What Is a People Search by IP Address?
A people search by IP address is an online tool available to the public. An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a unique sequence of numbers that can be used to identify a device on a local or internet network. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) produces and allocates IP addresses globally.
IP address lookup users can access information on internet-enabled devices by conducting a search using the IP address associated with the device. Commonly referred to as a IP address lookup, these sites allow interested individuals to provide an IP address and learn all possible details about it. Some details available in an IP address lookup include location, timezone, and the device's internet service provider ISP.
People search engines are typically accessed through third-party sources. Third-party people search websites are straightforward to use, and results are not geographically limited. However, third-party people search sites are not government-sponsored. Therefore, agencies cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.
What Can You Find With a People Search by IP Address?
Generally, a person that performs a people search by IP address can expect to find the following information:
- The device internet service provider (ISP)
- The IP's hostname
- The country, region, state, and city of the device
- The approximate latitude and longitude of the location
- The area code for that region
- Any known services running on that IP
Typical IP address lookups will not reveal a person's personal information such as their full name, email address, and physical address. Internet service providers (ISPs) set technical limitations that prevent searchers from identifying an end-user. In fact, there are laws that explicitly protect end-users' privacy by preventing searches' ability to match personal information with IP addresses.
How To Do a Free People Search by IP Address
A free people search by IP address is possible using resources available online. Typically, a web search with the term " IP address lookup" or "what is my IP address" will provide a list of useful resources. These websites allow researchers to input an IP address into a search bar and obtain associated information.
A free IP address lookup may provide limited information and may be best suited for individual searches. On the other hand, paid search sites offer more comprehensive services, including multiple search requests for large groups of IPs as well as 256-bit encryption for security, quick processing times, and customer support in multiple languages.
How To Hide Your IP Address
There are many reasons for a device owner to hide their IP address. Individuals may need to access content that is unavailable in their location or without fear of tracking. Whatever the reason, parties can hide their IP address using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a simple application that allows a device to access the internet using a third-party server. This server assigns an anonymous IP address to the user's device, making it impossible for anyone to accurately track the address back to the user.
How To Find Your IP Address
IP addresses come in two forms, and there are different ways to find either of them. The first form is the public or external IP address. Internet subscribers get their public address from their ISP and use it to connect to the network. The second form is the local or internal IP address. Each device has an unique internal IP address that it obtains from its router and uses to connect to the internal network.
One way to locate a public IP address is by using online IP checkers. These checkers will provide the researcher's IP address, location, and ISP. The method for finding an internal IP address differs, depending on the device operating system. For instance, Windows users can locate their IP address by opening their Network settings and finding and clicking their "Wireless Network Connection" or "Local Area Connection." Once found, the researcher can tap "details" to view their internal IP address. For Mac users, parties open the Terminal app by pressing Command + Space. Once the Terminal app is open. Type in ipconfig getifaddr en0, press "Enter," and the IP address information will appear below.
Is a People Search by IP Address Legal?
Yes, a people search by IP address is completely legal, and anyone can find information about another person's IP address. This activity becomes illegal if the researcher is trying to hack an account to gain private information. It is also illegal to search by IP address for the purpose of publicly revealing a user's location and placing them in harm's way, a practice known as doxing.
How Do People Search by IP Address Sites Get Your Information?
Sites that facilitate IP address lookups do not maintain an individual's personal information. They can only gather information related to a particular IP address, such as device model, operating system, and general location. This information is publicly available as all devices and networks must register their data.