I know for a fact that I’m not the first person, nor will I be the last person to be treated unfairly by my Internet Service Provider.
A few days ago I woke up with all my devices being unable to connect to the Internet. Usually when this happens I simply restart and let things come back up. I’ve experienced unexplainable drops in connection that I couldn’t attribute to any configuration change on ether end of the connection and would ultimately restore connection by changing the listening port for my endpoints.
On that day however, I woke up to find my endpoint address had been completely shot dead. Attempting to ping the device returned nothing and a traceroute from my house would fail after leaving the gateway modem. This was the moment I realized something seriously wrong was going on.
Since management of all my servers and services go through that VPN I am left without any way to connect besides to use my mobile data. My mobile phone is not the best management device, while SSH is by no means a heavy protocol, when you pay $10 per GB you don’t use it at all unless absolutely necessary. Especially when background apps are all trying to make their own connections out, this becomes expensive really quickly. My ISP had effectively blocked me from my own servers.
Naturally, I decide to check and make sure that the host isn’t actually just down, or that I failed to pay the bill. All checks besides ones I ran from my house were successful. Seeing that everyone else could see my server online except for myself, I tried one more test to another server in the same data center which passed with no problems.
Finally I decided to pull the traceroute from the server that got blocked and determined that at the last mile, where my modem connects to their network, my packets were being dropped. Not just some packets ether, this was a full IP block where no matter what port you tried to connect with there was no communication what so ever.
Because I just find social media to be the best weapon against bad behavior like this, I took to Twitter and DMed their support reps who initially denied any blocks were applied and attempted to shuffle blame onto the provider’s network. Even with traceroute in hand they have refused to fix the situation.
I am now at the 48 hour mark and service has not been restored.
Moral of this story, never trust your ISP. They act as digital gatekeepers who act in very anticompetitive ways that create winners and losers on the Internet.