There are many services similar to ipapi.is, but ipapi.is was created to address an internal need for accurate and up-to-date IP address data from the outset. IP address data serves as the fundamental data source for numerous IT products and services. As such, it is crucial that this data is accurate and continuously updated. Some examples of how IP address data is utilized include:
- IP reputation: In online business, IP reputation plays a crucial role, particularly for consumer-oriented websites. Such websites generally prefer traffic from mobile and residential ISPs over traffic originating from data centers and proxy networks due to the reputation of IP addresses associated with such traffic. IPs associated with spam, malware, or other malicious activities are often linked to data centers, proxy networks or VPN networks.
- Geolocation: The importance of geolocation has been increasing for service providers, who must now know the country or geographical region from which their visitors originate. This knowledge is crucial in targeting specific regions for advertising and restricting access to content based on geographical restrictions.
- IT security: In the field of IT security, understanding the ownership of IP addresses associated with a particular company network or Autonomous System (AS) can be critical during an ongoing cyberattack. This information can help security personnel identify the scope and extent of the attack, which can then be addressed surgically with appropriate countermeasures.
Most existing services either have a very limited free plan or don't include ASN and WHOIS information in their basic plan. With ipapi.is, you have access to all API output regardless of the subscription plan you chose. The only difference is in the request volume.
Up to 1,000 daily API requests are free. If you have a larger API volume, please consider subscribing to a billing plan. Subscriptions are cancelable at any point in time.
Ipapi.is has several unique strengths:
- Accurate hosting detection: A proprietary hosting and datacenter detection algorithm uses WHOIS data to detect thousands of hosting and cloud providers around the globe.
- WHOIS Data: WHOIS data is considered to be the most accurate and stable data source. Since not all possible use cases for IP address data are known, ipapi.is provides raw and updated WHOIS records for all active ASN's and IP networks.
- IP to ASN: The API provides accurate and frequently updated ASN information for all autonomous systems. If the ASN is active (at least one route assigned to it), WHOIS information is returned on top of it.
- IP to Organization: Each IP address is owned (or allocated) by a company or organization. Knowing which organization is responsible for a certain IP range helps to classify traffic orginating from it in a better way.
The strength of ipapi.is is not IP address geolocation, nor should it be. A home-grown geolocation database was built from many different data sources. Furthermore, several different third-party geolocation providers are used to increase geolocation accuracy.
However, IP address geolocation is often not accurate in general. Where possible, geolocation information is used directly from the source. For example, ARIN provides fairly accurate geolocation information in their WHOIS database. Some Regional Internet Registries such as APNIC support the geofeed and geoloc property in WHOIS records. However, the overall coverage for those attributes is very low.
IP Geolocation can never be fully accurate
Why is IP geolocation sometimes not accurate in general?
In some cases, allocated IPv4 and IPv6 networks are distributed geographically and thus one network can have multiple geographical locations. Furthermore, many networks are distributed geographically by design (Such as mobile networks or satellite networks).
For example, how exactly would you geolocate the IP ranges belonging to the satellite Internet from Starklink from SpaceX? Find out by yourself by inspecting the Starlink ASN AS14593.
In other cases, networks are reassigned/reallocated by Regional Internet Registries or IP leasing companies (Such as IPXO) and their former geolocation completely changes.
What is guaranteed
Having said that, in most cases the API guarantees accuracy to the country level. Since redundant geolocation information from different geolocation providers is given in the API output, it is possible to confirm the accuracy by comparing the countries and cities across different providers.