Apart from letting you connect multiple devices, a local network is very useful for a variety of things like sharing files between two computers, see what other users are browsing on your network, remotely logging into your router, etc. To do all those things, you first need to know is the IP address of the device.
What exactly is IP address?
If your friend wants to send you a postcard, they will ask you for your home or office address.
Similarly, IP address which is assigned to every computer or smartphone which is connected to the Internet. The moment any device connects to the internet, your ISP will assign it a unique IP address.
The local IP address (also called internal IP or private IP) is different from the external IP address (also known as public IP) assigned by your ISP. Any device that connects to the internet has two IP addresses.
- External IP address or Public IP (looks like 79.343.34.11)
- Internal IP addresses or Private IP (look like 192.168.1.100)
The public IP is same for all the devices on your network. For instance, if there are three devices, a desktop, laptop and a smartphone connected to your network then all three of them will have one public IP address that is assigned by your ISP to the router. You can generally find the public IP address by searching “What is my IP address” on Google.
The private IP address, on the other hand, is different for every device on your network. A private IP address can be anything between 10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255, 172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255, and 192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255. Typically, most routers assign 192.168.0.0 series IP addresses for devices on the local network. So, if your computer has a private IP address of 192.168.1.100 then your smartphone might have 192.168.1.101 and so on.
Now, there are three types of IP addresses you can find:
- IP Address of the device you are using — which you can get by looking at your device network settings.
- IP Address of other devices on your network — which you can get using a network scanner application or by looking at your routers DHCP client list.
- IP Address of any other devices on the internet — this one is a bit complicated, you need to somehow make them connect to a website you control. And once they connect to your site, their IP address will appear in the server log. Usually, hackers do it by sending them a spoof email.
In this article, we are going to stick with first two cases i.e, finding the IP address of your current device and other devices connected to your Network. So, let’s get started.
Find IP Address of Your Current Device
1. Windows (7, 8, and 10)
In Windows, search for “Control Panel” and open it. Here, navigate to “View network status and tasks,” click on the name of your internet connection, and then click on the button “Details.” You can find your local IP address next to “IPv4 Address” property.
Alternatively, open Command Prompt, type in the following command and press the enter button. Now, find your network name and the local IP address will be listed next to “IPv4 Address” property.
2. Mac OS X
On Mac, go to “System Preference > Network > Current connection name.” Here, look for the IP address under “Status.”
Again, a much quicker way to find IP address on Mac is to use the terminal. Simply, open spotlight ( cmd + space ), type in “terminal” and hit enter. Once the terminal has been opened, execute the following command
ifconfig | grep inet
On Android, it is much easier to find the IP address. Just navigate to “Settings > About Phone > Status.” You can find the IP under “IP Address” section. Of if you prefer an app to do this then check out IP Tools, simply open the app, swipe right to bring up the additional menu and look for IP detection option, there you’ll find your IP address in big fonts.
Just like Android, you can easily find the IP address of your iPad or iPhone from the settings app. Simply head over to Settings > WiFi > tap on the Current WiFi name > DHCP. Again if you prefer an app for this, then install Find My IP Free. The cool thing about this app is its simplicity, simply open the app and it shows your device external & local IP address.
2. Find IP Address of Other Devices on Your Network
To find the IP address of other devices like Chromecast, Xbox, Printer, Raspberry pi etc., that are connected to your network you have two options — use routers DHCP client or install an IP scanner application on your device.
2.1. Using Router
With this method, you can find IP address of all the devices connected to your network. Simply log into your router and look for wireless or DHCP option.
The good thing about this approach is that you don’t have to install any software because you can access your router from any device. However, the only downside is that you need to know the router’s login credentials. If you are in a work environment then you might not have access to these details to log into the routers admin page.
Related: How to Find your Router’s IP Address
2.2. Using a third-party App
If you don’t know your router’s login credentials, you have to download a specific app for your device that lets you scan the local network. More often than not, these apps are free and light-weight.
For instance, Fing for Android and iOS is pretty easy to use and light on system resources.
Similarly to find the IP address of other devices from a Windows computer use Wireless Network Watcher. It’s small utility from our favorite developer Nirsoft, and all it does is, it scans your wireless network and displays the list of all computers and devices along with their IP address, MAC address, sometimes the computer name.
For Mac, you can use Who’s on my WiFi. This free app will the IP addresses along with other details like MAC addresses, device names (in some cases) and the manufacturer of the network cards. This app is not as efficient as Wireless network watcher in grabbing the computer name but provides you an easy option to tag and label devices so you know if any new devices join your wireless network.
By looking at this details and little common sense, you can tell which device is what and its IP address.