Express.js: how to get remote client address


I don't completely understand how I should get a remote user IP address.

Let's say I have a simple request route such as:

app.get(/, function (req, res){
   var forwardedIpsStr = req.header('x-forwarded-for');
   var IP = '';

   if (forwardedIpsStr) {
      IP = forwardedIps = forwardedIpsStr.split(',')[0];  

Is the above approach correct to get the real user IP address or is there a better way? And what about proxies?

This question is tagged with node.js express ip ip-address

~ Asked on 2012-06-01 11:49:01

The Best Answer is


If you are running behind a proxy like NGiNX or what have you, only then you should check for 'x-forwarded-for':

var ip = req.headers['x-forwarded-for'] || req.connection.remoteAddress;

If the proxy isn't 'yours', I wouldn't trust the 'x-forwarded-for' header, because it can be spoofed.

~ Answered on 2012-06-01 11:53:33


While the answer from @alessioalex works, there's another way as stated in the Express behind proxies section of Express - guide.

  1. Add app.set('trust proxy', true) to your express initialization code.
  2. When you want to get the ip of the remote client, use req.ip or req.ips in the usual way (as if there isn't a reverse proxy)

Optional reading:

  • Use req.ip or req.ips. req.connection.remoteAddress does't work with this solution.
  • More options for 'trust proxy' are available if you need something more sophisticated than trusting everything passed through in x-forwarded-for header (for example, when your proxy doesn't remove preexisting x-forwarded-for header from untrusted sources). See the linked guide for more details.
  • If your proxy server does not populated x-forwarded-for header, there are two possibilities.
    1. The proxy server does not relay the information on where the request was originally. In this case, there would be no way to find out where the request was originally from. You need to modify configuration of the proxy server first.
      • For example, if you use nginx as your reverse proxy, you may need to add proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $remote_addr; to your configuration.
    2. The proxy server relays the information on where the request was originally from in a proprietary fashion (for example, custom http header). In such case, this answer would not work. There may be a custom way to get that information out, but you need to first understand the mechanism.

~ Answered on 2013-01-31 17:31:43

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