Trace the IP Address of an Email or Website

Edited by Jay, Maria Quinney

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We all receive an odd or suspicious looking email from time-to-time. For whatever reason, it managed to bypass the spam filters and ended up directly in our inbox. Most of the time people delete it without raising an eyebrow. However, if you're of the curious nature and would like to investigate a little further, you can always find the IP address by looking into the header information of the email itself. An IP address is a string of numbers linked to a router that's connected to the internet. Think of it as a phone number that is assigned to a mobile device. Once you've got an IP address, you can then do a bit of additional snooping and find out where that IP is geographically located. Although it may only give you the location of the email server it originated from, this can still come in handy because in most cases, the server is relatively close to the original sender.

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The same thing goes for a website. That is, you can trace the IP address of the servers the site is hosted on. So, if you're receiving odd looking links and want to know just where these sites are hosted; you can do a quick search right from Windows' command prompt. You can also do a quick check into who registered the domain of a website. If you're unsure of the legitimacy of a particular site, a quick Whois search can provide quite a bit of useful information.

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In the following VisiHow tutorial, we're going to take you through the steps on how to locate the header of an email for; Gmail, Outlook (Hotmail), and Mail.com. We'll then show how to pull the IP address from the header to search for its location. Also, we'll show a simple way to use the command prompt in Windows 10 (any version of Windows will work) to find the IP address of a website. And finally, we're going to show how to perform a Whois lookup to see who registered the domain of a site.

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Please remember that in some cases, a user can be connected to a VPN. In this case, the IP address could be from some other country instead of their own. Another thing to consider is that when someone is using a free email provider such as Gmail, the server could be located in another country.

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Locate Email Header in Gmail

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  1. 1
    Open the email in question, then click the little triangle (More) to the right of the reply button.
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  2. 2
    With the additional options expanded, click "Show original".
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  3. 3
    Once the Original Message is open, click the "Copy to clipboard" button.
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  4. 4
    Open a text file and paste the original message, then proceed to the section on tracing the IP address from an email header.
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Locate Email Header for Mail.com

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  1. 1
    Open the email you want to trace, then click the "I" icon on the far right.
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  2. 2
    With the Extended Header Information open, select all the text and copy it to the clipboard.
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  3. 3
    Open a text file and paste the copied header information, then proceed to the section on how to trace the IP from an email header.
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Locate Email Header in Outlook (Hotmail)

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  1. 1
    With the email you wish to trace open, click the drop-down triangle next to the Reply all button.
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  • 2
    Once the additional options are expanded, click "View message source".
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  • 3
    Next, select all the Message source text, then copy it to the clipboard.
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  • 4
    With the Message source copied, paste it to a new text file, then proceed to the next section of this guide.
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  • Trace IP Address Info from an Email Header

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    1. 1
      Go to whatismyip.com and click "IP Tools" from the bottom menu.
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    2. 2
      On the following page, click "Email Header Analyzer" from the left-hand menu.
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    3. 3
      When the Email Header Analyzer loads, open the text file you copied the header information to, then copy and paste it into the blank box.
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    4. 4
      With the email header pasted into the text box, click "Analyze".
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    5. 5
      When the results return, you'll see the; IP address, Country, City, Area Code, Latitude, and Longitude.
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      Some of the information could be missing, but the country will always appear.
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    Find IP Address of a Website with Windows' Command Prompt

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    1. 1
      Using the Windows Start Menu search function, type; "command prompt" (without the quotes), then click "Command Prompt" when the results populate.
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    2. 2
      With the command prompt open, type; "tracert www.nameofwebsite.com" (without the quotes), then press Enter.
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    3. 3
      Once the trace is complete; you'll see the website's IP address next to URL, as well as on the last line.
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    4. 4
      Now that you have the website's IP address, visit ip-tracker.com. Next, paste or type the IP address into the red box, then click the "Trace IP With IP Tracker" button.
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    5. 5
      When the results populate, you'll see a variety of information including; Country, City, ISP, Map info, etc.
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    Perform Whois lookup for a Domain

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    If a website looks a bit sketchy or you're unsure of its legitimacy, perform a quick whois search for more information. An actual company or individual should register a website/domain with real contact information.

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    1. 1
      Visit whois.com and type the name of the website into the search box.
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    2. 2
      When the search results return, you'll see a variety of contact information for each section (domain information, registrant contact, administrative contact, technical contact) including email addresses and phone numbers.
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    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Software

    Recent edits by: Jay

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