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FlashStats 2006

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Tech note FS1421

Why do I only see client IP addresses instead of client host names? Does FlashStats do reverse DNS?

Why does the Types of Domains report only show Unresolved IP Number?

FlashStats analyzes the information stored in the log file. If your web server does not perform reverse DNS lookup, then you will not be able to see the client host names. This will affect the User Domain Analysis report and the Types of Domains report.

FlashStats 1.3.1 and prior versions did not perform reverse DNS lookups. But version 1.4 and later do! In order to take advantage of this feature just pass the DnsLookupEnabled parameter to the FlashStats CGI with a value of 1. For example, this can be controlled with a checkbox:

<input type="checkbox" name="DnsLookupEnabled" value="1">

However, you should be careful when using this feature because it wil dramatically increase the time it takes to generate reports. The DNS lookups are not cached between each run of FlashStats, so subsequent runs will not be faster.

Reverse DNS information tends to be time sensitive so looking up the host name of an IP address in an old log file can be inaccurate. If this data is important to you we recommend you use a log conversion utility or have your web server record the information by default.

Users of Netscape servers can enable reverse DNS lookup by using the Netscape Server Administrator. Under the first button (System Settings) choose Performance Tuning in the left-hand frame. Make sure that Enable DNS is set to Yes.

If you are running O'Reilly WebSite, we recommend that you turn on reverse DNS lookup. (This is done in the main configuration dialog box; choose Control / Properties..., and look on the Logging tab.) O'Reilly states that you shouldn't use reverse DNS lookup because it slows down your web site. However, we have found that unless your web site gets heavy traffic the slowdown will not be noticeable. Therefore, we recommend enabling reverse DNS lookup. Monitor your site to ensure that its performance is acceptable with this option enabled.

Users of WebSTAR or Quid Pro Quo on the Macintosh should choose X logging. Enable reverse DNS lookup. Include the CS-HOST field in the list of fields being logged.

Users of Microsoft web servers (IIS and PWS) have no options since IIS does not support reverse DNS lookups. Your User Domain Analysis report and Types of Domains report will always just show IP addresses (unless you set the DnsLookupEnabled option with FlashStats 1.4.x).

Finally, you need to make sure that the file networks.txt is available to the FlashStats program, and that the full path to the networks.txt file is specified on the networks= line of the FlashStats configuration file (flashstats.ini or flashstats.conf). For example, the configuration file line should look something like:

networks=C:\Program Files\Maximized Software\FlashStats\Networks.TXT

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