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FuB
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Sorry, swamps, i didn't notice your question until now.

The Bing bot, Google bot, etc are special user accounts that allow search engines to log in and index the pages on the forum. There's a bot account for all of the major search engines and they log in from time to time (and regularly).
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swampash
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No problem. Thanks for the explanation.
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dozer
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I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
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Jason
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dozer wrote: 1 month ago I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
I'm guessing bots, but I've no idea.

I guess forums are old school now, it's all about twitter/x which is why we don't have maybe as many active users as you'd expect.
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dozer
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Jason wrote: 1 month ago
dozer wrote: 1 month ago I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
I'm guessing bots, but I've no idea.

I guess forums are old school now, it's all about twitter/x which is why we don't have maybe as many active users as you'd expect.
We've never had that many active users in the last couple of decades.
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FuB
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Jason wrote: 1 month ago
dozer wrote: 1 month ago I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
I'm guessing bots, but I've no idea.

I guess forums are old school now, it's all about twitter/x which is why we don't have maybe as many active users as you'd expect.
Jason is correct. It's more than one bot but most of the connections are from facebook at the moment. Facebook are actually quite helpful and provide a link in their user string to explain what the connection is for so, rather than explain myself, i'll just post the link so you can see for yourselves: https://www.facebook.com/externalhit_uatext.php
dozer wrote: 1 month ago Something's not right.
I'm not sure how you jump to that conclusion, really. Guest users are exactly that.. guests. Anyone browsing the forum without a login will show as a guest. If we had 168 registered users connected at the same time i'd be way more concerned.
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FuB
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dozer wrote: 1 month ago
Jason wrote: 1 month ago
dozer wrote: 1 month ago I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
I'm guessing bots, but I've no idea.

I guess forums are old school now, it's all about twitter/x which is why we don't have maybe as many active users as you'd expect.
We've never had that many active users in the last couple of decades.
err... except that your own post includes the rather contradictory: "Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm"
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dozer
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FuB wrote: 1 month ago
Jason wrote: 1 month ago
dozer wrote: 1 month ago I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
I'm guessing bots, but I've no idea.

I guess forums are old school now, it's all about twitter/x which is why we don't have maybe as many active users as you'd expect.
Jason is correct. It's more than one bot but most of the connections are from facebook at the moment. Facebook are actually quite helpful and provide a link in their user string to explain what the connection is for so, rather than explain myself, i'll just post the link so you can see for yourselves: https://www.facebook.com/externalhit_uatext.php
dozer wrote: 1 month ago Something's not right.
I'm not sure how you jump to that conclusion, really. Guest users are exactly that.. guests. Anyone browsing the forum without a login will show as a guest. If we had 168 registered users connected at the same time i'd be way more concerned.
I don't follow. It's not clear what translates to a guest user viewing the forum.

This is what facebook says. Does this mean facebook hyperlinks and their temp display of images shows up as guest users, perhaps one guest user per fetch from facebook?
Or does there are 150-200 real users randomly viewing this forums information loaded on facebook in the last 5 mins.
facebook post wrote: Why does Facebook appear in my server logs?
Facebook allows its users to send links to interesting web content to other Facebook users. Part of how this works on the Facebook system involves the temporary display of certain images or details related to the web content, such as the title of the webpage or the embed tag of a video. Our system retrieves this information only after a user provides us with a link. You may have found this page because a Facebook user sent a link from your website to other Facebook users. If you have any questions or concerns about any links or content sent by one of our users, please contact us at legal@facebook.com.
This is what I see when I access the root link ie.the index page - index.php
There are around 150 guest users in the last 5 mins. I click anywhere else in the forum and it's 0 guests in the last 5 mins. Do you know why that is?
rant index page wrote: Who is online
In total there are 151 users online :: 2 registered, 1 hidden and 148 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
Anyway all of this is just a casual question, I'm just curious.
Last edited by dozer 1 month ago, edited 1 time in total.
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dozer
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Posts: 4072
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FuB wrote: 1 month ago
dozer wrote: 1 month ago
Jason wrote: 1 month ago
dozer wrote: 1 month ago I just noticed this. 168 guests are online atm. Something's not right.
I only see this when I access the board index ie the forum root path, https://nqatpod.com/forum/ not the specific threads
Who is online
In total there are 170 users online :: 1 registered, 1 hidden and 168 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm
I'm guessing bots, but I've no idea.

I guess forums are old school now, it's all about twitter/x which is why we don't have maybe as many active users as you'd expect.
We've never had that many active users in the last couple of decades.
err... except that your own post includes the rather contradictory: "Most users ever online was 269 on Thu Mar 28, 2024 2:51 pm"
I meant real forummers mate. Not bots. Jason made a point about active users i.e. real people moving to twitter.
There's no way we've had 100+ active forummers at any point in this forum, let alone March this year.
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FuB
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dozer wrote: 1 month ago
Anyway all of this is just a casual question, I'm just curious.
I'll try and explain.

In order for search engines like Google, etc. to make an index of the web in general, they need to have an automated process that "crawls" through the whole of the web trying to check each page. These processes are normally referred to as "spiders" or "webcrawlers". It's all got a little muddy more recently because they are also correctly referred to as "bots" because, well, they're just an automated process that has some direction to it.

I'm not entirely certain what Facebook is up to but nearly all of these guest logins at the moment are coming from Facebook's servers. I think they are verifying links to this forum that have been posted on Facebook somewhere or other. In any case they are benign and i'm not bothered about them at all - I'm able to check that they really are coming from Facebook's servers by the way. I don't really understand why they need to consume so many active guest "logins" (quotes because they're not, by definition, logins) since most webcrawlers need only one. phpBB has special default guest accounts for most of the major search engines and, indeed, the "Google [Bot]" is currently having a browse of the forum and does so very regularly.

Sometimes, we see a sudden swathe of guest "logins" from countries like China. I've seen this quite regularly and I've also seen this in my real-world job looking after various network systems. They do seem to like to probe networks and it's hard not to suspect nefarious purposes. We'll also occasionally see some connections from people elsewhere who are probably having a go at hacking something or other - whatever they can find. It's a jungle out there and, if you looked at firewall logs as much as i end up doing, you'd maybe be quite horrified.

As for the difference between an active user login and a guest login, you've noted that it'll say something like: "In total there are x users online" and then break it down into "registered", "hidden" and "guests". "Registered" are real users who have a login and password. As you know, you can set yourself as "hidden" in your user control panel and therefore the "hidden" count is the subset of the registered users who are set as hidden. Anything else is counted as a "guest", i.e. if you stumble across the site and browse it without having a proper login, you're a guest. Webcrawlers count as "guests" because they don't have a username and password and they are not logged in at any point.

I hope that clears it up for you.
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