To find your public IP address, go to an IP website that lists visitors' IP addresses, such as WhatisMyIPAddress.com. Your public IP address may not be the same as the IP address for your computer. Most operating systems list your local IP address under Internet connection settings.
Local computer IP addresses vary from public IP addresses when your computer connects through a bridge or router to the Internet. Routers use their own internal IP addresses to route traffic from the Internet to multiple devices. To look up your computer's own IP address on the Windows 7operating system, navigate to the Control Panel, type "adapter" into the search box, and click View Network Connections in the results. Select an active network connection, and click Details.
IP addresses are unique numbers that computer systems use to route traffic across the Internet. All Internet traffic follows certain protocols. IP address is short for Internet Protocol address. Your IP address changes as you move to different Internet access points. Different computer networks connect to the Internet using different IP addresses, and these different networks assign their own IP addresses to your computer.
Some individuals use various methods to hide their IP address, generally to avoid being tracked by companies or governments. For instance, some individuals route their Internet traffic through proxy servers that sit between them and the open Internet.