How Long Does Your ISP Store IP-Address Logs?

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The ongoing avalanche of mass-BitTorrent lawsuits reveal that IP-addresses can get people into a heap of trouble and it's not unusual for Internet subscribers to be wrongfully accused of sharing copyrighted material. This begs the question, for how long are these IP-addresses stored? To find out, TorrentFreak asked some of the largest Internet providers in the US about their logging practices.

ip assignment logs

The question is, for how long will this remain the case, especially considering SOPA author Lamar Smith’s introduction of a new bill last year. Under his Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act, ISPs will be required to keep IP-address logs for a minimum of a year.

For now, however, no logs are required by law.

Earlier this week the CEO of Sonic called on fellow ISPs to protect the privacy of subscribers and purge logs after two weeks like his company does. One of the reasons cited was the massive amount of civil subpoenas that are, ironically enough, often sent by “Internet pornographers” in mass-BitTorrent lawsuits.

A refreshing stance, and one that makes users of other providers curious about the logging practices of their ISPs. Unfortunately, nearly all providers are very secretive about their data retention policies. Unlike VPN providers , all admit to logging IP-addresses, but how long they retain them remains a mystery.

In an attempt to find out more, TorrentFreak contacted several large ISPs with the seemingly simple question; How long does “company X” store IP-address assignment logs? Our findings are detailed below.

Those who value their privacy and hide their IP-address can of course always sign up with a VPN provider, one that doesn’t keep logs .

Time Warner Cable

Time Warner informed us that they store IP-address logs for up to 6 months .

Interestingly, the company is the only ISP we contacted that also posts information regarding its data retention on its website .

Comcast did not respond to our inquiries but has mentioned a 180 day retention policy for IP-addresses in BitTorrent-related court documents. On some occasions cases have been dismissed because logs were no longer available, meaning that alleged infringers could not be identified.

The 180 day policy is also mentioned in the Comcast Law Enforcement Handbook that leaked in 2007.

Verizon’s Privacy Office informed TorrentFreak by email that information about IP address assignments is retained for 18 months , the longest of all ISPs who responded to our request.

Qwest/Century

The Qwest/CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support Group informed us that IP-address logs are kept for approximately 1 year . As is also the case with other Internet Providers, Qwest/Century noted that personal details are only disclosed when the company receives a subpoena.

Cox failed to reply to our inquiry, but previously it has mentioned a 6 month retention policy for IP-address assignments in the press. In Cox’s “ Lawful Intercept Worksheet ” the company also mentions that logs are kept for “ up to 6 months .”

AT&T’s IP-address logging practices are not public. Initially the company did not reply to out inquiry, but upon publishing AT&T’s Privacy Policy Team promised to get back to us as soon as they find out how long logs are kept. We will update this article as soon as their response arrives.

Update (2014): AT&T has never responded but this document posted by ACLU suggest that they retain data for about a year.

Charter lists no information about their IP-address retention in its privacy policy. However, a reader alerted us to an answer on Charter’s website where it states that residential IP-addresses are retained for one year .

Update 2021: Charter currently retains IP-address logs for six months, unless it’s legally required to keep the data any longer.

The ISPs below were added after publication.

– DSL Extreme says they retain radius IP logs for two weeks on their DSL service. – Teksavvy (Canada) keeps IP-assignment logs for two years 90 days . – Eastlink (Canada) keeps IP-assignment logs for one year – Start Communications (Canada) keeps IP-assignment logs for 90 days

As far as we are aware, this is the first overview of IP-logging practices of the largest U.S. ISPs. However, we need help to make the list more complete as not all the providers we contacted replied.

We encourage all readers to tweet, mail or phone their Internet providers to get a more complete overview, including ISPs not listed above. This is not limited to providers in the U.S. Feel free to forward us the answers so we can expand this article.

PIA

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How are IP addresses actually assigned?

I'm having a hard time understanding how a governing body assigns IP addresses, companies use BGP to advertise those IPs, and how the internet works. Then, where the hell does DNS come in?

Can anyone suggest a good read of how this stuff actually works? I suppose I have several questions. The first is, does ARIN (or any other governing body) actually matter? If they weren't around, would there be chaos? When they assign a block, they don't LITERALLY assign it? You have to use BGP to advertise, correct? I have always been used to a closed hosting environment (dedicated/shared) where you have routed IPs.

Then, how does DNS come in to play? With my registrar I am able to register a DNS server (eNom) - what does that actually mean? I've installed Bind and made all of that work, and I run my own DNS servers, but who are they registering that DNS server with? I just don't get it.

I feel like this is something I should know and I don't, and I'm getting really frustrated. It's like.. simple.. how does the internet work? From assigning IPs, to companies routing them, and DNS.

I guess I have an example - I have this IP space let's say 158.124.0.0/16 (example). The company has 158.124.0.0/17 internet facing. (First of all, why do companies get blocks of IPs assigned and then not use them? Why don't they use use reserved internal space 10.x and 192.x?). So, that's where I'm at. What would I do to actually get these IPs on the Internet and available? Let's say I have a data center in Chicago and one in New York. I'm not able to upload a picture, but I can link one here: http://begolli.com/wp-content/gallery/tech/internetworkings.png

I'm just trying to understand how from when the IP block is assigned, to a company using BGP (attaining a public AS #?), and then how DNS comes in to play?

What would something look like from my picture? I've tried to put together a scenario, not sure if I did a good job.

  • domain-name-system

Vegim's user avatar

  • 6 As a professional system administrator, or someone working in a related field, we are expected to know these things. For any bits that may be a little unclear vast numbers of books and Internet articles have already been published. This is also not the kind of question, or set of questions, that can be properly addressed by a Q&A site like SF. –  John Gardeniers Commented May 31, 2011 at 22:48
  • 2 I don't really have a problem with this question - I look at it the same way as the "Subnetting 101" question & answer: It's something every sysadmin should know, but some may have slipped through without the requisite knowledge. We can't cover it as exhaustively as subnetting, but I think having it as a quick-and-dirty primer is a Good Thing. –  voretaq7 Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 15:50
  • 1 @John - I think there are many different levels. Like I stated, I grew up learning in a static environment as far as networks went. I never really dealt with ISPs, border routers, and configuring blocks of IPs. I have had the pleasure of having many dedicated servers, configuring linux distributions, securing them, running web applications, and being able to manage those boxes. There are different sides to the spectrum, and I don't think we are expected to know these things. We are expected to know specialized tasks. Some people know networking engineering real well.. others do not. –  Vegim Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 16:08

4 Answers 4

Leased ip blocks.

IPs are assigned in blocks by IANA to the Regional Internet Registries (RIR). See this ( list and map ) of the RIRs. The RIRs then lease out smaller blocks IPs to individual companies (usually ISPs). There are requirements (including fees and proof of use) for getting a distribution and failing to maintain these means a loss of lease.

Once a company has leased one or more blocks from the RIR, they need some way of telling the rest of the world where to find a particular IP (or set thereof: subnets). This is where BGP comes into play. BGP uses a large network concept called an Autonomous System (AS). The AS knows how to route within itself. When routing to another network it only knows about AS Gateways and where the "next hop" toward those external addresses. AS numbers are managed by IANA as well.

Within an AS, even one as large as an ISP, they might use several routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP, EIGRP, and ISIS come to mind) to route traffic internally. It's also possible to use Static Routing Tables, but entirely impractical in most applications. Internal routing protocols are a huge topic, so I'll simplify by saying there are other questions on Server Fault that can do those topics more justice than I can here.

Humans don't remember numbers well, so we invented host names. Skipping the history, we use the Domain Naming System (DNS) to keep track of what hostname points to what IP address. There is a central registry for these, also managed by IANA, and they determine what Top Level Domains (TLD) (eg ".com" or ".net") go in the Root Zone, which is served by the Root Servers. IANA delegates administration of the "root zone", this administrator only accepts updates from qualified Registrars.

You can use a Registrar to "purchase" a domain name, which is a subdomain of a TLD. This registration essentially creates that subdomain and assigns you control over it's Name Server (NS) and Glue (A) records. You point these to a DNS server that hosts your domain . When a client wants to resolve your IP from a domain name, the client contacts their DNS server which does a recursive lookup, starting with the root server, finding your DNS server and eventually getting the relevant information.

Everyone Agrees

As for the "governing bodies": everyone just agrees to use them. There are no (or very few) laws requiring anyone to cooperate at all. The Internet works because people choose to cooperate . The governing bodies provide a means of easy cooperation. All the various RFCs, "Standards", and such - nobody is being forced to use them. But we understand that society is built on cooperation, and it's in our own self interests to do so.

The efficiency bred by cooperation is the same reason BGP is popular, everyone basically agrees to use it. In the days of ArpaNet they started with hand configured route tables; then gradually progressed to a more comprehensive system as the Internet grew in complexity, but everyone just "agreed" to use whatever new standard. Similarly name resolution stated with host files that networks would distribute, and eventually grew into the DNS system we know today. ("Agreed" in quotes because many times a minority set a requirement for a new standard and nobody else had a better alternative, so it was accepted).

This level of cooperation requires trusting IANA, a lot. As you've seen they manage most of the various systems' cores. IANA is currently a US Government sponsored Non-Profit corporation (similar to the US Post Office), it is not part of the government, though only barely removed. In past years there was concern that the US Goernment might exercise some control over IANA as a "weapon" against other world governments or civilians (particularly through laws like SOPA and PIPA, which were not passed, but may be the basis for future laws).

Currently IANA has taken it upon themselves to raise funding (despite being a non-profit company) through the creation of new TLDs. The "xxx" TLD was viewed by some as an extortionist-style fundraising campaign, as a large percentage of registrants were "defending" their name. IANA has also taken applications for privately owned TLDs (at $180,000 each; they have suspended the application process after being inundated with applications, nearly half being from Amazon alone. Many of these applications resulted in new gTLDs .

Community's user avatar

  • No problem! Good answer - this will be good to have to point to for people needing the overview. –  Shane Madden Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 1:05
  • Do you think you could elaborate on the delegations for reverse DNS? This is a great answer that touches on the related subjects already, so adding that info would close the loop on the whole thing. –  Andrew B Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 20:59

All advertisements to the public internet, the DFZ (Default-Free Zone), is done via BGP (Border Gateway Protocol), how ISP's do internal routing varies a lot. Most would use BGP internally as well both between their own routers (BGP is often used in conjunction with an IGP such as OSPF) and also with clients, if you don't have your own AS number you can use a private AS to peer with your ISP and when they announce your address space to the DFZ they simply remove the private AS from the as-path. For smaller non-redundant links you can use static routing as well on the PE. The actual "assignment" is just in the database of your registrar, the whois database, RIPE/ARIN etc run their own databases for this purpose.

Try running the command whois 158.124.0.0/16 on a Linux box.

Same goes with DNS, the reverse DNS server is specified in whois records.

Dean Taylor's user avatar

This is a very old question, but I had many of the same questions in figuring out how the Internet works . Like the other answers, the networking books give an overview of BGP and DNS but still left me confused. For example, a.root-servers.net through m.root-servers.net are given as the root servers, but how does a DNS service know where to find those servers if they can't use DNS themselves.

The basics of IP, subnetting, DNS, etc. are assumed to be known by this answer. I am addressing "gaps" I, and probably the questioner, have on how the Internet works. By no means am I an expert, but this is my understanding of the gaps.

IP Addresses

The first thing to note is that when the Internet started out as ARPANET, everybody knew everybody and routing tables for IP addresses were handcoded. I assume the assignment process for IP's was done over the phone. As the Internet became too big, BGP was used by multiple networks (AS's) to advertise they had public IP's or could get to a public IP through their AS to another AS. The trust was there that an AS wouldn't advertise an IP they didn't have.

Today, there's not as much trust. Instead, ISP's can download and authenticate the IP allocations to each AS from IANA and the regional authorities. These downloads are now authenticated through public key cryptography. So when IANA "assigns an IP address," they are changing their record (or really the regional authority changes their record). All other AS's can download and authenticate their records.

These records are important because ISP's can't take the word of other ISP's that they have the IP addresses. The ISP's can compare the BGP advertisement with the authenticated IP records. If any BGP advertisement shows the last AS as an AS other than what's in IANA's and RIR's authenticated record, the BGP advertisement does not change their own routing.

More commonly, a rogue ISP or AS can advertise they have a route through their AS they don't have. AS1 has an IP registered and AS5 currently uses AS5 -> AS4 -> AS3 -> AS1 -> IP. AS2 advertises to AS5 a route of AS5 -> AS2 -> AS1 -> IP. Except AS2 doesn't actually have a connection with AS1. It can just lose the packets, maybe to frustrate AS1's hosting customers. Or AS2 could be a small company network with a multihomed arrangement with AS5 and AS1. Their router is misconfigured and advertises a path through a small company network. Nearly all ISP's throw away such advertisements of their BGP customers and only pass on terminating BGP advertisements.

More likely, you have the case of Pakistan trying to shut off Youtube in Pakistan through such IP hijacking, and shutting off Youtube outside of Pakistan too since AS's outside of Pakistan assumed their BGP advertisements were correct.

In the end, there isn't a perfect defense against such IP hijacking. In most countries like the US, such abuse of BGP can be punished as breach of contract and other ISP's will shut off peering connections with that AS if they have to. An ISP could also disregard the whole IANA and RIR apparatus and redirect the IP addresses to their own servers. That won't work for any https sites though, assuming the ISP doesn't have the private keys for any CA's. There is very little to gain from it economically. It only happens with authoritarian governments, such as Egypt recently shutting off all BGP advertisements to their ISP's from outside the country.

DNS Servers

DNS is somewhat simpler once the IP tables are correct. The root servers are all hardcorded IP addresses in the DNS server code. a.root-servers.net is 198.41.0.4 and the IP address is anycast within one AS. In the case of a.root-servers.net, the AS is Verisign and there are five different sites. In the US, the two sites are New York and LA. Anycasting is like if you had an address of 123 Main Street and you said "It doesn't matter what town you are in, go to 123 Main Street and you'll find one of my businesses." Both 123 Main Street in NY and LA will give the same answer for all top-level domains. The AS, in this case Verisign, figures out internally which server has the fewest hops through OSPF, internal BGP, and other routing protocols. So a router in Denver may go to LA while a router in Chicago goes to New York. The same routing process can be used for Anycast hosts because the hosts don't offer to route traffic.

One of the root servers gives which IP address for the com top-level domain. Then that domain gives the domain for yoursite.com. The registrars really have a contract with whoever runs the top-level domain. So if the top-level domain currently doesn't have a record for yoursite.com, it has access to add a record with their who-is server. Then, with the access the registrar gave you to yoursite.com's DNS records, you change the records in their DNS server to go to your IP address.

Because DNS all depends on multiple IP addresses going to the right place, you have the same issue as before with AS's authenticating the IP registry and then the BGP assignments. That is the key piece for an http website. Https has the added protection of certificates. So, an ISP can't reroute requests for their own root servers and top-level domain servers to give their own IP for, say, citibank.com. If they did, the IP address given to the user will be a different IP address, but their server won't have Citibank's private key.

mwwaters's user avatar

and no, I'm not kidding(I got started with this book 15 years ago, but it's still very relevant): http://www.amazon.com/Internet-Dummies-John-R-Levine/dp/0764506749

Then, come back here with the BGP questions =)

Greeblesnort's user avatar

  • 2 It looks like the first part of your answer go chopped off somehow. –  John Gardeniers Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 1:34

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Technical Tip: Check DHCP logs for IP Address Assignment Rules

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How-To Geek

How to assign a static ip address in windows 10 or windows 11.

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This is how i fixed the windows update error 0x80070643, get rugged, reliable storage for under $100, quick links, what is a static ip address, assign static ip addresses via your router, how to set a static ip address in windows 11, how to set a static ip address in windows 10, how to set a static ip address in windows 7 or 8 using "network connections", set a static ip address in windows vista, set a static ip address in windows xp, key takeaways.

  • To set a static IP address in Windows 10 or 11, open Settings -> Network & Internet and click Properties for your active network.
  • Choose the "Edit" button next to IP assignment and change the type to Manual.
  • Flip the IPv4 switch to "On", fill out your static IP details, and click Save.

Sometimes, it's better to assign a PC its own IP address rather than letting your router assign one automatically. Join us as we take a look at assigning a static IP address in Windows.

A static IP address is manually set to a permanent, fixed address rather than being assigned automatically by your router using a procotol known as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP is a handy way for devices to connect to your network more easily, because you don't have to configure IP addressing for each new device yourself. The downside to automatic addressing is that it's possible for a device's IP address to change from time to time, which is why people choose static IPs for certain types of devices. For example:

  • You have a device like a home media server that you want to be able to find using the same IP address or host name each time.
  • You have certain apps that can only connect to network devices using their IP address. In particular, many older networking apps suffer this limitation.
  • You forward ports through your router to devices on your network. Some routers play nice with port forwarding and dynamic IP addresses; others do not.

Whatever your reason, assigning static IP addresses to devices is not difficult, but you do have a choice to make---whether to do it from the router or on the device itself.

Related: How to Set a Static IP Address in Ubuntu

While this article covers assigning static IP addresses to PCs within Windows itself, there is another way to go about it. Many routers allow you to assign a pool of IP addresses that are handed out to specific devices (based on the device's physical, or MAC address). This method offers a couple of significant advantages:

  • IP addresses are still managed by the router, meaning that you won't have to make (and keep up with) changes on each individual device.
  • It's easier to assign addresses within the same IP address pool your router uses.

This article is about assigning static IP addresses directly to PCs running Windows. We've already got a great guide on How to Set Static IP Addresses On Your Router , so if that's the way you want to go, be sure to give it a read.

With all that in mind, though, let's take a look at how to assign static IP addresses within any version of Windows.

Related: How to Find Your Router's IP Address on Any Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet

To set a static IP address in Windows 11, you'll want to open Settings, go to Network & Internet, and then find the Properties for your network. Inside there you'll be able to click the Edit button for IP Assignment and then fill out the manual network details.

First, open up the Settings app and then find Network & Internet on the left-hand side. You'll be presented with a panel that shows your current network connection. You can click where it says "Properties" right underneath the network, or if you have multiple network connections you can drill down into the specific network to see the IP address details for each one . In this case it's called "Ethernet", but you will most likely see "Wi-Fi" as the option to choose.

Network & Internet Settings Windows 11

Once you've drilled down into the network connection that you want to set a manual IP for, scroll down until you see "IP Assignment" and then click the Edit button to the right.

Windows 11 Ethernet settings

Once there, you'll flip the drop-down to "Manual" and switch the IPv4 switch to "On". At this point you can fill out your network details and click Save to finish.

Windows 11 manual ip settings

You can also use the old-school Network Connections panel in Windows 11, so if you prefer to use that method, keep reading.

If you're interested in more advanced networking, you might need to set up a static TCP/IP route , reset the entire TCP/IP stack on Windows , check open TCP/IP ports , find your MAC address on Windows , or find your IP address from the Command Prompt . We've got you covered there too.

To set a static IP address in Windows 10, you'll need to open the Settings app and drill down to Network & Internet. From there you'll select Properties for your network, and then the Edit button next to IP Assignment where you can input a manual IP address.

First, open the Settings app and locate the Network & Internet button.

Windows 10 settings app

On the next screen you'll see your network status, which should show you your active network. Here you'll want to click the Properties button. If you have multiple different networks, you could select them from the left-hand menu---in our case you'll notice we have both Wi-Fi and Ethernet networks, so you'll want to pick the one that you are trying to set a manual IP address for. You'll notice this is the same method we use when we're trying to find an IP address on Windows 10 .

Windows 10 network & internet settings

On the network properties screen, scroll down until you see "IP settings" and click the Edit button under "IP assignment".

windows 10 network settings

In the resulting popup window, change the Edit IP settings dropdown to Manual and then flip the IPv4 switch to "On". Fill out the details, click Save, and you should be good to go.

Windows 10 manual ip settings

You might need to reboot to get all of your applications to work properly, just because it's Windows.

It's worth noting that you can use the old Network Connections method to set an IP address in any version of Windows, so if you prefer that method, keep reading.

To change the computer's IP address in Windows 7, you'll need to open the "Network Connections" window. Hit Windows+R, type "ncpa.cpl" into the Run box, and then hit Enter.

ip assignment logs

In the "Network Connections" window, right-click the adapter for which you want to set a static IP address, and then select the "Properties" command.

ip assignment logs

In the properties window for the adapter, select "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)" and then click the "Properties" button.

ip assignment logs

Select the "Use the following IP address" option, and then type in the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway that corresponds with your network setup. Next, type in your preferred and alternate DNS server addresses. Finally, select the "Validate settings upon exit" option so that Windows immediately checks your new IP address and corresponding information to ensure that it works. When you're ready, click the "OK" button.

ip assignment logs

And then close out of the network adapter's properties window.

ip assignment logs

Windows automatically runs network diagnostics to verify that the connection is good. If there are problems, Windows will give you the option of running the Network troubleshooting wizard. However, if you do run into trouble, the wizard likely won't do you too much good. It's better to check that your settings are valid and try again.

Changing your IP from DHCP to a Static address in Vista is similar to other versions of Windows, but getting to the correct location is a bit different. Open the Start Menu, right-click on Network, and select Properties.

ip assignment logs

The Network and Sharing Center opens...click on Manage network connections.

ip assignment logs

Right-click on the network adapter you want to assign an IP address and click Properties.

ip assignment logs

Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) then click the Properties button.

sshot-2010-06-06-[02-49-46]

Now change the IP, Subnet mask, Default Gateway, and DNS Server Addresses. When you're finished click OK.

sshot-2010-06-06-[02-51-04]

You'll need to close out of Local Area Connection Properties for the settings to go into effect.

sshot-2010-06-06-[02-51-16]

Open the Command Prompt and use the

command to verify that the changes were successful.

sshot-2010-06-06-[02-52-29]

To set a Static IP in Windows XP, right-click the "My Network Places" icon, and then select "Properties."

ip assignment logs

Right-click the adapter for which you want to set the IP, and then select "Properties" from the context menu.

ip assignment logs

Select the "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" entry, and then click the "Properties" button.

sshot-2010-06-05-[22-27-58]

Select the "Use the following IP address" option. Type in the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server addresses you want to use. When you're finished, click the "OK" button.

sshot-2010-06-05-[22-28-15]

You will need to close out of the adapter's properties window before the changes go into effect.

sshot-2010-06-05-[22-29-15]

And you can verify your new settings by using the

 command at the command prompt.

sshot-2010-06-05-[22-37-10]

By and large, it's better to let most of your devices have their IP addresses assigned automatically by your router. Occasionally, though, you might want to set a static IP address for a particular device. While you can set static IP addresses directly on your devices (and this article has shown you how to do just that on Windows PCs), we still recommending setting up static IP addressing on your router if possible. It will just make life easier.

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How are ip addresses assigned.

How do IP Addresses get Aasigned?

When you're connected to a network, your computer or smart device will obtain an IP address either from your ISP or your router. There are 2 ways how you can assign an IP address to your device: (1) dynamically via DHCP or (2) statically by manually assigning an IP address yourself. In either case, you must use the IP address that is provided to you by your ISP, or the IP range you allocated yourself within your private space (i.e. private IP address).

How are IP addresses allocated?

Before we can discuss IP assignment, we need to understand how IP addresses are allocated. There are two versions of IP addresses: IPv4 (version 4) and IPv6 (version 6). There are numerical differences , but they essentially serves the same purpose by uniquely identifying a device on the Internet. There are a few organizations that allocate and manage IP addresses globally, and they are:

  • ICAAN (The Internet Corporation for Names & Numbers): ICANN manages supply of all IPv4 and IPv6 addresses as well as domain name system ( DNS ) and Root Servers.
  • IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority): IANA is a part of ICANN that maintains technical aspect of the DNS. DNS is the system that translates human-readable domain names to machine friendly IP addresses.
  • ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers): ARIN is a region specific organization that manages IP addresses for the USA, Canada, Caribbean and North Atlantic islands.
  • ISP (Internet Service Providers): ISPs reach out to ARIN and register blocks of IP addresses (i.e. class A, B and C). In addition to ISPs, large corporations may reach out to ARIN to register blocks of IP address for their corporate use.
  • RIR (Regional Internet Registry): Much like the ARIN for managing IP address for North American region, RIR manages IP addresses for rest of the world.

As ARIN and RIR manages IP addresses for the region, they allocate and deallocate IP addresses for countries, ISPs and corporations. A larger blocks of IP addresses are assigned to countries, the accuracy of IP location for country level is approximately 95% - 98% depending on the provider.

Once one or more blocks of IP addresses are assigned to an ISP or Corporation, the organization assigns the IP address to its customers. When you purchase the Internet Service from an ISP, you have an option to obtain static (non-changing) or dynamic (changing) IP Address(es). Most home users obtain a dynamic IP address, and small businesses may obtain static IP addresses. The IP addresses obtained from an ISP are "public" IP addresses which are a globally unique number within the Internet.

Once the IP address is obtained by your router from your ISP, you have an option to create a private network by assigning private IP addresses to your devices that are not globally unique, but unique within your private network.

IP addresses are governed by ICANN, and ARIN and RIR are responsible for allocating IP addresses to ISPs and Corporations within its regions. IANA manages DNS for translating domain names to IP addresses. The IP addresses are then assigned to individuals or small businesses either statically or dynamically via DHCP, and every computing devices on the Internet must have an IP address to communicate with each other.

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What does it mean when an isp deletes assignment logs after a certain period of time?

  • Thread starter dataman123
  • Start date Jun 27, 2023
  • Jun 27, 2023

Do they only delete assignment logs of previous unique ips assigned to you? Lets say you have dynamic ip but its been the same for years, and an isp says they delete dynamic ip logs after 12 months. Does this mean the isp deletes the logs that are older than 1 year even if its the same ip? Or do they retain that information for as long as you retain the ip? If its a dynamic ip, the isp assigns a new ip every time the lease is out, so if it renews, does this count as a new log? And will that specific assignment be kept for 12 months? Or will the timer only begin once a different ip is assigned? Or in other words, is the log that gets deleted the specific assignment of a new and different ip than before, not the continous reassignment of the same one? So could the isp see that ive had the same ip for several years even if they delete logs after 12 months?  

ULTIMATE Member

  • Jun 28, 2023

Your kit requests the address be renewed probably every 3.5 days. 50% of the duration of your DHCP lease anyway. Each of those restarts the clock. If you're on PPPoE each reconnection restarts the clock.  

GreenLantern22

GreenLantern22

dataman123 said: Do they only delete assignment logs of previous unique ips assigned to you? Lets say you have dynamic ip but its been the same for years, and an isp says they delete dynamic ip logs after 12 months. Does this mean the isp deletes the logs that are older than 1 year even if its the same ip? Or do they retain that information for as long as you retain the ip? If its a dynamic ip, the isp assigns a new ip every time the lease is out, so if it renews, does this count as a new log? And will that specific assignment be kept for 12 months? Or will the timer only begin once a different ip is assigned? Or in other words, is the log that gets deleted the specific assignment of a new and different ip than before, not the continous reassignment of the same one? So could the isp see that ive had the same ip for several years even if they delete logs after 12 months? Click to expand...

An email to the ISPs data protection team regarding their data retention policy regarding IP address assignment and logs thereof should yield more information, because an IP address is considered PII (Personally Identifiable Information) where there is a path to tie an IP to a living person.  

  • Jul 4, 2023

If we are talking about records of what user was on what IP address at the time? Then I expect if an ISP does this it is for legal reasons in case they need to assist in law enforcement or get a legal request e.g. copyright infringement.  

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Rsyslog: how to separate incoming logs with IP addresses

I am trying to setup an Rsyslog with the following configuration: I listen to the 514 port to receive data from different hosts: 172.16.111.222, 172.16.111.111 and 172.16.222.111. And I want to store thoses logs in different folder for each host. So I did this conf:

Unfortunately, it is not working, rsyslog is not logging anything. I am not sure what "& ~" means, I found that on internet.

Any ideas to make it work ?

ctaf's user avatar

2 Answers 2

You can't use placeholders directly in the rules. Use templates instead. The following should work:

Or, to be closer to your code:

MOzSalles's user avatar

"~" means discard or stop, which is a rsyslog " action ".

means that if the "if ... then ..." statement works, i.e. the condition is met and message is logged into a file, then stop - do not proceed any further.

Wei Wang's user avatar

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ip assignment logs

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What happens when an ISP who was subpoenaed for an IP doesn't have their IP logs anymore?

What if police wanted to find a copyright violator or someone who hacked or committed a worse crime in the United States and the ISP in question deleted there IP assignment logs. Then how would they catch them? Would they subpoena/warrant google and social media sites?

  • united-states

David Siegel's user avatar

  • Is this about US, or Europe? The laws differ. –  user6726 Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 2:01
  • The United states –  NRSJ Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 13:09
  • @NRSJ I've added that tag to your question. –  Martin Bonner supports Monica Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 13:13

2 Answers 2

If this is law enforcement seeking evidence of a crime, and not a private party engaging in discovery for a civil suit, law enforcement could subpoena anyone, provided that they can show to a judge probable cause to believe that the person or entity subpoenaed has relevant evidence of the crime. LE can subpoena a web site operator, an ISP, an infrastructure provider, or anyone else.

However, there is no general law in the US requiring that web sites keep access logs of any type at all, or that if created, such logs be retained for any particular period. A business is free to delete all logs after two weeks, if it so chooses, although most do not so choose.

However, if a person or business knows that law enforcement is going to subpoena logs (or any other documents) and it then deletes or destroys them, that might be destruction of evidence, which is a serious crime. If it has been officially informed that such a subpoena is pending, via an order of preservation, then any destruction is much more likely to be viewed as criminal.

It often happens that documents demanded under subpoena do not exist, or cannot be found. In such a case the prosecutor must do without them, and try to prove the case anyway, or drop the charges. Unless they were destroyed to avoid producing them, or there was some other legal obligation to retain them (some records are required by law), or possibly the entity lied in saying that they were not available, nothing can be done to the entity who did not produce them.

Instead of issuing a subpoena, a search warrant could be issued and the authorities could search for and seize the relevant documents. This is more often done when the custodian of the documents is an accused party, or closely associated with one, and there is a fear that the documents will be hidden or destroyed if a subpoena is served. But the authorities have a choice of which way to proceed. A search is typically more expensive, and will (may) make the custodian hostile if it was not so before, so a subpoena is often preferred when it is thought sufficient to do the job.

Note that it is very unlikely that such a subpoena, let alone a warrent, would be issued in a copyright violation case. But it might be when proof of web access would help to establish a serious crime.

Copyright infringement does not involve the police. However, you as copyright owner can subpoena records from a service provider under 17 USC 512(h) . There is no records-retention law in the US, so there may be nothing to subpoena. Furthermore, the law only allows you to subpoena records from the providers that host material, not the "infrastructure" provider, such as Verizon. This was first sorted out in RIAA v. Verizon . There is no chance that you could subpoena records from a third party like Google on the chance that they might have some record.

user6726's user avatar

  • Actually there can be criminal charges for copyright infringement, although normally it is used only for parties mass-duplicating physical items such as DVDs or CDs. But if one changed the question to some other crime where web access would be relevant, the issues would be the same –  David Siegel Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 18:21
  • Could you issue a warrant instead of a subpoena to a third party like Google or is that now allowed too? Let's say the crime was some kind of hacking or worse crime? So if the ISP doesn't have the record, then law enforcement is screwed? As a criminal justice major, and hoping to get into some sort of cybersecurity job, I feel that it's quite horrendous we don't force data retention for much longer like EU or Australia –  NRSJ Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 20:30
  • 1 I think you should separate copyright infringement questions from criminal questions: copyright infringement and child pornography are not interchangeable. The bottom line would not be radically different, but DMCA is irrelevant to investigations of child porn. Make it a separate question, not one over-broad question. –  user6726 Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 21:05

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ip assignment logs

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Re: How long does Sky keep IP assignment logs for?

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When Charter bought out Time Warner and became Spectrum, did they keep TWC customer logs?

I'm asking for a friend who totally doesn't torrent movies... But when Charter and TWC merged to become Spectrum, what happened to the IP assignment logs from those previous TWC accounts? Did those customer accounts rollover or did everything basically start fresh?

And does anybody know how long Spectrum keeps IP assignment logs? What is their data retention policy? Is it likely that there are still IP assignment logs from 3 or 4 years ago?

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Do ISP's start data retention period after unsubscribing from their service? [closed]

Whenever I go online and read about data retention periods specifically for IP address information like IP assignments and session history, I see data retention periods ranging from 180 days to 12 months and up to 24 months. However, I've always been confused about one specific aspect regarding this. My question is - does this data retention period occur once you've unsubscribed from their service or is it continuously being deleted while you're a subscriber? I'll lay out two scenarios for this, and for the record, I'm only referring to IP assignment and session history logs.For the jurisdiction I'm specifically referring to within the United States.

While you're subscribed to a service, and lets say this service says they have a data retention period of 12 months, said service deletes your IP information from any point in time 12 months into the past, and is rolling, in that each new day information is being automatically deleted

The service keeps your IP information indefinitely and only deletes these logs once you've unsubscribed from their service, which takes 12 months after the date you unsubscribed from them.

I found a great article from TorrentFreak that explains the data retention periods for most big ISPs, but I was confused a bit when I looked into some companies' privacy policies on their websites about how their data retention works.

Torrentfreak article:

https://torrentfreak.com/how-long-does-your-isp-store-ip-address-logs-120629/#:~:text=Verizon,who%20responded%20to%20our%20request .

Verizon's privacy notice:

https://www.verizon.com/about/privacy/verizon-end-user-privacy-notice

Here it mentions that they retain subscriber information for as long as they have a relationship with you after which they retain it for a certain period of time. Does this apply to all the information they collect? Does it apply to IP assignments?

I was just curious about this because I found some other ISPs other than Verizon that stated that they maintain information for as long as they do business with you, which supports scenario 2. What data are they referring to? IDK. They weren't specific and it could just be non-business related information like IP assignments that are being continuously deleted like scenario 1 while information such as regular subscriber information and billing is retained indefinitely until you unsubscribe from them like in scenario 2. If this refers to all data, then the data retention period that these companies state is pretty much useless in a privacy sense unless you unsubscribe from them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

sailboatgolfer's user avatar

  • ISPs have to follow the laws of the countries they operate in. If you want to know the retention period of these data, start with the laws then check if the ISP has a longer period (this is seldom true as preserving logs costs). The retention period is for the log, so it starts when the log entry is created. –  Margaret Bloom Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 16:36
  • So basically the United States doesn't have a mandatory data retention period for its ISPs. However, most ISPs have one in their privacy policy. So what you're saying is if a company says they have a date retention period, it'd be safe to say a log that was entered let's say today 4/20/2023 in the US, then that log would be deleted one year from that date? –  sailboatgolfer Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 16:45
  • You've asked a legal question (which we can't answer) and you hope that the actual deletion of the logs happens at the cusp of the legal requirement (which isn't necessary). ISPs can keep logs longer then the legal requirement to hold them ... that means that they need to keep the data for a period of time, but they could keep it much longer... No ISP is going to commit to saying "we hold X data for Y days and no longer". –  schroeder ♦ Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 16:45
  • These are all questions for each ISP. There is no general answer. –  schroeder ♦ Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 16:46
  • Hi, Schroeder, I guess I should make my question more specific. It was more of does the deletion process only occurs once you've unsubscribed from their service or not. I really appreciate the comments. –  sailboatgolfer Commented Apr 20, 2023 at 16:55

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ip assignment logs

COMMENTS

  1. network

    ISPs do store all DHCP ip assignment logs. They know exactly who had what IP address and when. For them it is a legal obligation to harvest this information to facilitate any legal queries and investigations. In the US, they have to follow The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

  2. What information do ISPs delete after retention period?

    And by the way, is this "IP assignment logs" thing stored separately from the metadata (that has a deletion date)? I imagined that the data (which IP address was assigned to whom at what time and what website did they visit with it.) is stored together at one single place, so when they mean deletion, they mean deleting everything altogether.

  3. windows

    1. When using TCP/IP on an Ethernet network the ARP traffic reveals physical address (MAC) to IP address mappings. This is done with various announcements and queries the results of which are often cached. A router will usually provide an easy way to list this information. In Windows for IP addresses contacted recently (so they are in the ARP ...

  4. Do ISP's in America keep IP assignment logs forever?

    There seems to be no legislation on how long logs need to be kept and most providers keep IP logs for 6-18 months. None keep them forever as it is a liability and takes effort to do that beyond what's useful. It is both about saving internal operational costs and having to cooperate with law enforcement. Spectrum is Charter Communications.

  5. windows 7

    There are entries for the DHCP client in the system logs, but those seem to take errors and failures only (and won't include manually assigned IPs). What you could try is doing a system restore. If you're lucky, the last restore point is just hours before (or possibly days) and still has the old configuration.

  6. How Long Does Your ISP Store IP-Address Logs? * TorrentFreak

    - Eastlink (Canada) keeps IP-assignment logs for one year - Start Communications (Canada) keeps IP-assignment logs for 90 days As far as we are aware, this is the first overview of IP-logging ...

  7. IP Address Change event id for Windows 10?

    To get DHCP events, you must enable the following log in the Windows Event Viewer (eventvwr.msc): Event Viewer / Applications and Services Logs / Microsoft / Windows / Dhcp-Client / Microsoft-Windows-DHCP Client Events/Operational. Once enabled, you will see EventID 50029 stating "Address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is unplumbed" when an IP is removed and ...

  8. How are IP addresses actually assigned?

    DNS Servers. DNS is somewhat simpler once the IP tables are correct. The root servers are all hardcorded IP addresses in the DNS server code. a.root-servers.net is 198.41..4 and the IP address is anycast within one AS. In the case of a.root-servers.net, the AS is Verisign and there are five different sites.

  9. How do routers assign IP addresses?

    13. IPv4 addresses are usually assigned using the DHCP protocol. How this happens, depends on the particular DHCP server running on the router... With DHCP, addresses are leased for a certain time period, so if a device reboots requests an address before the old lease expires, the router usually gives the same old address (based on DHCP client ...

  10. Check DHCP logs for IP Address Assignment Rules

    Technical Tip: Check DHCP logs for IP Address Assignment Rules. This article describes where to see DHCP logs when a certain IP is reserved for a certain MAC address. FortiGate. Whenever an IP is reserved for a certain MAC address under the advanced setting of the DHCP server available under the physical interface setting, it is possible to see ...

  11. IP address assignment data

    DHCP logs show exactly which systems are connecting to a network, their IP and MAC addresses, when they connect, and for how long. In the Common Information Model, IP address assignment data is typically mapped to the Network Sessions data model and Authentication data model.

  12. What is the importance of an ISP maintaining IP-Assignment logs?

    I was reading an article which explained that there is a growing movement to force ISP's to store IP-assignment logs for DHCP connections for longer periods of time in order to fight cyber-crime. However, I don't understand why this is necessary. If an ISP no longer has the information associated with an IP address, why couldn't a company like ...

  13. How to Assign a Static IP Address in Windows 10 or Windows 11

    Key Takeaways. To set a static IP address in Windows 10 or 11, open Settings -> Network & Internet and click Properties for your active network. Choose the "Edit" button next to IP assignment and change the type to Manual. Flip the IPv4 switch to "On", fill out your static IP details, and click Save. Sometimes, it's better to assign a PC its ...

  14. How are IP addresses assigned?

    When you're connected to a network, your computer or smart device will obtain an IP address either from your ISP or your router. There are 2 ways how you can assign an IP address to your device: (1) dynamically via DHCP or (2) statically by manually assigning an IP address yourself. In either case, you must use the IP address that is provided ...

  15. What does it mean when an isp deletes assignment logs after a certain

    An email to the ISPs data protection team regarding their data retention policy regarding IP address assignment and logs thereof should yield more information, because an IP address is considered PII (Personally Identifiable Information) where there is a path to tie an IP to a living person. WKDRED ULTIMATE Member.

  16. How to Log IP assignment to clients ? Legal Need. : r/networking

    Dhcp + dhcp server logs if those qualify as proof I'd go a step further and send the DHCP server logs via TCP/IP-TLS syslog to a log server which does signing. I'd use the free QRadar-CE's event hashing, should qualify as proof and compliance.

  17. How long do major ISP's keep IP assignment logs? : r/privacy

    This means forever. There's isn't a specific regulation that defines this. Here's an interesting link that pulled together some information surrounding log files. Time Warner and Comcast is approximately 6 months / 180 days; Verizon 18 months. If I had to guess, probably at least 7 years.

  18. Rsyslog: how to separate incoming logs with IP addresses

    I am trying to setup an Rsyslog with the following configuration: I listen to the 514 port to receive data from different hosts: 172.16.111.222, 172.16.111.111 and 172.16.222.111. And I want to store

  19. united states

    A business is free to delete all logs after two weeks, if it so chooses, although most do not so choose. However, if a person or business knows that law enforcement is going to subpoena logs (or any other documents) and it then deletes or destroys them, that might be destruction of evidence, which is a serious crime. If it has been officially ...

  20. How long does Sky keep IP assignment logs for?

    Mr+Slant. 15 Apr 2023 06:21 PM. In answer to the original post - Sky will retain all connection data ("Internet Connection Records") for a maximum period of 12 months. This is a requirement of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. That'll cover all IP addresses assigned to you via DHCP and all websites you connected to.

  21. How are logs stored with ISP?

    1. There are numerous ISPs which are required to log which websites are visited on a per IP basis (which can be linked back to a DHCP lease for a certain client account). Sessions (if done correctly and not part of the URL) may not be logged, but they surely see which sites you visited and when. - Lucas Kauffman.

  22. When Charter bought out Time Warner and became Spectrum, did ...

    And does anybody know how long Spectrum keeps IP assignment logs? What is their data retention policy? Is it likely that there are still IP assignment logs from 3 or 4 years ago? Share Sort by: Best. Open comment sort options. Best. Top. New. Controversial. Old. Q&A.

  23. Use the HP printer Embedded Web Server (EWS)

    A local network connection: When your printer is connected over a wireless or wired (Ethernet) connection, enter the printer IP address into a web browser address bar.. The HP Smart app: From a computer or mobile device, open the printer settings in the app. . A Wi-Fi Direct connection: Connect your printer over Wi-Fi Direct to your computer or mobile device, and then enter the printer IP ...

  24. Do ISP's start data retention period after unsubscribing from their

    I'll lay out two scenarios for this, and for the record, I'm only referring to IP assignment and session history logs.For the jurisdiction I'm specifically referring to within the United States. While you're subscribed to a service, and lets say this service says they have a data retention period of 12 months, said service deletes your IP ...

  25. Troubleshooting UniFi Device Connectivity

    Verifying a Device's IP Address. Here are various methods to check whether a device has an IP address. Using the UniFi Interface. In UniFi Network, navigate to Settings > Networks. Select the IP Leases link at the right of the network in question, and look for your device. WiFiman App. Download the WiFiman Mobile App (iOS / Android).