Visual IP Trace Overview

IP Addresses, Domains and Host Name Basics

All computers that access the Internet are identified by an IP (Internet Protocol) address which consists of 4 numbers separated by periods, for example In the case of a website, the IP address represents a domain name (such as ''), which allows a computer to have a name that is easily recognizable and much easier to remember than an IP address. This is often referred to as the host name or domain name. When you enter a host name Visual IP Trace looks-up the IP address from a Domain Name Server (DNS), which is a bit like an Internet telephone directory. The DNS is then used to locate the details of the computer to be traced.

Your computer has also been assigned an IP address, an IP address is necessary in order to browse the web, send email, or use any other Internet services. Many IP addresses are dynamic, meaning they are assigned temporarily from a block of addresses that has been allocated to an ISP or host provider. Dynamic IP addresses are used most often for dial-up Internet access, so that each time a dial-up user connects to the Internet, they are assigned a new IP address. IP addresses that are assigned on a permanent basis are considered static. ISPs normally keep logs of which users are assigned an IP address -- when reporting Internet abuse to an ISP it is important to note the day, time and time zone of the incident so that user can be determined.

Visual IP Trace enables you to trace:

  • an IP address, such as
  • a web domain or host name, such as
  • a website address, such as
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