IPv4 Address: Geolocation VS Origin of the IP

2021-03-16 04:29:21 IPv4

From time to time, there are customers coming forward to request a certain type of origin of IP address. In their mind, only IP addresses originating from a certain region could be used in that particular region. However, it may not be the case.

IP addresses were created by “father of the internet” Vint Cerf while he worked for the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). After its creation, there are a few organizations involved in IP addresses.

Who is organizing IP Address

First of all, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers), the top-level which governs over IP and runs policies behind it. Then, it flows down to IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), in which IANA is a department of ICAAN to coordinate and maintain the number systems. After that, IANA distributes IP address to region-specific organizations to hold and provide registration and management for applicants (businesses that require IPv4 address).

For example, businesses in the US would require IP addresses from ARIN and use them (broadcast the IPs) in the United States while Asian companies required APNIC. With this practice, people may think only APNIC IPs can be used in the Asia region and only ARIN IPs can be used in the United States. This mind has to be changed from now on.

Is the IP address transferable between region?

With IPv4 addresses being exhausted, Inter-transfer and Inter-usage are becoming popular and widely accepted. Given the IPv4 address exhaustion, business users are difficult to acquire IPv4 addresses from the respective RIRs. In order to facilitate their continual internet business development, they are sourcing IPv4 addresses from the secondary market, by purchasing IPv4 address or leasing IPv4 address.

Yet, the available IPv4 sources from the market are limited so that acquirers may get an IP range from another region. For example, an American company may acquire an APNIC (IPv4 addresses from the Asia Pacific) through the inter-transfer process. When the APNIC IP range is transferred to the ARIN account and the geo-location is updated to America, it will be regarded as the ARIN IP address.

For the case of leasing, regardless of the origin of the IP address, the IP addresses provider can update the location of the IPv4 ranges upon customers’ request from WHOIS and other third-party IP geo-location filter organizations, such as IP2Location, Maxmind, and IPIP.Net, etc. When the IP ranges are broadcasted in the corresponding location, the IPs will then be regarded as the IPs in that particular place. For example, when a client requests for IPs to be used in Singapore, the IPs are treated as Singapore IPs after being broadcasted in a Data Center in Singapore and WHOIS info has been updated.


Now that IPv4 addresses have become exhausted yet have been increasingly important in the internet world, it’s of fundamental importance for us to notice that IPv4 addresses are getting more liquid and are beyond the boundary of RIRs and their origins. The usage of IP addresses is no longer restricted by its originally assigned region but can be inter-transferred and changed to other locations when needed. These help to facilitate long-term sustainable development of Internet connectivity and a better resources reallocation process.