This Is Your IP Address!
What's my ip address?
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is the unique set of numbers assigned to every device whenever it’s connected to the internet. It works as a way for devices to identify and communicate with each other — just like a home address. If someone wanted to mail you a letter, he’d have to know your address to know where to send it to.
This is similar to what happens on the internet. When you enter a website (www.google.com) into your web browser, your device has to look up the corresponding IP address for the website. This is because devices can only understand numbers, not the letters you’ve typed. Once it’s found the website’s IP address, it can then load the right page on your screen. Your IP address has to be public information so that other devices can communicate with you. Although this is convenient, it doesn’t give you any online privacy.
IPv4 and IPv6 are simply different versions of IP addresses. When IP addresses were first created, all of them were IPv4. It consists of 4 sets of numbers, ranging between 0 and 255, and would appear as something like “192.168.1.1”. IPv6 is the newer version of IP addresses and is represented by 8 groups of 4 hexadecimal digits (for example: 2001:cdba:85a3:0370:0000:0000:3257:9652).
The creation of IPv6 was necessary because there are only around 4 billion possible combinations of unique IPv4 addresses. This isn’t enough for the needs of the internet as more addresses get taken up. On the other hand, IPv6 allows for many more possible combinations of addresses — 3.4 x 1038 to be exact.
Even though IPv6 has several advantages like increased speed and security, it will take some time before IPv4 is completely abandoned. A full transition is complicated as ISPs, data centers, and device manufacturers need to upgrade their costly infrastructure to support IPv6. That’s why both versions will continue to co-exist together in the years to come. To support the switch, ISP networks use dual stacking technology to enable connections for both IPv4 and IPv6. This means you may sometimes see your IP address swapping between the 2 versions.
When you search for your IP address online, the result that you get will be your public (or global) IP address. Just like how every apartment within a block shares the same street address, all devices (e.g. laptop, smartphone, or tablet) within the same network use the same public IP address. It is assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and can be seen by anyone on the internet — including hackers or government surveillance agencies.
However, all devices also need a unique identifier to differentiate themselves to communicate on the same network — just like how each apartment within a block has a specific unit number. That’s why your router also assigns individual private (or local) IP addresses to each device. Unlike a public IP address, your private IP address can’t be seen by others on the internet.
Finding your public IP address (the one that is assigned to you by your ISP) is easy because it’s available to anyone on the internet. You can use the free IP lookup tool on this page, or even search for it on Google. However, if you need to look up the private IP address of each device on your home network, it requires a few more steps which you can find here:
Finding your router’s IP address is important for doing any manual configuration of its settings. However, before you even begin your search, you’ll need to know that different devices have various ways of referring to it. So when you look for it on the Windows OS, it’s called “default gateway”. Whereas for Apple devices, it’s simply called “router”. Other devices may call it “gateway”, or a similar variation.
Find Your Router IP Address on Windows
The exact process may vary depending on the type of Android device you have, but here are some general instructions:
Note: Remember to tap “Cancel” instead of “Save” after you have found your router IP address. If not, your IP setting will be saved as “Static”.
Knowing a website’s IP address can be useful if you need block specific sites or bypass website-blocking software. One of the easiest ways to find out the IP address of any URL is to use the free IP tool above. Just enter the website under “IP address or Domain Name” and click “IP Lookup”.
However, if you want to look up a website’s IP address the manual way, here are the steps:
Note: If these instructions do not apply to your older Android devices, try using the instructions for finding your router IP address. Your Android IP address may be listed above the “Gateway” section.
At the most basic level, your IP address reveals the country you’re in, city, and postal code. That’s why you often see ads that are localised to your location. For example, you always see ads for your local restaurant, and not one in a different country. However, that’s not all your IP address reveals about you — every single thing you do online is linked to it.
Websites and advertisers aren’t just trying to see your physical location from your IP address — they want to know where you’re going online as well. One of the ways they gather this information about you is by using cookies and IP tracking technology to “follow” your IP address around the internet. With this data, it learns about your browsing habits to send even more specific ads to cater to what it thinks you’re interested in. Alternatively, it could even sell all this information to other advertisers.
Your ISP is able to piece together even more information about you because it has your name, exact address, and credit card information. All it needs to do is look at the browsing history associated with your IP address and it’s actually able to link everything you do online to your identity. This includes which sites you visit, what you buy, or what you torrent. In certain countries (like Australia, Canada, and the UK), they’re even required by law to log your online information.
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the most effective ways of hiding your IP address. Firstly, it uses a method known as encryption to make your online information unreadable to anyone trying to see it. Secondly, it re-routes your internet traffic through its own servers. With these 2 processes working together, the only IP address that is visible to others is the VPN’s IP address — not your real one.
Hiding your IP address with a VPN isn’t just useful for keeping your online information secure and private. It can also give you access to location-restricted content like Netflix or BBC iPlayer by choosing an IP address that’s in a different country.
However, not all VPNs use the best available technology, and some still reveal your IP address. That’s why it’s important to ensure to use a VPN that has extra security measures in place to prevent any IP leaks.
With a proxy, your online information gets rerouted through the proxy server before reaching its destination. So anyone trying to see your IP address will only see the proxy server’s address rather than. This is similar to what a VPN does. However, proxy servers do not encrypt your information — making it less secure than a VPN.
Tor (The Onion Router) is a volunteer-operated open-source network that can keep you anonymous online. To access it, you’ll need to use a special Tor browser that can be downloaded for free through the Tor website. It hides your IP address by sending your information through different servers on the Tor network, while applying several layers of encryption. Your visible IP address will be a Tor server on the network rather than your real IP address.
While your information remains anonymous within the Tor network, any of your activities outside the network is still visible to your ISP. That means your ISP will still be able to see that you’ve accessed the Tor network, even though it won’t know what you’re doing once you’re in there. Also, Tor browsing is very slow because your data has to pass through many servers before reaching its destination. If you watched a YouTube video on a Tor browser, there would be significant lag and buffering.
One of the fastest ways to hide your home network IP address is to route your traffic through your smartphone’s mobile network instead. This involves creating an internet hotspot from your phone.
Although this method hides your home IP address, it does not keep your information private. Your mobile service provider will still be able to see everything you’re doing through its network because your data is not encrypted. However, it’s still a quick way to mask your home IP address if you feel that it’s been compromised.
|Hides your IP address||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Secured by Encryption||✔️||✔️|
The quickest way to find out your public IP address is by using the free IP Lookup Tool on this page.
IPv4 and IPv6 are similar in many ways, but there is a clear winner when it comes to gaming. An IPv6 connection will give you a better gaming experience on Xbox because it’s faster than IPv4. That means less latency and lag! This is because it eliminates the speed-slowing NAT (Network Address Translation) process where multiple devices share 1 public IP address.
The good news is that Xbox also natively supports IPv6. So as long as your ISP uses IPv6, you should be able to see the connection on your Xbox.
With IPv4, internet traffic has to “hop” through the NAT process of sharing a single IP address between multiple devices which leads to slower speeds. IPv6 doesn’t need to undergo NAT, which allows devices to have a more direct and efficient connection to the internet.
IPv6 also has in-built IPSec technology which authenticates and encrypts your online information which makes cyberattacks much harder.
Although IPv6 is better than IPv4 for several reasons, the uptake of IPv6 has been slow for carrier networks and ISPs. There are primarily 2 reasons this. Firstly, upgrading network infrastructure to support IPv6 is expensive, and ISPs may not see the need to do so if staying with IPv4 is better for profits.
Secondly, by using NAT, ISPs are able to get multiple devices to share 1 public IP address. This delays the issue of IPv4 addresses running out, and lowers the incentive for ISPs to make the switch to IPv6.
No. A IPv4-only host cannot communicate directly with a IPv6-only host as they are different protocols. They will need to go through a translation process to be able to talk to one another. That’s why if you have a device that only supports IPv4, you won’t be able to access a website that is running on IPv6.
Yes. If you move house, your IP address will be different. However, if you would like to keep your old IP address, you should be able to request for a static IP address from your ISP.
Currently, all VPNs can only support IPv4 connections. So if you try to establish a IPv6 connection with another device or website, the VPN will ignore the request which could lead to an IP leak. To solve this issue, VPNs need to block IPv6 traffic and only reroute IPv4 traffic. However, not all VPNs provide this feature — which is why it’s important to choose a good-quality VPN with IPv6 leak protection.
Changing your public IP address (this is different from just hiding it) can be useful if you’ve encountered a personal IP ban or your ISP has imposed restrictions like speed throttling. Here are 2 ways that you can permanently change your IP address:
|MAC Address||While your IP address is your device’s network connection identity, the MAC address is it’s hardware identity. It is assigned to your device during manufacturing and is built into the firmware. Both IP and MAC addresses are essential for connecting your device to the internet. Your router needs to know your device’s MAC address to identify it and establish a connection. Only then can your router assign an IP address to your device to connect it to the internet. While IP addresses can change along with your device’s location, your MAC address does not change.|
|Gateway/Default Gateway||“Default Gateway” or “Gateway” are just alternative terms used to refer to your router’s private IP address.|
|Domain Name||A website domain name is what we actually type into a web browser (example.com). It’s the alphabetical version of an IP address (which is only made up of numbers). This makes it easier for us to remember and understand compared to a series of numbers.|
|URL||A Universal Resource Locator (URL) is the full name used to identify each page on a website and will include the domain name. For example: http://www.example.com/about.|
|Subnet Mask||Subnet masks are used to divide the IP address into the network and host (individual device) addresses. It has several purposes, which include helping devices to find the right host and helping to ease network congestion.|
|Hostname||On a local home network, the term “hostname” is referring to the unique name given to a device for identification purposes.|
|A hostname can also refer to the part of a website URL which identifies the correct network for a website. For example, “www” is the hostname of “www.example.com”.|
|DNS||The Domain Name System (DNS) is what helps to translate a website name into an IP address so that computers can understand what you’re looking for. If you type in “www.example.com”, the DNS will convert it to something like “188.8.131.52” so that your device can load the right page for you.|
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