FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs - NationalNet

 

General Questions

I have an emergency! How do I contact you?

What is a domain name?

How do I get a domain name?

How do I check domain name availability?

How do I register my own domain name?

What information do I need from you in order to register a domain?

Who handles the DNS?

What are the advantages of a dedicated server?

Who provides system administration for the dedicated server?

Where will my dedicated server be hosted?

What is colocation?

Does my server support SSL?

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Technical Questions

What operating systems does NationalNet support?

What is the difference between Windows server and UNIX/Linux?

What operating system comes standard on your dedicated servers?

Do you offer a control panel with dedicated servers?

What services do you provide with the purchase of a dedicated server solution?

Can I upgrade the hardware and/or software of my dedicated server?

Will NationalNet upload my website to my dedicated server?

Who is responsible for handling hardware components if they fail?

How are backups handled?

How many IP addresses will I receive?

How do I setup a .htaccess to prevent hotlinking?

How do I set up a .htaccess for 401 traffic?

How do I set up a .htaccess for 404 traffic?

How do I use SSI (Server Side Includes)?

How do I find the IP addresses of my domains?

Where is the path to PERL, sendmail, etc and where is my CGI-BIN directory?

What is the difference between CGI and CGI-BIN?

What is PHP?

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Billing/Contract Questions

What forms of payment do you accept?

Do you charge a setup fee for dedicated servers?

What does 1 Megabit Per Second (1Mbps) of bandwidth equate to?

What happens if I go over my allowed amount of bandwidth?

Do you require a minimum contract?

What is the difference between PER-GIG and PER-MEG?

What is the 95th percentile?

How do I know what my 95th percentile figure is?

Why must I give you a commitment on the amount of bandwidth I plan to use? Can’t I just be billed for what I use?

What happens if I go over my plan?

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General Questions

I have an emergency! How do I contact you?

If there is ever a problem that needs immediate attention, (i.e., your sites are down, or you cannot access MyNatNet, etc.) you can call our office at 678-247-7000, or Toll Free at 888-462-8638.
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What is a domain name?

A domain name identifies one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain name nationalnet.com represents certain IP addresses. The domain names are used in URL to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://nationalnet.com, the domain name is “nationalnet.com”. Once the domain name is registered to a person or company, it is that person’s to use exclusively as long as they continue to pay the yearly renewal fee.
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How do I get a domain name?

You must purchase a domain name from a Domain Name Registrar, and it is highly advisable that you purchase it from an ICAAN registered Domain Name Registrar.
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How do I check domain name availability?

You can check domain availability directly from Internic or another Domain Name Registrar.
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How do I register my own domain name?

There are many different ways and places to register your own domain. Try a google search for “domain name registration”.
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What information do I need from you in order to register a domain?

You will need, at the very least, the following information:

  • Administrative Contact
  • Billing Contact
  • Technical Contact
  • Domain servers

NationalNet’s name servers are as follows:
Primary DNS Hostname: NS1.NATIONALNET.COM
Primary DNS IP Address: 66.115.130.190

Secondary DNS Hostname: NS2.NATIONALNET.COM
Secondary DNS IP Address: 66.115.136.4
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Who handles the DNS?

We will manage DNS for our managed customers. Unmanaged customers have the option of running their own DNS or having us manage it for them.
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What are the advantages of a dedicated server?

A dedicated server can be the ultimate web hosting solution. It combines the advantages of the NationalNet’s Support Services with dedicated connectivity, sole use and control over your Dedicated Server. Monthly plans keep startup costs comparatively low in comparison to owning your own Server. You gain the benefit of a state-of-the-art Server technology, while still maintaining a professional level of data and hardware security, without the need to ever purchase any Server hardware. Unlike shared (or virtual) hosting programs, you and your site visitors are the only users of the Server. Once installed, you will agree a Dedicated Server gives you the control you need to service your customer base.
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Who provides system administration for the dedicated server?

With a Dedicated Server, NationalNet provides full administrative service for your server. This means you simply have to contact Tech Support via telephone or our MyNatNet customer portal, 24/7/365, with your request and we take it from there.
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Where will my dedicated server be hosted?

Your server will be hosted at NationalNet’s Class A, Telco-grade Data Center facility in Atlanta, GA. For more information about our Data Center facility, please visit our Data Center facilities page.
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What is colocation?

A server, usually a Web server, that is located at a dedicated facility designed with resources which includes a secured cage or rack or cabinet, regulated power, dedicated internet connection, security and support.
The credible co-location facilities should offer high-security, including cameras, fire detection and extinguishing devices, multiple connection feeds, filtered power, backup power generators and other items to ensure high-availability, which is mandatory for all Web-based, virtual businesses. The term colocation is also known as colo.
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Does my server support SSL?

Yes. All of our Dedicated Servers support SSL. However, you must provide your own SSL certificate, which we can install for you.
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Technical Questions

What operating systems does NationalNet support?

Linux & Windows.
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What is the difference between Windows server and UNIX/Linux?

Microsoft Windows Server and UNIX (of which there are many varieties, or flavors, including Linux, AIX, Solaris and more) are computer operating systems. Both Windows Server and quality UNIX based implementations are enterprise application servers that can be used for a variety of critical purposes, including, but not limited to, Web, email, and database hosting. Windows Server was developed by Microsoft and is, in many ways, the flagship of their software solutions.

UNIX/Linux is often referred to as an “open system”, which means that its source code is publicly available. This has both its advantages and disadvantages. While it has allowed many thousands of developers from all over the world working for different companies to contribute to its development, it is also more complex and less coordinated.
Both of these operating systems make excellent platforms for mission-critical Web hosting, and they function well. There are some differences in the two systems:

  • Windows Server supports most Microsoft products including Microsoft FrontPage – a popular Web authoring tool.
  • Windows Server supports Active Server Pages (ASP) – a popular programming that allows you to build dynamically database-driven web pages (connecting to Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL server).
  • The majority of existing CGI programs (generally Perl scripts) that are available on the Internet have been developed on UNIX platforms and hence tend to install and operate much more smoothly under UNIX. Many Perl Scripts are FREE!The bottom line is that for many web sites, the operating system on which the Web server is housed is largely inconsequential. The real question is, “Are you using a specific web site or database technology that is more appropriately hosted on Windows Server instead of UNIX (or vice versa)?” If your web site does not require special features offered by UNIX or Windows Server, you can choose either Windows Server or UNIX to serve your web site. It doesn’t matter!

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What operating system comes standard on your dedicated servers?

Debian Linux is installed as the default Operating System. If you would like Windows installed on your Server, you will have to supply the Windows Server Operating System License or we can provide you a license for an additional charge.
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Do you offer a control panel with dedicated servers?

No. Because we provide complete management services, we do all the work for you.
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What services do you provide with the purchase of a dedicated server solution?

Full Managed CARE – NO Control Panel required
Network Operations Center with 24/7/365 Technical Support
MyNatNet Customer Portal

Tier 1 Class Network Operations & Data Center
Multi-Homed Network
Proprietary Automated Monitoring System
Weekly Data Backups & Restore Management
Server & Device Administration
Software Administration
Security Management

Unlimited domains
Real-time bandwidth utilization stats
DNS service and support
POP email boxes
Email aliases
Shell/Full FTP access

MYSql
CGI
PHP
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Can I upgrade the hardware and/or software of my dedicated server?

Yes. Upgrades are available for your server including additional storage capacity and RAM. Typically, our Network Operations will actually inform you when you need to upgrade.
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Will NationalNet upload my website to my dedicated server?

NationalNet will assist you in moving from another host to your new server here. Once you are live on your new NationalNet server you will need to upload any future website files to your server. If you have questions about uploading files, you can contactNationalNet’s Technical Support Staff.
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Who is responsible for handling hardware components if they fail?

NationalNet is responsible for all of your server hardware. In the event of malfunction or failure, we will replace them at no cost to you.
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How are backups handled?

NationalNet provide weekly Data Backup Services at no charge. We offer incremental daily backups as an optional service for an additional fee.
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How many IP addresses will I receive?

We furnish IP addresses on an “as-needed” basis. You can request more IP Addresses as long as all of your existing IP Addresses are in use. All additional IP Address requests must be justified.
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How do I setup a .htaccess to prevent hotlinking?

To create a .htaccess file (that’s DOT htaccess), use your favorite text editor and create the file, putting the following in it:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteOptions inherit
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://.*YOURDOMAIN.COM/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule .*[Jj][Pp][Gg]$|.*[Gg][Ii][Ff]$ http://www.YOURDOMAIN.COM

Be sure to replace YOURDOMAIN.COM with your actual domain name, and replace XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX with the IP address of your domain name. Also, the last line can be any URL you wish to use.

Once you have created this .htaccess file, upload it to your main domain folder. If other sites link directly to your images, the only thing that will show up will be a broken image icon. If a surfer tries to right click on that image to view it, they will be brought to your domain.
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How do I set up a .htaccess for 401 traffic?

Here is what you do to redirect all 401 web server errors to the URL of your choice (a 401 error is a “forbidden” error). NOTE: You do NOT need to use a 401 unless you have a password protected area on your site.

Create a .htaccess file (that’s DOT htaccess) using your favorite text editor and put the following in it:
ErrorDocument 401 [destination]
Replace [destination] with the actual URL of where you want to send all of your 404 traffic.
Here is an example .htaccess file:
ErrorDocument 401 /index.html

Note: YOU CANNOT USE A FULL URL IN A 401 redirect…it MUST be a local page. In other words, the following will NOT work:
ErrorDocument 401 http://domain.com/index.html
Upload this file to your domain folder.

Note: A single .htaccess in your domain folder will protect ALL folders in that domain folder. There is no need to place one in each folder under a domain folder.
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How do I set up a .htaccess for 404 traffic?

Here is what you do to redirect all 404 web server errors to the URL of your choice (a 404 error is a “page not found” error).

Create a .htaccess file (that’s DOT htaccess) using your favorite text editor and put the following in it:

ErrorDocument 404 [destination] Replace [destination] with the actual URL of where you want to send all of your 404 traffic.

Here is an example .htaccess file:
ErrorDocument 404 http://domain.com/index.html

Upload this file to your domain folder.

Note: A single .htaccess in your domain folder will protect ALL folders in that domain folder. There is no need to place one in each folder under a domain folder.
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How do I use SSI (Server Side Includes)?

There are two ways to use SSI (Server Side Includes):

  • Rename the .html files to .shtml. Any files that end in .shtml are automatically checked by the webserver to see if they contain SSI code that should be run.
  • Create a .htaccess file (that’s dot htaccess) using your favorite text editor (not Word), or use an existing .htaccess file already on your server, and add the following two lines:AddType text/x-server-parsed-html .html AddType text/x-server-parsed-html .htmIf this .htaccess file is in your root domain directory, than it will cover every page in that particular domain.Note: Doing the second one will cause EVERY file in your domain to be checked by the webserver for possible SSI code, which may cause the pages to load more slowly, although the speed decrease may not be noticible.
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How do I find the IP addresses of my domains?

You can find out the IP address of any of your domain names by bringing up a DOS Command window and typing the following: ping YOURDOMAIN.COM

The numbers that you will see next to your domain name will be the IP address. It will look something like this:

Pinging nationalnet.com [66.115.135.38] with 32 bytes of data:
In this example, 66.115.135.38 will be the IP address.
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Where is the path to PERL, sendmail, etc and where is my CGI-BIN directory?

We do not create a cgi-bin directory for you by default, however, you can create this yourself using your favorite FTP program. The servers are also set up so that any script that ends with the extensions of .cgi or .pl will run no matter where they are located on your site. A special cgi-bin directory is not required.

Here is some information you will require for different CGI scripts:

  • The path to PERL is – /usr/bin/perl
  • The path to sendmail is /usr/sbin/sendmail
  • The path to the “date” command is /bin/date

We do not place any limitations on the types of PERL scripts that you run, as long as they do not affect the performance of the server, or do things that are illegal.

If you need any special libraries, please let us know. Also please include a description of what you are doing that requires special libraries.
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What is the difference between CGI and CGI-BIN?

CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. CGI is not a programming language, it defines how data is passed between software and databases to the web page. CGI programs can be written using a variety of languages, such as Perl, C, PHP and others.
CGI-Bin is the directory where executable files are located.
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What is PHP?

It’s like ASP but for Unix. i.e., PHP is a server-side scripting language (runs on the server instead of the user’s computer) that is used primarily on Unix Web servers to create dynamic Web pages. PHP script is written into HTML web pages and when the server reads the page it runs the script which is often used to generate content and then sends it on to the end user. Web pages that include PHP script are usually given a file suffix of “.php” “.php3,” or “.phtml”. You can learn more about it at http://www.php.net.
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Billing/Contract Questions

What forms of payment do you accept?

Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, & American Express), check or bank wire.
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Do you charge a setup fee for dedicated servers?

Yes. Setup fees vary for each dedicated server we offer.
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What does 1 Megabit Per Second (1Mbps) of bandwidth equate to?

Theoretically a dedicated connection of 1 Megabit Per Second (1Mbps or Meg) will transfer a total of 324 Gigabytes of data if constantly used at 100% throughput capacity for an entire month. Since this rarely occurs, we always estimate the true effective transfer to be in the range of 250-300 Gigabytes.
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What happens if I go over my allowed amount of bandwidth?

It depends on what type of bandwidth plan you have selected. In some cases, overage charges apply and in other cases, they do not. Also, we never cap bandwidth unless the customer has requested we do so.
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Do you require a minimum contract?

Yes, 12 months.
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What is the difference between PER-GIG and PER-MEG?

Per-gig is the actual total SIZE of the combined files that are sent by the server. Throughput is sold in Gigabytes (GB) and is an aggregate monthly total. So, for example, lets say you have a web page called THISPAGE.HTML and the actual page is 25k and on this page you have 3 graphic images that are 25k each, then that is a total of 100k. If 100,000 people come to that page over the course of a month, then your PER-GIG amount would be calculated as 100kB X 100,000 = 10,000,000kB or 10GB. So for that month your PER-GIG amount would be 10GB. It does not matter if all 100,000 people hit the server at the same time or were evenly spread out over the course of the month…your PER-GIG is still 10GB for the month.

PER-MEG is measured in Megabits Per Second (Mbps) and measures how much information is traveling through the “pipe” at any given time. This is usually used for larger clients because in order to push more information through the pipe, you need a bigger pipe. We like to compare PER-MEG to water in a series of water pipes. Imagine that your home PC has a water hose connected to it instead of a telephone line. The water hose is 1/2″ and is connected to the side of your house where it meets a 2″ PVC pipe and your house is connected to the water main, which is a 12″ pipe. In this example your water hose is your home telephone line and your house is your ISP and the water main is the backbones. It does not matter how hard you try, you are only going to get 1/2″ of water into your PC at any given time because the “pipe” is only a 1/2″ water hose.

Now if we were going to sell you water BY THE GALLON, that would be called PER-GIG (see above), or we can sell you a PIPE and just charge you for the amount of water that you push through the pipe at any given time…this is called PER-MEG. So for example, if we take a measurement right now and you are pushing 1″ of water through the pipe and we look again in 5 minutes and you are pushing 1″ still and we look again in 5 more minutes and you are pushing 1/2″ and we look again in 5 more minutes and you are pushing 2″, then how big of a pipe do you need to accommodate your traffic flow without any water being backed up like a funnel? You would need a 2″ pipe, but you are not using 2″ all the time so why do you have to pay for a 2″ pipe all the time? That’s where the 95% comes in.
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What is the 95th percentile?

The 95th percentile is an industry standard. Every five minutes, the billing system takes a reading of the current bandwidth usage and puts it into a list. At the end of the month that list will contain 8640 readings (there are 12 5 minute intervals in an hour, 24 hours a day for 30 days). We will then take that list and sort it from the biggest number to the smallest number so that your largest 5 minute reading is on the top and the second largest is next and the third largest is next and so on and so forth. The top 432 entries (5%) are discarded and the 433rd is considered your “95th Percentile” and that is the figure that you pay for. The 95th percentile was designed to help chop off wild peaks and allow us just bill you for what you are sustaining on a regular basis.
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How do I know what my 95th percentile figure is?

You will have access to your 95th percentile figure and graphs for each server you have. These graphs and your billing numbers can be accessed via MyNatNet.
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Why must I give you a commitment on the amount of bandwidth I plan to use? Can’t I just be billed for what I use?

Like all hosting companies, we have to purchase enough bandwidth to meet the needs of all of our customers. Once we combine the commitments (we call it a CIR, or Committed Information Rate) of all of our customers we know how much bandwidth we will need to purchase, but it’s a bit trickier than that. As we have no way of knowing who is working on the next “million hit deal” or going to be listed on any of the major link lists that are available, we need to make sure that we have plenty of overhead. If we run out of bandwidth, then EVERYONE of our customers suffer, so we take our customer’s commitments to us and we add an additional 50% to that number, and then we purchase that amount of bandwidth. Does this mean that we have lots of bandwidth that we are not using at any given time? Absolutely. Is this really good for business? Absolutely. It’s good for your business, because you can burst (or use) as much bandwidth as you want, assured that we have it. It’s good for our business because customers know they are in good hands and that they can recommend us to their friends without fear of having to share a limited bandwidth space.
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What happens if I go over my plan?

This depends on the type of plan you have. If you have concerns regarding overages, please use the form on our Contact Us page and select the ‘other’ option in the subject drop down menu. Your message will then be reviewed and answered by our billing department.
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