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What Is GeoIP?

Explaining GeoIP

GeoIP is the process of determining your geography based on your IP address. When you load up a website, stream music, or download a game, the server that provides it to you sees your IP address, kind of like telephone call display or a return address on an envelope. It needs this information to send the website, song, or game you requested back to you. GeoIP works by taking that IP address and looking it up in a database to see where in the world it belongs.

Area codes for New York: 212, 646 & 332
Area codes associated with geographic locations are similar to how IPs are assigned

 

When you get a phone call and have call display, you may see something like 212-555-5309. You can look up that area code online (or in some old phone books) to see that 212 area code has been assigned to Manhattan New York. GeoIP works the same way; different "blocks" of IP addresses have been assigned to different ISPs, hosting providers, companies, and so on. When you connect to a server on the internet, it looks to see where that IP was assigned.

Example of an IP address whose location & provider can be identified
GeoIP2 Precision: City Results - Example of an IP address whose location and provider can be identified