Welcome to Vastspace, provides Reliable Web Hosting since 2014

Welcome to Vastspace

Blog

Blog

Why we avoid for web hosting?

Many web hosting providers have offered a longer prepaid payment to bi-annual or even three years in advance. Vastspace do not encourage our customer to prepaid longer than twelve months for a few reasons;

  • Technology is advancing fast, what you own now might be outdated in 12 months period. Give yourselves an opportunity for a better deal.
  • With my experience, there is a price drop later most probably. If you have prepaid, you will not get a price difference if it is lower.
  • We hope you are happy with the web hosting service provider.
  • If your web hosting provider closes its business, what will happen to your prepaid payment?

In consumers position, we cannot see the advantages to prepaid web hosting for a longer period, thus we allow up to 12 months prepaid the most.

Why buy a VPS?

There are a few reasons why you should buy a VPS but not a shared Web Hosting.

  • if you want a full root shell access.
  • update a kernel fixes at your own timing (only possible with Kernel independent VPS like KVM)
  • hosts a few websites and full control with better management.
  • install the components or applications.
  • allocate unused resources.
  • restart services at your own preferences.
  • with a better budget.
  • better isolation.
  • dedicated IP address, it is optional in Shared Hosting.

 

Register a .com.sg

If you are registering a .com.sg, you need a registered business or company in Singapore. An admin has issued with Singapore identity card, typically a Singaporean or a permanent resident of Singapore.

Foe .sg domain registration, the registrant must have a valid Singapore card identity and both the registrant and admin can be the same person. Both types of domain registration require the admin to verify the newly registered domain using their SingPass at VerifiedID website.

Plesk Onyx vs cPanel

I have used both web control panels on VPS and dedicated server.l. Even you are expert in your operating system. These control panels make your job easier and organised. If someone is asking, which control panel is better? My answer can be confusing, I will say it depend.

Yes, it depends on what you are planning to host and do. We put the monthly licence expense aside. These control panels have served the general purposes but in depth, there are differences. And these control panels have their strong and weak points. As a provider, here are my experiences.

  • in terms of UX and the layout, I will give the credit to Plesk. The login panel, the layout and the icons are much easier to navigate. Layman will find the essential functions after they logged in.
  • if you have an old website is using only PHP5.2 and cannot upgrade, I will suggest Plesk in this case The PHP select has a wider range.
  • backup function in cPanel has greater flexibility, offer more choices on the repository.
  • PHP extension with Apache in cPanel is compiled using Easy Apache with better compatibility.
  • more users and restrictions can be created in Plesk, ideal for the owner has engaged a 3rd party who need to access the control panel.
  • cPanel has only 1 license type on unlimited for both VPS and dedicated server. Plesk starts with 10 domains onward, can be confusing,
  • cPanel has more thleskPings and modules to install, thus it takes longer time.
  • Anti-virus is ClamAV on cPanel which is free. Plesk premium AntiVirus is free for 1st 10 and you need to pay for the license for additional mailboxes.
  • You get better settings on Anti-Spam for cPanel.
  • Plesk has firewall settings out of the box
  • Plesk is using postfix and cPanel s Exim for the mail server. Personally found postfix is less confusing.
  • cPanel has more security settings and better protection.
  • cPanel has more choice on using the different type of service like DNS, FTP etc.

These are some of the differences for both control panels. For a novice user, I will strongly recommend Plesk. However, cPanel has better control, especially you had been working with shell. Now, you can probably use cPanel to accomplish.

How to choose a good domain name?

I have worked in this industry for more than 2 decades, seen many domains had registered. In my own perspective and opinion, there are the rules for choosing the right domain name.

  • The domain name should not be more than 10 characters. Too lengthy domain name is difficult to remember,
  • Choose the domain TLD is related to the website, It is a personal blog,  will not consider .biz domain.
  • easy to recall or remember, related to the business name for example.
  • avoid the dash “-” in your domain name, most do not type or remember.
  • buy and registered the common TLD if possible like .com .net .sg .my for examples.
  • do mix the characters in the domain name with numbers.

Is your mail server IP address blacklisted?

The common tool used by many to check their mail server IP address is blacklisted from MXTOOL. Often, we are hearing from someone his or her mail server is blacklisted. But by who? And how? What will happen if my mail server is blacklisted? How can I resolve? This article will provide you with the information to have a better understanding of the matter.

Firstly, we must understand DNSBL. What is DNSBL? It is referred to as Domain Name System Blacklists, also called DNSBL’s or DNS Blacklists, they are spam blocking lists that allow a mail server administrator to block messages from particular mail servers which have a brief history of sending spam. The lists derive from the Internet’s Domain Name Program, which converts difficult, numerical Ip such as for example 123.123.123.123 into names of a domain like example.net, building the lists much simpler to read, use, and search. If the maintainer of a DNS Blacklist offers previously received spam of any sort from a specific domain name, that server will be “blacklisted” and all communications sent from it might be either flagged or rejected from all sites that make use of that specific list. DNS Blacklists have got a fairly long history in internet terms, with the initial one getting created in 1997. Known as the RBL, its purpose was to block spam email and also to educate Internet providers and various other websites about spam and its own related problems. Although contemporary DNS Blacklists are hardly ever used as educational equipment, their function as a contact blocker and filtration system still serves as their main purpose even today. In fact, the vast majority of today’s email servers support at least one DNSBL in order to reduce the quantity of junk mail customers using their support receive. The three fundamental components that define a DNS Blacklist – a domain name to web host it under, a server to host that domain, and a listing of addresses to create to the list – also haven’t changed from enough time when the RBL was initially created to today. Since then, a large number of different DNSBL’s have sprung up and so are available for use, plus they all have their own lists that are populated predicated on what does or doesn’t meet up with their own requirements and criteria for what a spammer is. Due to this, DNS Blacklists may differ greatly from one to the other. Some are stricter than others, some just list sites for an arranged period of time from the day the last little bit of spam was received by the maintainer versus others that are manually managed, and still, others not only block IP addresses but also whole ISP’s recognized to harbor spammers. This outcome in a few lists working much better than others because they’re maintained by providers with a greater degree of trustworthiness and credibility than competing lists may have. Users may also use these variations to select which DNS Blacklist is most effective for them based on what their particular security needs are. Much less lenient lists might enable more spam to complete but may not block non-spam text messages that have been misidentified on lists which have stricter recommendations for how are you affected or what’s left of it. To greatly help facilitate this, DNS Blacklists that are designed for use by the general public will generally have a particular, published policy detailing just what a listing means and must abide by the criteria organized in it to be able to not merely attain public confidence within their services but to maintain it as well.

Now, we have understood what is DNSBL. The commonly used list is from spamcop, spamhus, barracuda etc. They are maintaining an almost real-time updated list to most mail server administrators to block spam emails. This is a common and popular method. As soon as your mail server is blacklisted and listed. Emails are originated from the blacklisted mail servers are bounced until they are delisted.

What is a WAF?

Have you ever wondered what WAF means? (extracted from Sucuri Website)

WAF stands for Website Application Firewall. In order to make it simple to understand, imagine your website as a house and the people outside on the streets are the traffic that wants to come to your website.  Of course, you want to open your door to friends and family, but you also want to protect your house from the bad guys. That is exactly what the firewall does. The WAF is the locked house door. A WAF keeps the malicious traffic off your website. In other words, a WAF is a layer of protection that sits between your website and the traffic it receives.

Why do you need a WAF?

The same way that there are criminals on the streets, there are hackers online. Threats to websites emerge and evolve every day; keeping up with the hacking trends can be very stressful to any webmaster.

Network and local firewalls alone cannot stop hackers from breaking into your website anymore. Many of these solutions are not effective when it comes to stopping malicious online traffic.

Having an effective Web Application Firewall (WAF) provides companies and website owners peace of mind.

Expecting the hosts to take care of your website security can be misleading, as their main goal is to ensure the accessibility of your website. Some hosts, like GoDaddy, do offer website security. Nevertheless, you need to make sure to implement a security solution, like the Sucuri Platform to protect your website for you.

Another important aspect of having a Website Application Firewall on your website is the time it will save you in the long run. After setting up a WAF properly on your website, you would no longer be spending precious time thinking about ways to protect it. Then, if your website was, in fact, hacked, how many hours would you waste trying to find the issue and fix it? I am not even mentioning the amount of money potentially lost from having an unprotected website.

How does a WAF work?

The WAF works as a vaccine for a website. It is a preventive measure taken so your website does not get infected or goes offline. Nobody really likes to be vaccinated, but the cost of getting sick is always a thousand times higher. Having a WAF activated means having a proactive posture on your website security.

You already know that having a website firewall solution is vital to protecting any website. Next, let’s dive deeper into the characteristics of WAFs.

WAF Features

Application firewalls go beyond the metadata of the packets transferred at the network level. They focus on the data in transfer. Application firewalls were created to understand the type of data allowed for each protocol, like SMTP and HTTP. There are specific application firewalls for websites and they are called Website Application Firewalls (WAF).

Application Firewalls

In general, all WAF solutions function the same way. They are basically a wall between your website application and the visitor browsing your website. A WAFs main goal is to impede malicious requests from damaging your website.

The difference among the many website firewall solutions in the market is mainly how they are deployed and their database. The Sucuri WAF is the most advanced in terms of virtual patching. We take research very seriously. Our firewall analysts work hard day and night so we can provide you the most complete and robust solution in the market. Our WAF filters block up to 100% of the attacks your website can suffer from.

Now that you know what a WAF is, let’s talk about the Sucuri WAF.

Sucuri Firewall

Sucuri is a website security company that was born to offer website owners a comprehensive security solution. The Sucuri Firewall is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) Website Application Firewall (WAF) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) developed exclusively for websites.

What is great about the Sucuri Firewall is that it functions as a reverse proxy. The Sucuri WAF intercepts and inspects all incoming Hypertext Transfer Protocol/Secure (HTTP/HTTPS) requests to a website. Then the WAF strips the malicious requests at the Sucuri network edge before it arrives at your server.

 

Another feature that the Sucuri Firewall offers is that its WAF includes Virtual Patching and Virtual Hardening engines. The Sucuri Firewall mitigates threats as they happen.

The Sucuri WAF keeps the threats far from your website without impacting your website negatively. Quite the opposite, the Sucuri website firewall makes a website up to 70% faster, as it is built on a Content Distribution Network (CDN).

How the Sucuri Firewall Works

Performance optimization is part of the Sucuri WAF features. The CDN caches dynamic and static content across all nodes in the network to ensure optimal performance around the world. The Sucuri WAF configuration makes adequate preparation for global reach, load balancing, failover, and comprehensive performance improvement.

Website up to 70% faster with Sucuri Firewall

The Sucuri WAF runs on a proprietary Globally Distributed Anycast Network (GDAN). Anycast allows a network to broadcast an IP to multiple locations from a single node, permitting the nearest node to respond to a request. Imagine your website has a global audience: the website is hosted on a server in Houston, but your main visitors are in Asia and Western Europe. If you have the Sucuri Firewall activated on your website, the content would be broadcasted from a Tokyo and London Point of Presence (PoP) via our Anycast network. The result would be an improved user experience as visitors in Asia would get a response from the Tokyo PoP, and the ones in Europe from the London PoP. To sum it up, since Sucuri WAF runs on a Global AnyCast Network, the nearest node responds to the requests, bringing improved availability, resiliency, and failover capability to any website.

Anycast Network

This unique configuration allows for high availability and redundancy if anything fails in the network. Moreover, the Sucuri Firewall offers full Domain Name Server (DNS) services.

Another great advantage of using the Sucuri WAF solution is that it can help you increase your SEO rankings. The inclusion of an SSL certificate and improved speed from the Anycast CDN can improve SEO. You might see SEO improvement after the Sucuri WAF is activated because having HTTPS enabled and using a CDN are confirmed ranking signals from Google.

To sum it up, the Sucuri WAF:

  • Mitigates Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
  • Prevents Vulnerability Exploit Attempts, such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS), remote file inclusion (RFI) and local file inclusion (LFI)
  • Protects Against the OWASP Top 10 (and more)
  • Protects Against Zero-Day Exploits
  • Protects Against Access Control Attacks, such as Brute Force attempts
  • Offers Performance Optimization with its CDN

How can I add the Sucuri WAF to my Website?

In order to add the Sucuri Firewall to your website, all you need to do is add a DNS A record or switch to Sucuri nameservers. The time to go live is dictated by the DNS Time to Live (TTL). In most cases, it takes from 30 to 60 minutes. If you have any issues with the setup, or if you are not technical and need assistance, our support team can guide you through it.

Conclusion

As you have seen, using the Sucuri Website Application Firewall can be very valuable for your website and business. Not only do we offer protection, but also a performance boost and better SEO, which are like gold for any website owner. If you are wondering why you have not added our Firewall to your website yet — don’t worry. Chat with us and we will help you have your website protected today

Add permitted IP access

 

To avoid attacker to bypass your website firewall from Sucuri. You need to make sure the virtual host ( the protected domain name) accessed by the permitted server IP addresses.
To do this, you restrict the access of this protected domain. Today, we will give examples on the common web servers and web hosting control panel.
For Apache server has 2 versions;
 
Apache 2.4 Server
 
<FilesMatch “.*”>
Require ip 192.88.134.0/23
Require ip 185.93.228.0/22
Require ip 2a02:fe80::/29
Require ip 66.248.200.0/22
</FilesMatch>
 
Apache 2.2 Server
 
<FilesMatch “.*”>
Order deny,allow
Deny from all
Allow from 192.88.134.0/23
Allow from 185.93.228.0/22
Allow from 2a02:fe80::/29
Allow from 66.248.200.0/22
</FilesMatch>
 
Nginx Server
 
location / {
allow 192.88.134.0/23;
allow 185.93.228.0/22;
allow 2a02:fe80::/29;
allow 66.248.200.0/22;
deny all;
# Existing NGINX rules
}
It is easy with Plesk, just insert the apache code as shown.
This is for cPanel
 For IIs web server, you need to add IP and Domain restriction in Roles and features. After which you add the permitted IP addresses to the protected domain. As such, attackers cannot bypass your website firewall.

How to protect your website?

 

A website is using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal is common. There is a huge collection of plug-ins, modules, and components. Most are free can download from the internet.
 
Because open source applications are free, they are a very popular choice example a WordPress website. 6 out of 10 websites are using WordPress. The installation script is available on the most popular hosting panel. A few clicks away, WordPress website will be ready for you
 
But do you know these websites are hackable? The vulnerabilities are in these open source CMS. Because the code on the CMS is readable by anyone. The bad guys will find its loopholes and exploit them.
 
So it is common to hear from someone, he or she has a hacked WordPress website. Can we protect it? Do we need to install a costly appliance?  In the past, engineers installed expensive equipment for combat web intrusion. Never think that the web protection existed with your web hosting which is not the case. In this modern world, cloud web protection is available at an affordable price.
 
There are 2 similar website protection services can do the job., Cloudflare, and Sucuri. Both are available at Vastspace. They have the same goal to filter any known or even suspicious malicious activities. Starts with as little as USD 20, you have CDN to speed up connections to your website and protects them at the same time. Not limited to DDOS attacks itself.
 
Cloudflare has more POPs than Sucuri. The connection to your website from many places is faster. But this is numbers on paper. Many cases, you cannot tell the difference because they are in milliseconds. I have tried both, they offered protection but I like Sucuri more.
 
I have a trial service on the Sucuri Website Firewall PRO and monitoring. From the control panel, you get to see the website health status after you have logged in. The information is something you will not have in Cloudflare. They provide you with an overview of the website health. Spamhaus status is good,  can use as a reference on your mail server RBL if they hosted together. Also, you can adjust the scan interval as low as 6 hours on the scan or scan daily as a routine.
 
At the website firewall, you will get an overview of allowed and blocked traffic. More useful options like access control,  security, performance, and SSL on the settings. For Cloudflare, I’m overwhelmed with the features. Most layman will want to pay you to solve their problem. After the initial setup, they hardly log in to tweak the settings. So, I felt that some of these settings might be too much for them to digest. On Sucuri, the most essential settings are available. Except that you might want to have a closer look at advance security option and protected pages at access control. These are good options if you have a WordPress or Joomla website if you want to protect sensitive URL.
 
But, there is a con on both setups. If they are not set up correctly, attackers can bypass this firewall. Eventually, your website is not protected. So, make sure you talk to a certified engineer.
Also, like your FTP, email service, webmail, and control panel can ruin too. Make sure you check this service and ask if there is any workaround.
Feel free to write to email@vastspace.support if you have questions about the 2 services. As their partner, we are glad to assist you.