Find your IP address and your location: Quick recap
Every Internet user has an IP address. This is your “virtual postal address”, so to speak, so any website you visit knows where to send your information. Without IP addresses, you would not be able to surf the Internet.
Your IP address reveals a lot about you. It is linked to your Internet provider and can also be used to find out your location. Since this is a major invasion of privacy, many users decide to artificially change their IP addresses. This can be done with a VPN, like SurfShark:
Do you want to know more about IP addresses and learn how you can find yours? Read the full article and try our tool!
Your IP address is basically your home digital address, which you can use to exchange information on the Internet. Every time you visit a website, you basically send a request for information to that page.
They will send that information to your IP address, allowing you to view their website. You can see your IP address in the box below. This IP address allows third parties to track your online behaviour and identify you.
The websites can see which Internet provider you use and where you are.
How do the webs see my IP address?
The IP address shown above is the address that was given to us on our website when you connected to this website. This can be the address of your home network, your mobile data connection, the school network, or even your connection through a VPN. IP addresses are necessary, since they show the websites where they have to send the information. Without IP, communication between devices and websites would be impossible.
Therefore, the websites can see your IP address because your device (computer, laptop, smartphone) automatically transmits it to them so that your system can work.
Determine the location of an IP address
Geolocation databases determine your location by linking your IP address to a predefined geographic area. These databases contain various IP addresses and countries, provinces, cities, postal codes, coordinates, ISPs and all kinds of data associated with these IP addresses.
The location of your IP address is found by searching these databases, which is how our website could see where you are. It’s worth noting that those databases aren’t 100% accurate. Your actual location may differ slightly from what is shown in the chart. Unlike many other websites, we do not create user profiles. This means that we may not be able to determine your exact location.
Your Internet provider can connect your IP address to your contracted Internet line. This means that your IP address is linked to your legal name, address, and other personal data. In certain circumstances, government authorities (think police and the interior ministry) have the right to access this information. If a serious crime has been committed with a certain IP address, the police could use that IP address to find out more about the suspects and eventually arrest them.
Also, your IP address is constantly tracked by companies like Google and Facebook, so they can create personalized profiles. These companies gather an extremely detailed set of data about you, including a precise location based on your IP address, by tracking your activities on the Internet.
What exactly is an IP address?
You have probably reached this page through a link on one of our other pages or through a Google search similar to something like “what is my IP” or “what is my IP address”. But do you know what we mean exactly when we talk about IP address?
IP stands for Internet Protocol in its acronym in English. Your IP address is a code assigned to your device to allow your identification, which means that it contains the information that allows your network, laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone to be recognized by others. As we have already mentioned, these codes are used to identify the two addresses between which communication takes place.
To keep things simple, you can think of IP addresses as postal addresses or phone numbers, but specifically for computers. This is how communication between computers through IP addresses works:
In most cases, your IP address is assigned to the modem provided by your Internet provider. Therefore, everyone who uses the same Internet network (family members, roommates, colleagues in a company network) will have the same IP address. This IP is enough to determine your location with great precision.
What is the difference between IPv4 and IPv6?
When talking about IP addresses, a distinction is made between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Most IP addresses are IPv4. In fact, IPv6 addresses have been created solely because IPv4 addresses are running low. After all, each IP address must be unique.
An IPv4 address consists of 32 bits, which can produce approximately 4.3 billion code combinations. An IPv6 address consists of 128 bits, resulting in 340 undecillions (that is, 3.4 with 38 zeros following) of possible code combinations. In short, many.
There are many more possible IPv6 address combinations when compared to IPv4. Due to the constant increase in Internet connections (requiring a unique IP address), the introduction of IPv6 was necessary. The ordinary Internet user will not notice any difference between these two versions. IPv6 simply gives a greater range of numbers.
|Number of bits||32||128|
|Number of potential IPs||4.3 billion||3.4 x 10 ^ 38 (3.4 with 38 zeros)|
|Example of IP address||18.104.22.168||2001: 0db8: 85a3: 0000: 0000: 8a2e: 0370: 7334|
What is an IP address?
IP addresses are used to determine which two servers or devices are exchanging information. It works by following the same principles as when ordering in a store. When you want to order a product and have it delivered to your home, you must fill in your address details to be sure that the package is delivered to the correct destination. The same happens when you browse the Internet.
Every time you visit a website, it “asks” for a data package (the information on the website you want to visit) from the website’s (IP) address. This data is subsequently sent to your address, that is, to the IP of your device.
Your IP address changes the moment you connect to the Internet using a different modem. In other words, you will have a different IP address at home than when you are at work, even when you are using the same laptop. Websites and devices know which address they need to contact to deliver data packets to the right person. This is the reason why your IP address is automatically transferred when you visit a website or download a file: it is essential for communication, but it also takes away your privacy.
IP addresses can be used to determine your location. Your IP is linked to an internet provider, which already indicates your general location. The provider has a customer database that includes the details of the user(s) of a particular IP address. This information could, for example, be used in court.
However, connecting an IP address to a specific user is not as simple as that. An IP address will tell you if a file has been sent or downloaded from a specific connection, but when a computer or Wi-Fi network is shared among other users, it is difficult to determine exactly who sent or downloaded that data.
An IP address is not necessarily specific to a specific user. Whether the owner of the Internet connection is responsible for the use or misuse of certain data is a debatable issue. Fines for downloads, for example, are treated differently in different countries.
Should you hide or change your IP address?
Today, most of us are connected to the Internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, we must not underestimate the enormous volumes of personal information and data that we make available on the Internet. Every detail and pattern of behaviour can be linked to an individual through their IP address.
Even if you are not doing something illegal, it can give you some peace of mind knowing that you are doing something to avoid being observed and followed by others on the Internet. Fortunately, it is quite easy to hide or change your IP address. When you do, it will be much more difficult for others to see what sites you have visited.
Hide your IP address with a VPN
A VPN (virtual private network) encrypts all data traffic and sends it through an external server before it reaches its destination. This way, you will have the IP address of the external VPN server, which means that your real IP address will remain hidden from the outside world. Therefore, a VPN allows you to connect more anonymously and safely.
Similarly, you could use a VPN to gain access to a freer internet, especially when your country or one of the online services you use has geo-restricted restrictions. When you use a VPN server in a different location, for example one in the US instead of Europe, you can suddenly access websites that you couldn’t visit before.
If you want to hide your IP address to protect your privacy, Surfshark might be a good VPN to start with. Surfshark is cheap, but also very reliable. Also, you have many options. If you want to visit their website, you can click the button below.
Find the IP address of your router
Like your normal internet connection, your router also has an IP address. This IP address is not the same as your Internet connection. To change your local (home) network settings, you will need to log into the router.
Most routers will allow you to access and change settings like your network name and password. You can generally access this area by typing the router’s IP address into your browser. The following steps show how to find the IP address of your router.
Find the IP address of your router in Windows
You can easily find the IP address of your router in Windows using various methods. The fastest is to use the built-in command prompt:
- Simultaneously press the Windows key and the letter “R “. If your keyboard doesn’t have a Windows key, click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner to open the start menu.
- Type “cmd ” in the blank field that appears and hit enter.
- Type “ipconfig ” on the black screen that appears and hit enter.
- You will see all kinds of data regarding your network connection, including the IP address of your router and the Mac address of your network card.
Find the IP address of your router on Mac (OSx)
Apple has made finding the router’s IP address on a Mac or MacBook (OSx) extremely simple. Follow the steps below to find the IP address of the router:
- Hold down the option key.
- Click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Mac menu bar.
- You will see all kinds of data about the network connection, including the IP address of the router and the Mac address of your network card.
Find the IP address of your router on Android
When your smartphone is connected to a home Wi-Fi network, your data will go through the home router. Follow the steps below to find the IP address of the router used by your Android phone or tablet:
- Go to Settings and click on “Wi-Fi”.
- Click on the three dots in the right corner of the screen.
- Click on “Advanced”.
- Scroll down. You will find the IP address of the router under »IP Address».
Find the IP address of your router on iPhone (iOS)
You can find the IP address of the router your iPhone or iPad is connected to by following these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Wi-Fi.
- Press the blue circle with an “i” inside, which you can find on the right side of the name of the network you are currently connected to.
- You will see various pieces of information, including the IP addresses of your network and router.
Your IP address says a lot about who you are and where you are. Websites and online services use your IP to communicate with you. Without an IP address, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to browse the World Wide Web. Because an IP address reveals your location, it can be quite detrimental to your privacy online when you share this IP freely. This is why it is often a good idea to hide and change your IP address manually.
If you use a VPN, for example, your local IP address will remain hidden, since you use the VPN’s IP address to communicate with other web pages. You will remain much more anonymous, and your location and your online activities will not be visible to everyone.
What is my IP? – Frequent questions
Do you have questions regarding IP addresses, or are you not sure how to find yours? You will find a few frequently asked questions below. Just click on the question to read the answer.
What is an IP address?
IP address comes from “Internet Protocol” address. It is a code that is assigned to your connection when you access the Internet. It works similar to your home address, but virtually. Thanks to your IP address, the websites you visit know where to send their information.
However, IP address also links to your location, so anyone who can see your IP address knows where you are. This is the reason why many users decide to hide their IP address.
How do I find my IP address?
It is quite easy to find out your current IP address. We have created a special tool that allows you to instantly see your IP address and the location it reveals. Click here to test the tool.
What is the IP address of my router?
The IP address of your router is different from the IP address of your Internet connection. Are you looking for the IP address of your router on a Windows computer?
Then you should open the command prompt window. If you type “ipconfig”, you will see the IP address of your router just after “Default gateway”. On a Mac, you can find the IP address of your router by pressing the option key and clicking the Wi-Fi icon.
What information does my IP address reveal?
Your address is linked to your location. So if someone knows your real IP address, they know roughly where you are. They will also be able to see which provider or organization gives you that IP address.
Since your IP address leaks sensitive information about you, many users choose to change their IP address so that their physical location is no longer broadcast.
How do I change or hide my IP address?
Hiding or changing your IP address can be done in several ways. The best is to use a VPN. A VPN changes your IP address to the IP address of the VPN server you are using, which means that your real IP address remains hidden.
Looking for a good VPN? We have listed the best options right here.