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Internet Addressing

The Basics

Every machine on the Internet has its own unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. This address is a series of four 8-bit numbers (0-255) separated by periods. Your current IP address is 54.224.121.93. This number, although unique, is not the easiest thing in the world to remember; therefore, most Internet machines have this number aliased to an easier-to-remember name. This is called your host name. Your current host name is ec2-54-224-121-93.compute-1.amazonaws.com (this may be the name of your proxy server if you go through that).

How It Works

Our web page simply displays this information. With each web request, the server obtains a lot of useful information regarding what machine you're coming from, what page you're coming from, etc. It needs this information to know where to send web pages. Our server, the Apache server, allows us to access these variables and echo them to the web page. For those people using a proxy server, our server also collects the host name that is being proxied (which is what is under "Proxied For:"). You shouldn't be concerned that this information is available as that's the nature of how the Internet works. However, knowing that your information is available freely on the Internet, you should take precautions to make sure that your system is closed to outside access attempts. This may mean installing service packs or updates for your operating system and making sure that server software that you run is accessible only to those people who you trust.

What Texas.Net Uses This Information For

Texas.Net collects the information from the web server for a few uses other than just letting you know your IP address and host name. For form submissions, Texas.Net also sends along the host name of the person sending the e-mail to determine whether the source may be the cause of a problem or in case someone abuses the system. The information also allows us to lock out non-Texas.Net customers from using some scripts on our system. However, beyond that, not much can be done with the information.

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