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.
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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.io is an enhanced IP geolocation API lookup tool to determine a user’s geolocation information and proxy data, such as country, region, city, latitude & longitude, ZIP code, time zone, ASN, ISP, domain, net speed, IDD code, area code, weather station data, MNC, MCC, mobile brand, elevation, usage type, address type, advertisement category, and proxy data.
You can get up to 30,000 IP Geolocation API credits/month for free, or sign up for the 7-day free trial plan to access the most comprehensive data.
In addition, every plan comes with Domain WHOIS API credits – WHOIS API domain lookup that returns comprehensive WHOIS data, such as domain assigned owner contact information, registrar information, registrant information, location, and much more. The Free package comes with 500 WHOIS API credits/per month.
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.