Just like your home has a street address, networked-connected devices have an address too.
This means any device that can access the Internet–laptops, phones, tablets, you name it–has an identifiable location. It’s called an IP Address, and for WordPress.com website owners, it’s important to understand how they work.
You’re about to learn everything you need to know about:
- Their purpose and function.
- Why it’s important to configure them correctly.
- How to find your own IP address (and why you might want to).
Let’s dive into the details.
What Exactly is an IP Address?
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique numerical address that identifies devices, like your computer, that can be connected to the internet or a local area network (LAN).
They are written out as four numbers ranging from 0 to 255. Here are some theoretical examples of what they may look like:
Knowing your IP address is extremely important to correctly configure networks, firewalls, or to identify who is on the other side of the screen.
IP addresses can be static (permanent) or dynamic (changing with every connection).
There’s also a difference between public IP addresses, which identify devices on the internet, and local IP addresses, which are assigned by routers to identify each device within a network.
How Can I Find My Public IP Address?
To find your public IP address (either static or dynamic), type “what is my IP” into a search engine and your address will appear.
To get additional insight, you can use a web service like Whatismyipaddress.com or Whatismyip.com to uncover information like the internet service provider to which it belongs, and even the geographical location of its user.
How Can I Find My Local IP Address?
If you’re using a Windows PC:
- In the Start menu, type “cmd” into the search bar and press the Enter key on your keyboard to access the Command Prompt.
- In the window that opens, type “ipconfig” and then press the Enter key.
- Once done, you will see the information on your system’s network. The IP address of your computer is displayed next to the IPv4 Address, for example “192.168.1.10”.
If you’re using MacOS:
- Open the Launchpad and select System Preferences.
- Once this window is displayed, click on the Network icon and select the connection you are using (for example Wi-Fi) from the left sidebar.
- Your local IP address will be displayed alongside the name of the network you are connected to.
Now that you’ve learned a few of the IP basics, learn how they may impact WordPress.com websites here.
This article was updated on Feb. 16, 2022.