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Find Your External IP Address: Whether You’re on a PC or Mac

Internal and external IP addresses, commonly known as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, play a crucial role in the identification and location of computers. An external IP address, also called a public IP address, serves the purpose of identifying computer systems and devices on the Internet. Conversely, an internal IP address, referred to as a local IP address, is utilized within private networks to pinpoint computers and devices connected to the Local Area Network (LAN). These IP addresses facilitate seamless communication and efficient data transfer between networked devices.

When you connect to the Internet, your ISP assigns you an external IP address. Any website you visit can detect this external IP address, even if you reach it from a computer linked to your LAN.

The external IP address is used to connect to the public Internet through your router, but the internal IP address is specific to your home network.

Find Your External IP Address

However, in some situations, your computer may be allocated an external IP address rather than an internal IP address. To see if this is the case, find your external IP address and compare it to your system’s IP address, either with or without the command prompt. Here are the steps for both methods:


Finding the external IP address through the command prompt:

On Windows operating systems:

To find your IP address on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start menu.
  2. In the search box, type “cmd” and hit Enter.
  3. Select the Command Prompt app from the search results.
  4. Once the command line interface opens, enter the command “ipconfig /all” and press Enter.
  5. Your IP address will be displayed in the command prompt window.

On macOS systems:

To find your IP address on macOS, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press cmd+Space to open the Spotlight search.
  2. Search for Terminal and select it from the search results.
  3. In the Terminal window, enter the command “ipconfig getifaddr en0” if you are connected to a wireless network, or “ipconfig getifaddr en1” if you are connected via Ethernet.
  4. Press Enter to execute the command.
  5. Your IP address will be displayed in the Terminal window.

Finding the external IP address without using the command prompt:

On Windows operating systems:

To view your IP address on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start icon.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Choose the Network & Internet icon.
  4. On the left menu, select Ethernet if you want to view the IP address of a wired connection, or select WiFi if you want to view the IP address of a wireless connection.
  5. Click on Advanced Options.
  6. In either case, your IP address will be displayed next to the label “IPv4 Address.

On macOS systems:

To find your IP address on macOS, you can follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple logo dropdown menu in the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on System Preferences.
  3. Select Network from the available options.
  4. In the list on the left, click on the network connection with the green dot, indicating that it is currently connected.
  5. On the right side, you should see the status “Connected,” and your IP address will be displayed directly underneath.

📚 Also Read: How To Change Your IP Address on Mac

What is the Difference Between an Internal and External IP Address?

Internal IP Address External IP Address
Used within a private network (LAN) Assigned by the ISP for communication with the Internet
Assigned by the network router Assigned to the network router or modem
Not globally unique; can be reused in different private networks Globally unique; serves as a public-facing identifier
Examples: 192.168.x.x, 10.x.x.x Assigned by the ISP; varies depending on the ISP
Used for communication within the private network Used for communication between the internal network and the public Internet
Not accessible directly from the public Internet Accessible and used by websites, online services, and devices on the Internet

Why is it Important to Know Your External IP Address?

Knowing your external IP address is essential for a variety of reasons. To begin with, it allows you to solve networking issues by supplying the appropriate information when calling your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Second, for appropriate performance and usage, certain online services and applications may require your external IP address. You may assure seamless connectivity and optimal exploitation of these services and applications by being aware of your external IP address.

How to Protect Your External IP Address

There are a few things you can do to protect your external IP address:

  • Use a VPN: Your internet data is encrypted and redirected through a server in a different geographic location when you use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This method offers an additional layer of protection and privacy, making it difficult for others to follow your online activities and identify your external IP address. With a VPN, your data is kept private and secured from illegal monitoring, giving you greater anonymity and protecting your online presence from prying eyes.
  • Be careful about what information you share online: If you share your external IP address with someone, your online activities may be tracked. Someone who has your external IP address can use it to track your internet activity and monitor your online conduct. This data can be used to follow your surfing patterns, collect personal information, and potentially threaten your privacy and security. As a result, it is critical to take caution when disclosing your external IP address and only to trusted individuals or services.
  • Keep your software up to date: Security patches are typically included in software updates, and they play an important role in protecting your device from malware and other threats. By keeping your software up to date, you improve your device’s security posture, reducing potential vulnerabilities and ensuring a safer digital environment. Installing software updates on a regular basis is a preventative action to ensure the integrity and security of your device and its data.

If the IP address you see is in the format 192.168.x.x (for example, or or 10.0.0.x (for example,, it is a private or internal IP address provided by your router. In such circumstances, your router, not your individual computer, obtains the external address. You may always check your IP address on some websites to see if your computer has been issued an external IP address. If the address displayed in the command prompt window matches the address displayed on, your computer is using the external IP address.


Finding your external IP address is critical whether you’re using a PC or a Mac. Understanding this unique identifier enables you to solve network issues, contact your ISP if necessary, and use numerous online services and applications that rely on your IP address. Knowing your external IP address allows you to take proactive measures to protect your online privacy and security. Whether for personal or business reasons, knowing this knowledge ensures a smoother and more secure internet experience. Stay informed, stay connected, and make the most of your digital pursuits.


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