How to Look Up an IP Address Owner

Every IP address is registered to an owner

Young woman using laptop in the library
IMAGEMORE Co, Ltd./Getty Images

Every Internet Protocol (IP) address used on the internet is registered to an owner. The owner may be an individual or a representative of a larger organization such as an internet service provider.

Many websites don't conceal their ownership, so you can look up this public information to find the owner. However, some services allow the owner to remain anonymous. As a result, their contact information and name are not easily found, and IP lookup services don't help.

Look Up the IP Address on ARIN Whois

ARIN's Whois service queries the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) for each IP address you enter and tells you not only who owns the IP address but also other information such as a contact number, a list of other IP addresses in that range with the same owner, and dates of registration.

For example, if you enter the 216.58.194.78 IP address, ARIN's WHOIS says that the owner is Google, the IP address was last registered in 2012, and its IP range falls between 216.58.192.0 and 216.58.223.255.

If You Don't Know the IP Address

Some services are similar to ARIN's Whois, but they let you search for the website owner even if you don't know the website's IP address. Examples include UltraTools, Register.com, GoDaddy, and DomainTools.

If you still want to use ARIN's Whois to find the owner of an IP address, convert the website to its IP address using a ping command in the Windows Command Prompt.

With Command Prompt open, type the following to find the website's IP address:

ping websitename.com

Replace websitename with the website you want to find the IP address for.

About Private and Other Reserved IP Addresses

Some IP address ranges are reserved for use on private networks or for internet research. Attempting to look up these IP addresses in Whois returns an owner such as Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

However, these same addresses are employed on many home and business networks worldwide. To find who owns a private IP address in an organization, contact the network's system administrator.