AWStats logfile analyzer 5.3 Documentation


Log analyzers Comparisons

Comparison between AWStats and other famous statistics tools

Version - Date5.3 - December 20025.30 - November 20022.01-10 - April 2002NA
LanguagePerlCCEmbedded HTML tag
Available on all platformsYesYesYesNA
Sources availableYesYesYesNo
Price/LicenceFreeFreeFreeFree but with adverts
Works with Apache combined (XLF/ELF) or personalized log formatYesYesYesNA
Works with Apache common (CLF) log formatJust some featuresJust some featuresJust some featuresNA
Works with IIS (W3C) log formatYesYesNeed a patchNA
Update of statistics fromcommand line (CLI) and/or
a browser (CGI)
command line (CLI) and/or
a browser (CGI)
command lineNA
Internal reverse DNS lookupYesYesYesNA
DNS cache fileStatic and dynamicStatic or dynamicStatic or dynamicNA
Process logs spitted by load balancing systemsYesYesNoNo
Report number of "human" visitsYesNoYesYes
Report unique "human" visitorsYesNoNoYes
Report session durationYesNoNoYes
Not ordered records tolerance and reorder for visitsYesVisits not supportedNo?
Statistics for visits are based onPages *****Not supportedPages *****Pages *****
Statistics for unique visitors are based onPages *****Not supportedNot supportedPages *****
Report countriesFrom IP location
or domain name
Domain nameDomain name?
Report hostsYesYesYesYes
WhoIs link on hostsYesNoNoNo
Report authenticated usersYesYesNoNo
Report/Filter robots (nb detected)Yes/Yes (304**)Yes / Yes (8)No/No (0**)No/No (0**)
Report rush hoursYesYesYesYes
Report days of weekYesYesYesYes
Report most often viewed pagesYes
Report entry pagesYes
Report exit pagesYes
Not ordered records tolerance and reorder for entry/exit pagesYesEntry/Exit not supportedNo?
Detection of CGI pages as pages (and not just hits)YesOnly if prog ends by a defined valueOnly if prog ends by a defined valueYes
Report pages by directoryNoYesNoNo
Report pages with last access time/average sizeYes/YesYes/NoNo/NoNo/No
Dynamic filter on hosts/pages/referers reportYes/Yes/YesNo/No/NoNo/No/NoNo/No/No
Report web compression statistics (mod_gzip)YesNoNoNo
Report file typesYesYesNoNo
Report by file sizeNoYesNoNo
Report browsers (nb detected)Yes (78*)Yes (9*)Yes (4*)Yes (<20*)
Report details of browsers versionsMajor and minor versionsMajor versions onlyMajor an minor versionsMajor and minor versions
Report OS (nb detected)Yes (31)Yes (29)No (0)?
Report search engines used (nb detected)Yes (90***)Yes (24)No (0)Yes (<20 ***)
Report keywords/keyphrases used on search engines (nb detected)Yes/Yes (93***)Yes/No (29***)No/Yes (14***)Yes/No (<20***)
Report HTTP ErrorsYes
Report 404 ErrorsNb + List last date/referer
Nb onlyNb onlyNo
Report 'Add to favorites' statisticsNo
Other personalized reports for
miscellanous/marketing purpose
Daily statistics YesYesYesYes
Monthly statistics YesYesYesYes
Yearly statistics YesYesYesYes
Benchmark with no DNS lookup in lines/seconds
(full features enabled, with XLF format, on Athlon 1Ghz)
No program to run
Benchmark with DNS lookup in lines/seconds
(full features enabled, with XLF format, on Athlon 1Ghz)
No program to run
Graphical statistics in one page / several / or framesYes/Yes/YesYes/No/NoYes/Yes/NoNo/Yes/Yes

* This number is not really the number of browsers detected. All browsers (known and unknown) can be detected by products that support user agent listing (AWStats,Analog,Webalizer,HitBox). The 'browser detection feature' and number is the number of known browsers for which different versions/ids of same browser are grouped by default in one browser name.

** AWStats can detect robots visits: All robots among the most common are detected, list is in robotslist.txt (250Kb). Products that are not able to do this give you false information, above all if your site has few visitors. For example, if you're site was submitted to all famous search engines, robots can make 500 visits a month, to find updates or to see if your site is still online. So, if you have only 2000 visits a month, products with no robot detection capabilities will report 2500 visits (A 25% error !). AWStats will report 500 visits from robots and 2000 visits from human visitors.

*** AWStats has url syntax rules for the most popular search engines (that's the 'number detected'). Those rules are updated with AWStats updates. But AWStats has also an algorithm to detect keywords of unknown search engines with unknown url syntax rules.

**** As you can see, some log analyzers have, by default, very poor (or not at all) robots, search engines, os or browsers detection capabilities. So to have a benchmark comparison that means something, some log analyzers features were 'enhanced' with AWStats databases, when it was possible (For example, Webalizer config file was completed with this file. Like that, Webalizer features are a little bit closer than thoose of AWStats. Without this add (using default conf file), Webalizer results are 3 times faster but with less features).
Benchmarks was made on a combined (XLF/CLF) log record on an Athlon 1GHz.
You must keep in mind that all this times are without reverse DNS lookup. DNS lookup speed depends on your system, network and Internet but not on the log analyzer you use. For this reason, DNS lookup is disabled in all log analyzer benchmarks. Don't forget that DNS lookup is 95% (even with a lookup cache) of the time used by a log analyzer, so if your host is not already resolved in log file and DNS lookup is enable, the total time of the process will be nearly the same whatever is the speed of the log analyzer.

***** Some visitors use a lot of proxy servers to surf (ie: AOL users), this means it's possible that several hosts (with several IP addresses) are used to reach your site for only one visitor (ie: one proxy server download the page and 2 other servers download all images). Because of this, if stats of unique visitors are made on "Hits", 3 users are reported but it's wrong. So AWStats, like HitBox, considers only HTML pages to count unique visitors. This decrease the error (not totally, because it's always possible that a proxy server download one HTML frame and another one download another frame).