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From "Boyle Owen" <Owen.Bo...@swx.com>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Webalizer - lots of unresolved/unknown countries
Date Tue, 27 May 2003 10:42:37 GMT
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Robert [mailto:robert_schmidli@hotmail.com]
>
>I have recently set up (with much difficulty) Webalizer with 
>DNS lookups to
>list countries.  There seem to be a lot of users from 
>unknown/unresolved
>countries (99% approx).  Where do these come from and is there 
>some way that they could either be resolved or ignored?

If you get any countries resolved at all, then DNS must be working,
However....

These programs work by doing a reverse DNS lookup of the IP address of
each request in the logs. If the domain-name returned by reverse DNS
happens to contain a country code, then you can assign a country to the
request. However, there are so many things that can go wrong with this
that it is practically a waste of time (at any rate the data are
meaningless). This is what you've got to fight through:

1) Many clients, especially in large organisations, go through a proxy.
The proxy probably doesn't even have a domain name and does all its
business using its IP address - so you don't even get a reverse DNS.
2) DNS is not obliged not support reverse-DNS lookup so you often get no
domain-name at all. 
3) The majority of sites nowadays are .com (around 70%?) which tells you
nothing about countries (then there's .org, .net, .gov, .biz etc.). 
4) If you do somehow get a country code, there's no guarantee that it
has anything to do with the client. I can live in England, register a
.ch domain and serve it from a machine in the USA. What does the .ch
tell you? 

You might be under the misapprehension that IP addresses are somehow
linked to countries (like how you can tell that a phone number beginning
33 is in France). They're not. Any public IP can be assigned to any FQDN
and there is no connection with nationality in the numeric content of
the IP.

Rgds,
Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored.  


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