Over the years, there’s been talk on and off about a technology called Deep Packet Inspection, but apart from sounding like the title of sysadmin-themed porn, why should you care?
Technically, DPI is what happens when an ISP looks past the headers, or metadata, of the packets that carry information all around the Internet and into the content. On its own, looking doesn’t hamper the Internet, but only that packet header is required by the machines that need to pump the cats through the series of tubes.
Note: This column originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
What, a 100Mbps cable broadband connection isn't fast enough for you? Then you've only got one choice, my friend: switch to Verizon FiOS and bask in the 300Mbps fiber-tastic service the company unveiled a few months back. What, even 300Mbps isn't fast enough for you? Then maybe Comcast's apparent plans to launch a competing 305Mbps offering might wet your whistle, instead. (And if not, what the heck are you using all that speed for?)
The Pirate Bay (TPB) may soon need to get those “Low Orbit Server Station” (LOSS) drones it talked about in March airborne, for things aren’t looking all that bright on the ground for the world’s largest torrent site. The latest setback for TPB comes in the form of a UK High Court ruling directing five of the country’s largest internet service providers (ISPs) to block the popular torrent site. Hit the jump for more.
Why would Big Brother bother watching you if he can get his best buddies to keep tabs on your activities for him? While a recent announcement that eight major ISPs would voluntarily implement measures to combat cybersecurity threats seems relatively benign enough (and probably even downright helpful), those same ISPs will start policing their pipes another way by July 12; by then, most Internet service providers are becoming a copyright rent-a-cops for the RIAA and MPAA. What ever happened to the dumb tubes idea?
The movie studio the made the Best Picture-winning film “The Hurt Locker” made some waves nearly two years ago when it started filing mass lawsuits against people it claims pirated the film. The goal was to extort settlements from defendants, not to go to court. The case has come to an unsatisfying end for Voltage Pictures as it could not subpoena records fast enough to match names to IP addresses. Although the case is over, some individuals are still being harassed by lawyers for Voltage.
The sky is falling for movie lovers! The post office recently announced that it was closing down nearly half of its processing centers starting in early in 2012, which could eliminate next-day delivery services – and add an extra day of processing to Netflix deliveries. No worries, you can just shift the slack to streaming, right? (Possibly) wrong – as we recently reported, ISPs are considering implementing tiered data pricing to squeeze more cash out of heavy media streamers. So is all lost? Could your ABC Family Movies addiction be in danger of extinction? Not if you’re a Comcast customer. The company apparently has no plans of switching to tiered data pricing.
Well this is refreshing. Charter took note of a study conducted earlier this year in which it was predicted that the number of devices connected to IP networks will double the global population in 2015, and used that as a springboard to announce faster service tiers for all but its most basic broadband package, and at no additional cost to the end user.
If you’ve cut the cable and switched to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu to fill your Sons of Anarchy viewing needs, you might be in for a nasty shock before long: higher prices. No, Netflix isn’t raising its rates again. It’s your Internet connection itself that your wallet should be worried about! Reports say that major U.S. ISPs, including Time Warner Cable, Charter, Cox and AT&T, are experimenting with usage-based Internet fees – not just to quell streaming users’ massive broadband needs, but also to make Netflix less attractive (and traditional cable more attractive) to TV watchers. Most of the largest ISPs sell digital TV services as well, remember?
A Belgian appeals court has ordered two Belgian ISPs to begin blocking The Pirate Bay or face fines. The ruling comes after a two year long court battle that originally had the ISPs protected from forced filtering. Now the ISPs have 14 days to comply with the ruling, but The Priate Bay says there is no reason for concern.
We’ve taken it as a sad fact that the US tends to lag behind the rest of the world in terms of broadband speeds. There’s no choice but to accept it, but it still sucks, especially when headlines keep popping up telling us how great they have it in London. A while back, we told you that Virgin Media was rolling out 1.5Gbps services, but only to small number of high-tech business. Now, a new ISP named Hyperoptic is promising to bring 1Gbps connections to the residential masses. There’s a catch, though.