Best IP geolocation APIs: Our end-to-end comparison of the 6 best APIs

September 24, 2020
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Emma Jagger

Engineer, maker, Google alumna, CMU grad

We will discuss the best products for you and go into detail about what a geolocation API is, what it does, and how you can implore it for your personal or professional use. 


What is a geolocation API? 

A geolocation API is an interface that communicates between a device or an application and a service that gives information about the user's specific geographical location. This is used when there is a need for tailoring mobile or web content to a certain location or region, giving mapping navigation co-ordinance, and tailoring specific content for a geographical area to which it pertains.

In short terms, this is the technology to locate the position of device from where the IP address is connecting to the internet. With this, you can choose to see a location whether it is the country, state, city, and even the street address with advanced options.  

It is often used for a location in the region that a customer lives so that the advertisements for large businesses are tailored to their specific area. This allows you to get content that is more relevant to your area rather than advertisements that only apply to other regions.

Now, a geolocation API is not made for locating a certain customer or individual and instead used for general locations. This helps both small and large businesses ensure that their web content is getting to the right customers.

However, the accuracy of this technology depends heavily on the database used by the provider. This is why businesses should focus on the best providers of data, which are often these: 

  • IP spidering 
  • ISPs (internet service providers) 
  • RIRs (regional internet registries) 
  • Data given by User’s IP addresses 


What are the best IP geolocation APIs? 

The best IP geolocation APIs will typically depend on exactly what you are looking to do with it. However, as a starting point, we have created a list of the best IP geolocation APIs for you to look at for a quick list of options. Here are the top six selections we picked: 

  1. IP Geolocation API
  2. Ipstack 
  3. Ipapi 
  4. Ipdata.co
  5. Maxmind 
  6. IP-API 
  7. Ipgeolocation 


How do you use an IP geolocation API?

In order to be able to use an IP geolocation API, you will need to gain access to one of the above provider's systems, which is often done signing up and receiving a special key code. This code can be inserted into the code of your company's website, this will allow your website's applications to access the API you chose.

You can then make requests for information about your website’s visitors based on their device’s location and the IP address that they use. You will get a certain number of requests that you will get per month, but that can be adjusted depending on your needs. 

This request will allow you to see all the data from the device’s location so that you can see the region the device is in, the city, state, or even the street so you can tailor their content to what is relevant for their area. 


The best IP geolocation APIs: Full reviews and overall ratings 


  1. Ipstack 
IPstack geolocation API


Ipstack is a top geo IP location service that is trusted by some of the biggest companies around the world, including names like Microsoft and Samsung. This is used by hundreds of huge brands and has a track record of proven success. 


This option is a great choice for growing companies because they have multiple paid subscription plans to choose from. The first starts with 10,000 requests a month, but they offer choices on a larger scale that will allow you to upgrade as your business grows and the need for requests grows as well.


With this program, you can get the user's IP address, do a bulk request to get several IP addresses at once and get data behind the user's IP address.


You also have five modules to choose from that include location, security, time zone, connection, and currency. This will give you more information about the user’s area to ensure content and ads are relevant to the user’s location. 


The plans start with a free option but also come in plans that range from $9.99 to $99.99 per month. They also offer customized plan options for the largest businesses. 


Pros

  • Scaling options are possible for growth 
  • Free and low-budget options available 
  • Well-known with proven success 
  • Customized plans available 


Cons

  • The free service has limits 
  • Custom option varies in pricing 



  1. Ipapi 
IPAPI IP location API


The ipapi geolocation software is an option that you can use with multiple platforms and enables you to find out the geolocation information for a certain user and will assist you in customizing personal content for users. 


This geolocation service also comes with security for protection and connections to the hostname, ASN, and more. This will information safe on the internet and ensure that problems don't arise from the use of the system.

This is one of the best IP geolocation API services and is a good choice because it can redirect a webpage depending on the language detected, which can help you keep visitors despite initial language barriers. This service also shows the currency of the location so you can change the prices to fit their currency. 


This system also works to prevent fraudulent sign-ups for the website to ensure that your information is safe. This option starts as a free IP geolocation API that comes with 10,000 lookups per month.


There are paid plans if you would like to upgrade your service later as your business grows. The larger your business grows, the more requests per month you will need. 


Pros 

  • Works with multiple platforms 
  • Helps customize visitor ads and content 
  • Upgradable plans for room to grow 
  • Prevents fraudulent sign ups 


Cons 

  • The free option doesn’t come with all services 
  • Has sign up fees for paid plans 



  1. Ipdata.co 

IPdata.co IP geolocation and proxy detection API


The ipdata.co is one of the most accurate IP geolocation services that you can get, which is why it is included on this list. This service leverages global infrastructures in order to provide the most reliable service and performance. 


With ipdata.co, you can choose to look up any lone IP address or you can do bulk searches if needed. This allows you to do as little or as much as you want at a time. 


Not only do they have paid service plans that begin at around 10 bucks a month, but they also have a free geolocator that you can use. This allows businesses of all sizes to meet their needs and budget. 


This service also shows you the language, country, postal code, and time zone. There is also a section where you will be able to see the local currency to adjust the pricing pages. 


Pros 

  • Reliable service and performance 
  • Lone or bulk IP address lookups
  • Free option for sign up 
  • Show language and currency 


Cons 

  • Free option comes with limits 
  • Low option is a bit more than others 



  1. Maxmind 


Maxmind IP API

As one of the best IP address lookups and one of the best IP geolocation APIs, Maxmind is an option that offers both an accurate IP locator and fraudulent detector in the same service. With the ability to use ad targeting with a fraud detector and personalized service, this option is great for many businesses. 


They offer a large database that will give you all the location information you need without having to do any of the hard work yourself. 


This can also help your business as it allows you to see your traffic analysis of your website to ensure that your pages are getting visitors, which could tell you to change certain pages with low traffic. 


The fraud detection service uses multiple tools to help cut chargebacks and provide protection from fraudulent online activity. 


Pros 

  • Offers location detection 
  • Keeps fraud to a minimum 
  • Allows you to access traffic analysis 
  • Multiple tools for fraud detection 


Cons 

  • Better for vague location 
  • Not for specific detection 



  1. IP-API 


IP-API

This IP geolocation API is an IP locator app that allows those of all budgets to get used to its platform. The service also offers a geolocation API free of charge for those who want to try out the APIs. 


However, the free option cannot be used for commercial purposes, which means that you will have to purchase a paid option but you don’t even need a key for the free API version. 


This service is a simple option to integrate into your current system, which is available in PHP, Newline, CSV, JSON, and XML. This is also a choice that comes with tons of businesses that already use it and swear by its performance. 


IP-API is a geolocation service that offers billions of different requests daily for multiple businesses for the use of IP addresses and locations for customized content that makes sure you are relevant for your customers.


Pros 

  • Free of charge for non-commercial use 
  • Paid options for businesses 
  • Easy to integrate with current system 
  • Available in multiple platforms 

Cons 

  • Free option is only for non-commercial use 
  • No free option for commercial use available 



  1. IP geolocation 


ipgeolocation API and accurate IP Lookup database

The ipgeolocation is a real-time IP locator that provides more in-depth information on the location that other options don't. This helps customers to automatically complete city, state, and zip code on online ordering pages.


This option also has an ISP lookup so you can know what provider they have, where they are located, and what time zone they are in. Their database is extremely large and can access lots of information. 


Not only can this geolocation service provide the basic city and state information, but this option can also give you the latitude and longitude, country calling mode, sunset and sunrise time, as well as moonrise and moonset times. 


You will even be able to see the currency used in the customer’s region along with the flag that is used. They have a free plan that can be used for non-commercial purposes, but there are also five other plans to pick from that can fit your business depending on how many requests you will need to make each month. 


Pros 

  • Free and paid versions 
  • Large database 
  • In-depth information about location 
  • See multiple things at once for easy geolocation info 


Cons 

  • Free option is not for commercial use 
  • Must get the $500 a month plan for requests in the millions 



What should I look for in an IP geolocation API? 

When you are looking at several IP geolocation APIs, you might find that many of them seem to blend together after a while. This can make it difficult to tell the features and functions from one another and choose the best IP geolocation APIs for your needs.

Not all APIs do the same things, and some are not as in-depth as others with the information that they give. However, some are very specific and give you several facts about your user’s location that you can use to prepare your content around for that region. 

However, if you look up options online, there are tons of sites saying that they have found the best choices. These can sometimes be misleading, so you should know what to look for within these options too, which we list below. 


What can the system do for you? 

When you are thinking about getting a subscription to an IP geolocation API, you want to know what the features and functions it can do for you. The information that you get from these systems is what separates the good from the best IP geolocation APIs. 

So, before you purchase a subscription to one of the options that you find, you will want to look at all the functions that the system offers. Some options come with a specific location, while others not only give you the region but a bunch of other information that could be useful. 

You should also take a look at the functions of the free plan that many websites offer, which will allow you to check out how it works and what it comes with. However, many of the free options don’t come with the full spectrum of features that the paid options do. 

But there are some free options that will still allow around 10,000 requests per month that will get you started, which is a good option than starting out with a higher-priced choice. 

So, look for ones that come with specific locations, IP addresses, country, city, state, and even zip code. 

The more you want, the more you will likely have to pay, so you should go into it knowing that. 


User experience 

The way that you have to use the system itself will have a big effect on how you feel about the IP geolocation API. If the system is difficult to use or requires you to do more than other options, then you will likely not feel like it was worth the price. 

A good user experience with each API will be something you want to look for since this will ensure that you can easily use the interface without issues. Pretty much any product has online reviews that you can look up, which is a good thing to do when you are looking for a geo IP location service. 

If the service provider has a website that makes it difficult to view the information you need, this will be an issue that former users will talk about. If there are no issues there, you will be able to see the areas that previous buyers have liked. 

Some API services also have some customer support teams that you can contact if you have any troubles using the system, which is something to look for, and others have open forums where customers can list their praises and comments. 

Seeing these types of comments and reviews will allow you to see where the weak spots are, if any, within a system so that you don’t go in blind. 

Overall, the user experience affects you greatly, and you want the service to be easy to use and fast. Ensure this by checking out what others see first, so you don’t have to find out yourself. 


Budget pricing 

One of the main things that you need to look at when you are searching for the best IP geolocation API is the pricing available. Many options offer a free version that you can use with some limitations which allows you to see how the system works, but this often won’t work for commercial purposes. 

This limits the commercial and business use and will mean that you need to purchase a paid monthly plan. However, the good news is that most APIs come with many different paid options to choose from.

Budget pricing can be as low as $9.99 per month, which is made for smaller businesses so they get the same chance to reach and cater their content to their customers. This is a great plan for those who want to dip their toes in without having to pay a high monthly payment just to test out the system. 

Pricing can be one of the biggest factors for some businesses, but others might need a high request rate and are willing to pay a higher price to get that. So, depending on what your current needs are, the price will affect what you get for your business. 


Low response time & high availability

No one wants to wait a long time to get the information they need, and that goes for APIs too. However, there is no average speed between API options because they all differ, but the speed is a major factor in making your final decision. 

You don’t want to put in an IP request only to wait for it to come up. This can be frustrating and can slow down your business if you need to do this every time you use the interface. 

So, check the speed of each API system to ensure that you are getting an option that will not make you wait for the information that you need about your customers. 


Best IP geolocation APIs FAQs 


Are IP geolocation APIs free? 

Although there might be a free option that allows you to see how the interface and system work, there are typically limits set on this plan so you can’t use it for commercial purposes. This could make it impossible for you to use the free plan for your business, which will mean that you need to purchase a monthly plan to get the features you need. 


What is the best IP geolocation API? 

The best choice for one business might not be the best for another, so this is a difficult question to answer with a single option. However, in order to show you the best few options to choose from, we gave you the list above. These include all the best choices for all different sized businesses. 


Do I need a key for a free API? 

Usually, you will still need a key code to be able to use any API, but there are some options that will allow you to use it without one. This largely depends on the system itself and what is offered with the free API. Many options that have only a few limitations with its free plan will still require you to sign up and use a key, but others might not. 


Conclusion 

IP geolocation APIs are great additions for any business that wants to know the specific locations of their customers. APIs not only let you know where the bulk of your customers are, but they can also allow you to cater to customers in certain areas when it comes to contents and relevant advertisements. They can also be helpful in filtering out spammy or risky users, such as you would use an email validation API or phone validation API to do.

APIs can help any business that wants to get more customers with content that will mean more to them because of their location. However, finding the one for you can be tough. 

Well, we have listed the top choices that we’ve found so you can take a closer look at the best IP geolocation APIs out there and find the best option for your specific needs.