I provisioned a custom-sized VM in GCE zone asia-east1-a and I chose that zone for a reason. Why is it that when checking my IP location I see that the location is in Mountain View, CA? Is this because the IP is registered to that location or is it really that the IP address i'm getting (both ephemeral and static) is really in the US?

  • 2
    I believe this may be a case of confusing the postal address of the owner (as per eg whois data) with the location of the hardware. Can you include eg traceroute output to try to confirm? – Håkan Lindqvist Mar 29 '16 at 12:05
  • 2
    It sounds like you used some GeoIP site to look up the address associated with your IP. Those are based on databases, which can (and will) be outdated. Like Håkan said, the most meaningful check will be a traceroute. – n.st Mar 29 '16 at 12:12
  • If I look at the whois data for the external IP address of a VM in GCE zone asia-east1-a I see the address of Google's headquarter in Mountain View. The whois data has no indication of where in the world the actual hardware is located. Since you haven't provided any information about the external IP address of your VM, I don't know whether it is in the same range as the one I looked at. But it is quite likely the whois data would look the same. You can compare with the results you get from your own IP by running a command like: whois – kasperd Nov 11 '16 at 21:14

As already mentioned in some of the comments, many external Geo IP services solely depend on SWIP database. Most of Google IPs are SWIP'ed to be Mountain View, CA. Therefore a VM living in a datacenter outside of U.S. might show a linked U.S. IP address. A detailed discussion and some suggestions are carried out on this thread.


There are three types of IP addresses in Google Cloud: IPv4 Global, IPv6 Global and IPv4 Regional.

All Google IPv6 addresses are Global.

If you deploy a Global IP address, which can only be assigned to certain Google services such as load balancers and proxies, the IP address is not bound to any particular region. Google Global IP addresses are anycast addresses. The location can appear to be the closest Google Frontend (GFE) to the customer. Two different customers in different regions will have different routes.

If you factor in Google network tiers, standard and premium, trace routes will show more differences.

Regional IP addresses, which are used for services like Compute Engine, are created and assigned in a specific region. These IP addresses cannot be assigned to resources in different regions. Therefore when you select a Regional IP address you know for which region it exists, for your use case. Google can relocate IP addresses, so a defined region today might be different in the future.

IP Geolocation services cannot report reliable information for Google Global IP addresses. These services typically use the registered business address. I have not seen an instance where they report the actual physical data center as Google does not report this information to external sources.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.