What is an IP Address and how can I find mine?
Whether you’re fast approaching a new site launch or troubleshooting an emerging issue, you’ll likely be asked to provide extra information to help us provide support. This isn’t usually very technical information however from time to time we’ll ask you for your IP address. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a technical whizz to obtain it. But what is an IP address and why might we need it?
What is an IP address?
First, let’s establish what it is. IP stands for Internet Protocol. The address is typically four numbers of up to three digits each, with a full stop between each number, for example: ‘123.45.678.9’.
IP addresses are assigned to every device that communicates via the internet. It is an identifier that allows your device to communicate with other devices on the internet. For example, your laptop will be assigned one, as will a web server that hosts your website. When you visit your website on your laptop, the web server’s address is used to locate the website. Similarly, your laptop’s address is used when serving the website back to you.
Why would you need my IP address?
There are a number of different reasons why we might request your IP address. Here are some of the most common situations:
Launching a new website is an exciting event as everyone in the organisation heads online to see the new site. However, this concentrated traffic from one network can have unwanted consequences.
Most organisations use what’s known as a ‘fixed’ or ‘static’ IP address. This means everyone connecting using that network has the same address and it never changes. The issue with so much web traffic coming from the same IP address is that the webserver may interpret this as a suspicious amount of traffic. The server or website firewall may block the address, meaning nobody using that network can see the site anymore.
Such a high volume of traffic from one source is symptomatic of an attack on the webserver. Unless the IP address is whitelisted on the server, the webserver has no way of knowing whether the excessive traffic is an attack or just a lot of enthusiastic users accessing the site from one network.
Prior to launch, we’ll ensure your IP addresses are whitelisted on the server hosting the website. This means your legitimate traffic is always treated as such.
Getting you unblocked
It can be tricky to remember all your passwords sometimes, but getting your WordPress login details wrong can have unexpected consequences.
To keep our websites secure, we use WordPress security plugins to monitor and improve website security. One of these features can block you from accessing the site if you make too many failed login attempts.
This happens because the site interprets this as someone attempting to hack into the WordPress CMS by guessing login details. As it’s better to be safe than sorry, the website will block the IP address temporarily to stop this from happening.
As you’ll need to contact us to lift the block, we’ll ask you for your IP address so that we can make sure we’re lifting the block on the right one.
Google Analytics is a great way to keep an eye on how your site is performing. But how helpful is the data you’re seeing if it includes traffic from within your organisation?
Google Analytics allows you to exclude traffic if it comes from a specific IP address. Excluding traffic from your organisation’s network means your Analytics data is now ‘External Only’.
It’s important to bear in mind that only new traffic can be excluded from Analytics. It’s not possible to exclude traffic in this way retrospectively.
If we help administer your Google Analytics account, we will ask you for your IP addresses so that we can set up the exclusion of internal traffic.
Where do I find my IP Address?
This can be viewed easily by using our own What’s My IP address? tool on our website. If we ask for your IP address, simply copy the address shown on the screen and email it back to us.
If we request a ‘range’ of IP addresses or you are not able to see your address, consult your IT Manager or Network Administrator.