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LOCATION: What we measure

tech writers
tech writers
  • Updated

The Location Widget looks for the geolocation of the user. It does that by making use of the public IP address the browser is using.

Data we collect and share

IP The public IP address of the browser conducting the test. This is where testRTC sees the request coming from.
City By using an external geoIP service, we convert the IP address to a city. The accuracy of city is usually 50-75%
Country By using an external geoIP service, we convert the IP address to a country. The accuracy of country is usually 95-99%
Org. The organization / carrier / service provider who owns the IP address.

Widget logging

Depending on the plan you are on, the LOCATION widget may also provide additional information in the log about the traits of the IP address used.

Signaling and media location

The location is determined based on the IP address observed. When conducting the tests, there are two different IP addresses that might be used: one for HTTPS and signaling traffic and another one for real time media.

In most cases, the two addresses are the same. At times, they are different. This might occur due to two main reasons:

  1. A virtual private network (VPN) is used, but it routes signaling and media differently, so the test observes two different IP addresses
  2. IPv6 is used, usually on the signaling, while the media servers support only IPv4. In such a case, you will see an IPv6 address for signaling and IPv4 address for media

The use of two separate IP addresses doesn’t necessarily point to issues, but if there are issues, then having two separate IP addresses might give an indication as to the reasons for it.

Things to notice

  • Sometimes there is a gross mismatch with the known location of the user versus the location we assume. This can be attributed to either stale information about the IP address in our database or it can be an indication that the user is behind a VPN or configured with an HTTP proxy. In the case of a VPN or a proxy, what we see in our service is the public IP address of the proxy server itself.
  • Having a configured proxy or VPN automatically affects the media quality. If the proxy/VPN is located far from the user’s machine, this will introduce further latency and media quality degradation.

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