Technology has advanced so much that now everything seems possible. Isn’t it wonderful how people from different countries in different time zones can visit your website with just a few clicks? Who could have thought this would be possible before the arrival of the internet? It truly has changed our lives. One such tech concept is IP geolocation databases that allow people to visit websites on the web irrespective of their location.
IP databases have a wide array of different features, adding great value to your website. Let’s take a look at what these databases are, the features they offer, and how you can use those to enhance the quality and utility of your website.
What Is an IP Geolocation Database?
You might already know that geolocation IP databases help you determine the location of your website visitors by providing you with the latitude and longitude of a particular IP address. When you look at an IP address, you will find a pair of coordinates representing the origin of that IP address. You may or may not get the exact location of the user. What you get is the electronic access point’s location visitors are using to visit your website.
Mostly, IP geolocation databases are created and managed by third parties, which is why the location data for the visitors’ IP addresses can be that of the company that manages the data. Companies use data mining to acquire such data. To get more accurate results, they chose polling. Your data can be collected via either method, depending on the provider you choose.
The Accuracy of IP Geolocation Databases
The accuracy of the location data will is approximately 90% precise if you are talking about the country level.
As we move to the city level, the accuracy level gets compromised.
You can realize this on your own when you choose a service to check your IP address online via a web browser. Your IP address will most likely point to the center of the major metropolitan if you live in a small town. Nevertheless, you will get accurate results for the state and country.
Use Cases of IP Geolocation Databases
The usage of IP geolocation databases is not restricted to providing you with location-specific details. There are many more use cases for IP geolocation databases. Below are some of the most popular use cases of an IP geolocation database to help you understand how you can use these databases to get different results.
Content Customization for a Specific Region
You can use an IP geolocation database to customize your content based on the location of your visitors, i.e., from where they are viewing the page. You can adjust things like the currency on your pricing page, so the visitor finds it more relevant. If you offer services in multiple locations, displaying information specific to those regions is crucial to enhance the customer experience.
Region-Specific Landing Pages
An IP geolocation database can be used to get the location of your website visitors, allowing you to change the web pages accordingly. It also comes in handy in simplifying your marketing initiatives, such as A/B testing landing pages since it allows you to provide different landing pages based on the region or city of your website visitors. Service area businesses (SABs) can use IP geolocation databases to promote their services, especially if they serve a wide range of cities surrounding the main city they are physically located in.
Serve Targeted Ads
Businesses use IP geolocation databases to serve targeted ads to increase their revenue. Big ad networks, such as Google Adsense, handle it themselves, but you can use IP databases to help provide this functionality to your advertisers.
If most of your visitors are from one specific region and your advertiser wants to direct them toward a particular service, you can do the same based on their location. It will boost your advertiser's conversion rates while increasing the value of serving ads on your site. You can do the same for running localized ads, but they will be more concerned with using the correct language, identifying the location correctly, etc.
You can use an IP geolocation database to get more information from the existing weblogs. Using IP databases, you can create dashboards to identify the location of your website visitors. It can also help you get information about the location of the login attempts, allowing you to act on it accordingly. You can ban the offending region if needed. Having the right information about how people from different regions are using your site gives you a significant advantage.
Hiding Content for Legal Purposes
For websites that license content, it’s important to provide the content to regions for which they have proper arrangements and agreements. For instance, if you show a video on your website that is licensed for use in the United States only, you need to make sure that users from any other region can’t see it. You can greet them with a message to convey the message, so your customer experience doesn’t get compromised. IP geolocation addresses can help with it by allowing you to identify the location of your visitors.
Some regions have specific regulatory compliance protocols that must be followed by websites offering services in those regions. You can keep track of your visitors using IP geolocation databases, and when a visitor from those regions visits your website, you can change the content accordingly. For instance, you can restrict users from seeing content banned in their city or state.
GDPR in the European Union is a leading example of this use case. To ensure that you comply with these rules without changing the user experience, you can use an IP geolocation database to add the required notices when someone from an EU member country visits your website.
Installing and Using Geolocation IP Databases
You don’t need any server to use this data if you are using an API provider. You will need a server if you have a file or database containing the data to make that data available to your application. In short, it depends on the service provider you choose for your IP database. API providers like ipstack don’t require you to install much. You just need to know how to use their API. It may require some rewrites to your application and website. In this case, you don’t need to worry about updates.
On the other hand, providers like MaxMind’s GeoIP2 database give you a CSV file. You can convert it into a list of addresses and regions and use it the same way you would use an API. Since it will be a self-hosted IP database, you’ll need to redownload the data from your provider in order to update it. It may or may not cost you, depending on your IP geolocation database provider.
You will have to bear the cost of implementing the service in both cases.
Examples of Some Free IP Geolocation Databases
Here, we will use an example from our lists of IPs: 18.104.22.168 which is in Jacksonville, Florida, United States.
IP2Location is a nonintrusive IP geolocation service that is meant to help users identify their visitor's geographical location. It makes it possible by mapping IP addresses to comprehensive geoinformation, e.g., country, city, state, region, latitude/longitude, time zone, ZIP code, visitors’ connection speed, ISP name, domain name, area or country code, mobile carrier information, proxies information, etc.
ip2c.org exists to resolve IPs to country codes/names. It’s fast and simple and updated with information on over 4,280,466,464 IPv4s. This service is FREE (LGPL) and offers an uptime of 99.95% since 2009.
GeoLite2 databases are free IP geolocation databases that are updated weekly for country, city, and ASN databases. These databases are also available as a web service in the GeoLite2 country and GeoLite2 city web services. GeoLite2 web services are limited to 1000 IP address lookups per service per day.
ipapi is an API cloud service that allows its users to automate geolocation lookups in websites, applications, and back-office systems. It also helps automate IP address validation with the capability of determining a total of 47 unique data points for each processed IP address, including extensive information about the location, connection, ISP, currency, time zone, and security attached to a given IP address.
Based on all the examples above, the most accurate database is IP2Location Lite since it provides the exact city, state, and country of a visitor.
Examples of Some Paid IP Geolocation Databases
Geo Targetly (API only)
GeoIP2 by MaxMind
It’s a collection of locally maintained databases that offer high volume, low latency environments, and a site license that allows for unlimited internal use within the purchasing organization. It comes with open-source APIs for the most popular languages and automated updates. Its pricing starts at $24 per month.
IP2Location is a nonintrusive IP geolocation service that is meant to help users identify their visitor's geographical location. It makes it possible by mapping IP addresses to comprehensive geoinformation, e.g., country, city, state, region, latitude/longitude, time zone, ZIP code, visitors’ connection speed, ISP name, domain name, area or country code, mobile carrier information, proxies information, etc. The pricing for its paid version starts at $49 per month.
It’s an IP location database service that helps you detect the country and continent of your website visitors’ connection based on their IP addresses. This comes with 12-month updates at no extra cost, with IPligence Lite’s price starting at $39 and going up to $299 for its pro version.
So now you know how people from different parts of the world are able to visit your website. An IP geolocation database makes it happen along with allowing you to customize your content based on the location, running localized ads, and adhering to regulatory compliance. If you want any of these, it’s time to invest in IP geolocation databases. We hope this information helps you make an informed decision.