Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing


Cloud Computing is shaping how we live and work today. Like it or not, it has become an integral part of our lives. Companies and businesses of all shapes and sizes are now turning to cloud Computing. But nothing is perfect and Cloud Computing is no exception. While it is vastly beneficial, it also has some risks and concerns that should not be overlooked. So in this section, let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud computing in detail.

Advantages of Cloud Computing


Cloud computing is an emerging technology that almost every company switched to from on-premise technologies. Whether it is public, private or hybrid, Cloud computing has become an essential factor for the companies to rise up to the competition. Let us find out why Cloud is so much preferred over the on-premise technologies.

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◈ Cost efficiency – The biggest reason behind shifting to cloud computing is that it takes considerably lesser cost than an on-premise technology. Now the companies need not store the data in disks anymore as the Cloud offers enormous storage space, saving money and resources of the companies.

◈ High Speed – Cloud computing lets you deploy the service quickly in fewer clicks. This quick deployment lets you get the resources required for your system within fewer minutes.

◈ Excellent accessibility – Storing the information in cloud allows you to access it anywhere and anytime regardless of the machine making it highly accessible and flexible technology of present times.

◈ Back-up and restore data – Once the data is stored in Cloud, it is easier to get the back-up and recovery of that, which is quite a time taking process on-premise.

◈ Manageability – Cloud computing eliminates the need for IT infrastructure updates and maintenance since the service provider ensures timely, guaranteed and seamless delivery of your services and also takes care of all the maintenance and management of your IT services according to the service level agreement (SLA).

◈ Sporadic Batch processing – Cloud computing lets you add or subtract resources and services according to your needs. So, if the workload is not 24/7, you need not worry about the resources and services getting wasted and you won’t end up stuck with unused services.

◈ Strategic edge – Cloud computing provides your company a competitive edge over the competitors when it comes to accessing the latest and mission critical applications whenever you need them without having to invest your time and money on installations. It lets you focus on keeping up with the business competition by offering access to most trending and in demand applications and doing all the manual work of installing and maintaining the applications for you.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing


Every technology has positive and negative aspects that are highly important to discuss before implementing it. Aforementioned points highlight the benefits of using cloud technology and following discussion will outline the potential cons of Cloud Computing.

◈ Vulnerability to attacks – Storing data in cloud may pose serious challenge of information theft since in cloud every data of your company is online. Security breach is something that even the best organizations have suffered from and it’s a potential risk in cloud as well. Though advanced security measures are deployed on cloud, still storing a confidential data in cloud can be a risky affair.

◈ Network connectivity dependency – Cloud computing is entirely dependent on the internet. This direct tie up with internet means that you need a reliable and consistent internet service as well as a good connection speed and bandwidth for your business to reap the benefits of cloud computing.

◈ Downtime – Downtime is considered as one of the biggest potential downside of using Cloud computing. Your cloud providers may sometimes face technical outages which can happen due to various reasons such as loss of power, low internet connectivity, data centres going out of service for maintenance etc. This can lead to a temporary downtime in your cloud services.

◈ Vendor lock in – When in need to migrate from one cloud platform to another, your company might face some serious challenges because of the differences between vendor platforms. Hosting and running the applications of your current cloud platform on some other platform may cause support issues, configuration complexities and additional expenses. Your data might also be left vulnerable to security attacks due to compromises that might have been made during migrations.

◈ Limited control – Cloud customers may face limited control over their deployments. The cloud services run on remote servers which are completely owned and managed by the service providers, which makes it hard for the companies to have the level of control that they would want over their back-end infrastructure.

Monday, 22 April 2019

In address bar of a browser, have you noticed either http:// or https:// at the time of browsing a website? If neither of these are present then most likely, it’s http:// Let’s find out the difference…

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In short, both of these are protocols using which the information of a particular website is exchanged between Web Server and Web Browser. But what’s difference between these two? Well, extra s is present in https and that makes it secure! What a difference A very short and concise difference between http and https is that https is much more secure compared to http.

Let us dig a little more.

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP is a protocol using which hypertext is transferred over the Web. Due to its simplicity, http has been the most widely used protocol for data transfer over the Web but the data (i.e. hypertext) exchanged using http isn’t as secure as we would like it to be. In fact, hyper-text exchanged using http goes as plain text i.e. anyone between the browser and server can read it relatively easy if one intercepts this exchange of data. But why do we need this security over the Web. Think of ‘Online shopping’ at Amazon or Flipkart. You might have noticed that as soon as we click on the Check-out on these online shopping portals, the address bar gets changed to use https. This is done so that the subsequent data transfer (i.e. financial transaction etc.) is made secure. And that’s why https was introduced so that a secure session is setup first between Server and Browser. In fact, cryptographic protocols such as SSL and/or TLS turn http into https i.e. https = http + cryptographic protocols. Also, to achieve this security in https, Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is used because public keys can be used by several Web Browsers while private key can be used by the Web Server of that particular website. The distribution of these public keys is done via Certificates which are maintained by the Browser. You can check these certificates in your Browser settings. We’ll detail out this setting up secure session procedure in another post.

Also, another syntactic difference between http and htpps is that http uses default port 80 while https uses default port 443. But it should be noted that this security in https is achieved at the cost of processing time because Web Server and Web Browser needs to exchange encryption keys using Certificates before actual data can be transferred. Basically, setting up of a secure session is done before the actual hypertext exchange between server and browser.

Differences between HTTP and HTTPS


◈ In HTTP, URL begins with “http://” whereas URL starts with “https://”

◈ HTTP uses port number 80 for communication and HTTPS uses 443

◈ HTTP is considered to be unsecure and HTTPS is secure

◈ HTTP Works at Application Layer and HTTPS works at Transport Layer

◈ In HTTP, Encryption is absent and Encryption is present in HTTPS as discussed above

◈ HTTP does not require any certificates and HTTPS needs SSL Certificates

Friday, 19 April 2019

Web builders make the process of getting a website online easy. They remove the need for any level of technical knowledge. Most use graphical interfaces which mean you can drag and drop the elements of your website into place, and you don’t have to worry about installing, configuring or coding. This is appealing, but there is another option – using web hosting and setting your website up manually.

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Web hosting has many advantages over a web builder. Here are a few:

Flexibility


Think of this analogy: The easiest way to choose clothes in a store is to select the mannequin which you think is the best dressed, and then pick those exact items from the shelves. This will give you a stylish outfit and you’ll know that all of the pieces fit together. But unless you are the same size as a mannequin – and the same proportions – the clothes will not look the same on you as they do in the store. Plus there might be other options that suit you better – different colors or different styles. And you might be better buying a skirt in one store and a top in another.

The same applies when you are building a website. The web builder option is quick and easy. You will get a website that looks good and that functions well. But you will have less options and less control.

Setting up web hosting and then creating your website from there means you are in complete control. You can create a design without the restrictions of the web builder’s templates. Plus you can add as many pages and functions to your website as you need.

Transferability


When you use a web builder you are often locked in. That means you can’t lift your website – design, graphics, content etc. – and transfer it somewhere else.

When you build a website manually it is much easier to transfer your site between hosts. Not only do you own the design, but you are in control of it as well.

The Time Saving Myth


Many people believe that building a website using a web builder is the quickest option. This is only partially true.

In the short-term you will get your website online quicker because the learning curve is not as steep. But you will still have to learn how to use the web builder, which will take some time. Issues arise when you take a longer-term approach to this. Each web builder is different so unless you stay with the same provider forever, you will have to learn a new system if you decide to move. This is another downside of the non-transferable nature of a web builder – you cannot transfer the skills you learn to other systems.

Building your website manually is different. To build your website you will probably use a content management system like WordPress or Joomla, or one of the popular shopping cart platforms if you run an online store. The skills you learn on these platforms will transfer wherever your website is hosted. So, in the long run, you will save time.

The other factor that explodes the time myth in relation to web builders is content. The design and structure of your website is important to making it a success, but the most important part is the content. This includes the copy, the images, and the graphics.

When it comes to content it doesn’t matter what platform you use, it still takes time to create. Web builders can speed up the design part, but they cannot help you create quality content. You will either have to spend the time creating the content yourself, or you’ll need to pay someone to do it for you.

So the argument of whether to use a web builder or web hosting comes down to the same sort of decision you make when you go shopping: Do you take the easy but inflexible option and buy an outfit put together by someone else; or do you spend a bit more time choosing something that is right for you?

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Prerequisites


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

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The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol that uses TCP as an underlying transport and typically runs on port 80. HTTP is a stateless protocol i.e. server maintains no information about past client requests.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

File Transfer Protocol(FTP) is an application layer protocol which moves files between local and remote file systems. It runs on the top of TCP, like HTTP. To transfer a file, 2 TCP connections are used by FTP in parallel: control connection and data connection.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

Email is emerging as the one of the most valuable service in internet today. Most of the internet systems use SMTP as a method to transfer mail from one user to another. SMTP is a push protocol and is used to send the mail whereas POP (post office protocol) or IMAP (internet message access protocol) are used to retrieve those mails at the receiver’s side.

HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, FTP for File Transfer Protocol, while SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. All the three are used to transfer information over a computer network, and are an integral part of today’s internet.

Why do we need three Protocols for transferring files?


We need the three protocols as they all serve different purposes. These are HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.

1. HTTP is the backbone of World Wide Web (WWW). It defines the format of messages through which Web Browsers (like Firefox, Chrome) and Web Servers communicate, whilst also defining how a web browser should respond to a particular web browser request.

2. FTP is the underlying protocol that is used to, as the name suggests, transfer files over a communication network. It establishes two TCP connections, “Control connection” to authenticate the user, and data connection to transfer the files.

3. SMTP is what is used by Email servers all over the globe to communicate with each other, so that the assignment you submitted at 11:59 pm reaches your professor’s inbox within the deadline.

How do their implementations differ?


All the three are Application Layer Protocols, using TCP as the underlying Transport layer protocol. But the way they use it, and are implemented in general, is vastly different. The below table briefly differentiates between them.

PARAMETER HTTP  FTP   SMTP 
Port number 80  20 and 21  25 
Type of band transfer In-band  Out-of-band  In-band 
State Stateless  Maintains state  -  
Number of TCP connections 2 (Data Connection and Control Connection) 
Type of TCP connection Can use both Persistent and Non-persistent  Persistent for
Control connection.
Non-persistent for
Data Connection 
Persistent
Type of Protocol Pull Protocol (Mainly)  Push Protocol (Primarily) 
Type of Transfer Transfer files between Web server and Web client  Transfer directly between computers  Transfers mails via Mail Servers 

◈ HTTP is stateless. A Stateless protocol implies that the HTTP Web Server does not maintains which request had originated from which user. Hence, to give a customized service to the user, HTTP uses Cookies.

◈ FTP is Out-of-band, as it uses a separate channel to send data (Data connection), as to send control information (Control connection).

◈ As SMTP is much older that HTTP, it restricts all its messages to be in 7-bit ASCII format. Whereas HTTP has no such restriction.

◈ HTTP encapsulates each file in a different HTTP message. Whereas, SMTP places all the contents of a mail in a single message.

Monday, 15 April 2019

New computer users often confuse domain names with universal resource locators, or URLs, and Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses. This confusion is understandable. It is worth learning the differences between them because these terms are ubiquitous. It is also helpful to be able to use terms correctly when communicating to technicians or other people within a professional organization.

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This naming convention is analogous to a physical address system. People find web pages in a manner similar to the way that they use maps to find physical locations. If the Internet is like a phone book, and a web page is like a physical building, the URL would be the precise street address of that building. The IP address would be like the car that travels to its destination. There are also other useful metaphors for understanding this relationship.

Domain Names and URLs


The universal resource locator, or URL, is an entire set of directions, and it contains extremely detailed information. The domain name is one of the pieces inside of a URL. It is also the most easily recognized part of the entire address. When computer users type a web address directly into the field at the top of their browser window, it initiates a process of locating the page requested. To do so, the instructions contained inside the URL, including the domain name, must correctly point to that location. The IP address is a numerical code that makes this possible.

Domain Names and IP Addresses


An Internet Protocol, or IP, address is different than a domain name. The IP address is an actual set of numerical instructions. It communicates exact information about the address in a way that is useful to the computer but makes no sense to humans. The domain name functions as a link to the IP address. Links do not contain actual information, but they do point to the place where the IP address information resides. It is convenient to think of IP addresses as the actual code and the domain name as a nickname for that code. A typical IP address looks like a string of numbers. It could be 232.17.43.22, for example. However, humans cannot understand or use that code. To summarize, the domain name is a part of the URL, which points to the IP address.

What's in a Domain Name?


Domain names function on the Internet in a manner similar to a physical address in the physical world. Each part of the domain name provides specific information. These pieces of information enable web browsers to locate the web page. The naming system is closely regulated in order to prevent confusion or duplicate addresses. As demand increased exponentially, a new Internet Protocol version, or IPv6, was created to expand the amount of domain names available.

How do Domains Work?


Domain names work because they provide computer users with a short name that is easy to remember. Users enter web addresses into the URL field at the top of their browser's page from left to right. The domain name itself is read from right to left according to the naming hierarchy discussed below. This link provides directions to the network, which ultimately results in a successful page load at the client end of the transaction.

The common fictitious domain name, www.example.com, is comprised of three essential parts:

◈ .com - This is the top-level domain.
◈ .example. - This is a sub-domain.
◈ www. - This is a sub-domain prefix for the World Wide Web. The original use of this prefix was partly accidental, and pronunciation difficulties raised interest in creating viable alternatives.

Many servers use a three-letter naming convention for top-level domains, and they are separated from sub-domains by a dot. The significance of the top-level domain is the most important for new users to grasp. It identifies the highest part of the naming system used on the Internet. This naming system was originally created to identify countries and organizations as well as categories.

The most common categories are easily recognized by new computer users, and they include:

◈ .com
◈ .org
◈ .edu
◈ .net
◈ .mil

A significant expansion of the top-level domains occurred, and they now include:

◈ .biz
◈ .museum
◈ .info
◈ .name

Country codes are also easily recognizable to new users because the abbreviations are the same ones used for other purposes. The organization of the domain name hierarchy and the ability to reserve them for only one purpose has already undergone several modifications. Discussions and debates concerning the availability and affordability of domain names can be expected to continue.

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Sub-domains are organized to the left of the top-level domain, and this is the part of the domain system that is most recognizable to humans. It is common to see several levels of sub-domains, and some countries developed specific conventions of organization to communicate information within their internal naming systems.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and Domain name are the common terms having relevance with internet or web addresses and are used interchangeably sometimes. Although these terms are absolutely dissimilar.

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The major difference between URL and domain name is that URL is a string that provides the information location or complete internet address of a webpage whereas domain name is a part of URL which is a more human-friendly form of an IP address.

Comparison Chart


BASIS FOR COMPARISON URL  DOMAIN NAME 
Basics URL is a full web address used to locate a webpage. Domain name is the translated and simpler form of a computers IP address (Logical address).
Relation Complete web address containing domain name also.  Part of URL defines an organization or entity. 
Subdivisions  Method, host name (domain name), port and path.  Based on sub domains (top level, intermediate level, low level) 
Example http://www.want2host.com/2019/04/what-is-bulletproof-hosting-and-how-it.html want2host.com

Definition of URL

When you want to access a website, you just write a web address in a web browser. Each web page is uniquely identified by a unique name (identifier) known as URL (Uniform Resource Locator). To extract the desired information the browser parses the URL and utilizes it to obtain a copy of the requested page. As the URL format depends on the scheme, the browser starts with extracting the scheme specification followed by determining the rest of the URL with the help of scheme.

URL contains full specification which includes a method, host name, port and path.

◈ The method specifies the protocol used to retrieve the document, for example, http, https, ftp.
◈ Host name string specifies the domain name or IP address of the computer where information is located, or server for the information operates.
◈ Port is an optional protocol number needed only if the popular port (80) is not used.
◈ The path is the file path in server more commonly the location of the file.

Definition of Domain Name


The domain name was invented to simplify the IP address and make it more human convenient and friendly. An IP address is a logical address (numerical label) assigned to every computer connected to a computer network. It basically identifies the location of the computer on the internet and also helps in routing the information. For example, 166.58.48.34 is an IP address. These are not so convenient to remember and hard to roll off your tongue.

The Domain Name System (DNS) converts a domain name into its specific IP address that computer want to communicate. When a user enters your domain name into a web browser, the browser uses your domain name to search and identify the correct IP address and as a result, passes the website associated with that IP address.

DNS has two distinct aspects; abstract and concrete. Abstract specifies the name syntax and rules for the names assigning authority. Concrete defines the implementation of the distributed computing system which effectively maps names to the addresses.

Domain also contains domain suffixes isolated by a delimiter character. Individual sections in a domain may represent sits or groups, but these sections are known as labels. Some suffix of a label in a domain name is also known as a domain. For example, want2host.com, here the lowest level of the domain is want2host.com, and the top-level domain is com.

Note that the domain name database is distributed among different machine (servers) that communicates through TCP/IP protocols rather containing it in a single machine.

Key Differences Between URL and Domain Name


1. The URL is the complete internet address used to locate a requested page and has a domain as its part. Whereas, Domain name is the simpler form of technical IP address which defines an organization or entity.

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2. Domain name is partitioned into levels. The labels (sub-domain, domain suffix)are separated by delimiter character and follows a hierarchical naming system. On the other hand, URL provides more information than a domain name, and its partitions are method, host name (domain name), port, path, etc.

Friday, 12 April 2019

What is Bulletproof Hosting


Bulletproof hosting is a service provided by some domain hosting or web hosting firms that allows their customer considerable leniency in the kinds of material they may upload and distribute. This leniency has been taken advantage of by spammers and providers of online gambling or illegal pornography.

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Bulletproof hosting providers have a high rate of turnover, as many hosting providers choose to shut down, whether forcibly or voluntarily, if their alternative would be to compromise client freedom (as this is their main selling point)

The World Wide Web presents itself as a useful source of information for people around the globe. However, if we look at the other side of the coin, it is full of cyber threats. There resides malware in the form of viruses, spyware, spamming content and the list goes on…We all know that! But have you ever thought from where and how these threats come into the web and attack online users? The technology behind this is bulletproof hosting which is also known as bulk-friendly hosting.

So what is Bulletproof Web Hosting Service?


Well, before we delve deeper into this technology, let me give you a brief about how a regular hosting service works. The majority of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have standard Terms and Services under which they do not allow a certain type of online materials to be uploaded or broadcasted online. This is done in order to minimize the risk of their IP subnet being suspended or blocked by anti-spam filters.

However, when it comes to a bulletproof hosting service, there is considerable leniency in terms of the type of material which is uploaded and distributed. This is where spammers, hackers, and online attackers take the advantage. Therefore, bypassing the laws, some domain hosting firms allow activities like spamming, phishing, online gambling, illegal pornography, etc.

How to Stop Bulletproof sites Attack You?


◈ Using a Web proxy is an effective way to only allow connections that are approved and block the ones with newly registered domains (such domains are a strong indication of a bulletproof hosting attack).

◈ Malware makes use of Domain Name Server (DNS) to trace IP addresses so as to connect to websites hosted at bulletproof hosts. Therefore, DNS monitoring techniques should be used to identify systems that are connected to a malicious website and can be blocked.

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