Firstly, determine why you want the IP address
The reason for asking this simple question first is because most internet users are assigned two IP addresses. A local IP address is assigned by your router (the little black box thingy you connect to the internet through) and an external public IP address is assigned by your internet service provider (ISP). Warning, they are different! The external public IP is real easy to obtain so we can find this one real quick.
BTW, in case you didn’t already know an IP address is a number separated by dots that looks something like this 22.333.44.55 There is a different version (v6) that includes letters and colons, but the main thing to realise here is it’s a unique address for your computer or device.
Why you would want your computer’s external public IP address
A quick checklist of why you would want the external public IP address…
- You are trying to connect to a remote server and the system administrator on the other side want’s your IP Address to whitelist you in the firewall.
- Attempting to connect to ANY system that is remote from your home or work premises and the support operator on the other side needs your IP Address.
- Maybe you are looking at identification logs or stats that record IP addresses on a website and you want to check your IP Address in the logs.
- Checking out account login records, eg last login. For security reasons, you want to check your IP address.
There is a multitude of reasons why you might want your external public IP address but hopefully the above gives you the idea. It mainly relates to when you communicate your computer or device across the internet to access a website, server, etc.
If the answer is yes, this sounds like what I need, read on…
Obtaining your external public IP address
Obtaining your external public IP address is as simple as going to google.com and typing “my ip address” or click this link…
Given the above, if that’s all you need then you are good to go!
BUT, if it’s actually the IP address you need on your local network, read on.
What is your local IP Address?
Your router allocates an IP address to your computer on the local network. This uniquely identifies your computer from all the other computers and devices on the same network. This is usually confined to your household or business premises and not normally needed for making connections across the internet.
Why you would want your computer’s local IP address
It’s quite likely you could need your computer’s local IP address for running applications that connect to other computers or devices in your household network. Or if your business is running a local intranet. I’ll attempt to list a few possible reasons below…
- Running a Plex media server to play movies on multiple devices on the network
- Running a local web server for intranet pages or serving documents
- You have network attached storage (NAS) saving files on the local network
- Your running a server of some type
The main take away from the above is that the router and all devices running off the router are located at the same physical address.
Finding your local IP Address on Windows
AVG has a good step by step article with screen captures on how to find your local IP on Windows. It covers Windows 10, Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
Find your local IP address on a Windows system
Finding your local IP Address on a Mac
Likewise, with the Mac, there’s an example using point and click mouse or typing in the ifconfig command via the terminal.
Find your local IP address on a Mac
Further information – What is an IP Address?
If you’ve read this far you might be interested to know what an IP address actually is. See this short 3 minutes video tutorial on What is an IP Address? from the Website Library video library.