The IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique identifier assigned not only to computers but also to devices that are connected to a network so that these can be differentiated and communicated among each other. IP addresses are categorized as static (that don’t change) or dynamic (that change). Furthermore, there are also public IP addresses — the ones that allow direct access over the Internet, and private IP addresses, which usually represent devices on your network and are not visible from the Internet. There are multiple methods of finding the IP address, slightly different depending on the Windows OS version that you use and on whether you need the public or the private IP identifier. Here are the simplest of them:
Using your web browser, as long as you’re already connected to the Internet, to find the public IP
1. Open a new tab in any web browser you prefer.
2. Go to google.com.
3. Type «my ip» (or «what is my ip» or «what is my ip address«), without the quotes, and press Enter or click on Search. Your public IP will be instantly displayed at the top of the search results. If for whatever reason the IP address isn’t displayed, just choose any of the websites shown in the results’ list, as these websites will most likely provide you with the needed public IP address. Any website listed here on the first page of the results’ list is just as good. Of course, instead of google.com you can use bing.com or other search engines and reach pretty much the same results.
Using the command prompt to find the private IP address, regardless of the Windows OS version installed on your computer
This method will return the IP address regardless if you have Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10 installed. Just do the following:
1. Open the Command Prompt window — this is done differently, depending on the Windows OS that you have installed (on Windows 10 you can just type «cmd» in the search area, on Windows 7 you can open the Run window and type «cmd», etc.)
2. Type ipconfig in the Command Prompt window, and press Enter.
3. Look for the “IPv4 Address” row under either Wireless Network Connection or Local Area Connection.
Accessing the Network Connection Details
This can be done in different ways depending on your Windows OS edition.
In Windows 10:
1. Click on the Start button and select Settings (or press the Windows + I keys simultaneously);
2. Click or tap on the Network & Internet icon.
3. Click on the option from the left sidebar of the Network & Internet settings window that’s in accordance with your connection type: Ethernet for wired connections, Wi-Fi for wireless ones, dial-up for a dial-up modem connection, and so on.
4. Click or tap on the connection’s icon on this same window, and Windows 10 will open a new window (the connection’s «Properties») where you can see the IP address.
In Windows 8
1. Access the Control Panel
2. Click on Network and Internet then Network and Sharing Center, click on Change adapter settings on the left side.
3. Highlight and right click on Ethernet if your computer has a wired connection or on the Wi-FI icon, if it has a wireless one, go to Status then to Details. The IP address will be displayed.
In Windows 8.1
1. Select the Start button, start typing View network connections.
2. Choose the active network connection, and then, in the toolbar, pick View status of this connection.
3. Open details and view the IP address in the Value column, next to IPv4 Address.
In Windows 7
1. Click Start, select Control Panel, then go to Network and Internet and to Network and Sharing Center.
2. Select View network connections, then choose the active network connection, and then, in the toolbar, pick the View status of this connection. Then go to details and view the IP address in the Value column, next to IPv4 Address.
After you access the Network and Sharing Center, you can also click on the Change adapter settings, then, highlight, and right-click the Local Area Connection icon; click on Status and go to Details. The IP address will be shown there.
In Windows Vista
1. Click on Start and the on Control Panel. Next, choose Network and Internet, Network and Sharing Center.
2. In the task list, click Manage network connections. Highlight and right-click the Local Area Connection icon; click on Status.
3. Go to Details. The IP address will be available there.
In Windows XP
1. Click on Start and go to Control Panel, then select and click Network and Internet connections, or directly select and double-click Network Connections.
2. Highlight and right-click the Local Area Connection icon; click on Status and go to Support. The IP address is displayed in this window.
Finding your IP address is not difficult at all, just follow the provided steps, and you’ll have access to it in no time.