But for me it's just annoying because I want to run a very modest web page (you're reading it) and mail server from my network at home. Is that so wrong? :-) Well where there's a will, there's a way.... :-) And thus my continuing crusade to find hacks and workarounds to keep my machine alive and accessible from the net. Cox has tried to:
- Change my IP address via DHCP so frequently as to be unusable as a service machine. Solved by delegating my kehlet.cx domain to dyndns.org ($30 for life) and running some scripts to notice and update my DNS records anytime my IP changes. The time-to-live on my records is 1 minute so stale records go away very quickly.
- Block incoming web requests (port 80) to prevent me from running a web server. I got around this with some DNS trickery and a service that dyndns.org offers: www.kehlet.cx actually resolves to a dyndns.org machine, which redirects people to the web server I have running at www81.kehlet.cx (my real IP) on port 81. Did I mention dyndns.org was a good deal?
- Block incoming SMTP requests (port 25) to prevent me from running a mail server. This one was probably the most challenging of all, since SMTP and DNS don't have a way (no standard way, at least) to specify or redirect traffic to an alternate port. I was able to work around this by having a non-Cox friend (Matt) accept my mail from the net (i.e. my MX records point to him) and then have him relay it to my mail server running on port 26. Required hacking his sendmail config a tiny bit, and ends up being a little bit of maintenance for him, but overall a pretty slick solution. And actually, this filter routinely goes up and down--Cox can't seem to make up their mind if they want to actually do this or not.
- Block outgoing SMTP requests (just added last week). Now this is annoying. At least the workaround is easy enough: I set up my machine to stop attempting to deliver mail directly; now it just hands all outgoing mail to the Cox mail relay for delivery. This will work as long as they never start insisting that my From address ends in @cox.net. And if they do, I'll just get Matt to accept mail from me on port 26 (or something) :-).
So bring it on, Cox!!!