Just Suffered an Earthquake? Make Sure Your DNS is Diversified.

As “earthquake on East Coast” and “earthquake” searches soar on Google, now is a great time to focus on the importance of having your DNS hosted in many geographically diverse locations. Companies should now be thinking about the “What-If?” scenarios.

What If:
Your DNS is only hosted in one location and mother nature decides to wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
Your website was down for an hour, a day, a week? What would this mean to your business?
Your companies email system just stopped working?

DNS is an essential part of the Internet.  If your web servers are only hosted in one location, and something happens, your entire website can be wiped out. Having DNS that is hosted in many geographically diverse locations means that even if the unthinkable happens, your customers will still be able to reach your site.

The location of DNS servers is important in ensuring 100% uptime. We deploy name servers across the globe at geographically unique datacenters using different tier 1 bandwidth providers to ensure a natural disaster or connectivity outage does not disrupt our robust DNS network. Check out No-IP Plus DNS for more information.

Have you or your business ever been affected by a DNS outage? Share your thoughts below!

[TIP] 6 Cool Ways College Students Can Use DNS

1. Research Faster and More Efficiently: Faster internet browsing for all of those last minute term papers. Sites hosted with reliable DNS will always be available when you need them most.

2. Get Better Grades: Forgot your term paper at home that’s due in 15 minutes? Don’t use the “dog ate my homework” excuse, log in to your computer from school, access your files and viola! Crisis averted.

3. Play Video Games With Your Friends From Home: Far away from all of your video game buddies from home? Wipe those tears away, because with DDNS you can run your own game server on your dynamic IP from your dorm room!

4. Be the Life of the Party: At a party with really lame music, but forgot your IPod? Be the hit of the party by accessing your entire music library on the go! (Just make sure you don’t play the YMCA.)

5. Sharing is Caring: Live in an apartment with multiple computers? Want to easily share files, music and movies? Create your own VPN server in your apartment or dorm.

6. Save Money: Food disappearing quicker than usual? Do you suspect that your roommate is secretly munching all of your Cheetos at 2am? Set up a security camera and catch the culprit red (er orange?) handed! Just make sure you keep the camera rated G by not installing them in a bathroom, bedroom, or other places where people expect privacy.

Other tips and ideas on ways college students can use DNS ? Add them below! And check out our website to learn about our awesome DNS products.

Internet Privacy May Soon be a Thing of the Past

Have you heard about H.R. 1981: The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011? If not, listen up, because this is a very important bill that is quietly making it’s way through approval as I type. With a name like that, who would possibly oppose, everyone wants to keep children safe. The only problem is that this act encompasses much more than child pornography, it encompasses everyone’s ENTIRE internet privacy.

Under this act, every ISP would be required to track everyone’s online activity including your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and  temporarily-assigned IP addresses, and save it for a minimum of 18 months. So basically, the government would be assuming that everyone is a criminal and they are just waiting for you to break the law. The equivalent of this bill is the government having someone follow you everywhere, everyday of you life and record it just in case one day you decide to rob a bank, or kill someone.  Could you imagine???

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s recently proposed to rename the act “Keep Every American’s Digital Data for Submission to the Federal Government Without a Warrant Act of 2011.”

Why rename it that? Well Rep. Lofgren’s new title explains it all, once the ISP has your entire online footprint saved, all it takes for that information to be subpoenaed is an inkling that you have done something wrong.  You don’t have to be under investigation for child pornography charges, simply being suspected is enough.

Which brings up another skeptical situation, what if you are undergoing a child custody battle, or a divorce, or anything?! Yup, your history can be subpenaed and you know how? No warrant is necessary, all they have to do is ASK.  No probable cause is necessary, nice.

This act has successfully made its way through the House Judiciary Committee and it’s next stop is a vote by the House. You can track the status of the act here.

What can you do? If you oppose this legislation, you can go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and fill out an easy form to contact your state representative.

So, do you agree or disagree with the legislation? Leave your comments below!

10 Tips for Choosing a Safe Password

Choosing a password is easy, choosing a password that is safe is a different story. Follow these 10 tips for choosing a safe password to safeguard all of your accounts from fraud.

1. Choose a password with mixed-case letters, numbers and symbols (example: !, $, #, %).
2. Choose a password that is NOT related to anything that has special meaning to you, ie: your pets name, birthday, address, family members names, etc.
3. Use a different password for every account that you have. This one is tough, I know, but it will definitely come in handy if one of your accounts get compromised. Multiple passwords will ensure that your other accounts remain safe.
4. Change your passwords frequently (every 3 months or so) and when you change your password, don’t choose a new one that is similar to the old one.
5. Don’t use a word that is found in the dictionary.
6. Make your password 8 characters or longer.
7. Use a virtual keyboard when entering passwords. A virtual keyboard won’t let a keylogger program capture your keystrokes.
8. Use a string of words.
9. Pick a word that you can type quickly and easily remember without having to look it up.
10. Make sure you can easily remember it! Yesterday, I changed my email password, and twenty minutes later I had already forgotten it. I had to go through 10 steps to recover my account (my recovery email was old and outdated, so that didn’t help me either). Not very fun. So, save yourself the headaches and use a password manager to securely store all of your passwords. Also, keep your account information up-to-date. So, if you do forget your password, it’s just a click away to a different email address.

What are your top tips for choosing a safe password? Add yours below!

DNS, What???

More often than not, when I tell people what the company that I work for does, they look at me with a blank stare and a trivial look on their face and say DNS, What… They still seem utterly confused after I try to explain what DNS is and how they are most likely using it everyday.  These people usually just pretend like they get it and walk away, but do they really get it and what’s so hard to “get”?

We have touched on what DNS is quite a few times, but we still get the inevitable comments on surveys and blog posts that people are still very confused.  One person actually compared DNS to buying a bottle of air, open it and there is nothing inside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

DNS redirects an IP address, to a static domain name.  So if you want to visit www.no-ip.com, you type the domain name into your browser, not the IP address.  If not for DNS, you would have to remember every IP address of every website! With over 300 million websites on the web, remembering every IP address would be utterly impossible, well unless maybe you’re Kim Peek: The Real Rain Man.

In addition, the transition to IPv6 will make remembering IP addresses even harder! IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long compared to 32 bits of Ipv4 addresses.

They look something like this: 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:8:1. That’s a lot if numbers to remember! (I can barely remember my phone number!)

So, next time someone asks you, WHAT the heck is DNS?! You can tell them that it is indeed more than just bottle air.  It makes visiting websites by a domain name, possible!

Have you ever had someone look at you confused when you mention DNS? Also, if you like this article, be sure to share it with your friends via Facebook and Twitter!