Are IP addresses determined geographically

How location data is collected

There are various techniques with which location-based data can be obtained. Strictly speaking, it is never the respective user himself, but always the associated device that is geographically determined with greater or lesser accuracy.

Localization by IP address

Many services use the IP address of a user for this purpose, which enables at least a very rough geographic orientation. IP addresses - the numbers assigned to every computer on the Internet - reveal at least the country from which a user is accessing a website or a service. The region or city is also often localized. Most Internet providers assign changing, "dynamic" IP addresses to end users.

Geo-localization by means of an IP address is used in many areas. Download and streaming platforms use appropriate techniques to control which countries the content is available in. The same applies to the media libraries of public service broadcasting, in which some content cannot be accessed from abroad. Another area of ‚Äč‚Äčapplication are advertisements on websites or search engines, which, together with other data, can also take into account the location of the user. Banks and online payment services also use geo-localization to identify suspicious patterns or to completely prevent transactions from certain countries.

GPS, radio cells and WLAN networks

Location services on smartphones are based, depending on the device, the service used and your own settings, mostly on the data from satellite systems such as GPS, the signals from WiFi networks and, in some cases, the respective cell phone cells. Because WiFi networks can be found almost everywhere, especially in urban areas, they can be used to determine the position by the mobile device checking which WiFi networks are nearby. The actual WLAN access itself is not used at all. From this and other information, Apple and Google, for example, have built their own databases that are used for location-based services.