What Is the IP Address Used For?

This home network IP address is most often used with Linksys routers is the fifth IP address on the private network whose assignable address range starts at The IP address is a private IP address and is most often used on home networks with Linksys broadband routers, though other routers might use this address.

When used as a device IP address, is assigned automatically by the router. However, an administrator can make the change and set up the router to use, though this is less common.

How to Use

When the IP address is assigned to a router, you can access it by entering its URL, which is, in the address bar of a web browser. This address must be opened on a device that's connected to the network, such as on a phone or computer that's connected to the router.

An illustration of house to address is used.

If is assigned to a device, you cannot access it like you can when it's used as a router address, but it might need to be used in other circumstances. For example, to find out if a device is active on the network (such as a network printer or device that might be offline), use the ping command.

The only other time most people see the IP address is when they check a device to see what IP address is assigned to it—often the case when using the ipconfig command.

Automatic Assignment of

Computers and other devices that support DHCP usually receive their IP address automatically from a router. The router decides which address to assign from the range that it's set up to manage.

When a router is set up on the network, it takes one address for itself (usually and maintains the rest in a pool. Normally the router assigns these pooled addresses in sequential order, starting with followed by,,, and beyond.

Manual Assignment of

Computers, game consoles, printers, and other devices allow their IP address to be set manually. The characters or the four numbers—192, 168, 1, and 5—must be keyed into a configuration screen on the unit.

However, simply entering the IP number does not guarantee its validity on the network since the router must also be configured to include in its address range. In other words, if a network uses the 192.168.2.x range, for example, setting up one device to use the static IP address of makes it incapable of communicating on the network and will not work with the other devices.

Problems with

Most networks assign private IP addresses dynamically using DHCP. Attempting to assign to a device manually is also possible. However, routers that use the network have in their DHCP pool by default and don't recognize whether it has been assigned to a client manually before attempting to assign it dynamically. In the worst case, two devices on the network will be assigned the same address (one manually and the other automatically), resulting in an IP address conflict and broken connection issues for both.

A device with the IP address dynamically assigned to it may be re-assigned a different address if it's disconnected from the local network for an extended period of time. The length of time, called a lease period in DHCP, varies depending on the network configuration but is often two or three days. Even after the DHCP lease expires, a device may receive the same address the next time it joins the network unless other devices have also had their leases expire.

  • What is an IP address?

    An IP address is short for Internet Protocol address. It's the identifying number for a piece of hardware, such as a router, connected to a network, allowing the device to communicate with other devices on the network.

  • How do I find my IP address?

    To find an IP address, visit a website such as WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, IP Chicken, or IP-Lookup. To find a list of IP addresses assigned to your Windows PC, run the ipconfig utility from the command prompt or the Windows PowerShell. On a Mac, find the local IP address by going to System Preferences > Status > Network.

  • What is the IP address for my router?

    To find your router's IP address in Windows, go to the Control Panel > Network and internet and click View network status and tasks. Select your network and go to Ethernet status > Details > Network Connection Details, and then find your router's IP address next to IPv4 Default Gateway. On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Network, choose your network connection, click Advanced > TCP/IP, and view your router's IP address.

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