There are some very interesting and unsubstantiated claims being leveled against Insight Communications in regards to their blocking of P2P traffic. While I agree that it is highly likely that Insight, Mediacom or their bandwidth provider AT&T have put into use some sort of P2P filter. I've seen no real evidence that Insight is not filter / blocking premium tier users. I can say that I am an Insightbb premium tier customer. And at this time I do not feel that my usage of Azureus is being hinder in any way by Insight or it's bandwidth provider. But this is hardly proof that Insight has no filters in place for premium customers.
Facts have been presented that may point to this filtering being in limited areas. The Insight customers seeing this issue. Mostly live in a large college town. This area has had numerous complaints from customers in the past. Insight has always claimed that problems are in fact related to heavy P2P usage at the major college in that city. The town I live in has 3 colleges. Only one of these has dorms for on campus living. Which is a change that just recently occurred. So can we make the assumption that filter / blocking has only been put in place. In areas known to have problems with heavy peer to peer usage? I'm sure this would be cheaper and less labor intensive than having to split nodes all the time.
Are users in the affected cities. Seeing that premium account users aren't having the issues they are seeing? Have customers been told this is the case by representatives on the phone? Or by someone in Insight management? Are the other ISP customers who have reported seeing this. Also claiming that premium tier customers aren't seeing this problem?
The Azureus client can be set to interact with the Gnutella network. I have my client set this way currently. I've seen no problems with my chosen client interacting with this network. My choice of client is not using the standard port associated with BitTorrent. I also tend to set my transfers to low priority. Especially when uploading / seeding. I also tend to not have my client set to max out my upload speed. This is set this way for several reasons. So can we assume that this filtering is only occurring with certain peer to peer clients? Can we assume that this filtering / blocking is only going on for users who are using the standard pre-set ports in their chosen client?
From my reading of one post in the BearShare Community Forum. I also have several other thoughts. Are users who are running insecure setups the only ones who are seeing this issue? Do XP SP2 users also see this problem? Are customers who see this issue running routers? If so what brand?
It seems many peer to peer users. Are definitely clueless about pc security. It would also seem that many peer to peer users are the ones who throw around the most attitude in forums. I'm aware that P2P will see a varied age group. But the majority of users are in their teens to college years. So this may account for some of this behavior. I also understand that frustrated people tend to not be as rational. Most of us are guilty of this from time to time. I'm no exception.
For the record. When using a peer to peer client. Security should be a major priority. Yet with many end users it seems to be the farthest thing from their minds. No matter how smart or elite you may think you are. Not upgrading to SP2 when using XP as your operating system. Is leaving your system open to exploit. And definitely is not a good security practice. You can argue with me all you want about this. But I can show you the error of your stubborn ways. Also disabling your firewall for any reason – again – for any reason – when a router is not in play. Is just plain stupid!! Again – just plain stupid!! Yes I know some of you out there think you know it all. And have some super secret way of not being the victim of a worm etc. But many experts have show it doesn't take long for a machine with no protection to become compromised. Especially a machine that isn't running with all the latest patches. No SP2 – means your not running with the latest patches. So your definitely asking for trouble when disabling your software firewall to rule it out as a source of your problems. There are less risky ways to test out if the software firewall is the source of a problem.
I brought that whole rant up for good reason. Because it seems the users who are running with outdated security are the users who seem to report having the most problems with things. It seems that the users with the biggest attitudes in regards to security. Are also the ones who report having problems on a fairly regular basis.
I'm in no way saying this is an end user related problem. But users need to keep in mind that they can in fact be the source of their own problems. I agree that Insight Communications does not communicate with it's customer base in a customer friendly way. This recent issue again brings this to light. The company by now should have made a press release, sent an email to customers or done an official post in the Insight forum. My preference would be for them to have done all three of these things by now. This would prove that they take customer related problems seriously. And that they value those customers business.
What I'd personally like to see now. Is users coming together to find a common link. Or to present factual proof in regards to the claims that are being made. I see a large amount of information being thrown around. I see many accusations being made. But at this time I've not seen any solid proof to back up some of these claims. Until such proof is presented. There is no way for customers to create a plan of action to address the issue at hand.
I'm not a huge fan of anyone filter content or usage. This is of course within Inisght's rights. If usage is going to be filtered. I'd like it to be set so that the priority of peer to peer traffic is lowered. Not completely shut down. It would also be nice to have a clear straight forward policy in regards to filtering made public. If usage caps are in place. It would be nice to have customers informed as to what those limits are. Lets not have a Comcast fiasco. In regards to customers being dropped off the network. With no warning or official correspondence. While many users argue P2P is all about free speech. That argument is only going to get you so far. I'm all for individuals rights. And am no fan of those who take away those rights. We need to keep in mind that all parties in this have rights. Also keep in mind – with rights come responsibilities. Such as making sure your machine is secure when running on the network.
Previous related articles.
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