Using IP addresses to identify the geolocation of users is a way Google works to localize its results. Similar to your address of residence, IP address or Internet Protocol is a unique identifier of your electronic devices. When you go online to connect and share data with someone, your network or internet identifies you through your IP address.
Tools like residential proxies allow you to switch your IP address to a different one.
Such proxies by providers like Smartproxy work as an intermediary server with residential IPs that belong to real electronic devices with a specific location. This article will further elaborate on the functioning IP addresses, how it is used to geolocate traffic on websites.
What is an IP address?
IP address or Internet Protocol is a unique address that the internet uses to identify
connected devices. It is a set of rules that determine the format in which data is transmitted
through a local network or the internet. It also contains location information that allows
different devices or online users to communicate. Google uses these features of IP address
to identify geopositioning of the users and catalog online traffic.
Geopositioning is a procedure for estimating the precise location of devices and individuals.
The process uses a selection of electronic methods like a Satellite navigation system and IP
addresses of electronic devices connected to the internet. The location information
embedded in the IP address helps make devices accessible on the internet.
Moreover, an IP address is also a unique identifier that enables a smooth flow of information
between nodes on the internet. It is a mechanism by which the internet differentiates
between numerous devices. However, sometimes, individuals like to maintain their privacy
and use residential proxies with IP addresses swapped with other devices to safeguard their
Functioning of the Internet
The Internet has become a global community where numerous interconnected electronic
devices share information on a daily basis. Devices identify, exchange, or send information
or “messages” on the internet using Internet protocol (IP). IP address warrants an
uninterrupted and reliable transmission of information among individuals, irrespective of their
electronic devices and location around the globe.
Your device will connect to the internet through a network called Internet Service Provider
(ISP), particularly when you are home. ISP assigns a unique IP address to your device. Let’s
say, when you access a website, your request goes through an ISP that routes it back to you
through your IP address.
Each Internet Service Provider assigns your device two types of IP address that are Public
IP and Private IP. The difference is based on the network location. In other words, your
network will identify you through your private IP, while internet or outside networks will
recognize you by public IP address.
It is a process of mapping IP addresses to the actual geolocation of electronic devices
connected to the internet. Through this method, you can map an IP address to any region,
country, ISP, domain, longitude/latitude, and more. Several commercial IP-based
geolocation databases are currently available that you can integrate into the website. The
pricing of these databases vary, but you can find vendors that offer free databases as well.
Examples of fee-based databases include DB-IP, Tamo-Soft, MaxMind, IPinfo, IP2location,
and IPligence. Vendors also offer examples of codes in Java, PHP, NET, ASP programming
languages to assist you in obtaining geolocation information from databases.
Webhosting.info and Ip2country.net provide free Ip-to-country databases that users can
incorporate into their web applications. Additionally, you can also obtain free web services
from companies to observe the IP-based location of visitors on the website.
The accuracy rate among different databases for IP-based geolocation is not similar. Some
providers claim to offer near to perfect accuracy for IP-to-country geolocation. However, you
cannot obtain the precise location of the online users in the case of IP-to-city or region
databases. Such databases only provide user location with a half to three-quarters accuracy
rate. It is still quite a reliable value given that there is no official information on the region that
you are trying to locate.
Some IP-based geolocation databases vendors, like ARIN Whois, have a specific
mechanism for their clients. It allows users to obtain registration and contact information
from IP addresses that are registered at their resource. Hence, it is a very useful way for
websites to localize online traffic automatically.
Internet protocol is a very useful tool for identifying the near-to-precise location of the users
on the internet. What’s more, websites can also automatically localize content and monitor
the location of the traffic globally by observing the IP address. Hence, it is a very beneficial
online identifier that allows the internet to run smoothly and helps web servers to better
identify their target audience.