What is GeoIP?
GeoIP refers to the process of finding a computer terminal’s geographical location by determining the terminal’s IP address. Even though it can identify the location of a terminal in a city, it requires utilization of GeoIP database and an understanding of APIs to execute in a right manner.
How accurate is GeoIP?
It is important to note that GeoIP is not as precise as other methods of Geolocation, for example GPS and mobile technology. Although, none of the present geolocation system gives perfect and 100% accurate details.
Some of the experienced users can even disguise their real location with a fake one from GeoIP systems. Precision of a geolocation database depends on the type of database you use. IP-to-country database are more accurate (95%-98%) as compared to IP-to-city (50%-75%).
What are the uses of GeoIP?
One of the most important applications of GeoIP is geo-targeting which discover the location of a computer in order to create content particularly for that location. Geo-targeting is generally used for targeted advertising, track source of traffic, spam prevention, and for location-based access restriction.
If you have an ecommerce store, then you would like to track where your customers are coming from. You can apply country code on forms, display language options according to the region, lower the credit card spam, etc. based on your geographic location.
How to find Geo-location of an IP address?
- Whois database to find contact and registration information for IP resources registered with ARIN.
- You can also use third party tools developed by Ip2location, MaxMind and findmyip.org.
- Reverse DNS can help in determining the hostname of the IP address, which may help you to find the location of an IP address.
- Use ‘traceroute’ command to get the location of the IP address. The names of the routers through which packets flow from your host to the destination host. It might give away the geographical path of the final location.
Note:- The probability of Reverse DNS method working depends on the correct configuration of the ISP’s DNS server. Domain names ending with .com, .net and org does not always mean that the host is located in the United States.
IPs belonging to big worldwide operations, is Anycast which means that an IP can have multiple locations. As it’s being published by multiple BGP routers around the world. A very good example would be a DNS server, such as Google’s who have local DNS servers located at multiple locations.