Tracing Websites and IP Addresses Using Geolocation Lookup

IP Address Lookup with Geolocation

Introduction

There are times when it is necessary to lookup an IP address on the Internet. Whatever reason it may be, there are tools available for such a task. Popular tools such as tracert, ping, whois, nslookup and reverse IP exist for IP lookup. Another alternative tool or method to use is geolocation.

What is Geolocation?

Geolocation is a method of finding an entity geographically. The entity could be a computer, cell phone, or other type of networking device. Geolocation isolates the geographical location of the device though a Global Positioning System. IP-based geolocation involves mapping the IP or Machine Access Control (MAC) address of the device to a physical location. This is provided by internet service providers who store IP addresses to a geolocation database. Devices are also located by comparing the IP address to identifiable local routers and servers.

Why is Geolocation Used?

Many businesses use geolocation for analytics, particularly in their business process. For example, banks may use geolocation as a part of the authentication process to increase security. Law enforcement may use geolocation to reduce online fraudulent activities and monitor suspected terrorist organizations. Web developers may use API’s to find or track a user’s IP address. For example, a retail store may be use geolocation to tailor the user experience for site visitors.

How is Geolocation Used?

There are many different websites that enable the use of geolocation. Websites such as www.iplocation.net, www.ipaddressguide.com, and extreme-ip-lookup.com provide geolocation information. Just go to the website, enter the IP address, click a button and geolocation information such the public IP address, internet service provider, and physical computer location will be displayed. However, the location may not be directly accurate or exact.

geoipify.whoisxmlapi.com is a free and paid service that offers geolocation services through their API. There are monthly plans available for the use of the API. There are also free lookups on the site as well by entering the IP or domain name and clicking the Check button. A map below the entry box will give an approximate location of the IP address’ source.

Like other sites, it will provide the location information of the IP address by entering the IP address and clicking the lookup button. Twiki.org uses the GeoLookupPlugin to return the lookup information. A Google map of the source and sample html code used in deriving the geolookup information are included on the site.

The various Uses of Geolocation Lookup

Geolocation is a good method to use to locate the origin of an IP address or website. Although the tools may not be exactly accurate in pinpointing a location, they are still useful. Most services are accessible, free and easy to use. Whether for business use with API’s or direct use for personal research, geolocation tools and sites are impressive and essential in data analytics.

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