Getting Blocked by the Firewall

I’m repeatedly asked why people get blocked by our firewall solution, the answer to this is very simple.

We’re protecting your data!

When somebody who doesn’t know your password wants to break into your account they may try a random sequence of passwords to get in. The easiest way for them to do this is through what’s called a “dictionary attack”, where an automated script is setup to test using all the passwords in a file one after another (this is why we encourage you not to use real words as your password!).

The above is also a brute force attack, hammering away at a single account – at BetterWebSpace we see hundreds of these every single day.

“So what are you doing about it?”

That’s the common next question, the answer is blocking the IP address of the malicious user or script when they’ve had several failed attempts at a password.

Unfortunately, when a user then proceeds to enter their own password wrong a number of times our servers have no way of knowing that you are not trying to break into an account, so it blocks their IP. Some blocks are just for several minutes whilst others are more permanent.

“How do I know if I’m blocked?

If you can’t login to your email, ftp or see your website then you have probably been blocked (alternatively if you can access any one or more of these services it’s likely that you haven’t been blocked).

If you have been blocked, contact support with the following information:

Your username:
Your domain name:
The server your account is on:
Your name:
Your IP address (visit if you are unsure):

Welcome to the BetterWebSpace Blog!

This is something we’ve been meaning to do at BetterWebSpace for an awful long time!

Over the past few years BetterWebSpace has really grown, and we’re pleased to report that even some of those customers that started with us back in 2001 are still with us. The web hosting industry seems to grow and shrink all the while with some hosts disappearing practically overnight. Fortunately we’re not one of those, and have gone from strength to strength in recent years!

We hope through this blog to bring you news, technical articles and the bit of fun that keeps us all sane at BetterWebSpace!

December 2008 Newsletter

Dear Customers,

Yes, it’s that time again where everyone is so busy – and I’d like to wish all of our clients a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

It’s been an amazingly busy year here at BetterWebSpace with some major upgrades being made available to customers. There are going to be more big changes coming in the near future – so please make sure you take note of all the information below!

PHP 5 & Register Globals

PHP 5 was made available across all servers in September, and despite some confusion about register globals now being switched off by default many people are using the new version of PHP quite successfully.

I’d like to urge all customers with PHP scripts (this may include those scripts installed by Fantastico) to read about register globals at This feature is deprecated in PHP 5.3.0 and above, and completely removed in PHP 6 . please start to look into this today!

You may need to contact your software vendor to ask whether they are providing a version in the near future that does not rely on Register Globals (I know OSCommerce already provide a patch for users who don’t have PHP Register Globals enabled).

Current Versions & Security Implications

It has come to our attention during the upgrades that many people are running outdated versions of software and scripts in their webspace. This is a reminder that you should always be running the most recently stable version of scripts.

Older versions of software may be insecure, with any security holes in them being widely known by spammers and hackers alike. Remember you are responsible for what happens in your account and not having up to date scripts may allow other people to run malicious scripts in your account.


We must re-iterate that all customers are responsible for backing up their sites, we cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to data stored on the server.

In the past clients have asked us about providing a backup service on our existing platforms and pricing structure, at this point in time this is not something we can offer within our existing Easy packages. However we hope to introduce another level of hosting package in the near future that includes backups as standard.

Recent Problems on Hermione

In the early hours of Saturday 13th December Hermione sufferered a large scale system failure. This server was already running a particularly old operating system and as such we were looking at upgrade/migration options to increase stability in the near future anyway.

Customers who were able to provide us with their own backups had their sites restored to other servers within a few hours. Those without their backups had to wait whilst we attempted to recover as much data as possible from the disks, this is now complete (and almost all data was recovered) but we will need to do some disk swaps in the near future (please see below for the maintenance window).

Maintenance Window – Hermione

We would like to announce a maintenance window between the hours of 23:00 Saturday 20th December and 03:00 GMT on Sunday 21st December 2008. The server is not expected to be offline for the entire window – around 30 minutes during it.

Where hosting just got better…