Mobility Investigate

IP Geolocation Databases: Unreliable?

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Executive Summary

The most widely used technique for IP geolocation consists in building a database to keep the mapping between IP blocks and a geographic location. Several databases are available and are frequently used by many services and web sites in the Internet. Contrary to widespread belief, geolocation databases are far from being as reliable as they claim. In this paper, the authors conduct a comparison of several current geolocation databases - both commercial and free-to understand the limitations in their usability. First, the vast majority of entries in the databases refer only to a few popular countries (e.g., U.S.).

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