Getting real IP addresses using Nginx and CloudFlare

OK, I suppose you know what CloudFlare is, and are familiar with Nginx configuration process, before we proceed any further. Just in case you don’t know, CloudFlare offers free and commercial, cloud-based services to help secure and accelerate websites. The thing is, I’m really satisfied with the services they offer except a repellent issue about logging the real IP address of your website’s visitors. Since CloudFlare acts as a reverse proxy, all connections come from CloudFlare’s IP addresses, not the real visitors anymore. Anyway, using Nginx there’s a simple workaround for this issue, which I’ll describe in the rest of this post.

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