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How to Trace an IP Address

IP is short for Internet Protocol. It is simply a number assigned to your device that allows your traffic source to find you or your device. This makes it an essential part of all your online activities and communication.

Similarly, your devices also use the IP address to figure out where your information goes and who finds it. And the best thing is that there is a way you can trace IP address where all your data is going and even restrict your location and information to specified destinations.

How Do IP Addresses Work

As long as a device is connected to a network, it needs an identifier so that other devices know how to find it. And that identifier can only be an IP address.

It is always a 4 set of numbers like and can range anywhere from 0 to 255. They are also called Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). These numbers are set into different functioning parts; the network ID and the host ID.

The Network ID

This is the part that starts from the left (see above example; 156.198.1), and its work is to identify the network on which a device is located.

Host ID

As you already guessed, the Host ID is the last part of the IP address (see example above;.45). Its work is to identify a device (host) on a specific network.

So Where Do They (IP Address) Come From

ip address lookup

You should know that IP addresses are not just a random set of numbers. They are allocated by one of the divisions of the Internet Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

This is an organization that was launched in the US way back in 1998 to ensure internet security and be usable by all.

Since you can’t physically see how this works on your screen, here is what goes on behind the scenes;

  1. Your device gets access to connect to the internet (by first connecting to another network that gives this access). If you are at home, this network is probably your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or your company’s network if you are at work.
  2. This means your IP address is technically assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider
  3. Your activities then, go through the ISP, which is routed back to you by your IP Address
  4. You can always ask your ISP to change your IP address if you want to
  5. Not that when you leave your home or your workplace, the IP address does not follow you. This is because your network changes and you will be using a different IP address assigned to you by the Internet provider of your current location (say if you are in a hotel, airport, etc., and are using their WI-FI).

IPv4 VS IPv6, What is The Differences

IP version 4 is an internet protocol developed back in the 70s to provide at least 4 billion unique addresses. And while that seems huge, they are already long assigned to the business. Even if most of them are unused, they are unavailable since they were already assigned.

Now, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) started worrying about the potential shortage of IP addresses in the 90s and designed IPv6.

Unlike the protocol followed for IPv4;, IPv6 is given in eight set numbers. It may look something such as; 2160 : 1c7 : 200 : ef96 : d5eb : de75 : bcd0 : 3e1c.

The predicted shortage of IPv4 that caused all the concerns and the development of IPv6 ended up being alleviated because most people created their own private networks that aren’t exposed to the public.

This means the transition from IPv4 to IPv5 never happened as predicted (at least not yet). However, IPv6 is still a major in the game.

How to Trace an IP Address

There are multiple ways to find out the hostname or IP address. After all, you can’t trace IP address without knowing the IPv4 or IPV6 of the internet users whom you are looking up the IP address. But before we get into the IP lookup tools.

Here are some of the easiest ways to find addresses;

1. The “Ping” Command (CMD)

  1. Open the CMD Windows by pressing windows plus R then type CMD and press “Enter”.
  2. In the next prompt, type in “ping”, leave a single space, and type in the website whose address you are finding (e.g. ping www.whatlookup.net)
  3. Press “Enter”
  4. You should be able to then find the IP address

2. The “Tracert” Command

  1. Press “windows” and R at the same time and type in “cmd”, then press “Enter” to open CMD
  2. In the next prompt type in tracert, leave a space, followed by the website you are finding, and press “Enter”.

3. From Email

Another way to find an IP address is through email, that is, if you want to find where the email was sent from.

There are three simple steps involved:

  1. Open the email
  2. Click more (usually the three dots icon at the top-right side of the email
  3. Click “Show Original”
  4. A new window will open, check the displayed text for the address

5 Free IP Address Lookup Sites

Now that you know what it is, how it works, and how to find it, you can easily trace IP address and find out the location of the internet user.

Note that, for this to be possible, you first must find the IPv4 or IPv6 they are using (use any of the steps described above to find the address).

1. Whatismyip

This is the easiest-to-use tool for lookup IP address. Now that you have the IP address;

  1. Go to the official site at whatismyip.com
  2. Click “IP Address Lookup”
  3. Enter the IP Address you want to look up in the search box and hit “Lookup”
  4. Results are instant and accurate

What you can find:

  • ASN (Autonomous System Numbers) number–this number provides you a list of all the IP addresses that can be reached from the ISP network the message was sent from)
  • City
  • State/ Region
  • Country
  • Postal Code
  • ISP (Internet Service Provider)
  • Time Zone
  • Host Name
  • Continent

2. DNS Checker

You can use DNS Checker to find a lot of things including your own IP address, trace email, check who owns an IP address, convert IPv4 to Ipv6, and more.

To find your own address;

  1. Go to the site at dnschecker.org
  2. Scroll down to “IP Tools”
  3. Click “What is My IP Address”
  4. All info will open in a new window

To Lookup an IP Address;

  1. Go to the official site at dnschecker.org
  2. Scroll down to “IP Tools”
  3. Click “IP Location Lookup”
  4. In the next window, paste in the address you want to check
  5. Wait a couple of seconds for the results

3. Smallseotools

This is a tool by smallseotools.com. It is free and super easy to use.

Follow these simple steps;

  1. Go to smallseotools.com
  2. Scroll down the page to GEO IP Locator
  3. Paste in your Address in the search box
  4. Tick the “I am not a robot” captcha box
  5. Hit “locate IP”

What you can find;

  • City
  • Region
  • Country
  • Continent
  • Time Zone

4. IP Checker

This is another free, easy-to-use tool for lookup IP address;

  1. Go to ipinfo.info
  2. From the left sidebar, hit “IP Checker”
  3. Scroll down to paste your IP Address
  4. Hit “Check” and wait for the results

What you can find;

  • Country
  • City
  • State
  • Postal Code
  • Google maps locations
  • ISP

5. IPAddress

This is another one of the simplest lookup IP address sites to find more info about an IP address. You don’t have to do anything else once you open the site, it immediately shows your own IP address.

To check another IP address;

  1. Go to IPAddress site.
  2. Paste your address in the search box at the top left side of the site
  3. Paste you address
  4. Hit “Search”

What you can find;

  • ASN number
  • ISP
  • IP Connection Type
  • City
  • Continent
  • Country
  • Longitude
  • Latitude
  • Time Zone
  • Local Time

Bottom Line

There are many IP address tracing tools you can use to check specific IP addresses and find out more information. Finding the address number of a website or where an email was sent from is also not a big deal, as there are more than ways described in the article you can use.

If you want to check your own IP address, the easiest way is to just Google it. Open your browser, search “my IP Address” and boom, your results should be the first right there.

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the most asked questions on how to trace IP address is;

What Can You Find Out with an IP Address?

IP addresses can reveal your country, city, state, time zone, area code, ISP, organization, Hostname, and even your postal code.

How to Lookup IP Address?

There are many tools you can rely on to lookup IP address. All you need to do is find out the address number and you are good to go. Check out this article to know how to find the IP address and the best tools to look it up.

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