Server Hosting and the AUP

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I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Server Hosting and the AUP

Hey all. Been looking at the Acceptable Use Policy for consumer internet at Rogers, and noticed something odd- servers aren't allowed to be hosted, without limitation, on the residential lines. Could anybody elaborate on to what extent this is forced?

 

I want to run a couple of simple servers for low traffic voice chat, semi-private ftp, a semi-private webserver, and potentially a low traffic gameserver- are all of these plans are dashed because I'm apparently prohibited from doing any of those? I see people on these forums with similar setups that don't put any excessive traffic through the lines, just like what I want to do, yet the policy dictates otherwise.

 

I called rogers support earlier, got given the runabout for an hour full of redirects to departments that had no clue what I was talking about: customer service sent me to sales, sales sent me to tech support (who rejected me for not wanting to give them my full contact and address details to ask a question about the policy) who tried to send me back to sales and customer service (who still didn't know what I was talking about by "server hosting"). The very last person I spoke with at tech support elaborated that all servers, no matter for what purpose and even if private, will result in action being taken against the account in regular scans. 

 

Therefore, I'm here for a 2nd opinion on why I can't do simple low traffic server hosting- is it really banned on the residential lines? The business plans are ridiculous if all I want to do is have a nas and recreational stuff running.

 

 

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Community Manager
Community Manager
Posts: 3,359

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

@chicken7117

 

Thanks for reaching out to us on the Community Forums. Sit tight; we're going to see if we can provide further clarification for you in regards to your specific questions.

 

 

Thanks,

 


RogersDarrell

Retired Moderator RogersAsif
Retired Moderator
Posts: 700

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

Hi @chicken7117

 

 

We have confirmed that we don’t allow servers with our residential internet plans. I’d be happy to get you in touch with our business services team to get more information about an internet plan that supports running a server

 

RogersAsif

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 928

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

This is an interesting question. The AUP is, as the official Rogers reps have stated, very clear that there is a no-servers policy.

 

At the same time, Rogers has traditionally blocked fewer ports than any other residential ISP (I don't think Rogers even blocks inbound 80 or inbound 25; they do block outbound 25, but that was unfortunately required to slow down spam bots on malware-infested machines), and there used to be, at least, an unofficial 'you can run a server for as long as it doesn't get noticed' policy.

 

I don't know if the other REs (hey @Gdkitty, @Datalink, @jimboden) have heard anything, but in 15 years, I certainly have never heard of Rogers doing proactive scans looking for servers that weren't causing some kind of trouble.

 

The flip side, of course, is that if your server does cause trouble (e.g. someone decides to DDoS you, or the software you're using has security vulnerabilities or is insecurely configured, or, especially with the unlimited plans, you are using a disruptively-high amount of bandwidth, or your server hosts content copyrighted by someone else, etc.), they have no reason to be nice - the AUP says no servers, you ran a server, the end.

 

In this day and age when VPSes hosted by real providers in real data centers are so cheap, though, I don't know why you'd want to take risks running servers at home...



Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 13,875

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

I would pretty much second what VivienM says.

I personaly myself, run a small personal webserver at home..

I have FTP on there but its off 90% of the time.
It also has my media server, which has an outward facing port.

 

I have been running most of this.. for at least 12+ years.... and never had any issues.

BUT i am using this all personally.. It is for ME to access, etc.

I think it really comes down to bandwidth, and how much it spams/congests things.
If you are running something which is running your connection to the max 24/7.. could congest a local node and effect others services.. and i could see them try and stop it.
And as mentioned.. if there was an attack, etc against it.. could again cause similar isssues. (though this can happen even without a server)



I'm an Advisor
Posts: 1,524

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

This is a very interesting topic. I've never explicitly set up a server, but I have "hosted" players in online games. One example is COD Ghosts multiplayer, where you can play Squad Assault and allow friends on Steam to join your squad or you can join theirs. That is a feature which is built into the game. I have had friends from as far away as Malaysia join my squad. Another common use for servers is racing games. I have never set one up myself, but have played on servers hosted by friends. The racing game I play a lot is Assetto Corsa, which has a huge number of online servers that I can join if I am authorization to sign in. Because this type of thing is normal, I wonder how many people in the world are ignoring their ISP's AUP. I assume AUP's differ around the world, of course.

I've Been Here Awhile
Posts: 4

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

To clarify, it won't be the simple "team leader" kind of connections in games, but active server programs. As for the suggestion to go buy a vps because they're cheap- that evades the question: if I have the bandwidth and the hardware, why must I go out of my way to rent a vps to host a simple and small teamspeak server? Or conversely, why must I rent a vps with 8gb of memory (costing $22/month at ovh canada) to be able to host a small gameserver for a couple of friends and myself once every few days?

It boggles the mind why I am forced to either spend a multiple of my current plan on a business plan, to be able to host a resource intensive server on occasion just to be able to enjoy my time off. I don't need 25 business emails, I don't need ddos protection, and I spend $90 per month already at Rogers for internet alone. By doing what people are suggesting I do, I would be cutting my speeds by several times with that loss of $20/month, for a server that will be used whenever I want to test something or play something with friends.

With easy to set up (but pricier) solutions like WD's cloud series of simple storage servers cropping up everywhere, this policy at Rogers inhibits the development of them and limits what people can do without being faced with vague threats of their own ISP sniffing their ports for server activity. VPS servers with high storage space allocations cost even more than the simple $3 ones you can host a website on, and more than the $22 8gb one too I'd wager. It just doesn't follow that I need to pay as much as a small business for simple solutions, or follow the "why would you even 'want' to use a local machine to host something on your own plan when you can go spend money on a vps" route. 

 

Surely of the hundreds of thousands of Rogers customers there are people running a nas here and there. The vibe I'm currently getting is that if I don't advertise the IP or get a crowd of people (viz. angry or bored people) to run commercial stress testing services on whatever I'm hosting, it's alright to have a fileserver/gameserver, similar to the people who have replied. I'm faced with people saying no but nodding yes- what difference is it to the infrastructure if I have things running that perhaps a maximum of 3 people other than myself will ever interface with?

 

EDIT: As a side note, please don't mark an answer as a solution when the most recent activity is within hours of the "solution". With that abrupt finality, it creates the impression that the conversation has been closed and no further discussion is needed nor warranted. I still want to add in to the discussion, and would appreciate if the earliest official response is not dictated to be the final one, for the issue is more complex than quoting the policy (as evidenced by the posts from @jimboden@Gdkitty, and @VivienM).

Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 13,875

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP

Remember, any of us RE's here are users only, just like you.  Anything we say is just personal, etc.

RogersAsif is the only OFFICIAL person who works for rogers here who has said anything official.

Really it is, like you said.. an YES and NO answer at the same time.

Technically, according to the terms of service for the internet with rogers (or just about any ISP) says that you should not be doing it for ANYTHING illegal... from pirating, to any other number of things.  And that you can get your service cut if you do, etc.
Does that mean, that they actively monitor EVERY SINGLE PACKET and crack down on people?  No.

The official stance is NO, the personal internet does not support running a server.

 

But thats not to say that you can not.
As long as you use it 'personally'.. you should be ok.  Like you said, having 3+ people connect to play a game, etc sure.. i would not see an issue.   Leaving a game server up 24/7, with 30+ people connecting at one time, all the time... thats a different story.

 

(i think the major argument on VPS vs not.. would come down to INFRASTRUCTURE.  a VPS is going to be hosted in a datacenter somewhere.. where there are MAJOR pipes into/out of the place, redundancy.. their connenection pipe is usually pretty major where it connects to the rest of the internet.
vs a home connection, while much better all the time.. is still preatty weak comparatively especially at heavy loads.. and could effect surrounding connections.



Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 928

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP


@chicken7117 wrote:

To clarify, it won't be the simple "team leader" kind of connections in games, but active server programs. As for the suggestion to go buy a vps because they're cheap- that evades the question: if I have the bandwidth and the hardware, why must I go out of my way to rent a vps to host a simple and small teamspeak server? Or conversely, why must I rent a vps with 8gb of memory (costing $22/month at ovh canada) to be able to host a small gameserver for a couple of friends and myself once every few days?

It boggles the mind why I am forced to either spend a multiple of my current plan on a business plan, to be able to host a resource intensive server on occasion just to be able to enjoy my time off. I don't need 25 business emails, I don't need ddos protection, and I spend $90 per month already at Rogers for internet alone. By doing what people are suggesting I do, I would be cutting my speeds by several times with that loss of $20/month, for a server that will be used whenever I want to test something or play something with friends.

With easy to set up (but pricier) solutions like WD's cloud series of simple storage servers cropping up everywhere, this policy at Rogers inhibits the development of them and limits what people can do without being faced with vague threats of their own ISP sniffing their ports for server activity. VPS servers with high storage space allocations cost even more than the simple $3 ones you can host a website on, and more than the $22 8gb one too I'd wager. It just doesn't follow that I need to pay as much as a small business for simple solutions, or follow the "why would you even 'want' to use a local machine to host something on your own plan when you can go spend money on a vps" route. 

 

Surely of the hundreds of thousands of Rogers customers there are people running a nas here and there. The vibe I'm currently getting is that if I don't advertise the IP or get a crowd of people (viz. angry or bored people) to run commercial stress testing services on whatever I'm hosting, it's alright to have a fileserver/gameserver, similar to the people who have replied. I'm faced with people saying no but nodding yes- what difference is it to the infrastructure if I have things running that perhaps a maximum of 3 people other than myself will ever interface with?

 

EDIT: As a side note, please don't mark an answer as a solution when the most recent activity is within hours of the "solution". With that abrupt finality, it creates the impression that the conversation has been closed and no further discussion is needed nor warranted. I still want to add in to the discussion, and would appreciate if the earliest official response is not dictated to be the final one, for the issue is more complex than quoting the policy (as evidenced by the posts from @jimboden@Gdkitty, and @VivienM).


Here is how I see it:

- Residential Internet is priced on the basis that it will be massively oversubscribed. (This is the only way the ISPs can hope to make money - if every person maxed out the speeds they pay for all the time, they'd go bankrupt upgrading equipment and splitting nodes to catch up) Business Internet is priced on the basis of far less oversubscription.

Many, many, many years ago, 'servers' were seen as something that used a lot more bandwidth than what 'normal' users did. Napster, followed by BitTorrent (both of which are 'technically' servers but far more big public), and now Netflix and other streaming services have totally upended that (though at least Netflix and co. involve far less upstream traffic), but that doesn't mean the AUP was revised. Keep in mind the anti-server language has been around probably since Rogers launched cable Internet in the 1996-1999 era.

 

- The VPS suggestion, I thought was a reasonable one. In 2000, when VPSes didn't exist, if you wanted to run a server, you needed to colo a mid-tower or maybe rack-mounted box for hundreds of dollars per month. Now, you can get a VPS for $20/month. Would I run the risk of upsetting my ISP to save $400/month? Maybe. Would I run the risk of upsetting the only decent large ISP in southern Ontario (sorry, but I am not a fan of DSL as it's been implemented here) to save $15-20/month? Maybe not.

 

The bottom line is that someone made a decision, 15-20 years ago, to put strict no-server language in the AUP, same as with any other large residential ISP I've heard of. Rogers has a history of less enforcement (both technical, e.g. blocking inbound ports, and 'political', i.e. actively looking for people running servery traffic and terminating them) than many other ISPs. There certainly were signs in the past that non-disruptive servers (and keep in mind that on a DOCSIS cable system, it's upstream capacity that is most scarce) would be tolerated. If you're the highest traffic user on your node, or worse, headend, though, oooops. Same thing if your server generates complaints, either of spam/malware, or copyright infringement.

 

But if what if you want is someone officially to tell you that: i) your intended servers are fine, or ii) your account will be terminated 24 hours after you set up your intended servers, that is not going to happen. This is a grey area.



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Posts: 928

Re: Server Hosting and the AUP


@Gdkitty wrote:
(i think the major argument on VPS vs not.. would come down to INFRASTRUCTURE.  a VPS is going to be hosted in a datacenter somewhere.. where there are MAJOR pipes into/out of the place, redundancy.. their connenection pipe is usually pretty major where it connects to the rest of the internet.

vs a home connection, while much better all the time.. is still preatty weak comparatively especially at heavy loads.. and could effect surrounding connections.


More importantly, it's about your business relationship with the provider...

 

The VPS provider is in the business of providing you with something to be used to run servers. They presumably have set up all their infrastructure, outside connectivity, billing models, etc., on the assumption that their customers are running the types of servers permitted under the contract (Okay, I have two VPSes that have no active servers running beyond SSH, but that's unusual)

 

Rogers is in the business of providing residential end-user connectivity. Totally different business... and that's what they planned their network, pricing, etc. based on.