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Home > How To > Trace an IP Address

How To Trace an IP Address

The following information is taken from the Florida Computer Crime Center's Training program, Introduction to Internet Investigations.

The IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is the most common way to track back to an individual on the Internet. An IP address is similar to the street address on your house, but it identifies the location of a computer or device on a network.

The format of an IP address is numeric, written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 72.21.211.176 is the IP address of Amazon.com

Web site owners often obtain a static (unchanging) IP address from their service provider in order to host their web site. The service provider will have information on the individual or business that maintains the site and pays the monthly charge.

You can find this information by using the URL (uniform resource locator, or the domain name of the site) and one of several online utilities. One such utility is CentralOps.net. Following are step-by-step instructions on using CentralOps.net and what the results mean.

  1. 1. Open a browser window and type the CentralOps URL into the address bar of your browser, or click the link above.
  2. 2. Click on the first option in the main section of the page called Domain Dossier.
  3. 3. When the Domain Dossier window appears, type the domain (web address) or IP address you would like to search for in the text box labeled domain or IP address.
  4. 4. The page will reload with all of the information found on your query.
  5. 5. The first section called Address Lookup gives the IP address for the computer hosting the website.
  6. 6. The second section, called Domain Whois record, gives the domain name registry information.
  7. 7. Further down the page you can see information about the Registrant -- the person who registered the domain name.
  8. 8. Next you see information about the Administrative Contact. This is generally the person responsible for maintaining the web site.
  9. 9. While there is further information available on the CentralOps page, the above are the most important to understand.

Learn more about CentralOps.net.

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