Gawd sometimes I just hate the day I signed up for Comcast. Yea, they had better prices than the ISP I used in the past, but the games they play are enough to drive a sane person raving mad.
What they've done is sent a command to the users modem that blocks all traffic on port 25. This is the SMTP port (simple mail transfer protocol) that's used for e-mail between servers. So people like me that run servers in their basement wake up in the morning to find their mail services aren't working anymore. No warning - no notice, just a simple WHAP and the evil is done. The first thing I did, was call Comcast support and ask if something was wrong - specifically with port 25. The help-desk person had no idea what my problem could be, and I tried telling him what port 25 was, but per Comcast support requirements for a Help-Desk Technician he didn't have a clue what I was talking about, and told me there was nothing at the Comcast end that happened. So something happened overnight with my mail server?? Well I guess I've stranger things happen to these beasts, so into the basement I went - checking services, checking cables, hubs and routers... I came up with nothing. This took me all day Sunday before I admitted defeat and called Comcast again and specifically asked if port 25 was blocked. Again, the Help-Desk told me that it wasn't - and so the argument commenced. "Wait a minute!" the technician said. "I made a mistake - port 25 is blocked" he told me. Then he told me a story of why Comcast would do such a thing, and all I could do was sit at my workstation and chew my fingers to the bone, wishing I could be chewing on the guy that made the decision to cut my lifeline without even a warning. (In the above image, just imagine the firewall being the cable modem and the thick blue line that makes it through is severed). Thank goodness I don't have a few thousand users that rely on my email line, but the few I do have (including myself) I need to find an alternate method of getting and sending e-mail. Yes, I could use my Comcast account, but since I run a professional service, I don't need an email address of email@example.com indicating that I don't know how to set up an e-mail server. It's standard to use firstname.lastname@example.org and it looks a hell of a lot more professional.
Thanks for allowing me to work overtime Comcast - I'll never forget you.