Why does Ikea think I am in the Dominican Republic?
December 10, 2012 5:04 PM   Subscribe

When trying to access ikea.com. I am being re-directed to Ikea's website in the Dominican Republic (I am in the US). This happens on all the household's computers and in all browsers -- what is up?
posted by AwkwardPause to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
It sounds like your external IP address (one per house) shows up as a Dominican IP in whatever geoip tool/database they're using.
This happens sometimes
posted by bitdamaged at 5:11 PM on December 10, 2012

See what happens when you go to http://www.ikea.com/us/en/
posted by radioamy at 5:51 PM on December 10, 2012

No dice -- same result. I've also cleaned out cookies etc., so far nothing helps. Any ideas for where to reach out to have this issue rectified?
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:43 PM on December 10, 2012

If you go to a site like http://whatismyipaddress.com where do they think you are? Also, click on "additional IP details", does the information there correctly correspond with your ISP?
posted by fings at 7:18 PM on December 10, 2012

Are you using a proxy server or something to help you access torrent sites without being traced?
posted by KateViolet at 8:31 PM on December 10, 2012

So what is likely happening is that ikea is using an ip based tool to lookup your ip against a table of ip blocks and using that to guess your location. This is purely based on the ip which all your devices use in your house, the Ip address assigned by your ISP to you. Usually the router in your house is the one that gets assigned the ip addresses. All your local machines get local ip addresses from your router, they're not your external ip. If you look at something like whatsmyip from multiple machines in the house they will all show the same IP (the routers) though if you look at each machines settings they will each be different (usually starting with 192.168....)

The way ikea figures out where you are from us usually from your external ip (the one from whatsmyip). They look up the ip against a table provided by a third party that tells them where you are. Now 2 things first, this data isnt always correct, second there are multiple providers of this data so you might have some sites locating you properly while some do not.

If what I've stated is correct then there is nothing you can do locally to fix this. You can try rebooting your modem at home, and hope it gets a new ip that works, but that's not likely to work. Or you can switch to using something like tor or a VPN but that seems like overkill to get to ikea.com
posted by bitdamaged at 9:20 PM on December 10, 2012

Note you can also go to something like http://www.geoiptool.com/ to see what at least one data provider thinks you're from. But that's no guarantee that ikea is using the same provider of geoip data.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:24 PM on December 10, 2012

This exact same thing has happened to me before. I did the same as you, cleared my cookies, tried a different browser, checked my IP, but nothing worked. After three or four days it was back to normal. It happened once more after that and then it went back to normal after one day. I think the problem is with Ikea, not you (or me).
posted by Fuego at 9:32 PM on December 10, 2012

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