What's an IP Address? What's a Local IP Address? And why are they important?

In the simplest of terms an IP Address stands for "Internet Protocol Address". And a Local IP Address is what identifies your device to a local network. 

Great, What does that mean?

The best way to think of an IP Address is like an electronic return address label for your internet connection. Its the unique code with a built in set of rules (protocols) that allows you to send and receive information on the internet.

A Local IP Address is the IP Address your router uses to connect to a larger network.

How do I find out what my IP Address is? 

The easiest way to locate your Devices IP Address is to visit a website like the one below: 
Visit: https://whatismyipaddress.com/  or https://www.vpnmentor.com/tools/ipinfo/
This will allow you to see what IP Address your computer is using to communicate to the internet. NOTE: This address is not your Local IP Address. 

How do I find a Local IP Address?

Typically your router's Local IP Address will be listed on the physical router itself. Look for a number that is typically groups of 2 or 3 numbers separated by periods. Format: xxx.xxx.x.xxx

If you do not have access to your router you can also find your Router's Local IP Address through your network preference: 
On a mac:

  • Open Network Preferences
  • Click 'Advanced' on the lower right hand side
  • Click "TCP/IP" on the list of headers
  • Look for "Router" The numbers next to it will be your Router's Local IP Address

So why is this important?

If you input your Local IP Address into your browser this will open up your router preferences. This is a great tool and will allow you to edit and see the following information: 

  • Network Name & Password
  • What devices are connected to your network
  • Router's Firewall
  • Network's Diagnostics

Through this interface you can manage your connections, and adjust your settings to ensure privacy and network security.