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Frequently Asked Question - How does IP address and proxy server authentication work?

How does IP address and proxy server authentication work?

You can configure IP addresses of your institution’s network that this website will use to recognize requests for video access. When configured properly, users with an IP address that falls within the list of authorized IP addresses will be granted access to view videos without further authentication. This is ideal for anyone who wishes to access videos from an on-campus location where you can predict what will be the source IP addresses of your users. Authentication is seamless, and the user will never be prompted to login.

In order for users that reside off-campus to have access to videos, your institution must use a proxy server. This is necessary because it is not possible to reliably predict the IP address of someone using a private internet service provider, as IP addresses are assigned dynamically. Using a proxy server gives the appearance to our servers that the off-campus request is coming from a known on-campus IP address. The proxy server handles authentication using some sort of password-protected page, with user credentials usually supplied from a database or directory, such as LDAP.

There are several proxy server solutions available that can be integrated with existing directory services; a popular one is OCLC’s EZproxy. Most institutions with libraries that subscribe to scholarly journals and electronic databases (such as Ebsco, Lexus Nexus, and others) utilize proxy servers to give access to these materials to users from off-campus. The configuration for access to this site from off-campus will be very similar.

Access via off-campus or on-campus from an allowed IP address or proxy server will allow the user to view content from the Institution Access page without logging in, which is a listing of all licensed content with links to view the media. In addition, direct links to the media will also be permitted for use from those allowed IP addresses or proxy servers.