Port 25

Well, it happens to be another weeknight and again I find myself writing about my DIY Web/Email hosting saga.  Well, the latest development is specific to my mail server, which I run at my home off of a Verizon FiOS connection.  Well, used to.  You see, it’s down.

The server had an issue, and I’m in the process of setting up another one at home (a machine I had doing something else; it will be a temporary server until the other one is up again).  However, I ran into a snag.  You see, Verizon never blocked port 25 inbound in the past. But now they do.  They just started to.

It kind of makes sense.  I mean, there are so many zomby PCs out there, with virus acting as mail servers (and thus listening on port 25 for spam to forward) that blocking the SMTP port is a good way for ISPs to be responsible and limit spam.  Not to mention that an intentional but poorly configured mail server could also relay spam (mine didn’t).  So I guess it’s a good thing then.

But it still aggravates me.  I mean, we pay for a certain amount of bandwidth on that connection.  Why shouldn’t we be able to do what we want with that bandwidth, within the confines of the law and general decency?  Yeah, they oversell.  But guarantee that that mail server hardly used any bandwidth compared to my family’s normal Internet habits (which is mostly just surfing the Web).

The other thing that sucks is simply the fact that we’ve had to resort to this, what with viruses and such.  I suppose it was bound to happen, but it’s still sad that we have limited connections due in part to general Internet crap.

But you know what?  Verizon offers a business package for more money that has no ports blocked.  And you get a static IP.  And presumably, that IP is not blacklisted as being a source of spam (something I ran into a lot).  Even if they didn’t need to block ports to limit spam and the spread of viruses, I could see them doing it anyway to justify charging more for the next size up.  Truthfully, it’s not even that much of a problem.  I have plans to host my Email on a different box in a datacenter in Rochester, and until then, there’s this.  And hey, I guess there’s no reason to fuss about it too much, as most people only care about being able to surf the Web.