How Do I Find My IP Address


...a form of computer identification system. The IP addresses are used to trace activity back to a specific computer. The tracking back is done with the help of the ISP (Internet Service Provider) records. Similarly, almost all websites will alway...

Author: Collins Okoth
Category: Hardware
Author: Collins Okoth
Category: Hardware



The internet is a worldwide network of computers that are unrelated yet able to communicate successfully by following a specific set of rules. These rules are commonly known as protocols. A fundamental yet essential tenet of the internet is the Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address is a unique set of numerical values assigned to a specific computer as it logs on to the internet.  The IP address is a form of the computer identification system. The IP addresses are used to trace activity back to a specific computer. The tracking back is done with the help of the ISP (Internet Service Provider) records. Similarly, almost all websites will always record and track IP addresses when visitors are logged on to the site. Website developers use this data mainly for site improvement and security reasons.

The IP address is referred to as an "address" because it serves the same purpose as business or home addresses. It enables each computer connected to the internet to be located. A website's domain name, such as www.guru-solutions.net, also maps to a numerical IP address.

It is common practice for people to obtain their IP address information from their ISP. However, the ISP may provide either a dynamic or a static address. A client's ISP does the assignment of IP addresses. An ISP usually has a designated large block of numerical addresses that lies within a specific range of numbers. The ISP server then automatically assigns the available IP addresses to computers logging on to the internet within that range as appropriate. If you log off, the dynamic IP address that was automatically assigned to the computer is disabled. Consequently, it becomes available for reassignment to another computer that logs on to the internet within the range.

How Do I Find My IP Address

Dynamic and Static IP Address

A static IP address is a permanent address, while a dynamic IP address is one that changes every time with a new internet session. They facilitate smooth communication among computers by receiving and sending information using the IP addressing; Which ensures all computers in the network correctly identify each other.

A static IP address is a permanent address assigned to a single computer and remains associated with the computer for a long time. Typically, when your device is assigned a static IP, it stays the same until your computer’s network architecture changes or your computer is decommissioned. A static IP address is different from a dynamic IP address that is typically assigned ad hoc at the beginning of each internet session and continuously changing from one session to another.

Depending on the situation, computer users may prefer one over the other. For instance, online gamers who play remote games with other gamers would naturally prefer static IP addresses. This is because when they log back on, the hosting server recognizes them making it easy to update and keep track of scores, game standings, and personalized game settings. The function sounds more like a computer cookie's work, except that a computer cookie is less reliable since it can quickly be deleted, unlike a static IP address.

A Website’s Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is an example of a static IP address. Imagine if sites had no static IP addresses, users would need to keep following the website across the internet as it keeps changing its dynamic IP address. It means that every time you want to access a certain website, you will have to look for its current dynamic IP address to find it and it won't be the same tomorrow. Without this static IP address, bookmarks and domain names are rendered useless.

Internet Service Providers will assign a dynamic IP address automatically to clients. A static IP address is usually assigned only on request by clients. Typically, static IP addressing is more expensive. It is also thought to be less private, according to some. 

Private and Public IP addresses

A public IP address is an IP address that allows for any two computers to locate and identify each other. When the user keys in a website's URL in the browser, the domain is immediately converted to an IP address. In this case, it switches to the IP address of the server where the website is hosted. When the request is complete, the server, where the site is hosted, will have to know where to send back the requested web page. It uses the computer's Public IP address to do this. to know your public IP address, you can just google "what is my IP address" and google will give your public IP as shown below

How Do I Find My IP Address

When more than two devices or computers are connected, either wirelessly or using cables, they make up a private network. In this private network, each computer is assigned a unique IP address to facilitate communication (sending and receiving of files) between the machines. It is essential to know that all IP addresses in a private network are unique. However, different computers in different private networks can have the same IP address. The similarity, however,  does not affect anything since computers in various private networks cannot communicate directly. For the connected computers in a private network, a network router passes information among the connected. The router uses private IP addresses as identifiers.

Private Ranges

There are some IP addresses within the publicly available range of IP addresses that are reserved or excluded for use by the private networks. For IPv4, the private ranges are between

  • 10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255
  • 172.16.0.0-172.31.255.255
  • 192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255

For IPv6, the equivalent of IPv4 private IP addresses is site-local addresses. These site-local addresses start with FE, followed by F, E, D, or C. There is another type known as the link-local. This type does not have an equivalent comparison in the IPv4. It is usually used only for special purposes on physical networks. They also started with FE and succeeded by 8, 9, A, or B.

How to Find a Computer’s IP Address

So many programs exist online that allow internet users to know their current computer’s IP Addresses. Sometimes these programs allow users to access the IP address of other users as well. By using the dialogs in the network router’s configurations, you can also be able to access information on private IP addresses.

If a user connects to the internet, he/she can google "what is my IP address" and Google will return the public IP address.

Alternatively, if you have a Wi-Fi connection via a router, you can find your IP address using the windows command prompt. Open command prompt by pressing Windows Key + R, type in CMD in the search box, and press Enter. The Command Prompt will launch. Type in “ipconfig” and press Enter. You should get something close to the image below.

How Do I Find My IP Address

To obtain your Public IP address, look for “Default Gateway." Your IP address is the default gateway, and in this case, mine is 192.168.43.1

You can as well use online tools such as www.whatismyipaddress.com to know your current IP address. This tool will give you your IPv4 version by default and also an IPv6 when detected.

Conclusion

There are different types of IP addresses. A static IP address is a permanent IP address that usually identifies websites, ISPs issue dynamic IP addresses and they lie in a range of stipulated numbers available to the ISP. They are dynamic in that they keep changing every time one activates a new session. A public IP address allows for any two computers to locate and communicate with each other. A private IP address is found in a private network of computers. These computers are assigned private IP addresses to enable the sharing of files and resources among them in the private network. A private IP address of one computer in a private network could match the private IP address of a different computer in another separate private network. The resemblance, however, does not cause any problems since computers in different private networks cannot communicate directly with each other via the network.

Websites basically track their users by their computers' IP addresses. They do the monitoring to determine the pages of interest. When Cookies and registrations are implemented, identities are easily linked to the IP addresses. A cookie can tell who the site visitor is, even if the visitor has a new dynamic IP address.