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What If Walmart Were A Webhost

Fri, 4th August 2017, 08:13

Late last month, reports came out on an emerging row between Walmart and Amazon. The conflict in question began when Walmart instructed partners and suppliers not to run on Amazon Webservice (AWS) infrastructure. A spokesperson for Walmart more or less confirmed the story, citing the potential security risks of ‘sensitive data’ being stored on competitors’ platforms. Amazon responded curtly, questioning their rivals’ understanding of the degree to which AWS supports Amazon’s retail business. There’s little doubt that this spat has to do with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods, bringing the realms of e-commerce and brick-and-mortar one step closer to all-out battle. Mega-corporation slap fight aside, this piece of the ongoing saga of the War for Retail may in fact be even more salient to a struggle yet to come.

It’s been argued rather convincingly that one of the prime (sorry) keys to Amazon’s meteoric rise has been their ability to externalize the internal: spinning off the data and delivery services of their corporate infrastructure into businesses in their own right. Naively, the value is financial- after all, AWS represents about a tenth of Amazon’s revenue. But the bedrock value comes in the appraisal of the market itself. An internal Amazon service’s success or failure can be used as evidence of its competitiveness, freeing the company from much of the internal obsolescence that plagues long-lasting giants of its kind.

What does Walmart have to do with this? Therein lies the question. We know that Walmart has already released its cloud management platform, OneOps, to the public. OneOps obviously doesn’t constitute direct competition with the AWS juggernaut, although the ability to switch freely between clouds does dovetail nicely with Walmart’s new, ahem, preferences for their upstream partners. But there’s more to come. At this year’s Shoptalk, Walmart.com President and CEO Marc Lore revealed the company’s new tech incubator: Store Number 8.

One of the first seeds planted by the new initiative is Code Eight, dedicated to the creation of ‘highly personalized shopping experiences’ headed by Jennifer Fleiss, previously of fashion rental service Rent the Runway. The parallels to Amazon’s upcoming Prime Wardrobe couldn’t be clearer.

So the incubator isn’t purely internal, its goal being the promotion of handpicked, Walmart-funded startups intended to seize future innovations in retail, with the obvious subtext of bringing the fight to Amazon. But the difference is essentially academic: Store Number 8 will be working in the context of Walmart’s enormous distribution chain and national coverage. The flexibility and litany of benefits provided by AWS are already on the minds of the competitive thinkers at Walmart. With this new investment in cutting edge technology, services and channels, it’s only a matter of time before Walmart has a ‘friendly suggestion’ for where its suppliers should move to, rather than from.

Web Hosting: The Weakest Link

Tue, 18th July 2017, 22:12

In The Age of Automation, the Weakest Link is Man

Earlier this February, you could be forgiven for having the impression that the internet itself was falling apart. A number of popular websites and consumer tools seemed to crash all at once, leaving affected users- and especially administrators- scrambling for answers. The culprit? A single engineer at Amazon Web Services, the titan of web infrastructure through which up to 70% of all global traffic flows through. The error was simple enough: a botched command intended to remove a handful of sluggish servers for maintenance instead swallowed up key subsystems underpinning a huge portion of S3 server processes. The problem was quickly fixed, and Armageddon itself was postponed for another day, but the swift impact goes to show the damage that can be done by an individual mistake- and to err is human.

Human frailty may be an occasional pitfall for simple maintenance, but it’s the Achilles’ heel for security. Verizon’s latest Data Breach Digest suggests that fully 90% of all data-loss incidents involve some form of phishing or social engineering. The recent spate of ransomware attacks has mostly depended upon carelessness in the face of spear phishing campaigns, as in the case of a Canadian firm forced to pay $425,000 after tainted PDFs posing as shipping invoices infected their systems. That, combined with a handful of unpatched databases, was enough to expose the entirety of their data stores to the attackers.

That payment pales in comparison to the cool $1 million extracted from South Korean webhost Nanaya after vulnerabilities were found on their servers… running Apache 1.3 from 2006. (They were probably better off with their previous system: cuneiform based servers from 3200 BCE.)

There is an unavoidable tradeoff in webhosting when it comes to questions of uptime and security. The smart money is of course on larger firms, with smaller outfits simply lacking the capital and the latitude to possess the kind of 24/7 crisis response and automated infrastructure necessary to respond to threats and errors in real time. But the challenge introduced in these ever expanding giants is the uniform decision to outsource and underpay technicians with critical roles in server infrastructure, giving them ample opportunity to cash in on a growing trend of digital hostage taking.

A smaller team may be less limber than a larger one, but a tighter net has historically been one of the best protections against social engineering, and a small core of adequately compensated employees is much less exposed to the kind of internal attacks that large companies are so vulnerable to. There’s no perfect solution: bigger may be stronger in the grand scheme of things, but ultimately you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

751 Domains Managed by Gandi Hijacked to Serve up Malware

Sun, 16th July 2017, 14:10

Domain registrar Gandi has admitted that more at least 751 domain names were hijacked late last week after an unknown individual managed to get hold of the company's login details for one of its technical providers.

The changes went unnoticed for a number of hours hours until one the registry operators reported the suspicious changes to Gandi. Within an hour, Gandi's technical team identified the problem, changed all the logins and started reverting the changes made – a process that took three-and-a-half hours, according to the company's incident report.

Gandi is adamantly stating that the attack did not involve any breach of their databases or back end nor did it involve a breach of the technical partner’s infrastructure.

The attacker was able to make the changes by accessing the web portal of our technical partner using our login credentials, which they obtained surreptitiously. These credentials were "likewise not obtained by a breach of our systems and we strongly suspect they were obtained from an insecure connection to our technical partner’s web portal" (the web platform in question allows access via http).

Gandi stated that taking into account the delay in name server provisioning at the individual registries in question and the TTLs of the relevant DNS zones, the unauthorized changes were in place at the most for 8 to 11 hours.

The attack

One of the domains impacted by the attack was Swiss information security company SCRT. The company in a blog post about the incident provided a more concise explanation of where the attacker was able to manipulate the process while stating that they still haven’t received any news from Gandi as to what made all of this possible in the first place.

The domain scrt.ch is registered at Gandi where we configure the IP addresses of our name servers. Gandi is responsible for propagating this information to nic.ch, enabling the resolution for our domain scrt.ch globally.

Last Friday, an attacker was able to compromise a technical provider used by Gandi to communicate with various TLD registries. This compromise allowed him to request changes to registries, including nic.ch, to modify the name server information for several domains, including ours.

At this point, a rogue DNS server was introduced in the DNS resolution path. Looking at the DNS resolution process described above, the hijack happened where nic.ch was providing the rogue DNS server instead of the valid one to any resolver, allowing the attacker to redirect any requests for impacted domains to IP addresses owned by the attacker himself.

SCRT also noted that all of its emails were redirected during the attack, but fortunately whoever carried out the attack did not set up email servers to grab them. They also stated that only visitors who had never visited their site where affected as prior visitors as HTTP Strict-Transport-Security would have forced their browser to use a valid HTTPS, which the attacker could not emulate resulting in a connection error.

Gandi manages more than 2.1 million domain names across 730 TLDs, spanning some 200+ registries.

EIG CEO Stepping Down after 20 Years of Endurance Transformations

Thu, 27th April 2017, 09:37

After over a year of striving to bring his company out of an SEC probe, Endurance International Group (EIG) CEO Hari Ravichandran has finally decided to step down. The Massachusetts-based company recently announced in a statement that amid “significant” expansion of business, risk management, and an SEC investigation regarding non-GAAP metrics, the EIG board of directors and Mr. Ravichandran agreed on a CEO transition plan.

According to the plan, Mr. Ravichandran will step down from his position as soon as the company finds his replacement. EIG has hired international executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles to help the web hosting company find its new CEO.

Troubles for Mr. Ravichandran started back in December 2015 after EIG received a subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission after the company agreed to acquire the online marketing company, Constant Contact Inc. for $1.1 billion. A class action lawsuit was filed against Constant Contact as the authorities claimed that company failed in their fiduciary duties to shareholders by selling the company at too low a price. The deal was however completed in February 2016.

It is also important to mention the famous report by Gotham City Research in which the firm accused EIG of using “shady” business practices and deceit.

Hari Ravichandran, 40, dropped out from Stanford and bet his $8,000 savings on the dot-com boom. He started offering his digital services to establish and host websites for businesses in newspaper ads. That was the start of Ravichandran’s empire. He founded BizLand (now Endurance International Group) in 1997. The company now owns famous hosting services including Domain.com, HostGator.com and Bluehost.com. It has 3,900 employees in 15 offices globally. The company has about 5.4 million customers. EIG’s revenue in 2017 is expected to come in at $1 billion.

The dot-com bubble crash of early 2000s brought the first real test for Ravichandran. The company that was delved deeper in its macroeconomic cycle, overgrown spending and rapid growth was shook to the core after advertisers started backing off and revenues declined. Ravichandran took it as a challenge and decided to turn the tide. He planned to transition Endurance towards a subscription model. About 2% of the company’s top-tier customers were charged for the services. This brought a whopping $2 million in revenues within a year.

Ravichandran had successfully driven his ship out of the troubled waters. He decided to rename his company from Bizland to Endurance International Group. The new name alluded to years or endurance, tenacity and perseverance.

Ravichandran’s next task was to do something about the dwindling customer base of EIG, which was the result of subscription model. Instead of burning dollars in marketing and advertising, Ravichandran, who also holds an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurial Management, decided to go on an acquisition spree. The strategy was to acquire small web hosting firms to expand customer base. For example, in its first deal, EIG bought a web hosting company with around 300 customers for $30,000. EIG grew rapidly over the next few years, and became an attractive buyout target. However, EIG also acquired a reputation for acquiring good companies and then ruining their quality and customer services.

In 2008, capital market firm Accel-KKR bought a huge stake in Endurance. In 2011, Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners acquired EIG from Accel for $975 million.

But Ravichandran wasn’t ready to stop. He wanted to grow EIG internationally. In 2014, EIG acquired web business of Mumbai, India-based company Directi for $109.8 million. The plan was to enter the Asia-Pacific market. Last year, Ravichandran said that EIG was also planning to expand to the Russian market through Directi.

Hari Ravichandran was the highest-earning CEO of all the publically traded companies in Massachusetts, as of 2016. Ravichandran reportedly took home a whopping $36 million in 2015. EIG’s Board of Directors slashed his annual salary from $750,000 to $200,000 and reduced his annual cash bonus with respect to calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017..

My Domain Has Been Hijacked. Help!

Sun, 23rd April 2017, 13:34

The integrated Canadian steel producer Algoma Steel has lost much of its sheen from those lofty rail and iron horse days of the early 20th century. Founded in 1902, the company appears to have spent more time in recent years going from one court proceeding to another than it has producing the products its name suggest. In 2004 after emerging from another round of bankruptcy protection, the company under the guidance of then President and CEO Denis Turcotte had a resurgence of sorts and became quite profitable before being purchased by India's Essar Group for US$ 1.63 billion in April 2007.

The latest twist in the saga of Essar Steel Algoma ongoing drama fests with workers, investors, debtors, governments etc etc involves the company's tech services. More specifically its domain name.

Recently the Ontario's Superior Court was asked to order New Delhi-based Net4, an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company, to transfer the Algoma.com domain registration back to the Sault Ste. Marie steelmaker. The Algoma domain is owned by Essar Steel Algoma, but in 2008 registration was moved to a Net4 account controlled by Jayantha Prabhu, chief information officer at the parent company Essar Group.

Court documents suggest that Prabhu has not responded to requests to arrange to have the control of the domain transferred back to Canada. Essar Algoma wants Algoma.com hosted at GoDaddy instead of Net4, with the account registered to an Algoma employee.

Brenda Stenta, Essar Algoma's manager of corporate communications, in a sworn affidavit stated:

“All access to Essar Algoma's webmail, mobility gateway, customer portal, virtual private network and other applications goes through the Algoma.com domain. The Algoma domain is an essential asset in the operation of Algoma's business. The Algoma domain serves as the principal gateway for all of Algoma's email, webmail and world wide web facing applications, including Algoma's website and secure customer web interface. Algoma needs the ability to control all material operational elements of the Algoma domain. Algoma is currently unable to do so because the Algoma domain is registered in Essar India's customer account on Net4, and because the administrative contact on the account, Mr. Prabhu, is not an employee of Algoma,"

"Mr. Prabhu's unresponsiveness and unwillingness to co-operate in transferring the Algoma domain to a customer account controlled by Algoma is unreasonable and prevents Algoma from exercising its rights as the legal owner of the Algoma domain," said Ashley Taylor, a lawyer acting for Essar Steel Algoma, in a filed court factum.

Meanwhile, Net4 says it needs a resolution from Essar Steel Algoma's board to transfer the account to GoDaddy, but two company directors are said to be unwilling to participate because board meetings are no longer held and directors are not being paid for their services. (editor’s note: okay drama fest may be an understatement)

While the continuing soap opera at Essar Steel Algoma is unique for its twists and turns, losing control of a domain name is a common enough occurrence. Hostjury has written about this on prior occasion like when a thief was targeting "Web Design" domains. While that one also had some unique attributes, there are numerous scenarios where domains are ‘hijacked’ by disgruntled employees, partners, through hacking, social engineering, or even the numerous horror stories on the web about domains being stolen by someone’s webhost.

As noted in the Essar Algoma case, controlling the domain name can also mean access to a company’s email, website, customer portal, virtual private network and/or other applications that are dependent on the domain. It can be essential for the operation of a business and can really be an issue.

So how does one go about regaining control of their domain. The real easy answer is don’t lose control in the first place. In most cases, with few exceptions, there are no simple answers although boutique law firms have sprung up with ‘domain name lawyers’ coming out from under their rocks to help you answer that question!

The body assigned to oversee domains, ICANN/Internic has put in place Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policies.

Many, if not most, web hosting companies and domain registrars use wholesale domain name registrar like Enom. They are effectively just reselling domains, which makes sense if domains are a small part of the bottom line and the host doesn’t want to get ICANN accredited to sell generic domain extensions. When these resellers don’t play by the rules, although frustrating and time consuming, it is relatively simple to regain control of the domain.

Relief can also be sought through the domain registrar and ICANN in some instances where there is evidence that the domain’s control was maliciously reassigned through hacking or social engineering (someone gaining access to your account by posing as the owner).

It’s cases where there is some hint that control was voluntarily relinquished, then it gets dicey.

It should be self explanatory but never do business with a web developer or webhost that even suggests registration of the domain name in their own name. The domain owner must control the registrant login and information at the registrar level. This means that the company/owner itself must be listed as the registrant, and the primary email contact must be the owner or a high level company employee. The web host or web developer can, in some instances, legitimately be listed as the administrative contact.

Many a good lawyer (editor’s note: well if that isn’t a good oxymoron!) will tell you “If the company can establish that the domain name is protected by trademark, then that trademark can be leveraged against any other third-party registrant. Only the trademark holder is allowed to register a protected domain name”… except ICANN has these rules stating…

“All registrars must follow the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (often referred to as the "UDRP"). Under the policy, most types of trademark-based domain-name disputes must be resolved by agreement, court action, or arbitration before a registrar will cancel, suspend, or transfer a domain name. Disputes alleged to arise from abusive registrations of domain names (for example, cybersquatting) may be addressed by expedited administrative proceedings that the holder of trademark rights initiates by filing a complaint with an approved dispute-resolution service provider. To invoke the policy, a trademark owner should either (a) file a complaint in a court of proper jurisdiction against the domain-name holder (or where appropriate an in-rem action concerning the domain name) or (b) in cases of abusive registration submit a complaint to an approved dispute-resolution service provider.

While going to court may be one possibility to regain control of your domain, it’ likely neither the cheapest, nor the fastest option.

Domain Name: algoma.com
Registrar URL: http://www.net4.in/
Creation Date: 1996-02-11T05:00:00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2018-02-12
Registrar: Net 4 India Limited
Registrant Organization: Essar Steel Algoma Inc
Registrant Country: CA
Registrant Email: [email protected]

Register Your Domains Hassle-Free

 

Best Rated Web Hosts In 2017

Tue, 7th February 2017, 17:50

So just how does one go about choosing a decent web hosting provider when there are thousands of hosting companies? It’s like going through the yellow pages trying to find a decent restaurant when the only recognizable names coming to mind serve fast food dished up with mediocre service. Web hosts are like restaurants. There’s lots of them but not all may be suitable for that someone, or something special.

HostJury motto has been, and continues to be one of not giving our opinionated view of web hosting providers (often geared towards the host that pays the most for advertising). Still we do give users the ability to recommend and review their web hosting provider to other users and to share their real hosting reviews.

Based on those reviews, here is the list of the best rated hosts:

 

Important factors

When writing a review, users are given the opportunity to rate their experiences with their webhost based on uptime, features, support, and pricing.

Important factors in selecting a web hosting company include the percentage of server uptime. Every web host will experience downtime, but 98 to 99% uptime is optimal. A lower number may not necessarily eliminate a host… remember some reviews are written by disgruntled users. Then again some webhosts in the HostJury database are diving to the bottom and coming up with zeroes for uptime. Those ones have a lot of disgruntled users and would certainly demand closer scrutiny.

Another consideration is how much diskspace is provided for the files that will make up your web site (There is no such thing as unlimited). How much bandwidth is in their packages. Monthly bandwidth is the amount of data transfer allowed for visitors to view and use your web site. Ideally in today’s hosting environment you want ‘unmetered’ but remember, unlimited is not the same as unmetered! Those may be the big two but features like:

  • Free Domain Name
  • Free Website Builder
  • cPanel & SSH Access
  • SSD Storage
  • Free Daily Backup
  • Unlimited Emails & Data Bases
  • HTTP/2 Enabled Servers
  • A Content Delivery Network such as Cloudflare or MaxCDN
  • Unlimited addon domains to host multiple sites
  • SSL certificate included for free.

The features (and terminology) may vary and may not be be included in every level of plan. But the more the merrier.

Support is like insurance. You hope you never need it, but you are sure glad you got it if you do!

  • 24/7 Technical Support (yes some web hosts think they are bankers)
  • Free Setup (yeah some not only think like bankers, they have hidden fees like bankers)
  • Free Transfer of your site from another host
  • Pay to play support (premium) or is everyone equal
  • Back ups. Remember that daily backups may delete the prior backup. Some hosts keep multiple backups of your website. Again, more is merrier.
  • 30 Days Money Back. (like insurance)

Price. What does one say. You get what you pay for although many web hosts do offer discounts.. then raise the price at renewal. Some require multi year commitments for deep discounts. Others nickel and dime you with annoying upcharges and hidden fees. Some do all of the above. Others have upfront pricing and no hidden fees. There is no magic formula and one size fits all. Ask questions, and ensure there is a 'no questions asked money back' type guarantee.

 

FastComet banner

 FastComet

 

 

FastComet achieves excellence in the three most important aspects of providing a high-quality web hosting experience - speed, security and customer service. By investing heavily in the latest hardware and software technology FastComet gives you up to 300% better performance for your website in compare to other hosting providers. Utilizing SSD-only storage for files and databases and providing Global CDN access, FastComet focus on achieving just-a-second load time for your website content.

  • Free Domain Forever: Register or transfer an existing domain for free. We will renew it for you free of charge forever.
  • SSD-Only Cloud: Up to 300% faster access to your files and databases compared to non-ssd hosting providers!
  • Free CloudFlare CDN: Distribute your content around the world so it’s closer to your visitors (speeding up your site).
  • cPanel Powered Hosting: The most popular and powerful web hosting control panel for easy point-and-click management of your hosting account.
  • Daily Backups: Free daily and weekly backups of your data to keep you safe. When others charge for this, we don’t!
  • Free 24/7 Priority Support: Because there is no great hosting without great technical support that cares about your website.
  • Fixed Prices, No Surprises: No sneaky surprises - renew all your hosting services on the same great price you signed up for.
  • 45 Days Money - Back: We are so confident you will love our service that we offer 45 days money-back guarantee.

 

Fused Logo

 Fused

 

Bootstrapped and cashflow positive since day one. We've always concentrated on offering great service & support & apparently hard work pays off, we still have our very first client & many that rave about our support. Although our hosting offerings & team have changed slightly over the years, we constantly strive to ensure every client is satisfied.

We will be available when you need us, regardless of hour & help resolve any problems you encounter & to communicate in human terms when doing so. We'll never sell you anything you don't require, nor your information to anyone under any circumstances.

  • Hassle-free migration: We can handle 100% of your web hosting, email & data migration, hassle-free.
  • 24/7 Technical support: Our response time is measured in minutes instead of hours. Our team is alerted via text for any critical support request submitted.
  • Reliable email service: Reliable email hosting with pop3, imap & webmail access. Includes free spam filtering to keep those inboxes clean!
  • Global Anycast DNS cluster: Our DNS is distributed worldwide & offers speeds roughly 20x faster than standard dns, increasing website performance substantially.
  • Nightly backups: We backup accounts nightly & retain backups for 75+ days allowing you to restore your website, email & databases to any point.
  • 99.9% uptime guaranteed: We spend night & day ensuring our services are consistently online. We guarantee 99.9% website uptime monthly and frequently average 100%.
  • Included software: We use an award winning control panel, cPanel, and we’ve built our stack with linux, apache, mysql, php, ruby, python, perl & more available to utilize for all clients.
  • Satisfaction guaranteed: You'll be happy here, we promise. If for some reason something doesn't work out between us, we’ll happily refund you 100% within 90 days of sign-up.
  • now 100% ssd, php7 & offer free ssls to all new accounts.

 

Siteground banner

  SiteGround

 

 

Founded in 2004 by a few university friends, SiteGround gradually but steadily turned into a leading web hosting service provider. With only a handful of people working from their university dorm rooms in the beginning, today the company has more than 400 employees and is constantly growing. We process 1500+ tickets, 1000+ phone calls and 3000+ chat requests per day. We proudly host more than 500,000 domains with this number growing by the hour.

SiteGround gives you all the essential hosting features you need to accommodate a "just getting started" website or an existing average-size blog, personal, or business website. The StartUp Plan works well even for smaller online shops with a reasonable number of products.

  • Free Domain Name
  • Free Website Builder
  • cPanel & SSH Access
  • Free Setup & Transfer
  • 24/7 Technical Support
  • SSD Storage
  • Free Daily Backup
  • 30 Days Money Back
  • Unlimited Emails & DBs
  • HTTP/2 Enabled Servers
  • Free Let's Encrypt SSLs
  • Free Cloudflare CDN

Larger plans include:

  • Premium Support: Your tickets are answered with priority.
  • Premium Speed: Our SuperCacher is included to make your website faster.
  • Premium Security: We keep up to 30 backup copies of your website.
  • Unlimited Websites: You can use unlimited addon domains to host multiple sites.
  • Premium E-Commerce: One year Wildcard SSL certificate is included for free.
  • Premium Joomla & WordPress: Our unique dynamic caching makes these apps fly.

 

MDD Hosting Logo

 MDDHosting

 

 

MDDHosting is a privately owned company that was formed in 2007 to provide services that are often overpriced at affordable prices for individuals and businesses around the world. Unlike most newer web hosts we do not hide who we are, when we were formed, or what we have to offer to our clients. We may be small but we pride ourselves in providing high quality services and support for each and every one of our clients. We do not see our clients as a number or a dollar sign.

Our LiteSpeed Powered Servers are up to 9 times faster than Apache web hosting, processes PHP 50% faster, and 3 times faster than SSL Apache Hosting. LiteSpeed hosting fully supports .htaccess, mod_rewrite, and everything else that Apache is well known for - if your site works on an Apache host it will work even better and faster on our LiteSpeed based solutions!

All of our plans come with generous amounts of CPU, Disk I/O and RAM to run most websites up to 350,000 visitors per month. When your site grows and you need more resources our premium plans offer double the resources of our regular shared plans.

  • 1 CPU Core
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 20 Entry Processes
  • 100 Processes
  • 10 Megabytes/Second Disk I/O
  • 25 Concurrent MySQL Connections
  • 250,000 Inodes (Files/Folders)

 

ProperHost banner

 ProperHost

 

 

ProperHost is a leading provider of premium hosting services with a strong focus on Magento hosting and other performance-critical applications. Since our interception in 2004, ProperHost has attained a solid market position in the premium hosting market through our devotion to mission-critical hosting and commitment to customer satisfaction. The company is based in Norway, with servers located in several US and UK data centers.

  • Free Site Migration:We will migrate your website for free from your current hosting provider.
  • Fast Servers:Dual Intel Xeon E5-26xx series CPU and minimum 64 GB DDR3 RAM.
  • Magento Optimized:Our servers are fine-tuned to speed up any Magento web site.
  • Daily Backups:R1Soft Continuous Data Protection (CDP) keeps your data secure.
  • Multi-Store Support:Run multiple store fronts and domains on a single Magento installation.
  • PCI Compliant:Read more about our PCI compliant hosting and why it is important.
  • 24/7 Support:Our highly trained support team is available around-the-clock.
  • LiteSpeed Enterprise: High-performance web server that is up to 9x faster than Apache.
  • Percona Server:Scalable, high-performance MySQL-replacement.
  • Free cPanel: Manage every aspect of your account through our control panel.
  • Security Lockdown: We use CloudLinux, CageFS and PHP suEXEC for maximum security.
  • Advanced Monitoring: Rest assured your site is always up and responsive.

 

Phi9 web hosting banner

 Phi9 Web Hosting

 

 

There are many choices when it comes to choosing a web hosting provider. At Phi 9, our 9 Promises set us apart from our competitors. These promises permeate every aspect of our business from our dealings with customers to our corporate culture in the office.

  • No Overselling, No Overloading EVER!: Overselling is a recipe for disaster for web hosts and customers alike. We go out of our way to provide both quality and quantity but when we have to choose between the two, we opt for quality.
  • 24/7/365 Phenomenal Support™: We provide the same high quality support to all customers regardless of which plan they are on, how long they have been a customer, or how much they pay.
  • Premium Web Hosting - Pure and Simple
  • Redundant Hardware:At Phi 9 we invest in only the best hardware. We are proud that we use only enterprise level hardware, dual redundant hard drives and dual-redundant uninterpretable power supplies. If there were to be a hard disk failure, our customers experience no downtime.
  • Golden Promise™ - The 99-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Greener Hosting: Phi 9 is intimately tied to our oceans and our environment. It is our utmost priority to assure we are operating with the least possible impact on our environment.
  • Secure and Reliable: Security is taken very seriously at Phi 9. We utilize both hardware and software firewalls to protect our customers’ data.
  • Straightforward Pricing: All of our services have honest, straight-forward pricing. There are no hidden fees or taxes.
  • Socially Responsible: We believe that helping others is not only good business, but everyone's business. At Phi 9, we believe in paying it forward.
  • $300 in Free Services!: With free software, marketing tools, tutorials and resources to empower your website, Phi 9 is the clear market leader for value-added service.

 

Disclaimer

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... or even a few bucks! As always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of any listed providers. Web hosts are presented in the order our algorithm has calculated based on reviews . You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

California-based i3 Brands Sues Rackspace Over Security Breaches

Thu, 2nd February 2017, 18:47

It’s regular enough that some annoyed client of a hosting company writes a review threatening legal action or states ‘they should be in jail’, but it’s not so often that someone actually follows through with it. Rackspace touts its “fanatical” client support, but one California e-commerce firm begs to differ and has charged in a new lawsuit that it lost numerous customers after the San Antonio company failed to provide web-hosting services and security as promised.

I3 Brands has filed suit in Bexar County District Court accusing Rackspace of providing “inadequate and non-existent security,” causing customers, including two unidentified carmakers to desert the business. I3 Brands is seeking more than $1 million in damages for lost revenue, $700,000 plus in fees it paid to Rackspace, and unspecified punitive damages.

Rackspace is staying mum on the legal action saying that the company has not been served and therefore has no comment. Rackspace went private again in August of 2016 after accepting a $4.3 billion cash offer from private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

I3 Brands is a technology based corporation with a deep portfolio of entities specializing in software and data-driven solutions that has several automobile manufacturers and thousands of individual dealerships as clients and has been a Rackspace customer since 2008.

According to the suit, in May 2014 i3 Brands uncovered a security breach relating to its data and customer information on Rackspace servers. New security measures were slated to be implemented in September 2014 but i3 Brands discovered the “load balancers” — which distribute network traffic across different servers — were insufficient for the enhanced security measures.

I3 Brands says it was forced to enter into another deal with Rackspace to stabilize the thousands of websites i3 Brands hosts or manages. Last April, the suit adds, i3Brands uncovered a second security breach involving the Rackspace servers. I3 Brands said it learned that Rackspace had installed the the more expensive load balancer without the necessary security patches. After security upgrades were completed, i3 Brands said Rackspace’s servers would repeatedly crash.

“Numerous calls with Rackspace’s ‘experts’ proved fruitless” the suit alleges. The suit also claims that an outside contractor hired by i3 Brands determined Rackspace servers were “misconfigured”, and “Rackspace, however, had no solution, even though Rackspace had recommended and implemented the new security platform”.

I3 Brands also alleged in the suit that its customers were vulnerable to hacking and theft of data as a result of Rackspace failing to activate another security device. Ultimately, i3 Brands said, it was forced to switch to another web-hosting company. It had been paying Rackspace $35,000 a month.

Although a mute point, Hostjury out of curiosity ran a who-is on i3 brand domains for the ‘other’ hosting company.

Domain Name: I3BRANDS.COM is on a Microsoft server at Google (go figure)
Domain Name: PARTS.COM is also on a Microsoft server at Google.
Domain Name: partprotection.com.. well it's just on a server at Google.
Domain Name: trademotion.com is also on a server at Google.
Then there is Domain Name: frequentz.com which happens to be on RACKSPACE.COM Name Servers.

I3 Brands has sued Rackpace for breach of contract and negligence. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Siteground Web Hosting

EIG's ResellerClub Latecomer To The Party. Adds Google G Suite

Wed, 1st February 2017, 22:15

Endurance International Group (EIG) first announced back in December that it has worked a deal with Google to bring G Suite to international sub-reseller accounts through one of its numerous brand but for whatever reason ResellerClub India is now sending around another ‘news flash’ puff piece informing web designers and developers that they can offer the intelligent productivity and business collaboration of G Suite to their customers directly from their ResellerClub control panel at competitive prices.

Back in the original release, Endurance CEO & Founder Hari Ravichandran gushed:

"Endurance has a longstanding relationship with Google, and we are thrilled to embark on this journey to empower international small businesses by introducing Google's G Suite through ResellerClub. Our ResellerClub customers will experience equivalent customer support and service as they would if they were to purchase products directly through Google."

In the latest regurgitated piece, Shridhar Luthria, Sr. Vice-President of Channel Partnerships at Endurance International Group shared his thoughts on the collaboration saying:

At ResellerClub, we're constantly striving to give our customers the best - the best hosting solutions, the best prices, the best brands. Google Cloud's apps are frequently used by people all around the globe, every single day - be it Google Drive, Docs, Gmail, you name it. By choosing ResellerClub to offer G Suite, Web pros can now manage domains, hosting and professional email, all from their ResellerClub panel and enjoy advantages in support, pricing and management.

ResellerClub is touted as part of Endurance International Group's family of brands and a leading provider of cloud solutions, web-hosting and other web-presence solutions. In reality it’s just another platform to hock some of EIG’s other brands like BlueHost and HostGator.

And in 2014, Endurance began offering G Suite to customers on the Bluehost, Domain.com, iPage and HostGator platforms. The product subsequently launched on some of Endurance's largest international brands in 2015 including BigRock in India, Bluehost and HostGator in Mexico and on HostGator Brazil in 2016.

I guess someone forgot to tell the people over at ResellerClub. Oh well, the only bad news is no news!

 

About ResellerClub

ResellerClub was founded with the objective of offering domain names and hosting products to web designers, developers and web hosts. Today, ResellerClub has evolved into a one-stop-shop marketplace for all products and services that a web professional can use to enable small businesses to build a meaningful web presence.

 

About Endurance International Group (EIG)

Endurance International Group Holdings, Inc (Endurance) is a provider of cloud-based platform solutions designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) succeed online. The Company serves approximately 4.7 million subscribers across the globe with an integrated suite of over 150 products and services.

An incomplete list of Endurance's (EIG) brands include A Small Orange (ASO), Apollo Hosting, Arvixe, BigRock, BizLand, BlueDomino, Bluehost, Dollar2Host, Domain.com, DomainHost, Dotster, easyCGI, eHost, EntryHost, FastDomain, FatCow, FreeYellow, Globat, HostCentric, HostClear, HostGator, HostMonster, HostYourSite, HyperMart, IMOutdoors, Intuit Websites, iPage, iPower, iPowerWeb, StartLogic, JustHost, MyDomain, MyResellerHome, NetFirms, Networks Web Hosting, Nexx, PowWeb, PureHost, ReadyHosting, Saba-Pro, SEO Hosting, Site5, Spry, SuperGreen Hosting, USANetHosting, Verio, VirtualAvenue, VPSLink, WebHost4Life, Webstrike Solutions, and Xeran.

A2 High Performance WebHosting

Bluehost support staff disappear

Fri, 27th January 2017, 18:10

It appears that Endurance International Group (EIG) customer tech support bloodletting is continuing with Bluehost workers in Utah being the latest to get the axe. The layoff is expected to affect more than half of BlueHost’s 750 employees.

The layoffs were announced at a meeting on January 19th and will affect 440 accounting, customer support, human resources, and training staff. According to a Reddit thread, the layoffs will occur between March through October of this year.

While an audio clip recorded at the meeting is worth the listen, the statement issued by Endurance provides the gist visually:

Transitioning our Orem office is a significant business decision that impacts approximately 440 Bluehost jobs locally. We’re evolving the way we take care of our customers by consolidating the support function from Orem to our existing office in Tempe, Arizona. Many of these roles may also relocate to our offices in Provo and Salt Lake City. This will enable the Bluehost brand to continue to grow as a choice provider of online services.

This was not an easy conclusion, made more difficult because of the sense of community and camaraderie we embrace in Orem. Shifting the majority of our resources and attention to centralize support, sales as well as professional services is a long-term strategy for the benefit of the business and our valued customers. This decision will enable greater efficiency across our family of Endurance brands for the benefit of our customers.

It is our priority to ensure a mindful transition for our valued employees and we are extremely grateful for their dedication.

Of course this statement is exactly what one would expect from a publicly traded company with backing from private equity firms. When corporate entities acquire competing brands, there’s a reasonable expectation that streamlining and efficiency will render some positions redundant. Hence Endurance laying off over 200 employees at Constant Contact – 15 percent of its workforce – days after its $1.1 billion acquisition closed last February isn’t that surprising.

While not privy to the motive, beyond all that pro capitalist wall street jargon, this isn’t that.

BlueHost customer support and sales are moving to Tempe, AZ which is where Endurance manages a couple of their other brands, Hostgator and iPage. In the latter part of 2015, EIG eviscerated the Arvixe support team when A Small Orange (ASO) took over managing Arvixe tech support. Within months the ASO and Site5 brands were also being ‘streamlined’. You have to wonder why spend hundreds of millions of dollars acquiring successful brands with good reputations and talented staff only to get rid of everything except the customers (editor's note: Read on for more about the customers!).

 

EIG may give a hint in their third quarter 2016 filing.

 

We have certain hosting and other brands to which we no longer allocate significant marketing or other funds. These brands generally have healthy free cash flow, but we do not consider them strategic or growth priorities. Subscriber counts for these non-strategic brands are decreasing. While our more strategic brands, in the aggregate, showed net subscriber adds during the quarter ended September 30, 2016, the net subscriber losses in non-strategic brands and certain gateway brands contributed to a decrease in our total subscribers of approximately 42,000 during the quarter. We expect that total subscribers will continue to decrease in the near term.

Overall, our core hosting and web presence business showed relatively slow revenue and subscriber growth during the first nine months of 2016. We believe that this is due to flat marketing expenditures relative to 2015 levels on this business in the first half of 2016 as a result of our focus on gateway products during that period, and to trends in the competitive landscape, including greater competition for referral sources and an increasing trend among consumers to search for web presence and marketing solutions using brand-related search terms rather than generic search terms such as “shared hosting” or “website builder”. We believe this trend assists competitors who have focused more heavily than we have on building consumer awareness of their brand, and that it has made it more challenging and more expensive for us to attract new subscribers. In order to address this trend, during the third quarter of 2016, we began to allocate additional marketing investment to a subset of our hosting brands, including our largest brands, Bluehost.com, HostGator and iPage. We plan to continue this increased level of marketing investment in the near term, and are evaluating different marketing strategies aimed at increasing brand awareness.

It appears that Endurance plans to continue with increased level of marketing to attract new clientele to replace the ones they are shedding. They are also evaluating different marketing strategies aimed at increasing brand awareness…

There are a couple of adages about marketing strategies that come to mind. One is about a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. Another attributed to a Harvard article is that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Endurance’s 2016 4th Q report is out in February so maybe then we'll know how that is working!

Hostjury's motto is not to give our opinionated view of web hosting providers preferring instead to give users the ability to recommend and review their web hosting provider to other users. Clients of EIG’s many brands can write their review by clicking on the pertinent links below. Others can review their host here.

Endurance International Group (EIG) web hosting brands include:

 

Siteground Web Hosting

Web.com Acquires Latin America Based Donweb.com

Wed, 25th January 2017, 20:35

Citing its international growth strategy, Web.com has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Latin American-focused Donweb.com, a leading web hosting and domain registration company.

David L. Brown, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Web.com states:

“The addition of Donweb.com to our organization will be an important next step in our international growth strategy. Latin America has a large and growing base of small-business customers who are looking for website and internet solutions and need assistance. Over the last 15 years, Donweb.com CEO and Founder Guillermo Tornatore has built an impressive service-oriented business that focuses on the customer, and we look forward to Guillermo and his experienced, Argentina-based team of approximately 90 employees joining the Web.com family”.

Guillermo Tornatore, Donweb.com's chief executive officer and founder adds:

"We are pleased to enter into an agreement with Web.com. We look forward to combining our expertise and success in helping small businesses with Web.com's online marketing solutions to better serve this market"

Argentina-based Donweb.com provides a wide range of services such as email marketing, VPS and dedicated services in the Latin American region. The company was set up in 2002 and also specializes in web hosting and cloud servers. Donweb.com’s customers primarily comprise small and mid-sized businesses.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Web.com other brands include Network Solutions and Register.com.

 

About Donweb.com

Founded in 2002, Donweb.com is a leading Latin American technology company that provides web hosting, cloud servers, dedicated servers, email marketing and domains services to small and medium-sized businesses. Donweb.com is one of the largest providers in the Latin American market and has achieved constant growth by simplifying the process of building a web presence for its customers.

 

About Web.com

Web.com started out as Micron Electronics and sold computers. After closing down its PC business and entering the website business, Micron Electronics started to acquire related businesses. It then changed its name to Interland in 2000. After changing its name to Web.com, the company continued to grow when in 2007 it merged with Website Pros in 2007. Web.com now provides a full range of Internet services to small businesses to help them compete and succeed online. Web.com meets the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle with affordable, subscription-based solutions including domains, hosting, website design and management, search engine optimization, online marketing campaigns, local sales leads, social media, mobile products and eCommerce solutions.

 

Tucows Acquires eNom. NameCheap Leaves eNom

Tue, 24th January 2017, 19:41

Canadian technology company Tucows, a provider of network access, domain names and other Internet services has made a hasty announcement saying that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire wholesale domain name registrar eNom from Rightside Group, Ltd. Tucows will pay $83.5 million and will be funded through an amendment increasing Tucows’ existing credit facility to a total of $140 million.

This acquisition of eNom will add 14.5 million domains under management and 28,000 active resellers. That will give Tucows a total network of over 40,000 resellers globally and 29 million domains under management, making it the second largest domain registrar in the world.

David Woroch, Tucows’ Executive Vice President of Domains says:

For years, eNom and OpenSRS have been the two leading registrars primarily focused on the needs of resellers. This focus means these businesses fit very well together. The acquisition keeps eNom resellers where they will be well understood, well valued and well served and creates tremendous value for Tucows and resellers on both sides through efficiency and scale.

Elliot Noss, Tucows’ CEO threw in his two cents saying:

This industry has changed so much since Tucows and eNom each launched wholesale registrar services over fifteen years ago and .com, .net and .org essentially represented the namespace. It is a lot more challenging and complex now. At the same time, it is more mature and much more competitive. Scale is absolutely critical. This is a rare deal that gives Tucows and its investors exactly that while offering an immediate cash on cash return.

Sounds great except… 40,000 resellers globally may have its first casualty

Many web hosting companies and registrars use Enom to resell domains which makes sense if domains are a small part of your bottom line and you don’t want to get ICANN accredited to sell generic domain extensions. (You do not need ICANN accreditation to sell country code top level domains.)

So while it may make sense to resell domain names when registration volume and domains under management are low, over the years some companies have grown aggressively by marketing heavily to web developers, webmasters, and anyone else that needs online web services including domain names, web hosting, SSL certificates, etc.

NameCheap is now stating that it has stopped reselling domain names through Enom and that new domains registrations and transfer will be directly through NameCheap. Namecheap also says that when a domain is renewed it will be automatically transfered from Enom to NameCheap.

Domain Name: ********.COM
Registrar: NAMECHEAP INC.
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 1068
Whois Server: whois.namecheap.com
Referral URL: http://www.namecheap.com
Name Server: DNS1.REGISTRAR-SERVERS.COM
Name Server: DNS2.REGISTRAR-SERVERS.COM
Status:clientTransferProhibited

Updated Date: 21-jan-2017
Creation Date: 21-jan-2017
Expiration Date: 21-jan-2018

While the exact number of domains managed by Namecheap through Enom is not known, their latest website states Namecheap “has about 3 million customers and more than 7 million domains under management”. I'll leave it for Tucows, Rightside Group, and Enom to do the math!

 

About Tucows

Tucows is a provider of network access, domain names and other Internet services. Ting delivers mobile phone service and fixed Internet access with outstanding customer support. OpenSRS manages nearly 15 million domain names and millions of value-added services through a global reseller network of over 13,000 web hosts and ISPs. Hover makes it easy for individuals and small businesses to manage their domain names and email addresses.

 

About Namecheap

We work hard to provide unparalleled levels of service, security and support. We strive to offer intuitive products at the most competitive prices in the business. We never bombard our clients with unwanted upsells or in-your-face advertising. Our goal is to be honest, straightforward, friendly and helpful. And that's all.

Namecheap sits right at the doorstep of the web, so we know how important a domain name can be for your business. Our support staffers are some of the smartest, nicest people in the industry. In fact, every member of the Namecheap staff is skilled, well-trained and ready to help. We want you – our customers – to feel like rockstars and royalty, because that's what you are, as far as we're concerned. Making customers happy is our top priority.

Namecheap domains for less than $1

Liquid Web announces the acquisition of Chicago-based managed web host WiredTree

Thu, 19th January 2017, 21:49

They say that no news is bad news and it appears that Liquid Web is taking that to heart by announcing the acquisition of yet another company, this time Chicago-based managed web hosting company WiredTree. HostJury first wrote about this at the end of November but the companies have publicly announced it today so its a fairly newsworthy tidbit. The acquisition follows the completed purchase of Rackspace's Cloud Sites business late last year.

In a letter to WiredTree clients, Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger says that Liquid Web sought out well-run businesses with similar products, services, and customers – and WiredTree was a perfect match. WiredTree and Liquid Web have a shared history, a remarkably similar platform, and a common philosophy. We have been working behind the scenes preparing for this announcement and during this time, we’ve put in a lot of hard work to ensure this change is an elevation to your hosting experience.

  • First, your pricing will not change. In fact, we intend to upgrade your services at your current pricing level. You will have the same or better products and services.
  • We will be providing you with the same - or better - dedicated and VPS hosting products. Additionally, we have a broad portfolio of products and services available to you including Managed WordPress, Email, CDN, Advanced Spam protection, DDoS Protection and more.
  • Additionally, if you are a reseller of hosting services, we have specialized programs and dedicated resources that can help you grow your business.
  • Your IP address will stay the same and you may continue to use the same nameservers. Your new server will be given an additional IP address and when it is time to move traffic to the new server, your current IP addresses will be transferred so that no DNS changes are required.

Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger also states in a publicly released statement that:

“With the addition of both WiredTree and Cloud Sites, we further our mission to empower web professionals worldwide to create content and commerce without worry. For web professionals whose websites fuel their businesses, we understand they need a partner to provide both a technological advantage and support, with a broad portfolio of products and a whatever-it-takes attitude. We're purposefully building a smart, easy, flexible experience that does just that – on our fully owned infrastructure, which is backed by the most helpful humans in hosting.

As their managed hosting provider, we want our newest customers to know that we are willing to go above and beyond to help them succeed. We look forward to creating an exceptional business partnership and would like to welcome each WiredTree customer to the Liquid Web family."

Liquid Web focuses its managed hosting products and highly responsive support on tech-savvy, web-reliant professionals. These professionals rely heavily on the web and cloud to grow their businesses or to power multiple websites and applications. They need a reliable, secure partner who is building products for them and guaranteeing 100 percent power and uptime.

Liquid Web wants to solidify its place as that partner and says their networking and security capabilities are significantly more sophisticated than the current configuration with WiredTree and have implemented a “double-protection” DDoS security architecture (addresses both volumetric and targeted attacks) which WiredTree clients will have by default when they are upgraded to the Liquid Web infrastructure. Liquid Web also guarantee 100% network and power uptime or they’ll credit your account 10x for the amount of any downtime experienced. If there’s a problem, we fix it fast. Liquid Web says they own and control their own data centers so if there’s a problem, they’ll fix it fast. They’re never closed!

WiredTree clients can review the transition here!

Siteground Web Hosting

Google Domains Chose BlueHost To Provide WordPress Hosting

Fri, 13th January 2017, 17:58

An Endurance International Group (EiG) news flash is making the rounds declaring that Google Domains has selected Bluehost to provide WordPress hosting solutions to both new and existing customers. The puff piece touts Bluehost's unique architecture offering customers proven performance, reliability and functionality for running a WordPress site.

WordPress is one of the most popular online publishing platform available and currently powers over 25 percent of the web so many SMB have come to rely on WordPress for their business websites. A recent SMB Trust Index cited WordPress as the most trusted brand for small businesses.

This latest Bluehost offering extends the relationship between Endurance and Google and reflects both companies' joint efforts to get small businesses online and help them grow. The declaration goes on to state that Google Domains customers can now link their domains and create new accounts from Bluehost’s website.

Endurance CEO & Founder, Hari Ravichandran says:

“Bluehost and Endurance have worked closely with WordPress.com's parent company, Automattic, for years now to ensure our web hosting platform would seamlessly run WordPress websites. We're honored to begin working with Google Domains to make it easier for small business customers to get online and manage their online presence”.

This isn’t the first time Google has got in bed with Endurance International having partnered with another EiG brand, StartLogic, for their “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” initiative.

 

Google Domains

Google Domains is the domain name registrar launched in 2014 by Google. (editor’s note: Like many of Google’s pet projects, you never know what’s a keeper. At this point Google Domains is still in “beta”).

Google Domains is strictly a domain registrar for claiming, registering, and managing domain names. They do not offer services such as hosting although Google does separately offers email and business services through Google Apps, gmail, etc. Google makes its money through adverts so naturally they have a vested interest in making “getting online” simpler & less daunting for small and/or less tech-savvy businesses.

Google Domains endeavors to be simple and transparent so you’ll notice their homepage is so minimalist that it’s nearly blank. Google Domains focus is on doing one thing and one thing only – domains so the design has no upsells, no cross-sells and no visual clutter. And no adverts!

When you need to point your domain to a host or website builder, it’s all there in a single place. When an option is chosen, the user is provided with further options eg: “to start your trial with Bluehost and your Google domain, follow the instructions below or go to Bluehost site. That said, Google Domains provides easy integration for Google web tools (Blogger, Google App Engine, Google Sites), Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, or any other third-party web hosting provider.

 

Screenshot of Google Domain options for managing domain

 

Google Domains maintains a single price for each top level domain (TLD) and is not the cheapest out there. They are pricing is slightly more expensive per year than companies like NameCheap and they don’t offer short-term first year discounts like GoDaddy. Google Domains does bundle Privacy Protection with all their domains whereas many companies would have this option as an upsell.

Google Domains allow people the option to register a very inclusive list of top-level domains. (editor’s note: everything from A to Z… dot academy is $30, dot accountants will set you back $120, dot zone is also $30.. dot coms are $12. Google Domains don’t have the sink but they do have dot kitchen)

What Google Domains does not have is country designated TLDs. It’s a US-only service and has only “generic” TLDs. If you want a .co.uk or .ie domain – you’ll be out of luck. If you don’t live in the US.. yeah you’re out of luck also although there is an option to get notified if and when this changes. Google Domain does have some support options but Google is not exactly known for being the best in the industry. (editor’s note: never clicked on the links… might just go to the Google search page!)

Most hosting companies offer domain registration and SSL certificates. Many webhosts, including BlueHost, include one free domain along with the hosting purchase.
.

About BlueHost

Bluehost's WordPress solutions are built on an innovative platform which offers instant WordPress provisioning, automatic upgrades, Jetpack, MOJO Marketplace, as well as powerful security features and more.

Bluehost hosts over 2 million WordPress websites, supports full-time WordPress Core developers on staff and has been recommended by WordPress.org since 2005. Bluehost experts are available to offer customers 24/7 WordPress support, one-click installation and access to custom WordPress tools to scale their website presence as they grow.

 

About Endurance International Group

An incomplete list of Endurance's (EiG) brands include A Small Orange (ASO), Apollo Hosting, Arvixe, BigRock, BizLand, BlueDomino, Bluehost, Dollar2Host, Domain.com, DomainHost, Dotster, easyCGI, eHost, EntryHost, FastDomain, FatCow, FreeYellow, Globat, HostCentric, HostClear, HostGator, HostMonster, HostYourSite, HyperMart, IMOutdoors, Intuit Websites, iPage, iPower, iPowerWeb, StartLogic, JustHost, MyDomain, MyResellerHome, NetFirms, Networks Web Hosting, Nexx, PowWeb, PureHost, ReadyHosting, Saba-Pro, SEO Hosting, Site5, Spry, SuperGreen Hosting, USANetHosting, Verio, VirtualAvenue, VPSLink, WebHost4Life, Webstrike Solutions, and Xeran.

Namecheap domains for less than $1

Google Ups Ante On Social Engineering Policies

Thu, 12th January 2017, 19:17

Last year Google announced it would start warning users when they were about to visit a website with "deceptive embedded content." Google describes this deceptive content as "social engineering ads," most commonly pop-ups that persuade the user they need to install software in order to view content, or official-looking forms that deceive people into sharing their passwords or calling a premium-rate tech support telephone helpline.

Website found to be violating some form of the rules were flagged and every user visiting their page got a hard to miss bright red warning. But the warning only lasted as long as the problem and once the offending issue was fixed, everything returned to normal.

 

Google deceptive site warning

 

Seems Google has had enough of individuals looking for ways around their Social Engineering Policies, and are bringing down the mallet on violators. The days of offenders fixing their site and playing nice long enough for the warning to be removed, before going back to their old ways are over. The updated policy for repeat offenders will see offender receive a warning on their page but they will also have to wait thirty additional days after the fix before losing the warning tag.

Google is hoping this change will incentive players not to be evil!

Rochen Performance Hosting

Server Mania Promo: 30% off Cloud Servers

Wed, 11th January 2017, 20:32

Server Mania’s slogan - "Hosting Empowered" - reflects their dedication to the needs of their client and their devotion to equipping them with all the resources needed to be ahead of the competition. Backed by Server Mania’s powerful Surge platform, Cloud, Hybrid and Dedicated Server Hosting solutions can be deployed in as little as 2 minutes. Server Mania offers Free DDoS protection up to 1 Gbps on all server hosting accounts and offers custom options designed to meet the needs of any business.

Now Server Mania is running a special sales promotion till the end of the month that's giving 30% off the first month for High Availability Cloud Servers. The main benefit of the Openstack public cloud hosting service over traditional hosting delivery models is the rapid deployment and elasticity. All cloud servers are automatically backed up and will deploy in 15 minutes!

30% off ServerMania Cloud Servers

Learn more by clicking this link (or the banner) and use promo code SMCH30 at checkout.

 

The Disclaimer

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of the listed provider(s). The web hosts are presented in no particular order. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.
But really.. saving some greenbacks (or any other color of money) is a great way to celebrate the New Year!
Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. Coupons are added as we get them!
Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: [email protected]

Hot Stuff From BlueHost: Shared Hosting Package For Only $3.49/month

Tue, 10th January 2017, 00:40

Seriously it’s January and it cold everywhere. Well almost everywhere. What better way to beat those winter blues than with a hot deal from BlueHost.

BlueHost is giving away their Shared Basic Hosting Package Now Only $3.49/month for up to 36 Months! That’s Up To 56% OFF and most plans include one free domain registration!

BlueHost 2017 New Year Special. 50Gigs of website space and unmetered bandwidth. Includes one free domain.

It’s a limited time offer and EXPIRES: 1/20/2017

Bluehost.com Web Hosting $3.49

Shared Basic Hosting Package Now Only $3.49 for 36 Months! Up To 56% OFF! Most plans include one free domain registration!

 

The Disclaimer

As always, HostJury recommend that while price may be a consideration when choosing a web host, it should only be one of the many factored into your research. Page load speeds, additional features, good communication, and a fast knowledgeable support team will always top saving a few cents per day... And as always, HostJury makes no recommendation or endorsement of the listed provider(s). The web hosts are presented in no particular order. You are encouraged to practice due diligence.. and at some point leave a review of the services provided.

But really.. saving some greenbacks (or any other color of money) is a great way to celebrate the New Year!

Coupons may also be found on review pages of many of the web hosts reviewed on HostJury. In the right column under the related blog post section. Coupons are added as we get them!

Web hosts wishing to participate in HostJury's deals and steals are invited to contact us by email: [email protected]

Irish web host ‘the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet’

Wed, 14th December 2016, 17:55

There’s a saying that the only bad news is no news. Nowhere does this adage seem truer than in the webhosting industry. Over the years many of the players have suffered crippling downtime and outages, data loss, or hacks one week, only to report an increase in their client base the next. Not so sure it’s going to work out as good for Eric Marques and his Dublin based Freedom Hosting

Eric Eoin Marques, 31, has lost his legal challenges against extradition to America to face charges that as owner and administrator of Freedom Hosting, he is alleged to be “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet”.

Freedom Hosting was a provider of turnkey “Tor hidden service” sites that hide their geographic location behind layers of routing, and can be reached only over the Tor anonymity network. Tor hidden services are used by sites that need to evade surveillance or protect users’ privacy to an extraordinary degree – including human rights groups and journalists. But they also appeal to the criminal types including child-porn scum.

The FBI acknowledged during the Irish court hearing that it secretly took control of Freedom Hosting and utilized a custom malware designed to identify visitors. Freedom Hosting used servers from an unnamed commercial hosting provider in France, and paid for them from a bank account in Las Vegas. Although there was a lack of details on how the FBI took over the servers, the bureau was temporarily thwarted when Marques somehow regained access and changed the passwords, briefly locking out the FBI until it gained back control.

The court heard evidence that in excess of $1.5 million had passed through Marques’ bank accounts including large payments sent to accounts in Romania. At an earlier hearing when Marques applied for legal aid the court was told Marques had given €250,000 to his Romanian girlfriend, and spent the rest of his money on McDonald’s, escorts and petrol.

Marques has Irish and US citizenship and was arrested in Ireland after a warrant for his arrested was issued in the USA for distributing and promoting images of child abuse on the internet. Marques was fighting extradition.  

Softsys Hosting

GoDaddy reaches agreement to acquire Host Europe Hosting Brands

Tue, 6th December 2016, 13:24

GoDaddy has confirmed what was likely worst kept secret the hosting industry confirming that one of the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small independent businesses(SMB) is about to get a little bigger. GoDaddy has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Host Europe Group (HEG) for €1.69 billion ($1.79B USD).

Host Europe has 1.7 million clients across its brands which include 123Reg, Heart Internet, Host Europe, domainFACTORY, Webfusion, Domain Monster, RedCoruna, Domainbox, Donhost, Brand Fortress, PlusServer, and Server4You, and the Paragon Internet Group which uses the trade name like TsoHost, VidaHost, and Hostroute (editor's note: Donhost and Brand Fortress are not presently separate brands). 

HEG is currently owned by private equity firm Cinven which acquired the business in August 2013. GoDaddy intends to integrate the majority of HEG's while exploring strategic alternatives for HEG's PlusServer managed hosting business, including a possible sale. The PlusServer brand serves larger companies and require a dedicated field sales force and account management. Because its business model differs from GoDaddy, GoDaddy intends to explore strategic alternatives for the PlusServer business despite PlusServer generating approximately a third of Host Europe’s cash flow and estimated annual profits.

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving in a prepared statement

GoDaddy has successfully expanded its international business to 56 global markets over the past four years. HEG has built an impressive business that generates strong top-line growth, high margins, and industry-leading customer satisfaction. By joining forces with HEG, we accelerate our expansion into Europe with the delivery of a broader range of cloud-based products, built on a single global technology platform, and supported by unparalleled customer care to help small businesses and web designers succeed online.

Patrick Pulvermüller, Group CEO of HEG added:

In combining with GoDaddy, we see a remarkable opportunity for our customers, partners and the small business ecosystem in Europe. What stands out is the strategic alignment of the companies – we're both driven to empower people to transform their ideas and bring them to life online. Together GoDaddy and HEG will provide even more value for our customers and introduce new solutions to help their ventures succeed.

Patrick Pulvermüller will lead the combined company's European operations. HEG has reported it will generate approximately US$328 million in earning with approximately US$139 million in adjusted EBITDA for 2016. The purchase price of €1.69 billion (US$1.79 billion), represents approximately 11x HEG's 2016 estimated adjusted EBITDA and includes €605 million paid to the selling shareholders and €1.08 billion in assumed net debt.

Financing for the transaction has been committed by existing lenders at interest rates similar to GoDaddy's existing term loan. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, subject to customary regulatory and other closing requirements.

 

About GoDaddy


GoDaddy powers the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. With more than 14 million customers worldwide and more than 63 million domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company check out the GoDaddy profile page.

 

About HEG


HEG is one of Europe's leading web services providers, one of the largest domain registrars in the UK and a leading provider of Managed Hosting in Germany. HEG has more than 1.7 million customers with over 7 million domain names under management. HEG's mission is to web enable business like no other. HEG knows that that the companies that put the web at their heart are redefining commercial success. HEG believes that every company can benefit from harnessing the power of the internet, whoever they are and whatever their needs. HEG's role in this transformation is to enable all businesses to succeed online and focuses to empower its customers to get the most out of the web; be that through its products, its customer support or its 'how to guides'. To learn more about the company check out the HostEurope profile page.

Contabo VPS Servers

Web Host Shuts Down Site Claiming Its “Hateful or Discriminatory”

Mon, 28th November 2016, 15:41

Websites going ‘down’ on Black Friday or Cyber Monday has been a common phenomenon for as long as there have been websites online catering to the biggest shopping bonanza of the year. Website will continue to falter but in this age of globally distributed DNS infrastructure it has become increasingly rare for sites to be unwittingly brought to their knees from an influx of frenzied shoppers. When a website drop offline in more recent times, it’s more likely to be one of those ‘you should have seen this coming when you picked that webhost’ moments.

While the website #fail tally is yet to be calculated for this year boom or bust weekend, one website owner left fuming at being offline on Friday really should have seen it coming. 2ndVote, a conservative watchdog group for corporate advocacy launched the campaign #AnywhereButTARGET ahead of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season to galvanize support against Target’s ‘gender-inclusive’ restroom and changing-room policies. The site was shut down on Thanksgiving morning by its web hosting company on the claim that it featured “hateful or discriminatory” content.

Lance Wray, Executive Director of 2ndVote stated in a press release:

Our #AnywhereButTARGET campaign has been so effective that at 9:00 a.m. this Thanksgiving morning our Minneapolis-based web host (Leadpages) unfortunately SHUT US DOWN for being ‘hateful’ and discriminatory’ to try to stop this movement!

They should have seen this coming. In an email sent to Wray on November 23, Leadpages’ director of operations Doug Storbeck said that 2ndVote must take down its #AnywhereButTarget landing page by November 24.

Doug Storbeck writing in an email stated:

At Leadpages, we strive to create an inclusive workplace that upholds the dignity of all people. We value, respect, and celebrate everyone’s individualities and honor their unique strengths from all different walks of life. We believe that embracing diversity of thought and perspective encourages collaboration that leads to product innovation, diverse products and a successful business,”

Storbeck said the company’s “core values” of prohibiting content they deem to be “hateful or discriminatory based on race, color, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or age or is otherwise objectionable, as reasonably determined” are something “we take very seriously.”

A Little Background

In April Target, the second largest discount retailer in the United States, adopted a policy allowing members of one biological sex to use the bathrooms and fitting rooms of the opposite sex at all its stores nationwide. Opposition to the policy hasn’t been totally unfounded as there have been at least a couple of incidents where criminal charges have been filed against men posing as women and filming victims in the state of undress in female changing rooms.


What's in that ToS

Most, if not all web hosting companies have some stipulations and/or limitations on acceptable content in one form or another within their Terms of Service (ToS). At the very least this would prohibits "illegal, abusive or unethical activity". This could includes posting copyrighted materials, adult content (those pornography and gambling sites invite DDoS attacks from competitors sites), child porn, spammers, irc bot’s etc etc. In the interest of staying neutral under the safe harbor rules it would not be that uncommon for hosting companies to include a clause such as…

You are solely responsible for any and all User Content and any transactions or other activities conducted on or through User Websites. By posting or distributing User Content on or through the Services, you represent and warrant that (i) you have all the necessary rights to post or distribute such User Content, and (ii) your posting or distribution of such User Content does not infringe or violate the rights of any third party.

It certainly is plausible and not a far stretch that item (ii) could be construed to include content deemed to be hateful or discriminatory based on race, color, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin, marital status, disability, and sexual orientation.

But Leadpages Acceptable Use and Conduct ToS goes further.

You agree that that you will not publish or make available any Content that, or use the Site in a manner that:

(e) is libelous or defamatory, or that is otherwise threatening, abusive, violent, harassing, malicious or harmful to any person or entity, or is invasive of another's privacy; (editor's note: emphasis added by me)

(g) is hateful or discriminatory based on race, color, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or age or is otherwise objectionable, as reasonably determined by Ave. 81;

'Any People' yes.. but the addition of that word ‘entity’ is puzzling (if not troubling) to say the least.

Lance Wray disagrees with the decision of Leadpages and says his organization is not backing down and will work to “redevelop our page to keep this campaign alive.” True to his word the #AnywhereButTARGET website was back up and live on Amazon’s cloud before day's end on Friday.

Managed Hoster WiredTree Acquired By Liquid Web

Sun, 27th November 2016, 13:22

While almost everyone but the turkey was enjoying a Thanksgiving feast or breaking down the doors at the mall for those black Friday specials, Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger was busy on his computer sending out an email blast informing the clients of managed host WiredTree that they are now customers of the Heroic Support® purveyors Liquid Web.

Inspite of Jim Geiger stating that they’ve have been working behind the scenes since August to prepare for this announcement about the company's acquisition of WiredTree, it seems that neither his company, nor WiredTree had the foresight to write a post for either company's blog. Guess an email is more personal! Geiger sort of explains this away by stating that during this time they’ve been busy working to make this a change that would elevate WiredTree client’s hosting experience.

So what does this mean for WiredTree clients. Geiger says that Liquid Web has been investing in new hardware to upgrade services, creating an upgrade and migration plan for each one of their valuable new customers, training their Liquid Web Heroic Support® and personnel in the infrastructure and products of WiredTree. They also been establishing a team of dedicated migrations specialists to assist in a smooth transition to Liquid Web.

Geiger’s email states:

WiredTree and Liquid Web have a shared history, a remarkably similar platform, and a common philosophy. We are committed to providing you with reliable, secure, and highly available web hosting solutions - surrounded by our 250 Red Hat, Linux and Windows certified technicians ... who are all US-based, direct employees of ours. We don’t outsource our most valuable customer interactions. Need help? Contact us the way you prefer ... we are available 24x7x364 via phone, chat and online ticketing. We own and control our three geographically diverse data centers and you can have confidence that we are on site and near your servers. We proudly serve over 30,000 customers worldwide and are thrilled that you will become one of them.

While that may impress the clients of many web hosts, WiredTree customers are already accustomed to 24x7x364 inhouse technical support which may be why Geiger’s ‘extremely excited welcome to Liquid Web’ email goes on to answer the more important questions.

  • Pricing will not change. In fact, they intend to upgrade services at current pricing level.
  • You will have the same or better products and services.
  • You can expect not only consistent product capabilities, but will be providing you with the same or better products, with several improvements and benefits.
  • Your IP address will stay the same and you may continue to use the same nameservers.
  • Your new server will be given an additional IP address for testing. When it is time to move traffic to the new server, your current IP addresses will be transferred so that no DNS changes are required.

The 'upgrades' are expected to begin within the next two weeks but the company is promising to contact clients with information about their personal upgrade schedule and the exact hardware each will receive.

"Your data will be migrated to Liquid Web’s wholly-owned, state-of-the-art data center, featuring industry-leading hardware and premium security services. We have assigned a dedicated team to work on your upgrade and you will be provided a direct line to communicate with them throughout the process. We will follow up with instructions about your enhanced account and the new features it offers as well as billing and account management. You can be assured that we will do everything we can to make your server upgrade process a smooth one and to make sure your websites transition seamlessly".

While Jim Geiger emits enthusiasm in his email about the pending changes, one can’t help but muse whether to much change, too fast is always a good thing for the clients. Even for the casual observer it's obvious that despite offloading its shared hosting segment to Deluxe Hosting (dumped by Liquid Web in August 2016), it is still going to require a heroic effort just to integrate Rackspace 'Cloud Sites' hosting segment (acquired by Liquid Web in August 2016), and open that new office in downtown San Antonio Texas.

Only time will tell (and maybe the reviews... clients can share their experiences here) but past reviews by clients of both companies suggest that WiredTree and Liquid Web equal commitment to providing reliable, secure, and highly available web hosting solutions’ has translated into equally devoted clients.

About Liquid Web

At Liquid Web, we pride ourselves on the simple offer of great customer service, happy to take ownership of any question you have at any time you might have it. When you become a client, you become part of our team. At Liquid Web, we have a long-standing reputation for industry-leading, onsite, 24/7/365 Heroic Support®. Our support team is the backbone of our company and transparency is our Heroic Promise. Every month, we publish our support statistics so you can see exactly how fast we’re responding to tickets and taking phone calls. We’re located on-site at each of our data centers, ensuring the fastest service available. Formed in August of 1997.

About WiredTree

WiredTree emerged in June 2006 to change the game for hosting services. The goal was to provide our clients with a superior managed hosting environment through unmatched customer service, innovative network design, a unique suite of services, and the most advanced server hardware.
To realize this goal, we created a solid support structure to better respond to client issues. With years of experience in the industry, we knew what worked and what didn’t, and we used that knowledge to enhance and streamline the support experience.
The final result is the industry’s most reliable, advanced and secure complete managed hosting solutions.

Siteground Web Hosting

Private Equity Fund Buy Stake in United Internet 1&1

Wed, 9th November 2016, 09:38

Private equity fund Warburg Pincus has agreed to buy a third of the web hosting business of Germany’s United Internet’s 1&1 brand for 450 million euros ($497 million). The deal puts a dollar value on the company at 2.55 billion euros ($2.82 billion), including debt.

That price tag gives the business a valuation of 12.5 times its expected 2016 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), United Internet CEO Ralf Dommermuth said.

The transaction offers 1&1 Internet SE flexibility with regard to future strategic options, including a potential IPO in the coming years. It's a stepping stone to an IPO. It won't be 2017 he said. Things sometimes don't turn out as planned.

United Internet had already raised prospects for a possible flotation of the business last year, when it said it would use proceeds from an initial public offering (IPO) to fund acquisitions.
Under the deal agreed on Tuesday, a holding company of Warburg Pincus will pay up to 450 million euros for the stake in the business, based on an equity value of 1.35 billion euros.
Around 334 million euros of the purchase price are to be paid in the first half of next year, with the rest to be transferred at later stages, depending on certain performance milestones and foreign exchange rate movements.

Shares in United Internet, which will keep a 66.7 percent stake in the web hosting business, turned positive on the news and were up 5 percent at the closing bell to top Germany’s technology index. Last month United Internet and Warburg Pincus were said to be teaming up for a bid for rival German web-hosting provider Host Europe Group (HEG) which is being sold by private equity group Cinven.

django, rails, and wordpress hostingHosting for developers

The Weebly Hack: Bringing the world to your website!

Sun, 23rd October 2016, 21:12

San-Francisco based "drag-n-drop" website creator Weebly is the latest to get its laundry aired publicly. According to the data breach notification site LeakedSource the information on more than 43 million accounts were taken in breach. The database was provided to LeakedSource by an anonymous source and contains the username, email address, password, and IP address on 43,430,316 users leaked from Weebly’s main database in February of 2016.

LeakedSource in a summary of the occurrence

Unlike nearly every other hack, the Co-founder and CTO of Weebly Chris Fanini fortunately did not have his head buried deeply in the sand and actually responded to our communication requests. We have been working with them to ensure the security of their users meaning password resets as well as notification emails are now being sent out.

This mega breach affects not only tens of millions of users but tens of millions of websites and this breach could have been far more disastrous in the wrong hands had they not strongly hashed passwords.

Although the ‘news’ is visibly absent from the “News” section of the Weebly website, it has been said that Weebly has sent out an email to customers confirming the breach. Supposedly Weebly has stated that they do not believe that any customer website has been improperly accessed. The company also said that it does not store credit card information, making fraudulent charges unlikely.

Possibly the story is being saved for a post on the Weebly Blog.. The story will give new meaning to the blog's tagline ‘Bring the world to your website’

Building your own professional website is as easy as 1.2.3

DreamHost Launches Automated Malware Remover & Improved Email Service

Thu, 29th September 2016, 11:08

DreamHost has announced a couple of new innovative ideas designed to make their clients life easier.

The first is the introduction of an inexpensive security scanning service to its suite of managed hosting options. Once enabled, DreamHost's Malware Remover scans selected customer domains on a weekly basis to identify and neutralize malicious code. Users receive emailed reports of potential problems, while malware and permissions-based issues will be repaired automatically. Because web apps are only as secure as their latest update, DreamHost's Malware Remover will also scan commonly-installed apps to inform users when they've fallen out of date.

Developed in-house by DreamHost's own security team, DreamHost's Malware Remover is a mature version of an internal tool used for years at DreamHost. It brings with it over a decade of experience "in the field" and exposure to all manner of badware that one might expect to find across a customer base of over 400,000.

Marcus Hildum, DreamHost's Director of Security says

We're happy to finally take the wraps off of our Malware Remover. It's the same basic tool we've been using and improving regularly for the better part of the last decade, and we're excited to get this polished version into the hands of our customers. We've put a lot of work into building it up and improving the overall user experience because our users deserve to have a tool this powerful at their disposal.

DreamHost's Malware Remover is available as an add-on option to any and all domains hosted on its managed hosting platform. The press release goes on to say that pricing is a flat $1.50 per domain per month, “but the peace-of-mind and associated warm feeling in customers' chests? Priceless”.

DreamHost has also announced that it will be providing an improved email experience for all customers by partnering with atmail and Vade Secure to deliver a comprehensive email platform. (editor's note: The headline says ALL customers but the body of text says ‘users of its managed hosting service’. Guess we’ll send off an email seeking clarification on which it is!)

DreamHost has partnered with atmail to provide a world-class ad-free webmail experience that keeps full control of its users' email within their DreamHost accounts – without having to export their data to a third party.

“atmail brings a supremely powerful, lightning-fast, web-based mail client with a strong focus on the user experience. Wrapping an intuitive user interface around a comprehensive email client with simple drag-and-drop file management, using email has never been easier for DreamHost customers.”

DreamHost customers preferring open source webmail clients such as SquirrelMail and Roundcube are free to download, install, and continue using them as they wish although they are no longer included by default in DreamHost accounts.

DreamHost has also engaged with Vade Secure to seamlessly deploy their advanced mail filtering and classification system for all email users. Vade Secure analyzes incoming email to filter out spam, scam messages, phishing attempts, viruses, and Trojan horses from customer inboxes. It instantly classifies graymail (newsletters, commercial email, and social network notifications) for easy filtering.

Vade Secure integrates directly with traditional email clients and with atmail's web-based offering, ensuring a consistent, clean inbox experience across platforms.

Dreamhost

European Web Hosts Gain Advantage with American Court Ruling

Mon, 12th September 2016, 15:26

Last year, President Obama angered some officials in Europe when he suggested that the European Union’s investigations into companies like Google, AWS, and Microsoft were "commercially driven." Obama claimed that European "service providers who can’t compete with ours, are essentially trying to set up some roadblocks for our companies to operate effectively there." While the EU officials did a collective Le gasp, pretty much everyone else is aware that American companies have long enjoyed lower taxes and less bureaucracy than their European counterparts.

So, with an estimated 61% of European businesses seeking to gain a competitive edge using digital marketing such as e Commerce, it’s little wonder many are seeking noticeably less expensive solutions ‘across the pond’. While the EU only has itself to blame, a recent US court decision may have handed EU based web hosting companies looking for a break an advantageous marketing tool.

While privacy is not a topic covered in the American Constitution, it has been implied through the centuries that, in general, Americans have a right to privacy. However, in the expansion of the digital age, privacy has become a highly heated debate in the U.S. No one knows where to draw a line in the sand between allowing American citizens their rights to privacy in data, and allowing Big Brother unlimited access to that data.

Recently, Microsoft won their right to privacy in a landmark trial through a panel of second circuit judges. Microsoft originally was subpoenaed in a criminal investigation to bring forth a user’s personal data, which Microsoft wouldn’t do because it was stored in one of their data centers overseas. Microsoft, of course, was charged with contempt of court after they refused to produce the requested user data. Never the kind of company you expect to walk away, Microsoft fought the decision and won. The second circuit judiciaries have made it clear through their final ruling that U.S. laws (like subpoenas and search warrants) only apply within the U.S. itself. Even if a company is based in the U.S., its overseas data cannot be touched without going through the hosting country's judiciary system to obtain warrants/subpoenas.

EFF’s senior staff attorney Lee Tien stated:

"This is a groundbreaking decision that helps to protect privacy rights around the world. The court concluded that under the Stored Communications Act the government cannot use a U.S. search warrant to obtain a customer's email stored on servers outside the country. In our amicus brief supporting Microsoft in this case, we urged the court to reject the government's argument that the search warrant it obtained for email contents was like a subpoena that would require Microsoft to turn over information, regardless of where it was stored. The court recognized the vital privacy protections under the SCA, and correctly ruled that the government cannot use a U.S. search warrant to force Internet service providers to reach email stored outside the U.S."

How this decision will affect future American digital rights cases in the future remains to be seen. However, it does seem to make one factor very clear: The American government is telling its officials “hands off” data that is stored overseas, even if that data is stored by an American company. Of course, this may be different in cases involving U.S. natives with data stored overseas, but Europeans at least can rest assured that their data is safe from being spied on by the U.S., even if it is stored in Europe by an American company. Of course, Europeans making use of European web hosting companies on native soil hold the biggest advantage here still, but this case does show that EU natives will have their privacy rights respected by the American government, even if they do choose to go with an American web host that hosts their data on European soil.

D9 Hosting

Rackspace Goes Private In $4.3B Acquisition Deal

Mon, 29th August 2016, 13:37

After offloading its 'Cloud Sites' hosting segment to Liquid Web earlier this month for an undisclosed sum, San Antonio-based Rackspace has announced its going private again after accepting a $4.3 billion cash offer (or $32 per share) from private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

Despite its early adoption and investment in the cloud sector, it became increasingly clear that Rackspace didn’t have deep enough pockets to compete with the likes of Amazon (AWS), Google and Microsoft in the cloud space. Rackspace has increasingly relied on helping enterprise clients shift their IT operations to the competition's cloud, then helping the companies manage their private and public cloud deployments.

Graham Weston, co-founder and chairman of the board of Rackspace commenting on the deal said:

This transaction is the result of diligent analysis and thoughtful strategic deliberations by our board over many months. Our board, with the assistance of independent advisors, determined that this transaction, upon closing, will deliver immediate, significant and certain cash value to our stockholders. We are also excited that this transaction will provide Rackspace with more flexibility to manage the business for long-term growth and enhance our product offerings. We are confident that as a private company, Rackspace will be best positioned to capitalize on our early leadership of the fast-growing managed cloud services industry.

For users the new ownership model will likely have little or no short term impact. The longer term prospects of not being beholden to ever increasing the value of stock prices may prove more positive, a sentiment seemingly echoed by President and CEO of Rackspace Taylor Rhodes who stated “Apollo and its partners take a patient, value-oriented approach to their funds' investments, and value Rackspace's strategy and unique culture”.

Rhodes also reiterated in a blog post that regardless their corporate structure, Rackspace’s unique culture and Fanatical Support have always been the keys to their success — and always will be.

Rackspace is a founding member in the open source OpenStack project, which gives users the building blocks for setting up their own private clouds. Rackspace went public in 2008. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the last quarter of this year.