Proxy banned - why?

Discussion in 'Linux VPS/Dedicated - General' started by junzoo, Jun 20, 2009.

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  1. junzoo

    junzoo New Member

    I wanted to put up a temporary, limited proxy to help Iranian people access Twitter. Knownhost stopped me. Is there some kind of rationale behind this?

    If I am paying for my account and all the bandwidth I use and want to use it in a legal, non-spam, non-network-disrupting way, then I don't see what the problem is.

    I then noticed Knownhost forbids IRC too. I don't use IRC but the notion that Knownhost gets to tell me exactly what type of client/server applications I can run makes me uncomfortable. I thought the whole point of paying for a VPS was to gain the freedom to run what you wanted.

    What exactly is the criteria Knownhost is using to decide which apps it allows its customers to run?
  2. ppc

    ppc Moderator

    You'll have to wait for an official answer but here's my take: IRC, proxies etc. have been known to be high risk. Meaning, those type of activities tend to attract denial of service attacks as well as a degradation of service for others.

    Most VPS providers have similar restrictions though I'm sure there are some that don't.
    Obviously, KH which operates the network can declare which activities are OK and which aren't. It's all to keep the network clean and healthy IMO.
  3. Bryan

    Bryan Very Happy KH VPS User

    The majority of dedicated providers and networks in general do for that matter. I'm sure the reasons are exactly what you list.
  4. junzoo

    junzoo New Member

    So the rationale is purely practical? Anything that gives rise to DoS attacks becomes presumptively banned? Knownhost has no objection to people chatting via IRC per se, it just can give rise to DoS attacks so they address that problem by banning IRC?

    If Hello Kitty websites incurred DoS attacks, Hello Kitty websites would then be forbidden by Knownhost?

    If any other parties out on the global Internet want to stop your activity/speech enough to launch DoS attacks, your own provider will do the job for them and just ban your activity/speech?

    I just want to understand how Knownhost decides what it will allow me to run on my VPS.
  5. KH-Joel

    KH-Joel KH Sales Staff Member


    The reason is pretty simple. We choose to now allow it based on several years of experience in the industry. We decided on things we didn''t want to allow within our network to help keep the network as clean as possible so our customer's experience is as pleasent as possible. It's very common for hosting companies to not allow such things. We have many clients running extremely important misson critical applications and believe it or not many of them specifically look for hosts who prohibit things like IRC's on the network.

  6. ppc

    ppc Moderator

    If YOUR Hello Kitty websites kept incurring DoS attacks, than your VPS would probably be suspended. I don't think KH would ban it entirely unless the situation got as bad and prevalent as IRC's.

    Since inception I don't think KH added any additional banned activities, so I wouldn't be too worried that random things will just pop up.
  7. junzoo

    junzoo New Member

    Thanks for the honest answers anyway. My interpretation is the de-facto criteria for a banned service on Knownhost is any and all applications network admins have found to be more often associated with attacks from external parties. Applying that principle to my case, I presume I am not allowed to use my spare bandwidth to proxy Twitter for the Iranian people because Knownhost is afraid the Iran government would DoS attack the network.

    It seems to me, hosting providers' mission to "keep the network clean" is great, but not when it misguidedly goes about accomplishing that by curtailing their own customers legitimate uses instead of curtailing the bad actors launching attacks. This "practical" approach effectively hands over the power to decide acceptable use to any malicious entity across the global Internet willing to employ electronic intimidation.

    "Not getting involved" and just banning customers from running whole categories of applications (proxies) is indeed cheaper and easier for any hosting provider than tackling network defense challenges. But I find that a particularly troubling policy. Not only from an ethical perspective, but a business one as well.

    For example, by this way of thinking, if a "Hello Doggy" competitor attacked my "Hello Kitty" website for business advantage, Knownhost would apparently not stand by me to fight the attack but instead force me to take down my website, regarding me as the party responsible for running an application that dirtied the network.

    IMO, Knownhost could manage this situation in a far more responsible and customer supportive way. For example, networks running perceived "risky" services could be segregated from networks running "mission critical" services. More stringent network defenses could be deployed. Customers' freedoms to use purchased resources for any legal commercial or free-speech purpose they chose could be fully respected. That is the sort of network use approach that I feel compelled to support, even though this issue doesn't personally affect me at all. Over the past three years as a customer I've done nothing more controversial on my own VPS than infrequent shell programming.

    Can anyone suggest a reliable hosting provider who operates more along the lines I'm suggesting?
  8. KH-Joel

    KH-Joel KH Sales Staff Member


    Thanks for your view on this. We stand behind ours and have nearly 2 decades of hosting behind our backs so we feel confident in our decision. Bottomline, we are looking out for our customers and our network integrity. Some may use proxies legally but the time spent weeding out the bad ones is not worth it in our opinion. Best of luck. I am closing this ticket.

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