Help & Support

Why does my online-user count differ from [third-party tracker]'s count?

There are a number of factors that can account for a difference in the number of users shown as online, even if your tracker code is placed on exactly the same pages as your Cbox.

One reason for count inaccuracy is that it's often impossible to get positive confirmation that a visitor has left the page. Cbox applies a fixed timeout of three minutes to each session, after which the user is considered offline. A tracker with a longer timeout may show a larger number of visitors online. Cbox also does not require a user to keep interacting to be considered online (they will be marked as idle instead). A tracker that shows only active users may have a lower count.

Cbox counts users differently depending depending on whether they are named or not. A named user in general is one who has previously interacted with your Cbox, for example by posting a message in it. All other visitors are considered to be anonymous guests. To maximize the privacy of your visitors, Cbox does not send cookies or other tracking information to anonymous visitors' browsers, and instead uses a passive IP-based method to count them. This can cause inaccuracy in the anonymous-guest component of your total. If multiple anonymous visitors share an IP address behind the same NAT device, for example, then they will be undercounted; if their IP address is changing frequently, they may be overcounted.

Recognized, named users are tracked more precisely, and will only be counted once, regardless of how many tabs or devices they are using your Cbox in.

Last updated 1 June 2016

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