From this question I learned how Google locates me over BSSIDs.

But how does Google retrieve my WLAN-access-point-BSSID when I use Google's services (maps.google.com for example) in Firefox from a Linux-machine (no Android)?

I'm quite sure that there are/were several Android-devices connected to the same router together with my Linux-system. So I guess that Google simply looks up the dynamic (ext.) IP of our router in their database. Can somebody confirm this?

Or is Google able to obtain the MAC of our router?

No, I am not logged into a Google-account. Cookies are deleted when I close FF. And I definitely disabled location services.

  • 2
    I think you might have an X/Y problem. Do you want to know how Google Maps determines your location or specifically how Google Maps locates you over BSSIDs? It sounds like you are assuming BSSIDs is the only method for determining location.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:11
  • I assume that Google can not locate my laptop over BSSID, because why should my laptop tell Google the BSSID of our router? Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:13
  • But that's exactly what you ask in your question ... Now I'm even more confused
    – schroeder
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:22
  • An Android-device can tell Google the BSSID. My desktop-linux will not do this. How does Google know to which router I am connected? I don't own a smartphone. Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:26
  • 1
    The desktop browser can though. That's why I asked about Firefox location services because that's how that service works.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


There are a lots or ways to find a user's location, independent to the OS or device manufacturer.

  1. Google is known to do wardriving, which maps GPS position to router location (BSSID).

  2. With your public IP, there are IP Location databases/service (NOT BSSID) like: ip2location.com, iplocation.net, MaxMind, ipaddressservices.io ...

  3. You don't actually need to do it, some else might update your BSSID when it finds it on his phone and it does not even have to be an Android device, Apple does this too and you know, how's the business, it wouldn't surprise me that they exchange/sell info.

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