Finding a lost laptop
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: bigbellyfoo-ga
List Price: $5.00
23 Jun 2006 12:46 PDT
Expires: 23 Jul 2006 12:46 PDT
Question ID: 740585
Can Microsoft determine geographic location of computer through the computer connecting to Windows Updates?
Re: Finding a lost laptop
Answered By: gregaw-ga on 23 Jun 2006 13:33 PDT
Any computer connecting to another computer over the Internet has an IP address associated with it. Each IP address on the Internet is associated with an Internet Service Provider. Your provider assigns one to your computer when you connect to them. Often times you can narrow down where an IP address is originating from in this way. Your "lost" computer may be connecting to a Microsoft Windows Update server; hence, reviling its IP address. But there are some problems... First of all sometimes that area in which an IP address's location can be narrowed is limited to a continent due to the vast coverage of some ISP's networks. Satellite Internet would be a good example. You could pull an IP address from the same pool of addresses from anywhere in the world. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is the problem of Microsoft being able to (much less willing to) identify a specific computer connecting to its server. It is the stated position of Microsoft that windows update does not "collect" information about your computer. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsME/support/bulletins/findingdrivers.asp "Note: The Windows Update site scans your system to see what you have installed. It may ask you to download software onto your computer to facilitate this process. The safety and privacy of your system information is protected during this scan. None of this information is sent to Microsoft or over the Internet." This article is concerning Windows ME, but it is the same windows update site for all versions of Windows. To summarize, there is a chance that a computer's location could be at least narrowed to some extent by connecting to a Windows Updater server, but the larger problem lies in identifying "your" computer from the Windows Update side. Please let me know if this answers your question. Thanks!
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Re: Finding a lost laptop
From: edejl-ga on 23 Jun 2006 14:13 PDT
If you got on Microsoft's Local Live www.local.live.com there is a feature to 'locate me'. They can do it through your IP address or by installing software they can do it more accuratey.
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