- Lower Pricing for ADSL & Other Services
- The War Against Viruses, Trojans & Spyware
- Reporting Spam to the Government
- Massive Upgrades at Red Shift Improve Service
- Red Shift Commercial Web Hosting
- How to Activate Your Personal Website
- A New Way to Make Phone Calls – VoIP
- Live Chat Support Coming Soon!
1. Lower Pricing for ADSL & Other Services
Red Shift is currently running several new DSL promotions. Our current DSL prices are now lower than ever before. If you currently have DSL with us, or are thinking about getting DSL, please check out our new pricing at http://www.redshift.com. If you are a current customer you can take advantage of these new rates too. FUSF (Federal Universal Service Fund) fees apply to all DSL accounts.
We have reconfigured our business DSL packages based on feedback from our business customers. We have added web hosting, powerMail, additional IP options and optional redundancy to our Business DSL services. If you are looking for solid business DSL service, please review our Business DSL offerings at http://www.redshift.com – click on “Business DSL”. When you are ready to order, you can give us a call at 831-655-8710, E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or order online on our web page. Our Business DSL packages are robust and designed specifically for business needs.
If you are looking for the most rock solid connection possible for your business, consider a T1 line. These ultra-reliable connections are unmatched for mission-critical operations. We offer full T1s starting at $499.95 per month. 384k and 768k (fractional) T1s are priced even lower.
2. The War Against Viruses, Trojans & Spyware
Spam E-mail is growing at an exponential rate. It is also getting more sophisticated. Spammers are employing tricks such as misspelling words or embedding images in E-mail in order to trick spam checkers; which look for keywords often found in spam. The catalyst for this latest increase in the volume of spam is the new generation of viruses that are infecting unprotected computers. In the past, most spam came from Chinese, Russian and Eastern European mail servers. The new viruses however have their own E-mail engines built right in and do not require an ISP mail server in order to propagate. They send E-mail directly from the unsuspecting, infected computers. The computer in your office or den might very well be an active spam engine spewing out thousands of messages per day without your knowledge. Currently, instead of spam and viruses being sent from small clusters of overseas mail servers, we now have spam coming from millions of personal computers worldwide.
We’re working hard to rid your mailbox of spam. You may not have personally noticed a huge increase in spam lately, and the reason is because we have devoted a great deal of time and resources to checking messages and blocking spam right at our servers. Currently all E-mail sent to Red Shift is checked to determine where it is coming from. Once we receive the E-mail it is put through a gauntlet of tests to insure its legitimacy. First we compare the E-mail sender against a database of known spammers. The E-mail is then checked for keywords that spammers use. Lastly it is checked for all known viruses before being forwarded to your mailbox. If we reject an E-mail, an explanation of why it was rejected is E-mailed back to the sender.
Spammers employ many tricks to get their E-mail to you. Blind-copy is one of them. If you see a message that has a name other than yours in the “TO:” field, it is probably spam, not misdirected E-mail. The “TO:” field you typically see in your E-mail is not the real address field for your E-mail. Anything can be put in there.
Another growing problem for personal computer owners is the exponential proliferation of spyware. Spyware comes into your computer via unscrupulous websites. It writes itself onto your hard drive and then runs in the memory of your computer every time you turn it on. It watches what you type and where you surf and starts popping up ads on your computer based on what it learns about your habits. As if the fact that you’re being spied on isn’t disconcerting enough, it also slows down your Internet connection and your whole computer. If left unchecked it can bring your computer to its knees and make it virtually unusable.
There are a lot free programs to help you check for and remove spyware as well as viruses from your computer. We have links to some of the better ones at the following website – http://turbo.redshift.com. If you find you cannot completely eradicate viruses and/or spyware from your computer, please give us a call. Red Shift has experts at virus and spyware removal who can help out with these problems. Contact us at 831-655-8710 for more information.
3. Reporting Spam to the Government
Have you gotten frustrated with spam to the point where you want to enlist the aid of the government in reducing it? If you’re looking to be more proactive in the fight against spam you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Who knows, if they get enough complaints they may take a more active role in helping the industry as a whole control spam. The E-mail address for reporting spam to the government is email@example.com. You will need to include the full headers of the spam E-mail in your report or they will not be able to process your complaint. When we say “full headers” we mean the entire header of the spam E-mail, this is data that your E-mail program typically keeps hidden from you. Most E-mails have as many as 20 lines of this data. You must display it and copy it into your complaint. The following website provides instructions on how to do this with most of the E-mail programs in use today – http://18.104.22.168/headers.htm
4. Massive Upgrades at Red Shift Improve Service
A year ago it was estimated that 30% of all E-mail was spam. During a two month period beginning in February of this year it rocketed up to around 80%-90%. With the advent of potent new viruses that are capable of delivering spam at volumes never seen before, we now have a serious spam epidemic. As you can no doubt imagine, this surge in spam really nailed E-mail servers around the world as well as our E-mail servers and had us scrambling for months to beat back the flood. We had to provision servers that were much faster, smarter and running more than just E-mail software. The load on our servers virtually quadrupled overnight and continued to skyrocket for weeks and months. It was very difficult to maintain responsive E-mail operations under such circumstances. Despite the difficulties we’ve managed to get control over this situation.
We spent in excess of $100,000 replacing all E-mail hardware and re-doing all of the E-mail software. None of the legacy servers or software remains today. Our latest addition was a 680 gigabyte RAID backup E-mail server for added security and redundancy. Our aim is not just to catch up, but to stay well ahead of the demands on our servers.
Our web farm recently underwent a hardware and software replacement as well. We are now running our hosted websites on multiple file servers with multiple front ends and more robust software. We’ve committed over a terabyte of disk space to serving up websites and backing them up. Not only are they backed up but they are on standby RAID servers that can take the place of a failed file server within 30 minutes of a server outage.
5. Red Shift Commercial Web Hosting
We are serious about making Red Shift a solid, robust location for your commercial website. Our standard commercial web hosting now includes 100 megs of disk space for storage; 10 E-mail accounts, shopping cart, SQL database, a web editor, weekly statistics and much more. Our commercial web service runs on very powerful file servers and we have many front ends for redundancy. Our web hosting servers can fail or be brought down for maintenance without interrupting service to customers.
We offer standard web hosting services as well as Microsoft FrontPage web hosting services.
6. How to Activate Your Personal Website
Not everyone is aware, but we offer personal web space for DSL, dialup and wireless accounts. Your web space needs to be activated however before you can use it. This is very easy to do. You can either E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a request for activation, and we’ll call you back, or call us at 831-655-8710. We include 50 megs of disk space for storage of your web files. You must let us know when you contact us if you want a typical website setup or a Microsoft FrontPage website.
7. A New Way to Make Phone Calls – VoIP
You’ve probably heard of VoIP (Voice over IP) even if you’re not really sure what it is. VoIP is the technology that allows you to make phone calls through your Internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. You still use a phone, and you get a dial tone plus two-way calling. Basically it’s the same thing except you change the type of wire coming out the back of your phone. The benefits are enticing.
Long distance (including local) price plans tend to be unlimited and under $30 per month.
Your phone is mobile like a cell phone. A phone number is assigned to the phone rather and a person or a location, and this phone can be moved around to any broadband connection and calls will find it, even in foreign countries.
Businesses can get rid of traditional PBX systems at great savings. The VoIP versions of PBX systems are far easier to work with than traditional hard-wired PBX systems and offer the same features. You can move the phones around in an office without any re-configuration of the phones or the PBX.
Red Shift is preparing to offer these services sometime in 2005.
8. Live Chat Support Coming Soon!
Many customers have vocalized an interest in being able to chat with our technicians and sales agents live and in person, but without having to call in on the phone. To this end, we will be launching a service called “Live Chat”. You can talk to a Red Shift representative live through the web with this service. Visit http://turbo.redshift.com and look for the link, it is coming soon.