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I know that this could be a repeated question, but I'm freaked out right now, Maybe Im old or out of the 2015 technologies, but i just visited this page: http://whatismyipaddress.com. As I know, getting the IP address of someone can get you the close location, maybe state, country - all that. My browser just asked if I want to share my location, and I accepted.

THE MAP JUST POINTED TO MY EXACT HOUSE LOCATION.

How is this possible only with my address or does my computer or browser transfer other data than my IP. Or does my laptop have GPS and I dont even know?

I would like to know how this works.

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    I don't get that prompt when I visit that site. I'm using Chrome. Are you using Firefox? I googled firefox share location and got this as my first hit. – Neil Smithline Jul 21 '15 at 3:21
  • Yeah I used firefox for this. – NathanWay Jul 21 '15 at 21:18
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I think @neil-smithline is right, when I go to the What's my IP address page I don't get asked for my location, but there is a button which says "Location not accurate? Update your IP location" which then does ask for the browsers geolocation.

As for how your browser knows your location when you don't have a GPS in your laptop, from the article @neil-smithline linked to:

By default, Firefox uses Google Location Services to determine your location by sending:

  • Your computer’s IP address,
  • information about the nearby wireless access points, and
  • a random client identifier, which is assigned by Google, that expires every 2 weeks.

The important part is the "information about the nearby wireless access points" bit. Google has a database of wireless networks that include the BSSID and the location. It is kept up to date in a number of ways, for example Google Street View cars recording WiFi, or people's phones with GPS enabled reporting back which WiFi networks are in the area, I believe Ingress reports that information back to Google as well (but I could be wrong).

Just using a list of near by wireless access points you can get a location to within a few meters. There is a public database called WiGLE that provides a similar service for example.

  • Thanks a lot for the answer, This seems to be really interesting. Mmmmm Letting your browser to know all the close Wifi access point seems like a big security threat. But well thats because of the user permission. – NathanWay Jul 21 '15 at 21:20

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