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An Introduction To Geolocation With IP

Thanks to advancements in geolocation technology we can now use the internet to locate items and even people.  Geolocation has become a useful tool in everyday life, whether you use it to track your lost pet with a GPS-enabled collar or find a good restaurant nearby. The technology has advanced to the point where businesses use it on a larger scale to identify and target customers depending on their location. For affordable, accurate data, and locating your website visitors,  ipstack is one of the best APIs for geolocation with IPIpstack is one of the leading IP to geolocation APIs and global IP database services worldwide.

This article will introduce the number one IP to geolocation API while highlighting its features. 

Why Use ipstack?

Ipstack is a sophisticated real-time IP to geolocation API. It provides accurate location data and can also help you mitigate security concerns originating from potentially dangerous IP addresses. It gives results in JSON or XML format in milliseconds. You can also use the ipstack API to quickly identify website visitors and adapt your user experience to suit them.

Ipstack has a very high level of IP geolocation accuracy. This is because the ipstack database and API partner with a series of major ISPs for information about new and current IP ranges. The infrastructure underpinning the ipstack API is very scalable and efficient after 9 years of ongoing optimization, handling between 2 and 3 billion API calls per day.

Ipstack integrates with numerous channels that deliver real-time IP data. As a result,  the ipstack API’s database updates daily, and sometimes hourly. The number of unique locations supported by ipstack also expands daily, with over 2 million distinct locations in over 200.000 cities worldwide. The platform also provides very detailed documentation and handy a Quickstart Guide. Sample code in PHP (cURL) and JavaScript (jQuery.ajax) is also available for reference. 

How to Use ipstack Efficiently?

To understand how to use ipstack effectively, you need to explore the API’s features, available options, and integration guide.

What Are The First Things to Do to Get Started With ipstack?

The very first task is to retrieve your API access key. The API Access Key is a unique authentication key required to access the ipstack API. Each receives a unique key after they sign up to ipstack. To authenticate with the API, add the “access_key” parameter to your API’s base URL and set it to your access key.

JSON or XML?

Because you will write queries while using this API, it is essential to understand the API responses. The ipstack API responds to queries by delivering JSON or XML format data. The responses come with comprehensive location-related data, currency-related data, timezone-related data, connection-related data, and security-related data.

HTTP or HTTPS?

There are two ways of connecting to your API: HTTP and HTTPS. Ipstack’s premium API subscription comes with support for 256-bit SSL encryption. All premium members can connect to the API via HTTPS by simply using the “HTTPS” protocol instead of the standard “HTTP”.

Standard Lookup, Bulk Lookup, or Requester Lookup?

Furthermore, the ipstack API offers 3 unique endpoints. Each endpoint takes a different set of optional parameters and returns different results based on your requirements. The different endpoints include Standard Lookup, Bulk Lookup, and Requester Lookup. We will discuss these in detail later in the article.

Callbacks and Error Codes

It is also essential to be aware of ipstack’s JSONP callbacks and error codes.

Ipstack’s API has built-in support for JSON Callbacks, This lets users enter a function name and cause the API to return an API result wrapped inside the function. Simply pass a function name to the API’s “callback” GET parameter to specify a callback. It is important to note that you can use “callback” parameter only with the JSON output format. The AOI returns a JSON error if a requested resource is unavailable or the API call fails. Each error always comes with an error code and description that you can look up in the official ipstack documentation.

What Are The API Endpoints?

Standard Lookup:

Standard Lookup is ipstack’s primary endpoint. You use it to look up single IP addresses. The Standard Lookup supports both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. To call this endpoint simply attach a single IP address to the API’s base URL.

Bulk Lookup:

Ipstack also offers the ability to request data for multiple IP addresses. Like Standard Lookup, Bulk Lookup has support for both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. To call Bulk Lookup simply append multiple comma-separated IP addresses to the API’s base URL.

Requester Lookup:

Ipstack’s API is capable of detecting the IP addresses from which the current request is coming. To use the Request Lookup endpoint append the “check” to the API’s base URL while specifying your preferred optional parameters.

Response Objects:

The ipstack API responds to a variety of modules and objects, depending on your subscription level and the options you select for your API request. You can find a list of all accessible API response objects with descriptions in ipstack’s official documentation.

What Options Does ipstack Have?

Ipstack has several options that make it everyone’s favorite geolocation API. For instance, a user can specify the output format, response fields, and response language. Ipstack’s API returns results in either JSON (default) or XML format depending on your preference. You can simply set the “output” parameter to “json” or “XML” to switch between the formats.

The Fields Parameter 

You can also use the “fields” parameter of the ipstack API to limit API results to a certain item or range of objects, This saves bandwidth and speeds up response times. All three API endpoints accept this parameter. Add the “fields” parameter to your API request URL and select one of the following options to use this feature:

Multiple Language Support

Finally, the ipstack API responds to different languages. To request data in different languages, append the API’s “language” parameter to the API request URL and set it to one of the supported 2-letter language codes here in the documentation.

Hostname Lookup

In addition to that, you can enable hostname lookup. The ipstack API does not return information about the hostname that an IP address resolves to by default. Append the API’s “hostname” parameter and set it to “1” to include the hostname object in your API result. If you enable Hostname Lookup, then the API response comes with a “hostname” object that contains the hostname value.

Security Module

You can also enable the Ipstack security module if you have the ipstack Professional Plus Plan. With the Security module, you can preemptively assess threats or risks originating from a certain IP address. Once you have identified a threat, you can act accordingly to prevent any harm to your website or application. To use this feature simply add the “security” parameter to the API’s request URL and set it to “1”.

As a result of its features set and flexibility, ipstack has become one of the most popular IP to geolocation APIs. It also has a variety of plans you can choose from depending on your needs. For example, you can use ipstack API services to discover and identify website visitors before they contribute any data. You can then use the information you obtain from the API to improve user experiences based on geographical information.

Try out all of ipstack’s features and options. Click here to start your journey with ipstack.

About author

I'm a software engineer who has a bright vision and a strong interest in designing and engineering software solutions. I readily understand that in today's agile world the development process has to be rapid, reusable, and scalable; hence it is extremely important to develop solutions that are well-designed and embody a well-thought-of architecture as the baseline. Apart from designing and developing business solutions, I'm a content writer who loves to document technical learnings and experiences so that peers in the same industry can also benefit from them.
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