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Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Sun May 18, 2014 9:54 pm
by dnix71
I use a portable internet device by Virgin Mobile. They intercept and compress the traffic between me and you (and any other site that does not support encryption). Avatars reach me as 2kb blobs. They also inject scripts into my url requests.

I am told this is common practice in the industry. Encryption (HTTPS instead of HTTP) prevents this. Yahoo and Hotmail do not get altered because VM cannot read the encrypted traffic between them and me.

How much extra would it cost for our host to offer HTTPS to visitors to this site that request it?

There are other issues with mobile internet. I cannot use Facebook with it because VM uses Sprint's satellite network to reroute traffic to a place less crowded. I appear to come from north Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Texas and Michigan, depending on the local internet load. Facebook interprets that as someone trying to hack my account.

EDIT: I just replaced my jpg avatar with a png image. PNG images don't get recompressed. If you don't want third parties tampering with the sites' content, post pictures as png, not jpg.

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 2:50 am
by CathyK
Hello from Tel Aviv David!

Thank you for that information. You have such a high level of knowledge about hi tech stuff. Those of us technologically challenged need people like you to show us 'how' !!

Missing - have access, but difficult to communicate without a proper keyboard.

See you all again properly next week!


Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:57 am
by LifeReview
Hi dnix71,

I am not sure which hosting plan NDERF uses, so I cannot comment on that, but I have a few ideas that may, or may not, help -before going as far as converting the site to https.

Some mobile browsers radically reinterpret web sites to make them use less bandwidth for the mobile customer. They think that they are helping you save money (or reduce billing complaints). Some browsers even go so far as to reinterpret web sites FOR YOU as a proxy done server side. This is really on the border of irresponsible behaviour on the company's part, when you are dealing with, say, online banking. Here is an article highly critical of the practice:

Before thinking about web sites, I would think about the phone.
Perhaps you can install a different browser, ie Firefox?
Most mobile browsers have a menu setting which says "Display Full Site" or "Display Desktop Site".
Those commands can be very helpful, and I've seen with my own eyes that forums (such as this one) can look very different on them. Also commenting on a forum (via a phone) can range from easy to difficult based on the browser and settings.

About VM and facebook, banking, etc. VM needs to take responsibility for your experience, and your ability to communicate (or not). If you are getting locked out of sites b/c they are rerouting traffic, that is their doing. Some people also have cancelled Paypal accounts b/c Paypal blocks people who travel. Their loss and poor programming. People do not always sit at home and fit a profile.

If you cannot get resolution to the problem surrounding these sites you need (the ones who don't let you in due to geolocation), the only solution I can think of is to use a virtual private network (VPN) with a reputable VPN company (or clever trusted hobbyist) where you live. All of your traffic will be encrypted before going into the tunnel. If the problem is VM re-formatting all of you websites, that will disappear. If the problem is geolocation, a VPN service in your community will probably fix that too.

Setting up your own VPN home server via linux might be a possibility. I've never made one (VPN), but I'm sure we could figure it out if you want to learn it together. I think It would only require an externally accessible IP address which some ISP charge extra for. You can PM me if you want.

Also, if you do a web search on your question, pay special attention to the 'Stack Exchange' series of websites. The people on those usually know a thousand times more than the other web sites.

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 5:00 am
by LifeReview

Also, some sites make the content shrunken, by looking at your browser user agent string. I heard that can be changed as well. ... for-ubuntu
Don't let this stuff scare you. I can do stuff now on linux that was WAY over my head a few years ago.
I can walk you through a linux install if you want. That part is very easy.

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 5:36 am
by Garry
Misha there are some themes that have mobile built into them .

I am not sure if any of the themes that we have available have that capability but we could try out a few onour test site to see.

talk to you later

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 11:17 am
by dnix71
In case anyone didn't understand, I am not using a mobile phone or browser, just a mobile internet device tethered to a laptop.

It's my ISP that is tampering with this site's content. Almost all mobile internet providers do this and the only fix is for me to use a transparent encrypted proxy to retrieve web pages OR for the site to use encryption. Otherwise my ISP will be able to see and alter my urls and the content. They can also see and retrieve my login credentials (username and hash) because those are not being encrypted.

I would be willing to be to have this site use HTTPS and SSL if that is possible. I pay hosting fees sometimes on a Yuku forum to keep ads off the site.

In a perfect world, every web site would be using HTTPS and SSL and ISP's could only hinder traffic by brute force, not by port or content.

I use the EFF's HTTPS Everywhere, but it doesn't work everywhere. Yahoo Mail doesn't fully support it and neither does eBay.

eBay will give you and SSL login if you ask for it, but sometimes that means a double login. The first gets dumped because they weren't expecting it.

I have difficulty with Hotmail and Facebook on mobile internet because my IP is all over the place. It's usually Tallahassee, FL, 700 miles from where live, but occasionally Sprint's headquarters in Salinas/Overland Park, Kansas, or Texas, or Michigan or Georgia. Logins from scattered places like that cause some sites to think your account is being hacked.

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 12:55 pm
by LifeReview
Hi Dnix,

I have had the same experience. When I am using a notebook tethered to a phone, it will sometimes show a city half a country away. I think it's due to satellite uplinks and such.

If a company blocks me too quickly, they lose my business. Paypal blocked me when there was no legitimate reason other than that I travel, so they lost my business.

You might look into email providers that are less paranoid. Zoho Mail has been good. Currently, geolocation is being misused as a security/convenience tool by many sites.

As far as paying for this site to be https, you are welcome to contact Jody
I'm not sure how she will react, as yours is the only request I'm aware of.

Sorry this is happening. I'm sure it's frustrating. Have you called the ISP and asked if this "service" can be disabled?

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:36 pm
by dnix71
I got an email from VM and they said their policies have changed and the email confirmed what I was seeing using the service. They aren't going to make an exception for me because south Florida's internet is so oversubscribed.

Re: Hosting technical help needed

Posted: Tue May 27, 2014 4:27 pm
by CathyK
Hi All

I'm glad all you brainy ones are sorting things out! :-)