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SKY Broadband will not provide IP addresses to customers in the UK

    Question

  • Hello,
    The most recent CTP for SQL Azure requires that we define IP address ranges from which we will be connecting. In order that I can connect to SQL Azure from my home address I contacted my ISP (SKY Broadband) and said the following:

    I wish to use a 3rd party service that requires me to tell them what IP range my IP address will be in. I do not have a fixed IP address provided by SKY hence please could you tell me what IP range the IP address that you assign to me will be in?


    They replied with the following:

    I am afraid that we cannot provide this information, as it is business sensitive.
    If you have an online service that requires this information, then they should be contacting us on your behalf, using the correct channels, in order to obtain this information.

    I am asking at this time that contact SKY Broadband in the UK and ask them to provide this information. You should understand that SKY Broadband is a *very* large provider of Broadband here in the UK (probably second after BT) and hence you should expect many more people running into the same problem.

    Please could you keep me informed?

    Thanks
    Jamie


    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/ | http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ | @jamiet
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 9:40 AM

Answers

  • Indeed this is troublesome, unknown if the ISPs will want to provide their IP ranges to Microsoft and keep them up to date.

    I can think of two mitigations, feedback is welcome

    1) Allow IP ranges based on IP Class

                    Even if the IP changes, it usually changes based on a class (subnet). There is a limited set of IP ranges that ISP have, most of them have 1. You can tell what type of class they have based on your current IP.

                    You can go to http://whatismyip.com/ and check the IP class based on this table http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classful_network

                    Example:

    If your IP is:

    45.17.0.102  it is a Class A and you can allow the range 45.0.0.0 to 45.255.255.255 the key number is the first number.

                                    On the other hand if your IP is similar to:

                                                    137.24.1.23 it is a Class B and you can allow the range 137.24.0.0 to 137.24.255.255 because it is a Class B, they key number is the first two numbers.

                    As mentioned before, even large ISP have a limited set of IP ranges.

     

    2) Disable the firewall

                    Obviously this defies the purpose of having a firewall, so only do it for a short period of time and fall back to option one when possible.

                    You can allow all the IP ranges if you put the range like "from: 0.0.0.0  to:255.255.255.255"

    Also remeber to have strong passwords and update them frequently.

    Thank you,

    Alejandro Hernandez.

    Monday, October 26, 2009 11:13 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    We are facing same issue. We are on a DSL connection and our IP address changes constantly. Some days earlier it was like 59.xx.xx.xx and now it is 117.xx.xx.xx. Anybody who is on a ISP connection without static IP addresses can expect the same behavior (even in US) because you never know when your ISP may renew your DHCP lease.

    Thanks

    Gaurav Mantri
    Cerebrata Software
    http://www.cerebrata.com/
    Sunday, October 25, 2009 3:35 PM
  • Right now, if you go to the Firewall Settings tab and click on Add Record, we will show the current external IP address from which you are connecting.  However, as Gaurav found, this can change frequently.

    When I first saw this feature, one of my first concerns was that people who don't control their proxy who be unable to identify their IP range.  Your experiences above confirm that, so that means I need to go have some conversations about how we can make this experience better.

    Your ideas are welcome.

    Evan



    Sunday, October 25, 2009 5:11 PM
  • Thanks Evan - I'm glad that someone from the team has acknowledged this and I look forward to some feedback soon.

    I don't have any ideas about improving it other than contacting the ISPs and getting them to tell you their IP range. That way, within the Firewall settings tab I wouldn't have to define an IP range I'd only have to pick my ISP. Of course, you'd need the IP ranges for every ISP in the world - good luck with that!!!!

    -Jamie

    http://sqlblog.com/blogs/jamie_thomson/ | http://jamiethomson.spaces.live.com/ | @jamiet
    Monday, October 26, 2009 9:25 AM
  • Indeed this is troublesome, unknown if the ISPs will want to provide their IP ranges to Microsoft and keep them up to date.

    I can think of two mitigations, feedback is welcome

    1) Allow IP ranges based on IP Class

                    Even if the IP changes, it usually changes based on a class (subnet). There is a limited set of IP ranges that ISP have, most of them have 1. You can tell what type of class they have based on your current IP.

                    You can go to http://whatismyip.com/ and check the IP class based on this table http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classful_network

                    Example:

    If your IP is:

    45.17.0.102  it is a Class A and you can allow the range 45.0.0.0 to 45.255.255.255 the key number is the first number.

                                    On the other hand if your IP is similar to:

                                                    137.24.1.23 it is a Class B and you can allow the range 137.24.0.0 to 137.24.255.255 because it is a Class B, they key number is the first two numbers.

                    As mentioned before, even large ISP have a limited set of IP ranges.

     

    2) Disable the firewall

                    Obviously this defies the purpose of having a firewall, so only do it for a short period of time and fall back to option one when possible.

                    You can allow all the IP ranges if you put the range like "from: 0.0.0.0  to:255.255.255.255"

    Also remeber to have strong passwords and update them frequently.

    Thank you,

    Alejandro Hernandez.

    Monday, October 26, 2009 11:13 PM
  • Hello,
    Beside what everybody else wrote, I can add following:
    After you have checked your current IP in http://whatismyip.com/ or even in Firewall settings (when you click Add rule the new popup will show what is your current IP), you can go to http://www.ripe.net/ and enter your IP address there. This will give you the entire IP range assigned to your ISP. And you may be 100% sure that your IP address will always be in the range displayed in RIPE database result.  At least it will narrow the range. It is not good idea to "disable" the firewall (generally assigning IP range from 0.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255 is disabling firewall).
    Tuesday, October 27, 2009 3:01 PM