Every item that connects to the internet has its IP address. Although this may seem like an overwhelming concept at first, it’s important to know that most IP addresses change, and you don’t need that information very often. However, if you’re curious about what your IP address is on a device, or you need it for something, these are ways to find it and why you should be careful about who you allow to access it.
What Does an IP Address Do?
An IP address is like a personal ID that allows your computer to connect to the internet and receive information from it. This means that all internet and Bluetooth devices have personal IPs, and although some may shift and change, they’re all points at which your home could be vulnerable to a cyber attack.
Companies that have access to your IP address can spam you with ‘personalized’ ads based on your information online or could even sue you for copyright infringement if they find that you’re illegally downloading content.
How to Find it on Mobile Devices
On phones and tablets, the location of your IP address is usually within one set area. For Apple devices, if you tap your settings icon, click wifi, and then the ‘information’ icon to the right of your network name, you can find it under the DHCP. Your IP address will be listed as the first line beneath the heading.
Most Android and Windows devices all follow similar steps. Starting in settings, you’ll tap Wireless and Networks, or Network & Internet, which will list information ranging from the signal strength and security to the MAC and IP addresses.
How to Find it on Your Computer
Seeking out your IP address on your computer follows similar steps to finding it on mobile devices! For most computers, start in your settings, click Network & Internet, then wifi, and then tap the network you’re connected to. Under this network’s properties, you should find your IP address listed next to IPv4 Address.
This may change by the computer brand; you can also do a simple IP address lookup online to find this information so that you don’t have to dig through your device’s settings.
Why It’s Important to Protect This Information
The information available in your IP address isn’t just available to companies trying to advertise to you or stop you from illegally downloading their content. If someone who has poorer intentions gets a hold of it, they can restrict your access to sites, sell it on the dark web, from you for crimes, stop you from playing online games, or even figure out some information about you like what city you’re in and what internet service you use. So it’s important to be careful about who you share this information with and what websites you click on.
Learning Your IP Address is Easier Than You’d Think!
Whether you’re on your laptop or you’re curious about your smartphone: finding your IP address is something you can do within a couple of minutes. Consider upping your home’s protection with a VPN and ensuring that you don’t click unknown links anymore.