When visiting a website, you are automatically sharing many pieces of information that help this website identify the request and function accordingly. Most information is sent via your browser and some of them are appended by your internet service provider (ISP).
Shared info usually includes data about your browser, device, IP address, cookies, and other details you might submit while browsing the website.
Can websites track your location?
Websites are typically unable to track your exact location, however, they might be able to use your IP address to approximately identify where you are. Unless you explicitly permitted your browser to know and share your precise location with the website.
How Can Websites Find Your Current Location?
It’s pretty common to get a message from a website telling you to, for example, visit their Español version because the website detected you are in Spain.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the website knows your exact location, it just indicates the website identified your approximate address (usually city) via your shared IP address.
The IP address is a unique identifier of every device trying to access the internet. Websites use many different IP geolocation databases to know the location of the visitor’s IP.
Can Websites Know Your Precise Location?
Besides IP addresses, websites may rely on location-based services to determine more accurate information about the visitor’s address.
Such services usually resort to a combination of various indicators like satellite information (GPS), nearby Wi-Fi networks, cell towers, and IP address.
Of course, accessing this information depends on the device’s capabilities. It also requires your explicit permission to share your location with the visited website.
Nevertheless, even with all these factors, the location might still be inaccurate and it’s hard to be determined precisely.
Can Websites Use Your IP To Track Your Location?
The IP address is assigned to each device by the internet service provider, it can be used to estimate approximate location based on details like country, state, city, and zip code.
As IP address is always included in your request, does this mean websites are able to track your approximate location from your browsing history? For example, which cities you have visited and when? The answer is NO!
Even with these details, websites can NOT track your approximate location because simply the IP address is not persistent and changes on a regular basis, making it impossible for websites to keep tracking your location.
Moreover, if you are still interested in hiding your IP address, you can check a virtual private network (VPN) service. VPN tools encapsulate your request to appear as if it’s coming from a completely different location.