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Old 11-04-2004, 11:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry ASU Bandwidth Restrictions

I've got problems. Currently I'm a freshman attending Arizona State University and living on campus. Before I moved here I was an avid online gamer, playing everything from first person shooters to massively multiplayer games. However, due to some sort of bandwidth restrictions/ port blocking (I'm rather uninformed, so I don't know what exactly to call it,) I'm stuck rotting in my room. You're probably saying, "Get out and meet some people, freak," but please, try to keep an open mind.

The problem started the first day I got here. As soon as I plugged in and turned my machine on, I was required to download a program by Perfigo called "SmartEnforcer". After minimal research I got a basic feel for what this does. It's pretty much a response to the illegal downloading and file sharing through P2P programs like Kazaa and such. As far as I understand this program helps the university to block/restrict ports, limit individual bandwidth use, and monitor the connections of campus computers (including private ones, like mine.) For the most part this is effective in preventing people from leaving programs like Kazaa on and downloading, eating up the connection, and that seems all well and good. But, it's stopping me from playing my games, and there lies my problem.

Even older games like counterstrike, which are a breeze to run and, with what little information I have, don't destroy internet connections, have large ping spikes making the game unplayable. In addition, other games like Unreal Tournament 2K4 cannot even query the master server to get a list of current games, completely eliminating the multiplayer experience. And most recently, I got the stress test for World of Warcraft, which is a massively multiplayer game, and my ping sits at a constant (and entirely ridiculous) 2000 - 10000 ms.

Having my hobby taken away sort of frustrated me, so I tried to find solutions myself. I one day came across someone saying that the apple program "Itunes", which a lot of people in my dormatory have, was giving universities issues. This program constantly connects people using it, and allows them to, at any time, stream songs from other users. This seemed like it would cause problems to me, but again, I'm not very well informed.

Aside from that, I wasn't really able to see any other causes to this problem than the SmartEnforcer program itself.

--One interesting little side note. Every so often I'm able to have a constant, smooth, and dare I say "T-1 like" connection. Like for example, last night the smart enforcer went down and everyone lost their internet connection, which would lead me to believe all of their programs were disconnected too. As soon as I was able to sign back in to SmartEnforcer, I went on World of Warcraft and had a seamless and lag free experience for the rest of the night. This puzzles me, and I just thought I'd add it, in case it helps any of you in giving me advice.--

In an attempt to better understand the situation I made a few futile attempts to contact the tech people at school, in hopes they'd have some info. That wasn't the case. The most I got was an outdated list of blocked ports that included Doom, if that says anything. I want to get a hold of someone that knows what they're talking about, so I can at least feel somewhat informed about the situation, and have something to complain about to my friends. Either that or somehow pleed with them to stop restricting my ip, which is unlikely.

If anyone has ANY information on this: things they've heard about ASU, Perfigo, SmartEnforcer, ITunes, alternative solutions to my problem (ways to get around it,) I welcome your assistance. Also, if you could try to keep the tech speak to a minimum, I don't know much about it, and it would help me out a lot.

Thank you so much in advance for your time everyone. If you think it would be easier to talk over AIM, my screen name is papakyle02, and my e-mail is papakyle02@hotmail.com

- Kyle Boysen
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