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Why should I know my IP address?

You don’t have to write down your IP address or memorize it, but you should ensure that you know how to access it so that if you need that information, you can quickly find and use it.  

person using internet in regards to net neutrality
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For anyone new to it, an IP address can be a confusing tool to get to know. Yet, this address is vital to being able to use your computer to its full abilities. This is a basic rundown on what your IP address is, and why it matters.

What Is An IP Address

Any device that connects to the internet has an IP address. This means your phone, your computer, and even smart fridges. An IP address is a unique address that identifies whatever device you’re using to connect to the internet.

Standing for ‘internet protocol,’ it not only displays a general location of where you are but also says what network or host you’re using.  This unique identifier links you to all of your online activities.

Public and Private IP Addresses

It’s important to know the difference between a public or a private IP address.  A public IP address allows the wider internet to identify you so that all information you’re looking for can find you.  This is for massive sites like Google or Twitter.  

On the other hand, a private IP address is for private networks to allow you to connect to any other devices within that network. Both are key for communication and gaining access to the network and are important to know.

How Do I Find My IP Address?

It’s a good idea to know how to find your IP address so you can reference it if you have to.   For Windows, select start or hit the windows key. Next, go to settings, tap Network & Internet, and choose whichever Wi-Fi network you’re connected to.  Under properties, your IP address should be listed, along with your IPv4 address. 

On an Apple computer, go to System Preferences, double click your network icon or use the View menu to select what network you want your computer’s IP address for. For example, choose Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and your IP address will be displayed in the middle.  

Many websites also offer an IP lookup that can help you find it with a quick search, which is easier for less computer savvy. 

Allows Remote Administration and Control

One of the biggest perks of knowing your IP address is remote administration and control.  This means you’ll be able to use your computer or set up controls for it while away from it- which can be incredibly useful.

This is awesome if you travel for work or are stuck halfway between working from home and work from the office.  

Aids In-Network Troubleshooting

If your internet is messing up, slow, or not showing up, you’ll often use Ping and Traceroute to figure out what’s wrong.  The format you’ll use for these needs your IP address to get back to your computer and ensure that what’s going on isn’t a DNS server issue.  Sending a ping request to your server’s IP will help you confirm what’s going on with your connection.

You don’t have to write down your IP address or memorize it, but you should ensure that you know how to access it so that if you need that information, you can quickly find and use it.  

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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