The IP address is assigned to each user that connects to the Internet, regardless of whether there are private IPs in each of our devices within a network. It is a registration for surfing the Internet that identifies us and that is unique. But in addition, it allows to know the Location of that person, where they are and where they are connecting from.
Before entering to ask you (or rather to leave doubts) about whether or not you can know where someone lives thanks to their IP adress It is convenient that we review what an IP is, who assigns us the different addresses and why we have them assigned, what is the mission of these IP addresses or Internet Protocol.
Who assigns the IP?
The IP address you don’t choose it with your favorite numbers, as we all know. You cannot choose which one there is at any given time if we are talking about public IP, just as it is not usual for you to choose the license plate. IP stands for Internet Protocol or Internet Protocol and allows us to identify and communicate, give us an identity on the Internet when we browse. Each IP is unique and they are not repeated.
The allocation of the IP is not only distributed by one agency around the world but also distributes the work between five. The highest authority in this area is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority or the IANA and distributes the work in the RIRs or Regional Internet Registries, which are five throughout the planet. Each of the five has a large assigned area. In Spain (belonging to Europe, of course, and together with Central Asia and the Middle East) the person in charge of distributing these IP addresses is the Reseaux IP Européens Networks Coordination Center or RIPE NCC. In addition, it has sub-managers that are the National Internet Registries or the NIRs but also the Local Internet Registries or the LIRs. And, of course, providers and sub-providers until you reach the owner of the IP, which is you and your devices.
This IP allocation hierarchy is essential when it comes to understanding the location that the address of each Internet user will give us, since thanks to these databases a user can be located thanks to the fact that their IP address can belong to the same as others in a nearby area, for example.
How do they know the location? As we have explained before, the approximate location of the IP address can tell you the country, the region or the city in which you are but that does not imply that you can know your exact neighborhood, your street or even your portal number or the number of the street you live on. It is practically impossible. On the one hand, to find out this location, the aforementioned databases are used that associate some addresses and others and allow us to extract the next area. But there are also other websites that access other pages visited where you have searched for something related to your city. For example, if you have checked the weather in Granada, they can guess that you live here without having your exact location. Or if you frequently check the news about that city. Although they are not always right.
The third case to know the location is that the operators are those who provide the information. They cannot provide your exact address, of course, but they can provide data such as postal code, country, city, connection.
Can I know where someone lives? No. The IP location it will not tell you the exact street of that person not even the neighborhood within a locality or town. You cannot know exactly the exact point even if you use paid software, so it is not a risk that they will spy on you or find out more about you.
Even so, if you are concerned about knowing your location, it is as simple as using a VPN that prevents the websites you visit from knowing your IP address. The Opera browser includes a VPN by default that you can activate if you want to improve your security and privacy, although it is not an infallible technique because the police could find you if you intend to carry out any type of criminal activity, just ask your operator.
If you are simply concerned about your privacy or online security, it is enough that we use browsers like Opera or like Tor Browser or that you use some free VPN that offers a series of free features although they generally have limits on maximum browsing speed or data consumption, for example.
Geolocate the IP
How do you know the IP address and their location? There are online tools and databases that allow us to query the location of an IP address. You may need it out of curiosity or because you have seen that there is an address that has accessed an email account, for example, or that has accessed your social networks.
One of those websites or tools that allows us to know the location is the web What is my ip. It is easy to handle and allows us two things: the first is to check your IP address in case you need it and you don’t know it. The second, geolocate this and any other address you want on the map.
The web will automatically tell you what your IP address is. If you only wanted to know the group of numbers it is enough and you will not have to do anything else. But you can touch on “geolocate IP” to locate your address on the map and check if it is correct or how close it is, what level of detail it gives about where you are or where you live.
Once in the section “Geolocate IP” you can write the address you want and see its location on the map. The data that the website gives you are: country, city, latitude, longitude and the ISP or Internet service provider you have. In addition, it clarifies: “Note that the results shown by the geolocation of IP by coordinates (latitude and longitude) is approximate. These data should be taken for guidance purposes “
You can search the IP location of any address, as many as you want and without limit. You can repeat the process as many times as you need with all the numbers to know where it is from.
The websites or applications themselves
Beyond using specific pages to know the location of an IP address, some services or applications show it to us when we see the login activity. What is this for? To find out if someone we don’t know has entered our different profiles or you are misusing them.
You can see it, for example, from Netflix. Netflix shows you the IP address of the people who have used your account in the last days, weeks or years. You can see the exact date of the last use, the specific time, the IP address and the location of the address. It will only show the province in which that address is located, so you will not have absolute precision. But you can know if someone has accessed your account if you see that there are logins from provinces that you have never visited.
The same happens with Instagram. Instagram has an option in the menu called “Login Activity”Which shows us where the account is logged in. It tells us the city, the date and the device. Here it does not show us the IP address but automatically geolocates that access on the map.
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