3 Ways You Can Get Someone’s IP Address
There could be a number of reasons you want someone’s IP address. You might be trying to create a secure connection between two devices, or allow a certain device to join your company’s network. You might want to blacklist a device while remaining anonymous.
Whatever your reasons, there are a few ways you can get someone’s IP address. Whether you’re starting with an IP address and want to know the info associated with it or you want the IP address of a website, this guide explains how to do it.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a unique string of characters that identifies each device connecting to a network using the Internet Protocol (IP). Any time you use the internet, you need an IP address. Internet service providers (ISPs) are generally responsible for assigning IP addresses for both homes and businesses.
Why do you need a unique identifier when you go online? The internet needs to know where to send your data when you request it. When you send a request to visit amazon.com, for example, the internet needs to know your IP address so it can connect you.
IP addresses usually have other information associated with them, such as an ISP, hostname, country, region, or city. Sometimes, you might be able to find a street address or a name for an IP address, but that’s usually only for companies and organizations. Finding the name of a private individual based on their IP address involves some shady practices and could be a legal gray area.
The three ways we’ve explained below are legitimate methods to search for IP addresses.
3 ways to find someone else’s IP address
Now that you know what IP address is, you can search for one. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why you might want someone’s IP address. You might want to blacklist a device that keeps connecting to your Wi-Fi network without your permission, for example.
There are three ways you can find an IP address and get the info that’s associated with it: using an IP lookup tool, checking the header of an email, or using the command prompt and ping.
1. IP lookup
One of the easiest methods for obtaining an IP address is by using an IP lookup tool. These tools are usually free and the only info you need to use one is the IP address itself. An IP lookup tool pulls information about an IP address from Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs) databases, public IP blacklists, and proprietary databases.
With IP lookup tool from WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, you can check any IPv4 or IPv6 address and get:
- The name of the ISP
- The IP’s hostname
- Country, region, and city
- Latitude and longitude
- Known services running on that IP
You can rely on our IP lookup tool because we use info from IP2Location and IPBlock when fetching search results.
2. Email headers
An IP lookup tool works best when you already have an IP address and you want more information about it. If you already have a name but no IP address, then you’ll need another method. One way to find someone’s IP is by looking at the header of an email sent from them.
Checking the email header isn’t the most reliable way to find an IP address — usually only marketing emails contain an IP. Personal emails from friends or family almost never have an IP address. Since marketing emails typically come from domains that have many email addresses, they have to implement a sender policy framework (SPF). The SPF is what helps you find the IP address.
Here’s how to use SPF to check for an IP address on a marketing email (we’ll use Gmail as an example):
- Open the email and hover over the three dots in the top right corner. You’ll see the word more.
- Click or tap the three dots and then select Show original. A new page should open with the email header, containing rows for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
- If you see a string of numbers in the SPF field that’s formatted like this: 22.214.171.124, it’s the IP address for the email server that company uses to send you emails.
- Copy the IP address from the SPF field and paste it into an IP lookup tool to get more info about it.
3. Command prompt
You can use the command prompt on Windows (known as the Terminal for Mac) to find the IP address of a domain name. The below instructions are for Windows.
- Type command prompt or just cmd into the search box on the taskbar.
- Type ipconfig into the command prompt.
- You’ll see several lines showing you your IPv6 address, IPv4 address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway, and other things.
- After you see these results, you can run the ping command for a domain name to find its IP address.
- Type ping followed by the name of the domain (for example, “google.com”) into the command prompt.
- In the results that come up, you’ll see an IP address in parentheses next to the domain name. This IP belongs to that domain name’s server (or one of its servers, if it has many).
These three methods are the simplest, most legitimate ways to find someone else’s IP address. You may not end up finding a name or street address with these methods, and they will probably be more effective for companies or organizations than private individuals.
Is it illegal to find someone’s IP address?
It’s not illegal to search for someone’s IP address. It’s public information that is used on the internet, so there are no laws or regulations preventing you from looking for one. If, however, you are tracking IP addresses for the purposes of harassment or cyber crimes, then it’s illegal.
Can you find someone’s IP address on social media?
Yes, you can get someone’s IP address from social media, but you might need another tool to help you depending on which social media platform it is. You can use Facebook messenger/chat to find someone’s IP if you have a connection with them and they’re online.
Simply pull up your command prompt, type in “netstat-an” and press enter. Make sure your connection with the other user is active and that you’ve closed other windows or browser sessions on your computer. You don’t want to get IP addresses from multiple places showing up in your results.
What does an IP grabber do?
An IP grabber is a third-party tool that generates a link for someone to click on so you can “grab” their IP address. As you can imagine, IP grabber tools such as Grabify have a pretty big privacy and security risk. The goal of these tools is to grab a target’s IP address without them knowing about it, which is shady.
While using an IP grabber isn’t technically illegal, you could be breaking privacy laws if you take someone’s personal information without their consent. That’s why we don’t really recommend using an IP grabber to search for an IP address. You should use one of the three methods discussed above (IP lookup; email headers; command prompt and ping) instead.
Get someone’s IP address — safely
Remember that if you can find information about someone else’s IP address, they can find yours too. Maintain some privacy online by using a virtual private network (VPN) to hide your real IP address. That way, if someone does manage to track down the IP you’re using, it won’t be associated with you or any of your personal information at all.
You can check out our list and reviews of VPNs to find the best one for you. And you can read more about how people can spy on your IP address (just in case you’re not convinced you need to hide your IP).
- Easy Prey Podcast
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- Home Computing
- IP Addresses
- Networking Basics: Learn How Networks Work
- Online Privacy
- Online Safety
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