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IP Addresses - Mask Types

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We are often asked about mask types, or IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, so we hope this tutorial will answer at least some of your questions. IP's are used for a variety of things on IRC, so it benefits us all to learn about them, including the different mask types that mIRC uses. We use IP's to determine how to set bans, IP's are used in many of the scripts we use. We also use IP's to identify ourselves. If someone else were to use the nick 'bossmom'. People could look at the IP to see if it was indeed really me. IP's are very important in the land of IRC. Let's get started on learning more about them.


Every user on the internet is identified by an IP address. IP means Internet Protocol.

It can appear as an alphanumeric (i.e: @host.beginner.es)
or a numeric (i.e: @

When a person logs onto undernet their ips shows four things:

Example of an Alphanumeric IP

  • Nick!userid@host.domain

  • Nick: What a person chooses to call themselves when they join IRC.

  • Userid: This part is an election of the user. To change the userid you can go to File/Options, (or press alt+o), or click on the second icon from your left (mirc5.5 or higher). Once there, look in Connect/Identd and change it there.

  • Host: Whatever connection you receive from your local ISP's (Internet Service Provider) computer. Everyone is assigned a number, or some manner of identification, each time you log on. The host is variable in 95% of the cases. Most ips are dynamic. But there are a few users that have a static IP, which always come up the same whether they disconnect or not.

  • Domain: It's your Internet Service Provider name .

Numeric IP's

Now, there's another factor to consider, and that is if the offending user is on a numeric ip. Everyone who uses a numeric ip has 4 different sections. Each section tells a little bit about where that computer is located.

Quote from an article: The IP address is made up of four, single byte numbers, separated by periods. These four numbers are usually called octets, since each byte has 8 bits. For example: in, the first octet defines the computer's network, and the next three octets define subnetworks down to the individual machine level.

Now, if someone is using a numeric ip, then it would look something like this:

  • beginner@
  • beginner : userid
  • 195.57.199 : domain ( first three numbers)
  • 12 : host (last number)

It's the last number .12 that determines the machine location (through their ISP). So, to be able to catch them even if they log off, and back on again, a ban is set with a wildcard, or .* For instance, the ban would be set as:

*!*beginner@195.57.199.* -- just like a ban/mask 3 type of ban, it's also what X will use if you use /msg X ban nickname (and the person is on a numeric ip)

Note from Sofaspud: All of this is true if the user has a dynamic IP...most users do (probably about 95%) but there are a few folks that have a static IP. Static IP's *always* come up the same whether they disconnect or not. Folks with static IP's are usually people like college professors, federal government officials and the like. Statics are also commonly used for folks paying the big $$$ for ISDN service and full time 56K connections.

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