Domain name taken? Not to worry! 5 Tips for Alternate Name Selection

You’ve analyzed your great idea from top to bottom, worked through your business plan and are finally ready to take the leap and launch your new business.  Then the inevitable happens– you go to register your domain and find out your desired name is already taken.   Nothing short of taking the wind out of your sails, right?

Our advice?  Breathe and reboot… it’s not the end of the world.

You just have to move to plan B, and keep in mind these
helpful tips for alternate domain name selection:

1) Rethink your name.  Chances are there’s a pretty good alternative that will work with only a slight variation.

2) Register with an organization that tracks domain names that are about to expire. Oftentimes, you can request an alert when a  domain relevant to your business was not renewed.   Patience is certainly a virtue and you may have some luck and get the domain name you really want.

3) If you’re really stuck, you can always put in an offer for your “must have” domain name.  Just remember it’s going to cost you more depending on its popularity and how much the current owner is willing to budge.

4)  Tight on money?  Consider a .net, .biz or .org.   These are widely growing in popularity, and may hold you over until your .com becomes available or you allocate enough budget to buy it from another owner.

5) Relax… your domain name isn’t going to make or break your budding business.  People will evitably be drawn to the products and services you offer and how well you market them, not just where they sit on the internet.

Do you have other tips for alternate domain name selection? Leave them in the comments!

Server access headaches? Try setting up your own router with DDNS.

A cable/DSL router or dialup access point can cost hundreds of dollars and still be extremely difficult to configure.  The last thing you need is denied server access when you need it most.  Instead of paying a large sum of cash for a hassle-in-a-box, take control by transforming one of your computers into a router with DDNS.

How, you ask?  By following these simple steps with No-IP.

Using DDNS will allow the updater to seamlessly report IP changes to No-IP as they occur, rather than having downtime waiting for the next time your updater reports the new IP. This eliminates server access issues.   The best part?  It’s completely affordable.  For the cost of only an additional Ethernet card and a bit of your spare time, you can have a cable/DSL/dialup router set up for your network with the ability to run servers that are completely accessible from both the internet and the internal network.

Questions on how to get started?  Please share them in the comments below or feel free to contact us.

DDNS: Easing Efficiency and Access to Point of Sale Devices

Whether your sales team is working 2 or 2,000 miles away, the last thing you need to worry about is accessing your point of sale system.  Information is critical to making better business decisions and when you need it- you need it.  Yet all too often, the majority of point of sale devices that use a dynamic or non-static IP address run into access issues because users simply don’t know the IP address; causing inconvenient headaches during peak business hours.

A simple fix to address this problem is to implement Dynamic DNS.   A DDNS service will allow you to access your POS device without having to remember a lengthy IP address.  You specify your own device name and use the same name every time you access the device.  This allows you to quickly call  results from your sales device that allow you to make better decisions that impact your bottom line.  The best part?  It’s completely affordable and easy to set up.

Next time your sales team hits the road, trade show or sales floor, prepare ahead of time by setting up Dynamic DNS.

3 Benefits of Dynamic DNS

A static IP address has many advantages, yet can be difficult or expensive to obtain and configure.  Dynamic DNS is a more affordable option and works regardless if you have a dynamic or static IP address.

Dynamic DNS provides the capability for a networked device to notify a DNS server to change, in real time, the active DNS configuration of its configured hostnames, addresses or other information.   It has a number of benefits, including:

  • Ease & Efficiency – There’s no need to go from PC to PC setting up static addresses every time your network infrastructure changes.
  • Accessibility – You can access your system using a consistent name in the URL even though the IP address changes.
  • Savings – You only need as many addresses as will be in use at any one time, rather than having one for every possible user of IP.

If you’re a business user working remotely with VPN, requiring remote access for devices, or just hosting a website or personal blog, Dynamic DNS is a clear choice.

Have you switched to Dynamic DNS yet? Find out more about No-IP’s service here.

How to Best Use a Remote Desktop Connection.

Due to our increasingly virtual world, the use of a Remote Desktop Connection to access other computers over the internet has been steadily growing in popularity.  The problem, however, is that many individuals and businesses alike are not well equipped to use them.  Most locations that you want to connect to will only have a Dynamic IP address that changes over time, which can create a huge barrier that limits access to your remote connection.  By using a static IP address this problem can be easily overcome.

Typically, when you want to access your remote computer over the internet, you enter the IP address of that computer into the remote access software. This create a remote desktop connection. With a Dynamic IP address, the IP will be constantly changing and getting into your remote computer from off site will be impossible.   Assigning a fully qualified domain name to your Dynamic IP address will save you the burden of remembering the numeric address each time and allow you to access your information more quickly and with ease.  With our software client running on the same network as the remote computer, we will know any time your IP address changes and be able to direct you to that remote machine regardless of what IP address it’s currently assigned.

Learn more.

How well are you protecting your sensitive information?

More and more often, you hear stories about information loss: identities stolen, emails lost or destroyed illegally, credit card information compromised, etc.  Depending on the degree of sensitivity, these situations can create a major headache (and in some instances, lawsuits) for individuals, companies and management alike.

In addition to selecting the right hosting and monitoring services for your data, it’s important to ask yourself regularly if you and your business are taking the right precautions to protect sensitive information.

At a bare minimum, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do we have an enterprise strategy for protecting sensitive information?
  2. How well is the strategy being executed?
  3. Who is responsible for its execution and enforcement?
  4. Does this strategy control access to sensitive information within and outside of the company?
  5. Do we know where our sensitive information is at any point in time?

Asking and addressing these key questions can help us better control our sensitive content and prevent the unauthorized access and potential theft or loss of it, resulting in less overall risk to ourselves and our businesses.

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Domain Name

We see a ton of new domain names each day– some good, some great, some…well, you know.  Regardless if it’s a blog,  personal website, or a full-scale enterprise presence, choosing the right domain name is crucial in creating a successful website project.

Registering your domain name may be a piece of cake, but deciding on a name isn’t always so easy.

Below are a few simple tips for choosing the right domain name:

1) Make it Relevant – When at all possible, choose a domain name that closely matches your project purpose.  If you’re a business, use your business name when possible.  For personal sites and blogs, focus on your core theme or brand goals when choosing a name.  Remember- your domain name should always relate to and be cohesive with your overall business and brand strategy.

2) Consider your Searchability – Choose a name that is rich in key words that describe or relate to your project/business.  This will help indirectly increase your site visitors as Google will see links that use your domain name.  The benefits are two-fold– you’ll have a domain name that not only reaches your audience but also lands you a little higher in search results.

3) Keep it Simple – Choose a name that people can easily remember.  Avoid unnecessary numbers and lengthy words. If people have to write it down, chances are that it’s too long and they’ll easily forget it.  Heed the basic marketing principle “keep it simple, stupid” and avoid any unnecessary complexities.

With these guidelines as a start, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right domain name for your business or project needs.   And to our more seasoned site managers, do you have any additional tips to share?

No-IP Anycast Network Update

During our almost 11 year history we’ve maintained a 100% DNS uptime. Deploying many DNS servers in multiple locations has been key in providing such up time. An extension of this has been utilizing Anycast to provide higher availability, help reduce DNS latency and increase resilience to internet based attacks.

Visit the Wikipedia page about anycast if you’re interested in detailed information or are looking for alternative sleep aids.

DNS queries are routed to the data center closest to you or your customers, lowering DNS response times. This results in a faster loading site and better end user experience.

Fact: For every 1000 kilometers of fiber there are 10 milliseconds of delay

We are also able to perform maintenance without effecting service. DNS traffic is automatically rerouted to the next closest data center during a maintenance window.

Anycast also helps in minimizing the effectiveness of DNS directed DDOS attacks, since a single NS record is distributed across multiple locations, servers and bandwidth providers.

Since 2007, No-IP has been using IP anycast on some of our name server (NS) records. In the coming months all Managed and Backup DNS NS records will use anycast. Stay tuned as we keep you posted with our progress including other exiting features to be announced later this year.

Windows 3.0.1 b Now Available.

The second beta release of the Windows 3.0.1 b Dynamic Update Client (DUC) is now available. We’ve fixed a few issues with the first beta.

Bug Fixes/ Features Include:

  • Windows Service in XP
  • NAT WAN IP discovery issues
  • Mouseover tray icon for current IP
  • few minor fixes

This new version can be downloaded on our Windows Beta download page.

Disclaimer: Should you encounter any bugs, glitches, lack of functionality or
other problems with the client, please let us know immediately so we
can rectify these accordingly. Your help in this regard is greatly
appreciated.

Windows DUC v3.0.0 Beta Available for Preview

The new Windows DUC (Dynamic Update Client) is almost ready. We’d like to invite anyone interested in trying out the beta to download it and give it a whirl. Please let us know what you think about it and if there is anything you can think of or if you run into any bugs please let us know. You can email beta@no-ip.com if you would like to comment.

Some of the new features of the Windows DUC include:

  • Modern Interface, bye bye to the smileys 🙂
  • Client Tracking – A new feature coming to the site (although the web interface is not available just yet) giving some control to the client from our website, great for users managing multiple update clients.
  • Secure key based authentication, no passwords will be stored on the end user computer
  • Notifications of expiring services
  • DNS based IP check, less overhead when polling for your current WAN IP address

Download version 3.0.0b today!

Take it for a spin and let us know what you think!