To snipe an auction, you must be able to reach eBay when the auction is
about to close. A failure anywhere in the path from your computer to eBay's
servers could prevent that.
If your computer crashes, you can't place your bid. The same is true if
your computer loses its connection to your ISP, or system trouble
puts your ISP's servers out of commission.
Similarly, if eSnipe's server crashes or loses its connection to eSnipe's ISP, or
if the ISP suffers a system failure, eSnipe can't submit your bid for you.
eSnipe operates several RovatronTM bidding servers;
each one maintains
a copy each user's scheduled bids, and updates it every few seconds.
If one server crashes or loses its Internet connection, the others will detect
that fact and take over the failing server's bidding until the problem is
A bid may be lost only if a server fails in the few seconds between the time the
bid is entered and the time when the servers update their bidding schedules, or if the
auction closes in the few seconds between the time a server fails and the time
when the other servers take over its bidding.
Furthermore, eSnipe's servers are connected to its ISPs through high capacity
connections that are typically more reliable than an individual user's dial-up
connection, or even a DSL line or cable service.