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Road Runner blocking access too easily - vague reasons

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#1 synergee


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Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:15 AM

I rent an apartment in upstate NY, next to my landlord's house, whose Time Warner Road Runner account I and another nearby apartment have wireless access to. The signal is open.

Road Runner has blocked the internet about four times in the last month, the latest was late yesterday afternoon. The same vague form message shows up when one opens their browser, stating that there is unwanted activity that violates the terms of use. (I meant to copy the note, but the service was restored by this a.m.)

Teri, the owner and account holder, called Road Runner CS after the previous block, several days ago. She was supposedly speaking to their tech support, but they didn't tell her any specifics about what the issue was, just that she should run some security software for viruses, etc., on all the computers utilizing their connection. If this supposed 'unwanted activity' happened again, she was told, then she would have to get her PC professionally cleaned (and I assume the rest of us would as well?) and show proof of such via receipts to RR, before they would unblock her service.

As the service is back on this morning, I don't know what Teri did to have them thankfully put it back on, one more time!

Here at my apartment, we hadn't been having any apparent PC issues, but went ahead and added Malwarebyte's free version and ran that. Found only a few adware blips. Also already had AVG anti-virus running. No one else using the connection seems to be having issues either. I spoke to the girl who also rents a nearby apartment and uses the signal. She's not into kiddy porn. She did say she uses some unlicensed software for audio mixing for her trade. That's all she could think of. Big Deal. This is a somewhat rural area, we know the other few neighbors who might also be in range of the signal, and there have been no new people in the area who might be triggering this issue.

How on earth can we be directed to address the issue, if they can't tell us what the issue is? What would an ISP be concerned with blocking? Is Teri's RR account being inadvertently used to send spam? The rest of us don't have a RR email, obviously. Would they care if you are downloading unlicensed software? Sharing files, as on Limewire? Porn? What??

They can't apparently tell us which PC might be responsible, if anyone can access it via wireless; yet they say all of us should clean our PC's. Is that accurate?

...Yesterday my partner was complaining about this to someone else in our area, and they said that they, too, had had similar problems recently, with RR cutting off service, as well as just plain losing connection often; such that they got fed up and have just switched to DSL. I'm going to suggest this to Teri today--that she perhaps switch to DSL, and we can all share that signal. Otherwise, my partner and I are seriously now considering biting the bullet and paying for our own DSL service. However, if this kind of intense scrutiny of usage is going on by ISP's, is it limited to RR? Is it specific to cable ISP's? Would Verizon DSL even be any better? Any more hands-off?

I did a search here at bleeping, and found one similar topic posted,


at which @quietman7 gave detailed general advice for clearing one's PC of junk.

But honestly, if RR could give us the freaking specific complaint they have, then maybe we could address it. This is ridiculous.

Edited by synergee, 10 July 2010 - 08:16 AM.

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#2 synergee

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 09:12 AM

Okay.... Update... I just learned that Teri was on the horn with RR for a while last night, and finally did get specifics, that it is due to spam email. But again, it is unknowable who is responsible, so we'll all have to run a bunch of anti-viral stuff, I guess.

RR advised she utilize Microsoft for some free cleaning programs, in addition to the other free programs they advised earlier. She is running one from MS right now, for the last two hours, that is apparently detecting things--however, I don't know if these are truly malicious finds.

...So, even if it is not apparent that spam is being sent to our own email contacts, it is possible that our account is hijacked covertly somehow for this purpose, without our knowing, and affecting others on the RR server? Is this valid?

I'm sure there is much on that topic here at this board, so if I want to investigate further, I'll search for it.


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