The internet is a vast ocean of information, and its contents increase every second. If every website is an island in that ocean, then IP addresses are the coordinates we need to navigate between them. These numerical codes work behind the scenes, allowing your device to chart a course successfully through the billions of pages and files that make up the internet.
But it’s not just websites that have IP addresses — any device you use online carries a unique ID tag.
Knowing how to find an IP address can be useful and, regardless of whether you are using Windows or macOS, it's relatively straightforward. Here’s everything you need to know about how to find your IP address, what information it contains, and how to change it.
An IP address acts as an identification tag for a device or server, and helps us find and navigate to different “locations” online. IP means internet protocol, a term for the standardized rules by which data is transferred online and sent to the right places. The moment you connect to the internet, your IP address — and any information it contains — becomes visible.
There are different types of IP addresses, but these two are the most widely used:
Your IP will be displayed at the top of the page above the search results. That information is public, and running it through online scanners will provide data about your general location and your ISP.
Depending on where you’re connected, IP may or may not reveal your exact location. Fortunately, if you’re concerned about how easily accessible it is, you can use a VPN to mask it entirely (more on that below).
The following applies to all of the instructions below: before you begin, ensure that you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi, as your local IP address is assigned via that connection.
While the local IP address of your device is known only to you, it can be disconcerting to realize how widely available your public IP is.
The idea that almost anyone can find out where you are and what ISP you use might be unsettling. That’s one reason why many people protect their personal data with a virtual private network, better known as a VPN.
With a single click, you can hide your IP address, and even your ISP won’t be able to view your browsing activity. Privacy is a right — protect it with NordVPN.
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