Before we dive into the processes to find the IP address in different OS, let’s know a little bit about IP addresses.
Definition of IP address
Internet protocol address, commonly known as IP address is a set of unique numerical numbers that is given to every device connected to a network. It is also used to identify the host, its location and its computer network.
There are commonly two versions of IP which are IPv4 and IPv6. The former are in decimal format and some of its examples are 192.168.2.1 and 255.255.255.1. While the latter are expressed in 128bit hexadecimal format.
What is IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv4 or LAN IP address
The IPv4 address is a private address of your computer that is used to connect with other devices in the home network. Unlike IPv6, IPv4 address is unique in every device. Suppose there are 10 computers in your office that are connected to each other, each device will interact with each other through this address.
What is my LAN IP address?
For Windows 7
- Press Windows Key + R
- Go to the start menu.
- Search Run
- Type cmd
- Type “ipconfig”.
- Press Enter
- Go to the system tray and click on the wireless icon.
- Right click on the wireless connection that you’re connected to..
- Tap on Status.
(a window will open)
- Click on Details.
- And another window will appear. There you will see your IP address. It will look like an example given above.
- Go to system preference (Click the apple logo on the top left side of your screen to find system preference.)
- Click Network.
- You will see an Ethernet option with a green dot. Click on that option. (This option appears if you have your Mac connected via Ethernet. If you only see Wifi option then follow Method 2.)
- On the right panel you’ll find your IP address.
- Just like before, Go to system preference. (You will find it by clicking Apple Logo on the top left corner.)
- Select Network.
- Click on the Wifi logo.
- On the right panel, tap on the Advanced.
- Once you’re in the Advanced window, go to TCP/IP menu.
- There you will see your IPv4 address.
IPv6 or WAN address
It is assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider when you first go online. The WAN address can be the same for all the devices in the LAN. Meaning different devices in a LAN network have different IPv4 addresses but can have the same IPv6 address if they are connected to the internet using the same point.
What is my WAN IP address?
For Windows 7
- Click whatismyipaddress.com.
- You will be redirected to a website which will display your WAN address.
- Open google chrome.
- Type What is my ip address.
- Google will automatically show it to you.
This is the IP address that your internet service provider is providing to your modem.
- Press Command + Space to open the Terminal.
- Once it’s open, type curl ipecho.net/plain ; echo and hit enter.
- Wait for a while and the terminal will display your WAN IP address.
- Just like in Windows, go to whatismyipaddress.com.
- This website will display your WAN address. If not, follow Method 1.
Why shouldn’t I share my IP address?
If someone finds your IP address then they could do the following things.
- Downloading or uploading illegal content using your IP
When you give your IP address or someone hacks it then they might download illegal contents from the internet. Some of them include downloading/uploading pirated movies/songs/videos or sharing child pornography. They might also stream illegal videos including violence or terrorism on the internet. If this happens you can expect police officers knocking on your door.
- Track your location
It is very easy to locate someone’s location through their IP address. They use websites like whatismyipaddress to find out where you live.
- Hack your device
You might have seen in various movies that a hacker gets into a device using their IP address. While there have been many debates about this topic, some technicians still believe that a hacker can hack your device using an IP address. If it’s true then they could take full control of your computer/smartphone and steal your data.
How do I protect my IP address?
There are very simple solutions to keep your IP address private.