What Is My IP Address?

...and what is an IP address anyway?

Your IP address is

A computer's Internet Protocol address, aka IP address, is a semi-unique indentification number that is (somewhat) randomly assigned to every computer or device that has Internet access. An IP address is a string of four numbers separated by periods, and each number can range from 0 to 255. For example, your IP address could look like

When you access the Internet, remote servers can detect your IP address. If you look in the box on the left, it should display your IP address as detected by Had2Know.com's servers. Often, if several computers share the same Internet connection (for example, you have several laptops synched to the same wireless router) then all of those computers will have the same public IP address.

Within the same geographical area, IP addresses often fall within the same range. So if your IP address is, then your neighbor's IP may be For this reason, remote servers can also determine the general location of an Internet user.

Can my IP address be used to find my physical address?

No. IP addresses can only give the general location of your Internet service provider (ISP), i.e. the city or nearest city where you get your Internet service from.

Can I mask my IP address by accessing the Internet through proxy servers?

Yes, up to a point. It may still be possible to discover your device's true IP address even with proxies.

Can I change my IP address?

If your ISP assigns dynamic IP addresses to devices on the network, then your address may change periodically. If yours is a dynamic number, you can try to force a change. Simply unplug your modem and router and turn off your computer. After ten minutes, reconnect your machine to the Internet. This is often enough to alter the IP address. If this process does not change your device's IP address, you can repeat the procedure by shutting off the connection overnight.

© Had2Know 2010

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