Community Help: IP Trace - How to trace someones IP address
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An IP address is basically the number that identifies your exact computer. In other words, the number is different from your neighbors IP address, and if someone traced your IP address then they would know the exact house that IP address came from. The good thing is that your average person cannot do this, as they would get the IP address only to a general location. For example someone could determine that you are in or near Chicago, or near Dubuque, Iowa, or what country you are in for example. This is also why the music industry has to contact your ISP to find out who you really are when they sue people for stealing music. They need to find out who the exact IP address is that is illegally distributing their music. The ISP protects this information, but if ordered by the courts then they will reveal exactly who you are. You can find out the general location of someone by doing a tracert (called trace route), which will identify the location in a "general area", but not really close enough where anyone should actually care. Another thing is if that person used AOL's free ISP service, and you got their IP address, it would not do much good. AOL protects its customers by using a proxy, so all IP addresses would show as Virginia, which is AOL's headquarters, so that IP wouldn't even get you to a general area, as only AOL would know that detailed information. Some people have often asked "how can I use a proxy to hide my IP"? You can pay a proxy service a monthly fee, or a simpler and cheaper solution is since that now AOL is free to everyone, just download their software and sign up for a free ID, and you are can use a proxy for free when you browse, as long as you browse through their software, if you browse with your browser outside of their software then you are no longer on their proxy. The bottom line is you can trace an ip and get to a general area, but not close enough where anyone should even care, but the ISP service (Comcast, AOL, Time Warner, etc) can trace you to exactly your house, but that information is kept private by each company for good reason.