How to Find Someone's IP Address

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When performing certain advanced tasks online, particularly when connecting with another person, it can be beneficial to know the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the person you want to link up to. Whether you want to connect to their temporary server, send a file directly through a command line, or you need to block communications from them, you need to know their IP first. It is not difficult to find someone's IP address.

IP Address Basics

An IP address is a unique number linked to a person's online activity. Listed as a sequence of numbers, such as "," it functions as a mailing address. An IP address lets internet service providers and the various servers and machines on online networks know where your activity is coming from, so they know where to send the data your device requests, seen in the form of web pages, music files, multiplayer game actions, and so on. IP addresses are tagged to someone's physical location but are not permanent. They can be changed at a user's request or by doing something as simple as turning a router on or off.

IP Address Uses

An IP address can be used for a number of tasks, though generally IP-to-IP connections are handled automatically by programs and websites. Certain games use IP addresses to facilitate player-to-player connections, and people with private servers often use IPs rather than website URLs to connect users. However, IPs can also be used to trace someone's general physical location to identify where that person is logging in from.

How to Find Someone's IP Address

If you need to find someone's IP address, you can ask them for it. Searching "What's my IP" on Google pulls up the information, allowing someone to copy and paste the address to you. Multiplayer games and certain chat clients often list IPs publicly within text logs, player listings or user detail menus.

If necessary, you can find someone's IP address by examining an email they've sent you. On your email client of choice, open an email from the person whose IP address you want. If you use Gmail, click the three vertical dots next to the message date and then select "Show Original." In Yahoo Mail, click the "More" tab at the top of the message, followed by "View Full Header." Search the header for the word "Received" followed by a sequence of numbers between square brackets. This sequence of numbers is the sender's IP address.