Personal Hosting Questions

Web hosting discussion, programming, and shared and dedicated servers.
9 posts Page 1 of 1
by SonicUser » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:39 pm
Hello, I'm thinking about getting the Personal Hosting which I understand is free the first year if I have an account. I've search the wiki and forums with no luck so I will ask here :).

1) Are SSL certificates available for the domain? If yes, can I use self-generated, LetsEncrypt, or Sonic purchased?
2) Are the email accounts for the domain aliases to other sonic email accounts or do you get separate email login accounts for example sales@mydomain.com for using the webmail portal and sending mail?
3) Are any MySQL databases provided? If so, how many? If not, can you use the wordpress database even though wordpress would not be installed?
4) Dns support for DNSSEC?
5) DNS zone transfer support? For example, I push my zone updates for my domain to Sonic instead of manually updating via the member portal?
by anon_1356 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:00 pm
When last I checked, HTTPS with your own domain wasn't included with Personal Hosting, or even with the first level of paid plan, and when I asked Sonic support about it, their answer was to try to sell me a much more expensive offering. Apparently they haven't heard of HTTPS Everywhere or the browser developers' plans to mark all HTTP content as "insecure," and still believe TLS is something useful only for e-commerce sites with budgets to match.

From some of the other complaints here—and the aging software on the servers ("Server: Apache/1.3.41 (Unix) mod_auth_pam/1.1.1 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 PHP/4.4.9")—it seems clear that the hosting service isn't a priority for Sonic. In all fairness, it's difficult to compete with the mass-market hosting services without similar economies of scale, and I expect Sonic would rather put the capital into Internet access services, where it may earn a greater return.
by SonicUser » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:23 pm
Unfortunately, no SSL is a showstopper for me even though it's free for the first year. All the other questions/items I couild have worked around. Thanks for the reply and the info.
by joemuller » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:48 pm
SonicUser wrote:
1) Are SSL certificates available for the domain? If yes, can I use self-generated, LetsEncrypt, or Sonic purchased?


At the moment, we do not have SSL support for Personal Hosting. We are working on refreshing the hosting platform, and adding support for LetsEncrypt seems a worthy cause.

2) Are the email accounts for the domain aliases to other sonic email accounts or do you get separate email login accounts for example sales@mydomain.com for using the webmail portal and sending mail?


The current setup is alias-based - you can point any valid email address for your domain to any other valid email. You can set up a series of mailboxes under your Sonic account and use the same Webmail and IMAP/POP servers as you would a sonic.net address.

3) Are any MySQL databases provided? If so, how many? If not, can you use the wordpress database even though wordpress would not be installed?


Yes. You should get 1 free database. If you use the Wordpress One-Click Installer through our Member Tools, that database is included at no charge. Please note that the databases are only accessible from our hosting servers and shell server - they cannot be *directly* connected to from outside of Sonic's network.

4) Dns support for DNSSEC?


Yes, though it's a manual process involving interaction with our support team. We hope to make this easier in the future.

5) DNS zone transfer support? For example, I push my zone updates for my domain to Sonic instead of manually updating via the member portal?


Yes, we can do that. I think you're talking about what's called a "Hidden Master" configuration, where you run the master server for your domain, we accept transfers/updates from it, and just Sonic's servers are in the NS records.

Hope I helped clarify things a bit! :)
I'm a proud employee of Sonic.net! :-)
by joemuller » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:55 pm
anon_1356 wrote:
From some of the other complaints here—and the aging software on the servers ("Server: Apache/1.3.41 (Unix) mod_auth_pam/1.1.1 FrontPage/5.0.2.2635 PHP/4.4.9")—it seems clear that the hosting service isn't a priority for Sonic. In all fairness, it's difficult to compete with the mass-market hosting services without similar economies of scale, and I expect Sonic would rather put the capital into Internet access services, where it may earn a greater return.


We currently have support up to PHP 5.5 - to enable the newer versions, see our wiki. PHP 4.4.9 being a default is a leftover from the early days of PHP 5, where many customer's sites would break under the newer version. (AFAIK, this hasn't been an issue for years)

Given the current end-of-life status for PHP 5, we're planning to update the servers to support PHP 7 and use a current version of Apache rather than the current, heavily patched one.
I'm a proud employee of Sonic.net! :-)
by ronks » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:37 am
I'll piggyback on this thread because I think I have a similar question that is partly answered by it.
I would like to secure the communications to my two sonic.net web addresses
http://sonic.net/~ronks/ and http://www.ronksville.com/
That is, use https instead of http. As I understand joemuller's statement

> At the moment, we do not have SSL support for Personal Hosting. We are working on refreshing the hosting platform, and adding support for LetsEncrypt seems a worthy cause <

what I want to do is not presently possible but may become so. Is that correct; is there an estimated date for the rollout; and how will it be announced? Appreciate any light you can shed on this.
by joemuller » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:42 am
ronks wrote:
what I want to do is not presently possible but may become so. Is that correct; is there an estimated date for the rollout; and how will it be announced? Appreciate any light you can shed on this.


I don't have an estimate at this time for the rollout of HTTPS/SSL support for Personal/Value/Basic hosting tiers. That said, there will most likely be a post in the Hosting section of the forum when we do plan to roll out any major changes or upgrades.
I'm a proud employee of Sonic.net! :-)
by rjsfo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:17 pm
ronks wrote:
I'll piggyback on this thread because I think I have a similar question that is partly answered by it.
I would like to secure the communications to my two sonic.net web addresses
http://sonic.net/~ronks/ and http://www.ronksville.com/
That is, use https instead of http. As I understand joemuller's statement

> At the moment, we do not have SSL support for Personal Hosting. We are working on refreshing the hosting platform, and adding support for LetsEncrypt seems a worthy cause <

what I want to do is not presently possible but may become so. Is that correct; is there an estimated date for the rollout; and how will it be announced? Appreciate any light you can shed on this.


You may want to look at Cloudflare. They offer Flexible SSL which provides an secure connection between visitors and Cloudflare, but a non-secure connection between Cloudflare and the web host.

This is far from optimal and Cloudflare clearly states "It should only be used as a last resort if you are not able to setup SSL on your own web server...." It may fit your use case. Be mindful of any sensitive data on your website before you embark with this choice.
by ronks » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:23 pm
Thanks; it's an interesting alternative. At this time it's probably wiser for me to wait for sonic.net if they are likely to offer SSL in a reasonable amount of time.
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