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Gmail: Finding an IP Address

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help
 
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Gmail: Finding an IP Address

Welcome to a quick how-to guide on how to track your Gmail e-mails to their originating locations by figuring out the e-mail’s IP address and looking it up. I’ve found this to be quite useful on many occasions for verification purposes and I’m sure you will too. Tracking the IP address of an e-mail sender does require you to look at some technical details, so let’s dig our heels in and begin!

There are basically two steps involved in the process of tracking an e-mail. First, you find the IP address in the e-mail header section and secondly, you look up the location of the IP address.

1.) To do that, log in to your Gmail account and open the e-mail in question.

2.) Click on the down arrow to the right of the Reply link. Choose Show Original from the list.

Now, here’s the technical part I was telling you about earlier! You need to look for the lines of text that start with “Received from:.“ It might be easier to simply press Ctrl + F and perform a search for that phrase. You’ll notice there are several Received from: entries in the message header. That’s because the message header contains the IP addresses of all the servers involved in routing that e-mail to you.



To find the first computer that originally sent the e-mail, you’ll have to find the Received from: that is the furthest down. For example, as you can see from the above image, the first one is from a computer called “aseem” with the IP address of 72.204.154.191 (my computer and my IP address). It was then routed to my ISP’s server at eastrmmtao104.cox.net and so on and so forth.

That’s all there is to it. It’s pretty simple to find what you’re looking for once you know what to expect. Now, you give it a try!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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