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Megabitz.net

Postby thurgood » Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:55 am

I'm a customer and their service has gotten shaky in the last few weeks. Has anyone else experienced long down times? This sux. :(
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby chainmail » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:38 am

Megabitz is a Highwinds reseller, and since the Highwinds servers have been up and running, you can assume that the problem has been on MegaBitz's end. There's been a lot of reports of bad service and ignored emails from Megabitz for a long time, and until recently they were not even accepting any new customers. Consider them unreliable. Maybe they're having trouble paying their bills on time and can't afford to hire tech workers.

I suggest ditch Megabitz and switch to Astraweb. 50% better retention and excellent prices.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=43695
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby unregistered » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:46 pm

chainmail wrote:Megabitz is a Highwinds reseller

Are you sure? whois, traceroute, etc. tell me something different, and as a Highwinds reseller they'd propably have US and EU servers which they don't (US only). Besides, there could be a million of reasons for why something's not working, so speculating about it is quite useless.

@thurgood: I noticed an outage a few days ago (looked like routing problems to me), but other than that I can't remember any major problems (been a low-traffic customer for about 1,5 years now). Download speeds could be a bit better, but then again I'm the one to blame for living in EU and choosing a US-server-only provider. Never had any problems with completeness.

However, if Megabitz doesn't work for you, why not switch to another provider? At least you're not bound by one-year subscriptions or stuff like that.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby blackmesa8 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:11 pm

I've never used megabitz but ill also say that i dont believe there a highwinds reseller either. Tracerts to there US only server take a completely differant route than tracerting to any of the known highwinds resellers servers which all take the same route.
So i think first person to reply saying there a highwinds reseller is incorrect about that. But he could be right about them not having enouth tech people or struggeling to pay there bills or something like that as they seem to be a totaly independant service running all there own servers and having to pay everything themself.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby chainmail » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:18 am

I think that Megabitz is using a Highwinds server behind their own front-end server, which is why the address traces differently.

One clue that Megabitz is a Highwinds reseller is that their claimed binary retention is exactly the same as the many other Highwinds resellers - 110 days. Independent back-end providers, such as Astraweb, Newsguy, News-Service, Supernews, Newsfeeds, Altopia, etc., have retentions that vary all over the place, from 14 to 240 days. As a general rule, if two usenet providers claim the same or nearly the same retention, there's a good chance they're sharing the same backend.

Also, putting together a 110-day retention server farm (That comes out to nearly half a petabyte of server storage minimum) is no small task; it's a major investment. Most backend providers have been around since the late '90s, starting small and growing slowly. Highwinds is the exception, as they've been in the (wholesale) usenet provider business less than 3 years, but already made a name for themselves by developing the software that most major usenet providers had been using for years, as well as providing onsite tech support. So Highwinds already had much of the expertise and experience needed to start a large-scale server farm. Considering that Megabitz appears to be a small 1 or 2-person operation (not an unusual size for a reseller) that suddenly appeared out of nowhere less than 2 years ago (and always matching Highwinds retention), and has not even updated it's web page in almost a year (still advertising last year's "October Special") it seems odd that they'd even be capable of running such a major operation as a backend server farm if they can just barely function as a website.

Also, if Megabitz were to be a backend provider, their finances don't appear to add up. They don't seem to have sufficient customers to pay for that scale of operations, nor do they appear to re-sell their supposed backend service to other usenet retailers, as all major back-end providers do.

Highwinds originally owned 3 NNTP server farms, then added those of Newshosting and UsenetServer when they bought those companies. Highwinds resellers don't always use the same set of servers, which in the past each of which had different retentions. I don't know how many Highwinds server locations Newsdemon can connect to currently, but they used to access more than any other HW reseller i've noticed. NewsDemon is probably the biggest of the independent resellers.

So anyway, setting aside the non-matching tracert, I think all the circumstantial evidence seems to point to Megabitz being a Highwinds reseller, not a backend provider.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby thurgood » Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:30 am

chainmail wrote:Megabitz is a Highwinds reseller, and since the Highwinds servers have been up and running, you can assume that the problem has been on MegaBitz's end. There's been a lot of reports of bad service and ignored emails from Megabitz for a long time, and until recently they were not even accepting any new customers. Consider them unreliable. Maybe they're having trouble paying their bills on time and can't afford to hire tech workers.

I suggest ditch Megabitz and switch to Astraweb. 50% better retention and excellent prices.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=43695


Actually thats exactly the provider I was considering. Megabitz is crazy fast though, and I dunno if astraweb could compete on that level with the $10 a month plan. I think I'll sign up though. FYI, from Astraweb's support:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Unfortunately, we are not offering any trial account at the moment. However, you may just signup with our service and if you do not wish to continue, you may request for cancel and refunds as long as your account is created NOT more than 48 hours."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sounds good to me :D

And I got this from megabitz:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
from Megabitz Support <support@megabitz.net>
to XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
subject Re: Connection Problems
mailed-by megabitz.net

**PLEASE NOTE**
Greetings-
A group of us have been out on the east coast as we work on server
and server upgrades. Unfortunately, we've had some difficulties with
one of the laptops,and some e-mail may have been lost and or you may
have difficulties with speeds and or logging in. We're going through
and processing certain messages again. If this is a duplicate response,
or if you didn't receive a response the first time, we apologize.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to provide
an even better Usenet service. We are also providing 2 free days free
of charge for your patiences and understanding. Thank you!
--
Thank you!

Megabitz Support
http://www.megabitz.net
Drop us a line, we're here to help!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sounds good to me for the moment. I'm connected again....
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Anon_ » Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:29 pm

I can confirm the speed issues, connectivity issues, and down time.

Problems with service started appearing a few weeks back and got worse over the past week.

After several non-successful attempts at contacting support@megabitz.net, I finally received a form email response. The response is exactly the same as thurgood received. Ironically, this response is also very similar to an email Megabitz sent out last summer when they were mysteriously absent. I don't have last summer's email anymore, but they were also having difficulty with a laptop, lost email, and were on the east coast.
Last edited by Anon_ on Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby thurgood » Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:01 am

Anon_ wrote: I don't have last summer's email, but they were also having difficulty with a laptop, lost email, and were on the east coast.


LOL :lookup:

Sounds like they need to call in some intelligence agencies :P
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Anon_ » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:05 pm

4pm EST on Friday right now, service is entirely down and looks like it's been that way for awhile.

Anyone know how long Megabitz has been down today?
Anyone fire off emails again to support@megabitz.net and billing@megabitz.net?
Anyone include a link to this thread?

Two days of free service isn't sufficient when their service has been unreliable for weeks.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Anon_ » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:20 pm

Megabitz is back up as of around 6pm EST
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby chainmail » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:58 am

deja vu. Seems every summer Megabitz has a habit of having major problems and not replying to email.

from last summer's forum posts:

Anon_ wrote:I'm starting to wonder if Megabitz is a 1-2 man operation with server rackspace rented at a colocation facility. I've attempted to contact them two times through their support email and there has been no reply in the past ten days.

There is a bulletin on Megabitz's main page about being closed for vacation, but it's highly odd that such a business would not retain support staff year round in case of some unforeseen event. Very disappointing. :(

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=36984

megabitz wrote: we had a problem with one of the laptops, it ate a whole bunch of mail, we restored backups of all the mail, it ended up being unclear what had been handled, and so are currently re-processing about a month's worth of mail, because our company policy is to reply to all mail, and that was the best way we could comply.

We would agree that the performance of the "system" has degraded significantly, as the "system" (which is our support dep't) is not only having to keep up with current support, but also has to clear out a ton of older issues as well. This is taking some time.

Thank you!

Megabitz Support

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=37141

There's got to be literally 'zillions' of usenet providers and resellers out there, and it only takes a few minutes to try out a new service if you're not happy. I have to wonder why people stay loyal to a service that routinely has problems when there's others in the same price range with much better service. If it's a block account that you only use for fills or backup, then occasional service breaks might not be a big problem since you can always use your gigs later. But if it's your only source of usenet access, then why put up with a provider that has poor support and unreliable service?

Browsing through last years posts, it seems that Megabitz posted a lot here at Slyck. So did another usenet provider, Gorlov, whose service I've used myself in the past. Between the two, my impression is that Gorlov knows how to organize and operate a successful business, and Megabitz is only beginning to learn (and hopefully they will someday). I think a lot of the problems that Megabitz has had probably could have been predicted. It seems they might not have learned enough from their crash last year to have prevented similar problems happening all over again, such as the glut of unanswered emails.

For instance, why did Megabitz not keep an updated "system status" page on the website? Did it not occur to them that without a status page, they'd be more likely to get hit with a flood of email with every system interruption (by people who often just want to know if the problem they're experiencing is at their end or the company's end) at the crucial moment when they didn't have time to answer mail? Why did they also fail to set up an email auto-reply system? It wouldn't have cost anything and an auto-reply could explain the situation to their customers and hopefully answer most of their questions until a tech had the time to get to them. This is just simple common sense.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby usenet119 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:17 am

chainmail wrote:One clue that Megabitz is a Highwinds reseller is that their claimed binary retention is exactly the same as the many other Highwinds resellers - 110 days. Independent back-end providers, such as Astraweb, Newsguy, News-Service, Supernews, Newsfeeds, Altopia, etc., have retentions that vary all over the place, from 14 to 240 days. As a general rule, if two usenet providers claim the same or nearly the same retention, there's a good chance they're sharing the same backend.

Also, putting together a 110-day retention server farm (That comes out to nearly half a petabyte of server storage minimum) is no small task; it's a major investment. Most backend providers have been around since the late '90s, starting small and growing slowly. Highwinds is the exception, as they've been in the (wholesale) usenet provider business less than 3 years, but already made a name for themselves by developing the software that most major usenet providers had been using for years, as well as providing onsite tech support. So Highwinds already had much of the expertise and experience needed to start a large-scale server farm. Considering that Megabitz appears to be a small 1 or 2-person operation (not an unusual size for a reseller) that suddenly appeared out of nowhere less than 2 years ago (and always matching Highwinds retention), and has not even updated it's web page in almost a year (still advertising last year's "October Special") it seems odd that they'd even be capable of running such a major operation as a backend server farm if they can just barely function as a website.

Also, if Megabitz were to be a backend provider, their finances don't appear to add up. They don't seem to have sufficient customers to pay for that scale of operations, nor do they appear to re-sell their supposed backend service to other usenet retailers, as all major back-end providers do.

Highwinds originally owned 3 NNTP server farms, then added those of Newshosting and UsenetServer when they bought those companies. Highwinds resellers don't always use the same set of servers, which in the past each of which had different retentions. I don't know how many Highwinds server locations Newsdemon can connect to currently, but they used to access more than any other HW reseller i've noticed. NewsDemon is probably the biggest of the independent resellers.

So anyway, setting aside the non-matching tracert, I think all the circumstantial evidence seems to point to Megabitz being a Highwinds reseller, not a backend provider.


That's nice detective work, but I get stuff from Megabitz that is missing over from Highwinds resellers, and I am pretty sure their retention went up before Highwinds. There was a thread here about how they were attempting to get similar numbers to Giganews a year or two ago, which is what caught my eye, and I've used them for both backup and primary for a while.

Also, I cannot think of any Highwinds reseller that does not tracert to Highwinds.

There are still plenty of smaller providers out there. I can think of Newscene, Newsfeeds, Usenetbinaries.com, Octanews, XS News, News-Service.com, Tweaknews, and others, many also offering hundred day plus retention. Highwinds can be an unreliable back end provider, so buying from a Highwinds reseller means you probably want to get a backup account with Megabitz or one of these other providers.

The Megabitz web page hasn't changed for a while, but that is true of most news providers, look at Giganews with the stupid accordion web page they've had for a long time now. I see Megabitz has a news item for the "October Special" (2007-11-22) that says they're extending it, so maybe they just kept it because it is popular? The first quarter is great, but their normal quarterly isn't as good as Astra, which is $39 for 3 months. Just sent them a complaint about that.

The service was a bit bumpy last month, but I saw a status note posted anytime I noticed I couldn't connect. There's one posted right now that says some network work is going on, but speeds seem fine. After years of weekly outages with Newshosting, Newsfeeds, or UsenetServer, I am pretty happy, especially for the price.

Megabitz, the one big thing I want is better retention. Or maybe cheaper prices. Or both! Ok, that is three things. :toast:
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Kenrin » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:46 pm

i've had the quarterly for awhile, its only 39.95 for 3 months. you sent them a complaint over 95 cents? :lol:

I still don't see why people are getting tons of problems. megabitz has been great for me, except for that completition issue last year for like 2 weeks, i've had way worse problems with newshosting and other providers over the years...

Sometimes routing gets to be a problem and you have to change port numbers for more speed and the like, I don't blame them for poor backbone performance though, I blame verizon and cogent 8)
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby bliss » Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:49 am

Anybody having problems with Megabitz over the past few days? Started with speed problems, and now completion is pretty much non-existant. :(
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Kenrin » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:41 am

I had some speed problems until i changed ports, completion is ok.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby bliss » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:52 am

Which port are you using? I just grabbed something and 82 or 86 files were damaged with no way to repair. Had to use another provider to grab enough files so i could recover with quickpar.

Everything i download has 95% damaged files. :evil:
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Kenrin » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:43 pm

hmm you are right, 20% of my downloads are corrupted. I'm getting 20 megabits down from port 443 though. Did you send in a support email yet? I just sent one in, they are usually fast at responding.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby bliss » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:51 pm

Think i've tried 443 but i'll give it a shot just in case it was one i missed. I sent them a support message about 18 hours ago. No reply recieved so far. Pity as normally they're extremely fast.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby bliss » Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:34 pm

Tried 443 and it didn't help. :( Hope they get this sorted soon.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Anon_ » Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:59 pm

bliss wrote:Anybody having problems with Megabitz over the past few days? Started with speed problems, and now completion is pretty much non-existant. :(


Problems started last Thursday. 95% of posts downloaded were corrupt. This continued until Sunday.
This was not a completion issue. It had to be a network issue at Megabitz. You could re-download
posts and corruption would be more or less than previous attempts. Some of the corruption issues still persist.

Speed didn't really start to go bad until Saturday. It's downright pitiful today.


Anyone fire off emails again to support@megabitz.net and billing@megabitz.net?
Anyone include a link to this thread?

Where is megabitz support? Why aren't they on top of these issues? It's been less than 45 days
since their last network issue.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby bliss » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:03 am

I'm going to fire another support message off today. I have noticed that corrupt downloads are pretty close to being back to normal now. The speed however is still pathetic.

I wasn't really affected by the last problems when they had to fix their servers. Never had a problem with their support either until now. I guess it could be looked at that they're a bit slow responding because they're busy fixing these issues. :wink:

edit: Wow, you're right. Download speeds are awful today. I'm having trouble getting over 150kb/s! :x
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby Anon_ » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:09 pm

bliss wrote:I'm going to fire another support message off today. I have noticed that corrupt downloads are pretty close to being back to normal now. The speed however is still pathetic.

I wasn't really affected by the last problems when they had to fix their servers. Never had a problem with their support either until now. I guess it could be looked at that they're a bit slow responding because they're busy fixing these issues. :wink:

edit: Wow, you're right. Download speeds are awful today. I'm having trouble getting over 150kb/s! :x


I haven't had time to do thorough testing, but from light testing this is what I noticed.


Posts 70 days old = speed wildly fluctuates 0-150KB/sec , connections stall
Posts 60 days old = speed wildly fluctuates 0-150KB/sec , connections stall
Posts 50 days old = speed wildly fluctuates 0-300KB/sec , connections stall but a little more stable
Posts 40 days old = speed wildly fluctuates 0-150KB/sec , connections stall
Posts 30 days old.... = speed not a problem
Posts under 1 day old = speed not a problem

This pattern suggests a network issue. 40+ days of retention slowing to a crawl while posts under 30 days
are not experiencing bandwidth issues.

Megabitz support has ignored all communication I've sent. This isn't the first time . I can't troubleshoot problems with their internal network. Customers shouldn't be in the position that they are forced to either. I'm about ready to tell them to shove their service.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby shevaberg » Wed Sep 17, 2008 12:46 pm

Wow... i guess i just spoiled on my giganews account... from what people say it is not that much more expensive... plus 250 days retention .. and 99.9 percent complete posts....

I rarly use bit torrent but had found things on there i couldn't find anywhere else...

BTW is anyone else impressed with quick par files.... i wish torrents would included some... it would save you the time when you cant get the last 3% of something...
Sarcasm...not to be used on stupid people....
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby bliss » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:03 pm

Can't say i've noticed that anon. I downloaded something that was a few hours old today and it fluctuated between 40-400kb/s. I've noticed that it seems to be caused by my connections to the server (i use 4) just hanging, and sometimes they disconnect from the server and try again.
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Re: Megabitz.net

Postby MrFredPFL » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:17 pm

this is sad. once upon a time, it seemed like megabitz' attention to customer service was second to none. but it also seems like those days are in the past :(
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