Despite the complexity and scientific approach to IP-based geolocation identification, there are well-known limitations and inaccuracies with the current methodology. While geolocation data is usually extremely accurate down to the state or city level, as services demand more granular data, many of the current geolocation services start to break down. The loss in overall coverage is quite small, but accuracy can be another story.

Server Location vs. Machine Location

The IP address cannot be technically mapped to an accurate location. The reason is that each time we query IP whois, the location shown is from a database. Depending on which database provider is used, the location data may change. For instance, if Google shows the IP to be from Sweden, Yahoo could show it to be Australia. However, this happens only for about 20% of IP addresses which is due to using of outdated IP Geo-databases.

Source Data Corruption

The WHOIS directly also has some notable downsides – registrants aren’t forced to keep their information current with their domain registrar, so the information can quickly lose accuracy as businesses move, open new locations, or even sell to a different owner.

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