Frequently Asked Questions
What ports and protocols does Censys scan?
For a complete list, see What does Censys scan?
How frequently does Censys scan the Internet?
We perform all IPv4 scans at least once a week and scan domains daily.
What access does Censys provide for researchers?
We provide academic and other non-commercial researchers with free access to Censys datasets on Google BigQuery as well as up-to-date raw scan data. This access is strictly limited to non-commercial use. [more information]
Can I opt-out of Censys scans?
Censys scans help the scientific community accurately study the Internet. The data is sometimes used to detect security problems and to inform operators of vulnerable systems so that they can fixed. If you opt-out of the research, you might not receive these important security notifications.
However, if you wish to opt-out, you can configure your firewall to drop traffic from the subnets we use for the measurements:
Additionally, our http-based scans use a Censys specific user-agent, which can be used to filter requests from our scanners.
Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; CensysInspect/1.1; +https://about.censys.io/)
We do not remove results from Censys, but if you have blocked these subnets, the results will automatically be pruned out.
How does Censys find more hosts than Shodan?
Censys' next-gen scan engine scans more ports (with automatic service detection), and is also scanning from multiple perspectives to provide customers visibility of over 99% of the Internet. Censys is also scanning the Internet at a higher frequency than Shodan, resulting in a dataset with higher fidelity, both in terms of being able to track changes to the Internet over time, as well as providing an accurate snapshot of the current Internet.
What third-party sources does Censys use to enrich our Search data?
What is Censys' relationship with the University of Michigan and Google?
Censys originally started as an academic research project at the University of Michigan. From 2015–2017, Censys was operated at Michigan with generous support from the Google Anti-Abuse Team. During this time, our license restricted access to non-commercial research. Since then, we've "spun-out" from the University of Michigan into an independent company.
What is Censys' relationship with the ZMap Project?
Censys was started by the same team that created ZMap, and Censys uses many of the ZMap tools to collect and annotate data. The ZMap Project is and will remain an independent open source project, but is primarily maintained by the Censys development team.
We are staunch supporters of open source software and the Censys team plans to continue publishing new tools under the ZMap umbrella.
What if I have a different question?
If you didn't find an answer to your question, feel free to reach to our team at email@example.com.