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FAQ: How to find people's E-mail addresses


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Archive-name: finding-addresses
Version: $Id: finding.n,v 2.49 2005/02/17 18:53:41 dalamb Exp $
URL: http://www.cs.queensu.ca/FAQs/email/finding.html

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Copyright 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 Jonathan I. Kamens
Copyright 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 David Alex Lamb.
See end of file for copying permission and mirror sites.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about finding e-mail addresses.  This FAQ is
available on the World-Wide Web at
  <URL:http://www.cs.queensu.ca/FAQs/email/finding.html>
An older version of this FAQ is available in French at
	    <URL:http://web.fdn.fr/fdn/doc-misc/find-e-mail-add/>

******************************************************************************
*                                Introduction                                *
******************************************************************************

  A question which appears frequently on the Usenet is, "I know someone's
name, and I think they might have an electronic mail address somewhere.  How
can I find it?"

  There are many different techniques for doing this.  Several of them are
discussed below.  Your best bet is to try the pertinent methods in this
posting in the order in which they are listed (well, sort of; at the very
least, please try all the pertinent methods which do not involve posting
queries to soc.net-people before resorting to that).

  I've listed "Direct contact" near the end of this list because, for some
reason, people seem to be reluctant to call people on the telephone or write
them a paper-mail letter asking what their E-mail address is, as long as there
is even a remote chance that it might be found without asking.  This attitude
is somewhat counterproductive, since in most cases, it is much easier to get
someone's E-mail address by asking them than it is by following the other
methods outlined below.  Furthermore, even if you do manage to find an E-mail
address using one of the on-line methods described below, it is not guaranteed
that the person at the other end of the line checks that address regularly or
even that it is the correct address.

  Therefore, if you do have a telephone number that isn't too expensive to
call, or if you have a paper-mail address and aren't in too much of a hurry,
you can probably save yourself a lot of trouble by skipping all of the on-line
methods listed below and going directly to "Direct contact."

******************************************************************************
*             Avoid public distribution of individuals' addresses            *
******************************************************************************

  It is considered rude to widely distribute (e.g., in a Usenet posting) a
person's E-mail address without his/her prior consent, even if the address is
publicly available using one of the techniques described below or some other
technique.

  It might seem that having one's E-mail address listed in a publicly
accessible database is equivalent to distributing it, but this is not the case
in practice, for three primary reasons:
  * Some people may not be aware that their addresses are available for others
    to locate.  For example, the majority of Usenet posters are unaware of the
    database of Usenet E-mail addresses mentioned below.
  * When some effort is required to locate a person's address (e.g., using the
    techniques described below), only people who have a specific reason to
    send mail to him/her will go to the trouble.  However, if the address is
    mentioned in a Usenet posting read by thousands of people, no effort is
    required to obtain it, and many more people will send him/her mail.  Most
    people with E-mail addresses are not accustomed to receiving E-mail from
    strangers or large amounts of E-mail, and they may not be happy if they
    do.
  * As unwanted E-mail becomes more common, people will start to remove their
    addresses from public databases, which means that it will become more
    difficult to find people's addresses for legitimate reasons.

  In summary, if you want to advertise someone's E-mail address, get his/her
permission before you do it.  Besides, if you're going to advertise an
address, it's a good idea to make sure it works first, and writing to it for
permission is a good way to do that.

******************************************************************************
*                                Web Searches                                *
******************************************************************************

o E-mail directories                                  Changed: Thu Feb 17 2005

  Several organizations let you search for addresses by filling in and
  submitting a form from your Web browser.  In many cases these services
  populated their databases by scanning for addresses in USENET news postings.
  My list below is fairly short; there is a longer list at Electro-Byte
  Technologies at
  <URL:http://www.sarnia.com/tech/class/search/whiteyellow.htm>.  Many of
  these were once free, but have now gone commercial (charging a fee for
  lookups).  Some are primarily phone number searches, but sometimes have e-
  mail addresses as well.
    * Addresses.com at <URL:http://www.addresses.com> as of early 2004 claims
      to be the world's largest email directory - 10 times the size of any
      other email address directory on the web. All people searches are free
      and content is protected from spammers. Also verify email, reverse email
      search, reverse phone, white pages, yellow pages, area codes and
      postal/zip codes; phone-based searches are USA-only.
    * AnyWho at <URL:http://www.anywho.com/> is a white pages and yellow pages
      directory service that encourages people to update their listing to
      include e-mail addresses.
    * Bigfoot at <URL:http://www.bigfoot.com/> had about 100 million white
      pages listings and 8 million e-mail listings as of December 1996.  The
      company focuses on value-added services for e-mail users, complementing
      those of ISPs.
    * Find mE-Mail at <URL:http://www.findmemail.com/> advertises itself as
      the place to post your new e-mail address, for your old e-mail friends.
    * Fresh Address at <URL:http://www.freshaddress.com/> FreshAddress.com is
      a free worldwide registry of old and working email addresses.  People
      can register their current address along with any additional working and
      obsolete email addresses, so friends can find them even if they only
      know an old address.
    * InfoSpace at <URL:http://www.infospace.com> used to have about 200
      million worldwide telephone numbers, and also provides search for e-mail
      addresses.  Now its front-page search form appearsa to be USA only.
    * Internet Address Finder at <URL:http://www.iaf.net/> appears to be USA
      only.
    * MESA (MetaEmailSearchAgent) at <URL:http://mesa.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/>
      allows you to submit a single query to multiple search engines,
      including Bigfoot, IAF, Populus, Switchboard, Usenet Addresses,
      WhoWhere, and Yahoo People Search.  You get to specify how long to wait,
      and it might time out returning no hits.
    * Switchboard at <URL:http://www.switchboard.com/> is a Web-based
      telephone directory; its names are compiled from published white pages
      directories and other publicly-available sources. If you register a
      password with Switchboard, you can add additional information to your
      listing, including your email address.  You can arrange to hide your
      email address (or other parts of your listing), while still allowing
      people to email you a brief note via Switchboard.
    * WhoWhere?  at <URL:http://www.whowhere.com> has directories for e-mail,
      phone numbers, and personal Web pages.  You can search based on
      affiliations like occupation, school, or interests.
    * Yahoo People Search at <URL:http://www.yahoo.com/search/people/>

o Phone and Surface Address Directories               Created: Thu Feb 17 2005

  These don't give you e-mail addresses, but can deliver phone numbers you can
  use to make an initial contact.
    * AllPages.com at <URL:http://www.allpages.com> has online yellow pages
      and business directories for the United States.
    * Find a Friend at <URL:http://www.findafriend.com/> is a commercial
      search service; you pay nothing if your search is empty.  You can search
      by Social Security Number, full name and prior address, name with date
      of birth or approximate age, or by phone number
    * Phonebooke at <URL:http://www.phonebooke.com/> links to several online
      phonebooks, some of which have fees.

o Web Search Engines                                  Created: Thu Nov  4 2004

  Search engines index Web pages (and sometimes Usenet postings).  If you
  suspect the person you are looking for has created a web page or posted to
  Usenet, you may be able to find them through your favourite search engine.
  Since spammers also harvest e-mail addresses from web pages, many people are
  removing their email addresses from the Web and using fake addresses for
  Usenet postings.

o National white pages                                Changed: Wed Jul 31 2002

  There are a few internet white pages based on nationality:
    * Australia at <URL:http://www.whitepages.com.au/>.
    * Austria at <URL:http://www.etb.at/>.
    * Belgium at <URL:http://www.advalvas.be/white>.
    * Brazil at <URL:http://www.supermail.com.br/>.
    * Dennmark:  at <URL:http://www.epost.dk/>,  at
      <URL:http://joes.jubii.dk/>,  at <URL:http://adressebog.sektornet.dk/>
    * France at
      <URL:http://www.legratuit.com/Outils_de_recherche/Annuaire_telephonique/>.
    * Germany: German Telecom at <URL:http://www.email-service.de/>,  at
      <URL:http://www.suchen.de/>,  at <URL:http://www.finden.de/>.
    * Hungary at <URL:http://www.skyex.com/default1.htm>.  (people with some
      connection to...)
    * Ireland at <URL:http://www.esearch.ie/>.
    * Israel at <URL:http://www.ibm.net.il/WebPh>.
    * Italy at <URL:http://www.ats.it/wpages/>.
    * Netherlands at <URL:http://emailgids.hetnet.nl>.
    * Slovenia at <URL:http://afna.telekom.si/>.
    * South Africa: free at <URL:http://andromeda.marques.co.za/epost_s.htm>
      (a frames-based page that I had trouble loading), commercial at
      <URL:http://www.bellemodel.co.za/emails.html> (pay only if found)
    * Sweden at <URL:http://epostkatalog.telia.com/>.
    * Switzerland:  at <URL:http://www.email111.ch/> (click on "Email-Suche");
      www.directories.ch at <URL:http://www.directories.ch/cgi-
      bin/etv/etv?lang=de&d=ead> (German)

******************************************************************************
*                             Directory Protocols                            *
******************************************************************************

o PH and WebPH                                        Changed: Thu Apr  1 1999

  PH, documented at <URL:http://www.emailman.com/ph/>, is a system for
  managing "phone books."  WebPH at
  <URL:http://www.middlebury.edu/~its/Software/WebPh/> is a World-Wide Web
  interface PH.  If a site you are interested has installed it, you can look
  up people from that site by filling in a query form.  Unfortunately, there
  is no convention for how to guess where to find the WebPH or PH server given
  the site name.

o LDAP                                                Created: Thu Apr  1 1999

  LDAP, documented at <URL:http://www.emailman.com/ldap/>, is a "Lightweight
  Directory Access Protocol".  PH is used more heavily at colleges and
  universities; LDAP seems to be used more by commercial organizations.

******************************************************************************
*                              Other Techniques                              *
******************************************************************************

o College and School Email Addresses

  The College Email FAQ at
  <URL:http://www.cs.queensu.ca/FAQs/email/college.html> describes the account
  and E-mail address policies for graduate and undergraduate students at many
  universities and colleges.  If you are looking for a university/college
  student, check those postings for the university or college in question and
  follow their instructions for finding out more.

  This FAQ is also posted regularly to soc.college as a collection of postings
  whose subjects start with "College Email Addresses."  If the postings have
  expired at your site or has not been posted recently, you can get a copy of
  them using the instructions below(in the "Useful Usenet postings" section).

  If the university has a PH (phonebook) server, it may be listed in the
  Colleges and Universities PH server directory at
  <URL:http://home.cdsnet.net/~zachbo/others.html>.

  ClassMates at <URL:http://www.classmates.com> lets secondary school alumni
  freely register their e-mail addresses;  the database covers US, Canada, and
  American Overseas high schools (2 million entries as of August, 1999).
  Searches require a fee.  Alumni.NET at <URL:http://www.Alumni.Net> has a
  smaller database (750,000 as of August 1999) but does not charge for
  searches.

  Curious Cat Educated Connections at <URL:http://www.curiouscat.com/educate/>
  indexes colleges, high schools, and grade schools in the USA, Canada, and
  Australia.  You can register so that school friends can find you.

o Usenet-addresses server

  If you think that your target may be on the Usenet and may have posted a
  message to the Usenet at some point in the past, you might be able to find
  his/her address in the Usenet address database on the machine rtfm.mit.edu.

  To query the database, send an E-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu
  with "send usenet-addresses/name" in the body of the message.  The "name"
  should be one or more space-separated words for which you want to search;
  since the search is fuzzy (i.e., all of the words you specify do not have to
  match), you should list all of the words you think might appear in the
  address, including (for example) first and last name, possible username, and
  possible components of the host name (e.g. "mit" for a person who you think
  is at MIT).  The case and order of the words you list are ignored.

  Note that multiple requests can appear (on separate lines) in mail to the
  mail server, but each request will be answered in a separate message.

  In many cases, you will get a list of quite a few matching addresses, and
  you will have to go through it looking for ones that may be the one you're
  looking for.  However, the mail server will return a maximum of only 40
  matches.

  Note that the usenet-addresses database is accessible via WAIS (in fact, the
  script that does mail server searches is actually just a front-end to a WAIS
  database) on two different hosts: rtfm.mit.edu and cedar.cic.net.  In both
  cases, the database is called "usenet-addresses" and is on port 210.  Note
  that the version on rtfm is slightly more up-to-date with respect to the
  master address list than the version on cedar.  If you don't know what WAIS
  is, then don't worry about this paragraph; if you're curious, see the
  "comp.infosystems.wais" newsgroup.

  For more details about how to use the database, send the command "send
  usenet-addresses/help".

o Inter-Network Mail Guide

  If you know which network/service your target has an account on (e.g.
  CompuServe, Fidonet), then the "Inter-Network Mail Guide" posting in
  comp.mail.misc *may* be able to provide you with some help, although it
  probably will not be particularly helpful unless you have some sort of
  address to start with (a small number of networks use full names as
  addresses, and the posting mentions when this is the case, but it doesn't
  apply in very many cases).

  See the instructions below for getting a copy of this posting if it isn't
  available in comp.mail.misc at your site.

o whois/nicname                                       Changed: Sat Dec  6 1997

  Whois is the internet user name directory service. It's available on some
  UNIX systems as a command called "whois" or "nicname".  Do
    whois help
  or
    nicname -h
  to get a help message. The whois and nicname programs will check the
  database maintained at rs.internic.net (or nic.ddn.mil for U.S.  military
  sites) for the given names. For example,
    nicname <name>
  or
    whois <name>
  or
    whois -h <host> <names>
  where <host> is some site with a whois server.  This is only useful for
  people listed in the database. Many regional networks and some universities
  maintain their own NICs.

  You can also get some of this information by telneting to rs.internic.net
  and running whois and host there, or to nic.ddn.mil if you are looking for
  U.S. military personnel.  Alternatively, you can issue a single command to
  the whois.internic.net server by typing "telnet whois.internic.net whois" in
  order to connect to it and then typing the command and hitting return; the
  "help" command will return several screens full of text, so if you need
  help, you should use a utility such as "tee" or "script" to capture the help
  message and save it for future reference.

  If you do not have Internet access, you can send mail to
  whois@whois.internic.net to query the "whois" database; send a message with
  "help" in the body to find out more information.

  Some sites run local "whois" databases to provide information about people
  inside their organizations.  The only way to find out if your site runs such
  a database is to ask someone locally about it (see "Get more help locally"
  below), and the only way to find out about such databases at other sites
  (assuming, of course, that those databases are not mentioned in any of the
  other sources listed in this document) is to contact responsible individuals
  at those sites and ask (see "Finding a host name and asking someone there
  for help" below).

o Other whois databases

  Quite a few other sites also run "whois" databases that can be connected to
  over the Internet using the whois protocol (using either the "whois" program
  or "telnet hostname whois" as described in the previous section).  Some of
  those sites are listed here, and others are listed in a separate list,
  described in more detail below.

  The Ohio State University runs a "whois" database (on the machine "osu.edu")
  that has all of the faculty, staff, and students listed.  It responds to
  "whois" queries in the normal fashion, or you can just send mail to
  firstname.lastname@osu.edu and it will try to deliver e-mail if the person
  has registered an e-mail address.  You can also telnet to osu.edu and look-
  up a person.  If you are unsure of the spelling this is a good way, as it
  does a soundex type search so exact matches are not necessary.  No password
  is necessary.

  RIPE (a cooperative group of several European Internet providers) runs a
  "whois" database, with RIPE information, on "whois.ripe.net"; it is a
  European counterpart to "whois.internic.net".

  Matt H. Power of MIT <mhpower@athena.mit.edu> has compiled and maintains an
  extensive list of sites that run "whois" servers.  The file can be retrieved
  via anonymous ftp from /pub/whois/whois-servers.list on sipb.mit.edu.

  In addition to E-mail addresses for individuals, "whois" servers often also
  contain contact information about domains.  For example, asking
  whois.internic.net's server for information about "mit.edu" would tell you
  to look up "mit-dom" in order to get information about MIT's domain, and
  doing that would give you contact information about the people responsible
  for administrating that domain, including the handles of those individuals,
  which you can then look up to get still more information about them.

o Other directory services                            Changed: Thu Feb 17 2005

  There are several other directory services you may be able to use to search
  for your target.

  The person you are searching for may be using Pobox.com at
  <URL:http://pobox.com/>, which provides permanent email forwarding addresses
  You submit to a searchable database your real name and some biographical
  information; you receive short, memorable email aliases at pobox.com that
  forward to your current real mailbox.  Whatever your real address is, you
  can be found at and mailed through pobox.com.  Pobox.com is growing very
  quickly and has amassed a substantial database.  To sign up or find a
  subscriber, use the Web address or send mail to info@pobox.com

  Other sources of permanent e-mail addresses include ActiveNames at
  <URL:http://www.ActiveNames.Net/>, by Google at <URL:http://www.google.com>,
  and Yahoo at <URL:http://www.yahoo.com/>.

  The IBM Corporate Internet Gateway provides a directory of users (which I
  believe contains only IBM employees, although I'm not certain) that is
  available to anyone who can send E-mail to it.  If your target works for IBM
  (or you suspect s/he does), then this might be useful to you.

  To use it, send mail to nic@vnet.ibm.com with the command "whois lastname,
  firstname" in the subject or body of the message.  If you are unsure of the
  spelling of the last name, use an asterisk (*) to indicate that the last
  name should be treated as a prefix, rather than a complete name.  The first
  name is always treated as a prefix.  For example, "whois Smith*, R" would
  return all people with a last name starting with "Smith" and a first name
  starting with "R", while "whois Smith, R" would return only those people
  with exactly the last name "Smith" and a first name starting with "R".

  Users of the directory are limited to 25 name searches per day.  Each name
  that results is counted as a separate name search.  For example, a single
  "whois Smith, R" that found Rodger Smith, Robert Smith, and Reginald Smith
  would count as three name searches.  Multiple requests may be made in a
  single note provided that the number of names found does not exceed the
  daily limit of 25.

  RPI runs a white pages server for people interested in the field of
  communications.  To find out how to use it, send mail to
  comserve@rpitsvm.bitnet (or comserve@vm.its.rpi.edu) with "help" in the body
  of the message.

  BITNIC (the BITNET Network Information Center) runs a name server of more
  general interest.  To find out how to use it, send mail to
  netserv@bitnic.bitnet (again, netserv@bitnic.educom.edu can also be used)
  with "help" in the body of the message.

  There is an X.500 white pages service run by UNINETT.  It is accessible by
  sending mail to the address Directory@UNINETT.NO (send a message with "help"
  in the subject or body to get more information).  Furthermore, there is
  software for UNIX available for use as a convenient interface to the
  service.  It is available for anonymous ftp in
  ~ftp/directory/directory.tar.Z on the machine nac.no.  Finally, if the
  administrator of your site registers your organization with UNINETT
  (instructions about doing so are available with the software just
  mentioned), people from your site can then register in the database so that
  other people can look them up in it.

  AT&T Bell Labs runs a mailer on the host "att.com" that can get mail to
  about 400 employees in the Research Area of Bell Labs using their names as
  addresses.  You can send mail to "lastname@att.com" or to
  "initials.lastname@att.com", where "initials" consists of one or more
  initials separated by dots.  If the name is ambiguous, you will get a bounce
  message indicating several possible matches, and the appropriate address to
  use for each.

  Tim Pozar has set up a WAIS server that contains the FidoNet email addresses
  of Sysops of FidoNet BBSs.  You can access it by connecting to the
  "nodelist" WAIS database on port 210 of kumr.lns.com; use the name(s) for
  which you wish to search as your search keywords.  See above for more
  information about WAIS.

  PSI runs a X.500 directory server, accessible by sending mail to
  whitepages@wp.psi.com.

  Information about hosts in the "ca" Internet domain (i.e., hosts in Canada)
  Is accessible via anonymous ftp to ftp.CDNnet.CA, or by mail to archive-
  server@relay.CDNnet.CA.  You can get site domain names and host names, as
  well as the names and addresses of contact people for individual sites.  For
  more information, retrieve the file /ca-domain/Introduction via anonymous
  ftp, or send a mail message to the mail server with "send ca-domain
  Introduction" in it.  The information in this archive is also available via
  the Gopher service at <URL:gopher://nstn.ns.ca>.

o Finding a host name and asking someone there for help


  If you know the organization, company, or whatever at which your target's
  account is likely to be located, then you might be able to get your hands on
  the host name of a machine at that location.  Once you've done that, you can
  usually write to someone responsible for E-mail support at the site and ask
  for help finding the address you are seeking.  See the section on below.

  Once you've got a host name and the person to contact, you need to figure
  out how to get the mail there, if it's on a network you don't know how to
  reach.  See the "Inter-Network Mail Guide" posting referenced above if you
  need help with that.

  If you do go this route, make sure you provide as much information as you
  can about the person whose address you are seeking; remember that the more
  detailed (and polite!) you are, the more likely it is that the person you
  are contacting will be able to help you.  Remember, too, that the person you
  are contacting is probably very busy, and responding to requests like yours
  is probably not one of his/her highest priorities, so be patient.

o Using 'finger'                                      Changed: Mon Sep  2 1996

  Finger is a user information lookup program.  If you've found a potential
  host name for your target using one of the other methods described here, and
  if you have direct access to the Internet, then you may be able to use the
  "finger" program/protocol to look up your target at a remote site.  To
  finger someone at another site, you generally type "finger name@host".
  Andrew Starr maintains the Finger FAQ at
  <URL:http://www.emailman.com/finger/>.  Some sites provide Web-based
  interfaces to finger, such as Middlebury College at
  <URL:http://www.middlebury.edu/~otisg/cgi/HyperFinger.cgi>.

o Knowbot Information Service

  The "Knowbot Information Service" (KIS) is another white pages service.

  Two hosts running KIS servers are info.cnri.reston.va.us and
  regulus.cs.bucknell.edu.  Either can be reached on the Internet via telnet
  at port 185 (e.g. "telnet info.cnri.reston.va.us 185"), or via electronic
  mail (kis@cnri.reston.va.us or netaddress@regulus.cs.bucknell.edu).  For
  more information about Knowbot, use the "man" command after connecting via
  telnet or in the body of your E-mail message.  In addition,
  info.cnri.reston.va.us' KIS server can be reached using the Internet "whois"
  protocol described above.

o Searching LISTSERV mailing lists                    Changed: Tue Jul  4 1995

  Many sites around the network are running the VM/CMS LISTSERV package for
  managing mailing lists.  If you have some reason to believe that a
  particular user may be a member of a mailing list on a LISTSERV site, you
  can ask that LISTSERV to send you a membership list and search it for your
  target.

  To do this, send mail to listserv@host (if "host" is a BITNET host, try
  using listserv@host.bitnet; if that doesn't work, you'll have to ask someone
  at your site how to send mail to BITNET hosts).  In the body of your
  message, include the command "review list-name", where "list-name" is the
  name of the mailing list you wish to search.

  Alternatively, sending mail to the server with the line
    WHOIS <name>
  may catch the person. For example, listserv@buacca.bu.edu. This is an
  unlikely option. It also does not work with all listserv implementations.

  If you don't know what LISTSERV is and dont' know of any LISTSERV sites or
  mailing lists, then this technique probably isn't worth bothering with.

o Direct contact

  If you have a paper mail address or telephone number for your target, call
  them or write to them and ask for an E-mail address.

  In that case, you might encounter the somewhat common situation where your
  target knows s/he has an E-mail address, but s/he doesn't know what it is.
  If this happens to you, then give him/her your E-mail address and ask
  him/her to send you mail (and if s/he can't figure out how, tell him/her to
  get someone at his/her site to help).  The odds are that when you get
  his/her message, it'll contain a valid return address in it.

o Get more help locally

  Often, the postmaster at your site (or whomever is responsible at your site
  for answering mail-related questions) has a large amount of knowledge that
  will help him/her to help you find the answer to your question.  If you have
  been unable to find the answer for yourself, check with people locally and
  see if one of them can help you out.

o postmaster                                          Changed: Thu Jul  1 1993

  Most sites have an individual responsible for network and mail operations at
  the site, usually with the userid of 'postmaster'.  These people are usually
  very busy, so before bothering one of them, try telephoning the person you
  are trying to reach.  Long distance is expensive for you, but less
  expensive, globally, than the postmaster's time.  The one reasonable
  exception is if you're sending mail and getting messages in response that
  suggest some sort of mail system problem; you might report the problem to
  postmaster at your own site, who may in turn contact postmaster at the
  destination site.

  Many postmasters will refuse to answer questions about user identification,
  for reasons of privacy, though they may be willing to forward *your* address
  so your intended recipient can write to you.

o The last resort -- soc.net-people

  If all the methods above have failed, you can consider posting a message to
  soc.net-people asking for help locating your target.  Before doing so,
  however, you should read the "Tips on using soc.net-people" posting in that
  newsgroup.  If it has expired, you can get a copy using the instructions
  below (note that the name in the instructions below may change when a new
  version with a new date is posted, so you may need to ask for an index of
  the soc.net-people archive to find out the name of the most recent version).

  Note that this is listed as THE last resort, to be tried even later than
  using a telephone number or paper mail address.  Any posting to the Usenet
  uses the resources of the sites on the Usenet and of the networks that carry
  it; certainly, the total cost of transporting a Usenet message is more than
  the cost of a stamp or a short phone call.  Since the benefit gained is to
  you and not to the Usenet as a whole, you should avoid posting if you
  possibly can.

******************************************************************************
*                             Finding Host Names                             *
******************************************************************************

o Whois

  The NIC "whois" database mentioned above contains site and organization
  information as well as information about individuals.  Organization entries
  in the NIC database will usually list an administrative, technical and/or
  zone contact person, with his/her address, to whom you can write.  You can
  also write to "postmaster" at almost any Internet host to get in touch with
  someone responsible for E-mail.

o U. Texas Network Directory

  The University of Texas publishes a network directory.  Although it hasn't
  been updated in a few years, it still provides a useful list of many site
  names.  It is available for anonymous ftp from several different locations,
  including /net.directory/1988.netbook on emx.utexas.edu.  It is BIG, so you
  might not have room to store it locally, unless you ask someone in charge to
  set up some space for it.  You should NOT transfer it to /tmp every time you
  need it, or something like that; that's a horrible waste of network
  bandwidth.  Contact people are usually listed in the site entries in the net
  directory, but you might want to try "postmaster" first.  This directory is
  superseded by the book "The user's directory of computer networks," whose
  bibliography information is provided in the section below.  Of course, you
  have to pay for the book, and you can't grep dead trees, but it's probably
  more up-to-date than the University of Texas directory.

o UUCP maps                                           Changed: Tue Jul  4 1995

  The UUCP maps are posted in the comp.mail.maps newsgroup.  See the posting
  "UUCP map for README" in that directory for more information.  You can grep
  in the news spool or use your news reader's search facilities to search for
  a particular string (e.g. an organization name) in the comp.mail.maps
  postings.  Each UUCP map entry lists the contact person for the entry.  You
  can also search the UUCP maps by connecting to the "uumap" WAIS database on
  port 210 of wais.cic.net.  For more information about WAIS, see above.

o Netinfo

  You can also search UUCP maps using the University of California at
  Berkeley's Netinfo service (which also supports other services, such as
  looking up IP addresses for hosts on the Internet).  You connect to it at
  port 117 of netinfo.berkeley.edu, e.g.  on some systems, "telnet
  netinfo.berkeley.edu 117".  The "ufind", "ufile", "uhost" and "upath"
  commands are used to look up information in the UUCP maps.  For more
  information about Netinfo, connect to it and type "?".

o Merit Network NetMail database

  Allows one to find the appropriate bitnet, internet or uucp address for a
  site given part of the address.
    telnet hermes.merit.edu
  At the "Which Host?" prompt, type netmailsites then enter any part of the
  address you want.

o nslook/nslookup and hostq programs

  Some sites have programs which will give you information about a host given
  its name or IP address. Some such programs include nslook, nslookup, and
  hostq.

o /etc/hosts                                          Changed: Mon Feb 15 1993

  Mail routing on UNIX machines on the internet use to use a large file called
  /etc/hosts to validate host names.  We used to advise you to examine this
  file to guess host names when all else fails - but that really isn't useful
  anymore.  Use one of the above methods instead.

******************************************************************************
*                             Commercial Networks                            *
******************************************************************************

o Internet to America Online                          Changed: Sat Dec  7 1996

  Creating the Internet version of an America Online address requires that you
  know the conversion rule. You ignore the case, remove the spaces, and add
  "@aol.com" to the end of the address.  Thus, an America Online address "Jane
  Doe" becomes "janedoe@aol.com" (without the quotes, of course).  Internet
  mail incoming to America Online is trucated at 27 kilobytes.  To find
  addreses, send e-mail to NameSearch@aol.com and provide the user's real
  name, state, and city.  Their World-Wide Web service at
  <URL:http://home.aol.com/> allows you to search for members' home pages
  containing the search terms you specify.

o Internet to Compuserve                              Changed: Sat Dec  7 1996

  If someone's Compuserve ID is 77777,7777 you can send Internet mail to
  77777.7777@compuserve.com (change the comma to a dot, and append the site
  name).  Their Web directory at
  <URL:http://www.sprynet.com/ourworld/searchow/> lets you search for people
  by name, location, or occupation.

o Internet to DELPHI                                  Changed: Sat Dec  7 1996

  Delphi users can receive Internet EMail at <username>@delphi.com.  Usernames
  are user-defined and vary from handles to real names.  Their Web directory
  at <URL:http://www.delphi.com/dir-html/simple_web_search.html> lets you
  search for member Web pages containing your search terms, or browse their
  username directory.

o Internet to GEnie                                   Changed: Sat Dec  7 1996

  Creating the Internet version of a GEnie address requires that you add
  "@genie.com" to the end of the address.  Thus, a GEnie address "J.DOE3"
  becomes "J.DOE3@genie.com" (without the quotes, of course).  There is no
  added cost to GEnie users (beyond normal connect-time charges) to send or
  receive Internet mail. GEnie addresses are case-insensitive, but you should
  preserve periods.

o Internet to Prodigy                                 Changed: Sat Dec  7 1996

  Prodigy users receive Internet mail via the address format
    abcd12a@prodigy.com
  where "abcd12a" is the recipient's Prodigy user ID.  We have not found an
  Internet-accessible directory.

o Internet to T-Online (Germany)                      Created: Wed Nov 22 1995

  Since Summer 1995, T-Online (former BTX) users have access to the Internet.
  Use the T-Online Id of the recipient and add -000x where x is the
  appropriate user number, mostly 1. The T-Online Id is mostly equal to the
  telephone-number of the person, inculding the city prefix. To send a mail to
  a T-Online user in Frankfurt (city prefix: 069), with the telefon number
  123456, send Internet mail to 069123456-0001@T-Online.de.

******************************************************************************
*                                 References                                 *
******************************************************************************

  If you want to learn more about computer networks and how they interact with
each other, these books and articles might be interesting and useful to you:
  * !%@:: A Directory of Electronic Mail Addressing & Networks by Donnalyn
    Frey and Rick Adams ISBN 1-56592-031-7 (published by O'Reilly, E-mail
    nuts@ora.com) (current edition published in August 1993; $24.95 cover
     price)
  * The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide, by John
    S. Quarterman, Digital Press, Bedford, MA, 1990.  $50.  Digital order
    number EY-C176E-DP-SS, Digital Press ISBN 155558-033-5, Prentice-Hall ISBN
    0-13-565607-9.
  * ``Strategies for Finding People on Networks,'' by John S. Quarterman,
    Matrix News, Vol. 1, No. 6, pg. 3, Matrix Information and Directory
    Services, Austin, Texas, September 1991.
  * The user's directory of computer networks, ed. Tracy L. LaQuey, Digital
    Press, Bedford, MA, 1990.  Digital order number EY-C200E-DP, ISBN
    1-55558-047-5.
  * Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide, by Brendan Kehoe,
    Prentice Hall, July 1992.  ISBN 0-13-010778-6.  (This is the second
    edition.  The first edition is available for free on-line.  To find out
    how to get it, send mail to archive-server@cs.widener.edu with "send zen
    hints" in the body of the message.)

******************************************************************************
*                           Useful Usenet Postings                           *
******************************************************************************
  Subject: FAQ: College Email Addresses 1/4 [Monthly posting]
  Subject: FAQ: College Email Addresses 2/4 [Monthly posting]
  Subject: FAQ: College Email Addresses 3/4 [Monthly posting]
  Subject: FAQ: College Email Addresses 4/4 [Monthly posting]
  Newsgroups: soc.college,soc.net-people,news.answers
  Subject: Updated Inter-Network Mail Guide
  Newsgroups: comp.mail.misc,alt.bbs.lists,alt.internet.services,comp.misc,comp.answers,alt.answers,news.answers
  Subject: Tips on using soc.net-people [l.m. 13/09/92]
  Newsgroups: soc.net-people

  [Same as above -- check the archives for a newer version if this one isn't
available.]

  Available in the indicated Usenet newsgroup(s), or via anonymous ftp from
rtfm.mit.edu in the files:
  /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part1
  /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part2
  /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part3
  /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part4
  /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail/inter-network-guide
  /pub/usenet/soc.net-people/Tips_on_using_soc.net-people_[l.m._13_09_92]

  Also available from mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu by sending a mail message
containing any or all of:
  send usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part1
  send usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part2
  send usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part3
  send usenet/news.answers/mail/college-email/part4
  send usenet/news.answers/mail/inter-network-guide
  send usenet/soc.net-people/Tips_on_using_soc.net-people_[l.m._13_09_92]

  Send a message containing "help" to get general information about the mail
server.

******************************************************************************
*                                   Credits                                  *
******************************************************************************

  This FAQ was originally maintained by Jonathan I. Kamens; David Lamb took
over maintenance in January 1994.  In July 1995 David merged in the general
information on finding addresses from the College E-mail FAQ, originally
created by Mark Kantrowitz.

  Comments about, suggestions about or corrections to this posting are
welcomed.  If you would like to ask me to change this posting in some way, the
method I appreciate most is for you to actually make the desired modifications
to a copy of the posting, and then to send me the modified posting, or a
context diff between my posted version and your modified version (if you do
the latter, make sure to include in your mail the "Version:" line from my
posted version).  Submitting changes in this way makes dealing with them
easier for me and helps to avoid misunderstandings about what you are
suggesting.

  These people provided useful comments, information and/or suggestions:
Randall Atkinson <atkinson@itd.nrl.navy.mil>
Ed Blackman
Mark Brader <msb@sq.com>
Bruno Chatras
Jim Cheetham
Huang Chih-Hsien
Marcel Dorenbos
Alessio Dragoni <drago@ats.it>
Ralph E. Droms <URL:http://www.bucknell.edu/~droms/>
Donald E. Eastlake, III
Marshall Gene Flax
Arthur K. Ho
Patrick Hoepfner <hoepfner@heasfs.gsfc.nasa.gov>
Dan Hoey <hoey@aic.nrl.navy.mil>
Kjetil Torgrim Homme <kjetilho@ifi.uio.no>
Ivar Mar Jonsson
Jonathan I. Kamens <jik@security.ov.com>
Mark Kantrowitz <mkant+@cs.cmu.edu>
Dan Kegel (dank at alumni.caltech.edu)
Jonathan Kochmer
Patt Leonard <leonard@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu>
Jerry Martin <nic@osu.edu>
Skip Montanaro <URL:http://www.automatrix.com/~skip/>
Dan Muller <dmuller@etrademail.com>
Eric De Mund <ead@ixian.com>
Hank Nussbacher <hank@ibm.net.il>
Jerry Peek <jpeek@jpeek.com> <URL:http://www.jpeek.com/>
Tim Pozar <pozar@kumr.lns.com>
Mark Prior
John S. Quarterman <URL:http://www.mids.org/>
Gowri Ramanathan <URL:http://www.cs.orst.edu/~ramanag/>
Michael Santullo <santullo@Four11.com>
Jenny Schmidt <jenny@whowhere.com>
Ellen Keyne Seebacher
Rolf E. Sonneveld
Andrew Starr <URL:http://www.amherst.edu/~atstarr/>
Donald Stoy
Robert Ullmann
Edward Vielmetti
Peter M. Weiss <pmw1@psuvm.psu.edu>
Bill Wells <URL:http://ack.berkeley.edu/~wcwells/>
Sean White <sean@whowhere.com>
Martin Westphal <martin@PNN.sgz-bank.com>
Bill Wohler <wohler@sap-ag.de>
Peter J. Woodrow

******************************************************************************
*                                   Copying                                  *
******************************************************************************

  You can reprint (or archive, or make CDs of) this FAQ posting anywhere you
want, as long as the following conditions are met:
  * You use as recent a version of the FAQ as possible.
  * The copyright holders' names (as well as the section listing other people
    who have contributed) stays on it.
  * Any modifications (other than typesetting changes) you make to it are
    clearly designated as your modifications.  If you are significantly
    reformatting the information in the FAQ, then you don't have to explicitly
    show every change from the original, but you make clear that what you are
    printing is derived from our FAQ rather than a direct copy of it.
  * You tell people where to find updated versions of it, i.e., what
    newsgroups it appears in.
  * If paying outside authors for articles is standard practice of the forum
    in which you wish to reprint it, then we would appreciate some sort of
    reimbursement for the reprinting.  However, we leave this to your
    discretion (i.e., you can pay us or not; if you choose to pay us, the
    amount can be whatever you think is appropriate).

******************************************************************************
*                                   Mirrors                                  *
******************************************************************************

  Known mirrors of this site include:
  * Australia at <URL:http://ecco.bsee.swin.edu.au/inet/email/>.
  * Germany at <URL:http://www.cis.fu-berlin.de/~rober/emailfaq.html>.
  * Russia at <URL:http://wgc.chem.pu.ru/mirrors/finding-
    addresses/finding.html>.
  * USA: Texas at <URL:http://www.pimall.com/nais/n.emailfind.html>, North
    Carolina at <URL:http://bbsnews.net/research/emailaddresses.html>
-- 
"Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/   qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)

User Contributions:

Richard
Report this comment as inappropriate
Sep 18, 2014 @ 4:16 pm
What we need is a service that can get us email addresses of homeowners that have received notices of default on their mortgages. Sometimes there might only be 3 or 4 a day. We need to be able to plug in the names and for you to spit out the email address.

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