Geolocate an IP address using an IP address database
One way to geolocate an IP address is to use an online geolocation database. One popular option, Geolocation DB, is free-to-use without an API key. This database includes a massive number of IP addresses obtained from Internet service providers. By querying the service, you can get an approximate location for a specified IP address.
For example, we can query Geolocation DB to geolocate the IP address 126.96.36.199 as follows:
For the provided IP address, this call returns the data:
Drawbacks to this approach
Because Geolocation DB is a free-to-use database, it does not provide much transparency toward the accuracy of its data. There also is not a method to easily confirm the validity of the IP locations. As a result, the use of this database introduces an unknown level of inaccuracy to geolocation data.
Additionally, this approach provides minimal information about the IP address and returns data exclusively referring to the estimated location. For example, accessing information like timezone and currency from this data would require querying secondary databases. This database also does not provide any information about whether the user is using a VPN to access the information. Since some people use VPNs to hide their real IP addresses and location, identifying the use of a VPN can be used to eliminate inaccurate location data.
Geolocate an IP address using Abstract's geolocation API
Abstract API offers a free geolocation API that provides detailed information about user IP addresses. It provides information about the user's location including city, state/region, country, and more, as well as information about their timezone, currency, and regional flag. The availability of this information makes it easy to customize your platform without querying external sources. Additionally, this API detects whether the user is connecting to the network via a VPN, making it easier to identify altered location data.
For the provided IP address, this call returns the following data: