Dangers of “Service Level” based internet

So, the hotel I’m currently staying in uses a classed system of internet access: you can pay $n for so many hours of internet at a certain ‘service level’.

After some experimentation, it seems that what this actually does is put you in a QoS bracket for your HTTP traffic, where you’re apparently grouped with other people in the same bracket. “Bronze” gets 30k downstream, “Silver” gets 60k downstream, and “Gold” gets to max out the connection. Only HTTP traffic is limited in this fashion: other traffic simply falls into the Gold bucket by default.

What does this mean for me? Well, currently someone else in the hotel in the ‘gold’ bucket is using up all the bandwidth. As a result, I can’t use the web while in the Gold bucket. I can, however, get perfectly usable bandwidth when using the Silver and Bronze buckets.

The worst part of this is that most of my traffic that I care about goes through ssh — and ssh isn’t monitored/blocked, so it doesn’t get into a different QoS bucket. The end result is that I can use the web — but not if I use the highest service level. And no matter what I do, I can’t use ssh at all.

What a pain. I’m *so* looking forward to being back in the states in another day and a half and having usable internet again…

One Response to “Dangers of “Service Level” based internet”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    If the host you are ssh-ing to doesn’t also run a web server, then set up a sshd on port 80. I’ve done that when I suspected (always wrongly, so far) that I would only have “the Web”. The annoying bit then is getting arbitrarily timed out or even just chopped off after a while even if content is flowing.