Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

An IP address uniquely identifies your connection to the internet. These articles discuss what information that may or may not reveal about you or the person at the other end of an IP address, how much you can or cannot get, and who has the power to get it all.

Can I determine whether two IP addresses come from the same source?

There's really no way for the average person to determine the end location of an IP addresses.

Can someone get my IP address?

Establishing a direct file transfer in an instant messaging program can expose your IP address. I'll discuss whether that's a problem or not.

Can you disguise an IP address?

IP addresses are fundamental to the way that the internet works. Spammers use botnets to send from hijacked machines and thus from their IP addresses.

Does Google's new privacy policy mean they know everything about me?

Google's new privacy policy pulls together their existing policies into one place. There's nothing really new; they already have a lot of data on you.

Does the TOR Browser provide any additional anonymity as compared to just running TOR?

TOR anonymity is because of the TOR network, not the browser - though the browser certainly makes it easier to set up.

Getting all worked up over IP tracing

How can I falsify my IP address?

There are several types of services available that can help hide an IP address while you are on the internet; and also several potential problems involved.

How do I find out who's sending me this harassing email?

I am sorry that the resources for this kind of thing are so limited... because unfortunately, online harassment and cyber bullying are very common.

How do I stop websites from knowing what I'm doing?

The simple act of getting online shares a certain amount of information about you with any website's tracking code. Does anything really need to be done about that?

How does in-flight WiFi work?

In-flight WiFi works much like an internet cafe and should be used with the same cautions.

How long do ISPs keep data on you?

ISPs and websites can keep logs of your activity. There's no standard retention period, and whatever period that is used is kept private by each provider.

Is there a way to search so the government can't see what I'm doing?

Hiding your searches (potentially from the government) is not a practical reality as you need to use an outside service to search the internet at all.

What happens to my IP address if I cancel my Internet service?

When you cancel your Internet service, your IP address is released and made available to others. But, in reality, that may have already been happening.

What is the IP address 127.0.0.1 and why is it called localhost?

The local host address is a quick way to fool browsers into connecting to software running on your local machine, instead of some remote software.

What's up with this IP address?

This IP address looks like both the IPv4 address and the IPv6 address that's been assigned to that particular network node.

Why do I get obviously wrong locations from IP addresses?

It's no surprise that locations from IP addresses often come out wrong. In fact, Google has mapped us in a way that might surprise you.

Why do these ads keep following me around the internet?

Advertising networks are quite sophisticated and use cookies to track your movements through the internet. But don't worry. It's an attempt to help you find the products you are looking for, not spyware!