Tracking Stolen Computers Using the IP Address

1. EXO5

A business package that’s more focused on locking down your data

Price: £309 for 3 years on 25 devices Info: Specs: RemoteKill file encryption, drive lock, curfew, geolocation, logs, data export, RiskSense alerts

EXO5 has a small-to-medium business-orientated approach to laptop tracking, but that shouldn’t put off home users – especially if you have a number of devices you want to keep track of.

First of all you need to go to the Settings tab and download the Agent Installer, which is a standalone .EXE file that needs to be run on any device you want EXO5 to track. Once done you can view the devices by clicking ‘Assets’.

When selecting an asset to track you’ll be shown its location on Google Maps, using similar Wi-Fi triangulation technology as the other services we’ve tested here. It was good, and got the right road, but was a few buildings out when some of its competitors were more accurate. The public IP address is also displayed, along with whether or not the device is connected to the internet.

The Hardware/OS section, lists your devices’ hardware configuration, and isn’t much use unless you need to see if someone has changed any of the hardware in your laptop. The software tab offers more illuminating details of what programs have been installed on the laptop while Event Log keeps you up to speed on what your laptop’s being used for.

Most of these features are geared more towards an individual or company that wants to make sure that a laptop is being used for the right purposes.

Of most use is the incredibly handy RemoteKill option. This enables you to encrypt files and folders remotely if the laptop is stolen. Presets such as ‘All Microsoft Outlook.pst files’ make it quick and easy to secure important info. You can also add a boot sector lock to shut down the device – and both can easily be reversed if the laptop is recovered.

Verdict: 3.5/5


Criminal Masterminds??

Now it’s quite possible that these people have purchased the stolen computer from someone else. I don’t recognize Chonga as one of the 3 women involved with the theft, but I’m also not sure I’d be able to remember their faces from that night. It was dark, we were trying to ignore them, and I’d had a few drinks.

But either way, they are now in possession of stolen property. In most countries that in itself is illegal.

If they simply hand over my computer without incident, I have no problem keeping the police out of it and minimizing their humiliation. I just want my property back and be done with it. But if they decide to be difficult, well, all bets are off…

I’ll hit them with everything my twisted mind can come up with.

READ MORE: How To Find Super Cheap Flights Online

Chonga’s Facebook Account…

Chonga’s Facebook Account…

More Crazy Shit (scary photos from an ER)

More Crazy Shit (scary photos from an ER)

↓ 08 PC PhoneHome [ Discontinued ]

Once installed, PC PhoneHome will secretly send an invisible email message to an email address of your choice containing the physical location of your computer every time you get an Internet connection.

  • Locates lost/stolen computer in virtually any country of the world.
  • PC PhoneHome sends a stealth e-mail message containing its exact location

Legal Problems

  1. A 2011 court case raises potential legal problems for IP-tracking companies. When Absolute Software tracked a stolen laptop to someone who'd unwittingly bought it from the thief, the company also turned up sexually explicit messages between the buyer and her boyfriend. The buyer sued on the grounds Absolute Software and the local police violated the privacy of her communications. At the time of publication, the case was still in the courts.

How to useFind My Device in Windows 10

Microsoft introduced the Find My Device feature back in 2015. As the name suggests, it’s a helpful way to track down the approximate location of your laptop.

It’s turned off by default, but if you enabled the feature before your laptop disappeared then you’ll be able to take a quick couple of steps to aid in its recovery.

For those unfamiliar with the service you can read our How to turn on Windows 10’s Find My Device feature guide.

To track your laptop go to the Microsoft website and log in with your account.

You’ll be presented with a list of your devices, so locate the one you’re after and click on the Find my device option under its name.

Now Microsoft will search for the laptop and let y

Now Microsoft will search for the laptop and let you know, roughly, where it is, so long as it’s online. There’s also the option to secure the machine remotely by clicking the Lock button.  

↓ 02 Hidden Anti Theft

Using proven technology, Hidden tracks your missin

Using proven technology, Hidden tracks your missing Macbook, iPhone or iPad and collects the evidence needed to get them back. And don’t worry. Your personal information stays locked away, too. Get the app that protects your Apple devices, and your privacy.

  • Location Tracking – Apple’s Core Location technology will be maximised to determine your device’s position, altitude and orientation
  • Key Log – Collect information about the keys used whilst your Mac was away
  • Secret Screenshots & iSight Photos – Build a convincing criminal case using Secret Screenshots and iSight to capture the culprit on camera
  • Remote Lock – Lock your Mac and activate a warning message to thieves
  • Remote Wipe – Erase personal and private information from your Mac, no matter how far away it is
  • Spoken Message – Type a message, and let your Mac read it aloud to the user
  • SSH Tunneling – Hidden cleverly reverses the SSH Tunnel, letting you bypass firewalls and remotely access your Mac no matter what

Continue Reading   How to Catch Cheating Spouse and Track Employee with Norton Anti-Theft Software

Use Dropbox, Facebook or Gmail to get the IP address (Mac Win)

Some of the applications that constantly run in the background or websites you’re logged into automatically register and store your IP address. If someone uses your laptop and checks out your Facebook profile or emails, you have a good chance of getting the person’s IP address. The problem is that an IP address doesn’t mean that you can easily get the physical address, assigned to the IP. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have that information but they won’t give it away. You need a warrant for that. So, if you manage to get the IP address of the person using your laptop, go to the police and explain your situation.


The great thing about having Dropbox is that it syncs your data silently in the background (at least if no changes were detected). If someone took your laptop, he or she won’t notice it. Dropbox keeps track of all current and past sessions (or accesses) together with the country of origin and IP address. Log into your account on the Dropbox website, go to Settings and click on the Security tab. Now, you should see a list of the devices that accessed your Dropbox account in the past.

One of these devices should be your laptop. Check

One of these devices should be your laptop. Check the time it last accessed your account. Was it after you lost your laptop? If so, then the IP address possibly belongs to the person who took it. If you want to be sure, wait a while and keep checking for new sessions. If the IP address keeps being the same, you can assume that it belongs to the person’s place. If you have private files in your Dropbox account, I recommend that you change your Dropbox password afterwards. An alternative would be to download your private stuff onto another computer and remove them from your Dropbox account using the browser interface. Then you can continue monitoring the thieves activity without having to worry about any sensitive data.


If the person with your laptop is curious enough, he or she might want to take a peek at your mails. As with Dropbox, Gmail keeps track of all the different IP addresses used to access your mails. Go to your Gmail inbox, scroll down and click on “Details” under “Last account activity” in the bottom right corner.

A new window should pop up, displaying the ten las

A new window should pop up, displaying the ten last recorded sessions together with the used IP addresses. If you see that someone else accessed your Gmail, you better change your Google account password (after writing down the unknown IP address). You really don’t want someone else to mess with your Google account, especially if you’re using many other Google services.


To get a list of your Facebook account’s sessions, go to Settings and click on Security on the left sidebar. Now click on the bottom item called “Where You’re Logged In” (<– or click this link). You should see an overview of the different devices and apps that last accessed your account. Facebook even tells you the city in which the session was established. If you hover over the city with your cursor, you can see the IP address. You can get an even more detailed lost of basically all past sessions. The way to get there is described in a recent article of mine.

3. GadgetTrak

Tracks your laptop with half-hour reports and takes sly web shots

Price: $20 (£13) a year Info: Specs: Wi-Fi positioning, webcam support, integrated police reports, online dashboard

For a Windows-based laptop the protection involves downloading and installing the software onto the machine and registering it with your GadgetTrak user account. You can then log on to and use the control panel to enable tracking. You’ll get email reports every half an hour, with various bits of information helping you locate your laptop.

Arguably the most useful part of the report is the Wi-Fi based location section, which provides you with the latitude and longitude of your device’s location based on its Wi-Fi connection, and the networks surrounding it. There’s also a handy link to Google Maps with an icon indicating the rough location of your device.

In our tests it offered the approximate location as a couple of buildings down from its actual location. While it’s not pin-point accurate enough to go and retrieve your laptop there and then – not that you should attempt to if it’s been stolen – it at least gives you an idea of where it is. Occasionally the location would jump around a bit, pointing in roughly the same area but giving the impression the device was being moved about when it wasn’t.

The report also includes a snapshot taken with the laptop’s webcam, and will hopefully catch the thief using the laptop at that moment. However, you can’t choose when to take snapshots and there’s no option to change the frequency of the reports.

When turned off, the laptop can’t send tracking info, but as soon as it’s turned on you’ll get a report. While GadgetTrak does not appear in the Windows Start menu or in the system tray, it can be seen in the Uninstall Programs window – though you need an admin password to remove it.

Verdict: 3/5

UPDATE: Mission Accomplished!

I’m ecstatic to announce that Operation Gringo Revenge is a smashing success!

After scheduling an evening rendezvous at a well-known Parisian cafe in Panama City, my secret agents (code-names “J-Dog” and “V-Man”) met with our suspect to collect the stolen goods last night.

They’ve moved the stolen Macbook Pro to a safe-house within the city. It’s now guarded 24 hours a day by a professional team of beautiful female assassins from Colombia & Brazil.

I plan to compensate my international team (and former Couchsurfing hosts) for their heroic actions that day with sushi & bottles of cheap rum.


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