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I put up a site and saving all the IP addresses of users is adding some overhead. I am trying to figure of this benefit is justified.

I never used an IP address for anything other than correlating user activity for trending and site usage metrics.

I know the IP information can be used to audit and trace things back to the user of that IP.

what exactly is the info you can gather that would be useful based sole on the IP address and how can i get this info?

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  • Where the ip is routed to, normally the isp of the user, hence roughly where in the world the user is.

  • what ports the user has open, (by port scanning, which normally isn't illegal but you may want to check).

From the IP alone, that's about it. From the header info of a user's browser there's a fair bit more info, such as the browser used, and which page the user has come from.

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can i get a name or address? somethign use-full? – kacalapy Feb 9 '11 at 14:30
No. You may be able to find information from other sites to tie that ip into a user account or similar (data mining), but otherwise no, you'll need to have a legal case to take to the isp for them to release that information. -- then again you may get lucky, maybe they run a website on that ip and it has owner information which you can use. :-) – Sirex Feb 9 '11 at 14:33

When you say "site" I'm assuming you mean website. It really depends on the purpose of your collection of IPs. Is it security concerns? Marketing?

For example, from an IP address you can identify the geographical location of the visitor and use that to target certain banner advertisements. This is why you can log into a website and see local business ads popup.

IP would also be necessary if the site were hacked and you were attempting to identify the offender. However, without actively scanning ports there isn't much beyond that IP would tell you. I have to say though, if a site were scanning my ports when I visited, I wouldn't go to that site anymore.

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well lets say a user leaves adds or trashy coments or whatever, and i know his ip. i want to know i can take actions againts this user other than blocking the ip from coming again... – kacalapy Feb 9 '11 at 14:40
What other sort of actions would you take? As an FYI - blocking the IP isn't always the most effective means since many Internet connections are dynamic (the IP address changes). – Mr Furious Feb 9 '11 at 14:47

You could get the name of the registrar of the IP address range. But this is probably completely useless.

If the access was from a home computer, then it probably has a dynamic IP address, and you would only find out to which provider the address belongs.

If the access was from a company, then it could have a fixed address you can trace, but it doesn't have to. Only bigger companies have fixed addresses today, or ones that really need it because they offer some services to the internet.

But no, there is not much more than the geographical location (and only if properly registered) than you can get from the IP.

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