Wikipedia:IP users

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IP users, guest users or unregistered users are users who edit Wikipedia without registering for an account. The term "IP user" comes from the fact that when such a user edits, Wikipedia annotates the edit with the IP address of the computer from which the edit was made where, if the user were logged in, it would show the user name of the editor who made it. These substitutes for user names may have the following general IPv4 or IPv6 forms:

x.x.x.x where x is a number bigger 0 and smaller than 255
y:y:y:y:y:y:y:y where y is a number between 0 to 65535, written in hexadecimal

The IP user edits are estimated to constitute one-half (54% in 2013) of the general username activity levels. So, among the total daily edits, then about one-third are posted by IP users, while 2/3 (~67%) are logged to specific usernames each time.

While registered editors only occasionally possess one or two legitimate alternate usernames, IP users frequently contribute from different IP addresses because Internet service providers (ISPs) usually assign IP addresses dynamically; meaning that the same actual person may return to Wikipedia with a different IP address. The IP user who created articles "Édith Piaf" and "Maria Callas" was over 100 other IPs, looking like "100 newcomers" in general. Because the dynamic IP addresses change with every edit, or every day, the short-term editing by such IP users bolstered the myth that Wikipedia was primarily written by passing strangers or newcomers who quit after a few days and rarely returned. Instead, the repeated edits to the same pages, by numerous "different" IP users, can be deduced as the same users re-editing a common page when using another IP address.

See also[edit]

About IP addresses in general[edit]

About editing Wikipedia with or without an account[edit]

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