Massive Snowstorm Heads Towards the East Coast : Is Your DNS Managed?

A massive snowstorm has begun to hit the east coast and some cities are expected to get upwards of 2 feet of snow. Just like anything, you don’t really realize how much you rely on certain things until they no longer work – like electricity, cell service, or even your heat! (What do you mean I can’t heat up my frozen burrito in the microwave?! Oh and we all know how annoying it is when the power is out and we still try to flip the light switch when we walk into a room. doh.)

When such a massive storm is predicted to hit, everyone usually runs out and buys lots of water and non-perishable foods to keep them fed and comfortable during what could be a long time without power.  So, while you are busy doing things like that, why would you ever want to worry about the redundancy of your website and if it will “weather the storm”? (pun intended) Like electricity and heat, a website managed DNS is something that people typically don’t think twice about until there is a problem with it.

Managed DNS should be the last of your worries. The experts at No-IP are constantly monitoring and updating our network to ensure that our users never have to suffer any downtime, whether it is caused by mother nature, errors caused by changes to network configurations, hardware faults, or even wiring issues – if your domains managed DNS is configured right, your website will be up, 100% guaranteed.

Now get out there and build a snowman or something :)

Check out these helpful Managed DNS articles too:

Is Your DNS Diversified?
Why you Shouldn’t Wait For an Outage to Think about Managed DNS
What Is DNS? 

15 Million Dynamic DNS and Managed DNS Users

15 million usersWe are proud to announce that just this morning we hit 15 million users of our free dynamic DNS and managed DNS! We are the industry leaders in free dynamic DNS and one of the very few left. We pride ourselves in our company culture and our amazing and awesome support, when you call us, we answer!

Since 1999, our users have been spreading the word about No-IP and our awesome services that we offer. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for all of you, so thank you! Thank you for choosing No-IP as your dynamic DNS and managed DNS provider!

 

CES 2013 Cool Product Wrap-up

We know… CES is SO last week, but we are excited to share some of the sweet stuff that our Business Development team saw there!

CES was a great experience.  Not only did we get to meet face to face with many of our partners and users it was a great opportunity to see what companies are really trying to get out there and meet the people.  This is a quick list of some of the more notable exhibitors that we visited:

Most Innovative
iPhone Multimeter (iDVM)
Redfish Instruments 

A digital Multimeter that communicates with your iPhone, allowing you to measure, record and share your test results.  Currently no Android version available, but I’m sure that is right around the corner.

Most Useful
Computer Eyewear (Gunnars)
Gunnar Technology Eyewear

Aside from improving your ‘cool’ factor with your co-workers these innovative glasses make an immediate and dramatic difference.  Who would have guessed that staring at a computer screen for 10 hours a day isn’t great for your eyes?  It is one thing to read that in a report from the Vision Council, but it is something entirely different to experience it for yourself.  From the moment I put the demo pair on, I felt this tension on my forehead disappear.  I flipped them up and it was back, put them back on and it was gone.  There is a very interesting description of the principals at work at thevisioncouncil.org, but you really something you need to experience yourself.  The first thing I did upon my return from CES was to order a pair – essential gear for everyone who stares at a screen all day.  Every computer should come with a pair included.

Most Unchanged
Ethernet Over Power

Taking the idea of the connected home to the next level, Ethernet Over Power essentially turns any wires in your house (power, phone, cable, etc.) into an ethernet cord, instantly giving you wired internet access to your entire home.  I was blown away when I first learned about this technology 12 years ago, but what surprises me today is that 1) the technology hasn’t caught on and 2) the technology doesn’t seem to be any further along than was over a decade ago.  Perhaps one is the symptom of the other, or maybe we just don’t need MORE wired connections in our homes.  Whatever the case may be this is an interesting technology that seems to be looking for its niche.

Most Real Estate
iPhone Cases

There were literally ACRES of iPhone cases: blinged out, leather bound, protective, waterproof, shock proof, bullet proof.  If you can put your IPhone in it, it was there at CES.  Two notables… Head Case offers a bottle opener case along with an app that counts how many bottles you have opened (and calls you a cab when you have hit your limit).  PureGear was also a standout with the way they have struck a great balance between design and phone protection – attractive, slim cases that are tough where they need to be.

Most Timely
Brand Agnostic (nearly) Home Device Controller

The MiCasaVerde smart home gateway is Dynamite!  It makes it possible to integrate and control over 700 Z-Wave protocol devices from different manufacturers.  They are also going to be adding Zigbee & X10 protocols soon.  The gateway handles the intra-device communication, and their innovative software allows you to thread and weave the inputs and outputs from your different devices into complete ‘Scenes’ (i.e. when my front door opens turn on my entry lights, open my blinds and change my thermostat).

 Routers

Of course, I’ve always got my eye out innovative, small routers and the show did not disappoint.  The power that can be packed into ever smaller devices is amazing.  The WR702N from TP-Link was quite impressive and their newest micro-router, the TP-Link is the Halo TL-WR706N packed a big punch.  Also, the Premiertek AP2403 was a show stopper with a footprint that is smaller than a business card and a profile just big enough to plug in an RJ45.

All in all, No-IP had a blast at CES. Did you attend CES? What were your favorite new product releases?

 

[TIPS] Are Email Forwards The Same As Email Aliases?

We recently had a user ask us if an email forward is the same as an email alias, so are they? Well no, but they are similar.

email forwards and aliases

An email alias goes to another email address that is in the same domain.

An example of this would be emails that are sent to yourname@example.com, could also go to yourname-something@example.com. You could give an email like this out if you want to easily filter email, filter email lists you have signed up for, or other purposes.

yourname-something@example.com is an alias of yourname@example.com

An email forward is when you setup email from one domain to forward to another domain. So, if you have a Gmail, Yahoo, or other free mail account, you could have those emails forwarded to your work email, or an email on a domain you own. This would essentially consolidate all of your email accounts into one, eliminating the need to check numerous accounts a day.

yourname@gmail.com could forward to yourname@yourdomain.com

We offer both services with our POP3/IMAP service. Starting at only $9.95 a year, you can easily setup email for your very own domain name.

Do you have email aliases or forwards setup? How do you use them? Do you find them helpful? Let us know in the comments and share this if you enjoyed it.

The Cloud: Don’t Put All Your Internet Eggs in One Basket

We are a connected society, email, cloud, photo sites, social media, everything we do seems to be on the internet these days. So, what happens when all of your important data is online in the “cloud” and one of those services goes down? I myself, rely heavily on Google. Google Docs, Gmail, Youtube, Picasa, Blogger, etc, if something were to happen to my account, say someone hacked into it and sent a bunch of spam emails or something, they could easily shut down access to all of my accounts, in one swoop.

What can you do to safeguard yourself and your accounts against this though?

1. Backup your important online data once a week. If it’s important to you, back it up! Considering installing a NAS storage device on your home network for easy backups, wirelessly. Having two copies is even better in case something happens to the first copy.

2. Make sure your passwords and security questions are strong.

3. Diversify your cloud solution. If you rely heavily on one solution and it goes down, your kind of screwed. Be sure to note who your provider is using for backups too, most rely on a major provider that seems to have issues from time to time…

4. Backup your emails. You can back them up using Thunderbird, iMail, or any other email application.

5. Finally, test your backups by trying to restore a file. This will let you know how easy (or hard) it will be to recover a file. It will also ensure that you have everything set up properly.

Have you ever lost important documents or accounts online? What did you do to resolve the situation? Do you currently have a data backup solution? What is it? Leave your comments below and as always, be sure to share this if you liked it!