31 Aug 2017

Why Cloud Hosted Email?

Why Cloud Hosted Email?

If you already own a domain name and use it for your email accounts, our cloud hosted email platform enables you to do everything you currently do with email, contacts and calendars, but will enable you to do it from anywhere simply by logging into your mailbox from any device connected to the Internet.

If you don’t currently use your domain email, or haven’t even registered a domain yet to do so, you really ought to. This article in our support section tells you why you should!

In addition to simply logging in to a cloud hosted mail client, with your email address and password, you can also set up your account up on whichever desktop mail client you use [Outlook etc], your smart phone [iPhone, Android etc], or tablet device [iPad etc], and your incoming and outgoing messages will automatically synchronize with each other regardless of which device or application you are using at the time.

Full details

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31 Aug 2017

What is a Hosted PBX?

What is a Hosted PBX?

A Hosted PBX is a private branch exchange (PBX) delivered as a hosted service. It’s also known as a Virtual PBX and the advantages companies that use it experience are the elimination of installation, operation and maintenance costs of their VoIP PBX as their VoIP service provider hosts their PBX for them.

A Hosted PBX still allows companies to utilize and take complete advantage of their phone system’s feature set such as voicemail, faxing, automated greetings, conferences and so on.

Companies that offer Hosted PBX’s as a service to their customers handle the call routing or switching as well as all maintenance involved in the hosted PBX service.

There are three ways that a Hosted PBX works; either over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) over the Internet (hosted IP PBX via Internet Telephony or Voice Over IP, VoIP) or with a combination of the two.

Key benefits of a Hosted PBX Solution

  • Initial and Ongoing cost savings – there’s no need for a large investment before installing your phone system and also the maintenance cost of your phone system is much lower as you don’t need to hire someone inhouse to operate and maintain your PBX.
  • Eliminate office boundaries – employees can work from anywhere with a virtual office phone system. Ideal for home-workers and salespeople who are constantly on the move.
  • Boost of corporate image – by using a hosted phone system small businesses can still give the impression of being a large organization with a professional phone system.
  • Scalability – with a virtual phone system businesses can add or remove lines and extensions as they grow
  • Easy to use – since there’s no end-user management involved with a virtual PBX, it’s easier to use than a traditional phone system.
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31 Aug 2017

What is a fully qualified domain name (FQDN)?

What is a fully qualified domain name (FQDN)?

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, an FQDN for a hypothetical mail server might be mymail.somecollege.edu. The hostname is mymail, and the host is located within the domain somecollege.edu.

In this example, .edu is the top-level domain (TLD). This is similar to the root directory on a typical workstation, where all other directories (or folders) originate. (Within the .edu TLD, Indiana University Bloomington has been assigned the indiana.edu domain, and has authority to create subdomains within it.)

The same applies to web addresses. For example, www.indiana.edu is the FQDN on the web for IU. In this case, www is the name of the host in the indiana.edu domain.

When connecting to a host (using an SSH client, for example), you must specify the FQDN. The DNS server then resolves the hostname to its IP address by looking at its DNS table. The host is contacted and you receive a login prompt.

If you are using only the hostname (without the domain information) to connect to a server, the application you’re using may not be able to resolve the hostname. This can happen if either the DNS suffix search order in your computer’s TCP/IP properties is incorrect, or the DNS table is corrupted. In these cases, entering the host’s FQDN will allow DNS to locate the server. Also, if you are trying to connect to a remote host that is not local to your Internet service provider (ISP), you will probably have to use the FQDN. For example, it’s unlikely that a DNS server at IU would have a listing for remote hosts at another university or an unrelated ISP.

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31 Aug 2017

What is a CNAME record

What is a CNAME record?

CNAME stands for Canonical Name. CNAME records can be used to alias one name to another.

For example, if you have a server where you keep all of your documents online, it might normally be accessed through docs.nocroom.com. You may also want to access it through documents.nocroom.com. One way to make this possible is to add a CNAME record that points documents.nocroom.com to docs.nocroom.com. When someone visits documents.nocroom.comthey will see the exact same content as docs.nocroom.com.

Add a CNAME record

To use CNAME records, select CNAME from the Add Record drop down in the advanced editor. Then enter the hostname you would like to alias from and the fully-qualified domain name you would like to alias to. You may also enter @ in the Alias for field to represent the domain itself.

For example, if the domain were nocroom.com and you wanted www.nocroom.com to point to nocroom.com you could put www in the name field and @ in the alias for field.

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31 Aug 2017

What is Autodiscover

So what is Autodiscover?

Autodiscover is a mechanism that allows users to easily configure their email client knowing only their email address and password. Autodiscover also enables additional features for Microsoft Exchange including:

  • Downloading the Offline Address Book
  • Viewing Free/Busy time in your calendar
  • Configuring your Out-of-Office

E-mail clients that make use of Autodiscover includes Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013/16, Outlook 2011, Mac Mail, Entourage 2008 WSE and many smartphones.

Note: Autodiscover for Computer House Email configures email clients for IMAP and SMTP, however does not work in Outlook 2011 or Mac Mail.

Autodiscover is simple to set up for your domain, it only requires that you create a CNAME resource record. CNAME records are a type of DNS record, other types include A records and MX records.

Note: We recommend that you create an Autodiscover CNAME record for every domain on your account, this includes domain aliases and accepted domains.

Creating a CNAME DNS record:

Contact your DNS hosting provider and ask them to create the following CNAME record. If you have access to the control panel for your DNS, you can make this change yourself.

Hostname: autodiscover

Record Type: CNAME

TTL: 300 (if required)

Address: autodiscover.emailsrvr.com.


Setup a DNS record for Autodiscover

Setup a DNS record for Autodiscover

Note: Depending on your DNS provider’s requirements, you may need to add the fully qualified domain name as your hostname e.g. if your domain is example.com your hostname would be autodiscover.example.com. instead of autodiscover.

It could take 24 hours or more for this change to take effect, even though most DNS providers update their DNS records within three hours. You may want to ask your DNS provider what their “update time” is.

Checking for the Autodiscover CNAME record:

To confirm your e-mail client, e.g. Outlook 2013, has access to your new Autodiscover record perform the following actions from your Windows computer:

    Click the Windows Start button and select Run.

    Type “nslookup” and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

    Type in the name of the hostname you created above (e.g., autodiscover.example.com), and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

    If your records were correctly created, you should receive results similar to the following:

Name: autodiscover.emailsrvr.com


Aliases: autodiscover.example.com

Type quit and hit enter to exit nslookup.

Internal DNS and Autodiscover:

If you are running Windows Server 2003 or 2008 with internal DNS, you will need to perform the following steps:

  1.     On your remote desktop session, select Start / Programs / Administrative Tools / DNS.
  2.     Right-click your domain name and select New Alias (CNAME).
  3.     Under Alias Name enter: autodiscover
  4.     Under Fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for target host enter: autodiscover.emailsrvr.com
  5.     Click the Ok button.
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30 Aug 2017

What is Top-Level Domain (TLD)

The top-level domain (TLD), sometimes called the internet domain extension, is the very last section of an internet domain name, located after the last dot, to help form a fully qualified domain name ( FQDN).

For example, the top-level domain of nocroom.com and google.com are both .com.

What Is the Purpose of a Top-Level Domain?

Top-level domains serve as an instant way to understand what a website is about or where it’s based.

For example, seeing a .gov address, like in www.whitehouse.gov, will immediately inform you that the material on the website is centered around government.

A top-level domain of .ca in www.cbc.ca indicates something about that website, in this case, that the registrant is a Canadian organization.

What Are the Different Top-Level Domains?

A number of top-level domains exist, many of which you’ve probably seen before.

Some top-level domains are open for any person or business to register, while others require that certain criteria be met.

Top-level domains are categorized in groups: generic top-level domains (gTLD)country-code top-level domains (ccTLD)infrastructure top-level domain (arpa), and internationalized top-level domains (IDNs).

  • .com (commercial)
  • .org (organization)
  • .net (network)
  • .name (name)
  • .biz (business)
  • .info (information)

Additional gTLDs are available that are called sponsored top-level domains, and are considered restricted because certain guidelines must be met before they can be registered:

  • .int (international): Used by international organizations for treaty-related purposes, and requires a United Nations registration number
  • .edu (education): Limited to educational institutions only
  • .gov (government): Limited to U.S. governmental entities only
  • .mil (military):  Limited to the U.S. military only
  • .jobs (employment): Must be registered under the legal name of a company or organization
  • .mobi (mobile): Might have to adhere to mobile-compatible guidelines
  • .tel (Telnic): Limited to hosting related to contact information, not websites


Country Code Top-level Domains (ccTLD)

Countries and territories have a top-level domain name available that’s based on the country’s two-letter ISO code. Here are some examples of popular country code top-level domains:

  • .us: United States
  • .ca: Canada
  • .nl: Netherlands
  • .de: Germany
  • .fr: France
  • .ch: Switzerland
  • .cn: China
  • .in: India
  • .ru: Russia
  • .mx: Mexico
  • .jp: Japan
  • .br: Brazil

The official, exhaustive list of every generic top-level domain and country code top-level domain is listed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).


Infrastructure Top-Level Domains (arpa)

This top-level domain stands for Address and Routing Parameter Area and is used solely for technical infrastructure purposes, such as resolving a hostname from a given IP address.


Internationalized Top-Level Domains (IDNs)

Internationalized top-level domains are top-level domains that are displayed in a language-native alphabet.

For example, .рф is the internationalized top-level domain for the Russian Federation.

How Do You Register a Domain Name?

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in charge of managing top-level domains, but registration can be done through a number of registrars.

Some popular domain registrars you may have heard of include GoDaddy1&1NetworkSolutions, and Namecheap.

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29 Aug 2017

What is an IP Address?

An IP address, short for Internet Protocol address, is an identifying number for a piece of network hardware. Having an IP address allows a device to communicate with other devices over an IP-based network like the internet.

Most IP addresses look like this:
Other IP addresses you might come across could look more like this: 2001:4860:4860::8844
There’s a lot more on what those differences mean in the IP Versions (IPv4 vs IPv6) section below.

What is an IP Address Used For?
An IP address provides an identity to a networked device. Similar to a home or business address supplying that specific physical location with an identifiable address, devices on a network are differentiated from one another through IP addresses.

If I’m going to send a package to my friend in another country, I have to know the exact destination. It’s not enough to just put a package with his name on it through the mail and expect it to reach him. I must instead attach a specific address to it, which you could do by looking it up in a phone book.

This same general process is used when sending data over the Internet. However, instead of using a phone book to look up someone’s name to find their physical address, your computer uses DNS servers to look up a hostname to find its IP address.

For example, when I enter a website into a browser, like www.nocroom.com, into my browser, my request to load that page is sent to DNS servers that look up that hostname (nocroom.com) to find its corresponding IP address.

Without the IP address attached, my computer will have no clue what it is that I’m after.

Different Types of IP Addresses
Even if you’ve heard of the IP addresses before, you may not realize that there are specific types of IP addresses. While all IP addresses are made up of numbers or letters, not all addresses are used for the same purpose.

There are private IP addresses, public IP addresses, static IP addresses, and dynamic IP addresses. That’s quite a variety! Following those links will give you much more information on what they each mean. To add to the complexity, each type of IP address can be an IPv4 address or an IPv6 address… again, more on these at the bottom of this page.

In short, private IP addresses are used “inside” a network, like the one you probably run at home. These types of IP addresses are used to provide a way for your devices to communicate with your router and all the other devices in your private network. Private IP addresses can be set manually or assigned automatically by your router.

Public IP addresses are used on the “outside” of your network and are assigned by your ISP. It’s the main address that your home or business network uses to communicate with the rest of the networked devices around the world (i.e. the Internet). It provides a way for the devices in your home, for example, to reach your ISP, and therefore the outside world, allowing them to do things like access websites and communicate directly with other people’s computers.

Both private IP addresses and public IP addresses are either dynamic or static, which means that, respectively, they either change or they don’t.

An IP address that is assigned by a DHCP server is a dynamic IP address. If a device does not have DHCP enabled or does not support it then the IP address must be assigned manually, in which case the IP address is called a static IP address.

How To Find Your IP Address
Different devices and operating systems require unique steps to find the IP address. There are also different steps to take if you’re looking for the public IP address provided to you by your ISP, or if you need to see the private IP address that your router handed out.

Finding Your Public IP Address

There are lots of ways to find your router’s public IP address but sites like IP Chicken, WhatsMyIP.org, or WhatIsMyIPAddress.com make this super easy.

These sites work on any network-connected device that supports a web browser, like your smartphone, iPod, laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.

Finding the private IP address of the specific device you’re on isn’t as simple.

Finding Your Private IP Address

In Windows, you can find your device’s IP address via the Command Prompt, using the ipconfig command.

Tip: See How Do I Find My Default Gateway IP Address? if you need to find the IP address of your router, or whatever device that your network uses to access the public Internet.

Linux users can launch a terminal window and enter the command hostname -I (that’s a capital “i”), ifconfig, or ip addr show.

For Mac OS X, use the command ifconfig to find your local IP address.

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices show their private IP address through the Settings app in the Wi-Fi menu. Tap the small “i” button next to the network it’s connected to. Depending on whether the IP address was assigned via DHCP or was entered manually will determine which tab (DHCP or Static) you need to choose to see it.

You can see the local IP address of an Android device through Settings > Wireless Controls > Wi-Fi settings. Just tap on the network you’re on to see a new window that shows network information that includes the private IP address.

IP Versions (IPv4 vs IPv6)
There are two versions of IP: IPv4 and IPv6. If you’ve heard of these terms, you probably know that the former is the older, and now outdated, version while IPv6 is the upgraded IP version.

One reason IPv6 is replacing IPv4 is that it can provide a much larger number of IP addresses than IPv4 allows. With all the devices we have constantly connected to the Internet, it’s important that there’s a unique address available for each one of them.

The way IPv4 addresses are constructed means it’s able to provide over 4 billion unique IP addresses (232). While this is a very large number of addresses, it’s just not enough for the modern world with all the different devices people are using on the Internet.

Think about it – there are several billion people on earth. Even if everyone in the planet had just one device they used to access the Internet, IPv4 would still be insufficient to provide an IP address for all of them.

IPv6, on the other hand, supports a whopping 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses (2128). That’s 340 with 12 zero’s! This means every person on earth could connect billions of devices to the Internet. True, a bit overkill, but you can see how effectively IPv6 solves this problem.

Visualizing this helps understand just how many more IP addresses the IPv6 addressing scheme allows over IPv4. Pretend a postage stamp could provide enough space to hold each and every IPv4 address. IPv6, then, to scale, would need the entire solar system to contain all of its addresses.

In addition to the greater supply of IP addresses over IPv4, IPv6 has the added benefit of no more IP address collisions caused by private addresses, auto-configuration, no reason for Network Address Translation (NAT), more efficient routing, easier administration, built-in privacy, and more.

IPv4 displays addresses as a 32-bit numerical number written in decimal format, like or Because there are trillions of possible IPv6 addresses, they must be written in hexadecimal to display them, like 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf.

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29 Aug 2017

What is a Hostname?

A hostname is the label (the name) assigned to a device (a host) on a network and is used to distinguish one device from another on a specific network or over the Internet.

The hostname for a computer on a home network may be something like a new laptopGuest-Desktop, Servers or FamilyPC.

Hostnames are also used by DNS servers so you can access a website by a common, easy-to-remember name to avoid having to remember a string of numbers (an IP address) just to open a website. For example, in the URL pcsupport.about.com, the hostname is PC support. More examples are shown below. A computer’s hostname may instead be referred to as a computer namesitename, or nodename. You may also see hostname spelled as host name.

Examples of a Hostname

Each of the following is an example of a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) with its hostname written off to the side:

  • pcsupport.nocroom.com: pcsupport
  • www.google.com: www
  • images.google.com: images
  • products.nocroom: products
  • www.nocroom.com: www

As you can see, the hostname (like pcsupport) is simply the text the precedes the domain name (e.g. about), which is, of course, the text that comes prior to the top-level domain (com).

How to Find a Hostname in Windows

Executing hostname from the Command Prompt is by far the easiest way to show the hostname of the computer that you’re working on.

Never used Command Prompt before? See my How To Open Command Prompt tutorial for instructions.

This method works in a terminal window in other operating systems too, like Mac OS X and Linux.

Using the ipconfig command to execute ipconfig /all is another method, but those results are a lot more detailed and include information in addition to the hostname that you might not be interested in.

The net view command, one of the several net commands, is another way to see not only your own hostname, as well as the hostnames of other devices and computers on your network.

How to Change a Hostname in Windows

Another easy way to see the hostname of the computer you’re using is via System Properties, which also lets you change the hostname.

System Properties can be accessed via the Advanced system settings link inside the System applet in Control Panel, but can also be launched by executing controlsysdm.cpl from Run or the Command Prompt.

More About Hostnames

Hostnames can not contain a space, as they can only be alphabetical or alphanumerical. A hyphen is the only allowed symbol.

The www portion of a URL is actually indicating a subdomain of a website, similar to pcsupport being a subdomain of About.com, and images being one of the subdomains of Google.com.

To access About.com’sSupport section, you must specify the pcsupport hostname in the URL. Likewise, the www hostname is always required unless you’re after a specific subdomain (like images or pcsupport).

For example, entering www.about.com is technically always required instead of just about.com. This is why some websites are unreachable unless you enter out the www portion before the domain name.

However, most websites you visit will still open without specifying the www hostname – either because the web browser does it for you or because the website knows what you’re after.

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10 Aug 2017

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