How to Identify Network Hardware IP Addresses on a Local Network

Use the tracert command to track down the devices on your network

What to Know

  • Find the default gateway IP address for your network connection. Open Command Prompt and execute the tracert command.
  • IP addresses that appear before the router's IP are network hardware devices sitting between the computer and the router.
  • Match the IP addresses with the hardware in your network.

Before you can troubleshoot most network or internet connection issues, you need to know the IP addresses assigned to the hardware devices in your network. Instructions in this article apply to Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Find the Fixed IP Address of a Device on a LAN

Most troubleshooting steps involve working with commands and other tools that require you to know your device's IP addresses. You need to find out the private IP address for your router and the IP addresses for any switches, access points, bridges, repeaters, and other hardware in the network.

Almost all network devices are preconfigured at the factory to operate on a default IP address. Most people don't change that default IP address when they install the device.

Before you complete the following steps, check for your device in our Linksys, NETGEAR, D-Link, and Cisco default password lists.

If the IP address was changed or your device isn't listed, follow the instructions below.

Person using the command "tracert" on a computer
Lifewire / Britney Willson

Determine the IP Addresses of the Network Hardware on Your Network

Before you begin, find the default gateway IP address for your computer's network connection. In most situations, this is the private IP address for the router, the most external point on a local network.

Next, use the router's IP address in the following steps to determine the IP addresses of the devices that sit between the computer and the router on your local network.

The router's IP address in this context is its private, not public IP address. The public, or external IP address, interfaces with networks outside of your own, and isn't applicable here.

  1. Open Command Prompt. In modern versions of Windows, search for cmd from the Start screen or Start menu. Use the Run dialog box (WIN+R) in any version of Windows.

    The Command Prompt functions similarly between Windows operating systems, so these instructions should apply equally to any version of Windows.

    Screenshot of Command Prompt window
  2. At the prompt, execute the tracert command as tracert, then press Enter. The command shows every hop along the way to your router. Each hop represents a network device between the computer on which you're running the command and the router.

    Replace with your router's IP address, which may or may not be the same as this example IP address.

    tracert command in Windows Command Prompt
  3. When the command is complete, and the prompt appears, a message similar to Tracing route to over a maximum of 30 hops displays with a separate line for each piece of hardware sitting between your computer and the router.

    For example, the first line might read:

    1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms []

    The second line could say:

    2  1 ms <1 ms <1 ms

    IP addresses that appear before the router's IP is a piece of network hardware sitting between your computer and the router.

    If you see more than one IP address before the router's IP address, there's more than one network device between your computer and the router.

    If you see only the router's IP address, you don't have any managed network hardware between your computer and the router, though you might have simple devices like hubs and unmanaged switches.

  4. Match the IP addresses with the hardware in your network. This shouldn't be difficult as long as you're aware of the physical devices that are a part of your network, like switches and access points.

    Devices that sit at the endpoint of the network, like other computers, wireless printers, and wireless-enabled smartphones, don't show up in tracert results because these devices don't sit between your computer and the destination—the router in this example.

    The tracert command returns hops in the order found. This means that a device with the IP address of physically sits between the computer you are using and the next device, which is the router.

  5. You now know the IP addresses of your network hardware.

This simple method to identify the IP addresses of the hardware in your local network requires basic knowledge of the hardware you installed. Because of that, it's likely to provide clear information about your IP addresses only on simple networks like the kind found in a home or small business.

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