Articles on: General

Why is my proxy showing a different location from the advertised location?

Geolocation Lookup Accuracy Explained

A geolocation lookup tool/checker provides an estimated location of an IP address. The data is sourced from various IP-based geolocation providers, each with different accuracy levels based on how frequently they update their databases.

Since many internet users receive dynamic IP addresses from their ISPs, and ISPs often serve customers across multiple regions, the accuracy of geolocation lookup is typically limited to the region served by the ISP.

For instance, large ISPs like AT&T in the United States serve customers nationwide, resulting in country-level accuracy. Other ISPs may have smaller service areas, leading to less accurate state and city-level geolocation data, often around the 50% accuracy range.

Here are the geolocation databases or sources categorized by tiers (accuracy):

Tier 1: Main databases of IP registrars like ARIN (USA), RIPE (EU), LACNIC (Latin America), AFRICANET (Africa).

Tier 2: Geolocation sites that utilize data from major databases such as Google IP Geo, Maxmind, IP2location, etc.

Tier 3: Smaller IP geosites/databases rely on larger databases (Tier 2) and may lack the latest updates, causing potential confusion.

In the geolocation hierarchy, Tier 1 databases require manual updates, with proxy providers responsible for informing them when they acquire a new subnet. Tier 2 databases often update automatically based on Tier 1, but changes may take a couple of days.

Tier 3 databases rely entirely on Tier 2 for information, and if a provider fails to update Tier 1/Tier 2, Tier 3 databases may display inaccurate or outdated information, sometimes taking weeks or months to reflect changes.

Note: Databases like Google IPDB rely on their own tracking/algorithms, limiting a proxy provider's control. However, this aligns with the accuracy levels of Tier 1 databases.

Updated on: 12/05/2023

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