What is the principle of IP address geolocation?

When it comes to location services, most people think of GPS positioning technology. But in addition to GPS, there is also IP address positioning technology.

IP address geolocation technology is to estimate the geographical location of a host by an IP address. The basic principle is to use the IP device's hostname, registration information or time-out information to estimate its geographic location. The fundamental rule is to minimize the measurement overhead on the premise of ensuring the positioning precision, and to have good scalability and protect the user's privacy.

On the Internet, IP address is unique, it is one of its characteristics and regularities. Just like a person can only have one legal ID card, every host connected to the Internet has a unique IP address, which provides a basic condition for us to locate the IP address.

The principle of IP address positioning is actually a technology based on a combination of Whois and BGP data, basic data mining, network active and passive measurement, and path analysis. The precision of IP address positioning can mostly reach street level.

  • Whois data: Whois database is an indispensable information service in the current domain name system. Through Whois data, you can query the registration information of the global IP address allocation agency and the detailed information of the domain name, such as: IP user, administrator contact information, etc.;
  • BGP data: BGP is the only routing protocol that uses TCP as the transport layer, and is mainly used to exchange network reachability information between two autonomous systems. Network reachability information refers to the AS number path to the specified IP prefix. Therefore, through BGP data, it is possible to collect and sort out the IP segment information broadcast by the global autonomous systems, and the information of the organization to which the AS belongs;
  • Basic data mining: basic data includes the IP and GPS mapping data provided by cooperative manufacturers, the IP and GPS mapping data collected by the company, and the Web-based IP and street-level location mapping data. By using various algorithms, the hidden location information finally be estimated from a large amount of datas;
  • Network measurement and path analysis: detect the target IP through VP (Vantage Point) detectors and locate it to a close datum point on the basis of path analysis, so that the positioning result can be acquired;

IP address geolocation service has been regarded as an indispensable basic service for the future Internet. Both network management and network security are required the support of IP address geolocation service.

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