What Is an IP Address & How Can You Find Yours?

An IP address is a unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol (IP) to communicate over a network, for example: Knowing your IP address can be important for troubleshooting issues or connecting to your workstation using Windows Remote Desktop.

Public vs. Private

IP addresses can be either private or public. This is not to be confused with static and dynamic IP addresses, which is an entirely different concept. Both static and dynamic IP addresses can be either private or public.

Private addresses start with either 10.x.x.x, or 192.168.x.x, for example: or All University of Windsor public addresses start with 137.207.x.x, for example:

All computers connected to the University's new wired network use dynamically allocated private IP addresses for enhanced security. All computers connected to the University's old wired network use public addresses. In some cases they are dynamically allocated, but historically they were configured as static IP addresses.Public IP addresses reveal such information as the continent, country, region, and city in which a computer is located; the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that services that particular computer; and such technical information as the precise latitude and longitude of the country, as well as the locale, of the computer.

Finding Your IP Address

Many websites provide IP address look-up services to their visitors, free of charge. If you need to find out whether your computer is using a public address, compare the IP address of your computer to what's reported by the following site:


The exact method to find an actual IP address of your device varies depending on the type of the device and it operating system.

Microsoft Windows

To obtain your IP address on a computer running Windows 10 or 11:

  1. Click the Start button (on bottom left corner of screen)
  2. Launch the command prompt by typing cmd then pressing enter key
  3. Type in the following command and press enter key: ipconfig

Most computers have one or two adapters, though you may have more depending on your setup. If you can connect wirelessly and with an Ethernet cable, you'll have at least two adapters. Look at the adapter's name in the list to determine which adapter you're looking at. Scroll until you find the line with IPv4 Address. This is your IP address unique to your machine. In the example below the IP address is

Apple Mac

To obtain your IP address on computer running macOS operating system:

  1. Click the Apple menu and select System Preferences. This will open the System Preferences menu.
  2. Click the Network option. A new window will appear, with your network adapters listed on the left.
  3. Select your active adapter. Usually, your active adapter will be selected automatically. If you have multiple adapters, select the one you want to check the IP address for. If the adapter is not currently connected, the indicator next to it will be red.
  4. Find your IP address. Your Mac's private IP address will be listed in the "IP Address" entry.
    NOTE: On older versions of OS X, you'll need to click the TCP/IP tab at the top of the window to see the "IP Address" entry.


To obtain your IP address on computer running Android operating system:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Network and Internet then Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the name of the Wi-Fi network that you are connected to or the gear icon next to it.
  4. Tap Advanced.

Dynamic vs. Static

IP addresses can be either static or dynamic. This is not to be confused with public and private IP address, which is an entirely different concept. Both public and private IP addresses can be either static or dynamic.

Static IP addresses never change. They serve as a permanent Internet address and provide a simple and reliable way for remote computers to connect to your device.

Dynamic IP addresses are temporary and are assigned by a DHCP server each time a computer accesses the network. They may remain the same for a short period of time, but they eventually change. They are, in effect, borrowed from a pool of IP addresses that are shared among various computers. Since a limited number of static IP addresses are available, many ISPs reserve a portion of their assigned addresses for sharing among their subscribers in this way. This lowers costs and allows them to service far more subscribers than they otherwise could.

On the new UWindsor wired network, all IP addresses are dynamically allocated by our DHCP server (dynamic IPs). If you believe that your computer requires a static IP address, please submit your request by opening a ticket providing your rationale, and your computer's MAC address. We will create a reservation in our DHCP server that will be tied to your device's MAC address to ensure that it always receives the same IP address when its DHCP lease is renewed.


Article ID: 10288
Mon 12/14/15 4:00 PM
Tue 11/30/21 11:21 AM

Related Articles (1)

This article explains what MAC address is and how to find out MAC address that your computer is using.

Related Services / Offerings (2)

Domain Name Services (DNS) is the Internet's equivalent of a phone book. DNS servers maintain a directory of domain names (example: uwindsor.ca) and translate them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (example: This is necessary because, although domain names are easy for people to remember, computers or machines, access websites based on IP addresses. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol used to assign IP addresses and provide configuration information to devices such as servers, desktops, or mobile devices, so they can communicate on a network using the Internet Protocol (IP). All IP addresses are dynamically allocated by our DHCP servers on both wireless and wired networks
All buildings on campus are connected to the University's wired network. Network jacks are generally available in all offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, lecture halls, labs, as well in some public areas (hallways, open space, etc.). Wireless (WiFi) network access is available throughout the University campus, and selected off-campus locations.