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essensys Platform - Advanced Networking - Geolocation
essensys Platform - Advanced Networking - Geolocation

What is Geolocation and how does it affect your clients connecting via Wi-Fi

Stuart avatar
Written by Stuart
Updated over a week ago


Most people have experienced asking a website to find a bar near me, and getting results from the wrong city. Thanks to built-in GPS, network triangulation, and other goodies, Smartphone’s generally get a more-or-less exact location for apps and website tools. It's not the case though with laptop and desktop PCs. Here - location access is usually determined based on your IP address, and for essensys users this means NYC, Santa Clara or Dallas for US customers or London for UK. An IP address is a very unreliable means of assessing where you are for this very reason! Any end user utilising a VPN will also have the issue.

What can you do?

To get around this issue, most websites asking for your location will now call on HTML 5 Geolocation API instead of trying to determine it based on your IP address, you’ll get a much more relevant result – this API gets its geolocation data from a combination of IP address, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth MAC address, radio-frequency identification (RFID), Wi-Fi connection location, or device Global Positioning System (GPS) and GSM/CDMA cell IDs. The location is returned with a given accuracy depending on the best location information source available. If GPS is available, this is what is used and will be very accurate, if only the IP address is available, you might only be “pinpointed” to the country!

A final point is that the location given for your IP address can vary depending on whom the IP address database provider is – there are many of these, and they can have different information even for an essensys provided IP.

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