[NCLUG] Broadband ISP options in Fort Collins

Brian Weaver brian at fcu.com
Mon Jan 17 19:51:14 MST 2005

Bob Proulx <bob at proulx.com> [2005-01-17 15:55:31 -0700]:
> Things that an ISP provide are the infrastructure to enable internet
> operations.  You get a mail box on their system.  You get DHCP to your
> computer with DNS name resolution.  PPP.  You get spam filtering on
> email.  You get web pages upon which you can place content.  You get a
> firewall to protect you from the hostile 'net.  Many things.  I am
> probably missing a few and have added a few that some don't enable.
> If you only have an IP address then you get none of the above.  You
> only get a cord to the Internet.  That by itself is insufficient for
> the above.  But the long time Internet user can provide their own
> infrastructure.  GNU/Linux and *BSD are both platforms of choice for
> the small operator.  Run a DNS master.  Find someone on a different
> network to be your DNS slave.  Register with the top level .com (or
> other) nameservers.  Set up your own MX records for mail.  Set up your
> own mail transfer agent to receive mail.  Set up your own spam and
> virus filtering to process the mail.  Set up your own web server for
> publishing web content.  Attach to public NTP servers for time.  Try
> to save the world, one internet packet at a time.
> In effect, you are complete master for your domain.  However that also
> means debugging all problems yourself.  No one to escalate the problem
> to as you are the senior admin and tech support, chief cook and bottle
> washer.  Note my DSL problems for an example.  But you learn much and
> gain much experience.  You are only a good candidate for this if you
> can't be talked out of it regardless of the problems.

Most people don't really need to do all of this. If your ISP provides
you an IP address and cord to the Internet, you can go off and use
Yahoo or Google mail for email, surf the serf the web, etc. 

When you pay for a "full service" account, you get an email box (which
you can get for free else where), web space (which you can get for
free else where), and thats really about it..  It's not worth the
extra $10 bucks to me. Also, it's a bad idea to use your ISPs email
address because when you switch ISPs , you lose it. If you are on a
free @yahoo.com address, you can change ISPs all you want and not have
to change your email address.

FYI, you do not need to do your own DNS resolution on the $10/month
plan, they DHCP you valid DNS servers. USENET access is also included.
I see their full service plan as like a tax for people that don't know
any better. 

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