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IPs / VPNs / Proxies

Chatrooms are able to view IP Addresses associated with messages sent in the chatroom.

Configuration#

To set it up, go to your Chat Settings page, and click "IP Addresses".

Once here, you will see an option to enable the functionality, as well as the ability to change which rank can view IPs.

This feature will be available as long as your chat is on the paid tier.

Note: Only messages sent while this feature is turned on will have the IP Addresses available. For instance, if you turned it on right now, you could not view IP Addresses sent on older messages.

How is viewing IPs useful?#

Each user is assigned an IP Address. If you suspect two people of being the same person, IP Addresses will help you investigate.

Let's say a strange user entered your chat, and you suspect they may be that "Good User" you recently talked with.

Viewing their IP may help confirm your suspicions.

IP viewing menu

Once you click "View IP", a window pops up with the user's IP Address, as well as estimated location information.

IP viewing

Is IP Address a fool-proof solution?#

In some cases, no. For instance, if two users live near one another, and have chatted from the same coffee shop or library, they will have shared an IP. Many mobile data carriers will also share IPs. These may result in false-positives.

Furthermore, false negatives are possible if a user only causes trouble on their cell phone on mobile data, and stays on their home network to behave themselves. They may also be using a VPN in order to mask their identity.

IP Viewing should supplement human moderation and judgment, not replace it.

Warnings#

When users join your chat link directly, they will see a full-screen message alerting them that you can view their IP.

This message only appears if they visit your chat link directly -- if you have your chat embedded onto your own domain, this message will not display, as you already have access to their IP.

IP viewing warning

You are not allowed to sell, re-distribute, or publicize IP Addresses. Any chats found to be engaging in this behavior, or threatening to do so, will be suspended from the service.

Other Information#

IPs are only viewable on messages sent while this setting is On. You cannot view an IP Address associated with a message if the message was sent while the setting was disabled.

This is also true for "Recent Accounts" -- if @GoodUser talks on IP 123.456.789, and then you enable it after they leave, and @BadEgg appears on 123.456.789, the system will not show you that they share IP Addresses.

Why does a user’s IP Address look funny? Are these MAC Addresses?#

These IPs, typically formatted as 2001:db8::8a2e:370:7334 (for instance), are IPv6 addresses.

The more commonly-known IP address, formatted like 123.45.678.90, is IPv4. The Internet has depleted IPv4 addresses to issue to providers, so more and more users will be using the new IPv6 addresses.

These are not MAC Addresses. Minnit, like any other website, has no way of viewing a user’s MAC Address.

Minnit has no way of requiring solely IPv4 addresses, as our systems are set to accept an IPv6 address (if present) to ensure everybody can connect. If you need to restrict connections to IPv4 addresses only, contact us and we can discuss getting a dedicated server set up for your chat with IPv4 support.

VPNs / Proxies#

If your chat is on the Community plan or higher, you can also block users using a known VPN or proxy from connecting to your chat and sending messages.

Typically, users on VPNs do not cause problems.

If you're seeing a lot of users on VPNs causing problems, you can turn this feature on.

This only blocks known VPNs/Proxies.

If a user is bypassing bans via a dynamic IP Address from their ISP, by using various public hotspots, encourages their friends/followers to "raid" your chat, or uses small VPNs/Proxies that aren't known, this setting will not affect them.

If you find that this setting is not assisting your chat, you should disable it to prevent legitimate users from being unable to connect.