How to Trace and Locate IP Addresses?


 By: Rizwan Beg  Date: 29 June 2014
How to Trace and Locate IP Addresses?
So ever wondered why the ads appearing on the side of your browser (on any website that you surf) seem to know your location? You maybe surfing an American website but the ads will point out to your location (your city and country mainly). Even popular social media websites; such as, Facebook or twitter, show you the advertisements from local companies. Well, this is because these websites know exactly where you are operating from through your IP address.

So what is an IP address? It is like your home address. Think of Internet as a city; every house in the city has a unique address. Same goes for IP addresses. Every user that is connected to Internet is allotted a unique number and this user is identified through this number. IP numbers are basically 32 bit numbers; however, due to the massive growth in internet, 128 bit number have been developed and in distribution since last decade or so. There are two kinds of IP addresses; private and public. In private Local Area Network (LAN), such as offices or factories, it wasn’t deemed necessary for every user to have a unique IP address. The reason was to conserve the public IP addresses, so private IP addresses can be used again and again. On the other hand, public IP addresses are globally unique IP numbers.

Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the main organization of the world which is responsible for allocating IP address Blocks to five Regional Internet Registries (RIR). These are the organizations that are primarily responsible for assigning and allocation IP address Blocks in their respective regions. RIRs have record that they are assigning a complete block of Public IPs to which ISP (Internet Service Provider). Further data is provided by either the ISP or the data that the user fills in different websites. For example, when you fill out a form to get weather info or account setting up purposes.

The wider the scope of search, the more accurate the results are. However, there aren’t many softwares out there that will give you the exact name of the person or company or the street address. The primarily reason is the privacy issue. You wouldn’t want any random person to track your address on basis of your Internet presence. However, your internet service provider knows the exact location of your IP address and can determine your location on basis of the address provided by you at time of acquiring service. Even if wrong address is provided at the time of acquiring service, yet ISP can trace that which IP address is communicating from which area switch or exchange or Base Station.

IANA RIR World Map LACNIC ARIN RIPENCC AFRINIC APNIC

Whois is a common query used on internet to find Website addresses and IP addresses. Website addresses are nothing but names to remember and access public IPs. To conceal privacy of users, usually whois query give address of ISP instead of user.

Find Self IP
Whois of IP
Whois of IP
Self IP with Whois

Tracert is a very common command used by Network Engineers to find path and time delay of a specific IP address or Web Address from their IP address. Different node names or IPs in between the path can be traced with this command. Below is the tracing snap of Google.com:

tracert of google.com

Internet is a popular way of communication and everyone uses it, so security agencies around the world keep an eye on the internet users to look up for some useful information. And they utilize computer programs to determine the exact location of the user. However, this is a discussion for another day. You can choose to be anonymous by using proxy servers. It is a growing trend in the Internet world that users prefer to hide their original IP addresses by using proxy IPs. This trend will continue to grow as people are becoming more and more conscious about their privacy and privacy related issues.

Also Read:
- 4 Ways to Trace Location of a Mobile Number

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