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Important services and ports

Important services and ports

Today, I would like to talk about the important services, ports and how should you treat them. I have seen many servers and VPS have them in default. I strongly urge everyone to starts to restricting and protect ing them. this is necessary.

  1. SSH service port 22 – This is remote Shell access for a Linux server. You can use TCP wrapper or iptables to restrict access by certain IP addresses. Also, change port 22 to something else that you can remember. Do not keep its default settings.
  2. RDP – ports 3389 change the administrator username and restrict IP addresses using the advanced firewall in Windows server OS.
  3. MySQL port 3306 limited to a local connection.
  4. MSSQL port 1433 limited to a local connection.
  5. Plesk administration port 8880 & 8443 using Plesk administration restrict access or use 2FA under tools and settings.
  6. cPanel / WHM port 2086, 2087, 2082, 2083, and even 2092 and 2093 you can restrict access using IP addresses in WHM. Use 2 FA for WHM and cPanel access.
  7. FTP port 21 active mode if possible restrict the access using IP addresses or at least use a strong password.

About Plesk Onyx

About Plesk Onyx

Not long ago, we have briefly spoken on Plesk Onyx vs cPanel. There are pros and cons of these control panels. However, I like Plesk Onyx a little more.

In Chinese, we call it 先入为主 means the first impression. Honestly speaking, it’s easier to navigate on Plesk as compare to its competitors.

Recent years, Plesk Onyx is stable and reliable, it is not bug-free, actually, I haven’t seen anything like that. When I have encountered an issue, at most times I’m able to get a solution or at least a workaround from the knowledge base.

I felt that the support team has done a very good job. People like us prefer looking into the KB than writing an email to the support team. Basically, we want to solve the issue fast.

Other things I want to mention, it is their extensions. I’m overwhelmed by the extensions available. They do not cost a lot and there are many for different purposes.

If you are a Plesk Onyx user, I can see a few of them are useful. Like the Kernelcare, imunify360 and anti-spam from SpamExperts and MagicSpam. There are a few free extensions are useful too like the watchdog, Pagespeed etc.

In Plesk Onyx, you can switch on HTTP/2 when your Nginx is enabled. HTTP/2 is faster and more secure if you are not aware. I also suggest you use PHP-FPM for better performance, the PHP website performs better in FPM.

Plesk Onyx or cPanel?

Plesk Onyx or cPanel?

I would say this is a question for you when you are subscribing a web hosting. Some may have been using cPanel and some use Plesk. Whatever the case do you actually need them? The control panels are not free, they are selling in monthly or paid upfront yearly for a discount.

So, the question is do you need them? And which one? I have been dealing with many Linux and cpanelWindows servers, and my answer is yes. However, cPanel is limited to Linux only. If you have a Windows server, a control panel might not be necessary but it is making your life easier and save time on a Linux server.

It has to do with the operating system. In my opinion, this is the reason why you need it on a Linux server and it is not a must or you simply forget about it. So what to do with the operating system? On a Windows server, it offers a GUI and most items are manageable through the administrator’s interface.

plesk onyxUnlike a Linux server, you can operate a Windows server with little understanding. Just Google searches and navigate on a Windows server, you might find setting up your website is pretty straight forward, Thanks to the GUI, it is easy to understand the steps and what to execute.

Linux server uses a SHELL, and commands can be compleated. You might need customization for some hosted situation and these adjustments done on configuration are in text format. Any mistyped or misconfiguration can cause the service related refuse to start.

Each time you have made any changes to a configuration you need to reload to take effect. To set up a website like WordPress and install the required services and components, you will take more time on a Linux server than Windows server.

Especially to a novice, it is difficult to set up on a Linux server but the success rate is high on a Windows server. So that’s mean to say it a good idea to have a control panel on Linux server but you can dave if it a Windows server.

Now, we know high chance we will need a control panel if you own a Linux server, However, cPanel or Plesk Onyx works best for you? Actually, this control panel has targetted a different type of customers in my opinion. If you are a beginner and do not spend much time to understand each function, I suggest Plesk. However, if you want to dive deeper and better control on the server, goes with cPanel.

I personally like Plesk but sometimes I hate it when I want to do a bit more like changing the behaviour of my mail service, I always ended up in SHELL but it might not be the case for cPanel. One thing I’m sure is you will save plenty of time and it is much easier working with a control panel on a Linux server.

Most control panels work well with CentOS Linux distribution, thus it is popular.

Do you need a web control panel?

RELAXDo you need a web control panel?

This question is more for the VPS and the dedicated server users. A web control panel is likely an option when you order one of these web hostings.

The popular control panels are Plesk Onyx and cPanel with WHM. cPanel can hosts unlimited domains while Plesk Onyx comes in 3 variants support up to 10, 30 and unlimited domains. And if you are a reseller or managing a lot of users for a different domain, you should order Web Pro edition and above.

This has happened to be an option when you are ordering a VPS or dedicated server. You might be saving up to $20 every month if you are not installing a licensed control panel. There are free one but they have limited functions.

In my opinion, you can do most things without a control panel. But how soon? How fast? Who is or are using? Alright, we need to find out who are the users. If your users are business users and you are reselling, you need a control panel. If you are the administrator, you can do without in these conditions;

  • Do you have the knowledge to do it? Like to create a website, mailbox or an SSL certificate.
  • Do you have the resources? Like installing a mail server or an FTP server.
  • Do you have the time? If you need to repeatedly do the same task frequently,

 

To save the money without a control panel might require you t spend more time managing websites. Unless you are confident to do it quickly and the steps are correct, otherwise a control panel makes your life easier and you can get things done quickly.

Modsecurity in cPanel

Another great feature in WHM/ cPanel easily neglected is the modsecurity. It is useful you have not got any web protection like Sucuri Firewall Pro. Users did not enable this feature to protect their open sourced website like WordPress, Joomla etc. This module is enabled by default but there is no rule to process. So it is as good as it is disabled.

Go to modsecurity to install vendors, I use OWSAP commonly. And remember to enable to process the rules in configuration. The rules will stop common attacks and viabilities of your website. This is important feature to those do not have ant web protection.

Transfer Tools in WHM/ cPanel

This is a very useful tool in WHM/ cPanel. But many server admin or users have neglected this. Either it is not often used or the control panel has many features and too clustered. But nevertheless, today I’m showing you these tools found in WHM/ cPanel.

transfer tool in cpanelThere are 2 transfer tools might be handy if you are moving to another host. The Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File and the transfer Tool. So both do the same job but the processes are different. You must know these tools in case one has an error. Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File is kind of semi-migration tool. You go to the website via cPanel of the source server and do a Full backup, The backup will be in certain formatted name recognised by cPanel as a restoration when it has completed. The backup file will be located in your home directory. You can either use rsync if you have the root access or use FTP to the source server. Place the backup file in the backup home directory of the destination server, and you use Restore a Full Backup/cpmove File to restore a backup file.

On a full backup, you can also use FTP 0r SCP remotely dump the backup file to the destination server also. But I found that rsync is more reliable. It is a personal preference, o it is about transfer a file from the source to a destination server.

transfer toolThe other is the transfer tool. The tool migrates the desired accounts or websites from the source server to the destination server. So the transfer tool might be suitable to an intermedia user. You need root or sudo users to access, to migrate the accounts. After you have initiated a transfer, you do not need to stare or watch them.  You can safely close your browser, and the session is still active. You can come back to review the entire transfer process later. Most are self-explanatory, I will not further elaborate.

These 2 migration tools have a high success rate. Even you are migrating a website from another control panel, which limited to the ‘Transfer Tool’. They have saved us plenty of time and effort.