Post by Bob_S Post by Boris
More of a browser question, but here goes...
This happens on my Windows 7 HP and Windows 10 machines. I haven't tried
it on any lower Microsoft OSs.
It also happens in Edge, IE11, and Thunderbird.
What happens is whenever I go to www.wheelworks.net, using any OS/browser
combination, the site always shows (in the upper right-hand corner), "Your
Store, Rohnert Park, CA".
I'm not anywhere near Rohnert Park, CA. I can change the store location
by entering my zip or city, and that works. But once I exit the browser,
and launch again, Rohnert Park, CA shows as my store again. BTW, I have
all browsers set to delete history, etc. on exit.
If, when using IE, I say "Allow once" to "wheelworks want to track your
physical location", the screen automatically refreshes, but still shows
Rohnert Park, CA as my store.
There was one (or maybe two) other site(s) that also sit on Rohnert Parc,
CA, but I can't remember which.
This has been happening for about a year.
All machines are behind a router; the Win7 is ethernetted, the others are
wifi. My ISP is Comcast, with a Comcast modem, and the router is set DHCP.
Any ideas on why this is happening, and/or how to fix it? This isn't
critical, but more curious to me.
Your location is based on your IP address that is provided by your ISP. If
your ISP servers are 25 miles away (or a thousand), then the geo-location of
the server is provided as your location. As for entering a zip code into
the website and it still showing the wrong location, could be there is no
store in the zip code you are entering.
Geo-location depends on the accuracy of the databases it uses. Trying using
a WhoIs site for a particular IP address and you may find a half dozen (or
more) entries showing that IP address is in 6 different countries.
This may help explain more and you can certainly search on "geo-location
Geolocation by IP address (by using databases of where are the IP pools)
is a very old method and definitely not reliable. It doesn't show where
is the end user. It shows where is the IP pool for that customer's ISP.
"The Geolocation interface represents an object able to
programmatically obtain the position of the device."
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.
So Mozilla uses Google's Location Services in Firefox. Obviously Google
is going to use the same service for their Chrome product. The IP
address is used a a regional attribute. It's like sorting out the
apples from a barrel of mixed fruit. It only gets maybe within a couple
hundred miles; however, large ISPs might use load balancing so you end
up exiting their network in other than their local IP pool in your
When using wi-fi connected hosts, yes, I can see how they can collect
information about what wi-fi hotspots your wi-fi enabled host can
detect. However, if you're using a wired Ethernet connection to a wired
router to a wired cable modem then I cannot see how any wi-fi hotspots
(by their SSIDs) can be detected. Even if the cable modem was a combo
router/modem with wi-fi, the client isn't running in that network node
to do any collection of wi-fi hotspots. You would need to use a wi-fi
capable and enabled host, like a mobile device. Cell tower data is also
collected to provide location data; however, I can't see that data would
be available unless the host was a cell phone or had some cellular
hardware to connect to cell towers (whether or not your cellular service
contracts to use those nearby towers since your cell phone has to
connect to them, anyway, before it can determine if your cellular
carrier is there). The IP address gets used as a crude measure but the
client collects other RF-based information, if available, to get
location data from those sources. If the host is not a cell phone, cell
tower location data isn't available to the geolocating client. If the
host has no wi-fi capability, no wi-fi hotspot location data, either.
With a non-cellular non-wifi host, it's down to the IP address and that
has never proven to be a reliable locator as it can often be way too
coarse a measure.
In Firefox and Google Chrome, I've disabled geolocation. In Firefox,
change the geo.enabled setting in about:config. In Google Chrome, it's
under Settings -> Advanced -> Privacy -> Content settings -> Location.
If a site wants to see where I am, it will be from me telling them, like
picking a store from their Store Locator selector. I'm not going to
bother blocking all those geo requests when extreme few will ever be
allowed by me. I don't need to wade through thousands of requests to
allow one or two.