An IP (internet protocol) address is a unique string of numbers assigned to every device that can connect to the internet. That includes your phone, laptop, desktop computer, game consoles, and more.
Here, we’ll tell you a little about your IP address, as well as how to find your IP address on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS.
What is an IP address?
All devices use a public IP address to connect to the internet and a private IP address to connect to your local network. While each individual device has its own private IP address, they also use the public address assigned to your network’s router. Your internet service provider (ISP) typically allocates one public IP address to your router, which means all your devices in the network should have the same public address.
You might need your device’s private IP address if you’re trying to get it to access your network’s router, setting up a printer, or creating a server. Since this address is used only in your local network, these numbers get reused in other networks, so bad actors can’t use it to trace you.
Your public IP address, on the other hand, is often used when you’re trying to connect to your home network while you’re away. The numbers in your public IP address can provide information about your internet service provider and can also reveal your approximate location. Hackers can misuse your public IP address, so it’s not a good idea to share it with anyone that you don’t trust.
However, it’s not possible to really conceal your public IP address, as your ISP uses this address to connect your devices to the various sites and services you access across the internet. This is why some people use a virtual private network (VPN) to browse the web, which masks your IP address by routing your internet activity through a secure VPN server. In addition to hiding your IP address and approximate location, a VPN can also let you access region-blocked content and hide your browsing activity from your ISP.
Finally, when you are looking at information about your IP address (and we’re about to tell you how), you might notice that you have both an IPv4 and IPv6 address. An IPv6 address contains a longer string of both numbers and letters and allows for the creation of more unique IP addresses when compared to IPv4. Both addresses still identify your device; however, IPv6 isn’t fully supported by every device and network yet.
While your device usually automatically finds the IP address it needs when setting up a server or connecting to an external device, it’s still a good idea to know how to find it. We’ll start by finding the private IP addresses of devices running the best-known operating systems — macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. For other devices — such as TV sets or printers — your best bet is to look for instructions in the user manual.
Find the IP address on a macOS system
You can find your IP address on a Mac by clicking the Apple logo in the top left corner of the menu bar at the top of your screen and selecting System Preferences > Network. Choose your connection from the panel on the left side of the menu, and you’ll see your IP address directly below the Status section.
Find your IP address on a Windows system
To find your IP address on Windows, simply head to the Start menu and then hit the Settings icon. Click Network & Internet, and then hit the Properties option beneath your current connection. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see your IP address listed next to “IPv4 address” or “IPv6 address.”
Find your IP address on an iPhone
You can find your IP address on an iPhone by tapping on the Settings app and then selecting Wi-Fi. Tap the “i” icon next to the name of your Wi-Fi network, and you’ll see your IP address listed below.
Find your IP address on an Android device
On Android, tap Settings, and then navigate to Connections (for a Samsung) or Network & internet (for a Pixel). (For this portion, we’re using as reference a Samsung S22 Plus running Android 13 and a Pixel 6 using Android 13; other phones may differ.)
From here, tap Wi-Fi or Internet, and then select the cog icon next to the name of your Wi-Fi network. Select View More and scroll down to find your IP address.
How to find your public IP address
Finding your public IP address is even simpler than finding your private address. All you need to do is type “what is my IP” or “my IP address” into Google, and the search engine will display your IP address at the top of the page. You can also use websites like WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, which can automatically find your IP.