Friday, 26 April 2019

1. What is DNS propagation?


When you update the nameservers for a domain, it may take up to 24-48 hours for the change to take effect. This period is called DNS propagation.

In other words, it is a period of time ISP (Internet service provider) nodes across the world take to update their caches with the new DNS information of your domain.

Due to DNS caches of different levels, after the nameservers change, some of your visitors might still be directed to your old server for some time, whereas others can see the website from the new server shortly after the change.

2. Why does it take up to 72 hours?


Let’s imagine you live in Bari, Italy, and you just have changed the nameservers for your domain that is hosted in Phoenix, USA.

When you open your domain in a web browser, your request is not going to the hosting server directly, it has to pass through several ISP nodes first. So your computer starts by checking local DNS cache, then the request is sent to your local Bari ISP. From there, the request goes to the upstream provider in Rome, Italy, then connects to the ISP in Hamburg, Germany. After that, the request is sent to the first receiving point in the USA – New York, NY and ultimately, to the ISP in Phoenix, AZ. Here is an example of the request trace – the number of ISP nodes and their location will vary in each particular case:

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Each of the ISP nodes checks its own cache to see if it contains the DNS information of the domain. If it is not there, it looks it up and saves it in order to speed up the loading next time and to reduce the traffic. 

That is why the new nameservers will not propagate immediately – ISPs have different cache refreshing intervals, so some of them will still have the old DNS information in the memory. 

NOTE: to make sure it is not your computer cache that has the outdated information, we recommend clearing the cache of your browser and flushing the DNS cache after the DNS change.

3. What are the ways to pass DNS propagation?


There are three basic methods that will allow you to pass the DNS propagation. 
  
If you HAVE NOT changed the nameservers and do not wish them to propagate for so long, there is a way to reduce the propagation time. You need to do two simple things: 

1. Point your domain to the destination IP address by means of A record on the side of the current DNS provider, setting the minimal TTL ('Time to live' – propagation time) for this record, for instance, to 300 seconds (5 minutes).

2. Once A record has been updated, wait up to 30 minutes and change the nameservers for your domain. 

As a result, your domain will be resolved to your previous host from the places where the propagation has not been completed yet and to a new one – from the places where it has already passed. In such a way, you may avoid a downtime as both hosts will show you the same result – your new website. 

If you HAVE already changed the nameservers, Google public DNS tools may help you to see your website online. Here are the steps to be followed: 

1. Set Google Public DNS servers following these instructions
2. Once done, clear your browser's cache and flush your local DNS cache. 
3. In addition, you can use Google Flush Cache tool and flush NS and A record for your domain name: 

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DNS Propagation, Web Hosting, Hosting Learning, Hosting Guides, Web Hosting Reviews

If you still get an outdated information on your website, you may edit the 'hosts' file on your computer, which will force the domain to resolve to the new IP address. Once the records are added, you will be able to check your website by typing its name in the browser. The major disadvantage of this method is that only you will be able to work on your website in the new location, other users might still see and use your website working from the old server. 

NOTE: make sure to remove the entries added to 'hosts' file 48 hours later when the nameservers are fully propagated. 

It is also possible to check your website content during the DNS propagation with the help of proxy services that will allow you to access websites anonymously. 

4. How to check if DNS propagation has completed for you?


There is no definitive way to tell when propagation is complete for you as it depends on three factors: TTL, your ISP and geographical location. However, you may use online DNS checkers in order to track if the DNS record information propagated against multiple nameservers located in different parts of the world. 

DNS Checker provides a free DNS lookup service for checking domain DNS records against a randomly selected list of DNS servers in different corners of the world. As a result, you will get DNS data collected from all locations confirming whether a website is completely propagated worldwide or not. 

Here is the list of the most popular DNS checkers:

App Synthetic Monitor
G Suite Toolbox

There is another way to check if the DNS propagation is completed for you. You need to run one of the following commands from your PC, laptop or other device: 

 nslookup
 traceroute
 ping

What we need to know from the results is the IP address your domain is resolved to. If it's the IP address of the new server, probably, the DNS propagation is complete for you. If the IP address belongs to the old server, you need to wait for the DNS propagation to complete. 

Below you can find the examples how to find this IP address.

If you are a Windows OS user, follow these steps: 

1. Click on the Start button.
2. Click All Programs > Accessories > right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator:

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3. In the window that opens, type one of the following commands and hit Enter: 

nslookup yourdomain.com 

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ping yourdomain.com

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tracert yourdomain.com 

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NOTE: yourdomain.com should be replaced with your actual domain name in question. 

If you are a Mac OS user: 

1. Open the Applications folder and click to open the Utilities folder. 
2. Find Terminal.app and open it: 

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3. Type one of the following commands: 

nslookup yourdomain.com

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ping yourdomain.com 

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traceroute -I -e yourdomain.com 

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NOTE: yourdomain.com should be replaced with your actual domain name. 

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Reseller Hosting, Affiliate Hosting, Web Hosting, Web Hosting Reviews

There are two ways to make money with established web hosting companies, namely Reseller Hosting and Affiliate Hosting. Today we are going to compare them both and find out which of the two has more benefits and profits.

Reseller Hosting Affiliate Hosting 
You resell the space you rented from another company. You refer another company to people you many know.
You are selling your parent company’s resources in your company’s name.  You are simply referring people to the main company for a profit. 
You have to manage your company and customers.  You are just letting people enter the main company through your door.
You can provide any amount of plans or create any different packages for your customer.  You only advertise the plans and packages of your main company to others. 
You can provide reseller web hosting and also join any other service you want to provide. For e.g. you can also sell domain names with websites.  You can individually advertise for companies offering individual services. 
You will have your own brand and your own customers.  You will have some people you know and you will make them the main company’s customers. 
you will have your own brand and your own customers.  You cannot change any options offered by the main company. 
You have to provide good customer support for your customers.  your main company will take care of the customers. 
You can promote your company at any amount you like.  You have to promote your main company extensively to get a reasonable profit. 
Advertisement may be done wherever necessary for reseller hosting.  Very excessive advertisements like buttons, banners, ads, pictures, links, posts and websites are used to attract people in affiliate hosting. 
Reseller hosting requires more work.  Affiliate hosting requires less work. 
You need skills and talents to maintain your own company in reseller hosting.  Affiliate hosting does not need any capital amount. 
Reseller hosting needs a startup capital.  You don’t need any skills or talents for affiliate marketing. 
Reseller hosting will popularize your brand name among the customer. Even if your main company shuts down, you will can still run your company and maintain your customers.  If your company shuts down, you have to find another company for affiliate marketing. 
You can start a reseller hosting business and gradually increase your business and become a direct web hosting service provider company.  You have to keep advertising your company and refer people for commissions. 

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.

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