Your public IP address is an address visible outside of your network. Most people don’t need to know their IP address, except for very specific reasons, but fortunately it is very easy to determine.
You may need your public or external IP address when you connect to a computer remotely, when you are away from home, or when you exchange files from an FTP server or connect your network to a dedicated DNS service.
Regardless of the reason why you need to know your IP address, there are several ways to find it. You can use anything from a simple website to find your IP address to a command line utility for your computer or router.
Locations to find IP addresses
The easiest way to find your external IP is to definitely use a website dedicated to it. These websites use their own tools to determine your IP address and they are just one click away to help you.
Here is a list of several websites that can find your public IP address:
- IP Chicken
- What’s my IP address
- Finding IP Address
Tip. Some of these websites also contain other useful information, such as information about your browser, your local IP address, and even your physical location.
Find your IP address from the command line
Windows users can use a DNS query at the command line to find their public IP address. Just open a command prompt and run this command:
nslookup myip.opendns.com. resolver1.opendns.com
First, you will see results from the DNS server and then another set of results at the bottom. Your IP address is listed below the Name: myip.opendns.com line.
If you get any error while running this command, try simply opendns.com. (remove myip.) which should give you the opendns.com IP. Then run the command again using myip. part in front.
A similar command can be used to find your public IP address in PowerShell:
$ tmp = Invoke-WebRequest -URI http://myip.dnsomatic.com/
After entering this command, enter $ tmp.Content to see the result.
If you are using Linux try this command from a terminal window:
dig + short myip.opendns.com @ resolver1.opendns.com
Locate the IP address of your router or modem
Your router and modem is what sits between your device and the Internet, so it needs to know the IP address assigned by your ISP to your network. This means that you can use your own device to find your public IP address.
Finding an external IP address from a modem or router is not as easy as using the methods above, but it is definitely possible. The problem with this method is that you need to know how to log into your router in order to see all the settings, which many people usually don’t do because they don’t know their password or the IP address of the router.
Most routers can be accessed via the URL http://192.168.1.1, but others use a different private IP. Once you know the correct address for your router, you will need access to your router login information so that you can access the administrative console.
If you’ve come this far, finding an IP address should be relatively easy. You can look at sections such as Device Information, Management, Setting, WAN, etc. The IP address itself can be called the WAN IP address, external address, public IP address, or something. something like that.
How to prevent changing your IP address
Due to the way ISPs assign IP addresses, your public IP address will likely change at some point in the future. This means that the address you find using one of the above methods will not be the same address you find a few weeks later, or maybe even earlier.
While you, as a customer of your ISP, cannot technically force your IP address to stay the same, you can implement a so-called dynamic DNS service that will substantially create this effect.
Dynamic DNS service assigns a name to your IP address while simultaneously updating its record of what IP address you have. It does this every time the address changes, effectively giving you one hostname (like a website url) that you can use to refer to your public IP address.
Once you’ve assigned yourself a hostname, you can access your network at any time through that name, which in turn actually accesses your network through your public IP address. Again, you don’t need to know your new IP address every time your ISP changes it because the service does it for you. All you need is a hostname!
Can you change or hide your IP address?
By default, your public IP address is visible to almost everyone. Every website you visit can see this, your ISP knows what it is, and people tracking your network from the street can understand it. What’s the best way to hide or mask your IP address?
A VPN, or virtual private network, is by far the easiest and most effective way to keep prying eyes from seeing your public IP address. What a VPN does is create a tunnel from your network to the VPN service, thereby preventing your ISP or anyone on your local network from spying on you.
This causes the website you are on to see the VPN address instead of yours, which basically hides your online identity. That is, as long as the VPN service doesn’t disclose your IP address to anyone, that’s why you wanted to choose a reliable VPN provider.
There are tons of VPNs to choose from, both paid and free. Some have more or better features and privacy than others, so be sure to check out the best VPNs before choosing the one that hides your IP address. If necessary, make sure the VPN connection is indeed encrypted before proceeding with the subscription.
See our list of VPN apps you can use to protect your privacy on your desktop or mobile device.