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EFF Slams Google Fiber For Banning Servers On Its Network

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the if-my-quake-3-server-isn't-welcome-then-i-am-not-welcome dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 301

MojoKid writes "Anyone who has tried to host their own website from home likely knows all-too-well the hassles that ISPs can cause. Simply put, ISPs generally don't want you to do that, preferring you to move up to a business package (aka: more expensive). Not surprisingly, the EFF doesn't like these rules, which seem to exist only to upsell you a product. The problem, though, is that all ISPs are deliberately vague about what qualifies as a 'server.' Admittedly, when I hear the word 'server,' I think of a Web server, one that delivers a webpage when accessed. The issue is that servers exist in many different forms, so to target specific servers 'just because' is ridiculous (and really, it is). Torrent clients, for example, act as servers (and clients), sometimes resulting in a hundred or more connections being established between you and available peers. With a large number of connections like that being allowed, why would a Web server be classified any different? Those who torrent a lot are very likely to be using more ISP resources than those running websites from their home — yet for some reason, ISPs force you into a bigger package when that's the kind of server you want to run. We'll have to wait and see if EFF's movement will cause any ISP to change. Of all of them, you'd think it would have been Google to finally shake things up."

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301 comments

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559263)

Adelphia used to have these anti-server rules way back when and it even applied to P2P traffic.

Who cares what it is (5, Interesting)

Naatach (574111) | about a year ago | (#44559275)

Who cares if it's Torrents or running your own porn site. Don't block it. Be the non-evil medium of transport, not another Comcrap.

Re:Who cares what it is (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about a year ago | (#44559313)

As consumers become more capable on average, there's less opportunity to sell a service delivering the modern-day equivalent of writing your own name.

Becoming more capable (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44559819)

Except there's little evidence that the sort of users commonly described as "consumers" desire to "become more capable on average". They tend to choose convenience over flexibility, such as iPhone, iPad, and game consoles.

Re:Who cares what it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559595)

What about when your computer is infected? Isn't your computer functioning as a spam server or an infected ad server or a file server for malicious content? Tjose servers are OK but a web server isn't?

Re:Who cares what it is (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about a year ago | (#44559677)

The intent is different, and that's important.

If a user is intentionally doing that, I imagine Google wouldn't be pleased.

Re: Who cares what it is (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44559657)

Isp's care about uploads since it costs them money to send data to another network operator

This is why business service costs more
They assume you will send more data to other networks

If uploads are expensive, cap them specifically (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44559849)

Isp's care about uploads since it costs them money to send data to another network operator

If transit cost is the problem, then why not just offer users something like "250 GB download and 25 GB upload allowance per month"? That'd solve the bandwidth problem while still allowing low-bandwidth hobby servers.

Re:If uploads are expensive, cap them specifically (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44560027)

because people will go over the limit and complain and say its not their fault. the cell phone carriers had this problem when minutes were rationed out on plans long ago

it is cheaper to sell unlimited plans and set rules limiting what you can do with a consumer plan than pay people to answer customers' phone calls

Why? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559307)

"Of all of them, you'd think it would have been Google to finally shake things up"

Maybe when the do no evil line seemed to ring true, now they seem nearly as evil as the rest around.

Re:Why? (0)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about a year ago | (#44559361)

Some evildoer modded this coward down. What a surprise.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559407)

Blessed are the evildoers, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Re:Why? (3, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about a year ago | (#44559571)

Blessed are the evildoers, for they shall inherit the Earth.

I thought it was: -Blessed are the Geek, for they shall extend the Earth's super class.

Re:Why? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559979)

If you honestly think that not allowing people to run servers on your ultrafast connection is "Evil", then you completely lack any perspective at all.

Buisness Package (3, Interesting)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#44559337)

Does Google offer a business package? If so what is the cost?

Re:Buisness Package (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559533)

Dude, couldn't you just like, you know, check that on Bing?

Movie Pirates are ruining it for everyone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559345)

Fuckheads addicted to high volume piracy, plains and simple.. multiple order of magnitude more bandwidth than anything.. All the fan sites and mommy bloggers and open source developers pale in comparison. Yes, I am pissed off..

Re:Movie Pirates are ruining it for everyone (5, Informative)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#44559483)

Fuckheads addicted to high volume piracy, plains and simple.. multiple order of magnitude more bandwidth than anything..

also, the brainwashed people who believe corporate announcements...

First of all, if they didn't want anyone using "orders of magnitude" more bandwidth, then the solution is simple: do not sell unlimited plans! Advertise it as X-GB plans and charge people extra for going over. But they prefer to advertise it as "unlimited" because the commercials have a better jingle to them (vs "200-GB a month plan").

Second, today anyone with active Netflix/Hulu/streaming accounts can easily use a lot of bandwidth without any pirating whatsoever. And these people will be targeted just as much as anyone else. Your average obnoxious webpage without flashblock/adblock will start playing 3-4 decent quality videos and blaring sound! I am sure that uses a lot of bandwidth

So bottom line, let them advertise exactly what they sell and life will be fair once again. But none of this "people who use too much bandwidth will be throttled/kicked-off, but won't tell you what 'too much' is, because that will ruin the surprise"

Re:Movie Pirates are ruining it for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559607)

But data transferred is not the issue. You try explaining to customers that they will be charged base on their 95th percentile of bandwidth used during peak hours.

Obviously (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559347)

Well, it is obvious that Google Fiber doesn't want to allow people to host their own server parks behind that really fast broadband line. (I can understand that.)
I reckon that personal servers (like a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device with files for oneself and friends) is OK for Google, but hosting a high traffic business website is not.

Re:Obviously (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44559525)

Well, it is obvious that Google Fiber doesn't want to allow people to host their own server parks behind that really fast broadband line. (I can understand that.)
I reckon that personal servers (like a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device with files for oneself and friends) is OK for Google, but hosting a high traffic business website is not.

well what are they selling then exactly? write some goddamn rules down about it. tell the users of the service the goddamn rules!how many megabytes daily is too much? that's what it's all about in the end. if it's an income generating rule then tell that(if you're making money with the connection).

a fileserver for a few friends can take EASILY the same amount of traffic as a general web service that has let's say 300 daily users.

Re:Obviously (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559627)

Someone transferring 1GB during peak hours will cost the ISP more than someone transferring 10TB off-peak hours. It's not how much data you use, just the shape and timing of what you use.

Pros/Cons (3, Insightful)

dlarmeir (1505351) | about a year ago | (#44559349)

Yes, running a server from a home ISP is great for people to learn technology, sparks creativity, and is great for those of us who are IT focused. On the other hand, imagine the security nightmare a network like Google Fiber could become with 1gb uplinks and tons of rogue apps and sites infected by malware, bots, etc. There are a lot of IT admins not taking security seriously and if you couple that with inexperienced home admins the threat is real. I'm not taking a stance on this issue saying yes or no, but there would have to be tight controls on the network in order for this to work effectively - hence one of the reasons Google may be reluctant to support it.

Re:Pros/Cons (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#44559433)

To wit, with great bandwidth comes great responsibility.

Re:Pros/Cons (1)

dlarmeir (1505351) | about a year ago | (#44559463)

Right on!

Re:Pros/Cons (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44559439)

There are a lot of IT admins not taking security seriously and if you couple that with inexperienced home admins the threat is real.

The "threat"? The threat of what exactly?

You do realize botnets are already a very real thing. What on earth would be made "worse" if a handful of savvy customers were also running their blog on a private webserver in their basement?

Re:Pros/Cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559673)

ou do realize botnets are already a very real thing. What on earth would be made "worse" if a handful of savvy customers were also running their blog on a private webserver in their basement?

"Savvy"? Give me a fucking break. What I see are a bunch of assholes who know enough to be dangerous who run insecure httpd/smtp/etc installations.

mod_proxy, anyone? How about useless fucking backscatter email.

Re:Pros/Cons (5, Insightful)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44559443)

On the other hand, imagine the security nightmare a network like Google Fiber could become with 1gb uplinks and tons of rogue apps and sites infected by malware, bots, etc.

Because this never ever ever happens on machines that aren't web servers.

Re:Pros/Cons (1)

dlarmeir (1505351) | about a year ago | (#44559487)

I never implied that there are not other problems on networks, I was just stating a truth. I feel unnecessary exposure exasperates the problem. This is not a attack on home based servers, I am very much keen on running them myself.

Re:Pros/Cons (4, Insightful)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#44559589)

I never implied that there are not other problems on networks, I was just stating a truth. I feel unnecessary exposure exasperates the problem. This is not a attack on home based servers, I am very much keen on running them myself.

I'm confused. It's not like the article is saying everyone should turn on an http server. Just like how other users run Bittorrent servers, or Starcraft servers, or advertise any sort of port at all, why should people not be able to run web servers when they deem it necessary? I don't think the implication was that everybody should unnecessarily run web servers.

If we're out to prevent unnecessary exposure, why not ban all those all services that have server components and could use resources or be reverse engineered?

Re:Pros/Cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559665)

I think the main point would be about risk, and if you were running the network as a admin your primary job would be risk mitigation. Google probably doesn't want to spend the money and deal with the additional overhead and expense of dealing with servers on home user networks. There are plenty of other ISPs and service providers who are willing to do so at a premium.

Re:Pros/Cons (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44559711)

here are a lot of IT admins not taking security seriously and if you couple that with inexperienced home admins the threat is real.

Hi. I've been doing network administration for close to a decade. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you can't cure stupid. And being smart and experience is no bar from fucking up either. I've done it. You've done it. The guy replying to this comment insisting he wouldn't, yup -- he's done it too. You don't get good network security on your own... it's a team effort. The more eyeballs you have, the less of a chance of screwing up. But it's never zero. There's never perfect security; If it was achievable, I'd be out of a job.

So let's just put to bed now the notion that "tons of rogue apps and sites infected" wouldn't happen if the people on the other end were intelligent and experienced. It'll happen to anyone you put on the other side of that router. Anyone.

Now, let's talk about servers: On the internet, there's no such thing. Oh, you know and I know what a server is. But defining a server at the network level is like defining porn: You know it when you see it. But it's an arbitrary distinction. As far as the network is concerned, it's just a network address... like all the other network addresses. Its only job is to get the packets from the source to the destination. At the network level (ie, the internet), there's no such thing as a server. Now, here's the rub; Whatever arbitrary definition you come up with for what a server is, you're going to find an exception. A grey area. Bittorrent has no concept of a server, for example -- everyone is both a client and a server... or more accurately, a peer. Many protocols are like that.

From a practical standpoint, there is no way to define a server that won't, in some manner, ban a legitimate use situation by someone who isn't trying to "serve" anything. It's unenforceable anyway -- you're just a tunneled connection away from plausible deniability. Connect your server to the Tor network as a hidden service...

Ultimately, the only thing the ISP will be able to claim is that your upload:download ratio isn't like most of the others on their network. And this, right here, is the key to the argument. ISPs don't want people to have a lot of upstream capacity because they can't cache it, buffer it, or otherwise manipulate the data streams to avoid paying for bandwidth out to their border routers. Comcast, for example, intercepts windows update connections and re-routes them to local servers. They have hundreds of them. As far as the actual download of a patch goes, Microsoft never hears from your computer if you're a Comcast user.

Stuff like that is the reason for the fail whale language about "servers"; It means less profit. Network administration and security is separate -- it may be the excuse, but it's not the reason.

Re:Pros/Cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559719)

and that is Google's problem. Not mine.

Re:Pros/Cons (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#44559777)

This argument is spurious at best. There are millions of malware hosting, email relaying, bot net infected machines out there. Having some (even a lot) of home servers of various ilks spewing crap is no different.

If some cracker wants to host infected wares or ransomware, there are plenty of places to do it for free or cheap, especially out of the US. Hell though, even spawning, tearing down AWS instances are used to constantly move the hosting of crapware, as long as the person perpetrating it has some method of updating the links to it, or a redirector that does so for him from static email links, he is gold.

You also speak of inexperienced home admins. Do you think every mom and pop small business on a 'business class' account with 5 computers and a nephew that setup their internet presence is any more secure? If so, I have some prime swampland for sale in Antarctica you may be interested in.

Re:Pros/Cons (1)

Scott Swezey (678347) | about a year ago | (#44559903)

If you colo a server with an actual data center, you don't get a free pass to run a compromised system. Home ISPs should be no different. Abuse department alerts you to an issue, you have 24 hours to correct the problem and respond, or your service is suspended. Simple.

Dynamic DNS is your friend. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44559353)

p.
Just sayin'. I've run three websites out of my garage for years. The router provided by the ISP has dyndns support built in. A little tricky to set up, and then I forgot about it.

Definition of a server (3, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | about a year ago | (#44559359)

A server is something that serves data. If it responds to a request for data, that makes it a server.

Does your IP address have ports mapped open for games or other products? It is a server!

Does your IP address respond to ping requests? It is a server!

Does your IP address respond to ANY inbound connection? It is a server!

An ourtright ban on servers does not make sense. It breaks the Internet. Bandwidth limits might make sense in some scenarios, but not in this case for fiber-to-the-home. If the data needed to travel through their servers and other equipment a cap could be potentially justified in not saturating their equipment. But for fiber to the home where the other end is connected to internet backbones, the ISP doesn't bear any traffic so bandwidth limits are nonsense and profiteering.

Re:Definition of a server (2, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44559747)

"A server is something that serves data. If it responds to a request for data, that makes it a server."

Your SlashID is low enough that you have no excuse for knowing that this simply isn't true [wikipedia.org] .

"Does your IP address respond to ping requests? It is a server!"

No. It isn't. Please turn your geek badge in at the front desk and escort yourself over to digg. Thank you.

Re:Definition of a server (0)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44560021)

I've created game servers that escape your definitions.

My centralized server lists game host machines that can be connected to.
To connect to a server you contact the negotiation server and receive the scheduled synchronized time of the next host connection window.
The clients send requests to the negotiator just prior to the host pinging the negotiation server to get the list of client port ranges.
Both the game client and game host try to connect to each other over the range of ports each the other.
The connection has punched through the firewall without anyone having open ports by default and no UPNP support is required, the port numbers are even fairly randomized due to the routers at both ends.

TADA: A game "server" that's not a "server" by your definition.

not that different from cheap servers (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44559383)

Google offers 'unlimited fiber to the home' in the same way that Dreamhost offers 'unlimited web hosting': unlimited with some restrictions on the kind of use you'll make of the service. So Dreamhost won't let you use the unlimited space for hdd backup, since it's only supposed to be for webhosting, and Google won't let you use the unlimited bandwidth for hosting an FTP server, since it's only supposed to be for residential internet access.

I would personally like there to be reasonably priced unrestricted fiber to the home. But I suspect it would cost a lot more. Have you looked up what an unrestricted port at these speeds costs at any kind of colo facility? If you really want a 1 Gbps commit, you're going to pay a lot more than Google Fiber's prices, even at the cheaper facilities.

Static IPv4 addresses and non-NAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559385)

Is really what's at the heart of ISPs wanting to charge more for business connections that have servers on them. Yes, I know, dynamic DNS kind of makes that not important but not really. For IPv4 where the address pool is limited, there is very definitely a cost associated with having a server.

The other side of this is that running servers (or expecting to be able to run servers) means that your IP address is globally visible - i.e not NAT'd. Whilst at the moment Google may be providing fibre users with non-RFC1918 addresses, they may at some point in the future move various groups of fibre users to RFC1918 addresses. At that point the service will become incompatible with running servers so if you had been using a non-business account for servers then all of a sudden that would change. By prohibiting servers as part of the ToS now, they're keeping themselves clean of future anger around a change like that.

Re:Static IPv4 addresses and non-NAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559479)

So charge extra for a static IP. My ISP does (only a few bucks, though). That will also encourage people to NAT and use virtual domains if they're hosting multiple web sites.

Don't prohibit it, charge for it.

I'll be donating to the EFF again this week. (5, Insightful)

Simulant (528590) | about a year ago | (#44559391)


I can live with not running a business off my consumer internet connection but I am mad as hell that I can't run my own mail server.

At this point one wonders if the NSA is involved....

Re:I'll be donating to the EFF again this week. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559949)

Yeah, except for the part where nobody runs a mailserver off of their home internet connection. All reputation services (AKA blackholes) block address ranges assigned to home internet services. It's pretty much impossible.

I don't know why people are up in Google's grill for what is basically a boilerplate policy that ALL home ISPs follow. Google doesn't want people buying home fiber links to host their web sites.

friends (-1, Offtopic)

GladysWKent (3018651) | about a year ago | (#44559403)

My friends mother has been making 78$ per hour.This is shocking and unbelievable,but true.Start here> www.Bay92.om

Re:friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559469)

How did this spam bullshit get posted on /.? Aren't these things screened?

Re:friends (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#44559553)

Here at Slashdot, we take pride in our relatively-uncensored publication practices. We rely on the public moderators to appropriately judge the value of comments, and accordingly hide spam comments from most viewers. Spam stories, however, are given free reign over the front page.

WEB hosting isn't expensive (0, Troll)

Announcer (816755) | about a year ago | (#44559409)

Why run a WWW server at home, when you can use a hosting service for as little as $4 per month? Why not let someone else worry about installing patches to the OS, and keeping the hackers/bots at bay 24/7? I have several sites on several domains, and it's only $100 a year. IMHO, that's far more worthwhile than having to keep constant vigilance over my own hardware.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (4, Insightful)

ODBOL (197239) | about a year ago | (#44559453)

Your choice. Other people have other reasons to make other choices. The question here is not, "why run a WWW server at home?" but, "why prohibit people from running servers at home?"

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559835)

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/05/24/1312252/fios-user-finds-limit-of-unlimited-data-plan-77-tbmonth

that's why.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (5, Interesting)

kwerle (39371) | about a year ago | (#44559459)

Because.

I wanna run a server at home.
I don't wanna pay $4/month more.
I want to run some non-standard OS.
I want to test my custom hardware.
I want to connect my server to my lights.

What do you care why?

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (3, Interesting)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#44559899)

Agreed and I'd like to expand on the "test my custom" to "everything."

At work I run and admin web servers, mostly Apache. I choose Apache because I have the most experience with it and have developed a feeling for how much I can trust various configurations. I don't have that level of experience with Nginx. However, I like Nginx better and feel like it would be better suited to meeting our business needs. So I need to spend a couple years getting better aquainted with Nginx, what can go wrong, how they find and handle security issues, how quickly patches come out, how easy it is to handle stop-gap measures, etc.

I can only do that somewhat freely at work because there are different restrictions on what I can do with machines at work and what I'm willing to have fail at work. If I can run Nginx at home for a couple years, I don't have those restrictions. It's hardly reasonable to consider my hobby tinkering a business and unreasonable for me to have to upgrade to a business class service just to give me the ability to ensure I understand how to configure the hardware, software and services I am trying to learn.

I tried FreeBSD for a while at home. I absoutely love some aspects of it. After a couple years, I decided I didn't like the upgrade cycle, but I didn't learn that at work and shouldn't have to. I tried OpenBSD too and discovered some drivers didn't like some of the hardware I was using and that would have been a misuse of my time to discover at work since they don't pay me to play around learning new stuff. I'm a better admin professionally because of my hobby experience at home.

I too had to ask and answer "what is a server?" I have an old Cisco router a couple switches and a 1U server with no onboard hard disk. The Ciscos have built in telnet and web server interfaces. Even my wifi router has an onboard web server for configuation. Surely they wouldn't consider the Ciscos and wifi router servers? Of course not. The 1U dell needs a tftp server to function and can run various systems but none of them necessariy have to offer externally available software servers of any sort. That doesn't sound like a server to me either. In the end, I try to keep my homework limited to a couple things I'm tinkering with and not offer anything the general public might be interested in from my home connection and I believe I'm operating within the spirit of the rules. That doesn't stop me from wishing that the rules were actually more clearly established along reasonable lines. As an admin of a network myself, I believe that it is my job to ensure not only that we have clear rules about what is allowed and what isn't but also to ensure that dangerous or abusive use is curtailed by technology, not a "you find out that you broke the rules only after you've gone far enough to be punished" approach.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#44560077)

Explain than to me why *I* as a customer should shoulder the costs of what you don't want to pay. Because at the end of the day, the ISP is a business and has to recover costs somewhere. Maybe hmmm, they will invent *tier* contracts in alternative of having a socialist alternative reality where I share your costs for a service I don't need or want?

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#44559521)

I run a server at home because I don't just want web hosting. I want file hosting, email, remote desktop, music and video streaming, video games, and IRC to boot... And I want to access much of that from my home at the same time, and manage it the way I want and upgrade it when I want.

I did once price out what I'd be spending on Amazon to get close to my needs, and it came out to a couple hundred dollars per month. It's cheaper for me to just buy a server and rent space in a data center... and cheaper still for me to run it at home.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559619)

I'm not saying that people who buy cheap hosting are fucktard, I agree that some people don't want/shouldn't try to run their own server. But... Low end web hosts are jokes. Ever seen the latency on those sites? The limitations that make no damn sense? Game servers are another matter. Ever want to run a server for a small Minecraft server for a small group of friends? Just about any junk machine around will do it for you and every bit as cheap as the cheapest respectable Minecraft hosts.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about a year ago | (#44559645)

Because there is no reason to trust your data to "the cloud". What you do with your data is your choice. Be a decent enough person to let others decide what they do with theirs. If they want direct and physical control that is their choice and they should have it.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559983)

"Do not trust the cloud"?

MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

Sorry, that was the wrong answer, thanks for playing
  -- Google

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (1)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44559669)

Why run a WWW server at home, when you can use a hosting service for as little as $4 per month?

Why run Excel at home, when you can use Office365 for as little as $8.33 per month?


Some people lease their cars and have a new one every 2 years. Some buy them new and always take them to the dealer for service. And... Some buy a wreck, restore it to drivable condition, and do all their own maintenance on it to keep it running for literally decades.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44559751)

Why run a WWW server at home, when you can use a hosting service for as little as $4 per month?

That can just as well be turned into "Why pay $4 a month for a hosting service when you can use any old machine at home and host it yourself for free?" On that same note, this website may very well be connected to other services that you're offering and you may not want to hand all the precious data to a 3rd party that may or may not be trust-worthy.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (1)

Llamalarity (806413) | about a year ago | (#44559785)

Exactly! I wish my web hosting would compete with my ISP rather than the other way around. Lots of cheap hosting options for us wanna bees.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (2)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | about a year ago | (#44559931)

I get your point that for the majority of people it's not worth your time to setup a web server when a thousand providers offer good service for the price of a specialty coffee. But, when I was 16 I wanted to learn about the WWW, Linux, and CGI, and a local web server with Perl let me host some friend's sites. Nowadays I still have a web server at home plus three racks in our DC for projects.

Controlling your hardware and OS is a good learning environment, plus complete control over things that might cost way more than $4/mo. I learned a lot about tweaking hardware and network security by having to do it early on. Today I use a home web server for some automation projects whose hardware needs physical access to the devices it manages.

So, in short, lots of reasons to host at home. Not even high-bandwidth-for-cheap ones.

Re:WEB hosting isn't expensive (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | about a year ago | (#44560031)

Technically my router is a server since I have the router management site open on the WAN side and it has dyndns running. My ISP sold me the router and the firmware is unaltered. The terms of service language is absolutely vague. This isn't just about just WWW servers.

Why so confused? (4, Insightful)

scarboni888 (1122993) | about a year ago | (#44559417)

It's very simple. If it's a 'server' that can generate revenue then they want their share.

You can't charge bittorrent clients you are seeding to but you can take credit card numbers, paypal donations, and bitcoins through a web page.

Remember to always follow the godforsaken $$$ whenever you want an answer to anything even remotely related to business.

It's not hard, really.

Use more, pay more (4, Insightful)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year ago | (#44559427)

If you're using the service more, you should expect to pay more. Otherwise, the little guys end up subsidizing your bandwidth hogging ways... rather than the other way around, where the big data guys pay more, and the little data using guys pay less. You expect that with almost every known business transaction.... get off your wallet and pay the extra cash for a business account... (I have Comcast business level internet for an extra $50/mo and I have 30Mbps upload... a terrific deal that I don't expect the little lady down the street to subsidize.)

Re:Use more, pay more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559547)

The difference is that no "more" of the service is being used. Just because you are accepting connections doesn't mean you are receiving any or sending any substantial data over them.

Re:Use more, pay more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559699)

Exactly our house uses less than 10 Gig each month but yet we run a SIP for our phone line (so run asterisk), run an openvpn server ssh smtp etc.

Re:Use more, pay more (2)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about a year ago | (#44559703)

If you're using the service more, you should expect to pay more.

Assuming you ran a mail and web server within the agreed bandwidth limits, how would you be abusing or over utilising the service?

It strikes me as one of those arbitrary decisions that are made purely for the bottom line, like how some telecom companies charge extra for tethering despite it costing them absolutely nothing extra.

Re:Use more, pay more (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559755)

If you're using the service more, you should expect to pay more.

Of course, but a server does not necessarily use more. A lightly used server can use much less data (both up and down) than Joe Typical Consumer who downloads movies, music, games, Windows updates, etc.

The owner of a server using 1GB up + 1GB down per month should not "expect to pay more" than someone who browses websites amounting to 2GB up + 10GB down per month.

Wake Me (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44559431)

Wake me when they reach my country. Until then I'll stick with TekSavvy.

Re:Wake Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559579)

+1

TekSavvy + static IP has been great for testing many of my projects (which are now moving out into hosted data centres as they are becoming more serious).

Re:Wake Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559605)

Me too! It's $4/month for a static IP and they never ask questions about my activities, and don't give any into to the government or any other third party without proper legal requests. I think they'll give you /28s, /29s and /30s for reasonable prices too.

I wish more people knew of TekSavvy around here.

Stanford (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559447)

Don't forget that Google used Stanford's network to get their start (google.stanford.edu). Google wouldn't exist today if they were not allowed to create a server which "provided" them access to the Internet.

This doesn't make sense (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#44559471)

There are a reason there are domestic packages and professional packages: uptime, help desk assistance, troubleshooting and cost. I for one, don't wait to pay extra in my home communication package because the government is messing with and dictating rules to private business. At the end of the day, is a matter of cost, and distributing it - residential have it cheaper, businesses foot a bigger bill. The security nightmare and also extra administration for this to happen in the ISP side has to be paid. There are no magic rules. Unless the EFF wants to foot the bill, it is not the EFF job to dictate who does what. Also most of the residential contracts throughout the world have ridiculous upstream speeds compared to residential contracts who are designed to favour download speeds. Anyway, nowadays who is running services server side must do something wrongunless you are an organisation with considerable resources it is so much cost wise to run it on the cloud.

Re:This doesn't make sense (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44559565)

You seem to have missed the point entirely. Google, like every ISP, is selling something that they claim is "unlimited," but that claim is 100% bogus.

The issue isn't that the EFF wants the government to tell Google what they can and can't offer, it's that Google (and other ISPs) need to be honest about what they're selling.

Re:This doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559717)

Exactly I would say Google isn't offering "internet access". There is more to the internet than outbound port 80 connections.

Re:This doesn't make sense (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#44559967)

I haven't read it anywhere in the articleit is talking about running servers. Note, I don't condone deceptive marketing about it being "unlimited". Here the cartel of mobile operators redefined unlimited in 4G as 15GB DOWNLOAD. I even filed a complaint in tmn.pt only to be given a stupid boilerplate answer message. Anyway, unlimited and running servers *is* not the same thing. I fully maintain what I said, I don't want to foot the bill for the hoarders/freeloaders 5%-10% of users who misuse the resources. The price is made with certain operational assumptions, and you get what you pay. Want more, pay more. Want the government to blackmail them to misuse the resources, then also ask the government to charge a flat fee on motorways to charge the same to motorbikes and trailers, or the mail/UPS to charge the same to a letter or sending all your belongings to another city, or force MacDonalds to charge the price of a meal when your extend family of 15 is going there for lunch. Oh, my god, they are profiteering. Business is business, don't like it, don't use it.

Re:This doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559689)

Well.. that was incoherent and difficult to read, but it appears you support Google and don't agree with the EFF.

It seems that you don't understand the problem. As you can't define what is and isn't a "server", this means that Google wants to arbitrarily disallow certain kinds of traffic or protocols. This is a real slippery slope. You either sell Internet access, or sell something that resembles Internet access, but has road blocks everywhere.

Here's a car analogy: Say you're renting a condo with a garage, and the condo association says you're not allowed to allow visiting relatives park in your garage, even though you have space available.

logic fail (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44559489)

Browsing the web and such, a person will use full bandwidth for about a second, look at the page, load another in about a second, look at it, etc. Between the time they get home from work and the time they go to bed, the typical web user might load a hundred pages in a day. 100 page loads of bandwidth is what a typical customer costs the ISP, do their bill is based on.

A server can easily serve up 100 pages per MINUTE, 24/7. That's 3600 times as much bandwidth cost than a surfer. If you want to use thousands of times as much, costing the ISP thousands of times as much, you're going to pay more. You're paying more because you cost a lot more. I pay $650 / for the connection I use for my servers, because I use $650 worth of resources.

TFS says "Some heavy BitTorrent users also use a lot of bandwidth, costing more than they pay."

So since they use more, they should pay more, is the logical conclusion.

Re:logic fail (1)

MF4218 (1320441) | about a year ago | (#44559739)

Clearly you donâ(TM)t use Tumblr. That maxes out my internet connection for hours at a time (All. Those. Gifs.)

Thereâ(TM)s also Vine, Youtube binges, getting the latest episode of GoT/Breaking Bad⦠Running a server just means the data goes in the other direction.

Google, Marijuana, Slashdot (1)

crhylove (205956) | about a year ago | (#44559511)

The same google who gives all your data to the NSA? Who's high on Slashdot today?

Mental corruption (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#44559543)

"Admittedly, when I hear the word 'server,' I think of a Web server"

Sad, eh? Because the WWW is the end-all, be-all of the entire internet. Ports 80 and 443 are all you need to know!

The other side (5, Informative)

barlevg (2111272) | about a year ago | (#44559555)

Google Fiber Server Neutrality Violation Being Overblown [dslreports.com]

In short, Google isn't doing anything that the other ISPs aren't doing (it's not like there's any indication that they will actually enforce the ban), and the reason the language is there is that Google will likely roll out a business package in the future.

One argument in the ISP's favor (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about a year ago | (#44559575)

By making it difficult to run a server on Joe Schmo's DSL connection, you remove the problem of malicious servers (spammers, bots, etc). I'd love to run my own mail server the way things are going. I already use SSH to tunnel home and BTSync to keep myself out of the cloud.

Re:One argument in the ISP's favor (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44559793)

"By making it difficult to run a server on Joe Schmo's DSL connection, you remove the problem of malicious servers (spammers, bots, etc)."

Dude,

Put down the meth pipe and step away from the keyboard. That has to be one of the most ridiculous claims I have read in quite some time. Seriously.

Those who torrent (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#44559585)

Tend to be victims of traffic shaping and are the first to be throttled if the ISP is low on bandwidth.

Internet Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559621)

I pay for internet service. I want ALL packets transferred uninterupted, period. I do not pay for "Internet Consumer service".

Additionally, when we seperate out a server as buisiness, we are discriminating against people that can not afford to be a business, like small non-profits. I wonder when the day will come that all people form a business just to not be discriminated against.

But Google said... (5, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year ago | (#44559675)

When they started this whole fiber deal, Google clearly stated that they had no idea what people might use this bandwidth for. They said it was an experiment to see what creative uses people might find for it. This policy clearly goes against that statement. As someone who will have Google Fiber available in the next couple months, this is frustrating. I am a "tinkerer/pseudo hacker", and that means sometimes running an internet facing server of some sort for pure nerd learning purposes. Sigh...

Default blocking and non-comm OK, but make opt. (3, Insightful)

damacus (827187) | about a year ago | (#44559701)

My opinion is that it makes sense for default settings (protecting those inadvertently sharing, preventing a trojan from starting up a common service or opening VNC to the world, etc etc), but a customer should be able to call in and ask that they be exempted from those restrictions. I do understand also non-commercial stipulations and am fine with that too.. but I should never have to wonder if, as a customer, I'm violating my ToS by having SSH and a VPN service sitting on my connection.. it's one of those things where even unenforced it can be used as means for termination and whatnot.

A tale of two fibers. (4, Insightful)

DewDude (537374) | about a year ago | (#44559741)

Screw whatever karma points I'm not going to get...I have nothing too insightful to say on this matter; but i'm going to talk anyway.

I, too, feel it's a trumped up way of making customers pay for a higher tier. I too wonder why they specifically are targeting web-servers than anything else. One part of me wants to say it's a "public" vs "private" aspect. Look at a device like a Slingbox for example. When you get down to it; it's a server. It's a little device that sends data over the internet. At the same time; it's "hidden" and not publically accessible. You need two individual logins to be able to connect to it; one for the slingbox website; another for the slingbox itself. It's not like *anyone* can drive by my IP and go "I think i'll stream some video". I don't know of a single ISP that's had issue with this. I'm sure there's a few people with google fiber running one. Verizon has never taken an attempt to block mine. or tell me I needed to stop running it. Hell, having this insane amount of bandwidth is what made me invest in one in the first place. Same goes for my remote SSH access. Yeah; that's a server alright; but again, it's not a "public" thing...and mine isn't even on a standard port. So, maybe there's a distinction between a "public" server; like an httpd; and "private" servers like SSH, games, torrents; etc. I run a VPN on my network...and that's not even raised any eyebrows by my ISP...and within that VPN I've got access to any server running on my LAN. Again, this is what leads me to believe they make a distinction between public servers pumping out data to everyone; and private servers that "just happen to use your residential" account.

But, let me focus on Verizon for just another minute; since it's the only ISP I've used for the last 11 years (12 if you count the year my DSL was technically GTEi). My original DSL TOS was on like...a 4"x4" leaflet...and said *nothing* about servers. I read that tiny piece of paper three or four times.....GTE (this was before they completely merged the networks sometime in '02) didn't care if you ran a server on your DSL. Therefore; I did. In fact, I ran a server a large majority of the time I was on a DSL connection. Verizon never blocked port 80....and I don't think they even scanned. Oddly enough; the only port they blocked was 25. It was for trying to reduce the amount of spam people's PCs were sending out; and they gave a TON of notice about it. I didn't have a business account...they probably didn't have to tell me; but they did. They even called me to make sure I knew about the upcoming block on incoming port 25. I ran web-servers; ftp; ssh; shoutcast, even an ircd; never had Verizon "get after me" or block any ports.

Ok, granted FiOS isn't offering a 1gpbs plan yet; and I don't know what ever happened to XG-PON...but even now, they don't forcibly prevent you from running a server by blocking ports. A buddy of mine up in MA has a residential FiOS account and has been running an httpd for who knows how long. I've tried running services that are public on standard ports and never had an issue.

There's...a lot I don' t know about how they handle; or even if they check. If google's blocking port 80 incomming (which is what I gathered from some of the comments); then how is it Verizon...whose been called extremely evil...not?

Maybe part of it is the "old" way of thinking it seems tech companies don't want to shake. Maybe they're lumping *anyone* who runs a server as a business; completely shunning the fact a home user might want to run a server as a hobby.

Google Lure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559781)

All Google is doing is luring you in to sell you to its real customers its advertisers, thats all they do! When will people learn to not trust Google, they are a dirty dirty company!!

Server description (1)

enriquevagu (1026480) | about a year ago | (#44559805)

all ISPs are deliberately vague about what qualifies as a 'server.' ... because TCP clearly specifies it.

The fact that some programs might behave correctly when implementing a server, or not (eg: skype) or the fact that, in some cases, ISPs allow certain services or ports, does not mean that a 'server' is something arcane. It's you that don't know it.

I disagree with the EFF this time (0)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#44559829)

Every ISP I know of and every one I've ever dealt with had both commercial and private links. Technology wise, they were no different, but commercial links allow you to run a server; private/home links do not. Sometimes the prices aren't even any different, but are only to help with upload/download capacity planning.

Sorry, EFF, but "network neutrality" means neutral access, not free for all hosting.

Re:I disagree with the EFF this time (1)

dubbreak (623656) | about a year ago | (#44560023)

Yep. All the local providers here it is pretty clear even if it isn't explicit: commercial vs non-commercial use. If I want to run a web/app server I have to purchase a commercial account and fair enough since that's a different product (I generally expect to pay for hosting or a static ip etc).

They are ambiguous on purpose though. One of my friends worked at a one of the big ISPs. Most people could get away with running whatever (heck even a mail server back then) as long as their bandwidth usage did draw suspicion. As soon as they find a bandwidth hog they'd nail them on "running a server" or similar. One example he gave was a customer who's upwards bandwidth was pretty much pegged all the time (this was during the early era of high speed connections when there weren't monthly caps, just speed caps). They checked out where all the traffic was coming from and it ended up he was running the audio streaming service for a local radio station. Definitely not a legit use for a home line, but I could see why someone would try to pull that off (T-carrier lines were 10x the price of consumer high speed connections).

Re:I disagree with the EFF this time (1)

Ralph Ostrander (2846785) | about a year ago | (#44560107)

Your a special kind of stupid. EFF has it dead nuts.

Monthly bandwidth limits (1)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about a year ago | (#44559853)

I find the monthly bandwidth limits a bigger problem. Most months we don't use much, but one or two times a year, we go over.

COCX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44559923)

Cox Cable here in lovely San Diego blocks outgoing port 80 for residential cable access. I asked them what there reason was, and they said it was for my protection against some worm. I dont buy it.

If they are talking about blocking port 80 (2)

supermachoman (2479416) | about a year ago | (#44559933)

Then they misunderstand. The reason why ISPs block port 80 incoming is not to block "servers" primarily to up-charge people. It's done to protect the internet from XP zombies which serve up ads. My ISP (cox) doesn't charge more for a business account than it does for a personal one. The need to specifically ask for a business account with no port blocking is there to ensure responsibility with viruses.

Re:If they are talking about blocking port 80 (1)

ruir (2709173) | about a year ago | (#44560099)

A sane post, what a pearl.

So Hard To Choose (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#44560067)

Which sardonic quip to use? I can't decide, so I'll post both.

Of all of them, you'd think it would have been Google to finally shake things up.

"Of all of them," perhaps, is true. Google may well be the least evil of the major providers. And Obama was the less evil of the two major 2012 candidates. Not high bars to get over, and yet they both just graze past.

Of all of them, you'd think it would have been Google to finally shake things up.

I think you may be confusing Google ca 2001 with Google ca 2013. They are two very different companies. The latter is a cookie-cutter American megacorp, money over everything; not strictly immoral, but profoundly amoral.

I run a web server from home Zina to serve (1)

Ralph Ostrander (2846785) | about a year ago | (#44560079)

My music when I am not at home. Really fuck um.
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