Tracing IP Addresses for Fun and Profit

When you operate an international business, you have to realize that there is no “one size fits all” model that’s going to work everywhere. People want to have localized service, so you have to be able to identify where they are and cater to those specific needs. But how do you do that?

One possibility is to subscribe to the IP Address API, the “professional and accurate IP location API solution” that serves as the main subject of today’s review. Let’s have a look at what it is and how it works.

Tracing IP Addresses From Your Website

“But can’t I already do that with Google Analytics?”

Yes and no. Metrics offered by services like Google Analytics are able to let you better understand the general trends when it comes to your visitor traffic, but this isn’t offered to you in real-time and on a visitor-to-visitor basis.

That’s why this IP address tracing API is different. Rather than providing you with aggregate data about your visitor demographics, it does so on an individual basis and in real time. What’s more, because it is an API, you can use all of that API address data however you choose. Think about the possibilities and think about how specific you can get.

You can customize the user experience based on the country, for instance, or go even further and narrow it down the metropolitan area. The IP address can tell if a person is in Burnaby, Vancouver, or Coquitlam, so you can cater the experience accordingly with appropriate ads and information.

What Information Would I Get?

How you choose to implement the API is up to you and, unless you’re fairly comfortable with PHP coding, it might be best to hire a coder to come up with something for you. That said, you get quite a bit of data. Here is a sample lookup that I did for the IP address

As you can see above, I’ve narrowed it down to Columbus, Ohio. Not only that, but I know the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the organization too. Depending on the nature of the IP address, you can also get information about the hostname. Again, how you choose to use this information is up to you.

For example, a competing ISP might use this to say something like, “Is [current ISP] giving you slow speeds? Switch to our faster broadband today!”

How Much Does It Cost?

The key here is that you are using an API into an IP address database. What this means is that IP Address API will be maintaining that database for you, so you don’t have to do any updates or maintenance yourself. It also means you can access the database remotely from within your website.

There is a free trial for three days that grants you full access to the IP Address API. This is limited to 50,000 IP address tracings. After that, you have a choice of either monthly or annual billing. The monthly price is $27, but you can save by paying for a full year in advance for $149. That works out to $12.42 per month.

What If I Want to Buy the Database?

Using the API is likely the more convenient solution, since you don’t have to maintain the database, but it does mean that you are dependent on outside resources. Some companies may prefer to have the database hosted locally. For them, there is the Track IP Addresses alternative solution.

There are three licenses available, ranging from $99 to $249 (as limited special offers). The difference between the gold and advanced license is that the former does not include any updates ($39 on demand), whereas the latter includes monthly updates for one year. If you have the resources to host the database yourself, that might be a better (and more affordable) option than the API.