IP geolocation services are widely used in a range of web-based use cases. These APIs use IP lookup to compare a user’s IP address with data supplied by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to source a user’s geographical location. In e-commerce, it can ensure that a visitor’s location matches that of their registered payment card to prevent fraud. However, legitimate tools such as VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) can be used to create fake IP addresses, so the capability to detect these is important.
Web designers will also have specific concerns for web-based services. For example, by default, Java-based services won’t run on Apple devices. Instead, the user will be given a pop-up to give them the opportunity to opt-in, but they’re not obligated to approve. If they don’t, then the content won’t be displayed. This may need to be born in mind for web development projects. Also, Apple operating systems default to providing a general location. A specific location can be requested, but the user doesn’t have to consent.
That said, here are 5 of the best IP geolocation APIs for web developers.
IP geolocation from Abstract API
Abstract’s IP geolocation API can source geo data from IPv4 and IPv6 addresses in real-time. This includes city geoname ID, ZIP code or postal code, latitude/longitude, and time zone. This data can then be output into JSON or XML format. On the threat detection front, it can detect VPNs, TOR (anonymizer), and proxies.
The free IP geolocation API key can support up to 20,000 API requests per month at up to 1 per second. All the functionality is available at all product levels other than the highest tiers adding some richer data. The top tier can support 20,000 API calls per month at up to 500 per second. There’s also a custom enterprise tier beyond that.
Abstract’s IP geolocation API is a REST API that can be implemented in Python, PHP, and Ruby.
IP2Location Web Service
This can source a user’s location including latitude/longitude, local weather station, and elevation. With this API, you buy blocks of credits and then allocate them however you wish. Then each API call costs credits based on the level of detail you’ve selected. Credit packs start at 49 US dollars. A free trial is available. It can detect proxies, TOR and VPNs, but full threat detection functionality is split into another product.
This is a RESTful API that can be implemented using Python, Ruby, PHP, and more.
This API can source geolocation information including country code, state code, city, and calling code. Three paid tiers are available, each of which is split into three levels offering increasing capabilities. All the location data and threat detection capabilities appear to be available at all tiers. However, the free plan is a limited trial. Threat data detection spans proxies, crawlers, and VPNs. User data can also be compared with an IP geolocation database to detect known threats.
This IP geolocation API service can source location information such as country, time zone, latitude/longitude, and ASN. There’s a free API key supporting up to 50,000 API requests per month. Paid versions offer increasing levels of functionality with threat detection becoming available in the second tier and IP WHOIS in the third. Threats detectable with this API include hosting, TOR, and proxies.
This API can be implemented in a wide range of languages including Python, Erlang, PERL, and Java.
Also Read: How to Build a Mobile App with Geolocation
Big Data Cloud API
Big Data Cloud’s API sources geolocation data with fast response times. This data includes Country, city, latitude/longitude, and World Bank income levels. All tiers support up to 10,000 free API returns per month. Additional blocks of 10,000 API returns cost 2 – 3 Australian dollars. Only the top tier has threat detection, but it can detect VPNs, BOGON (illegitimate IP addresses), TOR, and more.
Many IP geolocation APIs can source the same data. What distinguishes one from another is whether all the data is available at all product levels. In practice, you might find that the functionality you need is at high product tiers. This would mean that you could pay for API calls that you won’t use.
Also, when you begin considering which API to acquire, make sure that you involve your web developers or any other developers who’ll need to be working with it. They’re going to be the ones implementing it, so it makes sense to involve them. If nothing else, you need to make sure it can be implemented in a language they, and your services can work with.
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