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Tips and Tricks

Our Solutions

Should I choose a Windows or Linux hosting ?

The type of web hosting you need depends on what kind of development language/database you might use with your website. Your desktop/notebook/tablet operating system will not affect which hosting account you choose. Choose a Linux Hosting(cPanel or DirectAdmin) account if you’re going to use PHP, Perl, Python, or CGI scripting. Our Linux accounts use a MySQL database. If you plan on using a Web application to blog, podcast, or create a shopping cart, check to see what language the developers used to create the application. Would you like to see end user demo?DirectAdmin  login: demo_user  password: democPanel  User ID: x3demob | Password: x3demob For our customer convenience we’re providing cPanel and DirectAdmin as its control panel.Choose a Windows Hosting account if you’re going to use ASP or ASP.NET. Our Windows hosting customers can also use SQL Server (MS SQL). If you plan on using a Web application to blog, podcast, or create a shopping cart, check to see what language the developers used to create the application. ASP.NET application typically require some programming on your computer before you can use the application online.Our Windows hosting also uses the hostingcontroller as its control panel.

A good hosting is very important to any website

They are foundation of your website, your brand and your business. Any server downtime could potentially hurt and ruin everything you’ve developed over years. If you are serious about your website, you need to make sure they are in good hands. It is really hard to choose between web hosting companies these days especially as we are constantly overwhelmed by tempting promotions web hosting companies are throw at us. If you are looking to get a web hosting account, here is an article we figured you might take a look before getting carried away by tempting promotions and marketing gimmicks.Here are some guides to make you a smarter consumer when it comes to getting your own web hosting account. 

1. The “Free Domain” Gimmick.

A free domain certainly sounds nice, however here are some things you might need to take note of before agreeing to the free domains provided:
  1. Who owns the domain? The domain is free but the hosting company retains the ownership. What it means? You’re either stuck with the company forever or you need to pay a hefty sum to buy the domain back.
  2. What about the next few years of renewal? The first year is free but when you want to renew it, they’ll charge $19.95+ for renewal. That is like a 200% mark-up over the averagedomain name cost.
It’s better to ask questions during the research process to know who will own the domain and also make sure that the standard renewal fees costs are acceptable. 

2. Separate Domain And Hosting.

Domain names don’t have to be registered at the same company. Don’t take us the wrong way, we are not implying that your current web host is not trust-able; it’s more about finding a dependable and trustworthy registrar right from the start. After all, domain name is your online identity, the most expensive and irreplaceable asset while hosting services are just there to accommodate website.You may argue for convenience sake. Of course, web-hosting companies would prefer to have your domain registered with them, as it is their other profitable revenue stream. However, it won’t be that convenient if the web hosting company decides to go down together with your domain.

3. Read That Bandwidth And Disk Space Terms.

Bandwidth and disk space are terms often ignored by people shopping for a shared web hosting. You should ask yourself, “What if my website becomes really popular overnight, and draws in thousands or millions of visitors? Will I pay hefty charge for the huge data transfer?”Of course, most websites won’t go past their bandwidth quota by high traffic alone, but if you provide some files for downloads in your website, it can potentially happen.

4. Unlimited Storage’s Catch.

Unlimited Storage seems like a great offer doesn’t it? That’s what some web hosting services want you to think. But, there is no such a thing as “Unlimited Storage”.Unlimited Storage seems like a great offer doesn’t it? That’s what some web hosting services want you to think. But, there is no such a thing as Unlimited Storage.Have you ever study the TOS of your web hosting service completely? If you’re like many people, you‘ll scan it and don’t read it carefully. Somewhere in the TOS there is a section that mentions CPU/Server Usage. To sum it up, basically it says if your web site uses more than a certain amount of storage, it violates the TOS and will subject to termination. Of course, it is necessary for just about every hosting service to have something like that in their Terms of Service to protect resources on their servers from improper usages. However, many web-hosting services are using the CPU/Server Usage to get around their Unlimited Storage promises.

5. Research And Find Out More About Them.

One common way is to insert the following query “web_hosting_company sucks” and see what are the results returned. You’ll be surprise by the amount of consumers that had complained about their web host.This list may give you an idea but you should not take it for granted because:
  • Unfair count. Large companies tend to disappoint more people because they have more disgruntled customers, although they might be only an extremely small percentage of the overall customer base.
  • Bias and subjective verdicts. Statements on personal blogs can sometimes be highly subjective, biased and influenced. Any rebuttals can potentially deleted by the site owners to give one-sided impression.
  • Complaints are common. It is easier for some people to rant than to praise. In general, if a web host performs smoothly, they’re just doing their job and if it doesn’t, then it deserves all the bad reviews. That’s just what we do 🙂

6. Buy & Save With Commission Rebates Or Coupons.

In an online business like web hosting service, where companies are ready to pay one year of revenue for one customer, it might be unwise to go shopping without finding for commission rebates or coupons. Of course you’ll find many hosts that don’t give out coupons, or don’t even have an affiliation program, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good hosts.

7. Do Your Own Backup.

The following question might have crossed your mind – Should we trust and rely on our hosts to backup our files? Of course not. While the host needs to perform regular backups, it can be considered unwise not to do off-site backups.The following question might have crossed your mind – Should we trust and rely on our hosts to backup our files? Of course not. While the host needs to perform regular backups, it can be considered unwise not to do off-site backups.

8. Use A One-Time Credit Card Or PayPal.

Always use PayPal for transaction if you are not an American and PayPal is the only US Dollars you have. It may be impractical, slow and costly to ask your local bank do the conversion. If you have no choice but to use your Credit Card, make sure the company is a reputable one to avoid ending up an unpleasant ride.

9. Avoid Long-Term Contracts Unless You Trust Them.

We’ve seen how companies giving us ridiculous discount for paying two years up-front. Unless the web host has an excellent track record, else think twice.

DDoS Protection

For business and enterprise customers

Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are on the rise and have evolved into complex and overwhelming security challenges for organizations large and small. Although DoS attacks are not a recent phenomenon, the methods and resources available to conduct and mask such attacks have dramatically evolved to include distributed (DDoS) and, more recently, distributed reflector (DRDoS) attacks—attacks that simply cannot be addressed by traditional on-premise solutions.T4AS advanced DDoS protection, provisioned as a service at the network edge, matches the sophistication and scale of such threats, and can be used to mitigate DDoS attacks of all forms and sizes including those that target the UDP and ICMP protocols, as well as SYN/ACK, DNS amplification and Layer 7 attacks. This document explains the anatomy of each attack method and how the T4AS network is designed to protect your web presence from such threats.Below you will find detailed information on these attacks and how the T4AS network protects against them:
  • Layer 3/4 attacks
  • DNS amplification attacks
  • SMURF attacks
  • ACK attacks
  • Layer 7 attacks
  • Making DoS a thing of the past

Layer 3/4 attacks

Most DDoS attacks target the transport and network layers of a communications system. These layers are represented as layers 3 and 4 of the OSI model. The so called “transport” layer of the network stack specifies the protocol (e.g., TCP or UDP) by which two hosts on a network communicate with one another. Attacks directed at layers 3 and 4 are designed to flood a network interface with attack traffic in order to overwhelm its resources and deny it the ability to respond to legitimate traffic. More specifically, attacks of this nature aim to saturate the capacity of a network switch, or overwhelm a server’s network card or its CPU’s ability to handle attack traffic.Layer 3 and 4 attacks are difficult—if not impossible—to mitigate with an on-premise solution. If an attacker can send more traffic than a network link can handle, no amount of additional hardware resources will help to mitigate such an attack. For example, if you have a router with a 10Gbps port and an attacker sends you 11Gbps of attack traffic, no amount of intelligent software or hardware will allow you to stop the attack if the network link is completely saturated.Very large layer 3/4 attacks nearly always originate from a number of sources. These many sources each send attack traffic to a single Internet location creating a tidal wave that overwhelms a target’s resources. In this sense, the attack is distributed. The sources of attack traffic can be a group of individuals working together, a botnet of compromised PCs, a botnet of compromised servers, misconfigured DNS resolvers or even home Internet routers with weak passwords.Because an attacker launching a layer 3/4 attack doesn’t care about receiving a response to the requests they send, the packets that make up the attack do not have to be accurate or correctly formatted. Attackers will regularly spoof all information in the attack packets, including the source IP, making it look as if the attack is coming from a virtually infinite number of sources. As packet data can be fully randomized, even techniques such as upstream IP filtering become virtually useless.With T4AS, all attack traffic that would otherwise directly hit your server infrastructure is automatically routed to T4AS’s global Anycast network of datacenters. Once attack traffic is shifted, we are able to leverage the significant global capacity of our network, as well as racks-upon-racks of server infrastructure, to absorb the floods of attack traffic at our network edge. This means that T4AS is able to prevent even a single packet of attack traffic from a traditional layer 3/4 attack from ever reaching a site protected by T4AS.

DNS amplification attacks

DNS amplification attacks, one form of DRDoS, are on the rise and have become the largest source of Layer 3/4 DDoS attacks. T4AS routinely mitigates attacks that exceed 100Gpbs, and recently protected a customer from an attack that exceeded 300Gbps—an attack the New York Times deemed the “largest publicly announced DDoS attack in the history of the Internet.”In a DNS reflection attack the attacker sends a request for a large DNS zone file—with the source IP address spoofed as the IP address of the intended victim—to a large number of open DNS resolvers. The resolvers then respond to the request, sending the large DNS zone answer to the IP address of the intended victim. The attackers’ requests themselves are only a fraction of the size of the responses, allowing the attacker to amplify their attack to many times the size of the bandwidth resources they themselves control.There are two criterion for an amplification attack: 1.) a query can be sent with a spoofed source address (e.g., via a protocol like ICMP or UDP that does not require a handshake); and 2.) the response to the query is significantly larger than the query itself. DNS is a core, ubiquitous Internet platform that meets these criteria, and therefore has become the largest source of amplification attacks.DNS queries are typically transmitted over UDP, meaning that, like ICMP queries used in a SMURF attack (described below), they are fire-and-forget. As a result, the source attribute of a DNS query can be spoofed and the receiver has no way of determining its veracity before responding. DNS is also capable of generating a much larger response than query.In other words, an attacker is able to achieve a 50x amplification over whatever traffic they can initiate to an open DNS resolver.T4AS’s “Anycast” network was specifically designed to stop massive layer 3/4 attacks. By using Anycast, we are able to announce the same IP addresses from each of our worldwide data centers. The network itself load balances requests to the nearest facility. Under normal circumstances this helps us ensure that your site’s visitors are automatically routed to the nearest data center on our network to ensure the best performance. When there is an attack, Anycast serves to effectively scatter and dilute attack traffic across our entire network of data centers. Because every data center announces the same IP address for any T4AS customer, traffic cannot be directed to any one location. Instead of the attack being many-to-one, it becomes many-to-many with no single point on the network a single point of failure.

SMURF attacks

One of the first amplification attacks was known as a SMURF attack. In a SMURF attack an attacker sends ICMP requests (i.e., ping requests) to a network’s broadcast address (i.e., X.X.X.255) announced from a router configured to relay ICMP to all devices behind the router. The attacker then spoofs the source of the ICMP request to be the IP address of the intended victim. Because ICMP does not include a handshake, the destination has no means of verifying if the source IP is legitimate. The router receives the request and passes it on to all the devices that sit behind it. Each of these devices then respond back to the ping. The attacker is able to amplify the attack by a multiple equal to the number of devices behind the router (i.e., if you have 5 devices behind the router then the attacker is able to amplify the attack 5x, see the diagram below).SMURF attacks are largely a thing of the past. For the most part, network operators have configured their routers to disable the relay of ICMP requests sent to a network’s broadcast address.

ACK attacks

In order to understand an ACK attack, one must delve into the world of TCP. When a TCP connection is established there is a handshake. The server initiating the TCP session first sends a SYN (for synchronize) request to the receiving server. The receiving server responds with an ACK (for acknowledge). After that handshake, data can be exchanged.In an ACK reflection attack, the attacker sends lots of SYN packets to servers with a spoofed source IP address pointing to the intended victim. The servers then respond to the victim’s IP with an ACK creating the attack.Like DNS reflection attacks, ACK attacks disguise the source of the attack making it appear to come from legitimate servers. However, unlike a DNS reflection attack, there is no amplification factor: the bandwidth from the ACKs is symmetrical to the bandwidth the attacker has to generate the SYNs. The T4AS network is configured to drop unmatched ACKs, which mitigates these types of attacks.

Layer 7 attacks

A new breed of attacks target Layer 7 of the OSI model, the “application” layer. These attacks focus on specific characteristics of web applications that create bottlenecks. For example, the so-called Slow Read attack sends packets slowly across multiple connections. Because Apache opens a new thread for each connection, and since connections are maintained as long as there is traffic being sent, an attacker can overwhelm a web server by exhausting its thread pool relatively quickly.T4AS has protections in place against many of these attacks, and in real world experiences we generally reduce HTTP attack traffic by 90%. For most attacks, and for most of our customers, this is enough to keep them online. However, the 10% of traffic that does get through traditional protections can still be overwhelming to customers with limited resources or in the face of very large attacks. In this case, T4AS offers a security setting called “I’m Under Attack” mode (IUAM).IUAM is a security level you can set for your site when you’re under attack. When IUAM is turned on, T4AS will add an additional layer of protections to stop malicious HTTP traffic from being passed to your server. While a number of additional checks are performed in the background, an interstitial page is presented to your site’s visitors for 5 seconds while the checks are completed. Think of it as a challenge where the tests are automatic and visitors never need to fill in a CAPTCHA.After verified as legitimate by the automated tests, visitors are able to browse your site unencumbered. Javascript and cookies are required for the tests, and to record the fact that the tests were correctly passed. The page which your visitors see when in IUAM can be fully customized to reflect your branding. I’m Under Attack mode does not block search engine crawlers or your existing T4AS whitelist.

Making DoS a thing of the past

As technology advances DoS attacks will only increase in complexity and magnitude. Traditional on-premise DoS solutions simply can not adapt to the wide range of new attack vectors, and are rendered completely ineffective for attacks that exceed an organization’s network capacity.The T4AS network is designed to mitigate and keep pace with the changing threat landscape. T4AS, as an operator of one of the largest global networks on the Internet, is able to leverage its aggregate network capacity across 24 points of presence, and is able to learn from attacks against any individual customer to protect all customers on our network.

Servers

Basic
This hosting configuration features upgradable RAM and is recommended for low-to medium-traffic websites, development and email hosting, or it can be used as a general-purpose web server.
Use Cases, 
Web ServerSmall Application ServerDNS ServerDev Server

Plus
This customizable server is ideal for medium-traffic websites and robust web applications, or for serving files and photos. You can easily upgrade your RAM and storage to accommodate more robust web applications, eCommerce, rich media streaming and small database apps.Use Cases, Web ServerMulti-Site Web ServerMid-Size Database ServerCluster ServerMid-Size Gaming ServerMid-Size eCommerce ServerFailover or DR Server

Pro
This customizable server from Dell is designed for high-traffic websites, including eCommerce environments and application servers. Its flexibility allows you to increase drive capacity or connect to storage area network (SAN) storage or solid state drives (SSDs).
Use Cases, Large Web ServerMulti-Site Web ServerDatabase ServerHigh-End Cluster ServerHigh-Transaction eCommerce ServerLarge Gaming ServerVirtualization Server (for reselling websites)Application Servers

Ultra
Ultra-performance, highly versatile dedicated server from Dell, with four powerful multi-threaded quad-core Intel Xeon processors.
Use Cases, High-Traffic WebsiteseCommerce EnvironmentsVirtualization PlatformsHigh-Performance DatabasesHigh-Traffic Application Servers

Benefits

Customize Your Solutions Take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of our Solutions Engineers to design a dedicated hosting solution that meets your specific business needs. Build off our baseline configurations to scale your RAM, memory, storage and RAID setups. Benefit from Additional Managed Hosting Services We deliver and support an arsenal of additional Managed Hosting environments – Agile Load Balancing™, Advanced Monitoring, Managed Firewalls, Relentless Intrusion Detection (RID), RapidEdge Content Delivery Network (CDN), Storage and Backup. Depend Upon Proven Reliability With our fully redundant FastFiber Network™, 16 state-of the-art datacenters across the US, UK and Canada and our portfolio of managed add-on services, your hosting solution will leverage the same infrastructure that many Fortune 1000 companies rely on every day. Count on Expert Support Our teams of infrastructure experts are available 24x7x365 to ensure that your managed dedicated hosting solution runs smoothly and securely. They are standing by to help with everything from designing the ideal solution to troubleshooting problems to performing unending, yet important, day-to-day tasks that are crucial to keeping your solution online and running at peak performance.

Overview

Built upon state-of-the-art Sandy Bridge chipsets from Intel®, our managed dedicated servers are designed to meet the most demanding requirements for performance, power, speed and reliability. Unprecedented flexibility, especially with our Dell™ PowerEdge™ Pro Servers and Ultimate Servers, enables you to configure a dedicate server solution to meet exacting business needs. And features like Advanced Monitoring, live backups, external storage, Private Cloud and advanced networking allow you to create a customized infrastructure that delivers the unfailing end-user experience that drives your online business. All of this dedicated hosting solution is supported for you by our in-house infrastructure experts who deploy, monitor, manage and troubleshoot every aspect of your hosting infrastructure – from our 10 Gbps FastFiber Network™ to your OS to the physical devices.

Dedicated Servers Features

State-of-the-Art Sandy Bridge Chipsets from Intel This next generation of Intel CPUs incorporates new architecture that realizes superior performance, speed, power and efficiency gains in your dedicated servers. It also delivers inherent and superior benefits around virtualization. Improved L3 memory cache replaces previous L2 memory cache. Hyperthreading offers two threads per core instead of one. For greater performance, Turbo Boost runs automatically and turns cores on and off as needed. If core utilization is low, the unneeded cores are deactivated and then reactivated as needed. Integrated graphics chip on the actual processor eliminates the need for a video card, except in the most demanding graphical or data-driven environments. Best-of-Class Configurations These latest builds offer superior performance, reliability and flexibility. The LSI RAID controller with built-in battery backup unit translates into even greater flexibility and reliability, allowing you to mix and match SATA, SATA II, SAS and SSD drives on a single CPU. Dell™ PowerEdge™ Servers Our three most robust configurations – the Pro, the Ultra and the Apex– are based on purpose-built Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers to give you the power to accomplish more, improve efficiency, and ensure business continuity. State-of-the-Art Infrastructure Powered by our fully redundant FastFiber Network™, 16 datacenters across the US, UK and Canada, and our portfolio of managed add-on services, your hosting solution will leverage the same infrastructure that many Fortune 1000 companies rely on every day. SSAE 16, CSAE 3416, and ISAE 3402 Certified Our SSAE 16, CSAE 3416, and ISAE 3402 certification means we’re compliant with the most rigorous standards set for a service organization’s internal controls over financial reporting. FirstCall Promise™ FirstCall Promise™, means you have to make only one call to us to be certain that we’ll start working on your issue immediately. If there’s a problem with your infrastructure, our team of Level II and Level III system administrators will get to work on it right away.

Hosting

web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providingInternet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation, also known as Housing in Latin America or France.The scope of web hosting services varies greatly. The most basic is web page and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploadedvia File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface. The files are usually delivered to the Web “as is” or with minimal processing.[1] ManyInternet service providers (ISPs) offer this service free to subscribers. Individuals and organizations may also obtain Web page hosting from alternative service providers. Personal web site hosting is typically free, advertisement-sponsored, or inexpensive. Business web site hosting often has a higher expense.Single page hosting is generally sufficient for personal web pages. A complex site calls for a more comprehensive package that providesdatabase support and application development platforms (e.g. PHPJavaRuby on RailsColdFusion, or ASP.NET). These facilities allow customers to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. Also, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is typically used for e-commerce.The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts, as well as other modules and service applications like e-mail. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce), which are commonly used by larger companies that outsource network infrastructure.