- Find the IP number you wish to check. The format of an IP address is numeric, written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255.Use ping or tracert in the command prompt to find IP address'.
- To find the IP of an e-mail sent to you, investigate the message's "headers" by using your e-mail program's "details" or "properties" function. For example, in Outlook Express, select "Properties" from the "File" Menu, or just press ALT+Enter. Next, select the "Details" tab. In Yahoo, click "Full headers" on the upper right hand corner while you see the message. In Hotmail, go to "Mail Display Settings" and set "Message Headers" to "Full" or "Advanced". See this website for more information on viewing headers.
- 2Go to a website that will allow you to look up IP address information. See External Links below. Type the IP number in the input box and submit.
- 3Understand that in many situations you will learn a few things about the IP address:
- Which internet service provider (ISP) the user is using. In some cases this may be the user's company (e.g. Ford.com). In other cases it may be just one of the large ISPs such as ATT or Comcast.
- The approximate physical location of the user (e.g. Palo Alto, California.)
- 4Recognize that usually you will not learn the actual name of the person doing at that IP address (e.g. Joe Smith). ISPs will typically only release such information under a court order.
- Another way--if you are using a Windows computer--to find out some information about someone is to go to Command Prompt (if you do not know how to do that, go to the Start menu, Run, and type "cmd" and press OK) and type in tracert
. On UNIX (including Linux and OS X), open a shell and use the command traceroute
- It is not always possible to find out someone's exact address from this. People can take extreme measures to remain anonymous (even forging e-mails).
- A computer
- An internet connection