How to Identify a Competitor’s IP Address

How to Identify a Competitor’s IP Address

November 7, 2016 3:04 pm

In “How to Spy on Your PPC Competitors,” my publish in August, I addressed going to “stealth mode” by excluding your rivals’ IP addresses in Google AdWords and different pay-per-click on platforms. This prevents rivals from seeing your PPC advertisements. Not solely does that hold rivals from seeing what you’re as much as, nevertheless it additionally saves cash since you don’t need to pay for his or her clicks.

A reader posted this remark to my August publish: “Please write a whole submit about IP identification. I know it may be troublesome to truly get the community’s IP to dam units on that degree.”

Well, Dan, this text is for you.

The IP of a Competitor’s Website

I’ll begin with the simplest IP tackle to seek out: the competitor’s website. To do that, begin by opening Command Prompt on a Windows pc (or Terminal on a Mac). At the flashing cursor, sort the command “ping” with the online tackle of your competitor. For this instance, I’ll use, a information website for small companies. Here’s a screenshot of the outcome.

At Command Prompt on a Windows computer (or Terminal on a Mac), type the command “ping” with the web address of your competitor.

At Command Prompt on a Windows pc (or Terminal on a Mac), sort the command “ping” with the online handle of your competitor.

The command “ping” sends a request to the server internet hosting the website. It measures the time it took for that request to the server and again, in addition to recording the IP handle. But there are two cautionary notes.

  • Most web sites are hosted on distant servers, not on servers on the competitor’s workplace.
  • Some web sites use shared servers, so quite a few websites might return the identical IP tackle.

Therefore, this feature will solely work if the competitor is internet hosting its website on a server on the similar location as its workplace, the place the workers (who would presumably be wanting on the PPC advertisements) are situated.

Finding a Competitor’s IP Address from an Email

Say you’ve had an e-mail trade with somebody at your competitor. You can search for an IP in that e-mail by clicking the choice to “view full header” or equal. In Gmail, it’s “Show Original.” Regardless, you see a garbled bunch of textual content and numbers. Look for the IP handle, which has durations between 4 numbers. For this text, I checked out an e mail and obtained the IP handle ninety eight.129.seventy one.10.

From there, go to or — or each — and question that IP handle, to see the place the sender is situated. Here are the outcomes from my instance. reports that the hostname for the IP address is, and that the server is located in Windcrest, Texas, near San Antonio. reviews that the area for the IP handle is, and that the server is situated in Windcrest, Texas, close to San Antonio. also reports the domain (hostname) is also reports the email name servers as Rackspace Hosting, which is located near San Antonio. Click image to enlarge. stories the area (hostname) is additionally stories the e-mail identify servers as Rackspace Hosting, which is situated close to San Antonio. 

Thus, through the use of each providers I can affirm that this IP is from a server at Rackspace, a big internet hosting firm, in Windcrest, Texas (close to San Antonio), and that the corporate that despatched me the e-mail is Many corporations run their e-mail providers by means of exterior servers like Rackspace, so outcomes like this are widespread.

Check Log Files

Another choice is to verify your pc’s log information. I’m not technical sufficient to tug this off. However, share these two assets together with your developer, who probably may help.

  • “Grepping logs for IP addresses” at Stack Overflow.
  • “Log Files” at Apache’s documentation.

To use your log information, you’ll want a hunch for the competitor’s IP handle. That means you already know a time that a competitor was accessing the location otherwise you in any other case consider the competitor stayed on a web page for an abnormally very long time.

Or you possibly can get actually artful when you’ve got the e-mail handle of a competitor:

  • Build a singular web page in your website that no one is aware of about;
  • Send an e-mail to your competitor and embrace the hyperlink to the web page;
  • Have your developer take a look at the server log for any IP tackle visiting that web page.

Go for a Visit

This choice assumes you can achieve bodily entrance to your competitor’s location and that your competitor has an open Internet connection. If sure, entry your competitor’s WiFi community and go to It will present the IP tackle.

There are further methods to find a competitor’s IP handle. But lots of them cross into a really grey space or are merely unlawful. I don’t use these techniques.

However, if you’ll be able to get hold of the IP tackle, you’ll be able to then enter it in AdWords, Bing Ads, and different PPC platforms, thereby excluding that competitor from seeing your advertisements. You may even serve your competitor solely totally different advertisements by excluding all IP ranges besides those you need to goal. Use an asterisk for the final three digits of an IP model A (IPv4) to exclude a whole block. You need the higher hand together with your rivals, however provided that the techniques are moral and authorized.

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