Bachelor thesis
Comparing the Accuracy of IPv4 and IPv6 Geolocation Databases

Friday January 22, 2016

Research into the accuracy of IP geolcation databases, looking at the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 lookups.

The paper was awarded a “Best Paper Award” at the yearly conference organized by the Computer Science department of my the University of Twente, and was graded 9/10.


IPv4 geolocation has been around for some time, but IPv6 geolocation is relatively new. This raises the question as to how the accuracy of IPv6 geolocation compares to the accuracy of IPv4 geolocation. Since IPv6 geolocation is a reasonably new topic, litte research has been done on its accuracy. In this study the accuracy is measured using a ground truth consisting of very precise locations of known computer systems. Different IP geolocation databases were queried and the resulting locations were compared to the known locations for the collected IP addresses. It turns out that IPv6 geolocation is significantly less accurate than IPv4 geolocation. However, IPv6 geolocation shows potential to become at least as accurate as its IPv4 counterpart.

Research questions

  • What geolocation databases are available?
  • What are major differences between IPv4 and IPv6 from a geolocation standpoint?
  • What is the accuracy difference of geolocation databases between IPv4 and IPv6?

Full paper