How Do You Know if You're Choosing the Best IP Geolocation API?

By Jonathan Zhang
Jonathan Zhang

If you can't address your customers and the people interacting with your network face to face, at least know where they are — anywhere in the world, anytime you want to.

That's possible with geolocation technology, and many businesses are keen on acquiring the best IP geolocation API for cybersecurity and other purposes. However, before committing to a particular solution, each product needs to be carefully evaluated according to the exact needs of a prospective buyer.

That said, there are a few important criteria that a good IP geolocation API must satisfy notwithstanding the differences in users' preferences. Let's examine them one by one through the following questions.

What Is the IP Geolocation Output You Get?

Any IP geolocation API you shortlist must give you enough information on which to base your decisions. Data outputs from good providers usually include the country, region, city, latitude, longitude, and postal code, among other details of a device. Here's what it looks like:

How Many IP Addresses and Locations Can an API Monitor?

Something that matters when choosing an IP geolocation API is the number of IP addresses and countries being considered. This is crucial when you need to cover as much ground as possible, as well as to have the flexibility for cross-checking information from different locations.

However, it's up to users to decide the scope of coverage that they need as it very much will depend on their objectives. For example, if you're interested in the US market specifically, you might want to find a provider that specializes or is based in that country since it might possibly have more accurate geodata.

Is It Compatible with Common Company Systems?

Companies acquire an IP geolocation API and expect to integrate it with their existing systems in order to achieve their goals faster. The product must, therefore, support different programming languages to ensure seamless compatibility with whatever program or app an organization may be using.

In terms of IP geolocation databases, these should be available for download in different formats to incorporate the data easily. Additionally, it's an advantage if the solution allows standardized responses to facilitate quick and streamlined operations when dealing with threats.

How Reliable Is the API?

How an API performs is a crucial factor that could make the difference when responding to critical events. How long does it take to respond to a query? How often is it rendered unavailable?

Quick and reliable access is critical because speed and consistency are paramount. This is true not only for cybersecurity use cases but also in other instances such as digital rights management when access to specific content needs to be blocked within the shortest possible time.

Is It Convenient to Use?

An IP geolocation API must be easy to figure out even by those who may not be technically adept, or for new businesses that haven't yet been able to hire experienced IT specialists.

With this in mind, the API's specifications' page should contain sufficient informational support to guide users on how to use the service — e.g., easy-to-understand user guides, troubleshooting tips, FAQs, and the like. Reliability is also ensured when prompt and friendly customer service teams are on hand to provide support.

A Better Product Leads to Superior Results

Finding an IP geolocation API that meets all the criteria provides an organization with a tool with which, among other goals, will allow users to:

Spot, track, and counter-attack – Cross-checking geolocation details and inconsistencies can help specialists identify suspicious website visitors or perpetrators as well as to prevent spam and phishing attacks by blocking IP addresses coming from compromised locations.

Protect intellectual property – Companies can restrict or block copyrighted content in locations where they are unintended or in accordance with a country's licensing agreement.

Enable targeted advertising and marketing – Professionals can get valuable insights into the marketplace and use the information to create relevant ads and display them during the most opportune times for maximum impact.

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While organizations use an IP geolocation API for different purposes and motivations, there are vital criteria for choosing one. Knowing them could spell the difference between a solution that provides the answers and another that creates even more questions.

By Jonathan Zhang, Founder and CEO of WhoisXMLAPI & ThreatIntelligencePlatform.com

Related topics: IP Addressing

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