How to Trace an IP Address to a PC & How to Find Your Own

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ThumbnailAn IP (Internet Protocol) address is as unique to a computer as a fingerprint is to us. An IP address enables one networked device to talk to the next. The downside of this inter-connectedness is that a logical location provided by the IP address is an open arms invitation to spammers and hackers. The art of war necessitates the importance of knowing who your ‘attacker’ is. Being able to trace an IP address to a PC is a direct way to remove the cloak of anonymity from a computer communicating with your own.

An IP address is a series of digits separated by dotted decimals and represented from to Currently we are following the Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), although the successor “˜version 6′ has been standardized.

A good hacker will take steps to prevent his IP from being revealed. A spammer might hide behind a proxy server. It is also important to remember that locating an IP address using online tools does not reveal the physical address of the guy on the computer. The basic tools merely tell us the location of the ISP providing the connection by using publicly available information. To go beyond that and actually nail down the guy sending you the dirty emails would require the law to be in the loop.

Stefan’s post on How to Trace Your Emails Back to the Source is required reading for a very useful application of IP address tracking. An interesting comment has been made by a reader who says that he uses IP address tracing to ‘find out the origin of potential customers who send e-mails and make inquiries through his company’s website’.

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In the lines that follow, I am taking Stefan’s post as a stepping stone and extending it by listing sites which serve as tools to trace an IP address to a PC. Any one should be enough but is there any harm in bookmarking a few more?

Part 1: Trace an IP Address to the Country and City of Origin


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    This web service provides a whole range of geolocation services. Included tools are IP Lookup, Reverse IP lookup Email trace, Traceroute, Ping tool among others. Also of use is a handy link which you can use to get someone else’s IP. Field the IP address in the IP address location box and the results give you the geolocation info behind the address and a marker on a Google Map. A Firefox experimental add-on is also available from the Firefox Add-ons gallery.

  • Geotool

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    A single field box for the IP address or host name, and the information follows. Geotool also uses Google Maps to depict the geographical location of the originating IP address. Geotool’s Firefox add-on shows a country flag representing the location of the current IP address (or website) and gives one click quick access to detailed location and web server information.

  • HostIP

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    HostIP says that it’s a community driven project to resolve IP addresses. At present it has 8,886,729 entries in its database. You can contribute information to the database and the database is accessible to all. The site’s FAQ goes into the motivation behind the community project. The project is a buildup as an alternative to commercial geolocation databases. The site also provides a Firefox add-on which unfortunately, is not compatible with the latest version of the browser.

  • DomainTools

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    This Whois Lookup search service provides a spiffy domain name lookup service along with IP address searching. The information is comprehensive including contact data-like listed telephone numbers and email address of the hosting service. The Whois access is free while other domain tools (the Power Tools) come with the paid options.

  • Arul John’s Utilities

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    A simple box and a simple IP address tracking service. You can also add the IP tracker to your website as a Google gadget.

  • IP-Address

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    IP-Address has three information pages which are of use to us ““ the homepage of IP-Address detects your IP, IP-Tracer locates the source of any IP address and Email Trace which nails the location of the senders IP address. With Email Trace, we simply need to paste the email header info in the box provided to get details about the sender.

  • IP Address Location

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    The web service provides different web tools for IP addressing. With an input you can find the exact location of any IP address plus the OS used, DNS, IP address range of the country, country code and country flag. The integrated Geolocator and a world map narrows down to the city and country. Also included is a tool to check the validity of an email address. According to the site, its IP database is updated every 48 hours.

    Part 2: How to Find Your Own IP Address

    An IP address is akin to a home address but really, it is not as simple. Lots of geek speak and networking lingo would be required to explain what’s it’s all about. The 7 online tools covered not only give you the location of a foreign IP address but yours too as soon as you hit their landing page. There are many online services which decipher your IP address in a flash. Here are a few from the swarm –

    That’s the quick and easy way. But what if you wanted to do it on your own using just your OS?

    Here’s the how for Windows ““

    • Go to Start ““ Run. Type in cmd to bring up the command prompt.
    • On the command prompt, type in ipconfig/all and hit enter.

      ip trace tools

    • Basic information of your network interfaces is listed along with your device’s IP address.

      ip trace tools

    (Please note that your IP address may be static or dynamic depending on how the DHCP server that’s assigns the IPs is configured.)

    The ISP service provider knows exactly where we are located. With the tools mentioned here, at best we can find the approximate area (even though a city is a large area!). It’s still useful”¦and sometimes it’s fun too.

    Have you ever had to use IP tracking? Tell us why and how”¦

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    22 Comments - Write a Comment



    These things are never accurate enough for locations. According to these i live in Wetherby, near Leeds.. When in actual fact, im in the north of scotland.



    I’ve used for a year now. Works great for me. I trace IP addresses logged by our company router who are flagged for DoS attacks and such. Interesting that they all come from Europe and Asia. Just sayin. Also it seem that all the IP’s I trace end up being companies and not individuals.


    I like it !

    Ryan Dube

    I like network-tools too – been using it for years. One thing to remember is that most attacks take advantage of a misconfigured company server that leaves it vulnerable to a trojan. The hacker hijacks the server and starts sending spam or conducting DoS attacks, etc. Most of the nasty spam I traced years ago went to small companies, who I contacted. They apologized profusely and were always very embarrassed that their server had been hijacked by a hacker.

    Great article Saikat – fantastic resources!



    quick correction…

    IP Addresses go from to (not There are 256 possibilities for each part of the address, 0 being the first.

    Another way to think about it is each part is actually 1 byte. The range therefore is (in hex) 00 to FF(255).



    Interesting article in points, but you didnt include in your list of IP locator tools. Just some of the free services offered
    IP Locator / Trace Route Locator / Spam Locator
    GeoDirection, GeoWorldMap, CityDistanceTool,
    GeoFlag, GeoPhrase, EmailAddressEncoder


    Hi Claire,

    I did take a look at it (and a few more), but then just stuck to the seven :)


    Thanks for that; most people do top 10’s !



    In your graphic, you are circling the MAC address, not the IP address. The MAC address can be used to figure what kind of computer you are talking to (the first 4 octets uniquely identify the company that made the network card…) Unfortunately, MAC address info is generally not routed beyond the local LAN.

    Also, ipconfig is useless for what you’ve described in the rest of the article for most people. Most people connect to the Internet through a router, which assigns a private IP address (via DHCP). The router uses a service called “NAT” to forward Internet packets to your computer. The outside world actually sees the IP address assigned to your router. The router IP address is assigned to it by the ISP. That is the address that these program use to figure out where you live.


    Sorry Lar,

    I uploaded the wrongly circled image. It wasn’t intentional.



    well that’s an amazing tool and very useful for me



    Very good post!

    I like your description about



    If you guys want to fight spam check out Reduced my amount over the years..



    I used IP address tracking to find a long lost girlfriend. It was fun for me, but I guess I somehow scared her off, when I was able to accurately pinpoint her locale while being halfway across the globe.


    Hope you aren’t a stalker in the making :)


    makes you wonder why shes half way round the world….



    Well none of them got my location right.
    I guess that’s probably a good thing though.


    Hey people, you can just check out IPAdy for detect your own using OS or other useful informations. But i got a bad news about that service, this site is publishing with Turkish language. So you can use the Google Translator for English or your language.



    I just wanna know that can i trace mac address from an ip address?Please Let me know if any thing is possible.


    Del Hopkins

    That’s the problem with IP geo-location, accuracy is ok to an extent, but starts to break down. is a mobile site for quickly checking your IP and/or proxy server.



    How do I can check IP / Computer name on local network.



    I have the IP addresses from my hacked into email account and one note back up for my phone ,from my log in records, how do I then find out who or what device has been successfully logging into my account?? My email is synced to my phone so I didn’t do it and I have 5-8 different ip addresses on my login besides my phones. I also have a lot of other hacking into my devices issues, if anyone is knowledgeable and would like to help explain or help catch my perpatrators please contact me????? thanks!!

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