Different IP Address on WhatIsMyIP.com Than IPCONFIG?

Why does WhatIsMyIP.com show a different IP address than IPCONFIG - IFCONFIG?

Internet Protocol Address

The Internet Protocol address shown on the What Is My IP home page is the public IP address, also referred to as the external IP address from your connection. Moreover, an internal IP address commonly starts with 192.186.1.*, 172.16.*.*, or 10.0.0.*. These IPv4 internal blocks are reserved via Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and not assigned as public or external IP addresses. To clarify, the most common of the three blocks is the 192.168.*.* group.

In simple terms, your external or public IP address is part of a WAN (Wide Area Network). It's called "wide" because it typically covers a large area. For example, the Internet considered a WAN. Your internal network is known as a LAN (Local Area Network). A LAN can exist without a WAN. You can connect many local devices together within a LAN that can all communicate to each other without connectivity to the Internet. LANs have been around since the '70s and CISCO says the first WAN was used by the Air Force in the 1950s. WANs connect LANs and LANs are private in most cases. Hence, the word private is often used when referring to internal IP addresses.

External IP addresses are often assigned to a modem or router instead of assigned directly to a computer in residential settings. External IP addresses that are assigned directly to a computer's NIC (Network Interface Card) will have protective measures in place when this method of connection is used. Therefore, in residential settings, the modem or router acts as a firewall to protect the devices within your LAN from being exposed to the public.

Residential Modem or Router

Your residential modem or router acts as a DHCP server and assigns internal IPs to each device connecting to your Local Area Network via wired or wireless connections. Therefore, all devices connected to your residential modem or router on your LAN will share the same external, public, WAN IP address.  However, each connected device will have a different internal Internet Protocol address as assigned by the modem, router, or DHCP Server.

Follow the steps in our how to determine if your computer is being assigned the external IP article.  You will be able to quickly determine your computers IP.

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