Using the IP lookup tool is easy, but first you need to know the IP address you want to look up.
Finding Your Own IP Address
Finding out your own IP address is easy – here are four ways you can do it:
Use an Online IP Checker Tool
The simplest and quickest way to find out the IP address of the network you’re currently connected to is to use an online IP checker. It will tell you your IP address ( IPv4, IPv6, or both), along with other data like your geolocation and hostname. It takes seconds and requires no technical know-how.
An equally easy method is to simply ask Google. Open up a new browser tab and search What is my IP address?. Google will show you the answer at the top of the results page.
This method, while very straightforward, doesn’t give you any more information about your IP address, though.
Use Windows Command Prompt
On your Windows PC or laptop, click on the Start menu and type in cmd. This will reveal an application called Command Prompt – click it to run it.
Now type in the following command exactly:
nslookup myip.opendns.com resolver1.opendns.com and press Enter.
The final line of text revealed will be labeled Address – that’s your public IP address.
Use macOS Terminal
Press Cmd + Space bar to open up the search bar, then type in Terminal. Click on the result to run it.
Type in the following command exactly:
curl ipecho.net/plain ; echo and press Enter. Terminal will now tell you your public IP address.
Finding Someone Else’s IP Address
Finding out someone else’s IP address is a little more complicated. Here are some methods you can try:
Pinging a Website
If you want to find out the IP address of a website you can try pinging it.
The process is the same on Windows Command Prompt and macOS Terminal. Open up whichever one applies to you, then type out
ping host address – however make sure you replace
host address with the URL of the website you want to see the IP address of. Then press Enter.
You’ll be shown the IP address of the website you pinged.
Checking an Email Header
Emails you’ve received can contain the sender’s IP address. However, this is not always the case, and it can even be spoofed or changed by the sender. You can still try this method out, though.
Find an email in your inbox from the person who’s IP address you want to find. Now you need to open what’s called the email header.
There are different ways of doing this depending on which mail client you use, but you need to use a desktop or laptop web browser for all of them.
- Gmail: Open an email, click the three dot menu in the top right-hand corner, then click Show original. Now click the blue button labeled Copy to clipboard. This will copy the whole email header for you.
- Outlook/Hotmail: Open an email, click the three dot menu in the top right-hand corner, then click View > View message source. Highlight and copy all of the text in the window that pops up.
- Yahoo! Mail: Open an email, then click More > View Raw Message. Copy all of the text in the window that pops up.
Once you have your message header copied, you need to use a message header analyzer to make sense of it. There are plenty – we use Microsoft’s own MHA tool.
Paste your header into the tool and wait for it to analyze it. Now search the page for a field named x-originating-ip. This is the IP address of the person who sent the email, before it reaches the email server’s forwarding service.
As we said, this IP can be spoofed. This method is not fool proof, and some message headers will not even have an originating IP address.
There are other ways to obtain IP addresses of people you interact with online, be it via gaming, web chat, or anything else, but they are morally ambiguous and, as privacy advocates, we cannot recommend them.
There are also several bits of information that simply cannot be used to find someone’s IP address. For example their phone number, name, address, or ISP are not individually enough to reveal a full IP address.