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Determining your IP address is easy, but we first have to ask: which IP address do you want? I'll look at determining both.

I need to know my IP address - how do I find it out? I'm running Windows Vista.

For something this simple I still get to pull out my most common answer: it depends.

The good news is that it's actually pretty similar for all versions of Windows.

The question I have to ask, though, is this:

Which IP address do you want?

Your Internet IP Address

The easiest way to determine your IP address is to visit one of many sites that will tell you. Just search for "what's my IP" and you'll get a list.

You can also visit this page on Ask Leo! which show you your IP address and a few other things.

Even better, since any web site you visit gets the information I have it right here:

Your IP address is: 332303p

Your Computer's IP Address

Open Control Panel's Network and Sharing Center:

Windows Vista's Network and Sharing Center

You'll see listed a "Network" which represents the network on which your machine is connected. To the far right of it's "Connection" line is a link labelled View Status, click on that:

Windows Vista's connection status dialog

Click on the Details button:

Windows Vista's connection details

And there you'll see the elusive IP address that this connection is on.

The Same or Different?

"... we often refer to a router as an internet connection sharing device."

If you're connected directly to the internet, then the two IP addresses you'll have seen - via an external web site and your machine's network connection information will be the same.

On the other hand, if you're behind a router it's likely that the two will be different. Your computer's IP address will be one assigned by the router - most often a 192.168.x.x address. The router handles translating that (using NAT or Network Address Translation) to the external IP address when you access the internet. In fact, you may have several computers connected to your router, each with their own local IP address assigned by that router, but each showing the same external IP address when accessing the internet.

That's why we often refer to a router as an internet connection sharing device. The internet IP address is assigned to the router itself, and it handles sharing that IP address across however many computers you might have attached to it.

Article C4578 - November 13, 2010 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

November 14, 2010 10:55 AM

I find the following gadget invaluable/always accessible for all such and related info requirements (W7 too):

November 16, 2010 3:50 AM

I am assuming that, sinse you posted that person's IP address, public knowledge of it poses no security threat (i.e. scamming, spoofing, etc.)

Look again. The IP address shown is your IP address - meaning the IP address of whoever's reading the page. (But no, there's not much people can do with an IP address, and they're pretty easy to get.)

November 16, 2010 9:05 AM

That's correct Bob. In fact, if you look up your IP address, copy and paste the address here:
You will find that your IP address gives away a "general area" as your location. I live in Toronto, Can., and that's about all you can find out (and my ISP details - Company, and their details, which won't help anyone find Me). On the google map link, it shows a tag to a physical location that is approximately 25 kms from my actual location, sometimes it's off by more than 50 kms. Also, I believe that the IP address that is at the top of this page is actually Yours, not the IP address of the original writer/message. Check if you like, as the IP address I can see in this article is actually mine.

November 16, 2010 9:13 AM

You can also find all your addresses by using the command ipconfig /all in the Command Prompt.

This is actually not true. Ipconfig will tell you the IP address(es) assigned to your computer, but cannot tell the internet IP address if you are connected through a router.

November 17, 2010 3:01 AM

An astonishing amount of information about your IP address can be found here:
November 18, 2010 4:52 AM

you can find your IP address in your windows vista by this way

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