How to Find Your IP Address

Find Your Public or Private IP Address (Plus Your Router's IP)

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A TCP/IP computer network utilizes two basic kinds of IP addresses - public (also called external) and private (sometimes called internal or local).

You may need the public IP address if you're setting up a file server or website, while the private IP address is useful for communicating with local devices, forwarding ports from a router, or accessing your router to make network changes.

No matter what you need the IP address for, below are the steps you need to take to find your IP address.

How to Find Your Public, Internet IP Address

The public IP address is the address mentioned above. That is, it's the "face" of the network. It's the one IP address that all your local networked devices use to interface with the internet to access websites.

On a home network, the public IP address can be found on the router because it's the one that the router has to store so that it knows how to communicate with devices outside of the local network. There's more on that below.

However, there are easier ways to find your public IP address than to go digging around in your router. Below are a few websites that can identify your public IP address. Just open one on your computer or phone to have it display the internet address:

Note: If you're running a VPN, the IP address shown on an IP finding website will show the address that the VPN is using, not the true address that the ISP has assigned to your network.

Since this information is public, to some degree, you can sometimes find the owner of an IP address by searching for their address on an IP lookup website.

How to Find Your Private IP Address on a Computer

The private IP address is the address that every device on a local network must have if they want to communicate with the router and other devices.

It facilitates communication between all the local devices and ultimately allows each one to access the internet.

Note: If multiple devices on a local network are using the same IP address, an IP address conflict occurs.

How to Find the Local IP in Windows

On all modern versions of Windows, running the ipconfig utility from Command Prompt displays a list of addresses assigned to the PC.

If connected to the local network via Wi-Fi, the active IP address will be shown under the "Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection" section of the ipconfig output. If connected via an Ethernet cable, the address will be shown under "Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection." If connected to both networks simultaneously, both IP addresses will be shown.

Windows users can alternatively find their private IP address using the Control Panel. From the Control Panel, open Network and Sharing Center. On that screen, choose Change adapter settings on the left side of the screen and then find the wired or wireless connection that appears in the new window.

From there, double-click the connection to open its properties. Click Details... to see all of the connection's network settings, including the private IP address.

Note: The winipcfg utility was used to identify IP addresses only on extremely old versions of Windows (Win95/98 and Windows ME). 

How to Find the Local IP in macOS

On Apple Mac devices, local IP addresses can be found in two ways.

The first is with System Preferences. Open the Network pane to see the IP address listed under "Status."

The other way is a little more complicated. Open the Terminal utility and run the ifconfig command. The IP address (along with other local network configuration details) is listed next to the name "inet."

Note: Listed along with the IP address is something called a loopback address.

You can ignore that entry.

How to Find the Local IP in Linux

Linux IP addresses can be found by running the ifconfig utility. The IP address is listed next to the name "eth0."

How to Find Your Private IP Address on a Phone

This procedure varies depending on the phone or tablet you're using. For example, to find the IP address on most versions of the iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap the Wi-Fi menu.
  3. Next to the network that the phone is connected to (the one with the checkmark), tap the small (i).
  4. The local, private IP address of the phone is shown next to "IP Address".

    Tip: Also on this screen is the IP address of the router that the phone is connected to. That IP address isn't the public IP address of the whole network but instead the local address that the router is configured to use, also called a default gateway.

Though these steps are meant for iPhones, you can usually follow a similar path on other mobile devices by looking for an option or menu in the Settings app or some other network-related menu.

How to Find Your Router's Local IP Address

A TCP/IP network router normally maintains two IP addresses of its own.

One is the private IP address that the router needs to communicate with the other devices on the network. It's this address that all the devices have set up as their default gateway address since all network information has to pass to the router's private address before going outside the network. 

It's also the same IP address that you need when you log in to your router to set up a wireless network or make other changes to the settings.

See How To Find Your Default Gateway IP Address if you need help doing that in Windows.

The other address a router holds is the public IP address that has to be assigned to the network in order for the devices in the network to reach the internet. This address, sometimes called the WAN IP Address, is stored in different places depending on the router. This IP address, however, isn't the same as the router's local address.