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Technology is constantly shifting, so upping your game is a constant must if you're in IT. Refresh your memory on how to find an IP address in 2021.

How can I find IP addresses on a network? [2021 Guide]

Do you want to find out what IP address such as is on your network? It’s a question that can be answered with this simple guide. We’ll look at the two most common methods for finding IP addresses, as well as how to lookup an IP address in Windows and macOS.

Computers consist of many IP addresses. One is how the computer talks to the internet and is usually the number on your modem or router. IP addresses are often assigned to your router by your ISP, but they can also be assigned if you hook it up using a wireless network. 

The router maintains an IP address to which websites can send traffic. When your computer sends a request out to the internet, it actually uses the IP address for your router.

When a computer is on an internal Wi-Fi or Ethernet network, it has its own IP address assigned to it (usually by the router). Devices on an internal network require a protocol that assigns IP addresses. Most often, this system is called Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP).

The Internet Protocol address (IP) assigned to a node, typically temporary because it might change anytime, is called dynamic IP. To configure your computer to never change, it’s important to set up “static IP addresses.” Static IP addresses are necessary for some communications networks: they ensure that the message is delivered one time by its original sender. You could also get a static IP address for your router that is useful if you have a home-based business. 

A static IP will allow you to assign each computer in your household to a particular IP address, and many ISPs charge extra for these services. IP addresses are typically four numbers, with the first set being in the range of 0 to 255 and separated by dots, and each succeeding number is one higher than the previous. This format of IP addresses (IPv4) is limited to a potential 4+ billion different combinations; not enough.

Finding an IP address on a network

If you’re having trouble connecting to the network or your device, it’s important to know how to scan for devices. One way is by looking at IP addresses.

The most basic way to look for IP address on a network is through a manual scan. This method is best for those looking to perform a brief, single device check or for those heading a smaller organization with a more manageable device list. Here are the steps to take for a TCP/IP scan.

  1. Open CMD (Command Prompt).
  2. Enter the “ipconfig” command for Mac and “ifconfig” for Linux. This will then display your computer’s own IP address, subnet mask, gateway address, and more.
  3. Now, enter the “arp -a” command. The “-a” appendage of the stat command will list all IP addresses found in the ARP cache for the associated network. Active computers connected to the local network are shown with the arp -a command. The list below contains a range of IP addresses and their allocation types.
  4. Finally, enter the “ping -t” command. The command “ping -t” will allow you to quickly test the network in a different way. Ping tests can take up a lot of time, so using these types of commands can substantially speed up the process.

Despite this, there are a few ways to scan networks for IP addresses. Typically, the best way to find the IP addresses of all devices on a network is to invest in software. Large organizations with dynamic IP addresses are especially challenged to track and organize. Using an IP address scanner, network admins can see which addresses are active and free for reallocation.

Final Thoughts

Finding an IP address on a network can become a hassle for IT enthusiasts sometimes if they aren’t using the right tools or don’t have the right commands. In this guide, we’ve shown a number of approaches and techniques through which a person can find an IP address on a network with little or no change in the commands mentioned above.

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