Jeff Barr's Blog

Things I Like..

Second Life Compatible Hotels

I’ve been an avid consumer of hotel-room internet since mid-2000 when I restarted my consulting practice by commuting back and forth from Seattle to Washington, DC to help Akopia release the first version of their product.

Since then I’ve enjoyed fairly good connectivity as I travel the world. Each hotel has its own little quirks — most of them don’t allow outbound connections on port 25 to thwart “drive-by” (or sleep-by?) spammers, others don’t allow SSH connections on port 22 (fortunately I have a secret, high-numbered port on my server), and so forth.

My definitition of “fairly good” has changed now that I am spending significant time in Second Life. The Second Life client communicates with the server using a large number of unique ports. It also uses low-level UDP packets, which cause extra problems when run on a complex network. The net-net is that some hotels are compatible with Second Life, and others are not. I’ve spent considerable time calling the support lines for a few hotels, with a negligible success rate to date. It does seem that asking for a “VPN-compatible” connection is one route to success. I’ve got enough things going on in Second Life that being off-world for 3 or 4 days is actually kind of painful.

After getting some valuable information from the Second Life forums, I’ve started up a page of Second Life Compatible Hotels. I will be tracking this on behalf of Second Life users like me who have to travel all over the physical world while remaining in touch with the virtual world.