Many people on the internet ask this question, so today; I am going to answer it for once and for all.
So… Can people find out who you are through your IP Address? The simple answer is yes. But first, let’s understand what an IP Address is, the different types of IP Addresses, and then how people can find out your home address through your IP.
What Is An IP Address?
Under IPv4, an IP Address is a bunch of numbers that is in the format of XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX. For example: 126.96.36.199. However, since the world is running short of IP Addresses (we’ll probably run out by the end of 2011), IPv6 has been created in which IP Addresses are displayed as group of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons. For example: 2001:db8:1f70::999:de8:7648:6e8. For more information about IPv6, visit Wikipedia.
What are IP Addresses Used For?
IP Addresses are used to connect computers to each other. For example, your ISP will assign you either a static or dynamic IP Address which you will use to connect your computer or home network to the internet. If your home network has more than one computer in it, your ISP will not assign each of your computers an IP Address. Your router will assign each computer in your network a LAN IP. This IP Address is a little different as it will usually start with a 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x.
Static IP? Dynamic IP? What’s the Difference?
Basically a Static IP Address never changes, whereas a Dynamic IP Address does change. Businesses usually require a static IP Address so they can host servers such as web servers, so when you visit a domain name, the DNS server (Domain Name Server) finds out what the IP Address is and directs you to that server. Imagine if you had a dynamic IP Address that always changes, you wouldn’t be able to locate that server or website.
Most residential customers will be assigned dynamic IP Addresses by their ISP. The reason being is that they don’t need to run servers and it’s easier to manage.
What’s better – Dynamic or Static?
It’s really depends on what you require as each have their pro’s and con’s. For example, if you want to host a web server, a static IP Address will be better suited, but a dynamic IP will be better if you constantly get blocked by a firewall as you can reset your modem and get a new IP Address and re-access the site. But you can’t do that with a static IP Address as your IP Address remains the same.
So can people find out my home address through my IP Address?
If someone wants to find out where you live, first, they will need to know your IP Address and the date and time when you accessed something (it’s easy to get, read below). Every time you visit a website, the website would probably record your IP Address. That being said, to identify you from the other 10000 visitors can be a bit tricky, so if you log into an account, they will most probably have your username or address recorded so they can associate your account details to your IP Address.
But by someone just having your IP Address, it is possible to track down who you are from your IP Address, but for privacy issues, not many people can do it. If someone wants to find your address, they will need a court order or a warrant to access the information from your ISP. With this, your the ISP can lookup who used what particularly ISP at a given time and date. They will then look up your billing and account details to find out what address you have.
Also, each ISP and countries are assigned with a particular IP range, thus you can use services like Trasir to find out who your ISP is and what country and region you are from.
So that is how people can find your address from your IP Address. Please keep in mind, to find legally get your personal details from your IP Address, they will need to go through some form of court order to receive permission to get these details.
Please be aware, that there maybe people who work with these agencies (ISP, Police etc) that may be able to attain these details through inside information.
So Where Do I Find My IP Address? What is my IP?
It is very easy to find your IP Address, and if I go to a services like CanYouSeeMe.org it will get my IP Address for me and display it. When you visit it on another computer on another network, it will show you your IP Address you are using to connect to the internet. Other services like You Get Signal will show a geophysical map of your location in which your IP Address is assigned, which can be used as an extremely useful tool to track IP Addresses and to trace IP locations.
IP Addresses Can Be Disguised
It is important to note, that IP addresses can be spoofed. Someone in one country, can mask their IP address to show that they are in another country. When someone does this, it makes it much more difficult to track where that person is actually located. I suggest you read “How To Use a Fake IP Address & Mask Yourself Online” and “6 Tips On How To Unblock A Web Page From Behind A Firewall“.