Could someone be able to find my IP address and where my ISP is located from an anonymous DM on Instagram? (I am planning to instantly deactivate the account after sending the message if that matters.)

If I use a VPN, would they be able to figure that information out and track my general location? (State/city)

I hope someone can answer this because I can't find info on this anywhere...

Also, it would be a not malicious DM, just a DM to provide info to someone to not escalate a situation in person.

3 Answers 3


No, people will get the IP address of Instagram servers, not your device.

But... if the recipient sends you a message with a link, and you click the link, you can be tracked because it's your device that will access the link.

If you use a VPN, the IP on the logs are the IP of the VPN servers, not yours. So even clicking the link would not easily reveal your IP.

  • Apparently, Instagram DMs are direct connections. See my answer below. It could use testing, though.
    – schroeder
    Apr 6 at 11:48
  • "Honey, I will listen to you and create an Instagram account. Looks like DMs are direct connections and I need to test that."
    – ThoriumBR
    Apr 6 at 14:45

Hiding your IP should be your minor concern. First an IP address for a client device like a smartphone is generally not a fix IP. But if you use the application that is installed on your smartphone, your ISP should know at what time exactly you have sent the message. If you only want to be hidden from your little cousin, that should be enough, but if for any reason a legal action was started, your ISP could have to give to the authorities the list of the phones that sent Instagram DM in the requested minute. Then never forget that the police can use data from several sources to reduce their investigation field.

What I mean is not that you will be immediately tracked. I just mean that if the police of your country has serious reasons to find the author of a message, they will use many other elements than the IP address. In fact IP is mostly something that is easy to use in police series, but in real world I would never try to use an IP address to find somebody, because it is really too easy to mask it. Language, wording, times, version of the application and the OS are far better markers! They cannot be used alone if you have no suspect, but if you have a reduced number of suspects it will be easy to find which one is guilty.


According to several tutorials, netstat will show you the IP of the person you are DM'img. This means that Instagram DM's establish a direction connection to the person's machine.

From this, some generic geo-ip location data can be gleaned.

It should be easy to test how long the connection remains if you log out from Instagram.

A VPN would obviously hide your IP behind the VPN server's IP.

Arbitrary list of top 5 hits for the search "instagram dm netstat":

https://techcult.com/how-to-find-someones-ip-address-on-instagram/ https://freepctech.com/how-to/find-someones-ip-address-on-instagram/ https://www.proxysp.com/how-to-find-someones-ip-address-on-instagram/ https://technographx.com/how-to-find-someones-ip-address-on-instagram/ https://famuse.co/can-someone-track-your-instagram/

  • 3
    Any proof of that? Wireshark/tcpdump logs? What you're talking about sounds like a major privacy leak. Apr 1 at 11:29
  • 1
    I have not tested this (I do not have an account or someone to DM), but several tutorials show netstat used for this purpose.
    – schroeder
    Apr 1 at 14:17
  • I think all of those tutorials are just wrong. Apr 6 at 23:20
  • @JosephSible-ReinstateMonica thinking they are wrong and proving they are wrong are 2 different things. Can you prove that they are wrong?
    – schroeder
    Apr 6 at 23:21

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