How to Check Your Mac's IP Address

by Spanner Spencer

    Your Mac computer's IP address allows other computers, servers and networks connected to the Internet to identify your physical and digital location. Your external IP address is a necessary aspect of connecting to -- and using -- the Internet, both for identification and addressing when accessing websites, social networks, file downloads and more. The Mac's internal IP address provides the same function, only within a local network rather than the Internet. Depending on the application, you could be required to find either your Mac's internal or external IP address.

    Internal IP Address

    Step 1

    Turn your Mac on and allow it to connect to the Internet either using Wi-Fi or through a wired Ethernet connection. However it establishes an Internet connection, wait until it is fully connected before continuing.

    Step 2

    Click the Apple menu and select "System Preferences."

    Step 3

    Click the "Network" option in the "Internet & Wireless" section. Your current internal IP address is displayed in the "Status" section.

    External IP Address

    Step 1

    Launch your Mac's Web browser.

    Step 2

    Navigate to an online IP checking website such as whatsmyip.org, whatismyip.com or whatismyipaddress.com. Your IP address is automatically displayed by the website.

    Step 3

    Search for "what is my IP address" in Google instead of visiting a website. Google displays your IP address at the top of its search results.

    Tips

    • Your external IP address can occasionally be changed by your Internet provider. This does not affect your Mac's connectivity but may require you to change the IP address entered into any software or applications that need you to manually add the information.
    • Your internal IP address can also change next time you connect to a local network if the network is set to assign IP addresses automatically. Assigning a manual IP address retains the same address each time you connect, but can cause problems if the network has already assigned that address to a different computer or device.

    About the Author

    Spanner Spencer has been writing since 2005 for a variety of print and online publications. Focusing on entertainment, gaming and technology, his work has been published by Eurogamer.net, "The Escapist," "GamesTM," "Retro Gamer," "Empire," "Total PC Gaming" "The Guardian," among others. Spencer is a qualified medical electronics engineer with a Business and Technology Education Council certificate in technical writing from Huddersfield Technical College.

    Photo Credits

    • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images