How to Track Online Activities Through IP
By Jasmine Carpenter
When you use the Internet, your computer can be identified by a unique number called an IP (Internet protocol) address. Your computer's IP address is similar to a telephone number that can be tracked, and it can be used to monitor your online activities. However, when you track a computer's IP address, you won't be able to instantly get the location of the owner. Use the Whois database to obtain basic information about a website IP address or Internet service provider.
Press the “Start” button on the taskbar. Type “run” without quotes in the Search box. Enter "cmd" in the “Run” text box and click the “OK” button. In a moment, a Windows command prompt will open.
Use the “nslookup” command to find the IP address of a website through the DNS (Domain Name Service) system. For instance, type “nslookup” followed by the URL address of the website that you want to resolve. Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.
Examine the Name and Address lines in the output of the nslookup command. The Name line will show the name that was resolved with the DNS system. The address line will show one or more IP addresses. The format of an IP address is four numbers separated by periods.
Use the “tracert” command to run a traceroute on the IP address. Depending on the speed of your computer's Internet connection, it may take several minutes to complete the number of hops between your computer and the IP address.
Examine the results when the traceroute is finished. Several numbers will appear. The first is the hop number and the second is the IP address that you traced. The next set of numbers shows the results of three ping attempts. The last column will show the host name or IP address of the hop.
Go online and use a website that will allow you to look up IP address information. Keep in mind that you may get an approximate physical location of the computer user from her IP address. If you want detailed information such as her name and address, you will have to get a court order before an ISP will release the information.
Jasmine Carpenter enjoys writing Web content articles and designing websites. She studied computer science while attending college in Columbus, Ohio. Carpenter has written several technology-related articles that have appeared on various websites.