It's not necessary to log in before viewing or editing pages in Incubator. It provides additional features, and is generally recommended. If you don't wish to have your IP address known then you should log in. It's quick and simple to create a personal user account.
Creating a user account means that you supply a username (your real name or a nickname) and a password. The system will reject a username that is already in use on this site. A user account is created only once. The next time you log in, you supply your username again and demonstrate with the password that you are the same person. Needless to say, never give your Wikimedia password to anyone; this can allow them to misuse your account, which could lead to it being blocked.
You don't have to log in to read Incubator, and you don't even have to log in to edit most of contents. However, it's still a good idea to log in, for these reasons:
- Other users will be able to recognise you by your username when you make changes to pages. The IP-address as a name is somewhat clumsy. Also, if you use computers at different locations (home, office, internet cafe, etc.) you have a different IP-address in each case. Even in the same location, depending on the Internet connection, the IP may be different each time. Therefore a username is better to maintain an identity.
- You will have your own user page where you can write a bit about yourself, and a user talk page which you can use to communicate with other users.
- You will also be able to make user subpages, as an add-on to your user page.
- You will be able to mark an edit as minor, which avoids inconvenience for other users.
- You will be able to keep track of changes to pages you are interested in using a watchlist.
- If you choose to give an email address, other users will be able to contact you by email. This feature is anonymous — the user who emails you will not know your email address. You don't have to give your email address if you don't want to.
- You will be able to rename pages (after two days of activity).
- You will be able to set your own preferences, for example, the fonts, colours and layout of the site, and especially your interface language and test-wiki preference.