If I am receiving a yahoo e-mail from two different users - apparently two different states, how could they both have the exact identical ip address, including the last 3 digits? Makes no sense. To me, they are the same people. Please let me know if the same exact i.p. address, including the last 3 digits, are from the same person.

  • Your question is not exactly clear. While an IP address is unique and has a single owner, that owner can assign that address, to say different customers. What problem do you face?
    – Ramhound
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:14
  • IP Addresses can be shared and ARE shared all over the place. Everyone in your house (most likely) shares an IP Address, if that wasn't enough your computer (most likely) is not the IP Address that you'll see but your mail servers. If I'm using gmail, you're using gmail, and some other person is using gmail, it could be possible that all of our email's have the same source IP Address (from the destination's perspective) because they come from the same mail server.
    – u8sand
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:17
  • maybe you are reading yahoo's ip address. you could paste the header here and replace sensitive info with equivalent info.
    – barlop
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:30

3 Answers 3


An IP address does not signify a person. Where are you finding this IP address? It could be that it's coming from the same mail server, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

  • It depends a IPv4 address cannot signify a person, there are enough IPv6 address to signify every single person on the planet, and each person could have multiple address and there would still be spare for all the children born today.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:13
  • 1
    That's not relevant right now however. Hopefully in the next few decades that will be a reality.
    – rtf
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:20
  • 1
    Most of the biggest players support IPv6. If it does not become relevant before the next decade then we are doomed.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:23
  • I threw away some token ring gear last week. Sometimes, I think we're doomed. :(
    – rtf
    Oct 7, 2013 at 17:26

Emails are not sent to your computer directly from a person's PC. If they were, then I would answer this question "they're using a VPN".

But since emails are routed through an email server, then this makes a lot of sense.

The person sending email to you sends their message, which is then picked up by their email provider that has an address of 123.456.789.100 and sends it along to you. Another person sends an email who is using the same provider, therefore the same IP address for the server.

You're seeing the email server's IP. Online email service providers don't let you see the origin IP address of the machine the email was sent from, unless you're a powerful government organization with handy pieces of unlawful legislation...

  • This is a good answer until you get to the last line. There, it's incorrect. Even gmail normally lets you see the sender's IP address, if you view the full header, though you of course have to know how to make use of the header's data. In the past, all email headers included the sender's IP address; nowadays, a few mask it, but it's still completely visible to most, at least in the routing.
    – Debra
    Oct 7, 2013 at 18:06
  • @Debra Most online providers will mask origin on the sending side.
    – user201262
    Oct 7, 2013 at 18:09
  • I'd have to disagree; this is generally only true for those who are using webmail interfaces. Here's a good explanation of how to uncover the info otherwise, for a host of common providers: aruljohn.com/info/howtofindipaddress
    – Debra
    Oct 7, 2013 at 18:13

You need to understand that your computers (persons, as you call them) can have the same IP address, though not necessarily at the same time, if they accessing the Internet via a dial-up ISP that gives these users dynamic IP addresses, but usually within same subnet

Standard Scenario:

  • Computer A connects to the Internet, and the IP address will continually vary around 192.168.12.xxx during a browsing session
  • Computer B with same provider does same, and same thing happens

BUT: No one will have same IP address at the same time

So, it's possible for you to receive an email from two different persons with same IP address (at different times)

But that is just one possibility! @Moses' answer is another!

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