information to your IP address, allowing you to see their site.
Your IP address changes depending on your router. In other words, your IP address at home is different from your IP address at work — even if you’re using the same laptop.
What is My IP Address?
You can see your public IP address in the table below. If the table doesn’t show any details, it might help to turn off your adblocker for a short while and then reload the page.
Note: The given location is an approximation provided by public databases. Internet providers (and government authorities) can pinpoint your exact address unless you’re using a VPN to change your IP (though this doesn’t grant you complete impunity).
|IP details||Your details|
|ISP or organization|
If you’re not using a VPN, then with the IP address above, third parties can track your online behavior. In the case of your internet service provider (ISP) or authorities, they could even identify you personally.
Websites can see the same information; they know which internet provider you use and where you’re located — though they’ll have less access to personal data, like your name or address.
What Exactly is an IP Address?
“IP” stands for “internet protocol.” An internet protocol address is a unique code allocated to a device connected to the internet.
In most cases, your IP address is assigned to the modem provided by your internet provider. Therefore, everyone using the same internet network (such as family members or roommates) will have the same IP address. This IP is sufficient to pinpoint your location with great accuracy.
Your IP address contains information that allows your network or device to be recognized by other parties. These codes are used to identify the two addresses between which communication takes place. You can think of an IP address as a postal address. Here’s a visualization:
When people talk about their IP address, they’re more often than not referring to their public IP addresses. Our tool featured above displays your public internet protocol address.
We discuss both in detail below.
What is a Public IP Address?
A public IP address (also called an “external IP address”) is assigned to your network router by your ISP.
Public IP addresses are necessary because they show websites where they have to send information. Without IPs, communication between devices and websites wouldn’t be possible at all. Sites can see your IP address because your device (computer, laptop, smartphone) automatically relays it to them.
When people talk about their IP address, they’re more often than not referring to their public IP address. Our tool featured above displays your public IP address.
What is a Private IP Address?
A private IP address is assigned to each individual device connected to your router. This code is also known as a “private network address.” Private IP addresses are how devices on the same network communicate, such as how your laptop can connect to your wireless printer.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) distributes private IP addresses to companies worldwide. Devices all around the world are assigned a specific IP address from any of these ranges:
- 10.0.0.0 — 10.255.255.255
- 172.16.0.0 — 172.31.255.255
- 192.168.0.0 — 192.168.255.255
See the table below as an example of common router manufacturers and the private IP addresses they typically use.
|Manufacturer||Private IP address|
|Belkin / SMC||192.168.2.1|
|Cisco||192.168.10.2 or 192.168.1.254 or 192.168.1.1|
|D-Link / Netgear||192.168.0.1|
So, to recap: your public IP address is the address that’s displayed to the world. This is the address that a third party can see if they went looking for it. On the other hand, a private IP address is hidden and won’t be seen by anyone outside of your network.
A process known as Network Address Translation (NAT) converts your private IP address into a public one so that your internet activity can be sent across the internet into the big, wide world. On return to your home network, your router uses NAT again to reverse the public IP address back into your private one.
What is My Router’s IP Address?
Your router has an IP address, as well.
This router IP address is not the same as your internet connection IP address. In fact, it’s rare you’ll have to know what your router’s IP address is.
However, if you want to make changes to your home network settings, you’ll need to know your router IP address.
If you’re lucky, your ISP might have printed your router IP address on the back of the device, together with the factory settings. This will normally be on a white sticker near the default password (which we hope you’ve changed).
If you can’t find the IP address of your router, you can follow the steps below.
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 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.
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 we end up sharing online. Every detail and pattern of behavior — including all of your online activity — can be linked to you by way of your internet protocol address.
Even if you’re not doing anything illegal, we recommend using a VPN due to the increased security and anonymity it gives you. You’ll be less susceptible to phishing attacks and hackers, and you’ll enjoy a lot more online freedom. It’ll also be much harder for others to see which sites you’ve visited.
Luckily, it’s quite easy to hide or change your IP address.
How to change your IP address and hide your location
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts all your online traffic and sends it through an external server before it reaches its destination. This way, you take on the IP address of the external VPN server instead of your own. Your real IP address is hidden from the outside world.
You can also use a VPN to access information and media that may be geographically restricted. For instance, if you’re in the United Kingdom but you connect to a server in the United States, you can gain access to US-exclusive websites and even the Netflix US catalog.
If you’d like to hide your IP address to guard your privacy, Surfshark is a good VPN to get you started. Surfshark is cheap but has a lot of built-in privacy and security options. Check out their website to learn more, or read our review here.
- Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
- 30-day money-back guarantee. No questions asked!
- Cheap with many extra options
What is My IP Address Location?
Geolocation databases determine your location by linking your IP address to a pre-defined geographical area.
These databases contain IP addresses and their associated countries, districts, cities, postal codes, coordinates, ISPs, and all sorts of other data. Your IP address location can be found by comparing against the data in this 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 the data 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 provider can connect your IP address to your internet subscription. This means your IP address can be linked to your legal name, address, and other personal data.
In certain circumstances, government authorities (like 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 investigate a suspect.
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 on your IP address — by following your internet activities.
IPv4 vs. IPv6 Addresses: What’s the Difference?
IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are two different types of IP. The majority of IP addresses are IPv4. In fact, IPv6 addresses were created solely because IPv4 addresses started running out a long time ago. 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 many 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||188.8.131.52||2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334|
Your internet protocol 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 server’s IP address to communicate with other web pages. This can protect your identity against doxing attacks, too. 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. Much like you have a postal address at home, your computer and other internet-enabled devices have an IP address. 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 data that 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 can find out 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 so that it no longer leaks their physical location.
Hiding or changing your IP address can be done in several ways. The best and quickest method 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 the best VPNs? We have listed the best options for you right here.