Can I Get Someone’s Name and Address from Their IP Address?

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I have the IP address of someone who’s causing me some problems. Can I get their name and location from that?

Yes and no. But mostly no.

This is perhaps one of the most common questions I get. Unfortunately, people’s expectations have been colored — often dramatically — by popular television shows and movies.

Unfortunately, this is real life, which isn’t nearly as easy or exciting.

Read moreCan I Get Someone’s Name and Address from Their IP Address?

Why Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

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I found on Cisco’s Talos blog that my email reputation is “poor.” Apparently my IP address has been sending lots of email. But I haven’t! I have several computing devices: macOS 10.13.4, Windows 8.1 fully updated running Avast Free with weekly scans and a recent boot-time scan; MalwareBytes free with recent full “threat scan.” My wife uses a Chromebook (up-to-date). I use an iPad 2 and an iPhone 7 (both running iOS 11). Sometimes I use older iPhones (a 4S and a 5S). I have no IoT devices other than the router, a Pepwave Surf SOHO MK3. Pepwave says their routers are not affected by VPNFilter. I use a VPN most of the time on my portable devices, even at home. But not the Windows machine. Sometimes my Windows machine slows down, then recovers. My Windows hard drive often runs and runs. Other times, it times out, as expected. My ISP is TimeWarnerCable. I’m surprised they haven’t contacted me. Is there something I can to do detect outgoing traffic (including, but not restricted to, spam)?

I think it’s very unlikely you are sending spam. Possible, sure, but based on your description, you seem to have things well in hand.

It’s important to realize that you are not necessarily your IP address.

It’s also important not to read too much into anyone’s reputation report.

Read moreWhy Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

What’s the Difference Between a MAC Address and an IP Address?

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What is the difference between a MAC Address and an IP Address? Are both traceable back to your computer? And can you hide them? If by hiding them is your computer safer from hackers. Also, are the free versions as good as the ones you buy?

Well, the last one is easy to answer: there’s no concept of free versus paid IP or MAC addresses. As you’ll see in a moment, IP addresses are assigned as part of connecting to a network, and MAC addresses are assigned at the time hardware is manufactured.

Even hiding a MAC or IP address is a concept that doesn’t quite apply, but we’ll get in to that too.

And whether MAC or IP addresses are hidden or not, they are not the kind of things you should be spending your time worrying about to stay safe from hackers.

Read moreWhat’s the Difference Between a MAC Address and an IP Address?

Finding the Owner of an IP Address

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How do I figure out who owns an IP address?

At the risk of coming off as rude: you don’t. There’s a certain amount of information you can get, and I’ll show you shortly, but the level of detail most people want is simply not something that you can get on your own.

Over the years, I’ve received this question repeatedly and for various reasons. Most commonly, it’s from someone who’s being harassed online, and they believe that they have the IP address of the person responsible and now want to track them down.

It’s critically important that you realize that you will not, on your own, be able to get the information you want. The name, location, phone number, email address or any other specific information are simply not available to just any given IP address. Not only can an IP address change or be shared among many computers (and hence people), but the information that you’re seeking is considered private and is protected by the ISP who owns that IP address.

To get that information, you’ll need a legal reason to require it and that typically means a court order of some sort.

However, let’s look at what you can determine from an IP address on your own and a few tools that will help you determine at least the ISP that owns it.

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What’s an open port?

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Leo, a PC security measure that I’ve come across recently is one where we should scan our router for open ports. What’s an open port and how are they created? How do we scan our routers for these open ports and how do we close them when we find them? I have a combination modem/router and I’m running Windows XP, SP3.

Open ports, particularly on routers, aren’t really something that I worry about. To be blunt, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time trying to track them down and close them.

That being said, the concept is kind of interesting and opens up a bit of a window into just how the internet works.

Read moreWhat’s an open port?

Is my router acting as a DNS server?

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So when I access the command prompt and enter ipconfig/all one of the entries listed is “DNS Server” and IP address 192.168.x.x. I understand that my wireless router is my LAN’s default gateway and acts as the DHCP server – but DNS server? My operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium.

Yes, your router could in fact be acting as a DNS server. There are various reasons that it might be doing that, most of them related to speed.

First, let’s quickly review what DNS actually is.

Read moreIs my router acting as a DNS server?

I’ve been blocked because my IP address is on a blacklist. What do I do?

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Recently, some forums are not allowing me to register because they claim I’m a spammer. The administrator on one of them emailed me that my IP address is on some kind of blacklist. Now, I’ve checked my IP address on many blacklists and I was all green and clean so what’s the matter here? Should I or could I change my IP address? Is there any way to locate that blacklist and get me taken off?

IP address blacklists are normally unreliable and a poor approach to controlling whatever it is people are trying to control. But administrators definitely use them.

Read moreI’ve been blocked because my IP address is on a blacklist. What do I do?

Can My ISP See that I’m Using a Proxy?

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I’m living in the UK, using a well-known ISP-changer program. It gives me a different ISP address that says I’m in the Netherlands, Russia, or the USA. What exactly does my own ISP see when I use this? Can they still tell how much I download for example?

This is an interesting question, particularly when it comes to understanding “IP-changing”  services.

Before I answer your questions, I need to clear up some terminology that you’re using… just to be sure that we’re talking about the same thing.

Read moreCan My ISP See that I’m Using a Proxy?

How Do I Tell If My Email has Been Hacked?

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I’m the moderator of a fairly large moderated email list. Recently, we’ve been getting a large number of phishing messages from people who don’t know that their email has been hacked. I’d like to post a special message to the group telling everyone to check their email accounts, but how do they do that? In other words, if no one has specifically told them their address book has been compromised, they aren’t going to realize that this is their problem and they’re going to do nothing about it. Is there a way to tell? I’m getting very tired of informing them one by one and always including the link to your page on what to do if their email has been hacked.

Knowing that your email has been hacked can be very difficult to detect, particularly if you are not moderately tech savvy.

Hackers often go through extra steps to leave as few traces as possible. Sometimes, they may leave some, but it’s not that common. In fact, it’s very difficult, sometimes almost impossible to tell.

Let’s look at a couple of things that could help.

Read moreHow Do I Tell If My Email has Been Hacked?

Why doesn’t my machine’s IP address match what I’m told on the internet?

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Using tools on my machine, I can see that my IP address is one thing (in my case, 192.168.1.100). But when I go to an internet site that shows me my IP, it shows my something completely different. Which is right?

They both are.

Your machine really has only one IP address, but it isn’t necessarily the IP address that’s used to connect to the internet.

The IP address that appears really depends on who’s looking and from where.

Let me explain the who and where that I’m talking about.

Read moreWhy doesn’t my machine’s IP address match what I’m told on the internet?

Can an ISP tell me who’s reading my email?

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I’m using Windows 7 and a POP3 email account. I think that someone is reading my emails. Can my ISP determine exactly which emails of mine are being read or not? Can an ISP track who is accessing my email account? Can they still determine things if I have deleted old emails?

The short answer to your question is no, your ISP can’t determine which of your emails are being read.

For all the things that your ISP can track, there’s a surprising number of things that it just can’t.

Ultimately, the capabilities of an ISP (or in this case, your email service provider) will vary dramatically depending on what they choose to do, what technology they happen to use, and how long they keep the information. In general, though, they probably can’t tell which specific emails have been read.

To show you what I mean, let’s go down this path a bit.

Read moreCan an ISP tell me who’s reading my email?

How Do I Find the IP Address of the Person Who Created a Gmail Account in My Name?

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How do I find the IP address of the person who created a Gmail account in my name? I tried the last ten IP address searches and it was all mine. How can I see the one where it was opened with?

This is a bit of a confusing question only because you seem to have access to the last ten IP addresses. That means you have access to the account created in your name.

If that’s true, then I’m afraid I don’t really know what caused this. If somebody created an account in your name, it would really depend on the steps that you took to go through and gain access to that account.

Read moreHow Do I Find the IP Address of the Person Who Created a Gmail Account in My Name?

What Can People Tell from My IP Address?

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What exactly can someone tell from your IP address and what can they do with it? Can they find personal details or my precise geographical location?

It’s typically very easy to find out your IP address or the IP address of someone with whom you are communicating somehow on the internet.

Unfortunately, many people believe that with an IP address, it’s possible to find out all sorts of information about the person at that connected computer.

That’s simply not the case.

Exactly how much it does expose about you specifically depends on your ISP and how their (and your) network is configured.

The very short answer? Not much.

Read moreWhat Can People Tell from My IP Address?

What’s My IP Address?

As you probably already know your IP address is the “address” or logical (not physical) location of your computer or router connected to the internet.

There are plenty of sites that will tell you your IP address. In fact, any web site you visit can see it.

I’ll do the same, but also try to explain, a little, exactly what it is you’re seeing.

Read moreWhat’s My IP Address?

What is “Limited Connectivity” and how do I fix it?

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I have recently started receiving “limited connectivity” messages at our vacation condo. Looking on the web I’ve found a jillion ways to fix this problem and can’t believe all the advertising. I’ve found that cycling the repeater that is in our condo will usually clear this problem. What causes it and what do I do when cycling the repeater doesn’t work?

“Limited connectivity” happens when your computer can connect to the network … but it can’t.

I know, that wasn’t very helpful. But it’s actually accurate. Your computer was able to connect the network in one way, but was unable to complete the next step.

Read moreWhat is “Limited Connectivity” and how do I fix it?

How Do I Configure My Static IP Address?

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I have a server and have been assigned a static IP by my ISP. How do I go about configuring my server to work on its assigned IP?

99% of Windows internet users use what are called “dynamic” IP addresses. That means each time you connect to the internet, your ISP assigns you an IP address to use when you connect. The next time you connect, you might get a different address. If you’re only connecting out to the internet, that’s all you need.

If you expect people to connect in, say you want to run a web server that you want people to be able to find and visit, you’ll most likely need a static IP address. A static IP is assigned by your ISP to you permanently, and identifies your server to the world.

The question is: once the IP is assigned … then what?

Read moreHow Do I Configure My Static IP Address?

Why Does My Home Network Only Work with One Computer at a Time?

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The network consists of a cable modem, a hub/router, CAT5 cable in the walls, and two computers. If I disconnect one computer at the hub, the other one works. If I disconnect that one and connect only the other computer, it works. But, when I connect both neither works. I suspect a problem with the two computers getting the same address. Is this likely? How do I trouble shoot this kind of problem?

I suspect pretty much what you’ve indicated: a problem in the IP address assignment. But exactly what problem depends on a few details. Details we can look at.

Read moreWhy Does My Home Network Only Work with One Computer at a Time?