Sify Clowns Around

Last couple of days have been really frustrating for sify users in and around Mumbai. Sify has been randomly blocking ports which are not used by an average Internet user.
On 12th of July, sify people decided to block port 22, which is used for ssh. It's not such a commonly used port but many people depend on flawless functioning of such ports for their work and communications. ssh being a secure way of accessing remote PC's is quite essential for many people.
On 13th, pradeepto put forth the query reguarding the same on the ILUG-BOM mailing list. It was confirmed after a few more people responded as to facing the same problem.
The next day, they opened up the port 22. But, the joy was short lived. Now, they blocked ports 143 and 993, which are used for IMAP emails. Considering the importance of emails in this Information Age, this is really a huge problem for sify users relying on IMAP.
Again, pradeepto put up another mail reguarding this new surprise of sify.
Since, not many people use IMAP, not many other people had much problems. Port 143 has been opened up as of now, but port 993 is still blocked. Port 993 is important, as it transports IMAP over SSL.
It's much better security wise to use encryption. Thus, ssh and ssl are quite important protocols for secure communication.
Read the hillarious and frustrating account of pradeepto with the sify people reguarding the incident –
Pradeepto's Blog entry on Sify Woes
And my ISP is not Sify. Now, people will be wondering as to why I wrote this post then.
There are 2 reasons for that –
1. To show the pathetic state of ISP's we have here. This kind of annoying things are carried out by almost all the ISP's. Most of it goes unnoticed as it doesn't affect majority of the audience. But, there have been instances of silly ones too which was noticed by public at large, like the blockspot incident.
2. Because I feel releived that I haven't had to face such issues with my ISP, Hathway. Not, that I haven't had any problems with them. One of my major problems has been their DNS server. I almost always find their DNS servers too slow or down. So, I decided to solve that problem by running my own DNS server. It's a straight forward thing so there hasn't been any problems with it. Otherwise not much to complain as compared to other ISP's in India.

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