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Re: Fwd: SlashDot: "Comcast Gunning for NAT Users"

  • From: Alexei Roudnev
  • Date: Fri Feb 01 01:42:09 2002


I am running VMWare and run virtual machine on my PC; is it 2 computers or 1

There is not ANY sharp boundary between 1 computer and many computers -:). It can
be less that 1 computer, 1.0 computer, 1.02 computer and so on -:)...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric A. Hall" <[email protected]>
To: "Bill Woodcock" <[email protected]>; "Martin J. Levy" <[email protected]>
Cc: <[email protected]>
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 2:09 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: SlashDot: "Comcast Gunning for NAT Users"

> "Bill Woodcock" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >     > Besides the technical difficulties of detecting a household that is
> >     > running a NAT...
> >
> > Can you think of a way of doing it reliably?  Anything that provides
> > anything more than a guess?
> Several ways:
>   Comcast has a mail server, they could poke at the HELO banners and
>   other identifiers.
>   HTTP proxies indicating that multiple browsers are in use, especially
>   if multiple platforms (Win95, WinXP, as simple test)
>   More than ~4 simultaneous TCP connections open at once.
> None of those would be bothered by firewalls or other legitimate devices, and
> would probably all be within a legally-defensible purview of ~analysis.
> As to whether or not Comcast does any of this, I do not know. My brother has a
> friend who was a 2nd level tech with @Home, and he says they did it, so I
> would not be surprised that Comcast would also.
> The thing is that Comcast is trying to make money by selling ~consumer
> Internet access, and they have a perception problem with shared access
> (PacBell used to run great "bandwidth hog!" ads). They don't want people using
> more pipe than ~consumer access would normally imply.
> This is hard because they are selling bandwidth ("watch video") so they can't
> really cap the downloads, and they are selling always-on so they can't measure
> by time conveniently either. So they try to get the "bandwidth hogs" through
> contractual means. Comcast prohibits VPNs, and prohibits ~"attaching to
> another network", as examples. If you use too much bandwidth, they will use
> these to drop your service.
> --
> Eric A. Hall                              
> Internet Core Protocols