IP2Location geolocation data comes in 2 different data file formats. One is the Comma Separated Values (CSV) file format which users can import into their databases like SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle and so on. The other format is the BIN data file format. The BIN here refers to binary data which means you cannot read the file like you would a normal text file.
Overview of the BIN data file
The geolocation data stored in the BIN file is optimized to be fast to query and does not take up unnecessary disk space. The data file also contains an index to speed up queries when used with the free and commercial programming libraries & components provided by IP2Location.
List of libraries & components: https://www.ip2location.com/developers
Advantages of the BIN data file compared to the CSV data file
- Easy to deploy. Just copy the BIN file along with any programs you’re using.
- Easy to update. Just replace the existing BIN file being used by your programs.
- Takes up minimal space and no need to install any database server software.
- When using official libraries & components that supports loading the data into memory, you can have much faster query performance by using more RAM.
- On lower end systems, queries using file I/O are still fast but does not take up much RAM.
- Easy integration with your own codes as many open source and commercial libraries & components are available for querying the BIN data file.
When should you use the BIN data file instead of the CSV data file?
People who develop solutions using our geolocation data would usually be the one who would need to use the BIN data file as they can easily deploy their solutions along with our BIN file to the customers’ servers. By using the BIN data file, their customers do not have to pay for extras like database server software/license or have the need to hire a database administrator to handle the monthly updates.