About Mike Ford

My name is MIke Ford and I am the Customer Service Manager here at TotalChoice Hosting. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Summer Tips: Help Your Computer Beat The Heat

We hope everyone is staying cool during this heat wave in the US! Here’s a few tips to help keep your computer healthy during the heat. Hard drives usually operate up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 Celsius) and spin between 7,000-10,000 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute). The average car engine operates around 175 degrees Fahrenheit and spins around 2,500 RPM’s. Pretty wild, huh?

hotcomp

– Cooling – make sure you blow out the dust and animal hair from your case and fans! This will help the fan circulate air and will keep it spinning freely.

– Room to breath – Make sure your computer has room to breath! Keep it as low as possible as heat rises. Also leave space between any walls and obstructions for maximum circulation.

– Ventilation in the computer room – It’s always a good idea to have ventilation in the room which your computer is in. Opening windows (as long as water won’t come in) and fans help to keep it cool.

– Air Conditioning – If you have access to an air conditioner and can use it, we recommend it highly. It will help cool down your computer just like it cools you down ๐Ÿ™‚

– Turn it off when not in use! If you’re not using your computer then turn it off. Not only will it keep it cool, it will also save you money. Our servers are on all the time, just use them ๐Ÿ™‚

– Set your power settings properly – Adjust your power settings for optimum conditions. After X amount of time your screen and hard disks should be turned off if not in use.

That’s all for now! Feel free to comment with more tips and suggestions!

Share Button

Introducing: Shared Dedicated IP Addresses

We are happy to introduce a new service offered by TotalChoice Hosting! Dedicated IP addresses are now available to all clients on shared servers. Rather than sharing the same IP address with other websites on the same server, a dedicated IP will give your website and e-mail a unique IP address, adding an extra layer of security. With your own IP address you will not have to worry about someone elseโ€™s blacklisting affecting you.

dedicated ip

The cost of this new service will be only $1 per month. For more information please visit: http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/dedicated-ip-address.html

Share Button

Dns Server Migration :: Dns4.totalchoicehosting.com / Dns4.snhdns.com

We were just informed that the data center where our DNS server dns4.totalchoicehosting.com / dns4.snhdns.com is located is going to discontinue the facility. Since we are being forced to move our server, we are taking this opportunity to move the server into our own Data Center.

This migration is scheduled for May 25, 2013 after 11 pm.

If your domain is pointed to us using the above DNS Host Name you will need to take NO action. Your domain will continue to work after our migration to our new server. If you are using the DNS Server IP Address to point your domain name to us then you will be required to update the IP at your DNS registrar.

The new IP for this nameserver will be 208.76.83.140.

We will be updating the forum thread located here as this process gets going. As always, our techs are available to attend any queries you may have.

Share Button

WordPress Brute Force Attack

Hello TCH’ers,

I would like to inform everyone that a large distributed brute force attack against sites running WordPress is occurring throughout the entire internet. There are dozens of reports coming from various web hosts, both large and small, that a very large botnet with close to 90,000 servers is trying to log into random WordPress Dashboards by cycling through various usernames and passwords, otherwise known as a Brute Force attack.

Here’s What We Are Doing:

We have been battling this attack for the past 3 days and have had to block all requests to wp-login.php. We realize this may cause minor inconveniences for some clients, but we ensure you that we feel it is in the best interest of keeping your site and our servers safe. We also see that this is the current recommended solution throughout the internet for this issue.

Edit: April 12, 2013 – 5:10 PM (EST) – We have now enabled access to wp-login.php.

If you are currently having issues accessing your WordPress site, please submit a support ticket at our help desk so our technicians may investigate it further. You can access the help desk at http://support.totalchoicehosting.com

Here’s What You Can Do:

We would like to remind you how important it is to use strong passwords throughout all of your accounts. It is very important to change your password regularly to help protect yourself against these sort of attacks.

We also urge you to make sure you are using the latest and most updated stable scripts available. If you are using an older version of WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc., you should update immediately.

Limit Login Attempt: We recommend limiting login attempts to your WordPress Dashboard. There are various plugins that can help accomplish this. Here is an example of one: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/limit-login-attempts/

Install Google Authenticator: Thanks to a fellow TCH’er, we can recommend installing Google Authenticator. It enables a 2 part authentication process to add an extra layer of security to your blog.

Bad Behavior Plugin: Another TCH’er recommended looking into the Bad Behavior Plugin.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and remember, don’t hesitate to create a support ticket if you need help!

Edit: The attack is so widespread and well known that even magazines are covering it! http://www.pingzine.com/wordpress-admin-accounts-targeted-by-botnet-23840/

Share Button

Monthly Recap: March 2013

Hello TCH Family!

This past month was a busy one for everyone at TCH, most notably our techs and CEO. Part of our continued goal is to provide you with the fastest, most reliable service possible, while staying current with the latest technology. Over the course of the past month, Bill, TCH’s CEO, spent countless days and nights at the Data Center replacing Distribution Switches, upgrading routers, building new servers and more.

Below is a summary of what’s been going on lately here at TCH!

We Hired a New Tech!

We are happy to announce that we have hired a new, full time support tech! After many interviews and much consideration, we welcome Deepak to the team! He comes to the team with experience and knowledge and is excited to work with you, our clients. See full thread here.

Network Upgrades / Maintenance

We first sent out an e-mail to certain clients regarding mass hardware upgrades that were coming soon. Aside from adding another layer of redundancy to our network, we also have been swapping out Distribution Switches with new Cisco Switches and installed an additional fiber drop from our upstream provider. We also migrated four shared servers to new servers with new hardware.

During upgrades we try to maintain as much communication between the TCH team and our clients. Over the past several weeks you may have seen various blog posts like The upgrades are coming, Network Maintenance!, Round One Complete and Round 2 is done! Shortly after we performed more maintenance and posted Scheduled maintenance Starting Now and Scheduled Maintenance Complete.

TCH Blog App!

In an effort to continue to push as much information and news to everyone we have developed a free Android app dedicated to our blog. Get notified and read our latest blog posts right from your Android device! You may download the app in the Google Play store or scan the QR code below from your Android device.

qr-code

Google Nexus 7 Tablet Winner!

We are very pleased to announce that the re-birth of TCH’s Family contest was a complete success! Congratulations to Irene from NJ for winning herself a brand new Google Nexus 7 tablet! Our Facebook Page received and overwhelming amount of likes and we are excited to keep giving things away on it! Irene will be posting a picture of her new tablet on the page soon, so make sure to check it daily.

Who Wants More Free Stuff?

This month we want to switch up the contest a bit. Simply ‘Follow’ our blog via the ‘Follow’ tab on the bottom right hand side of this page. All you have to do is follow our blog by entering your e-mail address and you will be entered into this month’s family contest! The winner of this months contest will receive a brand new Kindle Fire HD Tablet and a TCH T-Shirt! A winner will be picked at the end of April. You can see complete details here.

DDOS Attack

On March 7, 2013 at approximately 3:20PM our network monitoring system detected a large amount of inbound traffic to several segments of our public facing network. This prompted our alerting system and we started to investigate. The attack was large but nothing our tech team couldn’t handle! You can see all details here.

New IP Addresses!

TotalChoice Hosting has been granted by ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) additional IPv4 Allocation. In other words we will be adding a pool of IP addresses which will be available to our clients! You can see our complete blog post about it here.

Remdiner: Change Your Passwords & Update Your Scripts!

We would like to remind you how important it is to change your passwords regularly and to always keep all of your scripts / software up to date on your web site. Read the entire article here.

Has It Been A Decade Already?

On behalf of the entire TotalChoice Hosting team, I would like to extend a very big congratulations to our General Manager, Dick DeVance and our Technical Support Manager, Balakrishnan, for providing 10 years of exemplary service right here at TotalChoice Hosting. Dick and Bala have become staples here at TCH and have gone above and beyond over the past decade. Thank you Dick and Bala for all of the great service. I look forward to posting a 15 and 20 year anniversary post as well ๐Ÿ™‚

Misc.

We posted a couple of how to’s that may interest you. Check out our recent article on how to add your TCH hosted e-mail to an Android device and also our article on popular Mac OSX FTP clients.

It’s been a great month here at TCH and we are excited about things to come. Thanks again for choosing TotalChoice Hosting!

Share Button