Authoritative DNS server

Authoritative DNS server explained in detail

An Authoritative DNS server is a really essential part of the DNS resolution process. Why? Because it stores critical information about the zone records (SOA record, A record, etc.). In this article today, we will explain it in detail, its purpose, how you can check it, and the main difference between an Authoritative DNS server and a Recursive DNS server. So, if this matches your needs, let’s explore it!

Authoritative DNS server – Definition

An Authoritative name server responds to Domain Name System queries such as the IP address of a mail server or the IP address of a website (A resource record). It responds to DNS queries with unique and definitive replies. It does not just give cached responses retrieved from another name server. As a result, it only responds to requests regarding domain names stored in its configuration system. Authoritative Name Servers are divided into two categories:

  • A Master server (also known as a Primary name server) keeps the original master copies of all zone records. 
  • A Slave server (Secondary name server) is a copy of the master server.

How to check it?

The nslookup command, which is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, is the simplest way to check the Authoritative DNS servers.

We’ll need to execute a DNS lookup for the NS DNS records, which will show all of the domain’s nameservers.

Open the Command Prompt on Windows or Terminal on macOS and Linux to get started. Then run the nslookup command as follows:

nslookup -type=NS highfive.me.uk

You’ll see a list of the domain’s nameservers, along with their IP addresses. You can replace “highfive.me.uk” with the domain name you want to verify.

Authoritative DNS server and Recursive DNS server – Main difference

An Authoritative DNS server responds to DNS requests using data configured by an originating source, such as a domain administrator or Domain Name System procedures. And in the meantime, a Recursive DNS server is a server that accepts a user’s website name or URL and checks Authoritative name server records to get the appropriate IP address. This is the primary distinction between an Authoritative DNS server and a Recursive DNS server.

Conclusion

You now have another piece of the DNS puzzle. What you should take away from this post is that the Authoritative DNS server is the one that stores DNS records and responds to DNS queries from Recursive DNS servers. Clearly defined, finding something on the Internet without the information they hold and the upgrades they allow and provide would be like looking for a needle in a haystack!

Monitoring service

Monitoring service – Why do you need it?

Monitoring service – definition

The Monitoring service gives you the ability to receive detailed information about the condition of your servers that you implement for your different services such as web, email, DNS, and many more. 

With it, you are able to check and understand the status of your servers in real-time. By constantly monitoring your network, you are going to have the opportunity to detect different problems like a component failure or really slow traffic. Additionally, such type of service is going to notify you automatically through email, text, or in another way like web hooks if an issue occurs.

The Monitoring service aims to spot network issues, for example, overloaded routers, server failures, or network connection problems.

Check the link to test a great Monitoring service!

Thanks to such service, you could prevent downtime or failures before they occur by recognizing abnormalities that could lead to unwanted outages.

It is very important to implement constant monitoring that will maintain the integrity of your network. There are various different great tools. However, it is best to choose one that you can easily understand, such as those that provide a dashboard. That way, the entire process is going to be a lot easier, even for beginners.

Different types of checks

Depending on your Monitoring service, you are going to be capable of performing different types of checks. Yet, there are some types that are essential to know and understand:

Website HTTP(s): The system performs HTTP(S) requests to a precise web or a particular IP address. That way, it ensures that the URL response code is 200 and marks it as UP. In case the response code is different, it marks it as DOWN. You are able to adjust parameters, such as hostname, port, and path.

Ping (ICMP): It lets you understand the network activity for a specific domain or IP address. It sends ICMP ping checks to a specific IP address. Depending on the percentage of the packets that fail, for instance, 50% of them fail, the check is marked as DOWN.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) – It creates a TCP connection to the particular IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) on the selected port number. In case the connection is successful, it marks it as UP. On the other hand, if the check is unsuccessful, it is marked as DOWN.

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) – It inspects the selected UDP port number on the particular IP address. When the connection is successful, it marks it as UP. Additionally, when the connection is unsuccessful, it is marked as DOWN.

Domain Name System (DNS) – It performs a DNS query for a specific hostname. Additionally, you select the type of query on the assigned IP address. When the answer is not the same as the expected answer, it is marked as DOWN.

Advantages of using Monitoring service

There are several outstanding advantages of the Monitoring service.

It helps you avoid outages. 

The implementation of a Monitoring service is probably the most easy and simple approach to prevent outages from occurring in the first place. 

Discover and fix any problems quickly. 

Time is crucial for every online business, especially in down situations. Thanks to a Monitoring service, problem-solving is more effortless and faster. It is going to help you to get to the bottom of any issue. It doesn’t matter if it is a configuration error or a strange traffic spike.

Maintaining better network visibility

The Monitoring service provides you with the visibility to be one step ahead of possible problems. Additionally, showing network performance information in a real-time and easy-to-understand format helps you identify issues easily.

rDNS

2 main reasons to use rDNS

What is rDNS?

The rDNS, also known as reverse DNS, is the DNS lookup using an IP address and searching for its corresponding domain name. It is simply the opposite of the normal forward DNS lookup, where the goal is to find the associated IP address of a domain name.

It is common for Managed DNS providers to supply the rDNS service. When you decide to get it, you are going to have the opportunity to make a reverse Master zone. Next, by creating PTR records in this zone, you are able to verify the accurate equivalent linking IP addresses and their hostnames. PTR records act as a piece of evidence when you have to prove the IP address actually belongs to the domain name. That way, you are making sure to avoid fraud. In addition, rDNS is able to operate with IPv4 addresses and with the newer IPv6 addresses.

Continue reading 2 main reasons to use rDNS

DDNS

DDNS (Dynamic DNS) – How does it work?

What is DDNS (Dynamic DNS)?

The DDNS abbreviation means Dynamic Domain Name System. It’s a very useful method to update your name server automatically and regularly. It updates IP addresses every time they change, together with their corresponding A (IPv4) and AAAA (IPv6) records. It saves you the time and effort of doing this task manually.

Internet service providers (ISP) constantly change IP addresses for clients. They have a big challenge administrating them, not to run out of them. They need a unique IP address for every device that gets connected to their network. 

Maybe as a regular home-Internet-user, you don’t get impacted by these constant IP changes. Businesses are a different story. If a business offers a service -or multiple services- through Internet, its servers for sure are affected by such IP address changes. Every change means a risk for its users requesting the service, not to have access since they are trying with a previous, not valid IP address.

Businesses have to look for alternatives:

  • A person in charge of constantly monitoring and changing the IP address manually whenever it gets changed by the ISP.
  • Paying to have a static IP address. It’s an expensive solution. IP addresses are not an unlimited resource, and to have sets or pools of them also has a cost for the ISPs. If they provide you a fixed IP address, they can’t use it for other clients.
  • Using DDNS to keep IP addresses up to date automatically. 

It’s not a hard quiz, right? Using DDNS is definitely the most simple choice. 

How does DDNS work?

Once you get the DDNS service, you won’t worry about monitoring and updating your IP address. But let’s go a bit deeper on how the process works.

Your business offers a service through the Internet. So you have your own server or servers. To make the service available for external users, you need to follow a few steps. Your business network (inside) has to communicate with the Internet through a network address translation (NAT) router. NAT will assign an IP address to your server/s.

Then, port forwarding will be required, plus an external port (Portex) and IP address (IPex). Done! The service is now available for external users via the Internet. At this point, IPex changes will become a problem or not if you get DDNS service. 

Once you get the DDNS service from a provider, DDNS software is set up on your network. IPex is added to the DDNS info, and NAT must be configured to update the IPex whenever needed and inform the DNS server about it. 

What NAT will ask you is to add your DDNS account and password, and that’s it! They will work together, communicate all the time, for you not to worry. 

Why use DDNS?

It brings very convenient benefits:

  • Easy to use solution. You get the service, the software is installed, and that’s it.
  • Notifications of IP changes to the DNS server are real-time.
  • Constant access to your server or website. Just by using the hostname, users will reach you, no matter if the IP address changes.
  • It’s a cost-effective solution. There are paid and free DDNS providers. It’s cheaper than paying static IPs for your business’ devices.
  • Remote access or VPN access will work smoothly for your employees working from home. 
  • Installation of security cameras on your business. They will need a connection to the Internet to work properly. With DDNS, they will keep available 24/7.
  • People using their computer at home for hosting an app, game server, website, etc., totally will feel the benefits of DDNS.

Conclusion

DDNS is very useful. If everything is set up correctly, it is a resource that won’t interfere with the performance of your system. Exactly the opposite. It will optimize it. Try it now!

best CMS platforms

5 best CMS platforms for 2021

Are you looking for Content Management System (CMS) platforms? Welcome on board! CMS platforms are a great way to build a website without being an expert on programming or writing codes.

The only issue is that variety is massive already. To pick well is the key to save you time, effort, and money. Moving from one to another is possible, but it will delay your online success. 

Let’s narrow the menu for you not to be dizzy! 

Word Press

Open-source available since 2003. Based on MySQL (database) and PHP, a scripting language for managing dynamic content. You can build from a blog to a big e-shop with it.

Advantages:

  • It’s free.
  • Available in more than sixty languages.
  • Robust infrastructure to build any type of site.
  • Flexible. There are literally thousands of native Word Press but also third-party apps, themes, plugins… Free, paid ones compatible and available for installing. Customization for your website has massive possibilities.
  • It downloads all your content in XML format, in case you want to migrate to a different system. 
  • SEO friendly. 
  • Big and supportive community.

Disadvantages:

  • New additions are making it a heavy platform and a bit confusing.
  • They limited out-of-the-box functionality. Additional plugins are needed.

Drupal

CMS open-source since 2001. Popular and powerful PHP-written CMS. 

Advantages:

  • It’s free.
  • Built-in system to make things easier.
  • Its flexible and modular structure allows many different modules (plugins) for you to customize as much as you want. 
  • Plenty of plugins (Drupal native and third-party too) are available for expanding your website’s functionality.
  • It supports lots of data. 
  • SEO friendly.
  • Active community, ready to help.

Disadvantages:

  • Some modules require manual configuration via FTP. Not compatible extensions with the backend will require a process to be updated. It can be a bit complex for beginners.  
  • If your business needs are demanding, the basic Drupal installation will need a lot of additions. 

Joomla

It was released in 2005. It’s a reliable and popular open-source CMS. PHP and MySQL based.

Advantages: 

  • It’s free.
  • Robust and flexible infrastructure. Any kind of website can be built with it, maintain, and scale.
  • Thousands of free and paid extensions are compatible and available to increase your website’s functionality. What to add totally depends on your business’ needs.
  • Built-in multilingual support. 
  • Multi theme use.
  • Wide and helpful community.

Disadvantages:

  • Managing the whole system’s possibilities could be a challenge for beginners. You can need guidance.
  • Available extensions are thousands, but less than for otherCMSs.

Ghost

Open-source specifically for blogging. Written in JavaScript. Ideal CMS for big companies and individuals. Available since 2013.

Advantages:

  • It’s free. 
  • A friendly, neat editor that allows text formatting even when adding special characters.
  • Built-in SEO’s optimization.
  • The necessary tools for charging users to get your content (subscriptions) are available.

Disadvantages.:

  • Less flexible than other CMSs if you change the kind of business.
  • It’s a popular CMS but still not compatible with all hosting providers, like more used CMSs.
  • For advanced functions, a bit of code must be understood.

Magento

Released in 2008, Magento is a reliable open-source for e-Commerce. Written in PHP, a powerful CMS. 

Advantages:

  • Free and paid versions. We’ll talk about the free one. 
  • Pretty customizable.
  • Flexible, a lot of third-party extensions can be added to expand your site’s functionality.
  • It allows you to build all shop sizes, managing plenty of customers and products. There’s room for your business to grow.
  • Choices for getting payments, money transfers are many, and some are already built-in.

Disadvantages:

  • It can be hard for beginners. Building an e-shop from scratch is a big task. 
  • Just the paid version (expensive) includes customer support. Getting the free one, you rely on Magento’s community.

Conclusion

These 5 best CMS platforms are top-notch. They power really big online e-shops, government institutions, publishers, and more. Remember, the software is free, but you still need a hosting provider to run them. 

DNS load balancing

DNS load balancing

Now we are going to explore something that a few people know – DNS load balancing. 

You have probably heard about cache plugins and CDN (Content Delivery Network). Now we are going to talk about another network element that increases the speed by managing the DNS requests faster than a single server. It will boast the first step of someone’s visit to a site and redirect the traffic for better performance. 

What is DNS load balancing?

DNS load balancing is a technique for administrating the traffic of a hostname. Many of these DNS load balancers are smart. They use different criteria, analyze the traffic, decide to let it go or stop it, and redirect it to another server based on current load or another parameter. 

Find out more information about DNS Load Balancing!

Continue reading DNS load balancing

DDoS Protected DNS

What is DDoS Protected DNS, and do I need it?

Statistics about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks’ growth and frequency around the world are scary. Nobody wants to experience them, but there is no way to deny, anybody can be targeted. 

The time a DDoS attack can last is not a minor issue. Some have lasted a few hours, but others, days. Every hour your business is shut down means losses for you. Plus the cost for fixing the DDoS side effects on your site.

Continue reading What is DDoS Protected DNS, and do I need it?