There is currently a networking issue causing a complete loss of service to the EU server. We have rerouted traffic to the US server for now, however this will take some time to propagate. To connect immediately please connect to the US server (usnews.blocknews.net) directly until we have restored traffic to the EU server.
We are investigating an issue with slow speeds during authentication and article retrieval. While we continue to investigate, customers will see sporadic issues. Switching to the EU server may help by giving more consistent results however US users may see slower speeds due to location. We will update this post with additional details as time goes on.
We have experienced an issue with articles around 300 days and over. Retrieval of articles of this age range will give a variety of errors in your newsreader such as articles being corrupt, articles being missing or simply cause your newsreader to hang as it requests the article from the server. If the article is in fact available slow speeds will be evident.
Once we fix the issue that caused the errors, we will begin rebuilding the spoolset. We should begin doing this throughout the night tonight and into the day tomorrow. (Friday June 25th)
There is currently a power/network outage going on at the EU server. Because of this, connections will fail. The datacenter staff over there are working towards a fix so it should be back up as soon as possible. We apologize for this, and will be adding features to our network to minimize this if it should happen again.
This issue should now be resolved. A disk that was full was not showing up in monitors. This disk was causing the server software to act up to say the least. Some users who saw slow speeds may also see there speeds return back to normal. If you are still seeing issues, please write to support and let us know. Thank you for your patience.
Customers using the US server are seeing connection errors. While we correct this issue, the EU server can be used in the meantime.
UPDATE- Midnight Eastern time- We restarted a machine that was causing the connection issues and that solved the problem for a couple of hours, however it seems they are cropping up again. Needless to say we will need to play around with it some more to see why it is failing. In the meantime, you may use the EU server (eunews.blocknews.net) as it remains up and available for use. We apologize for this and will have the US up and running again as soon as we can.
UPDATE June 28th- Block account users, please begin using the server address "usnews.blocknews.net" WITHOUT the "@newsgroups.user" ending on your username. This server address will be used with SSL as well, port 563.
All Unlimited users, please begin using UseNetNow,your subscription with Blocknews has been canceled and any remaining time has been moved over to your account on Usenetnow. At the end of that period, you will be able to sign up under new customer pricing and continue with your account. You can login to that service with your same credentials as you did with Blocknews, please remember to remove the "@newsgroups.user" ending for your username in your newsreader. Server addresses also change as well. Please change server address to either "usnews.usenetnow.net" OR "eunews.usenetnow.net"
UPDATE June 22nd- E-Mails have been sent out to all unlimited account subscribers. Please let us know if you have further questions regarding what is outlined in the e-mails.
We have decided to split up our service between two websites, for better account handling and customer service. BlockNews.Net is going back to its roots and will sell only Usenet Block Accounts. Please check back in the coming days for some of the best prices on block accounts not available from any other usenet provider on the web today.
UseNetNow.Net will showcase our unlimited accounts. Weekly, monthly and quaterly. We have some very attractive prices that make our accounts the best value on the web. We hope all of our loyal Blocknews customers from the past and present enjoy the new, enhanced service.
As of now, all new unlimited account purchases are being directed to the new Usenetnow website. In the coming days, all current subscription based customers will be migrated over to the new website / system. This will include canceling your subscription here with Blocknews so you can recreate the subscription on the UseNetNow system. Please be looking for e-mails in the coming days.
A couple of key advantages you will now have with the new websites (UseNetNow & Blocknews):
- You asked for it! A better user profile is here! You will now see a history of your purchases, ability to retrieve and change your password, and for block users, your total block usage will be displayed!
- Retention going to 400 days!
- use of a webreader- to view and reply to text and picture groups right in your browser & use of a cell phone reader- to view and reply to text and picture groups right on your IPhone (works well on Smart Phones as well)!
- One thing that will remain consistent is the level of support that you have come to expect from us at BlockNews! We are here for you!
Many of our customers may remember the server move we had back in September. With this move, came a completely new data center and a completely new system of Usenet servers. This new system made available a very large amount of storage for future expansion. Over the next few months, customers will see the benefits of this storage increase!
Retention is now being increased 1 day at a time until we reach 400 days of binary retention! With todays posting levels, the capacity still remains to go well beyond 400 days, so customers should see this as just the first of many increases to keep us at the front of the pack among all competitors to deliver the best service! Please contact Support if you have any questionsabout our service.
Things did not go quite as planned, causing an outage for a better
part of last night. We apologize for the issue and are looking into
what we can do in the future to stop this type of thing from happening
again. Things should be back to normal now, please submit a support
ticket if they are not.
Rescheduled from the 9th- On January 16th beginning at 9 PM (EST) continuing until January 17th 6 AM (EST) our website may be down intermittently due to server maintenance. This may affect your ability to submit support tickets through our online form, browse our website, complete purchases and view the FAQ pages. This will NOT affect the news servers as they are a separate system.
The European server is currently refusing connections to most users. Attempting to connect several times MAY allow you to connect, however slow speeds may be the result. An emergency maintenance windowhas been opened for repair. We do not have an exact estimated time for a fix, however you may connect to the US server in the mean time...please check back here for new updates to the ongoing status. We apologize for the downtime and appreciate your patience.
EDIT-- The US server seems to be acting up as well with the authentication errors. Please stand by for further information.
UPDATE 09/26/08- We have updated the appropriate FAQ entires to reflect tomorrow mornings system changes. Also, please note the port addition for the SSL server, port 81 has been added to the list of available ports.
We just wanted to post this message to let every one know of a
few service related changes that are going to be affecting your
It was decided some time ago that a new system was going to be constructed in a new datacenter. Being that it would have taken an incredible amount of work to move the existing systems from Atlanta, Georgia to Ashburn, Virginia, there really seemed to be no other choice but to construct a new system. With this new system comes better reliability, greater redundancy and in the not to distant future, increased retention. So all around, this move will put BlockNews in a better competitive position.
At any rate, we will be cutting over to the new server system on Saturday Morning September 27th at 8 AM Eastern Time via DNS change. The one and only change that customers will need to do is if you subscribe to specific groups and download headers, you will need to resubscribe and redownload your headers once again. The new system has different article numbers compared to the old system. Failure to do this will cause "Article Not Found" Errors and the like. NZB users will need to do nothing differently.
Another added feature of this new system is that article numbering will be standardized across both the US servers and the EU servers. Essentially this means you will be able to download headers from one, and download the articles from the other without issue. Something that was not possible before.
With this new system we have also decided to change the server address of the SSL server to help prevent confusion that some users had experienced. If you use the SSL server, please change the current address of secure.blocknews.net to ssl.blocknews.net in your newsreader. The old address will still work for the forseeable future, but may disappear at any given time.
Available port options also have been changed. Please review the new port options below:
news.blocknews.net and eunews.blocknews.net may connect via ports 119 or 443 ONLY.
ssl.blocknews.net and eussl.blocknews.net may connect via ports 563, 80 or 81 ONLY.
The whole migration process is expected to be seemless for all users, however with any DNS change, it could take several hours to propagate across the internet. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact support via the helpdesk located at http://support.blocknews.net Also, we have currently posted a status message regarding this event on our status page located here: http://faq.blocknews.net If any issues or new information becomes available, we will post the updates there.
We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your loyal patronage and all of us here at BlockNews hope you enjoy the new service enhancements that will be coming down the pipes in the near future.
The BlockNews.Net Team
We are happy to announce that we have a new SSL server system that has been under development. After some time of private testing and such, we are opening the beta test even further by letting those users who wish to try it, to do so. This SSL system is located in Europe, however we have seen great speeds from all different parts of the world, US included. Being that this is a beta test, and certain features are still being worked out, the following conditions will apply:
- Posting is NOT enabled at this time for this server. You WILL receive errors if you try to post.
- The ONLY port that is currently available for use is SSL port 563.
- Being that testing and features are still being worked on, **This server may be unavailable at any given time, with no specific warning, this does include slow speeds and such at certain times**
- With that said, limited support wil be available for this server until beta testing has completed.
You may connect to this server using the address: eussl.blocknews.net using port 563.
Comments have been enabled for this news item so please feel free to leave feedback and comments as you see fit regarding this new server.
This issue was fixed last week *phew* Thank you once again for the patience you have given us the past several months while this issue was worked on.
In order to prevent confusion, we are condensing the information that was here, down to a more manageable read.
In short, there is currently a piece of software that is deployed on the US servers (SSL included) that is causing issues with posts. The software essentially tells your newsreaders that the post does not exist (Post Not Found, Post Not On Server, or some other related error depending on yours news reader). This will be fixed with a new software version, but the reason why it is happening with the current software version has to be found first so the appropriate changes can be made. If you experience slow speeds, this is also a result of this issue...it seems if a user is connected to a front end and begins to exihibit this behavior, it will affect all of those connected to the same front end. In extreme cases, the software will truncate entire newsgroups, but this has been very rare in occurence. This does not affect ALL users, it seems to be random at best. The good news is, retention should begin to increase in the future once this issue is ironed out.
What can you do to get around this issue?- If you are experiencing post do not exist errors, you can use a newsreader that supports multiple servers. Set the SSL or standard US server as your primary server and put the EU server as a backup or "fill" server. By doing this, if an article not found error is generated from the US systems, the news reader will automatically go to the EU server to retrieve it. This is due to the EU server being a completely separate system. Users who are experiencing more severe issues, please contact support for additional options.
The load balancer was replaced which took care of the slow speeds and connection errors. We are still keeping an eye on a small issue where certain posts whose age is up into the mid-90's days old will seem to be reported as not existing where in reality it really does. While in some cases disconnecting and reconnecting will solve it, we are still working with the appropriate folks to rectify it.
UPDATE 1-25-08 Afternoon - The problem which was causing this issue has been fully identified. A faulty load balancer was the culprit and took quite awhile to isolate. At any rate, this load balancer is being replaced Friday afternoon into the weekend and things should start to return to normal in due time. Once again thank you for your patience and have a great weekend. -- Edited for clarification 1-26-08
UPDATE 1/21/2008- Engineers are still working on the issue non-stop (until they ask for food that is). Scripts are being run on various pieces of equipment to better pin-point the location of the issue, and then take action accordingly. Again, this issue is affecting very few users, which makes it more difficult to locate. We want to clarify that this issue is NOT the same as what was going on towards the end of last year with the SSL system, which was a capacity issue. The other two systems remain unaffected. You will see continued updates here as they become available. Thanks again for your patience.
UPDATE 1/17/2008- Being that this issue is only affecting certain/random users, it is taking longer to track down than it would if the entire userbase were to be affected. In addition to possible network issues, we are analyzing the front ends to see if there is issues with only certain groups on certain front ends or a combination of SSL gateways and news server front ends. The process is essentially trying to narrow down to the key cause which can prove to be a long and tedious process. We hope, just like you guys, it will not take much longer. We appreciate your patience.
The Following Issues Are Still Being Addressed Accordingly:
Currently, users are reporting on two issues for the SSL server:
- Certain articles, while they do exist on the server, are coming up as non-existent to the end user.
- Slow speeds
UPDATE- This issue has been resolved, however please take note of the port options for the standard US server. http://www.faq.blocknews.net/index.php?sid=10660&lang=en&action=artikel&cat=3&id=6&artlang=en
UPDATE- Still working out the kinks on this issue. It seems once things are fixed, they go down hill again. The standard server still remains usable, however several of the alternate ports will either provide failed connections or slow speeds. If you choose to use this server, please use port 119 or you may use the SSL or EU server.
UPDATE- It seems as though the SSL server is not affected by this as originally thought. However the standard US server seems to be only accepting connections using port 119. If you use this server, please attempt to use port 119 until the issue is ironed out, or you may connect to the SSL or EU server in the meantime.
Some users are experiencing intermitent connection issues to the US server farms (SSL and standard US server). Should you choose to use these servers, you will need to attempt to use different ports to gain connections. The EU server remains unaffected. Thank ytou for your patience.
****Happy to announce this issue has been resolved. Thanks for everyones patience through this issue. Thank you for being a BlockNews customer and have a happy holidays.
***UPDATE-- Light at the end of the tunnel? IF things go as planned, most, if not all of the issues still being seen with SSL, should be resolved by early weekend. Again, this is if things go smoothly between now and then. On the bright side, improved connectability to the standard US server should be seen at this point.
**UPDATE-- Users may still experience connection and disconnection issues during peak usage times which are typically evenings, the good thing is, these issues are not occuring during "off-peak" times like they once were (pre-hardware upgrade). Therefore progress IS being made, check back here for the latest updates. You should continue to use whatever port works the best for your connection and if your newsreader supports it, enable "auto-reconnect". Thank you for your continued patience.
*UPDATE-- New hardware has been added to the SSL system to further increase its capacity. However, with the hardware that has come in so far, it is not enough as there are still some issues from time to time. Additional hardware is still on order/has been ordered and is installed and put into production as it comes in. This will be done until the SSL server is up to a satisfactory state. Please know that as hardware is added, there may be times where all connections will fail so equipment can be rebooted. Please continue to use alternate port 443 OR you may use the newly added alternate port of 8080. The Europe server (eunews.blocknews.net) remains unaffected. BlockNews thanks you for your patience through this time.
We are currently experiencing connection issues for the SSL server causing some users to be unable to connect. One workaround is to try using a different port. Instead of 563 you may use 443. Work is continuing to be done on the SSL system and improvement should be seen in the near future. Thank you for your patience.
There is currently an issue with the incoming feeds for this server. This is causing incompletes in many groups. Technicians are currently working on the issue. The US and SSL server are unaffected. Thank you for your patience.
The issue has been resolved, however certain articles from Sep. 8 - Sep. 11th can not be recovered. This will cause incompletes for some groups. These are available on the US and SSL server. Thank you for your patience.
We have dispatched technicians to track down the issue, however we can not give an ETA on the estimated time frame for a fix. The US and SSL server are unaffected by this. We apologize for the issue.
Retention Has Now Been Increased On All Servers To About 100 Days For Binaries. You Now Have The Ability To Use SSL Encryption If You Would Like. There Will Be No Additional Charge For This Feature. Please See The Following Updated FAQ Entries For More Info And How To Begin Using SSL If You So Choose. As Always, Should You Have Any Questions, Please Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Or Click On "Ask Question At The Top Of Any FAQ Page.