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Neustar IP Intelligence FAQ


About IP Intelligence

Neustar's IP Intelligence is a family of decisioning data, which consists of IP GeoPoint and IP Reputation. IP Intelligence, the authoritative source of IP decisioning data with coverage of 99.99%* of routable addresses worldwide, is powered by a proprietary global data collection network using patented advanced algorithms and curated by a team of Network Geography Analysts (NGAs). If a decision is made to deliver digital media to a user, block access to a site or content, or tag an IP address with a history of fraud or risk, customers can be sure that decision will be made using the most comprehensive IP geolocation, ownership, routing and reputation data available in the market.

About IP Geolocation

What is Internet Protocol (IP)?

The Internet Protocol is the method by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) that is connected to the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all other computers. The most widely used version of IP today is Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) however, due to the limit on the number of IPv4 addresses that can be allocated, Internet Protocol Version 6 is rapidly being adopted in the industry.

What is IP geolocation?

IP geolocation is the science of determining the physical location and Internet connection characteristics of a Web visitor, and then leveraging this data to deliver the optimal user experience and determine business strategy. IP geolocation is the technology upon which our Internet Location Intelligence platform is based.

Do I get a unique IP address assigned to my computer?

IP addresses work more like the party lines used in the early phone systems. Most end-user IP addresses are dynamically assigned (from a pool of available IP addresses), rather than pre-assigned. When you connect to the Internet, your ISP assigns your computer an IP address that will likely be used during the life of that connection. These are dynamically assigned (or DHCP) IP addresses. When your device (Wi-fi laptop, cable/DSL, modem, etc.) disconnects from the Internet, some other device may be assigned that address for temporary use. Servers (e.g., Web site hosts) and other devices that are permanently connected to the Internet are often assigned, "static" IP addresses, when they need to have a "permanent address" where users or other servers can find them.

Why is it so hard to locate where an IP address is?

There is no direct relationship between the IP address system and your location. Unlike a land-based phone number (land line), where the area code often indicates the caller's geographic area, an IP address is usually associated with the organization, like an Internet service provider, to which it has been allocated. And, because IP addresses are often reused, any location information previously determined becomes out of date when a new device gets that address.

How can you identify a Web visitor's location without invading their privacy?

Neustar only stores IP geolocation data at the zip code level or higher, e.g. city, state, country. Personal privacy is protected because we do not have information about a person, nor an email address or a street address.

Using IP Geolocation

How is IP geolocation used?

IP geolocation has demonstrated business value in five primary areas - content delivery, fraud prevention, marketing, compliance, and security. Providers of digital content use IP geolocation to determine a viewer's geographic eligibility to access their content and to enforce black out areas. Fraud prevention teams focused on e-commerce and financial services sites can compare a web visitors' registration and shipping addresses with the geolocation of the IP to detect suspicious transactions. Online marketers can execute geographically based ad campaigns just as they do in the offline world. Internet businesses that are subject to geography-based regulations - like online casinos - use the technology to make sure they operate legally. And governments and law enforcement agencies can trace Internet criminals.

How does IP geolocation data approximate the location of a visitor?

Neustar IP geolocation data has coverage of 99.99% of the allocated Internet addresses, including information about which company has been assigned the block of IP addresses that an individual IP address of interest belongs to. That information, when combined with network data, other Neustar data, and third-party data, allows us to make an informed "guess" as to city, zip code, state, and country where the current device associated with that IP address is located.

However, when a device does not connect to the Internet directly, but instead connects via an intermediary device like a cell phone mobile gate, a VPN, or a proxy/anonymizer server, geolocation services are usually only able to establish the approximate location of the intermediary device. Connection information is typically provided to allow the user of the geolocation data to make decisions based on this lower accuracy location information.

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