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.


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.

  • 1
    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. Jul 21 '15 at 3:21
  • Yeah I used firefox for this.
    – NathanWay
    Jul 21 '15 at 21:18

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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