[thelist] Analog User Session Tracking

Martin martin at members.evolt.org
Sat Jun 23 05:02:43 CDT 2001

Beau Hartshorne wrote on 22/6/01 11:49 pm

>Is it possible to have analog estimate the number of unique visitors that
>have browsed your site? The analog docs basically say that user session
>measurement is useless and inaccurate.
>User sessions are estimated by grouping access from a unique IP address
>within a 30 min time period. 

Hi Beau

The problem with basing sessions on unique remote IPs is one of proxy

3 examples

1) At home here, I've got 2 desktop machines (one win, one
    Mac) permanently connected, plus laptops from time to time.
    They're all running through a wee Linksys NAT router. Although
    internal to my network, they have unique 192.168.1.* IPs, you'll only
    see the external IP which they all share (62.31.64..* - DHCP from
    my cable modem provider). So both I and my wife could be visiting your
    site, and have 2 sessions, you'd only see one if you're simply IP 

2) The company I work for has about 100k staff scattered across the world.
    While we don't use a single external IP to proxy through, there is a 
    user:external IP ratio.

3) AOL's DHCP setup hands out a new IP for every request - note that 
    not every page, that's every asset requested. HTML, CSS, images, JS 
etc etc.

What many App servers (SiteServer, CF, Broadvision, ATG etc) do is to use
session cookies to track both unique visitors, and visitor paths through 
site. Note that analysing visitor paths is a nightmare to do if you want 
kind of useful information at the end of it, but it's a nice concept.


email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID: 0xA835CCCB
       martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail: 30 Shandon Place
  tel: +44 (0)774 063 9985                      Edinburgh,
  url: http://www.easyweb.co.uk                 Scotland

More information about the thelist mailing list