Blog Post View

How accurate is IP-based Geolocation Lookup?

By finding IP address of yourself or a person you wish to lookup, the geolocation lookup tool provide you with an estimate of where this IP address is located. American Registry of Internet Numbers, also known as ARIN, maintains the Whois Database containing contact and registration information for IP addresses. The companies requiring IP addresses obtain and register them with ARIN, and those IP addresses obtained are assigned to their users and customers. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign a dynamic IP address to a user when their customers connect to the Internet. Since a company may be located throughout a large region (or a country), the accuracy of geolocation may vary depending on how they assign them to their users.

What makes more difficult is the IP addresses maintained by cell phone providers. As cell phones roaming around cell towers, they obtain new IP address as users move. The wireless telephony providers service their users nationally, and the pool of IP addresses used doesn't necessarily provide accurate geolocation. So, how accurate is IP Location?

There are more than a dozen IP geolocation database providers, and the accuracy of each provider is different. Each provider gets their IP address information from ARIN, but the assignment changes regularly as some companies release unwanted IP addresses and others obtain a new block of IP addresses. Also, the blocks of IP addresses assigned to many companies can, in turn, assign them to their users however they want without geographic boundaries. This makes very difficult to pinpoint geolocation of an IP address. Also, the accuracy of geolocation data differs by providers so care should be given when picking a data source. We, IPlocation.net, offer data from a handful of companies so you'll have access to a few whom you can try.

Rough measure of geolocation accuracy

  • Country: 95% to 99% accuracy
  • Region (State): 55% to 80% accuracy
  • City:50% to 75% accuracy

The rough measure given above is based on the claims made by some of the data providers, and the actual result may vary from provider to provider. Also, looking up a geolocation from your cell phone may result in less accuracy than home-based IP address.

Can you locate a person from an IP address?

Unlikely. However, you may be able to identify a person from an IP address if you know the IP address and exact time when the IP address is used. Most Internet Service Providers keep a log of how IP addresses are assigned to users, so you can request to identify the person if you have the subpoena or authority from law enforcement. The usage log will determine the IP address assignment to the user's account, and reveal owner's name and contact information.

Conclusion

IP-based Geolocation lookup provides you with a rough estimate of where the IP address may be located within country, region and city. The accuracy of the lookup vary by database providers, and it should only be used as a rough guideline. To track your lost cell phone or locate a person, you may have to use other services.

Geolocation FAQ

What is IP-based Geolocation?

IP-based Geolocation is a mapping of an IP address to a geographic location of an Internet-connected computing or mobile device. Geolocation involves in mapping IP address to the country, region (city), latitude/longitude, ISP and domain name among other useful things.

Where can I get a IP-based Geolocation database?

There are a number of commercially available geolocation databases and their pricing and accuracy may vary. Ip2location, MaxMind, and Tamo Soft offer a fee-based database that can be easily integrated into a web application. Most geolocation database vendors offer APIs and example codes (in ASP, PHP, .NET and Java programming languages) that can be used to retrieve geolocation data from the database. We use a number of commercial databases to offer service on our website.

There are also freely available geolocation databases. Vendors offering commercial geolocation database also offer a Lite or Community edition that provides IP-to-Country or less accurate data from many months ago. Ip2Country.net and Webhosting.info (Directi) offer free IP-to-Country database that can be also integrated into your web application. There are companies also offering free web services that can be used to show geolocation of an IP address on your website.

Share this post

Comments (7)

  • Trievah Brown Reply

    If you install a VPN will it affect your smart home devices

    Jan 13, 2019 at 01:10 PM
  • Lhiwepe Khutsoh Reply

    good

    Aug 12, 2019 at 05:28 AM
  • gurvinder singh Reply

    My phone have been lost than i want to find him.

    Mar 09, 2020 at 08:42 PM
  • Jeremiah Agware Reply

    Excellent blog, I really love the way everything is linked up and built. I am still grasping everything about blogging and i would love for you to give me some tips. Before I forget, the information you provided couldn't be presented in a better way. I see a lot of bloggers just blogging for the money, but you are different which makes you special. I have bookmarked your website and would be visiting daily. You can reach me on mail at agwarej80@gmail.com. I really do hope you read <a href="https://www.makeoverarena.com/zamob-games-music-videos-tv-series-www-zamob-co-za/">zamob</a>, <a href="https://www.makeoverarena.com/wapdam-music-video-game-movies-www-wapdam-com/">wapdam</a>, <a href="https://www.makeoverarena.com/mp3goo-free-music-download-mp3goo-search-mp3goo-free-mp3-download-and-listen-online/">mp3goo</a> or <a href="https://www.tecreals.com/fzmovies/">fzmovies</a> on my website and tell me what you think. If those links don't work, follow these >>>

    https://www.makeoverarena.com/zamob-games-music-videos-tv-series-www-zamob-co-za/
    https://www.tecreals.com/fzmovies/

    Jul 16, 2020 at 04:25 AM
  • Vikram Savant Reply

    HI,
    I have Azure Public IP located in the India Datacenter.
    When I find my IP on the Tool Geolocation data from IPGeolocation.io (Product: API, real-time) Country showing the United States and ISP Microsoft Corporation

    Please confirm this issue.

    .

    Dec 19, 2020 at 04:52 AM
    • IP Location

      You're getting an IP from the Azure data center, wherever it is located. If you need to change the Geolocation of the IP, you'll have to contact the respective IP-to-Location provider.

      Feb 18, 2021 pm28 14:51:13
  • Deep Sh Reply

    Besides the complication of cellular network, it is also worth noting that by default even the IP address assigned to home wifi router by your ISP is frequently changing. Every ISP has their own service areas where they serve with a fixed range of IP address. This range can be small or large based on the size of your ISP. The other popular trends that are also impacting the accuracy of IP geolocation is the usages of VPN/proxies.

    However, the usages of IP geolocation technology is becoming more important than ever due to the increase in cybercrime and e-commerce fraud. So the job of IP geolocation is not just to detect the location of a user, but also provide other vital information about the network that can help businesses reduce online frauds.

    For more details about IP geolocation technology and its accuracy: bigdatacloud.com/blog

    Dec 21, 2020 at 04:28 PM
  • iplocation.net iplocation.net Reply

    Better than https://whatismyipaddress.com/.

    Feb 07, 2021 at 10:21 PM

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated. Spammy and bot submitted comments are deleted. Please submit the comments that are helpful to others, and we'll approve your comments. A comment that includes outbound link will only be approved if the content is relevant to the topic, and has some value to our readers.


Login To Post Comment