IP addresses are used with TCP/IP networks to allow communication between different networked devices such as computers and printers. It's also required to be able to communicate on the Internet. Each device on the network has its own IP address that was manually assigned to it (static) or automatically assigned to it by something like a DHCP server (dynamic). Many times when troubleshooting network or Internet connectivity problems you will have to check to see if you have a valid IP address or give your IP address to the person helping you with the issue. There are many ways to find your IP address just in case you ever need to do so.
One way is from a command prompt. Command prompts are used to type in command line requests to the operating system in order to perform tasks or obtain information. Its similar to the old days of typing DOS commands. To open a command prompt the easiest way is to go to Start, then Run and type in cmd and click OK. You will see a black box with a cursor like the image below.
If you just want to find your IP address you can type in ipconfig and press enter. You will get a listing similar to this. If you have more than one network (Ethernet) adapter or a wireless connection then you will get the same type of information for all of your connections.
You will notice 3 pieces of information. The first is the IP address which is the address of your computer on the network. Then you have the subnet mask which determines what subnet your computer is on within the network. Finally you have the default gateway which is a node on the network that serves as an access point to another network, in most cases out to the internet.
If you need to know more detailed information you can type ipconfig /all to get a listing of other IP related information.
This option gives you information such as your host (computer) name, DNS & WINS information and your MAC or physical address of your network card.
Another way to get your IP address from your network connection properties. Right click your My Network Places and select properties. Then right click your Local Area Connection icon and select properties again. You will see a window similar to the example below.
Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and click on Properties.
Or for newer versions of Windows such as Vista and up go to the Control Panel and then the Network and Sharing Center and then click on Change adapter settings. From there you can right click your local area connection and choose Properties and click Internet Protocol Version 4.
Here you will see you IP address information.
If you are getting your IP address automatically (using DHCP) there will not be anything listed in the boxes and this method will not work to find your IP address.
Instead you can double click on Local Area Connection (or whatever it may be called on your computer) and then click on the Support tab to display the following.