Terribly Technical: that Sinking Feeling when you realise your readers are far better server engineers than your web host, 1&1 Ionos.

It is going to be a functional rather than philosophical blog update for you, this month.

Ever since Google strong-armed SFcrowsnest into getting an SSL secure certificate for every web page just to stay in their stupid search engine index many months back, we’ve been playing this weird frustrating game where a small but not insignificant number of you readers have reported problems accessing the magazine’s site.

It’s a problem neither myself or Geoff or, indeed, any of my friends and family – as well as web host tech support at 1&1 Ionos – whom I asked to confirm the magazine was working 100%, was ever able to replicate.

Recently, a kind reader, Zan Lynx – henceforth known as Zan the Man: Saviour of SFcrowsnest – who was also experiencing this problem, suggested a possible cause and a fix for the oddly elusive and shy bug.

IPV6 requests, you don't need to service no stinking IPV6 requests
IPV6 requests? You don’t need 1&1 Ionos to service no stinking IPV6 requests, you human maggot.

It transpires that our SSL was incorrectly set up unable to process IPV6 requests. By way of explanation, most telcos offer broadband and wireless connectivity to you via the old IPV4 standard, but some providers, T-Mobile being one example, have implemented the latest protocol. Around 4% of internet users in Europe and c. 10-14% in the USA/Canada access the Net via shiny new IPV6, now.

This misconfiguration by 1&1 Ionos resulted in most users being able to access SFcrowsnest perfectly, but a small minority using providers like T-mobile hitting odd ‘connection denied’ error screens which the rest of us couldn’t even see.

Anyway, all fixed now – but only after a very long painful week trying to convince 1&1 Ionos that they ^%%$%^ed up their SSL server config for IPV6. I finally fixed the issue by ringing them up and walking one of their staff through the missing AAAA record for the secure IPV6 connection.

I suspect it’s mainly science fiction magazines that possess such fine and rarified highly techie readers as Zan.

I reckon if SFcrowsnest was a crime genre magazine or cookery web site, 1&1 Ionos would still be serving their customers’ web sites in a ^$$%^ed manner that dumped between 5% and 14% of their reader traffic down the sh^%^^er.

1&1 Ionos is Europe’s largest web host with over 7000 staff in ten countries, serving 8 million customers hosting 12 million domains.

And Zan?

Zan’s the &^^&&*ing Man.

Truly, the geek shall inherit the Earth.


I am an author of various fantasy, science fiction, crime and other genre books from Gollancz, Hachette and HarperCollins. Some day I hope to grow up and be an astronaut. Exploring Mars would be nice.

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