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IP tracker problem

 
 
Mike S.
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      12-01-2006
I'm having trouble with an ip tracker on a webpage and could use some
help.

I'm using my own dialup ip address to test the tracker.

If I go to a website such as dnstuff.com a whois of my (dialup) ip
address will list the state as Colorado. When I lookup the IP
information (or location) it has the state as Maryland. The tracker I'm
using lists the state as Virginia.

What's with the three different states being listed?

What's confusing me is that the ip tracker is the only one listing the
correct state. I can't figure out how they're getting that and every ip
whois/lookup website I go to lists the incorrect state.

 
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STRAWMAN
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      12-01-2006
My NeoTrace found your location as:
dialup-4.249.144.33.dial1.washington2.level3.net


 
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Whiskers
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      12-01-2006
On 2006-12-01, Mike S. <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> I'm having trouble with an ip tracker on a webpage and could use some
> help.
>
> I'm using my own dialup ip address to test the tracker.
>
> If I go to a website such as dnstuff.com a whois of my (dialup) ip
> address will list the state as Colorado. When I lookup the IP
> information (or location) it has the state as Maryland. The tracker I'm
> using lists the state as Virginia.
>
> What's with the three different states being listed?
>
> What's confusing me is that the ip tracker is the only one listing the
> correct state. I can't figure out how they're getting that and every ip
> whois/lookup website I go to lists the incorrect state.


"Whois" lists the registered address of the registered 'owner' of that
block of IP numbers:

$ whois 4.249.144.33

OrgName: Level 3 Communications, Inc.
OrgID: LVLT
Address: 1025 Eldorado Blvd.
City: Broomfield
StateProv: CO
PostalCode: 80021
Country: US
[...]

which is usually your ISP, or the service 're-sold' by your ISP. That's
where Colorado is associated with the IP number you had when you posted
your question, and presumably always will be when you use that ISP.

A 'reverse DNS lookup' sometimes gives other clues, but not always:

$ nslookup 4.249.144.33
Server: 192.168.2.1 <==== my own personal DNS server
Address: 192.168.2.1#53

33.144.249.4.in-addr.arpa
name = dialup-4.249.144.33.Dial1.Washington2.Level3.net.

This particular result could indicate that the ISP's modem to which you
connected, is located in Washington DC. Or perhaps in Washington State,
which is of course something entirely different, or the original
Washington, in England, which is yet another (unlikely) thing, or some
other Washington I haven't thought of. Or perhaps the machine is just
called 'Washington2' because it has to be called something.

'Washington DC' is geographically within the state of Maryland, and not far
from Virginia. Some of your ISP's modems or servers may indeed be
geographically within Maryland or Virginia - or at least, have those states
mentioned in their DNS entries, which isn't quite the same thing.

A 'traceroute' would try to connect to the computer currently using a
given IP number, and report the IP numbers and nslookup information for
each server used in reaching that computer, from which it may be possible
to get a closer indication of where the user is - although not
necessarily, and in any case the IP numbers used for dial-up services are
allocated to a different user each time they are used so you might not be
'tracing' the user who actually had that IP number when they visited your
web site or whatever.

Outside the USA, the most you can expect from any sort of lookup or trace
on an IP number, is to identify the country in which that person's ISP has
its registered office. Within the USA, using the time-zone shown in the
headers of an email or usenet article can be more informative than the IP
number (but posting via Google Groups gives your article the time-zone
used by Google's servers - and some other news-servers also change the
date and time information attached to articles by the sender's computer).

People using some satellite systems for internet access, can appear to
move almost instantly from one country to another, even half across the
planet, depending on the 'downlinks' being used by whichever satellite
they are connected to at that moment.

All bets are off when people use 'proxy servers' or systems such as 'Tor'
or 'Freenet' to visit your web site; they do not want to be traced. You
won't necessarily know when that is being done.

--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
 
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