IP Address Survival Guide

How to Find, Change, Hide and Work With IP Addresses

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IP addresses are the fundamental method for computers to identify themselves on most computer networks. Every computer (or other network device) connected to the Internet has an IP address. This tutorial explains the basics of finding, changing, and hiding IP addresses.

Inside IP Addresses

IP addresses are written in a notation using numbers separated by dots. This is called dotted-decimal notation.

Examples of IP addresses in dotted-decimal notation are 10.0.0.1 and 192.168.0.1 although many millions of different IP addresses exist.

Finding IP Addresses

Everyone who needs to use a computer network should understand how to look up their own IP addresses. The exact procedure to follow depends on the kind of computer you use. Additionally, in some situations you may need to find the IP address of someone else's computer.

Fixing IP Address Problems

When a computer network is functioning properly, IP addresses stay in the background and don't require any specific attention. However, some common problems you may encounter when setting up or joining a computer network include:

  • A computer has no IP address
  • Two computers have the same IP address
  • A computer has a "bad" IP address that won't allow it to "talk" on the network

To solve these problems, several techniques can be applied including IP address release/renew, setting static IP addresses, and updating the subnet configuration.

Hiding IP Addresses

Your public IP addresses are shared with others over the Internet, and this raises privacy concerns in the minds of some people. IP addresses allow your Internet usage to be tracked and give some rough information about your geographic location.

While there is no simple solution to this problem, there are some techniques that do help hide your IP address and increase your Internet privacy.