IP address is an address which makes the network and other computers connected on the network to identify a computer. IP stands for Internet Protocol and every computer has to have one IP address assigned to it if it wants to communicate over a network. IP address is a 32 bit long number which is divided into a set of 8 bits. As we know that with 8 bits we can make only 2^8 numbers so every part of an IP address ranges from 0 to 255, thus the entire IP address ranges between 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255.
For troubleshooting purpose or for letting somebody know we might need to check what is the IP address of our computer, ut how do we do that? A Windows 7 Computers IP address can be checked by two ways. First open the Control Panel and then open the Network and Sharing Center. In Network and Sharing Center click on Manage Network Connections and once this Window is open you will see all the network cards listed. Right click on the card with which you are connected to the network and click on Status. In the Status window click on Support tab and there you would find the IP address of your computer. The same Status Window can be opened by right clicking on the connection icon in the status bar and then selecting Status. There along with the IP address you can find more information like the Subnet Mask, Default Gateway, and the DNS Server addresses.
Another way of checking the IP address is from the Command Prompt. To do so, click on Start, and type Command. Once it gets listed in the results right click on it and select Run as Administrator. This action will give you a DOS kind of command prompt. Here you have to execute a command to know the IP address and the command is IPCONFIG. This command when executed gives the IP address assigned to all the cards connected on your computer along with the name of the card. If the list is too long then scroll it up to find the subject card and its IP address. If you wish to see more details like the Subnet Mask, Default Gateway, DNS, and information about the lease time etc then execute the following command IPCONFIG /ALL.
Please note that if you are in a network which has DHCP enabled on it then your computer’s IP address won’t remain the same always. Your computer’s IP address will change every time you reboot it, so before providing your IP address to someone or before using it by yourself do make sure that you check it again. IP addresses which changes on every reboot are called as Dynamic IP address and they are obtained by the computer during the handshake process, when it communicates with the DHCP device which could be a Router or a Modem. Another type of IP address is called Static IP address and this is the one which is manually entered into the LAN card properties and it remains the same till the time you change it or change your IP address to Dynamic.