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  1. #1

    Starting a VPN Service, need a flexible host, ideas?

    I'm starting a service that allows users to remotely connect to our server and tunnel their entire internet connection through us in order to get around blocks on their internet connection at school / work / or put in by their isp. This is going to require a lot of bandwidth, and I don't mind paying for it.

    However, there are a couple inevitable problems with this kind of setup, and I need to find hosts that are willing to work with me on these issues. First of all, for each simultaneous connected user, I need an ip address. This means that I will start off needing a /24 and quickly need more than that if and when demand increases.

    The bigger problem is that giving users complete internet access through my servers, some of them will do things that are against the law. It is inevitable. I currently run some proxies that get 200,000 unique visitors daily. By and large, these users do legal things and there are no problems.

    However, for any service used by millions of people, there are bound to be issues. From time to time, I have been contacted by law enforcement for various issues relating to illegal things that have been done by users of my service, mostly for sending threatening or nasty emails. None of these issues have turned into any kind of large problem and I have talked with the relevant authorities and come to a good conclusion in each case.

    I need a service provider that will allow me to operate as long as I abide relevant laws. I'm aware of the legal standards, liabilities, and liability protections that an ISP operates under, and plan to abide those, but I cannot be under a provider that requires me to 100% guarantee the actions of my users.

    For my vpn service I have 4 basic needs then:

    1) ample ip addresses (and more added quickly when needed)

    2) understanding of the types of abuse issues that may come up, and a willingness to allow me to deal with them appropriately. I will want to talk to someone high up in the company to come to an understanding here before signing on with anyone.

    3) good quality and quantity of bandwidth (cogent is fine, but highly oversubscribed is not)

    4) reasonable cost . I'm looking to get bandwidth in the neighborhood of $10 / meg for 100+ meg.

    If you or someone you know meets these needs, please let me know. There are other things I'm looking for but these are the main points I need to use to narrow down my options.

    Thank you for your time.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    USA
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    814
    Alot of companies can meet your needs. Question is how much do you want to spend on ips? I actualy think its great that someone finally wants to do this. But what you need is to be able to assign people a static ip, so when an abuse issue arises, you know who the offender is.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilMan
    Alot of companies can meet your needs. Question is how much do you want to spend on ips? I actualy think its great that someone finally wants to do this. But what you need is to be able to assign people a static ip, so when an abuse issue arises, you know who the offender is.
    Thank you for your response.

    First of all, assigning statics significantly increases the number of ips necessary. I would rather not log which users were assigned which ip's since my users use the service for privacy reasons. Since there is no law that compels an isp to log this information nor any consequences for not logging it, I feel it would be prudent not to have this information. However, If I need to log who is assigned to what ip at what time, then I can still do that even if I assign dynamic ip addresses, so that issue is moot.

    As far as cost of ips, I am willing to pay what arin charges the provider for these ips or some reasonably higher amount to cover the administrative costs in dealing with ip allocations. According to arin's fee schedule [ http://www.arin.net/billing/fee_schedule.html], there seems to be a substantial one time cost for getting ips allocated, with almost no recurring expenses (correct me if I'm wrong). For an isp with at least a /20, this one time cost is less than 50 cents per ip address. I am not willing to pay a substantial amount for ip addresses, since they cost very little actual money to the company I would be buying them from.

    That is one of my pet peeves with some hosting companies, is undercharging for some things that cost them money, and overcharging for things that reasonably cost nothing. I don't mind paying for what I use, but the items on my bill should reflect in some way actual costs to the company I am doing business with (bandwidth, servers, power, labor, etc).
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    611
    Sounds like you would need to talk to a few high quality providers, and see if they can taylor a solution just for you. Definitely going to take some research of the company, and some organization before you sign a contract.

  5. #5
    I should probably also mention that I'm looking for a provider with their own rackspace and with their own contracts with upstreams, with their own ASN. In other words, a host with the authority to do what I'm asking for and not have to buckle to the ToS of the provider they're reselling.
    Phoenix Dedicated Servers -- IOFLOOD.com
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    977
    Just to correct something you said, there are recurring costs to IPs. The fee you referenced to ARIN ($2250) for a /20 is paid at inception of the allocation, and on every yearly anniversary thereafter. It's all in the URL you referenced above.

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  7. #7
    thanks for the info tical. it wasnt entirely clear to me from reading the page what the recurring costs were.

    Even so, 50 cents per ip per year (less if the host buys bigger than a /20) is not even close to what a lot of providers are charging. I wouldn't mind an administrative fee to deal with the arin justification requiremets as well as some reasonable charge for the addresses used
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  8. #8
    still looking ...
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New York
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    You wont find anyone offering you /24's at 50 cents per ip per year ($10.63 per month!). Some providers do offer 'free' ip space if you can justify it - but the 'abuse' potential here will weed that out pretty fast im afraid. No one wants the admin headache of '1' guy using that much space and no doubt the associated abuse that will come with it (thats in part why providers ASK WHAT you will do with the ip space before even letting you have it)- the pricing on IP's is usualy to make people be creative about not over-using IP space as much as it is to pay their costs and admin costs). And $10/mbit ontop of that - wont cover the costs of the abuse admin time.

    Anyway sorry dont have a provider to recomend there - but if you are going to push enough traffic it may be wise to consider colocation yourself into a carrier neutral facility and buy your own upstream connections and setup with ARIN for your own ip space. A lot of work. Few providers are happy to play with proxy type services though, at least in the US. You will have subpena's flying in that door daily/weekly (*trust me*) and your provider will just get anoyed REAL FAST.

    Anyway - good luck on the project, in principal it sounds pretty cool.
    Last edited by turnkeyinternet; 10-18-2006 at 10:31 AM.
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  10. #10
    I don't need that ip space at $10 / year, I just dont want to be paying $1+ / mo / ip. One person offered me steadfast which is charging $50 / mo for a /24, and this is an acceptable price.

    Also $10 / meg is not set in stone. It is around what I'd like to pay for budget bandwidth. If the quality is good I could pay up to $20 / meg, but obviously less is better.

    "consider colocation yourself into a carrier neutral facility and buy your own upstream connections and setup with ARIN for your own ip space. A lot of work"

    I have considered it, and I cringe at the thought. I may have to do that.

    "You will have subpena's flying in that door daily/weekly (*trust me*) and your provider will just get anoyed REAL FAST."

    The current proxy service I run has 200,000 unique visitors daily, and I've had about 5 abuse complaints in the last year. Since the VPN product will be subscription based with no more than a few thousand customers, I don't expect abuse to be a huge problem, but it will be some sort of problem that providers don't want to deal with and I want to be honest about that when requesting service.
    Last edited by funkywizard; 10-18-2006 at 04:11 PM.
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  11. #11
    Someone correct me if i'm wrong on this one but I was under the impression that you can't go to ARIN until you have an existing block of IPs with a provider that is fully (or 80 percent) utilized. So even if the OP was willing to pay the fee for the ASN / IPs, he would need to began this project through an existing firm, correct?

  12. #12
    I believe you can go to arin if you're multihomed because your upstreams aren't expected to route each other's ip blocks.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    138
    The OP is providing transit to customers, so for ARIN policy purposes, the OP would be designated an ISP. To qualify for a /22 from ARIN (the smallest allocation size to normal networks), the OP would need to show current-day utilization of at least a /23 worth of IP addresses, and demonstrate an intent to immediately multi-home.

  14. #14
    thanks for the info garp
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    Email: sales [at] ioflood.com
    Skype: iofloodsales
    Backup Storage VPS -- 1TBVPS.com

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