If you know the IP address of a phone, you can normally trace it, but it's difficult to track an IP address to a precise location without information from an internet service provider, which is typically only given to police enforcement or with a court order.
If your cell phone was taken, you're probably better off cooperating with the police and sharing any IP addresses or other information you have to aid in tracking down its whereabouts. If you're not sure where the phone is, you can use iPhone or Android geolocation capabilities to try to find it.
What is an IP address?
An internet protocol, or IP address, is a numerical code that is used to route data through the internet to cell phones and computers, similar to how a phone number is used to make a phone call.
IP addresses are often assigned by internet service providers, whether they are home ISPs to which a phone may connect via Wi-Fi or phone carriers themselves if a phone uses a data plan to connect to the internet.
While you might be able to figure out what city the phone is in, you won't be able to find out the exact street address of the phone. Remember that IP address location mappings aren't perfect and can be inaccurate if someone is using a virtual private network or routing data through many different devices.
How do I find a phone’s IP address?
If you don't actually have the phone in your hand, it's possible that you won't be able to obtain its IP address at all. One method is to check to see if the phone is accessing any services to which it is logged in, such as email providers, video streaming services, or something similar.
If you connect into these services and have a phone associated with your account, you may be able to see IP addresses and approximate locations.
If you suspect that someone might be using your phone without your permission, you should use the built-in capabilities of these services to log them out of your personal accounts before they steal your personal information or run up a bill or make purchases from your card, in your name.
Consider contacting the police and your phone service provider for assistance if you ever find yourself in this situation.
Can I protect my smartphone’s IP address?
Yes- fortunately, each smartphone owner has the ability to protect their device, their information, as well as their IP address. The most effective way to do this is by using a premium VPN service. We recommend finding one with lots of different global locations to choose from, including the US.
You’ll also need a VPN that comes with top-of-the-range server protection and an accredited internet connection which improves bandwidth by compressing all of your data and encrypting everything that your smartphone (or computer, if using the same VPN) receives.
Unlike free VPN services, paid-for options tend to be more secure and are the VPN of choice for professionals as well as everyone else who accesses websites and social networks. In fact, while free VPN services may appear to operate at first, they actually slow down your connection rather than securing it. They use overburdened servers and even have a poorer level of security than paying services.
The added WiFi protection features that come along with most good VPNs encrypt the connection between your phone and the website you are using or visiting. Even if someone is able to identify the IP you used, they will only receive the VPN server's IP and not yours. It's similar to a firewall that routes queries to their VPN network rather than the real one.
Who is trying to get my IP address, and why?
It's important to note that law enforcement agencies aren't the only ones interested in assigning names to IP addresses. IP addresses used to download pirated content are frequently harvested by lawyers or agencies working for entertainment businesses. They then issue subpoenas to ISPs for those customers' contact information.
Of course, anyone can use Tor or a VPN to anonymize their internet data. Many VPNs even claim that they do not keep usage logs, however, this is often difficult to independently verify. VPN chaining, the real-world equivalent of "bouncing" your signal around the world, complicates matters even further.
The government can only trace an IP address to a VPN provider, who they would then have to force to give the true IP address from logs that may or may not exist. If the criminal connected to that VPN from another location, law police would have to go through multiple firms to get the information.
Can someone stalk me through my smartphone?
Yes. Potential stalkers can stalk you in two ways using your smartphone. One method is through social engineering, in which someone stalks you using the information you voluntarily provide online. The other, a more technological method is for stalkers to grab information from your smartphone.
However, it's possible to still use your smartphone while being safe from stalkers and hackers. Simply apply the following four defense strategies: Know your smartphone, its flaws, how to make it secure, and how to keep your personal information private. In the meantime, scroll down to the following page for additional useful information about smartphone tracking and stalking.
Using the internet without some sort of protection in place is always risky, whether it’s on your smartphone or a desktop. For the best chances of keeping your data and information safe, you should invest in a good quality VPN subscription service.
A VPN can keep your activity and data encrypted, meaning that it won’t ever fall into the wrong hands. But it’s important to remember that trying to locate a smartphone using a VPN alone is practically impossible.