Opened 7 months ago

Last modified 3 months ago

#32978 new defect

Find a working alternative to using MaxMind's GeoLite2 databases

Reported by: karsten Owned by: metrics-team
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Metrics Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: metrics-team, nickm Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


MaxMind has recently changed access and use of their GeoLite2 databases:

This affects Onionoo and tor. I started a thread on tor-dev@ about this topic last week with some more details.

Let's use this ticket to brainstorm and discuss working alternatives to the way we used their databases in the past.

Child Tickets

#29281newirlAdd research idea for GeoIP database comparisonWebpages/Research

Change History (13)

comment:1 Changed 6 months ago by karsten

I think I found a possible alternative by using data from another provider. But before I name it here, I'd first want to find out how accurate it is.

I tried resolving relay IP addresses of relays that have been running in the past week and compared that to our existing lookups using MaxMind's October database. The result is that 7669 relays (93%) had the same country code and ASN. I put the remaining 7% on this wiki page and would like to hear from relay operators which data source is right and which is wrong (or if both are wrong). Relay operators can leave comments either here or in the "Comments" column on that wiki page. I'll post to the tor-relays@ mailing list and ask relay operators for participation.

comment:2 Changed 6 months ago by fetzerms

Fingerprint: 41A3C162

According to Whois:

  • Country, region, city: EU (Region, City is not part of the whois)
  • ASN, ISP: AS205365, "Matthias Fetzer"

According to old db:

  • Country, region, city: null, null, null
  • ASN, ISP: AS205365, "Matthias Fetzer"

According to new db:

  • Country, region, city: Ukraine, Odessa, Odessa
  • ASN, ISP: AS205365, "FETZER"

The new database is correct, regarding the physical location. The server is indeed running in Odessa, Ukraine. The allocation (before it was transfered to me) has been registered to Odessa, Ukraine before. So I am not sure if the new database uses old data (instead of "no data", which the old db did), or if they actually process traceroutes in order to determine the location.

As the officially registration states "EU" as the Country, I would actually expect it to be determined as "EU".

comment:3 Changed 6 months ago by minxi

Looking at a sample of deltas and corresponding BGP announcements indicates the new database is indeed more accurate; it seems to prefer "actual" location to what can be derived from solely from WHOIS.

comment:4 Changed 6 months ago by nusenu

please note previous discussions about IP-to-ASN data


comment:5 Changed 6 months ago by cypherpunks

What is the new geoip source? I am dumping a much larger quantity of IP's through a differ and alt source check. Thanks.

comment:6 Changed 6 months ago by gaba

Keywords: metrics-team-roadmap-2020Q1 added

comment:7 Changed 6 months ago by gaba

We are looking into the license of the new source to be sure it will work.

comment:8 Changed 6 months ago by computer_freak

Fingerprint: 951307BA

The new one is more correct.

The old one i think is incomplete because its at an OVH reseller.
The new one at least got the location correct.

Fingerprint: F51A927E

Answer from my hosting company:
PINDC-AS should be the correct one, AS34665 is the newer ASN.

So it looks the new database is more accurate here as well!

comment:9 Changed 6 months ago by RedDog
as: AS205100
country: server: DE; operator: DE; hoster: =operator

not listed :-)
as: AS208294
country: server: NL; operator: DE; hoster: GB

maxmind: as: AS200052 (outdated since some weeks)
maxmind: country: DE <--------------------- Ops, but not completely wrong
new-db: as: AS208294
new-db: country: NL <--------------------- for me it looks better
as: AS60729
country: server: DE; operator: DE; hoster: DE

maxmind: as: AS60729
maxmind: country: DE
new-db: as: AS60729
new-db: country: NL (wrong!) <--------------------- Ops
as: AS4224
country: server: USA?; operator: USA; hoster: USA?

maxmind: as: AS4224
maxmind: country: DE (wrong!) <--------------------- Ops
new-db: as: AS4224
new-db: country: NL (wrong!) <--------------------- Ops


AS Wrong:

  • Maxmind: 1 (okay, this is just outdated, maybe they need some more weeks (years?))
  • New-DB: 0

Country Wrong:

  • Maxmind: 1.5 (listened the operator as country)
  • New-DB: 2

My personal experience with maxmind is, that they just don't response to contact about wrong entries. Maybe it would be a good idea to the that on the New-DB.

comment:10 Changed 6 months ago by cypherpunks

New geoip source is wrong for all AS28753 relays. Maxmind has correctly located these in Germany; new source has Netherlands. AS description says it: "LEASEWEB-DE-FRA-10," where FRA is Frankfurt.

comment:11 Changed 4 months ago by gaba

Keywords: metrics-team-roadmap-2020April added; metrics-team-roadmap-2020Q1 removed

Move some of the tickets from last metrics roadmap to the roadmap in April.

comment:12 Changed 4 months ago by gaba

Cc: nickm added
Keywords: metrics-team-roadmap-2020April removed

comment:13 in reply to:  7 Changed 3 months ago by arma

Replying to gaba:

We are looking into the license of the new source to be sure it will work.

Gaba, let us know if you need help with the license side of it.

It sounds from the above that the new database is not much worse than the current database (and possibly as good or better), so it sounds like a winner to me, if we are indeed unable to continue with the maxmind one.

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