Litech IPv6 Web Bug

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The Litech IPv6 Web Bug helps administrators determine whether their site visitors are IPv6-enabled -- without changing any software on the webserver. It is a quick and painless way to discover whether adding IPv6 capability would make a difference at your IPv4-only site!

Why you need the IPv6 Web Bug

More and more sites outside of North America are becoming interested in IPv6 due to the limited availability of IPv4 addresses. Do you know how many of your website's visitors are using IPv6-enabled web browsers? Maybe if your site was available on the IPv6 Internet, your web audience would connect using IPv6 instead! But how do you find out?

The IPv6 Web Bug has the answer. By doing nothing more than changing a few HTML tags on your website, you can start tracking your IPv6-enabled visitors without even knowing anything about IPv6! Using the IPv6 Web Bug, your site can transparently direct web browsers to connect to our dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 web servers and report the results back to your site to be entered into your access logs.

This service is provided free of charge, and does not require you or your users to divulge any personal information. Interested? Continue reading to find out how to set it up for your site.

How it works

The IPv6 Web Bug is nothing more than a script that resides at our website, accessible from both IPv4 and IPv6. Based on which protocol your visitors use to connect, it redirects people to one of two different URLs on your site.

If you link to the IPv6 Web Bug within an HTML IMG tag on a page on your site, the user's browser will connect to our web server, which will redirect the user back to your site to retrieve the image intended for IPv4-only users or the image intended for IPv6-capable users. Then you can check your web server's logs to see how many times each image has been loaded, telling you the approximate number of users that use each protocol.

How to use it

First, you need to decide which images you would like to be loaded when the user loads the page. These can be as small as 1x1 blank images which will not affect the layout or look of your site, or they can be large graphics, such as the demonstration IPv4/IPv6 graphic displayed at the top of this page. For testing, you are welcome to link to these two graphics:

Then, on a page on your website, you need to place an IMG tag that points to the IPv6 Web Bug script and passes the two URLs as parameters. Don't include the http:// on the beginning of the URL, just use the server name and path. The graphic displayed for IPv4 users should be listed in the "v4dest" field, and the graphic for IPv6 users in the "v6dest" field. For example:

Don't forget to escape any special characters in the URLs! If you'd like to learn the IPv6 addresses of your IPv6-enabled visitors, include the string "__IP__" (that's two underscores, "IP", then two more underscores) in the v6dest field and it will be replaced with the client's IPv6 address. Make sure to test it, too.

Here is a helpful script to generate an IPv6 Web Bug URL. Enter the URLs of the two files into the fields below, just as you would enter them into the address bar on your browser. Then click the "Create URL" button.

Graphic for IPv4 users:
Graphic for IPv6 users:

Installing on your own server

If you'd like to install the IPv6 Web Bug script on your own dual-stack server, you may download it here. It is a CGI script written in Perl. You may use, modify, and redistribute it freely but at your own risk. This should go without saying, but the script must be installed on a web server that is reachable with both IPv4 and IPv6.

Privacy statement

Our webserver will log information about your site and visitors to your site, including IP addresses and referring pages. This information will not be given to any third party without your explicit consent, and use of this data within our organization will be limited to debugging of our servers and calculation of aggregate usage statistics.

Last modified 2002-6-1 by Nathan Lutchansky.