IP Address Tracer
This activity was remixed from Hive Toronto, and the original project was funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). Remixed for Clubs by Mozilla.
Learners will explore internet protocol (IP) addresses and learn how it may be associated with themselves, a device, or a website. They will trace IP addresses and make a map.
30 - 45 minutes
Do the activity on your own to become familiar with it.
Internet protocol (IP) addresses are a kind of personal information that may be collected online that many people do not even think about. Wikipedia defines that an IP Address is “a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication” (Wikipedia, “IP address”). An IP address is a string of digits that looks something like 188.8.131.52.
Low Connectivity Tips
If you want to facilitate this activity without computers you can print out a list of popular IP addresses and have your learners create a paper map. A printable worksheet is available for this activity for your learners to record their research responses on IP addresses. This activity will also work with one internet connected computer and a projector.
Research IP Addresses
Using online search tools, see if you can find the answers to the following questions about IP addresses. Write down your responses by taking notes.
- Why were IP addresses developed and what role do they play in helping the internet work?
- What is the future of the IP address? State three facts about what is IPv6 and why it is important.
- What personal information does the IP address reveal about you?
Discuss these questions and learner's answers.
IP Addresses of Your Favourite Sites
Alone or in a group, generate a list of your 5 favourite websites.
Look up the IP address of your 5 favourite websites using an an online resource to trace IP addresses (i.e., http://www.iptrackeronline.com/). Identify and collect information about 5 of your favourite websites:
Take notes on the following:
- Name and URL of website:
- IP Address
Mapping IP Addresses
Use a paper map to mark the locations of the IP addresses for websites you have traced IP addresses for. Alternatively, you can use a service like Google maps to create your maps digitally.
Examine your map and explore the discussion questions through independent reflection or in a discussion group.