How to locate an IP address

It is possible to locate a network IP address to know the location of a computer or a website.

Locate IP
The IP address is a number that identifies the connection location of a computer on the internet and, in its classic version (called TCP / IP v4) it is indicated with a series of 4 numbers ranging from 0 to 255 (for example 123.123. 123.123). We can consider it as the physical address of a house (house number and street) and is managed by the IP protocol which is the basis of internet communications. So why when we connect to a site we never see its IP address but only its name (or web address)? Can we trace the geographic location of a specific IP address (if known)?In the following guide, we will show you in detail how to locate a known IP address of a web server or any computer connected to the Internet, so as to be able to find out (with a good approximation) where a particular site is present or where any Internet subscriber connects from.

READ ALSO: Trick to track IP from Whatsapp, Facebook, Email, and websites

Why don’t we always see the IP address?

Each site is managed through a server and is identified by a numerical IP address, which however is never seen; this is because the IP of each website is associated with a name that is easy to remember through the DNS service, so that connecting is sufficient to write for example www.google.com and not some kind of stuff 123.232.222.222. In fact, it behaves like a large telephone directory, translating our requests into an IP address that the computer can reach without us noticing anything (in fact we always see only the classic website in the address bar).
While on Wikipedia you can read a simple guide on what IP address means, here on How2do we have explained how PCs talk to each other thanks to the TCP / IP protocol.
From these preliminary notions, it is immediately clear that, in theory, through the IP address of a computer it is possible to trace its geographical position and in fact, it is quite easy to locate an IP address.

To understand well how the DNS service works and how the IPs are generated we can also read our guides How to change DNS.

Locate a person or website IP address

Each website is, therefore, able to understand where we are connecting from and can provide us with different information depending on the place. For example, therefore, Google opens in Italian and shows us localized results if they are looking for, for example, hotels, shops, or other businesses. To find out our IP address with which we are displayed externally, just connect to a site like ipinfo.io.
IPInfo

Once the site is open we will immediately get the information on our active Internet line, but we can use the search bar on the site to search for more detailed information for websites as well. For example, we can enter in the address bar https://ipinfo.io/8.8.8.8 to locate the 8.8.8.8 address (i.e. the Google DNS server).

To discover other sites that can locate any IP, we refer you to reading our guide What is an IP address and what is it for.

Locate IP address from PowerShell

With IPinfo we can also use the new command line (called PowerShell) to find an IP address, without even having to open the browser. To proceed, open the Start menu on Windows 10, look for the PowerShell app, and, once open, type one of the commands below.

To immediately find out our IP address on the internet and where we are, we use the command:

curl ipinfo.io

If, on the other hand, we want to find out where the IP address of a site is (such as 8.8.8.8), all we have to do is use the command:

curl ipinfo.io/8.8.8.8

With these commands, we can also do without the website and use only the commands from the terminal. To learn more we can read our guide Difference between Powershell and Windows Command Prompt.

Locate the IP address of an external computer

Locating the IP address of a computer not present in our internal network is rather difficult and requires skilled knowledge from the IT point of view. In the meantime, we must find the IP address of that computer that we want to locate and, to do so, it is necessary that between our PC and that of the person to be located there is a contact or communication. This communication or exchange of data can take place via a chat or an email or a file transfer.

The problem is that for these operations we always rely on external services such as Gmail, WhatsApp, or Facebook that have security systems so as not to let users discover the IP of those who use their service. One of the simplest methods to get the accurate IP of an external computer plans to provide assistance to that PC through a dedicated service (for example TeamViewer) and, during assistance, access the web browser and use the service seen above.

Once we have the IP of the computer we can trace it without problems; however, we must take into account that any location service cannot be accurate as we would like: the IP address that is assigned to a computer could be shared from many other computers (as also seen in the dedicated guide), be hidden behind VPN or Proxy and therefore be impossible to recover.

Conclusions

In conclusion, therefore, we can say that IP location services are useful (in most cases) only to find the city from which you are connected (sometimes not even that is exact), but it is not possible to trace the precise origin.

As explained in the article about Who can see our IP address and what can do with it, from the IP address it is not possible to trace the precise identity of the user but only the identity of the person managing the connection which, usually, is the internet provider i.e. Telecom, Fastweb, etc. This means that only the internet service provider knows the identity of who is connected on the internet and will communicate this to the authorities in case of wrongdoing or illegal operations.

Only the internet service provider knows the identity of who is connected on the internet and will communicate this to the authorities in case of offenses or illegal operations.

The situation is different within a network, where the IP address is different from the public one and clearly identifies a specific computer or device. For example, in an office, it is possible to scan the network to find connected computers and, therefore, locate and spy on them if they have no protection.

If you want we want at all costs to recover the IP address of a specific computer and locate it (especially if we are talking about a notebook) we suggest you read our articles dedicated to spying: Spy on a PC and see how the computer is being used by others e Record PC activities to monitor and spy on the use of a computer.

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