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Private IP VS Public IP: How To Check WAN IP, Public IP, or Internet IP?

15 years ago, your home computer might not really need an IP address, simply because you neither online to Internet nor connected to a local network.

Nowadays, an offline Core 2 Duo computer is like a Jaguar without fuel to burn for power!

Having say that, 99% of home computers (be it a Desktop or Laptop, Core 2 Duo or an aging Pentium 133) have been actively using IP address to communicate over the TCP/IP network.

Private IP vs Public IP

In a brief, using a home computer network as an example, a private IP is an unique ID used to facilitate communication among IP-enabled devices (network printer, laptop, XBox, etc) that linked up to the same ADSL router modem. The ipconfig command in Windows or /sbin/ifconfig command in Linux can be used to check this private IP address.

In contrast, public IP (a.k.a. WAN IP or Internet IP address) is an unique ID given by your Internet service provider (ISP) to the ADSL router modem, enable it to online to Internet.
In a office/college network, the Desktop/laptop hooking up to the internal network is using a private IP too, be it fixed IP or dynamic IP given by internal DHCP server. The proxy server that serves Internet-related activity is in turn holding the public, WAN IP address given by ISP.

How to check my public/Internet/WAN IP address?

There are many ways lead to Rome. Here are just some of the easy methods to check my computer (or your computer) WAN IP/Public IP/Internet IP:
  • Just ask Google Search to look for “check WAN IP”, “check public IP”, etc. For example, one of the easiest URL to remember could be who.is. Just type who.is in the web browser and hit ENTER key, a simple and quick-loading webpage appears with a line that says Your IP is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx.
     
  • Telnet to ADSL router modem (e.g. D-LINK 504T) and type ifconfig to check inet addr of ppp0.
     
  • Add this Google gadget to your iGoogle homepage/blog. You could also simply click this link to view your WAN IP address, hostname given by the ISP, ISP name, country name and proxy server information.


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