IP address are a mystery sometimes

Posted on 2012-09-11
Last Modified: 2012-10-11
Yes, I know that an external IP address will not lead one directly to a house address and that is a good thing. However, I am working a case right now that involves two different IP addresses. One traces to an AT&T building in downtown Austin, TX and the user at the other end is only a few miles away. The other IP address comes back to Cingular Mobile for another user in Austin, TX. That IP address comes back to a corn field near Wichita, KS. Google street view shows a long, dusty, dirt road running towards an old wooden farmhouse, Just what one would expect to see in Kansas. What is up with that?

Can anyone recommend a publication that details IP address primer, book of secrets, tips, any further knowledge?

Thank you,

Question by:DFORENSICS1
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    I have never been one to rely too heavily on these types of tools.  We have a static IP address so one would think that it would show close to where we are located however when put into a site like it comes back about 350 miles away from our actual connection on the embeded Google Map.

    Author Comment

    Yepper. We use subpoenas whenever we can get them but the research is would be much easier if we could just get within a few miles. Thank you, MIke
    LVL 55

    Accepted Solution

    >One traces to an AT&T building in downtown Austin.

    You can conclude that it's an IP address owned by AT&T then, and you've geo-located the ISP's regional headquarters. Take a read of

    As far as the corn field is concerned it's probably an average of several user-reported IP address to physical locations such as sites like Google can create when people update their user profile.

    Look at for example, fill in the "Update IP Location" link and you might just be able to move the location a bit (but others are moving the location of the netblock in different directions so don't expect the results to make much sense).

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you. Sorry I was so late.

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