Posted 20 January 2010 - 01:48 PM
So, it's been a while, and I don't know if anyone can answer this, but here goes:
We had Time Warner Internet service. I found (by using TCPView) that sometimes, instead of connecting me to the website I wanted (Engadget comes to mind), TW would connect me to one of their servers and load up the web pages that way. So instead of this: [ME]----[WEBSITE], it went like this: [ME]----[TW SERVER]----[WEBSITE]. I would expect to see Engadget's IP, but instead got one of TW's.
This seems both unnecessary and felt like some kind of invasion of my privacy (which doesn't seem to even exist these days). For some reason, Time Warner was saying "No, we won't connect you to the website directly, instead, we'll do -something- and force you to connect to us, and then we'll spoon feed you the website." Well, I blocked this. I permanently added TW's server to my firewall and blacklist. It might not have even mattered privacy-wise, but at least it was something. After blocking the TW servers, I couldn't visit Engadget anymore. It didn't affect any other websites. Everything except those few websites worked flawlessly.
My first question is: Why was that? Why could I only go to Engadget (there were others, like CNET and so on) if I let Time Warner butt in that act as some unnecessary middleman? What was sooooo special that it could only be displayed after mysteriously running through one of TW's servers first?
Not ever website was like this, I could connect to Gizmodo just fine, but some sites I was forced to access through TW's server farm. What the hell was that?
My second question: Now, we have AT&T. It came with a modem with a built-in router. Now, ALL of my TCPView entries (read: Internet connections) either say connected to the modem or to AT&T's server farm. What the hell? What? Are they tracking my Internet usage and pre-caching web pages to give the illusion of faster Internet service? It seems like it. Websites load slowly and pick up speed the longer I'm on them. I would really like to know what is going on, so if anyone has any insight, please share it.
Oh, and sorry for any typos, I'm in a hurry.