When you go to an e-commerce site and it offers to change pricing on the site to your local currency, that’s IP geolocation API at work. This article covers 6 best IP Geolocation APIs that you can choose for your ecommerce website.
An IP geolocation API uses IP lookup to compare the IP address with data supplied by the relevant ISP (Internet Service Provider) to source a physical address for the user. It may not be 100% accurate, but if, for example, the city matches that of the registered cardholder in an e-commerce context, then that may be sufficient.
This is why the capability of tools like VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to create fake IP addresses can be a source of concern for cybersecurity. They have legitimate applications, but they’re also used by cybercriminals to try to defeat security. This is why the capability to detect these potential threats, and others, is important. Here are 6 of the best IP geolocation APIs to meet a spectrum of use cases.
- API Security: 5 Best Practices Everyone Should Implement
- How to Pick the Best Online Selling Platform for Your eCommerce Business
- 5 Crucial WordPress Plugins for Your Startup Ecommerce Website
Best IP Geolocation API Providers
IP geolocation API from Abstract
Abstract’s IP geolocation API is a lightweight, low latency and easy to implement REST API. It’s able to source geolocation information in real-time including country code and flag, time zone, city, latitude/longitude, and more. All data is also encrypted using 256 bit SSL encryption. Bulk lookups can also be carried out with data in CSV format. IP addresses are periodically reallocated, so Abstract updates the database every day.
The free plan supports a maximum of 20,000 API calls per month at a maximum rate of 1 per second. There are also paid plans starting at 9 USD per month all the way to enterprise-level supporting tens of millions of API requests complete with SLAs, the geolocation data is available at all levels.
When it comes to threat data, Abstract can detect proxies, VPNs and TOR (anonymizer). These capabilities are also available at all price tiers.
Using IP lookup, ipdata can scan IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to source a visitor’s location. It can source continent, country, city, and latitude/longitude. The free API key enables 1,500 daily API requests. All data and threat detection capabilities are exposed at all paid tiers.
Threat detection functionality enables this geolocation API to detect TOR, proxy, BOGON (illegitimate IP addresses). It can also compare data to known threats in the database.
This API can source location information including country, region, city, latitude/longitude, and more. It can then output this data in JSON. There’s a 7 day trial as well as a free IP geolocation plan which enables up to 50,000 API calls per month.
Threat detection can pinpoint VPN, proxies, TOR, hosting, and relay. However, this only becomes available at the second paid tier.
IP2Location Web Service
IP2Location’s API can source a wide range of geolocation data and other information including latitude/longitude, calling code, ZIP code or postal code, elevation, and local weather station. IP2Location’s API uses a credit system where you buy blocks of credits. Then each API call costs a certain number of credits based on the level of detail required and whether you’ve opted into any add-ons. Credit packs start at 49 US dollars.
IP2Location can detect proxies. Unfortunately, the full threat detection capability is in a separate product.
Maxmind GeoIP2 Precision Services
Maxmind’s IP geolocation API can identify a user’s geographical location data including country, city, time zone, and metro code (US only). There’s a free API key supporting up to 1,000 API lookups per day. Unfortunately, data more accurate than country only becomes available at the second paid tier. However, the top ‘Insights’ tier does offer confidence levels and some population data (US only).
Maxmind’s API can detect TOR in ‘Insights’, but complete threat detection capabilities are in another product with a third product dedicated to fraud detection.
ipstack’s Geolocation API can detect a user’s location to the level of the region, city, ZIP code or postal code, and latitude/longitude. This data can be exported in JSON or XML format. The free API key is listed as supporting 100 API returns per month, but this may be an error. Paid tiers add more functionality and monthly API returns.
Threat detection capabilities only become available in the high end ‘Professional Plus’ tier. This can detect proxies, crawlers and TOR with the capability to match data against known in its IP geolocation database.
As you can see, a lot of the user location data that can be sourced by IP geolocation APIs is similar. So, it might seem as if any will do, but don’t just pick one at random. With some API services, key location data only becomes available at higher product tiers. This risks you spending a lot of money acquiring a high tier product with lots of API calls that you won’t use because key functionality is at that tier.
So be clear about your use cases or what you need your geolocation API to do. Ideally, you want a geolocation API that makes all geolocation information and threat detection capabilities available at all levels. Then, you need only acquire a high tier version because you need the additional API calls or enterprise level features such as SLAs.