Your Public IP address is:
Your Private IP address is:
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a set of four numbers, separated by three dots (e.g. 192.168.0.1) that represents a networked device acting as a server, or "host"; most all computers and computing devices, from the one on which you read this page to the devices which provide access to and shield you from the Internet itself, are identified by IP addresses.
Your Public IP address is seen by all websites on your behalf. At home, this address is usually one of two served by a router, access point, or firewall device; the other address is the "gateway" for the local network. Your Private IP address is used to interact with this gateway and other machines on your Local Area Network (LAN).
Not at home? At school, work or mobile, its still likely that your network configuration resembles the typical home setup. In addition, there may be a "proxy" web server. In this case, the public IP address of the proxy host is seen here; this may not be the same public address that is used for e-mail, instant messaging, and other Internet applications, however.
If both your Public and Private IP addresses are the same, then you have a direct outbound connection to the internet. You may be shielded from inbound connections by a firewall; this is a common setup at many corporations and universities. If you are unsure, we recommend that you at least enable the Firewall included in the Control Panel of your Personal Computer; we recommend a Firewall for all public, potentially hostile internet connections, especially Wi-Fi hotspots, internet cafes, etc.
For home users with matching Public and Private IP addresses, a more viable long-term alternative to a software firewall is a router or access point. If unsure about purchasing, installing, or configuring such a device, consult your local computer geek/hacker, and treat them well.