Each and every internet user is assigned a unique internet protocol (IP) address whenever he or she logs onto the internet. Whatever websites they visit, whatever forums they browse, whatever information they access, their IP address leaves their trace there. IP address is provided by your internet service provider (ISP). Sometimes IPs provided by your ISP are permanently assigned to your account and sometimes the IPs are rotating.
The reasons for finding out locations through IP can both be simple or sinister. Sometimes site administrators simply want to get rid of a spammer who somehow finds a way to spam every time on their site. So in order to file a complaint against him they need to know where he is located.
The question that matters most is that can it really be done? Can you actually determine a physical address through IP? To be honest, it is almost impossible to determine the actual physical address through an IP address. However tracking down an IP can get you close enough.
How to I find location of an IP?
Perhaps the best and the simplest way is to look up the IP address in reverse. There are many web sites and software programs that can assist you with this. For example, you can log onto Whols.sc and simply enter an IP address and you’ll get the details about general location.
The details you obtain from Whols can provide you the name of the city and in some cases also specific portion of the city. But that’s about as good as it gets. There is no way of determining the name of the user or the actual street address. ISPs however can provide this information under the directions from court or police.
You must also bear in mind that mostly the people who want to stay hidden use proxy software to hide their actual IP addresses and convey a false one. For example, you may be sitting in Canada but through proxy software you can get yourself an IP of Saudi Arabia.
Originally posted 2011-03-17 12:59:44.