[TRIVIA] Weekly Giveaway

The question for the weekly giveaway is:

How many authoritative DNS queries did we resolve a day (on average) in March on our Free DNS service? (3 Winners closest to the number will win. Hint: it’s a BIG number.)

Leave all answers below as a comment and see if you can win the weekly giveaway. Winner announced on Friday April 20th. Winners will receive a sweet No-IP T-Shirt! Be sure to share this on Facebook and Twitter!

10 Reasons to Upgrade Your No-IP Free Dynamic DNS Account [TIPS]

Still a free user of No-IP? 10 Reasons why you should upgrade today:

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Enhanced DNS
1. No more worries about hostnames expiring or confirming your account every
30 days.
2. More hosts! Enjoy up to 25 hosts
3. More domain choices
4. Awesome Phone Support
5. No advertising on URL redirects/port 80 redirects

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Plus Managed DNS
1. DNS management for your very own domain (www.yourname.com)
2. Up to 50 hosts / subdomains
3. Complete control over your domain (who doesn’t love having control?)
4. Ultra-fast DNS propagation: No more waiting 24-72 hours for simple DNS updates and changes, with No-IP Plus, updates are propagated worldwide in under 1 minute!
5. Trusted Anycast Network: We have multiple nameservers anycasted across the globe, which means your website will enjoy 100% uptime.

Are you already an upgraded user? Why did you upgrade?

11 Points of Presence Across the Globe [GIVEAWAY RESULTS]

Yes! You heard us correctly! We have 11 points of presence across the globe. Not only does this make our network ultra reliable, but it also makes it fast! Anycast DNS, which is available when you upgrade to a Plus Managed DNS account, ensures that your website visitors visit your site at the fastest speed possible.  They will connect to to the server that is closest to them. So, if you located in Los Angeles, but your user is located in Japan, they will connect to the server in Toyko, not the server in Los Angeles. Our 11 points of presence make connections a lot faster and it also helps for redundancy! If the power gets knocked out where you are, your website will still be available. (If you have multiple NS records enabled)

The winners of our giveaway are:
Gavin Fregona
Andrey Z
Carey McLauchlin
Barry Belford
Ian Thompson

If you are one of the above people, please email ngoguen-giveaway(at)no-ip(dot)com


Stay tuned for more giveaways!

SOPA & PIPA Outshined by a New, More Invasive Bill: CISPA

It feels like just a few weeks ago that the Internet rallied together against the SOPA and PIPA bills that were being debated in Congress. Those bills pale in comparison to the new bill that is making its way through the rounds, H.R. 3523 or CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). The new bill has failed to gain mainstream attention, but I don’t see that lasting very much longer.

What makes CISPA so much worse than SOPA and PIPA? Well, for starters, the vagueness of the bill is the scary part. The words in the bill are so very broad that it could make a 78-year-old grandma that isn’t even a user of the Internet shiver with fear.

The bill would encourage private companies to monitor cyber threat information that goes across their networks and then share that information with the government. The requirements for the government to request the information are very broad and that is the main issue with the bill.

The opening line of the bill, which can be read here, displays the vagueness and broad reach:

“To provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities, and for other purposes.”

The “and for other purposes” really raises concerns. What are the other purposes?

This bill could mean that everything you type into your web browser would be monitored and sent off to the government. We are not against going after cyber threats, but the scope of this bill is so broad that it oversteps the freedom of the innocent.

What will the consequences of this bill? Companies acting as “big brother” may over monitor our online activity, making criminals out of all of us. What effect would this bill have on the Internet experience? Leave your comments below.

Check out Part 2 of this article here.

Routine Maintenance Outage

Maintenance outages happen, even when you think you have all of your ducks in a row, they still can happen. A 20 minute routine software update can quickly turn into a few hours of maintenance outagehell.

Last night, we upgraded to a new major software version on our network.  The process was supposed to update each of the switches on our network automatically, but for some reason it only updated 2 of them, leaving the others in a weird state.

During the outage, DNS requests were being resolved at our external sites and mail was spooled at our secondary location, so no information was lost.

At 4am,  the network stabilized and service was restored.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for being users of No-IP.

[UPDATE] Now Serving Over 13 Million No-IP Users Across the Globe!

It seems like just yesterday that we announced 12 million No-IP users and here we are again, already at 13 MILLION! Thank you to everyone for your continued support and for choosing No-IP. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for our loyal users.

In honor of our 13 million milestones, we are offering 13% off of all new services AND renewals until April 7th, 2012! The coupon code is 13MILLION.

Enjoy and thanks again!

[SCAM] Shady [and expensive!] Domain Registry Groups

Do you have a domain name registered? Have you ever received an email or even snail mail from a domain registry group that states that your domain name is expiring and you need to renew it for $75 or some other atrociously high price? If you have, be sure to know that it is a scam.

How did they get my contact information?
When you register a domain, you need to provide the registrar with a valid name, mailing address and email address to provide to the WHOIS database, without this information you cannot register the domain. Shady domain registries troll the WHOIS records for domains that are soon to be expired and send a letter or email to the owner of the domain. It usually says something along the lines of “your domain is expiring soon, you must renew it before you lose it” What they don’t mention is that your domain is not registered with them and the transaction would actually be a domain transfer, not renewal and at a price that is most likely 5 times as much!

How can I avoid this?
You can avoid getting these type of request by purchasing Private Registration for your domain. Private Registration removes your address, email address and phone number and replaces it with our nondescript information.  Any spam sent to the email or physical address is filtered through, and the important stuff is forwarded on to you. Check out the example below of how your domain information would appear in the WHOIS database:

Without Private Registration:
Your Name
4567 Your Street Address
Your City, ST, 12345
Your Country
Your Phone #: 555.555.5555

With Private Registration:
Registration Privacy, No-IP.com
dynamicallygeneratedemail@privacy.no-ip.com(this address changes dynamically every 10 days, so by the time the email is added to a spam list, chances are high that it is already invalid and stale)
P.O. Box 19083
Reno, NV 89511
United States

So, please do not fall victim to these domain registry groups. When you register your domain, consider adding Private Registration to keep your information private. Also, any renewal or expiration notifications from us about your domain will be from domains@no-ip or noreply@no-ip.com and we will NEVER contact you via snail mail.

If you have any questions about your domain registrations with No-IP, you can always contact our support department for help. Also, be sure to share this with your friends and family to save them from being scammed as well.

Plus, SAVE 25% on domain registrations today through March 31st with offer code MAR25. Register your domain now! (and be sure to add Private Registration to it!)

[GIVEAWAY] Congratulations to our 10 Winners!

Congrats to our 10 winners! Please send your No-IP username to ngoguen-giveaway(at)no-ip(dot)com. Stay tuned for more fun giveaways! Also, check back to our blog weekly for helpful articles and tips!

The 10 winners are:

  1. Josh Sigstad “No-IP works great for free domain redirection!”
  2. Benedict AcostaSimple service with unlimited possibilities… That’s what No-IP can provide.”
  3. Mikael ErikssonBeen using No-IP for many years, I’ve yet to have a single problem with it. Works Awesome!”
  4. Jesse S No-IP is awesome! I can access my entire computer from anywhere in the world at any time, hassle free.”
  5. RajatThe services provided by No-IP are just too good.”
  6. Nico VerhelstAbsolutely the best! I’ve been using it every day and never had any problems!”
  7. Paul StephensI love the simplicity of the services that No-IP offers. My website is always available & I have backup mail redundancy….. Simply Awesome. Thanks No-IP.”
  8. Sal “The fastest and easiest service. Ever.”
  9. James  “No-IP is fast and no hassle.”
  10. David Z Very useful and easy to use! Thanks!”

[CRITICAL] Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol Exploit Found

Microsoft recently released a statement that there has been a major security exploit found in varying versions of the Remote Desktop Protocol.  This exploit allows attackers to remotely implement code execution.

Excerpt from the Microsoft release:

“The more severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker sends a sequence of specially crafted RDP packets to an affected system.”

Since Remote Desktop isn’t automatically enabled, you are not at risk if you do not use Remote Desktop. However, if you do use Remote Desktop, you should download the necessary patches immediately to mitigate your risk.  If you have automatic update enabled, the update will automatically download and install. If you do not, take a few minutes to update now. Check out these instructions on updating your software.

[GIVEAWAY] Want to win some No-IP Gear?

Thanks for being a fan of No-IP on Facebook! We really appreciate your continued support and feedback! To win, simply leave a review of No-IP in the comments.

We will be giving away No-IP Gear including,  t-shirts, No-IP Enhanced, free domain registrations and a bunch of sweet No-IP stickers randomly. We will announce the 10 winners here, on our blog, Wednesday morning.

Enjoy and Viel Glück! (Good Luck!)