How IP Geolocation Works

Customers often ask about the Geolocation of the IP addresses we assign to their Cloud Pods. In order to understand how IP address Geo location works, it is important to understand how Geolocation works. Here is some great information from Wikipedia about Geolocation

In short, Geolocation is the real world geographic identification of an Internet Protocol Address (IP Address). Keep in mind that this is NOT an exact science and it comes down to the IP address owner to properly Geolocate an IP. Once a company, such as Solar VPS, procures a block of IP addresses from ARIN (The American Registry for Internet Numbers), it is up to them to properly SWIP (Shared Whois Project – the act of submitting, maintaining and updating information regarding WHOIS records) their IP addresses.

Solar VPS offers Cloud hosting in New Jersey, Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles. When we announce a block of IP addresses in one of those locations, we update our WHOIS information (the physical address of the data center where we are using the applicable IP addresses) to match the address of the data center. This SWIP update happens very quickly with ARIN and when ARIN is queried, it shows the proper information. For example, 65.181.125.1 – http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-65-181-125-0-1/pft – You will notice that this IP properly locates to our Dallas data center.

The problem that many customers will run into, is that they will use one of the many Geolocation databases that exist in order to do the lookup. You can read more about how these work here: Geolocation software.

The administrators of these Geolocation databases are often slow to update and generally only do so every few months. Once those databases have been updated, they will show the proper information. Until that happens, the only truly reliable source will be ARIN.

It’s also important to note that while Solar VPS is careful to be sure its IP addresses are properly geolocated, there are many providers out there who do not do this properly. Geolocation is not always exact and should not be relied upon to show you an exact physical location of your IP address, unless of course your IP address belongs to Solar VPS.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this knowledgebase article or simply want to chat about IP Geolocation, leave your comments below. Thanks a lot.

For additional content you might love, like how to set up a SSH Socks Tunnel, click here: SSH Socks Tunnel.

Ross Brouse

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