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News

LED lighting is our latest ‘green’ initiative

All data centres have a high demand for electricity as computing power generates heat which requires cooling, particularly in Perth’s warm environment.

HostAway has long been committed to running as efficiently as possible and minimising our environmental impact. Our previous works have included:

  • Installing a 30kW solar array, using 172 rooftop photo voltaic solar panels.
  • Modifying the data centre to use a containment system (hot aisle/cold aisle separation) including perforated rack doors and floor vents.
  • Running a paperless office and implementing a strict recycling protocol for plastics, metals, silicon boards.
  • Reducing our waste, using sustainable or recyclable office supplies which includes using biodegradable coffee pods (we still need coffee!).

Last month we replaced 70 fluorescent globes throughout our building with low watt LED lighting. The data centre and common areas include motion sensors which reduce their output to 30% when no motion is detected. When someone walks into an area then the light will switch to full brightness.

The solar power we generate (graphed below) has a significant impact on our daily power draw (graphed above).

New power sensors have been installed which gather more granular data about our power use in the office, data centre aisles and the HVAC system. This has provided insights into our power use (and drove the installation of the LED lighting), which allows us to fine tune our systems to maximise efficiency.

Changes to cPanel licensing

HostAway’s shared hosting plans operate on a custom-built cluster of Linux servers to provide high reliability, speed and uptime.

For customers with specific website hosting requirements a Virtual Private Server is recommended. These VPSs can use open-source (no charge) or licensed software to allow the VPS to function as a website server.

Of the three major web hosting control panels (cPanel, Plesk and Direct Admin), cPanel is by far the most widely used.

HostAway provides cPanel licenses which allows customers to turn their VPS into a powerful web hosting platform.

In a controversial move, cPanel recently announced a change to their pricing structure which will come into effect on 1st September 2019. The new “account-based pricing” means the cost for anyone with more than five accounts is going to increase. Unfortunately our base license costs are also increasing as cPanel stripped Partner pricing for lower tiered plans as part of the restructure.

We are investigating alternate licensing plans (such as a solo license for customers using a VPS to manage a single site) and trying to source better pricing. In the meantime if you are a cPanel user you should have received an email from our accounts team regarding the new prices, however please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

cPanel gave the following reasons for the changes in their official blog:

When cPanel defined its original pricing structure, some twenty plus years ago, servers were not as powerful as they are today. Thanks to constant innovation in the hardware sector and optimization in our software, we can now run hundreds of websites on a single processor system. With this change, we align ourselves with this growing technology.

….

Historically, cPanel has based its services and pricing around a VPS or Dedicated license with unlimited cPanel Accounts. As the company has evolved, cPanel has added more development resources, more structure, and more brain power that, in turn, makes it possible to take on an increasing number of development projects. Adjusting our prices will ensure that we can continue to invest in product development, thrive in an increasingly hostile security landscape, grow our customer ecosystem, and remain a leader in hosting automation.

The price change could also have something to do with cPanel being purchased last year by the investment group Oakley Capital, which also owns Plesk and Solus VM.

cPanel remains an extremely useful tool which is popular with web developers, however if you’d like to discuss alternatives we’re always happy to speak to you 🙂

Premium Spam Filtering now available

HostAway is now offering Premium Spam Filtering as an option for customers who receive large amounts of spam to their mailboxes, or would like more control over incoming emails.

Whilst our email hosting plans all include spam filtering as standard, the Premium Spam Filtering service is a more robust system that gives you access to premium tools such as logging, quarantining, spam training, and advanced filtering rules—for both incoming and outgoing emails—which are not possible with the standard filtering.

Pricing for Premium Spam Filtering starts at $7.50/domain/month ($90/domain/year), which will cover inbound emails. Outbound emails can also be filtered for an additional $7.50/domain/month.

For more information or to add Premium Spam Filtering to your email hosting, please get in touch with us.

Yet another domain scam

We have seen a number of customers receive the following domain scam email, please rest assured that you can safely delete it!

From: William | DNS Australia william@dnsaustralia.org
Date: 26 June 2019 at 8:16:58 am AWST
To: “name@yourdomain.com.au”
Subject: Your domain name has been claimed

Dear Sir/Madam,


We have received a request for the registration of the website www.yourdomain.info Our system shows that you are the owner of www.yourdomain.com.au. This can have far-reaching consequences for you in the future. We are therefore under the statutory obligation to contact you, in order to offer you the first right of registration. This means that we will reject the application of the third party and the website:

www.yourdomain.info

After agreement we will link this website to:

www.yourdomain.com.au

This means that you will have the first option on the domain name, in order to avoid possible future problems.

We are usually under the obligation to register the domain name and to protect it for a period of 10 years. The annual price for the .INFO extension is AU$29.75 per year. This means a one-off payment of AU$297.50. When the link has been completed, all the Internet traffic that goes to the .INFO extension, will be automatically linked to your current extension and website. This process will take a maximum of 24 hours. This domain name will then have a worldwide reach. The third party will be rejected and can no longer use your domain name.


Important information:

  • You will receive a one-off invoice of AU$297.50, exclusive of GST, for a term of 10 years.
  • This contract can be cancelled at all times after the first term of one year. The paid amount for the remaining number of years will be refunded to your account.

If you agree to our offer, please send an agreement by email within 48 hours after receipt of this email, stating your name, address and ABN number in a reply to this e-mail address.
The third party will subsequently be rejected by us, and we will then complete the link. You will receive a confirmation and all the information you need by email on the same day.

With kind regards,

William Miller
william@dnsaustralia.org
www.dnsaustralia.org

Whilst misleading and morally reprehensible, it may not be illegal as the scoundrels are offering to register a similar domain for you and redirect it to your existing site.

If you would like another domain to redirect to your primary site, please contact us as we can investigate the options and provide a cheaper, more reliable service!

Is someone else using your email address?

Have you ever received an email from someone who is impersonating someone you know? Perhaps you have received an email from your very own address?

This is a common problem with email and a recent spate of phishing messages has people worried their computer has been hacked.

Most of the times this is not the case, the spammer has merely taken advantage of a long-term weakness in email protocols. It is a simple matter to forge an email address. Whether or not the recipient accepts the forged email depends on:

  • the quality of the incoming mail filter
  • the quality of the forged content (does it appear legitimate?)
  • the recipient’s attention to detail
  • whether the sender used any email authentication methods
He’s wearing a hoodie with a cap…he must be a hacker!

HostAway can add an authentication method to your email hosting account called an SPF record, which stands for Sender Policy Framework.

This tells other mail servers who is allowed to send emails on your behalf. Not all mail servers follow the same rules, however this certainly improves your chances that the only emails people will receive from your address have actually been sent by you!

A valid SPF record will also help avoid your legitimate emails from being marked as spam.

Other Recommendations?

  • Don’t open or click on emails from unknown senders
  • Run a reliable and up-to-date Anti Virus software
  • Check email addresses and URLs, and hover before you click! Many times spammers will switch around a letter or two from a valid domain name e.g. support@hostoway.net.au
  • Be careful when viewing emails on smartphones as the warnings signs may not be displayed properly
  • Have a backup solution and test it regularly

Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this in more detail.

Email tips whilst travelling

Whilst many people like to escape their desks and inboxes, sometimes you need to check in every once in a while. Here are some tips for using your email when away of the office:

Check in from any device. If you don’t have a laptop, tablet or phone with you, HostAway’s webmail interface is an easy way to check your emails. Simply visit https://mail.hostaway.net.au and log in with your full email address and password.

Set an autoresponder. A simple autoresponder message can be added in the HostAway Members Panel to let people know you’re away. This can be set to reply to every single email, or just to each sender once (so people who send you many emails whilst you’re away aren’t bombarded with auto-replies). You can also set a forward in case one of your colleagues needs to receive your messages.

Be careful whilst using public WiFi networks. It is highly recommended to use the secure mail protocols SSL and TLS when away from your office. This is because of the potential for someone to view your traffic if it is not encrypted. Check out https://www.hostaway.net.au/support/email/ for the recommended settings or give us a call if you’re unsure. Also beware of using computers that are not your own, as they could have malware installed to capture your keystrokes (passwords!).

Contact us if you have any issues, but please identify yourself clearly. There can be factors outside of our control. For instance, we’ve had a customer accessing mail whilst in Greece, using her hotel’s WiFi. This customer was unable to send any emails because the hotel’s IP address was on a blocklist (another guest may have done something to affect their network’s credibility such as sending out a lot of spam). In this case the customer could not use Outlook on her laptop but using HostAway’s Webmail was a way around this issue.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be a good solution to these issues as it creates a tunnel between you and your regular network no matter where you are connecting from. If you have any questions before heading on holiday or a business trip please don’t hesitate to call us (hopefully well before you get to the airport!).

Virtual Servers Price Cut!

Following a major price review we have doubled the bandwidth allowance for all our virtual server packages and halved the cost for additional RAM and disk space!

We have also drastically reduced the price of the Complete VPS package, to bring it in line with the new low prices for additional resources.

CHECK OUT THE

NEW LOW PRICES BELOW

Or call us if you’d like to discuss how we can customise a plan for you!

Basic

$29.95 / month
  • 512Mb RAM
  • 10GB Storage
  • 100GB Bandwidth
  • Linux OS
  • 1 IP Address

Professional

$44.95 / month
  • 1Gb RAM
  • 25GB Storage
  • 250GB Bandwidth
  • Linux OS
  • 1 IP Address

Advanced

$79.95 / month
  • 2Gb RAM
  • 50GB Storage
  • 500GB Bandwidth
  • Windows or Linux
  • 2 IP Addresses

Complete

$99.95 / month
  • 3Gb RAM
  • 75GB Storage
  • 1000GB Bandwidth
  • Windows or Linux
  • 2 IP Addresses

Pay yearly in advance and receive a 10% discount!

TAILOR YOUR HOSTING PLAN WITH ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

OR CONTACT US FOR A CUSTOM QUOTE

RESOURCES

MONTHLY

RAM

$10 / 1Gb

Storage

50c / 1GB

Bandwidth

50c / 1GB

IPv4 Addresses

$2.20ea

LICENSES

MONTHLY

cPanel

$25

Windows Server Standard

$33

Microsoft Office Standard

$25 / user

Remote Desktop (Terminal Services)

$10 / user

Other Microsoft licenses available on request.

New file manager makes uploading easy

If you’ve used HostAway’s free website builder to design a responsive site for your domain, you’ll be glad to hear of a new feature we’ve just developed.

We can now add a File Manager which give you a simple page where you can upload files such as PDFs, images or other documents that you wish to share with your users.

This means you can use the website builder to create an attractive design and have an easy-to-use system for uploading documents you’d like to host on your new web page. For activation and more detailed instructions, please contact us now!

 

Drupalgeddon 2.0: Why is the sequel always worse?

If your website runs on the popular CMS, Drupal, you may have heard of the security exploits that caused havoc in 2014 called Drupalgeddon. Unfortunately a new series of flaws have been revealed in the past weeks and hackers are already taking advantage of unsecured sites.

Called Drupalgeddon 2.0, these flaws are a very serious threat, as you can tell by the below comment from Drupal’s website:

A remote code execution vulnerability exists within multiple subsystems of Drupal 7.x and 8.x. This potentially allows attackers to exploit multiple attack vectors on a Drupal site, which could result in the site being completely compromised.

Drupal have more information contained in this handy FAQ: https://groups.drupal.org/security/faq-2018-002

What should you do? Update your software now! Please refer to our previous article about why updating your software is a good idea. If you don’t manage your own updates or have a website developer who can help you please contact HostAway and we can discuss what options are available to you.

Proudly Supporting Our Community

As a WA business we feel it is important to give something back to our community and support local charities. We are proud to once again sponsor the Special Children’s Christmas Party. This wonderful event provides a day of fun and excitement for children suffering from serious illnesses, physical or intellectual impairment, domestic violence, or living in underprivileged circumstances. Please visit their website for more information and learn how you can get involved.

Why are we telling you about this? As a local privately-owned business we want you to know that when you spend your hard earned money purchasing quality HostAway services, some of those funds are channeled to help the less fortunate. We also sponsor a child through World Vision and have a regular donation to the Heart Research Institute, however a large part of our assistance comes from what we do best – Hosting! We provide hosting for a large and diverse range of charitable and community organisations covering not just the important medical ailments and disabilities but also:

 

  • Historical associations
  • Local theatre
  • Seniors Clubs
  • Volunteer Sea Rescue
  • Community Centres
  • Religious groups of various denominations
  • SES and Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades

If you have a charitable organisation that requires hosting support please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team to see how we can help 🙂

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