Before this change aprs.fi was connected to a single APRS-IS server (usually T2FINLAND) and collected packets from that server alone. That server, in turn, is connected to a single T2 hub. Sometimes that connection could have some trouble and be disconnected for a few minutes, causing some packets to be lost. Recently a misconfiguration within the T2 network caused intermittent but severe packet loss for a few users for a long time. Having redundant, parallel connections to all of the servers should provide aprs.fi with copies of all packets even if some parts of the network have issues.
The fact that aprs.fi was usually connected to T2FINLAND also caused many users to prefer that server, which in turn caused a high load to the single server. Also, if that server would have had a hardware failure, all of those users would have lost connectivity to the APRS-IS. aprs.fi would have automatically switched to another server. Right now, T2FINLAND has 210 clients connected, while most other servers only have 30 to 100 clients. The Tier 2 network currently has a total of 4005 clients connected to the 86 servers in 31 countries.
If you're using T2FINLAND (finland.aprs2.net), or if you have configured your server to connect to any other single server, please reconfigure your system to use one of these Regional Rotate Addresses:
Europe and Africa: euro.aprs2.netCheck out the map of T2 servers and the rotate address distribution on the aprs2.net home page!
North America: noam.aprs2.net
South America: soam.aprs2.net
All of the regional rotate addresses will make your client connect to one of the nearly servers which have recently been automatically tested to be available and working. When that server fails, your client will automatically connect to some other server. All of the servers will provide equally good connectivity to aprs.fi. Starting tonight, T2FINLAND is not better in that respect than any of the others.
I repeat: Do not connect to finland.aprs2.net. If you're in europe, use euro.aprs2.net instead. T2FINLAND's server hardware will eventually break (we found it in the dumpster), and your igate or client software might be disconnected for a long time until someone gets to fix the server. Unless, of course, you use a regional rotate address, in which case you'll be automatically rerouted to a working server.
Thanks to all the Tier 2 operators for making this possible!