Beyond the Basics: Advanced Records in DNS Configurations

We recently got a question on Facebook about advanced records like TXT, SPF, DKIM and others. So, here you go!

TXT Records: Text records are used to describe a host or a DNS entry. You can enter anything you want as long as it is 255 characters or less.  An example of this can be found by using dig.

dig TXT
that shows Googles SPF record, which is in a TXT record..

;; ANSWER SECTION:        3600    IN    TXT    “v=spf1 ip4: ip4: ~all”

The TXT record of is this,”v=spf1 ip4: ip4: ~all” which is actually their SPF record.

Which brings us to SPF records or(Sender Policy Framework) which are used to prevent email forgery and help identify spam. To create an SPF record on, just manage your TXT record and use the SPF wizard to create an entry. (Only available on Enhanced and Plus DNS)

DKIM records or domain key records are used for email to verify the identity of the sending server to help cut down on spam. Want to add a DKIM record to your host? (Only available on Enhanced and Plus DNS) From the ‘Hosts/Redirects’ tab select the host you’d like to modify and then click on the ‘DKIM’ link within the Advanced Records section.

SRV records: An SRV record describes services offered by a host. It defines the location of a server (port number and hostname).  They are commonly used in SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and XMPP Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol protocols.

Additional questions or comments? Leave them below! As always, Click LIKE to share on Facebook.

Port Forwarding: How to Check If Your Router/Firewall Ports are Open Correctly

One of the most common issues our new users have when setting up their No-IP account is port forwarding.  Port Forwarding is a very simple task, but every router manufacturer does it differently, so for the best resource of information, you should check out your router manufacturer’s website for detailed information. You can check out this article if you are still having trouble:

A Lesson on Opening and Forwarding Ports on your Router

After you have successfully forwarded your ports, you will want to check to see if they are forwarded correctly. You can use this tool to see if your ports are open correctly:

This tool will check for open ports and see if there are any services responding on that port. It comes in handy when troubleshooting your network.  Specifically, it helps in checking to see if your ISP blocks certain ports such as HTTP port 80 and SMTP port 25 (commonly blocked by major broadband residential ISPs).

Additionally, if those ports are blocked, No-IP has a solution that will get around this block. Users with ISPs that block the standard HTTP port can use the port 80 redirect feature available to all users. This can be found in the member section when managing your host. No-IP also offers Mail Reflector and Alternate-Port SMTP services for those with ISPs that block inbound and outbound SMTP port 25 respectively.

Keep in mind when using this tool you will need to open up the Port Check Tool website from the same WAN IP address that you wish to check for open ports.

Questions or comments? Leave them below and as always, share this post on Facebook and Twitter

Anti-Spam ECR Discontinuation

At the end of the month, will be transitioning our managed mail services, POP3/IMAP and Mail Forwarding, to our new email infrastructure provider.  After the transition, No-IP Anti-Spam ECR will no longer be offered as an email feature.

Although Anti-Spam ECR will be no longer available, we are confident that our new email provider’s stringent spam rules will cut down on unwanted email. Our engineers will migrate your ECR black and white lists automatically in order to save you time and hassle.

We will be issuing a prorated service credit to your account for any remaining time you have left on your ECR service.

If you are an administrator for this domain and have other clients who are currently using ECR, please take this time to notify your users.

If you need any guidance or have any questions, feel free to contact us here or 775-853-1883. As always, thank you for being a valued No-IP customer. We appreciate your business.

-No-IP Mail Team

Confused about Configuring Your No-IP Hostname?

If you are confused about the different configurations of your No-IP hostname, read along and see what each setting is used for.


DNS Host (A): An A Record is the basic setting for DNS. If you are setting up a new hostname with us, this option will most likely be what you will use. A Records are used to map your IP address (usually a dynamic IP address, or one that changes from time to time and is not always the same) to a hostname.

Example: If your IP address is, instead of typing that into your browser, you simply type your hostname ( into the browser. Every website uses A Records. Google, Facebook etc. If not for A Records, you would have to remember the IP address of every site that you want to visit. A Records make things easy.

DNS Host (Round Robin): Round robin is a bit more complex. It is similar to an A Record, but instead of pointing one IP address to a hostname, it points multiple IP addresses to one hostname. Round robin is used to achieve DNS load balancing on a server.

CNAME: This type of record is used to point one hostname (or multiple) to another. This setup makes updating multiple hosts that you want to have the same DNS settings easier. When the first is updated, the rest are as well.

Example: If is a CNAME to, inherits the DNS settings of

Port 80 Redirect: This option needs to be used if your ISP blocks port 80 like most commonly do.  It enables you to reach your server without having to type the port after the hostname.

Example: Without Port 80 redirect you would have to type in the following into your browser:
With Port 80 redirect you can simply type the hostname:

Web Redirect: This maps your hostname to a web URL. Web Redirects only work for HTTP and cannot be used to remotely access your computer.

Example: would redirect to www.yourname,.com. Traffic that types into the browser would be automatically redirected to, effortlessly.

Assign to Groups: Groups simplify updating hosts. If you have lots of hosts and want to update them in an effective way create a group! By grouping your hosts you can use this page to update all hosts in your group to a given IP address. If you are an Enhanced or Plus DNS user, you can even create sub-accounts and password protect them.

Enable Wildcards?
A wildcard makes all subdomains resolve to the same record as the parent. So if you enable wildcard for, would resolve to the same address as without explicitly creating that host. This is useful if you want to set up many virtual hosts for your personal web server.

Additional questions or comments on the basic setup of your No-IP free DNS host? Leave them below! As always, be sure to share this post on Facebook and Twitter and Click “Like” below!

3 Tips to Ensure You Won’t Get Phished Via Email

I received an email this morning from the Better Business Bureau. It claimed that someone had opened a complaint about No-IP and listed a file with a description of the complaint for me to view. The only problem was that the email was totally bogus. Follow these tips to make sure you don’t get phished. (Click the image to view a larger version and to follow along)

1. Check out the From address on the email. It is from a Jonathan at, that is definitely NOT an official Better Business Bureau email address.

2. The To: and CC: lines are another dead give away. Jonathan sent this email directly to one person, and cc’d over 90+ others!

3. The body of the email actually looks legitimate. The BBB logo is there and everything looks great! There is even a case # for to reference. Upon hovering over the ATTACHED REPORT link though, another phishing occurrence, the link does not go to the BBB official website, it goes to a medical records site.

So, next time you receive an email, look at it in depth before you click any links within it, or an even better practice is to not click links in emails and go directly to the official website. If you get an email that you suspect is a phish, report it to the company.  Also, check out this past blog post for more tips to safeguard yourself from being phished! Have you received any emails like this recently?

Still Not Using A Managed DNS Provider?

Did you know that if you are not using a managed DNS provider, it can be detrimental to your website and eCommerce? Most people register their domain and then just use the DNS that is provided by the registrar.  This technique is okay if you are a running a small personal website, small blogs, etc, but if you are a business that relies heavily on the up time of your website, you should definitely reconsider.

What will you gain if you choose to use a managed DNS provider?

1. Reliability
2. Speed- With our 11 points of presence across the globe, your users will be connected to the server that is located closest to them. This makes connecting and loading webpages on your site faster.
3. DNS failover protection
4. Money- Less downtime= more money in your pocket. Even a few minutes of downtime can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
5. Redundancy- If your website is only hosted on two name servers (that are typically on the same network) when one goes down, they both will, bringing down your entire website.

But, why is a managed DNS provider better than your registrar? Typically, registrars do not have time to focus their energy on DNS, so this means that the servers they have available are are not as fast and have high TTLs (time to lives), which makes changing and updating values extremely slow.

Also, in most cases, your registrar will only give you two name servers to use and the name servers are usually on the same network, which means less redundancy (if one goes out, they both will, bringing down your entire site) and are usually hosted on over subscribed, overworked networks.

If website is your livelihood and money maker, why not have it running on premium fuel instead of regular? Check out our Plus DNS. No-IP Plus offers all of the above features for a small fraction of the cost that one outage to your website could cost. What are you waiting for?

Tips for Young Tech Professionals

Are you a young tech professional in search of job? With the job market as tight as it is, you better be prepared and show yourself in the best light possible, but how? Well, have you Googled yourself lately? It is shocking to me to see how many people submit resumes with examples of their past work, but when I type their name into Google, nothing comes up.  This is baffling to me, especially in the internet age where anything you want to know about anything, is usually a click away. So, why is it that I cannot find anything about you to distinguish YOU from the rest of the crowd? Follow these tips for young tech professionals to get yourself found easier.

1. Create a LinkedIn account. This is the first step in getting your professional information out there. Put as much information as you can, you can even link your blog, twitter and social media accounts to it to, but only do this if you are posting information relative to your career/job market. And NO, drunken tweets from last nights party will not do.

2. Start a blog! If you are interested in computers, write about tech, if you are a marketer, write about marketing tips and tricks. It can be tough to come up with ideas, but once you do, it is easy. Make sure you tag your posts with relative keywords to help your posts come up in searches, and remember to spread your links via social media! Share, share, share!

3. Get active on all social media. It will help to bring your name up in searches for content relative to your industry. It will let the hiring directors know that you understand your industry and actually take interest in it.

4. Create an account or similar. These accounts are often free and easy to set up. They usually just pull in your information from LinkedIn, making it even easier. These profiles come up in search too. It is easy to browse through others profiles and even the basic accounts have analytics so you can see how many views your profile has received and where the clicks are coming from!

5. Create a web portfolio. Register a domain ( is a great way for it to get found in search) and get your website started. With so many free platforms out there it is easier than ever to do. Post examples of your work such as websites you have designed, examples of your writing skills, pictures you have taken, etc. Just make sure it’s relative and fun! Hiring directors want to see the real side of you, because let’s face it, I will most likely pick the fun, refreshing person over the boring person…

6. And last but not least, follow the directions when applying for the position you want! If the job posting says, “Submit your resume in PDF format,” do it! Because If you can’t follow easy directions like that, your resume is most likely going in the trash. Also, don’t just send out the same cover letter and resume to every job. Customize them to fit each position you are applying for.

Being a young professional seeking your first real job can be tough, but it is doable.  It just takes time and motivation. Nothing in life is easy.

Any other tips and tricks? Share them below!

2012 Website and Domain Name Maintenance Checklist

It is 2012 and with the new year, comes new responsibilities and goals.  Check out our checklist of maintenance items to make sure your domain and website start the year on a high note.

1. Update the copyright date on your website. Does it still say 2011? Time to update! You can even have it auto update to save yourself the time and frustration.

Use the following if your website is coded in PHP: (without the spaces)

 &Copy; Copyright < ? php echo date ( ' Y ' ) ; ? > Your Business Name or Site

Will result in:

© Copyright 2012 Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC

If you don’t have PHP, you will need to use JavaScript. (without the spaces)

   Copyright &Copy; < s c r i p t type="text/java s c r i p t"> 
   document.write(new Date().getFullYear());
  < / s c r i p t >  Your Business Name or Site Name

2. Is your domain name set to expire soon? If you are unsure, take 5 minutes now and find out. If your domain name were to expire, it could end up being a very costly mistake.  If you are forgetful, why not just let it auto-renew to save yourself money and unnecessary frustration?

3. Update your domain contact information. Has your business moved recently, have you changed your email address, or even fired someone from your company that used to handle the companies domain? (tsk, tsk: keep your domains registered under your own name to avoid troubles down the road) Keeping your domain contact information current and updated is an easy step to take in protecting your domain and business.

4. Review your website copy. Is it all current? As tedious as it sounds, it needs to be done.  Content can easily get overlooked for months and years at a time! Keep your website copy current so your customers know what’s going on in the year 2012, not 2009.

5. Last but not least, review your website traffic via a tool like Google Analytics. Has your website seen a rise or drop in traffic lately? Compare traffic from month to month and year to year and brainstorm ways to try to increase traffic for the new year.  Running CPC campaigns? Check your ad copy and keywords to be sure that they are still relevant and that you are still targeting the right customers and sending them to the right webpages on your site.  Consider creating a new campaign and a few new ads to keep your content current and fresh.

Any other tips? Leave them below!

We Are Hiring! Seeking a Web Developer / Designer!

We are currently hiring a Web Developer / Designer for a Full-Time position in our Reno office. Know anyone? Pass this post along!

A qualified applicant must have knowledge and experience of the following technologies:

  • Design QA and UI Design
  • PHP, JQuery, CSS, HTML
  • Adapting existing designs for new projects and create new, fresh, user-friendly designs.
  • Adobe Creative Suite: Photoshop
  • Experience with AJAX and JavaScript a PLUS

Are you right for this position? Send all resumes in pdf format to Please include links to online portfolios and examples of past/current projects.

No-IP is a leading DNS service provider offering Dynamic DNS, managed DNS, ICANN Accredited domain Registrar services for multiple TLDS, managed email, server monitoring and SSL Certificates. has been in business since 1999 and has more than 12 million users.

Our Stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

Like Google, Ebay, Yahoo and countless other “founders” of the internet, No-IP takes a strong stand in opposition to the upcoming SOPA bill in the United States government.

This bill is intended to stop websites from sharing copyrighted materials on the Internet.  If passed, the bill would give our government the ability to shut down any website it deemed to be in violation of this.  This is not a typical take down, where the infringing media must be removed or a page must be deleted.  This would be a complete shutdown of an entire website.  A lot or people are comparing this bill to China’s great firewall and also comparing it to the way the Internet is censored in Iran.

We feel strongly that no good will come from the passage of this bill.  It will in effect change the way most of our favorite web sites operate.  We urge anyone reading this to call/email/fax their representatives and urge them to re-consider this bill.

Learn more about SOPA here:

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