DDoS Attacks On Torrent Sites

I kept wondering why the hell my torrent sites kept going down, and a few were down for a few days, at first I thought it was simple server issue, but when it happened to a few of them for more then a few days, I knew something else was going on, and in this case a DDoS attack seemed to be the most likely perpetrator.

The MPAA has been known to hire outside companies to perform DDoS attacks on torrent sites over the past few years and some of it has been successful. But this time around it seems to be a whole other type of DDoS attack, based on an NTP protocol which can be explained much better and more info can be found at Reddit as to what exactly is going on.

Link: Cloudflare Article

Hopefully site admins can figure out how to best handle this so our favorite sites don’t go down so easily or for such a lengthy amount of time, and in my case I need to watch my shows.

Zain Home Router (LTE/4G Speeds)

I had a chance to get my hands on the Zain router, running on the LTE/4G frequencies in Kuwait which still hasn’t been fully certified from the Ministry of Communications. So people are asking the main reason for the delay is MoC, they have everything deployed for a little while now, but as usual politics is what stops things in Kuwait, but MoC is a totally different story.

Getting my hands on it I had a bit of skepticism but I did try AT&T’s 4G services and I have seen how fast it is and its scary fast. So the first thing I wanted to do is test it where ever I can, and this case I tested it at work and friend’s places and my home. Overall I am impressed with the hardware, it is solid and gets a lot of signal, decent speed even when it is low signal, and that was the important test for me, even with low signal it was getting decent speeds around 10 MB.

It’s a Huawei modem, looks good and simple, 4 Ethernet ports on the back and right now the services are not open to the public. The worst signal I got was ranging from 8MB to 16MB, up to 32MB to 42MB. Those are some very scary speeds, and surfing the net feels lighting fast, I do love fast internet. And for 33 KD a month honestly its not too bad, but the cap should at least be 200 or 250 GB not 80 GB

Pros:

  • Gets decent speed even with bad signal
  • It doesn’t have to be next to a window like Mada so you can place it inside your house and it will work
  • It has reached 42 MBPs with me, which got about 4.1 MB down with downloads

Cons:

  • The Cap is 80GB, thats nothing compared to the speed
  • You can buy more space but its overpriced in my opinion
  • Its not consistent at times, but I think they are just ironing out a few kinks in the system

Based on what speeds can be reached you can reach which is 2.1 MB/s to 4.1 MB/s you can use up your 80 GB cap in 11 to 6 hrs depending on your speed. And previously the 21 MBps had a 60 GB limit from Zain so logically it should be at least 120 GB based on their original capping scheme. Overall I think the cap is ridiculous but they are going to do it then a person should get a good bang for their buck with a 250 GB limit.

If you reach the cap you can buy an extra 25 GB for 12 KD or 5 GB for 3 KD, overall I think the pricing is off and not proportional but at least they give you an option to buy more data. For a 15 month contract you get the first three months 50% off and the device for free with 33 KD per month after the first three months. Overall the package is pretty good.

Testing In Shuweikh

Sometimes it would hang a bit, in an odd way and torrents would slow down even when the surfing speed is still high so its a bit surprising. The main issue is consistency, nothing beats a fiber connection but if you don’t have the option then this is the next best thing for surfers. Some gamers will like it but if you care about your ping then this is a bit on the high side. So its great for surfing and certain amount of downloading, not for heavy internet use, but its the perfect back up to your home internet if something goes wrong.

Testing in Miseela/Bidaa

In my case I have crappy land lines so I depend on WIMD and I’m honestly very happy with them even though they are a bit congested still at least a solid 12 to 15 MB and hitting 20 MB in the evenings with no cap. If you can have fiber thats always better but then again this device will really do the job because 4G coverage is supposed to be all over the country by the time it rolls out.

Testing In Fintas with One Signal Bar

Overall I think its an excellent product but they are working out the kinks, it did really reach those high speeds but we have to keep in mind nobody is on the network and it isn’t commercially available so until it is then we can judge the real speed based on the number of users, I hope they have the band width to accept the number of users who will get on board. I’m not sure when it will go commercial because the issue isn’t with Zain its with a governmental entity and you can never guess when they will be done.

Speedtest with VPN on, overall not bad, surfing speed feels quick

WIMD Support Services – How Support Should Be

During the orange storm that took place on Tuesday something happen to my internet connection, the weather condition doesn’t have an effect on the Wifi connection, the only issue is that if the equipment wasn’t bolted down correctly then the wind can move it slightly. I came back home to find that my internet connection was 1 to 2 MB. Luckily I had a good supply of shows to watch but surfing the net was painful. When you get used to highspeed anything else is just very very painful, so from 20 MB to 1.5 MB drove me nuts. I called up their support department, notified them of the issue, they went through the usual checks and said there was something unusual going on and an engineer would be dispatched by tomorrow afternoon which I thought was perfectly fine.

Next Wednesday afternoon I get a call from the engineer he said he will check the physical connection and get back to me. After three hours I get a call from the guy that he tweaked it and worked on it until he got it back to 12-14 MB which is the max he could get it working stably. He said he needs to come back with another engineer and test the receiving tower as well, he said he promised to get it back to 20 MB. I liked how he was very nice, called me when had a full update and didn’t just leave, he gave me a really good fix and verified that there was a major problem but he hasn’t figured what the main problem was but found a quick fix until the next day.

Then Thursday morning he was back and working at it with another engineer and he brought a spare transmission unit just in case mine was faulty. With the other transmission engineer and their support center they kept testing until they found the best work around solution. It seems something was interfering with the signal and I got really affected by it. They used the current equipment and didn’t need to replace it, but the great part is they had it with them. I tested the speed as soon as I got home got some very good numbers, even got about 2.4 Mbps for my download speed from the server which was insane. Excellent service, quick and consistent and this isn’t the first time I have an issue and they really get to it in a timely manner. This is the type of service that companies should follow.

Qualitynet – Shocking Actions

I Got This Email From A Concerned Reader, Abdulazziz, that this happened to him.

Well i got a phone call from Qualitynet today telling me that they’re cutting my internet because I’m using huge bandwidth the thing is it came out without any warning nor giving me my limits but whats strange was they offered me companies subscription which is 4 times what I’m paying around 1300kd a year while i pay 370kd for 8mb if I’m abuser why did they offered to switch my account why didn’t they warn me instead of telling me that they’re cutting the service and above all that there is no service on their website that shows how many mega bites i used!! so it could be all lies or trap to make people pay more than the amount they’re already paying.

After asking several questions back and forth, and asking a few other people on the inside, it seems Qualitynet is really doing this. I understand some of the ISPs have this “unsaid” rule of capping people a bit if they abuse their network, and I have been categorized by a few ISPs as an abuser but this is ridiculous.

They call a user and tell him he is an abuser and he can only upgrade to a “Company Plan” since he is no longer eligible for a “Individual Plan” which he has paid for in full and doesn’t end until November.

When he asked questions they offered him no explanation as to what are the exact numbers defined in his abuse. He just uses his connection for downloads and surfing, a lot of gaming, and major updates. I don’t think any of those are a real major issue and we all do that, I have several major updates my machines, hell I did a 15 GB patch to one of my games, so how is that defined?

You would think that after the Data Cap issues from last year that QualityNet & Kems started were over and done with and they learned their lessons. But it seems some genius in QualityNet thought to disconnect people for “Abusing” their connections.

Other then this action being very illegal since the user was given no notification, no explanation, and there were no new binding Data Cap agreements after the whole issue last year. He was given an ultimatum, either sign up for the company packages or we will disconnect you. He still has 6 months left on his connection and they aren’t even offering him a refund.

Seriously is anyone in QualityNet thinking, do they really think this is a just action? What happened to all the good guys who used to work their? Care about the users? They used to be internet junkies? Is is just a bunch idiotic accountants cooking up numbers to see how much they can squeeze more profits out of people, so the solution is to disconnect half way and not provide them with the service but keep their money. Its very sad that QualityNet has fallen so low.

ISP & Internet Connectivity Kuwait 2012

Over the last year there has been a dramatic change with the telecommunication companies and luckily in Kuwait we have companies changing and increasing their services. I have had extensive experience with several companies over the past 18 months, some have been very good, some have been bad, and some disastrous. These are my rankings based on my experience, data usage, and customer service. I have left out pricing since all the wired companies are offering the same price and the rest can be found out easily. This isn’t a comparison based on price but based on experience and service level. I broke down the categories into two, one is based totally on speed and connectivity, and the other is based on interaction with the sales and customer support.

WIRED
Data Connectivity

  • Fasttelco
  • Qualitynet
  • Kems
  • GulfNet

Customer Service

  • Fasttelco
  • QualityNet
  • Kems/GulfNet

Comments: Fasttelco has improved vastly over the last few years and what I like is that they keep trying to improve their customer service and improving themselves technically. QualityNet has gotten complacent since they got to the top, its like they are full and don’t feel like giving good customer service. Kems is pretty bad in my opinion because they still somewhat constrict usage from what I can see, and they insulted customers directly last year, complete slander and that is the worst for a company. GulfNet is still at the bottom of the barrel I don’t know how anyone can sign up with them, zero customer service and they blatantly lie about their services. Prices have been unified and connection speed is based on government services and not the ISPs, they can only work with what they have so really its based on consistent speed and customer service.

WIRELESS
Data Connectiivty

  • WIMD
  • MADA

Customer Service

  • WIMD
  • MADA

Comments: WIMD is brand new company but overall my experience has been very good with them even though its only been a few weeks. I hope they continue to maintain their services and speeds as they currently are, right now I am very happy with them. Right now their install schedule seems to be very slow since they were overwhelmed with requests from people but I think if you are patient with them you will be happy you installed their services. MADA was a great service when it initially started and they are genuinely trying to maintain their services, and for 20KD a month its relatively cheap for 10 MB but in reality you are getting a range from 2MB to 7MB these days. They got too many subscribers and their main towers are too sensitive in regards to your location, you have to be next to the window to get full signal and 2KM from the tower to get any speed, and any modification on their part can affect your speed drastically. Overall I think they are very good and hope that they improve their services.

MOBILE
Data Connectivity

  • Viva
  • Zain
  • Wataniya

Customer Service

  • Zain/Wataniya
  • Viva

Comments: There has always been a scuffle going on between the three mobile providers in Kuwait, they are always in competition which is good for us. Over the last two years there has been some drastic changes in regards to services in the data field. When it comes to Voice Wataniya would be ranked by far at the top, then its Zain, and if you can get in more then 20 seconds into a phone call with Viva I would be surprised. When it comes to Data Viva threw all their money at it and have one of the best data networks, with Zain and Wataniya trailing behind them. Wataniya and Zain need to upgrade their data networks to deploy something faster and better reaching, and I hope at some point they both remove their Data Caps but I can understand it. As for Viva they got a lot of people to sign contracts and join them up with the unlimited package only to enforce a data cap and change the contracts without notification which is illegal in my opinion, I’m surprised nobody sued them.

VPN Service Providers Of Every Kind

VPN Services is simply a way to mask what you are doing online, sometimes its to get through ISP firewalls, or you want to cover your tracks. Sometimes you want to encrypt your BitTorrent traffic so the ISP doesn’t block it (KEMS), other times you want to get around government firewalls and use different services and visit certain sites. I for one use VPNs all the time so I can access US only services and register as if I am there, like Hulu Streaming and other media services.

I split them into two recommendations, ones specific to Torrent VPNs and the other just VPN service, but the Torrent VPNs are also good for VPN usage. VPNs do have an effect, they do slow down the connection just slightly but with some providers it slows down only 5% and with others it slows down 25%, for fast VPN connections I would go with StrongVPN but for BitTorrent specific VPNs I would go with BTGuard.

For BT VPNS:

VPN Serivces:

Check out the link to TorrentFreak to give you the break down of the VPN Services that really protect you.

Viva Data Caps – Sucks!

VivaSucks

In the last 24 hours Viva has applied data caps all its internet “Unlimited” package. It used to be the favored internet connectivity for people and companies. With these Caps it has become useless, people don’t realize the amount of data used when your surfing sites like Youtube or gaming online. Thankfully I’m dependent on the Fasttelco and Kems for my gaming and Downloading needs, and during that time of the crazy dust storms Viva was great but with these Data Caps Viva are now down in the dumps, no reason to keep the subscription, time to end the subscription.

Data Caps:

  • 2GB per Day – I already hit that right away
  • 60GB per Month

My Friend’s Speed Test


My friend just sent me an email with an attachment, to say I was jealous was an understatement. This is his Comcast connection in his apartment in Chicago and his parent’s home in San Jose. I couldn’t believe the numbers I’m seeing, downloads of at least 50 Mbs and uploads of 8 Mbs those numbers are ridiculous. We are hitting 8 MB the past year and maybe doubling it soon and we are very happy, and he has a casual 50 MBs connection and there are services offering 100 Mbs connection at the cost of our 4 Mb connections in Kuwait. You can never have too much speed or space… I always want more.

QNET 7MB Connection

For three weeks I have been putting my 7MB connection through the hoops. Downloading at full capacity, streaming HD content while making simultaneous downloads and uploads.

This is an example of the connection going with multiple downloads working, as you can see it peaks around 900 – 960 Kbps, when the connection was 4MB I was constantly downloading at 400 to 500 Kbps, with 7MB I’m getting a little bit more but not as stable as before. The downloads average range from 700 to 850 Kbps, but still its a lot more then before. Qnet has managed to provide a really good stable connection at this speed, meaning it doesn’t disconnect but it does slow down sometimes. I think they are working out some kinks but these speeds are pretty good for Kuwait. Now to wait for ADSL2 which is coming sometime over the next year or two to increase our bandwidth with our current MOC setup.

Network Merge

I’m getting closer and closer to getting the network setup the way I want. I currently just received the Netgear FVS336G which will perform as an load balancing for both my ISPs.

The problem I’m having with my ADSL routers is that they won’t be able to be able to sustain this connections for a long time, and I need to restart them every once in a while, and if they are under pressure then they hang. I have a Thompson from Qnet, and Linksys from Kems but I needed to upgrade them. Going on a recommendation from a friend I am trying to find two Cisco 837 ADSL routers to use which will perform perfectly for my needs.

Link: Netgear