IP Address

Your router uses a private IP address

Every device connected to the internet has an IP address, or Internet Protocol address. There are public and private IP addresses. The IP address is a private IP address and is the default for certain home broadband routers, principally D-Link and Netgear models.

Difference Between Public and Private IP Addresses


Your computer has a public IP address assigned to you by your internet service provider (ISP), which must be unique across the entire internet. Your router has a private IP address, allowed only on private networks. This private IP address doesn't need to be globally unique since it is not a direct access address, that is, no one can access the IP address outside of a private network.

Private IPs

Among these addresses, the IANA reserved certain number blocks to be private. These are:

  • -
  • -
  • -

These private IPs total about 17.9 million different addresses, all reserved for use on private networks. This is why a router's private IP does not need to be unique.

The router assigns a private IP address to each device in its network, whether it's a small home network or an enterprise-level organization. Each device inside the network can connect to another device in the network using this private IP.

Private IP addresses cannot, however, access the internet. Private IP addresses need to connect through an ISP, for example, Comcast, AT&T, or Spectrum. In this way, all devices connect to the internet indirectly, first connecting to a network (that is connected to the internet), then connecting to the larger internet.

The network you connect to first is your router, which for Netgear and D-Link models is the IP address of The router then connects to your ISP which connects you to the broader internet, and your message is routed to its recipient. The route looks something like this, assuming the presence of a router on each end:

An illustration of the route a message might take through a router with the IP address

Public IPs and the IPCv6 Standard

Public IP addresses must be globally unique. This posed a problem for the IPv4 standard since it can accommodate only 4 billion addresses. Hence, the IANA introduced the IPv6 standard, which supports more combinations. Instead of using a binary system, it uses a hexadecimal system.

An IPv6 address is composed of eight groups of hexadecimal numbers, each comprised of four digits, for example, abcd:9876:4fr0:d5eb:35da:21e9:b7b4:65o5. This system can accommodate almost infinite growth in IP addresses, up to 340 undecillion (a number with 36 zeros).

Find Your IP Address

There are multiple ways to find your IP address. If a computer (or another connected device) operates on a private network that connects to the internet (like those in most homes), each device has a private IP assigned by the router and a public IP address. You rarely need to know the public address, unless you're troubleshooting your computer remotely and need to connect to it.

Find Your Public IP Address

The easiest way to locate your public IP address is to navigate to google.com and enter my IP in the search box. Google returns your public IP address. There are other ways, including websites specifically dedicated to returning a public IP address such as whatsmyip.org or whatIsMyAddress.com.

Find Your Private IP Address

Here's how to find your private IP address:

These instructions apply to all versions of Windows from Windows 10 to Windows XP.

  1. Connect to the internet.

  2. Open a command prompt.

  3. Enter ipconfig to display a list of your computer's connections.

  4. Your private IP address is identified as the IPv4 address. This is the address at which you can be contacted by anyone in your network.

    Screenshot of Windows Command Prompt window highlighting the IPv4 Address of

Change Your Router's IP Address

Your router's IP address is set by the manufacturer at the factory, but you can change it at any time using the network router administrative console. For example, if another device on your network has the same IP address, you could experience an address conflict so you would want to ensure that you have no duplicates.

To access the router administrative console, enter its IP into a browser address bar, for example,

Any brand of router, or any computer on a local network, can be set to use this address or a comparable private IPv4 address. As with any IP address, only one device on the network should use to avoid address conflicts.