Matthew Rosewarne on 22 Oct 2008 00:15:46 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Static or Dynamic IP Address?

On Tuesday 21 October 2008, Casey Bralla wrote:
> I'm going to make the plunge to a "business" class Internet account in
> which my ISP will graciously allow me to run any and all servers.  I have
> been illegally running DNS, mail, and web server on my comcast residential
> account, but comcast is getting more and more aggressive filtering ports,
> so I'm getting fed up with finding work-arounds.  (Some of the work-arounds
> cost money, and my accounts for those are running out next month.)

You cannot "illegally" run services on any ISP.  You may be in breach of 
contract, but that does NOT make those actions illegal.  However, this may 
indeed become a felony depending on interpretation of the possible precedent 
set by the "MySpace suicide" case.

> Due to the nature of a competitive free market, the cost of phone, TV, and
> Internet is coming down, so that the incremental cost of a business account
> is offset by the savings of bundling... if I go with a dynamic IP.   If I
> elect to take a single static IP, the total cost goes up, which makes it a
> tough sell to my wife who keeps seeing the FiOS and comcast ads on TV and
> dreams of big savings.

There is no free market among ISPs beyond than dial-up and DSL service.  
Verizon, Comcast, and other companies have done everything in their power to 
prevent competition by exerting heavy pressure on the federal and local 
governments, and they have had great success.

> My residential comcast account theoretically has a dynamic IP, but it has
> been very stable, only changing once in 4 years.  (interestingly, if I plug
> a different NIC into the cable modem, the IP changes, but if I put the
> original NIC back in, it reverts to the original IP.  Must be some kind of
> algorithm to assign IPs that looks at the MAC address.)

I was under the impression that DHCP usually operates like that, since the 
MAC->IP lease doesn't disappear unless you issue a DHCP release request.

> 1.  How often does the IP actually change?  (Any period longer than a few
> months is fine for me)

Use dynamic DNS and you won't have any problems anyway.  The router provided 
to me by Verizon can act as a dynamic DNS client.

> 2.  Will Verizon let me relay through their mail servers, or are their free
> services that will relay?  (I'll have a half-dozen domains that will be
> sending low volumes of eMail.)


> 3.  Any other gotchas I need to worry about with FiOS?
> 4.  Any other suggestions for how to proceed?


According to the people I spoke to at Verizon, incoming ports 80 and 25 are 
blocked on *ALL* dynamic accounts, even business ones.  However, when they 
were selling me my residential service, they also assured me those same ports 
would be open, so I'd recommend you try to find someone who has a dynamic 
business account to make sure.

If you want a relatively inexpensive way to be able to run servers, consider 
purchasing DSL service from a leased-line carrier (or "Incumbent Local 
Exchange Carrier").  They lease the line from the phone companies, but can 
offer lower prices, better service, less draconian terms, and/or other 

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