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What Is My IP?

WAN (External) IP
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What is an IP address?

Sometimes when you are looking for support, the technician helping you will ask you what your IP address is. There are different types of IP addresses and sometimes it can get so confusing we broke it down to help.

An IP address (Internet protocol address) is essentially your mailing address on the world wide web. Every device that is connected to the internet has an IP address.

Your router, modem or firewall, which is often provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or your MSP (Managed Service Provider), gets a unique address. This is usually your WAN (wide area network) address also known as an external IP address.

Your router then hands internal LAN (local area network) IP addresses to each one of your devices that connects to the network. This includes laptops, desktops, mobile devices, security cameras, alarm systems, home automation devices and so much more.

To make matters even more confusing to the end user, using a VPN can mask external IP addresses to look like it is coming from somewhere else and ISPs are using a technology called CG-NAT which allow the use of a single IP to multiple customers.

The information on how Internet Protocol works is vast. However, more often than not a technician troubleshooting will be looking for your external IP address which helps identify who your ISP is and roughly where you are located.

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