For Your Protection

I rarely game these days but I do occasionally join my kids in play. Sometimes it's Starcraft, sometimes Unreal Tournament, sometimes good old Minecraft.

But sometime they want to play something else online. Like when my son asked me to play Hypixel with him. And I joined. Only to be banned 2 seconds after - before even being able to do anything. Fortunately there is an appeal process and surprisingly it works fast. I had a response to my appeal within an hour. And that's where the good news stops.

First they force you to go through the process of changing Minecraft password for no reason whatsoever. Instead of telling why you got banned, they will just point to generic list of reasons why you could get banned without any specifics on which of those reasons was the one for banning me. Although that did shed a bit of light as one of the reasons might be a VPN usage.

On my computer I have VPN turned on by default and I believe any sane person should do the same. While not bullet-proof, VPN does increase both privacy and security. However, looking over at Hypixel's forum, getting banned for using VPN is quite common. Excuse is tracking cheaters but that doesn't pass smell test for me. You are already using Minecraft account for this - and that costs money. Isn't blocking Minecraft account actually more painful than indiscriminately blocking the whole IP range? Those wanting to cheat will simply use range you haven't insta-banned.

In any case, my appeal was accepted. So permanent ban was changed into 30-day temporary ban in order "give you enough time to properly secure your account." Their server, their rules I guess. However, suggesting that using VPN is somehow not "properly securing my account" is next-level of nonsense responses. Are they really training kids (and yes, most of their audience are kids) that VPN=not secure? I guess those advertisements really need you location that badly. :)

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