This can be a little confusing, so it is important to define what is meant by the location of a proxy. There are two types of locations we work with:
- Geolocation: This is the 'virtual' location of the proxy address. IP addresses can be publicly declared in locations that are physically different from where the server happens to sit. When an IP is geolocated, the change can take several weeks to propagate through all the public databases (more on this below). Geolocation is more important for proxies than physical location.
- Physical Location: This is the 'actual' location of the server on which a proxy resides, typically in a data center. This may or may not always be the same as the geolocation, but of the two, is the lesser of importance for how proxies are viewed.
So why are there times when you look up the location of a proxy, and find that the proxy is showing in a different one from what you expected? This is likely because the sites that track IP locations simply haven’t updated the location yet. The process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks, sometimes faster and sometimes slower. Yes, we wish we had more control and insights on this too!
Sites like whoer, MaxMind, FreeGeoIP, and IPLocation use third party databases that supply geolocations for IPs. However, these third parties and these databases have to get their locations from the top-level IP owner. For IPs in the USA, this is ARIN.
What is ARIN?
According to Wikipedia, "ARIN manages the distribution of Internet number resources, including IPv4 and IPv6 address space". This essentially means they regulate and organize most/all IPv4 address registrations in the USA and Canada, therefore they are what everyone considers the most accurate representation of IPs (which includes location!).
ARIN is one of five regional internet registries in the world, each of which manages the allocation and registration of IP addresses for different areas. While most of our proxies here at Blazing are correlated with ARIN, we do work with the others as well. Here is a listing of all the registries:
- African Network Information Center (AFRINIC) serves Africa
- American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) serves Antarctica, Canada, parts of the Caribbean, and the United States
- Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) serves East Asia, Oceania, South Asia, and Southeast Asia
- Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) serves Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and West Asia
- Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) serves most of the Caribbean and all of Latin America