Because an IP address uniquely identifies every machine on a network, user IP addresses provide a useful way to track new and repeat visitors to your platform. Additionally, geolocating an IP address provides a way to obtain information on a user's real-world location. This information can be used to improve your marketing by incorporating targeted advertisements and to improve the user experience by customizing your platform to their location.
This blog post covers how to identify a user's IP address using Python. If you just want to identify your own, use our tool to see what is your IP address and location.
Get an IP address in Python using the network socket interface
One way to obtain a user's IP address is by using Python's native low-level networking interface, socket. A user's IP address can be obtained by querying the device's host name and then getting the associated IP address:
Drawbacks to using sockets to get IP addresses in Python
The primary drawback of this method is that its behavior may be platform dependent, since it relies on the operating system's socket APIs. Although it is available on all modern Windows, MacOS, and Unix systems, this method may not work for older operating systems. Additionally, this approach may not work for devices that operate on less common platforms.
This approach also only provides the device's IP address without any additional information from the IP. Although this data can be used to identify unique visitors to a platform, obtaining information about a user's location or Internet provider requires queries to external databases.