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Media72 Hosting Articles and Tips

Archive for August, 2006

Media72 Site as a Cool Graph

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Ever wondered what a website looks like as a graph? Well wonder no more... The Websites as Graphs HTML DOM Visualizer is a cool Java Applet that analysis the code of a web page and creates a graph of your website. Although it serves no useful purpose it certainly lets you have some geeky fun for a few minutes. Here is the Media72 Hosting website as a graph.

Let’s Make Our Lives a Little More Secure

Friday, August 4th, 2006

We all like to feel secure, it makes us feel all warm inside. At Media72 we like to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, that's why we provide secure connections for control panel, email and data connections. Why should you use secure connections? Quite simply, if you don't, unscrupulous characters on the internet could grab your password or any information contained within the files you transmit. That means any text within an email or a file you upload or download.

In this article we show you how to secure all of your connections so that everything you transmit to and from our servers is encrypted and secure. You should be able to connect securely with any host, if you can't find details on how to do this with your host you should contact them and ask them to provide you with connection details. If you don't know the difference between POP and IMAP or why you should use one method over the other take a look at our "Which Mail Connection Method Should I Use?" article before reading on. After secure email connections we go on to cover Secure FTP to finish things off.

Secure Email Connections

Most modern desktop email applications have the ability to connect securely to an email server. We will cover the setup of Outlook Express, Thunderbird, and Apple Mail, if you use another application to view your emails you should still be able to use this guide, although the option names may be slightly different. In this article we will assume you have already setup your email account and want to change the settings to use a secure connection. Select your email client:

Outlook Express:

Step 1 (POP): To setup Outlook Express to use secure connections with POP select "Tools > Accounts..." from the menu then select the "Mail" tab. From here highlight the account you want to edit and click the "Properties" button, under the "Servers" tab change "Incoming mail (POP3)" and "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" to the name of the server you are on, in this case bingo.media72.net (see fig. 1).

Outlook Express Pop Settings

fig. 1

Step 2 (POP): Select the "Advanced" tab and check "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" under both "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" and "Incoming mail (POP3)". Make use that the "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" port is 465 and the "Incoming mail (POP3)" port is 995 (see fig. 2). Click "OK" then "Close".

Outlook Express Pop 02

fig. 2

Step 1 (IMAP): To setup Outlook Express to use secure connections with IMAP select "Tools > Accounts..." from the menu then select the "Mail" tab. From here highlight the account you want to edit and click the "Properties" button, under the "Servers" tab change "Incoming mail (IMAP)" and "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" to the name of the server you are on, in this case bingo.media72.net (see fig. 3).

Outlook Express Imap 01

fig. 3

Step 2 (IMAP): Select the "Advanced" tab and check "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)" under both "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" and "Incoming mail (IMAP)". Make use that the "Outgoing mail (SMTP)" port is 465 and the "Incoming mail (IMAP)" port is 993 (see fig. 4). Click "OK" then "Close".

Outlook Express Imap 02

fig. 4

Thunderbird:

Step 1 (POP): To setup Thunderbird to use secure connections with POP select "Tools > Account Settings..." from the menu. Choose "Server Settings" under the account you want to edit from the list on the left. Change the "Server Name" to the name of the server you are on, in this case bingo.media72.net. Under "Security Settings" check the "SSL" option and make sure the port is set to 995 (see fig. 5).

Thunderbird Pop 01

fig. 5

Step 1 (IMAP): To setup Thunderbird to use secure connections with IMAP select "Tools > Account Settings..." from the menu. Choose "Server Settings" under the account you want to edit from the list on the left. Change the "Server Name" to the name of the server you are on, in this case bingo.media72.net. Under "Security Settings" check the "SSL" option and make sure the port is set to 993 (see fig. 6).

Thunderbird Imap 01

fig. 6

Step 2 (SMTP): Select the "Outgoing Server (SMTP)" option from the list on the left, it's at the bottom of the list. Select the account you want to edit and click "Edit...". Change the "Server Name" to the server used in step 1, make sure the "Use name and password" box is checked. Under "Use secure connection" check the "SSL" option and make sure the port is 465 (see fig. 7).

Thunderbird Smtp 01

fig. 7

Apple Mail:

Step 1 (POP & IMAP): To setup Apple Mail to use secure connections with POP and IMAP click "Mail > Preferences > Accounts", from the account list on the left select your account, under the "Account Information" tab change the "Incoming Mail Server" to the server your account is on, in this case bingo.media72.net (see fig. 8). If you use your own domain for this option you will receive a security popup every time you connect.

Apple Mail Pop 01

fig. 8

Step 2 (POP): Next click the "Advanced" tab, here make sure the "Use SSL" box is checked, the port should change to 995, if not change this manually yourself (see fig. 9). Make sure "Authentication" is set to "Password".

Apple Mail Pop 02

fig. 9

Step 2 (IMAP): Select the "Advanced" tab and check the "Use SSL" box, this should change the port to 993, if not change this manually yourself (fig. 10). Make sure "Authentication" is set to "Password".

Apple Mail Imap 02

fig. 10

Step 3 (SMTP): Under the "Account Information" tab make sure the "Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)" option is set to your media72 account and click the "Server Settings..." button. Change the "Outgoing Mail Server" to your server, in this case bingo.media72.net, then check the "Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)" box and make sure the port is 465. "Authentication" should be set to "Password" and your account username and password should be entered into the fields below (fig. 11).

Apple Mail Smtp 01

fig. 11

Thats it, now just test your connection be sending and receiving mail, if everything works you are now using secure connections for your emails.

Secure FTP

Secure FTP is just as important as secure email connections. Files containing password in plain text are often uploaded via FTP. Using secure FTP connections is as simple as selecting the TLS/SSL, or secure SFTP option (SFTP will only work for accounts with shell access enabled) in your file transfer application. The following is a list of applications that support secure connections

After following this guide all of your communications with your website should be secure and encrypted. Now you can feel safe and secure knowing that no one can grab your data as its being transfered to and from the server.

Which Mail Connection Method Should You Use?

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

You may have heard of POP and IMAP before but not known what they mean or the difference between them. In this article we will look at the difference between the two connection methods and tell you which method is best for you. We also take a brief look at web-mail and how this fits in.

What is POP?

POP (Post Office Protocol) is popular method of transferring emails from your online account to your own computer. When you connect to your mail server using POP you generally transfer your email from the server to your local computer, the copy on the server is then deleted. POP connections are the most widely supported with desktop mail applications such as Outlook and Apple Mail.

Advantages of POP:

  • More mail applications support POP than IMAP.
  • Amount of email storage is only limited by your computer hard drive.

Disadvantages of POP:

  • Not possible to access your email from more than one computer.
  • If your hard drive crashed you loose all your emails unless you made a backup.

What is IMAP?

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is slightly less popular than POP but also has some major advantages. The main difference IMAP offers is that it keeps messages on the server. This can be a big advantage if you want to access your email from many locations.

Advantages if IMAP:

  • Access all of your emails from any location including web-mail.
  • Access your emails from multiple computers, or have more than one user on the same mail box.
  • Emails are stored on the server, if your computer crashes you don't loose your emails.

Disadvantages of IMAP:

  • Amount of email storage is limited to your account size.
  • If you haven't setup your mail application to download all messages offline reading is not always available.

Which method should I use?

That's up to you, there is nothing wrong with either method. If you want to store large amounts of email but only have a small amount of storage space, or your mail application doesn't support IMAP, POP would be the best method for you. If accessing you mail from any location is important to you or you want to use web-mail along with a desktop mail application IMAP would be the option to go for.

Welcome to the Blog

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

First off let me welcome you to the new Media72 hosting blog. The aim of this blog is to provide articles, information, hints and tips for our customers and anyone who runs a website. We will be writing technical articles on the various aspects of hosting ranging from security considerations to software reviews to PHP coding and more. Not only is this a place where we will write about topics we think you should know about and are important, we also want to provide you with the information and articles you want to read. If there is something you want to know abut that relates to web hosting we invite you to suggest an article. We will pick the best, most popular, and interesting questions we receive and answer them on this blog. To kick off the blog with our first article we have written about something many people ask us, "What is the difference between POP and IMAP and which one should I be using?". In this article we take a look at each in turn, tell you what they mean and how to choose the best connection method for you.

 

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