Archive

What is SSL? Types of it? How to have it?

Whenever you are visiting a good website, if you look at the address bar you most probably see a little green lock. (or grey depending on your browser). In simple words, that lock is SSL.

What is SSL and How to have it?

What is it?

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. This was designed by Netscape company in 1996. SSL is in charge of encrypting online data. So, because of the importance of all online data, SSL encrypts the data to make it harder for hackers to read them in case of attacking. When a website has the SSL lock beside their domain on the address bar, It means that the website is trusted and safer to browse on. If a website doesn’t have this certificate, the browser will show it as an untrusted website.

How to have it?

In order to have SSL, you have to buy the certificate for it. There are companies like us that provide this service for you. After getting the certificate you have to add it to your domain, You can do this through the control panel of your website. We explained the installation and the registration fully in the “How to order an SSL Certification“. After the installation, if you type in your website address like this: https://example.com you will see the green lock. But if you type it with http instead of https, It won’t show the green lock. If you want the browsers to be able to show your website with both http and https, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the file manager of your host.
  2. Go to the .htaccess file. (this file might be hidden by default so go to the setting and check the “show the hidden files” option.
  3. Paste these to .htaccess file and press save.
 RewriteEngine On
 RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off 
 RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]   

Types of it:

There are different types of SSL certificate:

  • Domain Validation (DV): For this, you should prove that you are the owner of this domain. An email will be sent to you and all you have to do is to respond to it.
  • Organization Validation (OV): There should be a registered company for that domain and you have to send your company’s documentation to the SSL provider.
  • Extended Validation (EV): This type is like OV but costs more and gives more credit o your company. Also, the name of your company will be shown beside the lock.

All three types of SSL can be multi-domain or wildcard:

  • Multi-Domain: For a specific number of domains with the same IP address. (All websites located on the same server)
  • Wildcard: when you get this, it will also support all of the subdomains of your domain.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, visit our Blog for more.

What is a Hosting Control Panel?

In our earlier posts, we have mentioned hosting control panels a few times. But what is this hosting control panel that we are talking about?

What is it?

A web hosting control panel is an interface that is used to manage hosting services and all of your website’s files all in one place. So whenever you get a shared hosting service from a web hosting company like AiroServer.com, you’ll be provided with a hosting control panel.

What does a web hosting control panel do?

Some of the things that a web hosting control plan can provide you are:

  • Managing your shared hosting account
  • Viewing the server logs and reports
  • Traffic usage and hard disk usage management
  • Managing email accounts, email forwarders, sending and receiving emails, security setup and etc.
  • Managing databases
  • FTP account management
  • Managing website visitors reports and data
  • Managing web-based files using related Softwares
  • Creating subdomains for the main domain
  • Managing supporting programming languages
  • and etc.

Types of web hosting control panels:

Control panels can be open source and closed source. Open-source control panels are the ones that all of their source codes are available and editable. However, the source code for closed source control panels are encrypted and can not be edited by anyone other than the providing company.

Both of these types of control panels can be free or commercial. Free control panels are the ones that both of their licenses and the software itself are free. But, for commercial ones you need to pay monthly or annually to get their licenses.

Some of the most famous web hosting control panels:

Choosing a control panel depends on the type of your operating system. Control panels can be divided into 2 different groups: 1.the ones that work on Windows 2.the ones that work on Linux

Here are some of the most famous control panels for Linux and Windows:

  • Linux: Cpanel, Direct Admin, CWP, Plesk, Webmin
  • Windows: Plesk, MSP Control
Web hosting control panel
Web hosting Control panel

Hope you enjoyed this post if you did visit our blog for more.

Direct Admin Control Panel Installation Guide (Manually)

In this post, we are going to guide you through the DirectAdmin installation on a Dedicated server or a VPS. If you prefer the auto-installation, read the “DirectAdmin Control Panel Auto-Installation” post.

As you might know, DirectAdmin is the second most famous web control panel for Linux. It means that, in the web control panels rating, DirectAdmin comes right after Cpanel which is the most famous web control panel for Linux.

Type of Server’s IP matters…

Please note that DirectAdmin installation can vary depending on the IP you have set on the server. In this post, we are explaining the installation on servers with regular IPs. In future posts, we are going to explain about servers with NAT IPs.

System Requirements:

  1. The operating system should be correctly installed on your server and there shouldn’t be any other Control panels installed on it.
  2. You need at least one external IP.
  3. SSH should be installed and you must be able to log in as root.

Check your DirectAdmin License

Go to the client area on Directadmin.com and check your license information and status. This is because your license should be active and verified.

Pre-installation:

Install these services via the following commands: (Make sure that you are copying the correct command that matches your OS)

CentOS 5&6:

yum install wget gcc gcc-c++ flex bison make bind bind-libs bind-utils openssl openssl-devel perl quota libaio libcom_err-devel libcurl-devel gd zlib-devel zip unzip libcap-devel cronie bzip2 cyrus-sasl-devel perl-ExtUtils-Embed autoconf automake libtool which patch mailx db4-devel

CentOS 7:

yum install wget gcc gcc-c++ flex bison make bind bind-libs bind-utils openssl openssl-devel perl quota libaio libcom_err-devel libcurl-devel gd zlib-devel zip unzip libcap-devel cronie bzip2 cyrus-sasl-devel perl-ExtUtils-Embed autoconf automake libtool which patch mailx psmisc net-tools systemd-devel libdb-devel

Debian:

pkg_add -r gmake perl

Installation:

To start the DirectAdmin installation, Connect to your server using SSH and log in as root. Now download the setup.sh file using the following command:

wget http://www.directadmin.com/setup.sh

Change the permissions of the setup.sh file:

chmod 755 setup.sh

Install and run the script:

./setup.sh

Enter the required information such as license, hostname and client ID in the following command.

Attention! Your hostname should actually be a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) is the complete domain name for a specific computer, or host, on the internet. The FQDN consists of two parts: the hostname and the domain name. For example, the hostname can be something like this: anything.airoserver.com

(start installation routine:)
 ***************************************************** * * Have you run the pre-install commands? CTRL-C if not. * http://help.directadmin.com/item.php?id=354 * ***************************************************** Please enter your Client ID : xxxxx Please enter your License ID : xxxxx Please enter your hostname (server.domain.com) It must be a Fully Qualified Domain Name Do *not* use a domain you plan on using for the hostname: eg. don't use domain.com. Use server.domain.com instead. Do not enter http:// or www Enter your hostname (FQDN) : xxxxx.xxxxx.com Client ID: xxxxx License ID: xxxxx Hostname: xxxxx.xxxxx.com Is this correct? (y,n) : y The following ethernet devices/IPs were found. Please enter the name of the device you wish to use: eth0 xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx eth1

Post-installation:

After the DirectAdmin installation is complete, you can check which device is using your IP.

Please note that the default device name on a VPS is eth0. So, if your device name is eth0 there are no further needed actions from you. but if it is something else, follow these steps:

Add ethernet_dev=devicename. You can usually set a number as the device name for a VPS. For example: ethernet_dev=eth0:1 or ethernet_dev=eth1

In case you are using OPENVZ virtualizer, set venet0:0 as your device name.

In this step, Direct admin suggests some packages to you and you can choose the one that matches your needs.

Enter the device name: xxx Is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx the IP in your license? (y,n) : y DirectAdmin will now be installed on: Enterprise 5.7 Is this correct? (must match license) (y,n) : y  You now have 4 options for your apache/php setup.  1: customapache: end-of-life software. Includes Apache 1.3, php 4 and frontpage. 2: custombuild 1.1:end-of-life software. Apache 2.x, php 4, 5 or both in cli and/or suphp. Defaults to php 5.2 3: custombuild 1.2:Production version: Apache 2.x, php 5, 6, or both in cli and/or suphp. defaults to php 5.3 4: custombuild 2.0 BETA: Apache 2.4, mod_ruid2, php 5.5. Can be set to use php-FPM or fastcgi.  Post any issues with custombuild to the forum: http://www.directadmin.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=61  Enter your choice (1, 2, 3 or 4): 4 You have chosen custombuild 1.2.  2011-11-11 14:47:00 http://files.directadmin.com/services/custombuild/1.1/custombuild/build Resolving files.directadmin.com Connecting to files.directadmin.com|:80 connected. HTTP request sent, awaiting response 200 OK Length: 289046 (282K) [text/plain] Saving to: `/usr/local/directadmin/custombuild/build' 100%[===========================================================================>] 289,046 855K/s in 0.3s 2011-11-11 14:47:01 (855 KB/s)  `/usr/local/directadmin/custombuild/build' saved [289046/289046] Would you like the default settings of apache 2.2 and php 5 cli? (y/n): y * Using the default settings for custombuild. Would you like to search for the fastest download mirror? (y/n): y

If your answer to the following question (would you like the default setting of apache 2.2?) is No (“N”), you can do the configuration manually.

Would you like the default settings of apache 2.2 and php 5 cli? (y/n):  N Would you like to have PHP5 or PHP6 as default? (5/6):  Would you like to have PHP5? (yes/no):  Would you like to have PHP5 as CLI or CGI? (cli/cgi):  Would you like to have ionCube? (yes/no):  Would you like to have Zend Optimizer? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to update/instal MySQL using CustomBuild? (yes/no):  Which version of MySQL you would like to have? (5.0/5.1):  Which version of Apache you would like to have? (1.3/2.0/2.2):  Would you like to have an ability to update/instal Exim using CustomBuild? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to install Dovecot? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to install/update phpMyAdmin using CustomBuild? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to install/update SquirrelMail webmail using CustomBuild? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to install/update RoundCube webmail using CustomBuild? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to install/update UebiMiau webmail using CustomBuild (not recommended)? (yes/no):  Would you like to have an ability to install/update Atmail Open webmail using CustomBuild? (yes/no):  Would you like to search for the fastest download mirror? (y/n):

Accessing DirectAdmin:

DirectAdmin can be accessed at http://server’saddress:2222.

The default port for DirectAdmin is 2222. So, in case you couldn’t connect to DirectAdmin, it might be the firewall is preventing the connection. To solve this, you can disable the firewall:

cat /usr/local/directadmin/scripts/setup.txt

Use the username and the password which are created in setup.txt file in the script directory.

cat /usr/local/directadmin/scripts/setup.txt

DirectAdmin Update:

You can use these commands to update your DirectAdmin:

cd /usr/local/directadmin/custombuild
./build clean 
./build update 
./build update_versions

RPM Installation and Troubleshooting:

The first step of the RPM installation is making sure that apache and Sendmail are not previously installed. If either one of these is already installed, you will see this error:

rpm -ivh exim-3.36-2.i386.rpm   Preparing...                         ########################################### [100%]   file /somefile from install of exim-3.36-2 conflicts with file from package sendmail-8.1  ...

If the error is because Sendmail has been installed, use the following command:

rpm -e --nodeps sendmail

You can also use the command above for other services such as MySQL, PHP, wu-ftp, apache-devel, and apache. At last, you can check your service installation, using the command below:

rpm -q servicename
rpm -qa | grep substring

As an example, if you replace the words “substring” and “service name” with “apache” if the apache installation is complete, you will see this message:

rpm -qa | grep apache apache-fp-1.3.27-2 apache-fp-devel-1.3.27-2 apache-fp-manual-1.3.27-2

If you enjoyed this post, you can visit our Blog for more!

The Distributions of Linux

Linux is a type of operating system. So you can also install this instead of Windows on your computer and then run your programs on it. This operating system has various distributions that the most famous ones are: Ubuntu, Red Hat, Suse, Knoppix and etc. Because of the variety of Linux distributions, it is hard to choose which one to install on your computer. In this post, we are going to explain some of the available distribution of Linux to help you choose the one that matches your needs the best.

What is Linux?

How to choose a Linux distribution for your system?

There are different parameters that help you choose your Linux. The first one is the kind of service on which you are going to install this operating system. For example, if your system is used for simple office work or personal usages, Ubuntu, Suse, Linspire, Mandriva or MEPIS. However, CentOS, Fedora Core, Turbo, Vine Linux, RedHat Enterprise can be good options for small businesses because they can host online pages and internet databases and manage emails, networks, and printers.

You might still wonder which distribution is the best, we can say that this completely depends on you. Most of these distributions are mainly similar to each other and their only differences are in their scripts or in the add-ons and plugins which make the installations and usability easier for us.

Please consider that if you are going to use this operating system in a vast system network, choose only one distribution for all of the systems. this is because the small differences between these distributions may cause faults and conflicts.

What are the usages of Each Linux Distribution?

As we mentioned above, choosing an operating system completely depends on you, your preferences and your usages. However, some distributions might be better for specific usages because of their added features. Here are some more explanations about the most famous Linux distributions:

What are the Linux distributions?
  • CentOS: It is one of the most famous Linux distributions. It is very easy to use and it can be easily installed on servers or PC by booting the CD and following easy instructions.
  • RedHat: All of the users that started using Linux a long time ago, started from RedHat. It is very similar to CentOS.
  • Fedora: This is another old distribution of Linux. The hard installation of it after booting the CD made used to make users not using it anymore however now the problem is fixed.
  • Ubuntu: It is based on Debian and has a better and easier User Interface than some other distributions. Ubuntu also forms the base for many other Linux distributions.
  • Debian: This is a great Linux distribution and is a good option if you want a stable environment, but Ubuntu is more up-to-date and desktop-focused.

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you did visit our blog for more!

How to point your domain to your server?

In this post, we are going to show you how you can point your domain to your server.

When do we need this?

If you want to have a website that is visible to the world, other than your website files, you need a web server and a domain. You can buy these from companies that provide these services. (e.g: AiroServer.com)After buying a server (shared, VPS or dedicated) you need to upload all of your website files to it.

You are not done yet! When people want to see your website, they’ll type in your domain on the browser. There are millions of servers in the world, how should a browser know where your website files are? You have to somehow link your domain to the server that has your website files. This is what we are going to show you in this post.

How to point your domain to your server?

Point domain to Servers

In order to do this, you need name servers. when you buy a server of any kind, the provider gives you at least 2 name servers. These name servers can be dedicated or not. A dedicated name server is a name server that has your domain in it. For example, it is something like this: ns1.example.com. But, if the NS is not dedicated, it has your host provider’s name. For example, it is something like this: ns1.airoserver.com

In the domain control panel, there is a section called name servers. There you can find 4 sections for adding name servers. It takes a while till the name servers are set to your domain. The amount of time it takes depends on your TLD.

There are some services called DNS, their job is to translate name servers to server’s IP. Each server on the Internet has a unique IP, When type in a domain on a browser, the DNS gets the name server, finds the server’s IP and points you to the server that has your requested website files.

What is Webmail?

Have you seen emails such as info@domain.com on any website before? These emails don’t have common names like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or any other things that we normally see in an email address. In order to explain how this happens, we are going to explain about webmail.

Webmail

Webmail can be any website that provides mailing services. Gmail, Hotmail, Live, Yahoo, and etc are some of the most famous webmails that we know. These webmails allow us to create an account and we’ll be able to send and receive emails. If you create an account on Gmail, your email would be something like this: example@gmail.com

According to the example above, when you see an email like info@domain.com that domain part is the name of your webmail. Most companies that have their own website also have their own webmail with their own domain name. If you go to our contact us page, you’ll see that there are emails like sales@airoserver.com. This is because we have made our own webmail on our website.

How to have our own webmail

Webmails are made using the control panel of your website. So, if you have a website, you can simply create your own webmail on the control panel of your website.

The first thing you need to access webmail is the Internet but it is not the only thing that we need. Each one of them can have a different way of accessing. Accessing Gmail accounts is through its website or the Gmail app. But this is different for webmails like ours.

There are special web applications that help you access the created webmails on your site. For example, for any webmail that is hosted on Linux servers, we can use softwares such as Roundcube, Horde or etc.

Webmail-app

commonly created email accounts:

Now that you have your own webmail, you might want to know what account you should create for each department of your company. Here are some examples that are agreed on and used commonly all over the world.

  • Public relations: info@domain.com
  • Support team: support@domain.com
  • Sales department: sales@domain.com
  • Billing department: billing@domain.com
  • Staff: first letter of their name.Lastname@domain.com

This doesn’t mean that every company must use these emails, we just mentioned some commonly used emails but it is also completely fine to use famous webmails like Gmail for your company emails.

Hope you enjoyed our post, if you did, visit our blog page for more.

What is DHCP Server?

In our earlier posts, we have discussed IP completely. We said that every device that wants to join a network, gets an IP. But how do these devices know which IP they should get? This is when DHCP can help us.

IP Assignment

There are two ways of assigning IPs to devices:

  1. Statically: you have to go over all the IPs that are used in the network to make sure which one is not taken and then assign a non-taken IP to the device. You should also be careful to choose an IP that has the correct Net ID in order to be visible in that network.
  2. Dynamically: This way means that when a device connects to a network, an IP will be assigned to it automatically. But what does this automatic assignment?

DHCP

A DHCP server is a network server that automatically assigns IP addresses, default gateways and other network parameters to client devices. It is based on the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to respond to broadcast queries by clients.

So, DHCP can simplify the IP assignment and management in a network. Imagine you have 30 different client devices in a place and you want all of them to be in the same network. To do this, you have to assign IPs with the same Network ID to all of them. Obviously it takes a lot of time to do this manually that is why instead of going over every device and assign an IP to them one by one, you can have a DHCP to do this for you.

How does it work?

The stages of IP assignment by DHCP are called DORA: Discovery, Offer, Request, and Acknowledgment.

  1. Discovery: The client sends a broadcast request to find a DHCP server.
  2. Offer: After the DHCP Server receives the discover message it suggests the IP addressing offering to the client by unicast.
  3. Request: Now after the client receives the offer it sends a request message to the server officially this time by unicast.
  4. Acknowledgment: Server sends an ACKNOWLEDGE message confirming the DHCP lease to the client. Now the client is allowed to use new IP settings.
How does DHCP work?

The security risk of using DHCP

Using a DHCP server is not all good and it has its cons too.

The DHCP protocol requires no authentication so any client can join a network quickly. Because of this, it opens up a number of security risks, including unauthorized servers handing out bad information to clients, unauthorized clients being given IP addresses and etc.

Since the client has no way of validating the authenticity of a DHCP server, it can cause denial-of-service attacks or man-in-the-middle attacks where a fake server intercepts data that can be used for malicious purposes. Conversely, because the DHCP server has no way of authenticating a client, it will hand out IP address information to any device that makes a request.  A threat actor could configure a client to continually change its credentials and quickly exhaust all available IP addresses in the scope, preventing company endpoints from accessing the network.

We hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, you can visit our blog for more.

What are TLD and SLD?

In our earlier post about ICANN, we have explained what a domain is. In this post, we are going to explain what are TLD and SLD.

So basically a domain is the name which you type in on your browser to see a specific website. Domains consist of 3 main parts: for example, www.AiroServer.com has 3 parts: www, AiroServer, and .com. The first part which is the www can be omitted. It means that even if you only write airoserver.com on your browser, it will show you our site. Now let’s see what are the other two parts.

TLD and SLD

TLD stands for Top-level Domain and it is the part that we write on the right side of the last dot in our domain. SLD stands for Second-level domain and it is the part that we write on the left side of the last dot in our domain.

Domain-parts

According to the explanation above, in our example, AiroServer is SLD and .com is our TLD. Some SLDs show us the type of that domain and what it is used for. For example, you might have seen an SLD like .ac.com before. .ac is used for academic institutes so when you see a domain like example.ac.com, you understand that this domain is for an academic institute.

Types of TLDs:

Each TLD has a special meaning and we have different types of it.

GTLD: this stands for Generic TLD. All TLDs that are included in this group are used for general usages. Here are some examples:

  • .net: for organizations involved in networking technologies.
  • .org: generally used for non-profit websites.
  • .gov: restricted to the united states government agencies
  • .com: This is generally for all kinds of websites.
  • and etc.

CCTLD: this stands for “Country Code TLD”. These TLDs show the country that this domain is used for. Here are some examples:

  • .co: Colombia
  • .it: Italy
  • .us: United States
  • and etc.

If you enjoyed this post, you can visit our Blog for more.

ICANN and Domain

In our earlier post about IP regions, we explained shortly about ICANN. In this post, we are going to explain everything you need to know about this acronym. But first, we have to say what a domain is.

What is a Domain?

In the world of the Internet, every website has a unique identifier. These unique identifiers let us find the website that we are looking for. Because we have explained about IP before, you might have already figured out that these unique identifiers are IPs. But there are millions of websites in the world. How can we memorize all of these IPs? You are right! We can’t!

As a result of the explanation above, they made it easier for us by translating every website’s IP to a unique name. We call these unique names, a domain! Now you might ask, who does this translation? the answer is DNS. DNS is a system that one of its jobs is to translate website IPs to their unique name which is their domain. As an example: AiroServer.com is a Domain. This means that when you type in this domain to your browser, it shows only our website to you. This is because all domains are unique and no one else has this same domain. So, the first and the most important step of having a website is buying a domain for it. You can buy your domain from any domain registrar like us. However, how can you be sure that which domain is free to buy and which domain is already taken? This is when we need to explain to you about ICANN.

What is ICANN?

As we have said before in the IP region post, ICANN is in charge of managing IPs and their information all around the world. But that’s one of the things that ICANN does. This non-profit organization is also in charge of managing domains and their information. Every time a domain is registered by any domain registrar, all of the information of the domain owner goes to ICANN. So, when you want to buy a new domain, first you have to ask from ICANN to see if this domain is taken or not. You can do this activity on the domain registrar’s website like ours. ICANN doesn’t sell domains itself, it just controls and keeps records of all taken domains and IPs.

Hope you enjoyed this post.

What is Subnet mask?

In our last post, we explained about IP classes and we said every IP consists of Network ID and Host ID. Now let’s see how we can distinguish Network ID (the fixed octets) from Host ID (the variable octets).For this matter, we have to explain about subnet mask first.

Subnet mask:

In fact, Subnet mask is something to help us distinguish Network ID and Host ID in an IP. Like an IPv4, subnet mask is 32 bit in size. In another word it has 4 octets that each octet contains 8 bits. From left to right every bit can get the value of 0 or 1. All of the bits that have the value of 1, show the Network ID and all of the bits that have the value of 0 show our Host ID. This means that a subnet mask in binary is something like this:

11111111 00000000 00000000 00000000

Now if we want to show the exact subnet mask in decimal, It’ll be something like this:

255.0.0.0

As you might have understood from the example above, for every fixed octet of an IP, the octet is 255 in subnet mask.

Another example: 255.255.255.0

This subnet mask shows that this IP is a class C IP because the first three octets of our subnet mask are 255 that means they are fixed octets. In IP classes post we said that if the first three octets of an IP show our Network ID, that IP is class C.

We have to mention that all octets of a masks (in Decimal) that show us the Network ID aren’t always 255 in size. This only happens when all 8 bits of an octet are 1 in value. If the octets have less value than 255, it means that the whole octet is not our Network ID and we have to convert the decimal subnet mask to binary to figure it out. Look at the picture below for some examples:

Subnet-mask

The first column shows the number of bits that are 1 in value. So, /8 is class A, /16 class is B and /24 is Class C.