How accurate is IP Geolocation?

IP geolocation is the process of determining the location of a user via their IP address.

When a user connects to a website, their IP address is shared with the website.

The website looks up the IP address in a directory that returns a location. The most popular directory is the Maxmind GeoLite database.

Maxmind builds this database using information from internet service providers.

IP geolocation tends to work well at a country level. Typically, there can be exceptions when an internet connection looks like it comes from one place, but is in fact from another (for example, a US military base in another country may show up as ‘USA’), however this accounts for less than 1% of the results.

When it comes to determining the city, results are more varied, and depend on the location, quality of the data, and internet service provider set ups.

As a general rule of thumb, relying on country level geolocation is appropriate, whereas city level geolocation is useful, but should not be relied upon.

Linkly allows you to redirect users based on their location.

Linkly provides a list of free geoip databases here.

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