Knowledgebase: General Questions
I ordered Country XXX, but some websites show a different country!
Posted by Max Biggavelli on 20 August 2011 07:18

A widely known and annoying "problem" for us and as well every other VPN service on the world. So why and what exactly is the problem here?

Lets start off with some important technical background info to understand how IP location tracing attempts even work http://stackoverflow.com/a/1996129

The reason why some websites state another country, instead of the one ordered is based on how so called "ShowMyIP" websites gather their GEO informations in the first place.

In general, you can be sure that if for example you order the UK that you will actually receive an IP physically located in the United Kingdom, though and exactly at this point our capability to control anything is ending.

Websites like Yahoo, Google, or every other Website for that matter, are basing their "detection" attempts on somebodies whereabouts on often false/outdated GEO database APIs - or from the simple fact that the registered IP owner (either intentionally, or mistakenly..) is using a different address for the IP range contrary to it's actual physical location - which then results in the said inaccurate results.

In 90% of cases websites/services on the internet are using either one of the following IP database APIs for the GEO "detection" attempts:

https://www.maxmind.com   <---- could be the most used GEO IP database (www.wieistmeineip.de and many others use this..)
http://www.ipligence.com
https://www.db-ip.com
http://ipinfo.io
http://www.ipaddresslabs.com/IP-GeoLoc-ip-address-geolocation-locator-lookup-database-software-geography-country-region-state-county-province-city-postal-zip-code-metro-area-code-latitude-longitude@IP-GeoLoc

Above listed are the most famous IP databases which offer APIs to retrieve the location of an IP, now the problem is as follows - IF - any of those databases contain a wrong address (country, street, country code, zip code) for the VPN IPs, it means YOU will get a false result on other so called ShowMyIP websites as well, as for example http://www.iplocation.net or http://whoer.net and so on (depending whichever outdated database they use).

Conclusion: whenever you see a different GEO location other than the VPN country ordered, understand that this result is always inaccurate to begin with and reflects only an approximate location based on data which the particular IP database API contains! 

See it like a telephone book, if one of those books has a wrong country code, address, street then your VPN IP will appear from that wrong location too, instead of showing its true physical location where the server is actually located at.

A prime example in our service is the New York VPN location which very often shows up as Arizona, not because the server is actually located in AZ, no, but due to the provider who owns the IPs is using their AZ headquarter address as main address for all their IP ranges.

If you are still unsure about your VPN IP's real location, start the command line in Win 7/8/10/Vista/XP (or quicker hit the Windows key + R and type "cmd"):

"Run"
"cmd"
"tracert IP"

without quotes and replace "IP" with the VPN IP that you want to follow (trace) and check where the routes are heading to, if you understand how routing works, you will get a good idea about where the IP is ending which will be the VPN country ordered.

Youtube/google goes a step further and doesnt even care about IP databases, if a VPN service has for example many german users, they will simply flag the IP range as "german" regardless what any IP database shows, so they are doing their own thing independently and dont care about anything else, they flag IP ranges on the used browser languages rather than any other facts which is also often known as the famous "GEMA" problem, more about it you can read here.

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