Choose the Right Geolocation Product

MaxMind offers IP geolocation data through our databases and web services, with varying levels of geolocation specificity. Some of our products and services only geolocate IP addresses to a country, while others geolocate IP addresses down to a city and sometimes a postal code, but our IP geolocation products are never precise enough to identify a specific individual, household or street address. Learn more about IP geolocation accuracy.

To choose the right product or service, you will have to decide:

  1. whether you prefer to download a database to your local servers or query a web service
  2. how specific you want to be about the geolocation of the IP addresses you're looking up
  3. whether you want any other data about IP addresses in addition to their geolocation

If you already know the answer to these questions, you can see a table of our GeoIP2 geolocation products and services below.

Databases versus web services

There are a number of other differences between the databases and web services:

  Better Choice Comparison
Accuracy GeoIP2 web services

Our web services accurately geolocate 3% more IPs to the correct city and 7% more IPs to the correct postal code in the United States than our databases. In addition, our web services identify the organization associated with a business IP address in 10% more instances.

Availability and Latency GeoIP2 databases Our web services have had 99.99% uptime since January 2010 and are served from data centers in Oregon, Virginia, London, and Singapore. However, with a local copy of the database you should have greater uptime and lower network latency.
Maintenance GeoIP2 web services With databases, you need to perform updates yourself in order to have access to the latest and most accurate GeoIP2 data. This process can be automated by your development team. Learn more about updating databases.

With the web services, you always receive the latest available data and may only occasionally need to update your client API.
High Volume GeoIP2 databases Once you have purchased a license to a database, there is no limit on the number of queries you can perform on that database for Internal Restricted Business purposes. Learn more about acceptable use of the databases.

Based on the number of queries you are doing per month, you may find that either the databases or the web services are less expensive. If you have an estimate of the number of IP lookups you anticipate, you can multiply this by the cost per query of the web service and compare it to the cost of a database subscription over the same period of time.
Low Volume GeoIP2 web services For a low volume of queries, the GeoIP2 web services would likely be a more economical option, and would give you access to our most accurate data. If you have an estimate of the number of IP lookups you anticipate, you can multiply this by the cost per query of the web service and compare it to the cost of a database subscription over the same period of time.
Commercial Uses GeoIP2 web services Online pricing of the databases is for Internal Restricted Business purposes only. Learn more about acceptable use of the databases. Use of the databases to provide IP geolocation functionality for applications or products accessible to anyone other than you or your employees requires a commercial license. Learn more about commercial licensing.

Online pricing of the web services is applicable to both internal and commercial purposes. You may purchase the web services via our website and use it to provide IP geolocation functionality for applications or products, even if they are accessible to third-parties, without commercial licensing.

If you anticipate a very high volume of lookups, it may be more cost effective to purchase a commercial license instead of using the web service.

Sometimes you may also be constrained in which option you can choose based on your company's data policies or other technology. You should consult with your developers about which option is best for your integration. You can also learn more about working with databases and working with web services.

Country or city level IP geolocation

Once you know whether you want to use a database or a web service, you can decide how specific you need your IP geolocation data to be. MaxMind offers IP geolocation that is specific to the country or city level:

  • GeoIP2 and GeoLite2 Country products and services only contain geolocation data for the continent and country of an IP address.
  • GeoIP2 and GeoLite2 City products and services contain geolocation data for the continent, country, subdivision (such as state or province), city, and sometimes postal code of an IP address.
    • City-level geolocation data is also present in the GeoIP2 Enterprise database, and the GeoIP2 Insights web service. This database and web service contains IP intelligence data in addition to geolocation data. Learn more about IP intelligence data.

For example, if you just want to display your website in the local language of your visitors, country-level geolocation data might be enough. However, if you want to determine the timezone of your visitors you might want city-level geolocation data for users from larger countries.

Other data about IP addresses

In addition to our IP geolocation data, MaxMind provides products and services with IP intelligence data, including:

  • network information
    • connection speed
    • ISP and organization
  • anonymous proxy detection
  • user context

Most of this data is available through several databases, which can be purchased individually. If you are using a web service, then most of this data is available through the GeoIP2 Insights web service. Learn more about our products and services containing IP intelligence data.

Pick a geolocation product or service

If you know whether you will be using a database or web service and how specifically you need to geolocate IP addresses, you can pick the product or service from the table below and follow the link to the product page on our main website.

  Database Web Service GeoLite2 Databases and Services**
Country-level Geolocation
  • GeoLite2 Country Database
  • GeoLite2 Country Web Service
City-level Geolocation
  • GeoLite2 City Database
  • GeoLite2 City Web Service

* These products and services also contain IP intelligence data. Learn more about IP intelligence data.

** GeoLite2 databases and web services are free to use. They are less accurate than our paid products and services, and we do not offer support for them. Learn more about GeoLite2 databases and web services in our developer's documentation.

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