An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique identifier that allows computers and other devices to communicate with each other over the internet. It is essentially a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network, which enables them to send and receive data. In this post, we’ll explore what IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are, how to find your IP address, how to hide or change it, and how to find your router’s IP address.
IPv4 vs IPv6 Address
IPv4 is the fourth version of the Internet Protocol, and it uses a 32-bit numeric value to identify devices on a network. An IPv4 address looks like this: 192.168.1.1. There are approximately 4 billion possible IPv4 addresses, but due to the rapid growth of the internet, they are becoming scarce.
IPv6, on the other hand, uses a 128-bit numeric value and provides trillions of possible addresses. An IPv6 address looks like this: 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334. IPv6 was developed to address the limitations of IPv4 and to provide enough address space for future internet growth.
How to Find Your IP Address
Finding your IP address is straightforward, regardless of the operating system or device you’re using. Here are the steps:
Windows: Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi/Ethernet (depending on your connection type) > Properties > IPv4 address/IPv6 address.
Mac: Go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP.
Linux: Open the terminal and type “ifconfig” or “ip addr show”.
Mobile Devices (Android/iOS): Go to Settings > Wi-Fi/Cellular > Wi-Fi/Cellular Network Details > IPv4 address/IPv6 address.
You can also enter in a Google search query “What is my local ip”, and go to the proposed options.
How to Hide Your IP Address
Hiding your IP can help protect your privacy and security online. Here are some ways to do it:
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN): A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a server in a different location, making it appear as if you’re accessing the internet from that location. This masks your IP address and helps protect your online activity from prying eyes.
Use a Proxy Server: A proxy server acts as an intermediary between your device and the internet. It hides your IP by replacing it with the IP address of the proxy server.
Use Tor: Tor is a free browser that enables anonymous communication over the internet. It works by routing your internet traffic through a network of servers, making it difficult for anyone to trace your online activity back to you.
How to Change Your IP Address
Changing your IP can be helpful if you want to access websites that are blocked in your region or if you want to avoid being tracked online. Here are some ways to change your IP address:
Restart Your Router: Simply turning off your router for a few minutes and then turning it back on can assign you a new IP address.
Renew Your DHCP Lease: If your device is using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to assign IP addresses, you can try renewing the lease to get a new IP address. Open the command prompt/terminal and type “ipconfig /release” followed by “ipconfig /renew”.
Use a VPN: As mentioned earlier, a VPN can give you a new IP address by routing your internet traffic through a different server.
How to Find Your Router’s IP Address
Your router’s IP is the gateway to your home network, and it allows you to configure settings like Wi-Fi password, port forwarding, and firewall rules. Here’s how to find it:
Windows: Open Command Prompt and type “ipconfig”. Look for “Default Gateway” under the Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter section.
Mac: Go to System Preferences > Network. Click on the network connection you’re using and look for “Router”.
Linux: Open the terminal and type “ip route show | grep default”. The IP address next to “default via” is your router’s IP address.
IP addresses are essential for internet communication, and understanding how they work can help you troubleshoot network problems and protect your online privacy. Whether you want to find your IP address, hide it, or change it, the methods discussed in this post should be helpful.
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