Every device that participates in a computer network using the Internet Protocol has a unique private IP address. These devices range from computers and smartphones to printers and even smart speakers. The router that manages your home Wi-Fi assigns these addresses to each connected item. If you want to determine your website visitors’ geographical location, you need a database that contains the cross-referenced data for IP address locations. These databases can be purchased from a number of sources and can be hosted either on your server or via an application programming interface.
A geolocation database contains latitude and longitude data for each IP address. It translates a user’s IP address into the corresponding pair of coordinates, giving you the city, state and country where that user is located. This type of data can help you target ads, localize web pages and currency information, block users from countries that are known to spawn DDOS attacks and provide other useful information about your site visitors.
An IP address is mathematically generated and assigned by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, a non-profit organization that maintains the security of the Internet. It is used to identify the devices on a computer network and allows communication between these devices over the Internet.
When you purchase an IP address database, you will get a CSV file that contains the data for each individual IP address. You will also receive a set of instructions that tell you what the format of each column is and how to use the data in your applications. You may have to change the format of some of the data, such as separating digits by periods, before it is usable in your applications.
Sorting IP addresses is more challenging than sorting numeric or text data. This is because an IP address is a collection of four numbers separated by three periods (.). Because an Access table uses the Text data type, you cannot use the built-in sort functions to display them in a sorted order. Instead, you need to create a query that sorts the data for each IP address.
To sort the IP address field in a query, you need to use an expression. You must know the location of the third period (.) in the IP address, so you use the InStr function to find it. Then, you use the Len function to calculate how many characters are in the fourth part of the IP address. The Right function then extracts that number of characters from the IPAddress field and uses the Val function to convert it into a number.
Once you have a query that sorts the IP address data, you can use it in your website, such as in a form or report. You can also use the query to provide geolocation data to your users, such as showing them a map of the United States or their current weather conditions.