8/28/2021
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On the taskbar, select Wi-Fi network the Wi-Fi network you're connected to Properties. Under Properties, look for your IP address listed next to IPv4 address. Find an IP Address Using the Command Prompt Right-click the Start button or hit Windows Key+X to bring up the hidden quick access menu and select Command Prompt (Admin) or — select Windows.

Every device connected to the internet has an IP address, which helps websites identify your computer. Using third-party programs or services, someone with your IP address could possibly block you. By borrowing your computer or smart device. If somebody uses or borrows your computer, they can. Find out what your public IPv4 and IPv6 address is revealing about you! My IP address information shows your location; city, region, country, ISP and location on a map. Many proxy servers, VPNs, and Tor exit nodes give themselves away.

© Crystal Cox/Business Insider If someone knows your IP address, they can potentially hit you with a DoS attack. Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • With someone's IP address, you can learn a user's general location, and disable some parts of their internet browsing experience.
  • Every device connected to the internet has an IP address, which helps websites identify your computer.
  • Using third-party programs or services, someone with your IP address could possibly block you from reaching certain websites.
  • If you're concerned about the security of your IP address, consider installing a firewall and VPN.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Every device that connects to the internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address. The IP address, which is composed of a series of numbers separated by decimal points, looks something like '198.169.0.100.'

This number is used to help devices talk to each other and exchange data. Your network router has its own IP address, of course, as does every device on your network.

But because these identifiers are so important, that means a hacker can potentially use them against you.

Here's what you should know about your IP address, and what it can be used for.

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What you can do with an IP address

Firstly: most users won't have to worry about any of this. It's unlikely that any hacker would take the time to learn your specific IP address, and manipulate your specific device. There's no real reward in it for them, so unless they love playing pranks, it would be a waste of time.

In fact, every website you visit already knows your IP address — that's how they know to load on your computer, as opposed to someone else's.

That said, armed with your IP address, someone has the potential to take certain actions against your network. As such, it's a good idea to keep your IP private from individuals you don't know.

They could:

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Block you from accessing websites

It's possible to use your IP address to prevent you from performing certain online activities. The most common example of this is blocking your ability to reach a certain site, or to post messages in forums or the comment section of web sites.

In fact, this is the most common way that website administrators ban rulebreakers. It's often referred to as an 'IP Ban.'

Your IP address can also be used to block or ban you from playing online games on some gaming services.

Learn your general geographic location

Your IP address can reveal your geographic location. In most cases, this won't be any more specific than your city and state. In rare cases, it could be as specific as your neighborhood.

My Internet Ip Address

Your IP address also carries the name of your Internet Service Provider (the company that gives you internet access — think Spectrum, or Xfinity).

© whatismyipaddress.com; William Antonelli/Business Insider Your IP address signals where you are. whatismyipaddress.com; William Antonelli/Business Insider

While there's not a lot someone can do with this information, it can be combined with details from other sources to piece together data about your identity.

Perform a Denial of Service Attack

Knowing your IP address, a malicious user may be able to perform a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, in which your network is flooded with data. It prevents normal traffic from getting through and overloads the network's ability to function.

However, these attacks are usually directed at large companies or websites — it's rare that anyone would set up a DoS attack on a regular user.

How to protect your IP address

While there are some risks, your IP address alone poses very limited danger to you or your network. Your IP address can't be used to reveal your identity or specific location, nor can it be used to hack into or remotely take control of your computer.

That said, if you're still concerned, a few simple precautions can help protect you.

First and foremost, your network should be protected with a firewall. Most routers have firewalls built in, but you should contact your router manufacturer or internet service provider to learn about your setup.

For additional protection, you can use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. A VPN hides your IP address from all outside users, making it extremely difficult for someone to uncover your IP address or monitor your online activity.

© NordVPN; William Antonelli/Business Insider NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services. NordVPN; William Antonelli/Business Insider

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