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Annette
10-02-2006, 08:19 AM
At the moment I'm sitting in a hotel room at a casino/hotel property in Minnesota. I've been here before, it's not my favourite place by any means but my mother and aunt wanted to do a little family trip so... here I am. In the past I've found the food to be pretty bad and the staff fairly rude, so when I discovered they had internet access I was very pleased. Aside from being able to keep up with any leisure-type activities and chatting with friends I could actually do some work while I was here. Well, no I can't.

The hotel has a firewall active to block "inappropriate content" as the tech guy said last night. That includes any sites like Myspace (so too bad if you want to check out the bands that have their music there), but it also includes MSN messenger. And they've disallowed any sites running java applications, and my booking software can't reach the server so I can't do any work. We're back home tomorrow night but as anyone who's ever travelled knows oddly enough you can't plan for emergencies, so if any of my clients need anything well gosh that's just too bad. What would I have done if I'd known there wasn't full access beforehand? Well frankly I wouldn't have come.

I can see restricting access to some things for their staff so that they're not wasting too much time at work - many companies do that - but should a property have a right to restrict what sites their paying guests can access?

AaronK
10-02-2006, 08:25 AM
Well, that would be the first, and last time, I stayed at that hotel. Of course, my work around is remote desktop to my house where I run all of my messengers, etc.

jfrenaye
10-02-2006, 09:14 AM
WOW, that is the first time I have heard of that. I just assumed that it was an unsecured open door. I mean all they are giving you is access--any malicious stuff would come to your laptop. I would expect and assume that they do that for their own computers for their protection, but wow!

Thanks for the heads up. Maybe this will be a money maker for hotels....fre internet access (restriced) but for $20.99 a day, we will open the door!

amybhole
10-02-2006, 09:33 AM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jfrenaye @ Oct 2 2006, 10:14 AM) 38379</div>
Maybe this will be a money maker for hotels....fre internet access (restriced) but for $20.99 a day, we will open the door!
[/b]


Stop giving them ideas, John!!!!! :lol:

Annette
10-02-2006, 11:44 AM
Apparently what's going on is that they're using the same server for their corportate internet access and their guest access. Since they're blocking their employees from accessing inappropriate or time-wasting sites while at work (which is more and more common these days) it's also blocking their guests from accessing them.

Someone didn't think things through too carefully.

I've managed to get a few things operational by talking to their tech department, they've had to specifically allow access to certain sites and IP addresses temporarily for the duration of my stay. What a pain!

I still can't imagine that any property would think it wouldn't be a problem to restrict guest access.

AaronK
10-02-2006, 11:48 AM
I can't believe that they are using the same network for guest access. Thats a security NO NO.

See if you can hack into their financials while you are there.

Annette
10-02-2006, 12:11 PM
Knowing how this place works they probably have all their player information on the same server, I should get in there and upgrade my rating, see if I can score a few perks etc.

BTW as an example of firewalling gone amok:
There's a story on CNN about a gender-changing fish... I can't actually read the story because the URL for it contains "sex.change" and that's apparently not allowed and deemed inappropriate content. Or it could just be the "sex" part that the firewall deems inappropriate.

So if there was a story on CNN about a sex offender running loose in the area, I wouldn't be able to read it either.

weblet
10-02-2006, 12:14 PM
Ha! You go for it, girl!

:lol:

CruiseExpert
10-02-2006, 12:25 PM
You can sometimes defeat the blocked sites by using google to search, then opening a new window using the links. Don't ask me how I know this.

Ned
10-02-2006, 12:51 PM
I completely agree with Aaron's comments on both his posts in this topic.

I too have stayed in hotels all over the world and never had a firewall block my access to any site I wanted to visit. If I ran into a hotel which did that, I would never, ever, stay there again.

It is pure security folly to have the hotel guests on the same network as the corporate network. Give a hacker a few minutes any they will probably be into the corporate network looking at private files, especially if blocked from sites on the Internet they wanted to visit. I have set up two hotels with guest networks. They were completely separate from the hotel's own network for security. While it added some minor costs, it was the only way to go.

jfrenaye
10-02-2006, 01:05 PM
Annette...put me down for a $250K credit limit and a comp to the Presidential Suite.....will be there in 7 hours lol

clarkef
10-05-2006, 12:33 PM
Does the hotel have the right to block content? Yes, it's their hotel, their server, their internet, etc. Is it right? That's a different question. Given that its the same network used by the hotel, I would probably do the same thing. However, like Ned said, the networks should be seperate and it would be necessary.

I think its a poor choice, particularly if they are charging for the internet. I think a refund is in order.

jfrenaye
10-05-2006, 02:14 PM
Dear General Manager--

I always love staying at your Casino/Hotel while in the Twin Cities. I never fail to leave more money behind. One night after losing $1500 on your blackjack tables, I decided to retreat to my room and look at www.girlswithknockerssohugeyouwouldntbelieveit.com and to my dismay, I could not access it. I figured that their site was down, so I surfed over to www.girlswithknockerssosmallyouwoulntbelieveit.com and lo and behold they were down as well. Being that they are sister sites, I went over to www.nameyoursexsite.com and nothing.

It came to my attention that you selectively block certain content for your paying guests.

Well, let me tell you, after losing the kind of money that I lose in your casino....I need something a little more edgy than www.disney.com

Please refund the $9.95 per night for internet use!

Sincerely yours,

A Loyal Client

PS
And no, your hotel porn is NOT the same!


(OK, so I am in a wierd mood today)

cole75
10-05-2006, 03:15 PM
So John, are those real sites?? lol

ChicagoAlli
10-05-2006, 11:18 PM
If a hotel wants to selectively block internet access to certain sites, they better tell potential users in advance. Otherwise, a refund is in order!

Ned
10-05-2006, 11:32 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ChicagoAlli @ Oct 6 2006, 12:18 AM) 38864</div>
If a hotel wants to selectively block internet access to certain sites, they better tell potential users in advance. Otherwise, a refund is in order!
[/b]
Those are certainly my sentiments. Plus, that's a hotel I'll never use again.

Top Flyer
10-09-2006, 02:00 PM
I recently had an experience at a hotel with "free wireless internet" where I could surf the net and receive
emails but could NOT send emails directly from Outlook! (got around that by logging into my web mail and send from there). Fellow travelers in hotel confirmed same experience. Reason given by hotel is that someone could just pull their car next to hotel and use system for spam launch.

chickiepop
10-09-2006, 02:19 PM
Oops, I have stopped outside of a hotel that offered wireless internet and used my laptop. I was traveling and thought it was a good time for a short break. I had also forgotten to pay a parking ticket and time was almost up to pay the cheapest rate on the ticket. Hmmm, guess I will rethink doing that in the future. :lol:

Ned
10-09-2006, 02:30 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Top Flyer @ Oct 9 2006, 03:00 PM) 39133</div>
I recently had an experience at a hotel with "free wireless internet" where I could surf the net and receive
emails but could NOT send emails directly from Outlook! (got around that by logging into my web mail and send from there). Fellow travelers in hotel confirmed same experience. Reason given by hotel is that someone could just pull their car next to hotel and use system for spam launch.
[/b]
I don't believe the hotel's answer. I suspect the answer is more likely that the SMTP server (outgoing mail server), you're using in your computer will not work with the hotel's Internet because it either needs authentication which is incompatible with hotel's internet connection - router combination, or requires an authentication method for which you need to be on the SMTP's ISP internet connection.

TF, does your normal SMTP server in Outlook work in most hotels? If so, can you tell me what it is? For example, in my home and office we connect via Comcast. We can't use Comcast's SMTP server while traveling unless we use SMTP server authentication. While at home or the office, we don't have to worry about authentication because we're directly connected to Comcast. Many people don't realize the difference, and therefore can't send mail via Outlook, or Eudora, for example, when traveling.

I have only once encountered a hotel from which I couldn't send email. It was their router. They didn't realize they blocked port 25. Once reset, I was able to send mail.

If the hotel is blocking all outgoing mail sent by standard email programs, on purpose, that's a pretty bad business decision on their part. I wouldn't stay at that hotel myself. There are many inexpensive ways to block the transmission of outgoing spam without blocking hotel guests from send mail through their (guest's) SMTP servers.

pickwix
10-09-2006, 03:11 PM
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jfrenaye @ Oct 2 2006, 10:14 AM) 38379</div>
WOW, that is the first time I have heard of that. I just assumed that it was an unsecured open door. I mean all they are giving you is access--any malicious stuff would come to your laptop. I would expect and assume that they do that for their own computers for their protection, but wow!

Thanks for the heads up. Maybe this will be a money maker for hotels....fre internet access (restriced) but for $20.99 a day, we will open the door!
[/b]


Darn! Don't give the hotels additional ideas as to how to nickel and dime their customers even more!
:(

AaronK
10-09-2006, 06:06 PM
Ned, your theory sounds about right. I admin a server we allow authenticated use on a non-standard port to get around the port 25 blocking. A lot of ISPs are blocking access to port 25 that don't go through their servers.