Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Rambling About Proxies

As you’re no doubt aware, MoaBG is a blog. It’s hosted on a server, and you pull each day’s post onto your computer, phone or what have you (according to the stats, one person this week looked at it using a PSP!). Gaming is also enormously online-centric, with Xbox LIVE, Steam, Origin, and the PlayStation Network permeating every aspect of most games nowadays.

Occasionally, as is the case with Project Ten Dollar, key features like multiplayer or bonus missions are locked out until you can establish an Internet connection to download them. And here I am, in the somewhat odd position of being locked out of the PSN, but with (near) complete access to Xbox LIVE and the Internet at large.

You see, my university Internet is managed by a one-two punch in the form of ResNet – one, a bandwidth management system that allots 30GB of download and upload combined per student, and two, a proxy server that manages what can and cannot connect to the Internet.

It is exactly as fun as it sounds.

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Everything connects to the web using “ports” on a router – which ports are closed off determines how limited the connection can get. The state of the ports at my university means that normal Internet browsing, downloading and severely limited Xbox 360 and PC online gaming is possible – only if the games themselves support those ports.

For example, Minecraft and League of Legends are both denied access to the Internet by ResNet, but Team Fortress 2 and Tribes: Ascend both work fine. The 360 can connect to LIVE okay and download from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, but the PlayStation Network is off limits. No Store, no PlayStation Plus, no online gaming, no nothing. And so it’s coloured my purchasing of PS3 games on campus.

Why buy Starhawk when it comes out, if I can’t play the multiplayer? Let’s face it, the multiplayer is why you would play, and so I have no interest until I’m back in a proxy-less atmosphere. And forget playing Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. (Though why would I want to anyway?)

Of course, this proxy nonsense is all going away later this year. I return home in a week’s time, and I’ll be back to a much slower but much more free connection. And then I’m moving into a new house for Year 2 of university with my closest friends – and that will feature a wide open connection so I can actually use my damn PS3 online again.

It shall be glorious.

-Kit

1 comment:

AkkarinKHR said...

Death to the proxy! :D
Kill it with fire.