Because it is often needed in network and router setup and troubleshooting of network issues, the current IP configuration for the computer can be obtained either from the Network and Sharing Center of the operating system or by using the IPCONFIG command in a Command Prompt window.
IMPORTANT: The IP configuration information listed in either the Network and Sharing Center window or the Command Prompt window is only information about the current connection status of the computer. Should this information indicate a problem, more troubleshooting will be needed in order to fully identify and resolve connection issues.
To check the IP address of a network connection using the Network and Sharing Center:
- Click the Start button and then click Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel window, click Network and Internet.
- In the Network and Internet window, click Network and Sharing Center.
- In the Network and Sharing Center window, next to the appropriate network connection, click View status.
- In the Network Connection Status window, click the Details button.
- In the Network Connection Details window, next to IPv4 IP Address the IP address is listed.
- Depending on the IP address listed some information can be determined.
To check the IP address of a network connection using the IPCONFIG command in a Command Prompt window:
- Click the Start button, in the Search field, type CMD, and then press the Enter key.
- In the Command Prompt window, type IPCONFIG and then press the ENTER key.
- The Command Prompt window will now display the computer's current IP address and additional Internet configuration information for any wired or wireless port connection.
Regardless of the method used to access the information, some of the other more notable information listed is:
- Connection-specific DNS Suffix: This is the suffix of your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- IPv4 Address: This is the IP address, or network address, and is most often the address needed and/or requested in order to establish a Network.
- If the IP address starts with 192, this means the network is detected, the router did assign a valid IP address automatically (DHCP mode), and network connection is ok.
- If the IP address starts with 169 then either no network is detected or the router did not assign an IP address automatically (DHCP mode) and Windows assigned the default IP address internally to the computer. In either case, no network connection is established. This issue is most likely due to an issue with the network itself (a router issue).
- If the computer IP shows a 0.0.0.0 address, this means no network adapter was detected. This issue is most likely due to a problem with the computer network interface card (NIC).
- Subnet Mask: Usually expressed as 255.255.255.000 (or some variation).
NOTE: An IP address has two components, the network address and the host address. A Subnet Mask allows the host part of the address to be divided into two or more subnets.
- Default Gateway: Usually expressed as a variation of the same address listed for the IPv4 Address. In fact, the IPv4 Address is usually assigned automatically by the router (DHCP mode) and therefore is usually a derivative of the router address.
NOTE: The Default Gateway is typically the IP Address of the router that connects the internal network to an outside network (Internet).