Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

What’s My IP Address?

As you probably already know your IP address is the “address” or logical (not physical) location of your computer or router connected to the internet.

There are plenty of sites that will tell you your IP address. In fact, any web site you visit can see it.

I’ll do the same, but also try to explain, a little, exactly what it is you’re seeing.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Your IP address

Your IP Address is:

This is the IP address of the device you have connected to the internet. That means that if you have a single computer it’s likely to be the IP address of the computer itself. On the other hand, if you are behind a router, the IP address shown here is the internet-facing IP address of that router.

“Reverse DNS” on that IP address returns

If that’s still just the IP address, there’s nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, if that’s an actual kind of domain name, that information more often than not quickly and easily identifies your ISP.

Speaking of which, you often get even more information about the ISP that owns that IP address by visiting This service queries the ARIN whois database. ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, is the primary arbiter for the assignment of IP addresses and IP address ranges.

There are also various geo-locating services that will attempt to tell you where your IP address resides physically. I’m not going to link to any of them because they are notoriously inaccurate. Frequently, the only thing they get right is the country – even though they may claim much higher accuracy. (Mine, for example, typically is about 300 miles off.)

Network connection plug RJ-45Additional Information

Your “User Agent” string is: CCBot/2.0 ( X-Middleton/1.

The User Agent is a relatively complex bit of information that identifies the browser that you are using as well as additional information related to your operating system and language. There are quite literally thousands of different browsers and spiders and other utilities for fetching web pages, and thus there are quite literally thousands of different possibilities for a User Agent string. It’s also possible to configure some browsers or tools to lie – for example, it’s possible to force FireFox to report a user agent string of Internet Explorer, to fake out websites that check for and only work with IE.

Your “Referrer” string is: .

The referrer string is a little known but very interesting bit of information that’s provided to web sites by most browsers. In short, if you click on a link to get to this page, the ‘referrer’ is the link back to the page you were on that had that link.

Depending on how you got to this page, it may or may not be set.

If you found this page via a search engine, things get even more interesting. Typically the URL of the page you were on in the search engine – the search results page that contained a link to this page – includes the search terms you were looking for that generated those results. That means that websites can know not only that you came from a search engine results page, but they’re also typically also able to tell specifically what you were searching for.

There are other more obscure bits of information being passed around as well, but these are the big three; the ones that all websites get and that they might use in various ways.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

38 comments on “What’s My IP Address?”

  1. I thought it was very helpful, but I thought you could trace where the IP address is located?! I have McAfee and it will trace anyone who pings my computer, unless it has a block?

    An IP address can not, not, NOT be reliably located without the assistance of law-enforcement.

    – Leo
  2. Leo

    Thanks for the info. What about mentioning static and dynamic addresses.

    Not sure what I’d “mention”, other than it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell from the IP address alone whether it’s static or dyanmic.

    – Leo
  3. Leo I still have a problem with one of my computers #1 computer works find on my network but #2 computer will not connect my network.
    Both computers have been working on my network until
    the server was taking over by another.
    It might mean the new server wants another fee
    I have always been using 5 port nway switch hub
    Someone suggested I get a router to make my network work.
    I am the only one using both computers and all I want is simple network.

    Unfortunately your specifics aren’t very clear, but if you have one internet connection to share between two or more machines, then yes, you need a router.

    – Leo
  4. RUN > IPCONFIG produces a milli-second flash of the “blackboard” text screen with the IP info, but disappears way too quickly to read. How to make the screen remain? (XP w/sp3)

    Don’t use “Run”. Follow the instructions in the article and open a Windows Command Prompt, and then run the command therein.

    – Leo
  5. @ Bill Kingman. U’ll Have to go to command prompt (Start-Accessories-Command prompt) and then type ipconfig to know your IP address

  6. thank you for your response. my next question is how do i found out what is the dns sever preferred and alternate ip address is. i am trying to open ports on my computer.

  7. Yah, hey bro I am using Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 and I have Firefox but I can’t seem to figure out how to change the user agent, please help me out!!!

    Why would you want to change the user agent? Most people don’t need to. Anyway, I believe there’s a FireFox extension for it: … (Bro?)

    – Leo
  8. hi,
    try wikipedia for in-depth knowledge. but for starters ip address is analogical to ur physical door address, in this case representing ur computer. ip addresses are the building blocks of internet communication, u can also locate or at least close in on the exact location of the computer if u have the ip address try

  9. I read Leo’s Answers #257 on 11/16. My IP address as divulged by you was Today 11/18 it ??

    My ethernet address stays the same

    Why these two different addresses and why does one change

    Mac OS 10.6.5

    Your internet address (assigned TO your router) is a dynamic one, and can change based on whatever your ISP chooses as criteria. The 192. address is the address assigned to your computer BY your router.


  10. I stay behind a VPN constantly. It works great and if you look me up you may find me in the US or Canada or Great Britian or maybe Switzerland. I use a service called OpenVPN and it works great.
    Another thing is that it encrypts my data end to end so my ISP sees me connecting to the Internet but can’t see my data or what I’m actually doing at any given time.

  11. I got my IP address from this page as If this is correct, what do these digits mean ? How can I find out a person from this IP address? Is there any website which will tell me if a particular site is safe or not before I browse through it?

  12. recently some forums does not allowed me getting registered as am a spammer ,the administrater of one of them e mailed me that my ip address is on a black list ,I was checking my ip address on many black list checking sites ‘and I was all green and clean ,what’s the matter here ??
    should I and or could I change my ip address ??

  13. Could you please explain why, when I joined, say Groupon, they identified that I lived in the West Midlands and keep sending me emails for West Midlands locations. This has also happened with other companies.


  14. Good Day,

    I received some emails from an fake gmail account. I recently tried emailing this person back but it shows that the gmail account has been deleted. Is there any chance I can still find his/her IP address? Or what will I be able to find out about this person?

    Do I need a legal document and will this be extra cost?

    Hope to hear from you soon


  15. OMG…I got a notice that someone tried to log on to my fairly new Gmail account with my password at such and such IP address. The IP address started with a two digit number. (68) So, I went on a hunt..for the IP address and concluded that someone “might” have actually gotten hold of my gmail password. (All I could find was name of ISP which is a major ISP) So, I changed my password. (Never mind that when I put the IP address into the address bar it popped up my router settings because I also got my router settings when I put my 192.xx.xx into the address bar. But that’s another story because I didn’t know the router would log in two IP addresses)

    I come on here and my IP address is the EXACT IP address that Gmail said was trying to access my Gmail using my password.

    Thank you! I’m relieved that it was coming from my own computer. For some reason GMAIL was being accessed from a different IP address that it usually uses. But it was still my own computer.

    • I’ve gotten those messages when I access Gmail or Yahoo from a different computer and when I travel. I check out the IP number they return with PlotIP to see if it was me.

      If someone attempts to log in to your account, a good strong password is your protection. Make it long, at least 14 or more characters and no dictionary words or phrases, and don’t use the same password on more than one important account as if they can hack into one login, they will be able to get into any account which uses that email address and password.

  16. My computer is connected to a router. Why is my router’s IP address as displayed on this page different from the Default Gateway IP address when I run ipconfig at the Command Prompt? Isn’t the latter also supposed to represent my router’s IP address? Thanks.

      • Okay. So the Default Gateway IP address is between my computer and my router. The IP address displayed on this article is between the router and the internet. What then is my IPv4 address? Is it the address my computer uses to reach the other local devices that are connected to it, such as the printer, monitor, etc.? Thanks.

        • Your IP v.4 address is the address of your router on the internet. Everyone using that router connects to the Internet via the router with that address. That’s how a NAT router protects you because the Internet can only see your router’s IP address and can’t see any devices connected to it.
          I can see your IP address at the time you posted your comment, but for obvious privacy reasons, I won’t publish it here. You can find it here What’s My IP Address. Simply clicking on that link, that page will tell you both your IP v.4 and v.6.

        • Thanks, Mark. What I was trying to get a handle on were the three (not just two) IP addresses that I see for my simple PC system. Running ipconfig at the Command Prompt displays the (1) IPv4 address and the (2) Default Gateway address, which are similar (192…) but not exactly the same. Then this article provides a completely different third IP address number for what Leo calls the “true internet address” in another article. So I have three IP addresses, each with different numbers for my PC system.

          I now understand what the true internet address and the default gateway address are about. But I still don’t understand the IPv4 address. Your description, Mark, of the IPv4 address sounds a lot like Leo’s description of the true internet address/“internet-facing” address of my router – but it seems like they can’t be the same thing since the address numbers for them are totally different.

          What is also weird is that when I go to your linked article, it displays what it calls the IPv4 address for my computer – but it is NOT the same as the IPv4 address shown when I run ipconfig at the Command Prompt. Exact same address description, but different address numbers.

          Sorry for my confusion.

          • There are two IP v.4 addresses, the IP v.4 of the computer on the local network and the IP v.4 of the router on the internet. As I understand it, the default gateway is the router’s IP address which devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets and IOT devices, connect to within the local network. The router connects to the devic3es via their respective local IP v.4 addresses. In other words, the router has two IP numbers, one, the default gateway, to communicate within the local network, and one to communicate with the outside, in most home networks, the Internet.

          • There are two IP v4 addresses, the IP v.4 of the computer on the local network and the IP v4 of the router on the internet. As I understand it, the default gateway is the router’s IP address which devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets and IOT devices, connect to within the local network. The router connects to the devic3es via their respective local IP v4 addresses. In other words, the router has two IP numbers, one, the default gateway, to communicate within the local network, which is the default gateway and one to communicate with the outside, in most home networks, the Internet.
            The IP v6 is designed for the future as the world is running out of unique IP v4 IP numbers. IP v4 is a 32-bit number yielding only 4,294,967,296 minus the numbers reserved for local IPs and other uses. When the Internet was designed, that was considered more than enough as it allows more than one IP number for every two persons in the world. Now, with so many connected devices, the pool is running out, so IP v6 was designed to allow 2 to the 128th power giving 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 unique IP numbers. Hopefully, that number of IPv6 numbers won’t run out :-) .

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.