Wednesday, February 23, 2005

local nerd makes good

Having numerous computers behind a home firewall/router, I've often used to figure out what my 'real' external IP address is. It's useful when I'm giving someone FTP access or when the local DNS servers are fritzing out or when my wireless card keeps acquiring a legit external IP address and I want to make sure I didn't blow a big hole in my router firmware the last time I tweaked it. For semi-permanent access like VPN and Remote Desktop I use DynDNS so I don't need to know the IP address, but sometimes I just need the info quick and does the trick. It's one of maybe 20 simple web utilities I use every week.

Well the (really quite) simple web utility just eBay'd for $386,100US. Wow. Somebody somewhere is pretty damn happy right now... for an investment of maybe a few hundred dollars, they really raked it in. The site gets over 1.7 million hits each month, with over 3GB/day bandwidth provided for free by in exchange for the most unobtrusive little adspace in the upper right corner. This is where it's at, now... the whole dotcom 'killer app' hunt fizzled out, but small free helpful little websites are making all kinds of money. Power to the people indeed.

There's a good chance that whoever bought it is going to totally fuck it up, turning it into a large page of ads with a tiny little box that shows your IP address. (Compare to which would you rather use?) They'll turn over a few million this year from Google AdSense hits alone, and they won't care if it dies out after that. Or, who knows, maybe they'll be discreet and do it right. If not, there are other options like IPChicken or (even better for scripting), which returns a single line of text: "Current IP Address: your.ip.add.ress". If you've got your own webpage with CGI/PHP/ASP/SSI functionality, you can also just do this yourself... it's a one line script. Won't work on Blogger though :/


Blogger Reggiex said...

I use a website called, that does much the same thing. Very similar to you, i need to perform simple tasks such as determinig my IP daily. I have found to be a very clean service.

I hear a rumor that they will be releasing a small prog for the Task bar, which displays your IP on mouseover....Now that would be handy!!!

The also provide an Anonymous Proxy Surf service, at Spondoo Proxy where you can browse safely and hide your IP. As if that wasn't enough, they are about to launch a Proxy Browser of the same function (a direct replacement for IE or Netscape).

And check this...... It's all FREE!!!!

I find this to be a Godsend and look forward to future developments.

Blogger Foobario said...

"... I'm not just a customer, I own the company too!!!"

Dude, I edited out your advertising links. Go suck elsewhere.
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