Now that we’ve released Gummy Bear 1.2 it’s time to get cracking on Gummy Bear 1.3, with IP Banning its first new feature now online at Sueetie.com and Sueetie-driven dbvt.com. IP Banning is one of the ingredients that together with hidden Captcha, multiple registration options and member status management create a strong front-door to a Sueetie Online Community.
The essence of IP banning is that it allows you to block users from participating in your community based on their machine's IP address. Each user's computer contains a unique number (their IP) which is recorded and associated with their Sueetie member account. Sueetie enables you to flag a user's IP as banned. Banned IPs can then be compared against the user computer IP on login and registration, and if banned will block those actions and prevent the user from participating in the community communications and content creation processes.
YetAnotherForum.NET has employed IP Banning for some time, so much of the back-end logic on masking and IP comparison was based on YAF’s excellent source. What I did essentially was take YAF IP banning and extend it across the entire Sueetie Community.
Banned IP Administration
You can ban IPs in two Sueetie Administration locations, in the user update form and the Banned IPs page. To use the user update form, find the user you wish to ban where their IP address will be displayed on their user profile. Then use the "ban" tab where the user's IP address will be saved as an IP mask in the format #.#.#.*. In the example shown with an IP of 188.8.131.52, the IP mask saved would be 69.100.100.*.
There is also a Banned IPs page in Sueetie Administration shown below. This gives you the ability to edit, remove or add additional IP addresses.
Using IP Banning
You can add IP Banning at process points that work best for your community. In Gummy Bear they are used at Registration and Login. On registration the IP address of the user machine is tested with SueetieUsers.IsIPBanned(ip). If banned, an email is sent to the site administrator and the user is redirected to the Sueetie Message page displaying the appropriate message which you can customize.
On login, if the user's IP address is flagged as banned, he or she is redirected to the Sueetie Message page where they are immediately logged-out and displayed the appropriate message.
IP Banning is not 100% effective in preventing unauthorized user registration and login, but when used in conjunction with Email Verification and Administrative Approval registration options, built-in hidden Captcha support on all public access pages and member status management, Sueetie gives you the tools you need to efficiently manage the membership processes of your Online Community.