Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How To: Using the Tripwire Feature

The new Tripwire feature is now live. It's still in beta mode, but it's available to all Premium accounts as of right now.

What is Tripwire?

Tripwire is an IP alert system. Basically, you can select IP numbers which you'd like to track more closely and be notified when these IP numbers return to your web site. It's easy to set up and use and it takes your WunderCounter experience to a different level. You can be notified of important happenings without logging in to your account and you can be kept up to date even when you're on the go, if you have access to RSS feeds on your mobile phone.

How do I set it up?

First, you'll need to enable the API for your account. API is just a fancy way of saying that the WunderCounter now has a standard way of communicating with other services (like web sites, software etc). You'll need the API in order to get the Tripwire alerts.

  • Click on the Options menu
  • Choose API
  • Agree to the terms
Now, you'll need to select one or more IP numbers, you'd like to be alerted about. There are 2 ways to do this. The first way is to manage your IP tags.

  • Click on the Options menu
  • Choose IP Tagging
  • You can enter an IP number here and choose "On" for the Tripwire value
  • Or, you can choose an existing IP tag. In this case just click on the Tripwire value (on or off) and use the edit box that comes up to change and submit the value
The second way is to tag IP numbers directly from your log files. For example, if you go to your dashboard page and select today's date, you may be able to find an IP number with a "tag" label beside it. Click on the word "tag" and then fill out the tagging form. Give the IP number some kind of label, like "Dave", "person I don't know" or "my ex". You get the picture. Choose Tripwire "On" and then submit the form. Now you've got IP tagging and Tripwire enabled.

How do I get Tripwire alerts?

First, you need to copy your Tripwire RSS feed URL.

  • Select the Options menu
  • Select API
  • Select the Tripwire link
  • Copy the URL which is displayed on this page

If you're already familiar with RSS and RSS readers, you can skip this section. Just add the URL to your favourite RSS reader and you're ready to go.

If you're unfamiliar with how RSS works, it's still not difficult to set up. For instance, if you're a Mac user (OS 10.5 and higher) and you use the built-in Mail program to read your email:

  • Start (or choose) your Mail program
  • Select the File menu
  • Select Add RSS Feeds
  • Copy the Tripwire Feed URL
  • Click the add button
Your Tripwire alerts will now appear in the RSS section. If you selected show in inbox, your alerts will now appear in your inbox, just like new messages.

If you are using Microsoft Outlook, please view this article on How to Add RSS Feeds to Your Outlook.

If neither of these options applies to you, a simple Google search will help you locate some RSS reader clients which you can use -- many of these programs are free to download.

If you have any questions about the WunderCounter API or have any feedback at all, please don't hesitate to let me know.

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