IP Geolocation is referred to as the pairing of an IP address to a specific geographical location. It may be used to identify a mobile phone, a radar source, or an internet connected computer terminal. Although IP geolocation is in a way closely related to the use of positioning systems, it’s mostly distinguished by its greater emphasis on determining a more meaningful location, e.g. a street address, rather than just a set of geographical coordinates.
How IP Geolocation Works
IP geolocation usually involves mapping an IP address to the country, region/city, latitude, longitude, Internet Service Provider (ISP), domain name, including factors others. The data is collected and stored in various databases from different registrars.
How Accurate is IP Geolocation?
The accuracy of an IP geolocation commonly varies depending on the specific database used to identify the location.
For IP to Region/City database, the accuracy usually ranges anywhere from 50% to 75% if the data from the neighboring cities is correct. Locating a specific city/region is much less accurate.
For IP to Country database, the accuracy ranges between 95% and 99%. Locating a country is therefore more accurate compared to locating a city/region. Identifying the exact user’s location such as the Zip code or building number has been found to be much less accurate.
These accuracy results usually vary because of various reasons. One, if the IP is traced from an internet service provider or an organization registration. Two, if the users use proxies, their exact location may be hidden and therefore unavailable. Three, the data of the user may not be updated in the registrar’s IP database.
IP Geological Databases
There are numerous databases that allow you to search for a geographical location by simply entering it into a web form. These services use proprietary databases of addresses that are based on internet traffic flow as well as website registrations.
If you’re a website owner, you can purchase these packages from the database vendors. Be sure to check out for the most reputable databases.
How is IP Geolocation Used?
IP geolocation is used to accomplish several purposes. They include;
• Website Management
If you have an e-commerce website, you may need to identify the geographical location from which your web visitors are coming from. Based on this information, you may change the content shown to the visitors based on their location. For example, if most visitors are from the U.S, the content and sale products may be adjusted to suit the needs of the specific visitors. Depending on the location of your visitors, you may need to offer language translation.
Although it’s possible to find the precise location of visitors, it’s practically impossible to find their exact location or physical address. However, there are various tools available for this purpose. These tools are capable of identifying the exact location of the user.
• Reduce Credit Card Fraud
Cyber crime has become a menace for many e-commerce website owners. One way to avoid or rather reduce credit card fraud is access the IP geolocation of the web visitors. By accessing this information, you’ll know the specific geolocation where these crimes are carried out from and possibly block those specific locations.
• Fight Against Hackers and Spammers
Web sites security breaches have become very common nowadays. Hackers and spammers not only attempt or steal data or deface your website, but also to use your server as an email relay for spam. They may also set up a temporary server in order to carry out criminal dealings.
Now one way to fight against hackers and spammers is to use an IP geolocation. An IP geolocation can provide you with information about the location of hackers and spammers, allowing you to block them.
• To Enforce the Law
IP geolocation is commonly used by various organizations and agencies to find people who illegally swap media files on the internet. They also use IP geolocation to track online financial transactions to prevent money laundering. Investigative agencies may use the service to track online trafficking associated with terrorist organizations. IP geolocation services are also used to protect banking institutions from transferring funds for illegal purposes. However, these bodies also work directly with the internet service providers.
IP geolocation is one of the most useful technological advancements we have today. It also helps find your current location in case you are asking yourself “where am i”. It has led to a reduction of cyber crimes and allowed webmasters to manage websites more effectively. It has also proven to be very accurate in the case of country database results.