World IPv6 Day is June 8th, Are You Ready?

In an earlier post, we talked about the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 protocol.  This transition is a necessary one considering the pace that the internet has been growing at during the past 10 years.  When IPv4 was created, it was built to support 4 billion unique IP addresses, but with everyone (and their mom and grandma) owning a smart phone, iPad, computer or other internet ready device, (I read that even light bulbs will have an IP address in the future!) that is just simply not enough IP addresses.

IPv6 will support 2 to the 128th power or, wait for it…… approximately 340 undecillion addresses, UNDECILLION, really?! That’s a 1 followed by 36 zeroes. Hopefully, this will be enough IP addresses to hold us over for a few more years.

World IPv6 day, hosted by the Internet Society is a test flight day of IPv6 protocol. On June 8th, all participating organizations including Facebook, Google and Yahoo! will be hosting their content over IPv6 for 24 hours. The ultimate goal of the day is to motivate organizations to prepare for the transition to IPv6 as IPv4 is phased out.  Is your ISP ready for the transition to IPv6?

What do you have to do to make sure you are compliant? Nothing really, except stay current with operating system updates and maybe update the software on your router.

You can test your IPv6 compatibility here: or you can check out a cool diagram about IPv6 here.

Questions or Comments? Leave them below!

Got Game? How to Host Your Own Game Server with No-IP

For anyone who plays video games, you are aware of the advantages of running your own game server, (not to mention how cool it will make you among your friends) but you may not know how easy it actually is.  Hosting your own video game server isn’t as daunting of a task as it may sound.  Follow these simple instructions and get started today!

1. If you haven’t already, create and activate a No-IP account.
2. Add a Host to your account

Now you’re ready to fill in the details of your new hostname. Here are the steps to deal with the items on this screen:

3. Fill in the Hostname: box with a name of your choosing. It can be anything you like. If you choose a name that’s already in use, an error will be generated and you can then try a different hostname. Since hostnames are unique per domain, you can try using the same hostname and just select a different domain from the dropdown box below to see if that combination is available.

4. Select an available domain from the dropdown box. Note that certain domains are reserved for No-IP Enhanced customers only.

5. Choose the the Host Type. The default choice, DNS Host A, is usually the correct one. Do not choose any of the other host types unless you’re trying to solve a particular problem that a DNS A record won’t accommodate. If your ISP blocks Port 80 for example, and you’re trying to run a webserver or other service on port 80, then you can choose Port 80 Redirect (at that point you’ll be asked to specify the port to use for the redirection).

6. In the field marked IP Address: you should already see your current IP address. If you wish to set the IP address of the host to be somewhere other than your current location, you can enter that address now.

7. When you have filled in the information for your new hostname, simply click the “Create Host” button at the bottom of the page to save it.

8. Download the No-IP Dynamic Update Client. (If your ISP provides you with a static IP address, you can skip this step)

9. If you use a router to connect to the internet and/or have a firewall in place on your computer, you will need to make sure that it is configured to direct the appropriate traffic from the internet into the destination machine on your network. This is done using a router function called Port Forwarding. You can use any port or whatever is specified by the game software. Just be sure that the ports match at the firewall/router. You can visit PortForward.com for step-by-step guides on port forwarding for your specific router.

10. Next, verify that your router and firewall are setup correctly, you can visit our website at www.canyouseeme.org.

11. You’re Done! As long as the port is visible and your hostname resolves back to your network you should be ready to have your friends join you online to play your favorite video game!

It is important to note that depending on which game you are playing, it will either ask for the hostname and port separately, or it will just ask for the host. You may have to have your friends connect as host.domain.com:portnumber

If you run into trouble, be sure to check our Online Support Guides for helpful information, or leave your questions and comments below!

Options, Can Ya Dig it?

There are so many things that you can use Dig for! We are going to show you some of the options you can use to make your queries a little easier to digest.

+short
Pretty self-explanatory, by adding this to the end of a query, you will only receive the information that you asked for in your answer. So, if you want to know just the MX records of a domain, type the following query into your terminal

dig no-ip.com MX +short

or the NS records
dig no-ip.com NS +short

or just the IP address
dig no-ip.com +short

or the text records
dig no-ip.com TXT +short

+noall +answer or +noall +authority

+noall +answer or +noall +authority will help you get the answers you want, without making your answer as short as +short. You can use +noall +answer or +noall +authority
dig no-ip.com MX +noall +answer
or
dig no-ip.com MX +noall +authority
or  dig no-ip.com (whatever record you are looking for) +noall +answer / +noall +authority

+trace
+trace lists all of the servers the request goes to/through in order to get an answer. Without it, you will just get the answer.
dig google.com +trace

+nssearch
+nssearch will list all of the SOA (start of authority) records of a domain
dig google.com +nssearch

Want to know all of the options?

dig -h will give you the complete list!

Questions or comments? Leave them below!

Best Practices: The Top 4 Ways to Protect a Domain Name

1. Register Your Domain As Private: When you register your domain name you need to provide valid information that will appear in the Whois database. This is mandatory, but who wants the entire world to know their email address and phone number?  Private Registration sets up a proxy where your domain registrar will handle the annoying calls and spam email and forward you the good stuff.  We offer Private Registration for only $9.95 a year, that’s only 83 cents a month!  My privacy is worth 83 cents, is yours?

2.Register Your Domain Under Your Name When you first decide that you need a website for your company, you will probably hire a web developer.  The web developer often registers the domain name for the site as part of their services.  Sometimes, the web developer will register the site in there own name, which can lead to many problems.  If the site is not registered in your name, the person it is registered under has the ability to take down your entire site with the click of a button.  Also, if the site is registered to someone other than you, they will be the ones receiving notice that the domain is expiring, which brings me to point number three.

3. Renew Your Domain On Time The easiest way to combat this issue is to set up your domain to Auto Renew.  If you don’t want to set up Auto Renew, designate a person in your company that is soley in charge of the domains of your company (this way, you will have someone that you can easily blame when they aren’t renewed in time), or set up an ICal Reminder or some other sort of notification so you are aware when your domain is expiring.  If you let your renewal lapse, your domain name can be bought by someone else (your competitor) and it may potenitally be lost forever, unless you are willing to pay a hefty sum for it. According to The Huffington Post, the most expensive domain ever sold was Sex.com and it sold for the low, low cost of 13 million dollars. If your budget isn’t quite that large, don’t forget to renew on time.

4. Keep Your Contact Information Up To Date Point four builds on point three, remember to keep your contact information up to date with your registrar.  If your registrar is sending you expiration emails, but that email is no longer active, your domain registration could lapse unknowingly. You can check what email is on your domain by using Whois.

Do you know any other tips on how to protect your Domain Name? Share them below!

What are MX Records? Anatomy of a DNS Zone File – Part Three

what-are-mx-records-noip

A mail exchange record or MX record is a type of record in a DNS zone file. MX records are responsible for specifying which mail server is in charge of receiving email messages on behalf of a domain.

When you send an e-mail, your computer queries the DNS for the MX records of the recipient’s domain name.  This query results in a list of all available MX records that are responsible for accepting incoming mail.  The email client then attempts to make an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) connection to the primary mail server.

MX records are ranked by priority from lowest to highest to specify which mail server is the primary one.  The primary server is always the one to be used, unless it is unavailable and then, the next subsequent server is tried.  If there are no MX records available, the server will simply request the A record of the domain.

I used the following dig query to find the MX records for no-ip.com: dig no-ip.com MX +short (the +short condenses the reply to only show the MX records)

dig no-ip.com MX +short

10 mail1.no-ip.com.
15 mail2.no-ip.com.
5 mail0.no-ip.com.

The reply shows that there are three MX records for no-ip.com.

The primary mail server that email will be routed to is mail0.no-ip.com.  If that server is unavailable, the mail client will then try mail1.no-ip.com, lastly, if that server is unavailable too, it will try mail2.no-ip.com.

To increase reliability, if there are multiple MX records with the same preference number, all of these must be tried first, before the email client can try the next subsequent record. The SMTP client will try all of the MX records until delivery is successful.

Multiple MX records make primary and backup mail possible, but what if you don’t want the headache of running multiple mail servers, but still want the redundancy? No-IP has two easy solution.

Backup MX gives you mail redundancy on exclusive networks with professional mail server admins monitoring the system. Not only that, but No-IP’s Backup MX servers filter viruses and employ RBL lists to help keep the junk from reaching your inbox. No-IP also allows you to provide a valid user list so that bad mail can be stopped at the SMTP level, saving connections and resources on your server.

Another No-IP product, Mail Reflector will help you get around Port 25 if your ISP blocks it.  Mail is first delivered on the standard port to our mail system and then is immediately delivered to your mail server on whichever port you specify. This gives you complete control of your mail system and bypasses seemingly insurmountable restrictions. Mail Reflector also provides all of the features of Backup MX, including virus filtering, greylisting, and customizable RBL lists, so that even if your mail server is temporarily unavailable, mail will not be lost.

Backup MX or Mail Reflector can save you time, money and unnecessary headaches.

Questions on MX records or our mail services? Leave them below!

Check out Part One and Part Two of this series:

The Anatomy of a DNS Zone File: SOA Record

The Anatomy of a DNS Zone File – Part Two: What are NS Records and Why Are They Important to DNS?