Scam Alert :: Unlimited Hosting

In the market for a new web hosting account? If so, chances are, you will not have a hard time finding a new host for your website. In fact, you will, most likely, end up facing a plethora of choices.  The largest scam in our industry is the “unlimited hosting” plans. It is time we debunk them and expose the liars in the web hosting industry.

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that servers can not actually host anything unlimited.  That would be like saying your iPod can store an unlimited amount of Justin Bieber songs.  We all know that it simply is not possible.  These web host that claim to offer unlimited bandwidth and disk space are hiding behind their Fair Use Policy and are out right liars.  They are overselling.  This is the act of selling hosting plans to clients and banking on the fact that the clients will not use the space and bandwidth.  Furthermore, if the client starts using to much then the host can use their Fair Use Policy and kick the client to the curb.

If you do your research, you will notice that each overselling web host claims to offer unlimited hosting, but only as per the terms of its ‘Fair Use Policy’ – which, by the way, is often different from the Terms of Use.

Unlimited-hosting

Before signing up for these unlimited plans, it is critical that you look into the terms that apply to these accounts.  I took some time to go out and look at some web hosts that offer unlimited plans.  It is shocking to see the lies these hosts spew out to their customers.  These are just a few limitations that can be found in their terms of service ;

  • Using a shared account as a backup/storage device is not permitted.
  • Any shared account using more than 20 gigs of disk space will be removed from our off site weekly backup.
  • Run cron entries with intervals of less than 15 minutes
  • The use of more than 25,000 inodes on any shared account may potentially result in a warning first, and if no action is taken future suspension.  Every file (a webpage, image file, email, etc) on your account uses up 1 inode.
  • Use 25% or more of system resources for longer then 30 seconds is prohibited.
  • Broadcast or Streaming of Live Sporting Events is prohibited.
  • Commercial Audio Streaming prohibited.

Really? I thought this was unlimited everything.  Unlimited disk space as long as I dont store to many files, or you will suspend me and stop taking backups?  Due dilligence, walk lightly and choose a host that does not hide behind its false promises, lies and its Terms of Service or Fair Use Policy.  Determine what you will be using and find a host that will give you your desired services for a reasonable price.

We have put together a video that we hope better explains this entire Unlimited Myth and hope you enjoy watching it.

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It’s password time!

Advice on creating very strong passwords.

Creating strong passwords is part of an essential duty of any web master.  This includes passwords for your email, ftp, mysql and of course cPanel user account.

It only takes one weak password and some bad guy and his brute force script and next thing you know your account has been compromised.   This is enough to make a good day go south in a really fast way.

Here are some good tips for choosing a strong password ::

  • Avoid using a single dictionary word.  These are easily brute forced by dictionary-based scripts.  Instead try choosing multiple, unrelated, words and special characters.
  • Avoid familiar items such as names, business names or phone numbers, etc.
  • Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, avoid replacing letters with numbers – as this is predictable for any script designed to brute force your password.
  • Ensure your password is something memorable without being obvious.
  • Beware of computers you cannot trust, key-loggers will bypass many forms of security

Using the cPanel password generator ::

If you are unable to create a password then you can always turn to the Password Generator which appears in cPanel next to password change dialogues.  The passwords generated through this method will not be easy to remember, so make sure you make a note of this password in a secure method.

When changing any passwords in cPanel you will be offered the chance to use the Password Generator.
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Using Browser plugins to create your passwords ::

There are several browser plugins that will create randomly generated passwords for you and will copy the password to your clipboard, allowing fast and easy password changing.

I personally use pwgen –  Password Generator 0.5.1 for Firefox.  You can find more information on this firefox plugin here. 

Thank you for taking time to read about passwords today, I am confident that rotating your passwords and keeping them strong and secure can go a long way to protect your account and the TCH servers.

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How To: Add Your Website’s E-Mail To Your Android Device

We recently showed you How To: Add Your Website’s E-mail To Your Apple Device so we figured now we would show you how to add your e-mail to your Android device! The screen shots and directions are from Android 4.1.1 but should be similar on most versions of Android.

1. First, open the Email app (Note: Icon may look different on your device).

Add your TCH Email to Android

1A. If a screen similar to this one comes up, select “Others.”

Screenshot_2013-02-09-01-26-41

2. A screen will open that looks like this:

Screenshot_2013-02-09-00-31-38

Select whether you would like to access your e-mail via POP3 or IMAP. The main difference is that IMAP (Internet Messaged Access Protocol) syncs with your email server so that any changes you make will appear anywhere you access your e-mail via IMAP (Inbox, Drafts, Sent Mail, etc. will be synced across all devices).

POP (Post Office Protocol) is different in that your mail client and mail server are not synced. Any changes you make in  your mail client will not be anywhere else except that particular client on that device. My personal preference is IMAP but you may use whichever one you like.

3. Enter your e-mail address and password, then click the “Manual Setup.”

Screenshot_2013-02-09-00-31-15

4. Input your e-mail address as the “User name” and your password where it says “Password”. Change the IMAP or POP3 server to yourdomain.com (substituting yourdomain.com with your actual domain). The Security type should be ‘None’ and if you are using IMAP, the port should 143 (unless you have an SSL certificate). If you are using POP3, the port should be 110. Click the ‘Next’ button.

IMAP Port is 143.
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POP3 Port is 110.
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5. Input yourdomain.com as the SMTP server (substituting yourdomain.com with your actual domain). Select None as the Security Type and 587 for the port (if you don’t have an SSL certificate). Enter your username and password. 587 is the same port for both IMAP and POP3 but if 587 does not work, please try port # 26.

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6. Next, select your update frequency and whether or not you would like to be notified when email arrives. Click Next.

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7. Name the account whatever you would like and fill in your name. Click Done and you’re done!

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If you have any questions just post a comment here and I’ll be more than happy to assist you.

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Mac OSX: Popular FTP Clients and How To Set Them Up

The following is a write up on popular FTP clients built for the Mac and how to set them up with your TCH account.

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, allows you to view, download and upload files to your server / website. It also allows you to edit your server’s file structure and system remotely. In order to utilize this protocol you’ll need a FTP Client. We tested a wide range of FTP Clients available and decided to review the select few that we found to be the best.

First, Cyberduck.

Cyberduck

Version: 4.2.1
Developer: Swiss Made Software
Price: Free / $23.99 (donation through Mac App Store)
Platforms: Mac OSX and Windows.
Download: Cyberduck 4.2.1

Cyberduck has long been the preferred by most Apple users. It is built for fast and easy use with a fast connection making bookmarks list and a clean layout. Though this application was made to be a File Transfer Protocol Client, some features you can enjoy with this app are, WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning), Amazon S3, Windows Azure, Rackspace Cloud Files and even Google Drive. While this application is free, you can remove the pop-up ads by either buying it through the Mac App Store or donating through their site.

SETUP:
1. Open Cyberduck and click on “Open Connection.”
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.02.10 PM

2. When prompted, enter your information (Host, Username, and Password) into the designated boxes. For Host you should enter ftp.yourdomain.com (replacing yourdomain.com with whatever your real domain name is) and then enter your created Username and Password.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.06.07 PM

When completed, Cyberduck should look like this.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 7.59.11 PM

3. If asked to change to FTP-SSL over FTP, click either change or continue depending on whether your server supports FTP-SSL. Most servers, especially web-severs, do. I recommend choosing “change” because it is a more secure connection protocol.
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4. There you go! You should now be able to view your server’s files.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.00.07 PM

Second, FileZilla

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Version: 3.6.0.2
Developer: The FileZilla Project
Price: Free
Platforms: Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux.
Download: FileZilla 3.6.0.2

FileZilla is a reliable but seemingly barebones competitor. Unlike Cyberduck, you can’t enjoy the same compatibility features of WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning), Amazon S3, Windows Azure, Rackspace Cloud Files and Google Drive. While it always does its job as an FTP Client well, FileZilla seems to lack some tidiness in it’s user interface. However, some may prefer this user interface to others because it has a very “all out there” look, meaning that basically everything (with a few exceptions) you need to see or use to complete your transfer or edit, is right in the main window of FileZilla’s interface. This can be a pro or a con depending on the user, some may describe its interface as busy, while others describe it as space saving and efficient. Another great aspect of FileZilla is that its cross-platform, so there is no need to learn how to use FTP clients across multiple operating systems. At the end of the day FileZilla does a great job of being a FTP client.

SETUP:
1. Open FileZilla and enter your information (Host, Username, and Password) into the designated boxes. For Host enter ftp.yourdomain.com (replacing yourdomain.com with whatever your real domain name is) then enter your Username and Password. Enter 22 under “Port:” for FTP-SSL (recommended) and 21 for standard FTP.
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When completed, FileZilla should look like this.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.31.10 PM

2. Once you’ve completed step 1, click the “Quickconnect” button. There you go! You
should now be able to view and edit your server’s file system.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.50.32 PM

Third, Secure FTP

secure_ftp

Version: 2.6
Developer: Glub Tech
Price: Free
Platforms: Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux.
Download: Secure FTP 2.6

“Secure FTP is a Java-based FTPS client application that allows for a 256-bit AES encrypted secure connection to be made to a server that supports FTP over SSL (or FTPS).” As boasted on Glub Tech’s website, Secure FTP takes security as its main priority while not having sacrificed any features. However, just like FileZilla, it does not offer the same compatibility features as Cyberduck. Furthermore, Secure FTP has a very organized and clean interface that is very comparable to Cyberduck’s interface. Just like FileZilla we found Secure FTP to be very reliable and fast.

Secureftp

SETUP:
1. Click the Green and White + button.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.56.46 PM

2. When prompted, enter your information (Host, Username, and Password) into the designated boxes. For Host you should enter ftp.yourdomain.com (replacing yourdomain.com with whatever your real domain name is) and then enter your created Username and Password.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.57.01 PM

When completed, Secure FTP should look like this.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.58.58 PM

3. Now, all you have to do is click connect and there you go! You should now be able to view and edit your server’s file system.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.59.15 PM

The Bottom Line: All three of these Applications are very good at what they do. Therefore, the “winner” may not be clear cut to you, so I recommend picking one based on your needs and likes. However, my recommendation is FileZilla for reliability and simplicity of its interface, because whenever I use FileZilla I see what I need to use right in front of me, and that cuts down on time significantly.

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How To: Add Your Website’s E-Mail To Your Apple Device

Many of our clients use an iOS device as their primary mobile phone or Tablet. So to make it easier for you, our valued clients, we have created a guide on how to add your website’s unique e-mailbox to your iPhone, iPad or iTouch’s mail application!

Here you go!

Steps:
1. First, press the Settings application, it should be a grey/silver color that has gears as an image/icon.

.ios-settings-icon

2. Once you have the application open, scroll down until you see “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.”

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3. Press the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” tab to bring you to the next screen.

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4. Now, press “Add Account.” When you are prompted to pick the type of account, choose the “Other” tab on the bottom of the list.

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5. Press “Add Mail Account”, (it should be the first option on the screen).

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6. Now enter your name, your email account you’d like to receive mail from, your password, and a description such as “My Website Mail” to properly identify the account.

photo 1

7.Enter your name, e-mail address, and description. Under “Incoming Mail Server”, next to “Host Name” enter: “mail.yourdomain.com“, substituting yourdomain.com with your actual domain name. If your domain name is thehostguru.com, enter mail.thehostguru.com. Next to “User Name” enter your e-mail address, and next to “Password” enter your password.

iOS Email Setup

8. Under the “Outgoing Mail Server” section, please enter the same info as you did in the previous step under “Incoming Mail Server.”

9. When you have entered all information, click the “Next” button on the top right. A message will pop up that reads “Cannot Verify Server Identity.” Simply push Continue, (you may have to push it again in a few seconds).

photo 1

And there you go! You should now be able to view your mailbox from the stock iOS Mail Application!

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