Free & Paid GeoIP Services Comparison With Accuracy Tests – Updated for 2021

Once a novelty or even a fad, GeoIP services are now a must-have for any decent web-service. Although still far from something you can rely on 100% they are a great way to personalise content for users

There used to be only a few IP Address Geolocation – GeoIP services available, but as with everything these days we have choices. A lot of them. That’s great but does leave you with the question “Which GeoIP service should I choose? Which one is best for me”. You’ll have to answer that for your self, but our handy comparison table should help ease the pain. Don’t be blinded with “free”. Think a few steps ahead when choosing. The service should support you for at least a few months. Implementing a new one is far more costly than paying $19 per month.

Why (if at all) do I need a GeoIP service?

Since you’re reading this article, you obviously have some ideas on how to utilize the GeoIP data in your site or app. If you don’t and are just learning, we recommend looking into segmenting and personalization.

When someone visits your site, you don’t know anything about them. Besides the technical data describing their browser and its details, you don’t know anything about the user’s preferences, gender, age or anything similar that would give you a chance to offer a more personalized experience. That leads to a conclusion that the factor of metrics remains of essential importance through customizing your campaigns, tracking engagements and boosting your conversions, which is much more approachable if you have a tool like Hey Oliver by your side.

But in those beginning stages, you don’t have much except GeoIP data! With it, you can adjust a lot of things on the site to make the user feel more “at home”. This trend is growing and will become a norm in a year or two for all sites.

GeoIP services are a great way to turn boring data, and IPs really are boring, into something much more interesting. For instance; a table containing log data about who logged in and when is as boring as they get. But with the right GeoIP service, you can easily add information such as the country flag, location, browser info. A huge difference in user experience with just a few hours of work. WP Reset recently wrote a great article on how to use GeoIP to transform boring data, so check it out.

How do I implement these services into my app?

Sorry, not that kind of article – no code snippets here. But, we did include a link to the documentation of every service. Some are better than others, but all have various SDKs and response formats which ease implementation.

Still, before you start implementing any code to your site, make sure that you have the free Emergency Recovery Script ready. Just in case you do something wrong, you will be able to restore your site quickly. And instead of panicking, you’ll get a new chance to fix the mess before happening again.

We recommend JSON as the response format. It’s lightweight, universally supported, used by many and (more-less) human-readable which eases debugging.

Your programming language of choice is defined by other things so don’t change it just for the sake of an SDK being available or not. As for the response format, we recommend JSON. It’s lightweight, universally supported, used by many and (more-less) human-readable which eases debugging. Examples are available for almost all services so have a look before you make a final decision. If you’re using PHP, IP Geolocation may be the easiest solution as they have a PHP SDK, jQuery SDK and a dedicated Laravel SDK as well.

ServiceFree LimitRequires RegistrationResponse FormatsSDK / LibrariesDocumentationIP verPRODB Download
IP Geolocation50,000 per monthJSONPHP, jQuery, Laravel, JavaScript, TypeScript, Java and C#openIPv4 & IPv6from $10 per month for 150,000 requests/month
Abstract IP Geolocation API20,000 per monthJSON cURL, Javascript, jQuery, NodeJS, Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, Go, PostmanopenIPv4 & IPv6from $9 per month for 200,000 requests per month
IP Find300 per dayJSONCurl, Ruby, PHP, C#(.Net), PythonopenIPv4from $10 per month for 5,000 requests/day
GeoIP Nekudono limitJSON, JSONPn/aopenIPv4 & IPv6
IP-API150 per minuteXML, JSON, CSV, Newline Separated, Serialized PHPn/aopenIPv4 & IPv6from $45 for 3 months for unlimited queries
DB IP2,500 per dayJSONPHP, JavaopenIPv4 & IPv6from $12.5 per month for 50,000 queries
ipstack10,000 per monthJSON and JSONPPHP, JavaScriptopenIPv4 & IPv6from $9.99 per month
Snoopi1 per secondJSONPHP, Pythonopenn/afrom $4.95
The Easy API50 per dayn/aCURL, PHP, JAVAopenn/a$5 per month for 500 per day
PetaByetn/aJSONn/aopenIPv4 & IPv6
IPinfo.io50,000 per dayJSON, JSONP, CSV, TXTCLI, PHP, Python, Perl, Java, C#, Ruby, Go, Rust, NodeJS, Erland, Django, Laravel, RailsopenIPv4 & IPv6From $49 per month for 250,000 requests
GeoIP DBn/aJSON, JSONPjQuery, PHP, C# .NETopenn/a
IP Info DB2 per secondRaw, JSON, XMLPHP, Javascript, Ruby, Python and ASP.openIPv4 & IPv6
GEO Plugin120 per minuteJSON, XMLJS, PHP, ASPopenn/a
GeoIPFair use policyJSON and JSONPn/aopenIPv4 & IPv6
Smart IP5,000 per dayXML, JSONn/aopenIPv4 & IPv6contact for more options
MaxMindfree trialJSONPHP, Python, Perl, Java, JS, C# .NETopenIPv4 & IPv6from $0.0001 per request
IP2Location200 per dayJSON, XML, textC, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Phython. Apache, Nginx, Node.js, CocoaopenIPv4 & IPv6from $49 for 100,000 requests
VPN Mentorn/an/an/an/aIPv4, IPv6, domain namen/a

How accurate is the data? Can I trust it?

Accuracy of GeoIP services varies a lot! Have that in mind before you completely depend on data they provide.

GeoIP services’ accuracy ranges from “wow, how do they know” to “are you stupid, I’m nowhere close to that” – as confirmed by our tiny test. Although some services gloat with various (high) accuracy numbers, the most honest answer is “your mileage may vary”. On a country level, the data is very accurate. It’s easily in the 99 percentile. That data is used by many companies to block access to content on a per-country level. Country region or state data is also very accurate, especially for larger countries and for the USA. Again, this is something you can safely rely on and is widely used.

Going below the state level into regions, cities and even deeper – city blocks, is where things get tricky and often extremely unreliable. A lot of factors are at play, but one of the most problematic ones is the mobile users. Telecom companies register batches of IPs in their headquarters in town A. You use that IP from your mobile device while living in town B. What does GeoIP report? Town A of course because it bases its answer solely on your IP. As the number of mobile users grows, the accuracy of data decreases. The issue is more a concept/technology problem than something that GeoIP services can fix.

ServiceTest IP #1 – IP #2- IP #3-
Physical LocationBrentwood, California, USA – cableCroatia – 4GSuceava, Romania – cable
IP GeolocationBrentwood, California, United States, North AmericaZagreb, City of Zagreb, Croatia, EuropeSuceava, Suceava, Romania, Europe
Abstract IP Geolocation APIBrentwood, California, United States, North America, Cable/DSLZagreb, City of Zagreb, Croatia, Europe, CellularSuceava, Suceava, Romania, Europe, Cable/DSL
IP FindDiscovery Bay, California, United States, North AmericaZagreb, City of Zagreb, Croatia, EuropeSuceava, Suceava, Romania, Europe
GeoIP NekudoDiscovery Bay, United StatesZagreb, CroatiaSuceava, Romania,
IP-APIBrentwood, California, United StatesZagreb, City of Zagreb, CroatiaSuceava, Suceava, Romania
DB IPSan Jose, California, Santa Clara County, United StatesLondon, Greater London, England, UK, EuropeSuceava, Municipiul Suceava, Romania, Europe
ipstackBrentwood, California, United States, North AmericaZagreb, City of Zagreb, Croatia, EuropeSuceava, Suceava, Romania, Europe
SnoopiDiscovery Bay, California, United StatesZagreb, City of Zagreb, CroatiaSuceava, Suceava, Romania
The Easy APIn/an/an/a
PetaByetDiscovery Bay, California, United States, North AmericaAustria, EuropeSuceava, Suceava, Romania, Europe
IP InfoDiscovery Bay, California, United StatesZitnjak, Grad Zagreb, CroatiaSuceava, Suceava, Romania
GeoIP DBPinole, California, United StatesSwedenSuceava, Suceava, Romania
IP Info DBStockton, California, USVarazdin, Varazdinska zupanija, CroatiaSuceava, Suceava, Romania
GEO PluginDiscovery Bay, California, United StatesSwedenSuceava, Suceava, Romania
GeoIPPinole, USASchwedenSuceava, Romania
Smart IPn/an/an/a
MaxMindDiscovery Bay, California, United States, North AmericaZagreb, City of Zagreb, Croatia, EuropeSuceava, Suceava, Romania, Europe
IP2LocationStockton, California, United StatesVarazdin, Varazdinska zupanija, CroatiaSuceava, Suceava, Romania
VPN MentorAntioch, California, United StatesZagreb, Grad Zagreb, CroatiaSuceava, Suceava, Romania

Just tell me which service to use!

If you need geoIP data for anything more than playing around, testing and just seeing how things work do not use free-only services. You need to be able to upgrade to a higher number of API calls as your service grows and be able to contact support and hold somebody reliable for the service they provide. Those things only come with a premium, paid service.

Our preferred provider is IP Geolocation. We use their services on a lot of apps and sites including this one, as they offered the best service. You can always sign up to the free plan to test out the service, and upgrade to any of the PRO plans if you need more requests on a monthly basis.

What’s new in 2019?

This is not exactly a field where exciting things happen. As in any business some services just died, so we removed them from our comparison table, and most kept providing a stable, behind-the-scenes service. We did, however, see a trend in combining multiple data streams and APIs into one unified API as IP Geolocation did by adding weather information to the geoIP data set. A very nice touch.

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Published on August 15, 2017 by Gordan; modified on August 20, 2021. Filed under: , .

Gordan runs Web Factory Ltd and has over a decade of WordPress development experience. When not wrangling code, he loves writing about WordPress, and he's always thinking about the next WP project to get involved with. Check out his latest one - WP Reset.

30 Replies to “Free & Paid GeoIP Services Comparison With Accuracy Tests – Updated for 2021”

  1. Hi.
    You can use our free geolocation API. 5 request per second. Our API requires no key or signup
    CORS support out of the box makes perfect to your front end apps or webs. IPv4 and IPv6 supported. And is open source.

    Best Regards

  2. Also We’re the fastest IP Geolocation API with 11 endpoints around the world and lots of extra data i.e. Carrier Detection, Tor and Proxy detection and more.

    1. Hi,
      Thank you for letting us know about

      If you’re interested in listing the service on the list, please don’t hesitate to contact us with the details.

    1. Thank you for your comment!
      We will definitely check GeoLoc. If you are interested in listing GeoLoc, please contact us with the details.

    1. Hi Carlos,
      Thank you for the comment. I have just sent you an email – we would be happy to fix the wrong information ASAP!

  3. Does geoip-db have any request limit per second or minute? ip-api is good and accurate but their free plan has a limit of 150 per minute. I need a free plan for unlimited, can you recommend please?

    1. geoip-db is completely free and unlimited requests per day are allowed. But if you decide to step up the game, we recommend IP Geolocation.

  4. Excellent research…
    I think, which type of service you should use, depends upon your need. If you want a vast updated database, least latency, high accuracy up to 99.9% at the country level in economic price, is the better option to use. It has also 45000 free requests per month/1500 per day plan for their customer.

  5. Very informative article, and a great thanks for sharing all the links together. Especially for those websites that are either providing IP Lookup services or going to provide the IP Lookup services, to their user, by using the geolocation databases. These data will definitely help them to choose the service as per their requirement and budget. Again thanks a lot.

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