can the approximate geographical location through email addres can be found

Posted on 2004-08-28
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
hi everybody!

    I want to know is there any way by which an IP address of a computer can be found through MSN messanger. means if a person is online and added with you in MSN messanger or YAHoo messanger can one track down his IP address without sending a file to him or her ( n ya i knw abt that netstat command) but em talking abt a way where u dont send any file  . Are there any softwares available in the market... or is there any networking trick that can     trace the IP address of any annonymous computer through MSN messanger or Yahoo messanger?
  can we locate the approximate geographical location of a someone by only knowing his email address. i mean if someone is logged into yahoo or msn mesanger is there any software available by means of which we put the email address and get the geographical location of that  email address?
             hope to hear from u guys soon
Question by:tingaka
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

td_miles earned 200 total points
ID: 11920543
no & no.

As you said, if you can get a connection, you can netstat to get an IP, then trace that to an ISP.

Even if you could get someone's email address, it is irrelevant. You could trace the email address to the server where that address resides, but from there you are stuck. You can access a mail server form anywhere in the world.

That's the advantage of the Internet, being able to be anonymous.

Expert Comment

ID: 11921970
The only way to get a specific IP address without someone explicitly telling you is to make them to connect to you and then check your active connections for the right IP address.  You will have more than one active connection, though, if you are connected to Yahoo! Messenger or MSN Messenger and the individual that you want to contact.  Keep in mind, too, that if the individual is behind a firewall, NAT router, or proxy server you are not getting the actual IP of the individual's PC to which you wish to connect.

As far as approximating the geographical location of an individual by their e-mail address is concerned, it is impossible.  For example, A friend of mine has a Gmail account.  The Gmail server is in California. He lives in Washington, DC.  This is also not to say that someone in India couldn't also have a Gmail account.

Hope this helps.

Expert Comment

ID: 11922517
Didn't you ask this same exact question about a week or so ago?  350 points, I think.

Seems to me you got a lot of responses to the question.  A lot of people gave you a lot of information.

The short of it is that if you can get an IP address from doing a netstat while chatting with someone (big IF there), then *maybe* you can use visualroute (web site) to trace down the location.  Of course, that person could by using a proxy server which could be located anywhere.  You *might* be able to get the IP address of the originating machine of the email IF they used a traditional email client loaded on the workstation.  You would need to look at the full headers or raw email code to see that info.  However, again, they might be using a proxy server, and if they are using web mail ALL bets are off as the IP address of the webmail server will be the originating IP.  And if you don't have an email from them then you really can't tell anything.

In your other post, you mentioned a friend of yours had software that could do what you are asking for.  Why can't you just ask him what it was?
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Expert Comment

ID: 11922575
Is it possible that what you are thinking of is the finger utility?

It won't do what you think it will do unless several prerequisites are met, however.

Author Comment

ID: 11951366
ya roseane i did ask that question in miscelaneous section but i dint get any satisfactory answer to that.
 so i posted the same question here coz i thought in networking sectoin there will be more experts who will be able to solve my query

  and roseane wen i said i had a frend long ago who had some software that could locate the geographical location of someone through email address i wasnt just bluffing.
          but he was my classfelow in high school and now i dont knw where on earth he is. and dont u think had i been able to locate him i would have spent so many hours posting such questions over here on EE :))

       anyways thanks everybody for help . but still am nowhere near to wht i wanted

Expert Comment

ID: 11954605
Ting wrote:
"and roseane wen i said i had a frend long ago who had some software that could locate the geographical location of someone through email address i wasnt just bluffing."

At what point did I say you were bluffing/lying/fibbing (whatever term you like)?  I was pointing out that asking your friend might be the most direct route to your answer.

Ting wrote:
         " but he was my classfelow in high school and now i dont knw where on earth he is. and dont u think had i been able to locate him i would have spent so many hours posting such questions over here on EE :))"

I have seen people post a lot of questions for a lot of reasons and many of them have nothing to do with logic or sense.  I have seen people post questions that could have been answered by the exact same amount of typing (or less) in the HELP function of their application.  I have seen people post many things for many reasons.  You wouldn't be the first who did something that completely ignored an obvious solution.

I suggested above that you might be thinking of the Finger utility.  It is a legitimate utility which can be used to locate someone.  It does however require the person's cooperation, and it assumes his email provider (or some server he attaches to somehow) is running the utility.  Most people today are unfamiliar with the program.

The question I still have on this subject is why do you really need to do this?  I don't actually care what the answer is, I just can't help but wonder what your intentions are with this.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 11958385
Just to expand on the possibility of using finger, have a read about it at:

Is is VERY rare to find a place that is running finger these days. It is/was very able to be abused. The finger utility was a command that was created back when the Internet was a friendly place consisting mostly of academics.

As has previously been stated, finding out the geographical location of an email address will only tell you where that email address resides. The person checking that email address could be anywhere on the Internet.

At some point in time you will just need to accept that if someone wants to stay anonymous to you and they have sufficient technical knowledge to know not to be involved in any direct communication with you (where you can get their IP address), then you won't be able to find them. You need to know when to accept defeat.

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