FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
* Is there a trial period or money-back guarantee?
* What is Cpanel™? Do you have a Demo?
* Can I visit the hindcomm™ Data Center?
* How is my service monitored?
* What is the uptime?
* Are there any hidden costs?
* Do you have battery backups and generators?
* What kind of security does the hindcomm™ Data Center have?
* Can I have adult content on my website?
* May I view your Terms Of Service?
* What if my site breaks your "acceptable usage policy" rules?
* Do you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
* What is your connectivity to the Internet?
* How is extra bandwidth billed?
* How am I billed?
* How much assistance do you provide for my website?
* How fast are service orders set up?
* Does my service get a control panel?
* What type of support do you offer? Average Response Time?
* Is there a discount if I pre-pay for several months in advance?
* What about software upgrades?
* Does my service have its own IP number(s) or is it shared?
* What if the hardware fails?
* What are the setup fees and monthly costs involved?
* What are the hardware specs of the servers?
* Do you support International domain names and clients?
* What happens if I decide to leave hindcomm™
* What if the server my website is on gets hacked or attacked?
* What if I want to upgrade my service?
* Why should I choose hindcomm™ as my webhost?
* How do I get started?
MANAGED SERVER QUESTIONS
* How many domains can I host on my server?
VIRTUAL HOSTING QUESTIONS
* How do I set up my email?
* How do I upload my files?
* How do I transfer my domain name?
* What is included in my website package?
* How many sites are currently running per server?
* Can I host more than one domain name per account?
* What if I want to upgrade to a dedicated server in the future?
Is there a trial period or money-back guarantee?
No, the NOCSTER services do not come with a trial period or money back guarantee. The reason for this is that since NOCSTER is such a high bandwidth service, if we were to offer such a refund policy, we feel too many individuals will utilize a full month's service and cancel to avoid the bill. Also, due to the sheer amount of orders NOCSTER generates, we feel our time would be best spent building servers and providing support for legitimate, long-term clients only. A trial period or money-back guarantee is just not practical due to the amount of time our staff spends on each order/client. The only exception to this would be if hindcomm™ specifically advertises a sale with such, or adds such a clause to a custom quote or contract.
What is Cpanel™? Do you have a Demo?
CPanel™ is the brand name of the web browser control panel software that hindcomm™ utilizes on its servers. A demo of the control panel can be found here. The software can be used to control a single website by an end-user, a block of space for a reseller account with control over their clientele, as well as the whole backend operation of a complete server using the WebHostManager™ backend (demo).
Can I visit the hindcomm™ Data Center?
hindcomm™ allows dedicated server and co-location clients ONLY to visit the hindcomm™ Data Center. Visits to the hindcomm™ Data Center are by appointment only, and arranged for a mutually convenient time for both the client and hindcomm™ staff. There is an international airport 10 minutes from the hindcomm™ Data Center. The hindcomm™ Data Center is directly off of the US Route 81 & 84 Super Highways, as well as very close to the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Route 476).
How is my service monitored?
hindcomm™ maintains internal and external monitoring systems for every server in the hindcomm™ Data Center. The servers are checked every 5 minutes via network monitoring software. hindcomm™ monitors uptime as well as individual features and services running on each server. hindcomm™ staff is notified via alarms, email, screen popups, and paging, if a problem occurs. Please see our "Definition of Managed Services", for a detailed explanation of our monitoring policy.
What is the uptime?
hindcomm™ strives to maintain a 99.5% network and server uptime service level. This uptime percentage is a monthly figure, and does not include any scheduled hardware/software upgrades, nor "Acts of God". Our definition of "Act of God" includes; fire, flood, tornado, earthquake, telco fiber issues (ie...Verizon™ cutting a fiber line somewhere), backbone peering point issues (ie...Sprint™ having a router go down in Virginia that wipes out internet service for the entire East Coast), hard drive failure (faulty hardware is rare, but cannot be predicted nor avoided), as well as network floods, hacks, and attacks. If hindcomm™ fails to meet it's 99.5% uptime guarantee, and it is not due to one of the above reasons, partial downtime credits will be made available to each client, upon request, on a case by case basis. hindcomm™ does not credit a full month's service if we only have 99.4% uptime. This would not be financially healthy for hindcomm™, and in turn would only negatively affect the service level hindcomm™ provides to you. "Partial refunds for partial downtime" is our standard policy. Please see our "Service Level Agreement", for a detailed explanation of our SLA.
Are there any hidden costs?
No. All costs are stated plainly on our website. We do not hide fees in fineprint, or in our terms of service pages. The only costs that are commonly found to occur beyond your expected flat monthly rates per service, are those due to increased disk space or bandwidth usage. Pricing for such is plainly stated on our website. hindcomm™ very often will allow you to upgrade your packages to the next size up, should you see an increase in disk space levels or bandwidth usage for the current month, and not want to pay for such additional usage. Disk space usage and availablility, as well as estimated bandwidth usage, is available to you in the majority of the control panel versions included with the hosting packages.
Do you have battery backups and generators?
Our Network Operations Center is backed up and protected by UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) systems. In a very rare case of utility outages, our auto-start generators start automatically, taking over for the UPS system and supplying all necessary power for our Network Operations Center. Information on our facility can be found on our Network Infrastructure page.
What kind of security does the hindcomm™ Data Center have?
The hindcomm™ Data Center in Scranton, PA USA is a high security facility. Double metal security doors, with interior gating, protect the main entrance to the facility. The windows-less facility has advanced security, fire, temperature, and flood alarms, directly piped into the Security Monitoring Company via phone, cellular, and internet connections. A Scranton Police Station is less than two blocks away, and a Fire Station less than six blocks. A 16-camera digital video system monitors the interior and exterior of the Data Center. This video system is monitored internally at the facility and externally from the hindcomm™ Sales/Support office. The video data is recorded live both on and off site, and stored for several months ahead. Visitors cannot gain access into the faclity without employee escort. The physical servers and equipment area is secured from the visitor's area by huge metal doors, as well as metal sheeting and bulletproof glass walls. Armed guards are planned for the future, but not a necessity at this junction.
Can I have adult content on my website?
hindcomm™ does not allow adult content on the NOCSTER network. hindcomm™ has a seperate division, UnRestricted™ set up for adult material. Please email us for rates for Unrestricted range of services.
May I view your Terms Of Service?
The hindcomm™ Terms of Service (TOS) for the NOCSTER service, including policy and service guidelines, are available online here
What if my site breaks your "acceptable usage policy" rules?
Users' sites/service may be suspended for violations of policy, or if extreme, or second time offenders, sites may be cancelled. Each occurance is dealt with on a case by case basis, and we try to work things out with every client. Notifications will be sent, if hindcomm™ takes any action on your account.
Do you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
The hindcomm™ Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the NOCSTER service, is available online at:
What is your connectivity to the Internet?
The network is connected via Gigabit Ethernet handoff(s) (1000mbps) on a redundant/dual-path OC48 (2048mbps) sonet-ring fiber-optic transport connection to Commonwealth Telephone™ (CTSI™), NorthEast PA's 2nd largest Telco. Verizon™ (Formerly Bell Atlantic PA) and PPL Telcom™, (a sub-division of Pennsylvania Power & Electric™ - PPL™) fiber is also available in the facility. The network currently connects hindcomm POPs (Points of Presence) in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, & Philadelphia, with others to be completed shortly. hindcomm™ transit is provided via Gigabit Ethernet (1000mbps) from Yipes!™/Level3™ (http://www.yipes.com), Cogent™ Communications (http://www.cogentco.com), & BTN™/PCCW™ (http://www.btnaccess.com). For redundancy, hindcomm™ is currently running BGP4 (border gateway routing protocol) to maintain the speed and uptime. If one backbone line goes down, it will balance the load to the other(s). If one line gets congested, it will load balance the traffic. hindcomm™ is currently negotiating with major backbone providers to open POPs in the hindcomm™ Scranton PA facility. hindcomm™ is currently the only major data center/co-lo facility within 60-75 miles of the Tier-3 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre PA USA Metro Area.
How is extra bandwidth billed?
hindcomm™ maintains software on most servers and on all switches to monitor individual website usage and server-wide usage. Bandwidth is billed per Gigabyte (GB) over your monthly allocation, rounded up to the nearest Gigabyte. Allocations are currently calculated based on the 50/50=100 calculation method. For example, a 2000GB allocation would allow 1000GB of inbound (downstream) AND 1000GB of outbound (upstream) bandwidth. This calculation method is subject to change with 30 days notice to clients. Utilization is based upon MRTG stats taken directly from the managed switch port a server is plugged into. Usually between the 3rd and 5th of the month you will receive your bandwidth overage billing, if applicable, for the preceding month's usage. If bandwidth overage billing occurs more than 30 days past the end of the period being billed for, client is permitted the same amount of time to pay the bill.
How am I billed?
hindcomm™ invoices you via email. You can request a statement via email as well, at any time. A secure web interface is provided for online viewing of your account invoices/statements. Hard copy statements can be mailed per occassion for those clients that request such. You will receive an invoice for each new service/account order shortly after such service is activated. Your initial service/account order invoice date will be your regular monthly billing date. All further service/accounts ordered will be pro-rated to that date, and then be billed regularly on that date every month (...if it is a monthly service). Special arrangements can be made for custom billing requirements. hindcomm™ accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Paypal™, Bank Wire Transfers, Western Union, Company Checks, Personal Checks, Money Orders, and Cash. You can opt to not have your credit card charged every month, until you specifically submit a payment each month.
IMPORTANT: hindcomm™ bills in advance for all services, usually 4 weeks prior to the service renewal date. Payment is due 3 weeks before the date of renewal, however, customers with auto-debit payment methods will be charged upon advance invoice creation.
NOTE: Therefore, you may receive an invoice for new service, and a monthly renewal invoice only 7-10 days later. The invoices following will then be 30 days later, assuming you are on a monthly renewing service. If a client cancels a service prior to renewal date, advance charges for that service will be promptly refunded.
How much assistance do you provide for my website?
hindcomm™ will assist you with all support for services provided directly thru hindcomm™. hindcomm™ will help you with basic settings for your email software and ftp client, as well as assist you with using the web browser control panel. hindcomm™ is not responsible for teaching you how to use another company's products. Example: hindcomm™ will assist you with the settings for using MS Frontpage™, but we will not teach you how to actually use the product itself. You need to contact the software maker in such a situation, who provides tech support for how to use their product. hindcomm™ cannot even attempt to support all the thousands of software products on the market. hindcomm™ will attempt to provide some tech support for the most popular programs our clients use. hindcomm™ is not responsible for assisting with your own programs and cgi scripts. If you choose to install your own programs and cgi scripts on your site, you are responsible fully for installing them. hindcomm™ will provide support for any program or cgi script that we provide pre-installed with your web hosting package. hindcomm™ is not responsible for designing, nor developing, your website, including HTML and/or images. hindcomm™ will attempt to give a quick look at your design/development problem, and offer a suggestion if it is a small issue. Anything complicated relating to design/development is not the responsibility of hindcomm™. Please see our "Definition of Managed Services", for a detailed explanation of our server management policy.
How fast are service orders set up?
Virtual hosting account orders placed during normal business day hours may be processed in 1-2 hours. If placed in the middle of a night, setup may not occur until the following day. NOCSTER dedicated servers currently on average take 24-72 hours to set up. This timeframe fluctuates based on current hardware stock and demand. Some servers may be available for instant/same-day set up as advertised. If you ordered a NOCSTER reseller account or dedicated server, you will have the ability to instantly setup accounts by yourself, after the initial setup by hindcomm™.
Does my service get a control panel?
Every NOCSTER web hosting package comes with a web browser based control panel. The control panel includes many features including; email configurations, chat rooms, mailing lists, pre-installed cgi scripts, databases, chat rooms, and much, much, more... A demo of the control panel can be found here. NOCSTER reseller accounts come with access to WebHostManager (demo), for administrating your service. Cpanel™/WebHostManager™ is available to NOCSTER dedicated server & co-location clientele for a very nominal $19.95 monthly fee.
What type of support do you offer? Average Response Time?
hindcomm™ offers NOCSTER clientele support 24/7/365 via email, web based ticket system, AOL Instant Messanger. Phone supportis available to NOCSTER clientele for Reboots and Emergencies ONLY. We strive for response times of no more than a few hours. Response times of just a few minutes are quite common during normal business hours. hindcomm™ has recently implemented a web based support ticket system, which integrates all incoming support email into it. The ticket system tracks support inquires by "time waiting" for reponse from the support dept. The hindcomm™ administration carefully monitors that the hindcomm™ support staff maintains a fast response time, with courteous and helpful service. Phone support is currently not offered on the NOCSTER product line, except for emergencies and reboots, in order to keep the costs down. The hindcomm™ Support Forum is provided for assistance from other clients, and for news and announcements. Please see our "Definition of Managed Services", for a detailed explanation of our support policy.
Is there a discount if I pre-pay for several months in advance?
hindcomm™ does not currently offer advance payment discounts on most of the NOCSTER product line. There are yearly payment discounts on some of the virtual hosting plans, of which details can be found on the order form.
What about software upgrades?
hindcomm™ handles all software upgrades/patches on all servers. We fully follow all trends in the industry, and monitor all support/bug announcement groups. If a new bug or security vulnerability is found, hindcomm™ immediately upgrades our systems. hindcomm™ auto-updates the Linux systems every night from security patch websites. As new software is released, including new versions of operating systems, hindcomm™ evaluates the new software. If the software's new version does not have any security issues, or bug problems, the upgrade is implemented.
Does my service have its own IP number(s) or is it shared?
This depends on the type of package that you order. Traditionally all NOCSTER hosting packages come with a dedicated IP address. The exception to this is the "Virtual Linux 1" packages, that are budget minded, and use shared IPs. NOCSTER dedicated servers & reseller accounts have the ability to utilize IP based, or IPless, virtual hosting configurations. Charges may apply to purchase additional IPs for usage beyond your initial service allocation.
What if the hardware fails?
hindcomm™ stocks replacement parts for all servers. hindcomm™ is always building new servers for our shared hosting clients, as well as our dedicated server clients, so a full inventory of parts is maintained. Hardware failures are uncommon, but they do happen, and are a part of the hosting business. hindcomm™ repairs all failed hardware promptly, to minimize any downtime caused by such. hindcomm™ replaces all failed hardware on virtual hosting, reseller, and dedicated machines at no cost to the clientele. For details on such issues, please review the documents in our policy and service guidelines section.
What are the setup fees and monthly costs involved?
There are many different services offered in the NOCSTER product line, and several packages available within each service. Please check the pages of this website for pricing details on each specific service and package.
What are the hardware specs of the servers?
Every server at hindcomm™ has different specifications. Whenever a virtual hosting or reseller server reaches what we feel to be the limit, another server is built. hindcomm™ is constantly upgrading the server hardware on our network. If more drive space, memory, or faster processors are needed, they are added in at that time. The average shared server is a dual processor system, with 512-1024MB RAM, and 160mbps SCSI hard drive(s), with IDE backup. Dedicated servers are built to ordering specification.
Do you support International domain names and clients?
hindcomm™ can host all international domains on its servers. hindcomm™ can accept foreign clientele, just please be advised that all correspondance must be conducted in English. The client is responsible for handling the registration process of foreign domain name(s). This must be pointed to nameservers on the hindcomm™ network as assigned, or you can use other nameservers and route the domain name to the IP address you are assigned. hindcomm™ cannot handle the foreign domain registration process for you, due to the fact that we do not speak all of the potential foreign languages that may be involved. hindcomm™ will assist you however, with any technical information need to accomplish this.
What happens if I decide to leave hindcomm™
Generally, hindcomm™ services are provided on a month to month basis, without any required term contract. Some special offers, internet access services, or custom quoted solutions, may have required contract terms and/or signed contract requirements. All advance payments, for unused service periods, will be refunded should you decide to leave--if they were not part of a required term contract. hindcomm™ does not prorate current service periods, for cancellations occuring mid-service period. If you wish to cancel service, you MUST fill out the Service/Feature Cancellation Form. If you do not have access to fill out the required form, you may fax a signed cancellation request, and a copy of your identification (drivers license, passport, legal photo ID, etc...) to +91- 22- 25906384. The fax should include your billing account number, billing account password, service/domain/circuit name/id, current service password, requested service effective cancellation date, details of what specifically you wish to cancel (all/partial service/features), and any other relevant information/details. Not using the service, or moving your service elsewhere, is NOT a valid method of cancellation--nor is hindcomm™ even aware if such occurs.
What if the server my website is on gets hacked or attacked?
Individually hacked websites are rare. If such occurs, usually they are a target for a reason; hate sites, pirated software, etc... hindcomm™ does not host such websites. If such materal is found on a hindcomm™ server, it is deleted immediately and the user's account cancelled. Usually the target is the whole server itself. Hackers usually go after a server just to say that "they did", or to use the server to bounce off of to hack something more important. Rarely are any users' files on the server damaged, erased, or modified. For this reason, once a hacker is detected, a server can usually be cleaned up and the hacker locked back out within a matter of hours. At that time the server is restored to full security levels, as if the hack has never occurred. Most hackers get into a system thru valid user accounts. We recommend you use complicated passwords for your account. hindcomm™ strictly reviews all orders for new clients, to make sure they are legitimate. Unfortunately, some fake orders do get thru the system, and that is one way a hacker can gain initial access. hindcomm™ runs security checks on the servers daily, so even if a hacker does get in, they are found and dealt with quickly. Most hackers are not malicious, they are just playing or testing their abilities. If an individual attacks the whole hindcomm™ Data Center, measures are in place to cut off such floods and attacks automatically at the backbone level and the router level. hindcomm™ also uses firewall technology to fend off most common methods of flooding and attacks to the network. Please see our "Definition of Managed Services", for a detailed explanation of our server management policy.
What if I want to upgrade my service?
You may upgrade or downgrade your NOCSTER service plan at any time, if you are on a month to month default agreement. You will be required to pay the difference in the setup fee for your current plan, and the plan you are upgrading to, should you decide to choose a larger plan. You will then pay the new monthly fee for the new service plan that you select. Changing dedicated server plans may require system administration fees and/or hardware modifications.
Why should I choose hindcomm™ as my service provider?
Simple. hindcomm™ is one of the oldest web hosting companies in the industry, being founded over a decade ago, all the way back on June 1st 1996. With most hosting companies being started in the past 2-3 years, hindcomm™ has an edge over the competition; Specializing in web hosting since 1996. hindcomm™ maintains one of the most feature rich hosting packages on the market, so advanced that many hosting companies cannot compete. hindcomm™ was one of the first hosting companies in the industry to offer technical support via ICQ & AOL Instant Messanger, as well as to offer high bandwidth packages (20GB+ per month) to the general public. hindcomm™ offers Cpanel™ & WebHostManager™ on it's packages, the premier software in the business. It should be noted that the lead developer of the Cpanel™ software, J. Nick Koston, is a former hindcomm™ employee. hindcomm™ is one of the few hosting companies that actually owns its own data center. Most hosting companies, our competitors, co-locate their boxes at data centers that they do not own. hindcomm™ has won several awards for providing some of the most complete hosting packages and support levels available.
How do I get started?
Simple! Just fill out the secure online form for the service you wish to order! You will receive details shortly afterwards about how to proceed with your new service plan!
MANAGED DEDICATED SERVER QUESTIONS
How many domains can I host on my server?
hindcomm™ does not put a numerical limit on the quantity of websites/clients you can host on your NOCSTER dedicated server. Such numbers are only limited by the amount of bandwidth you utilize and the hardware specifications of your server. You can host hundreds of small websites on your server, or just a single large site, that is strictly up to you. We do advise never putting more than 1000 virtual hosts on a single server, due to limitations within the operating systems and web server software.
VIRTUAL HOSTING QUESTIONS
How do I set up my email?
hindcomm™ web hosting clients can set up POP Accounts, Forwarders/Aliases, & Auto-Responders in the Web Browser Control Panel that comes with every hindcomm™ web hosting package. This can be done by yourself, and without any assistance from the hindcomm™ staff.
How do I upload my files?
All hindcomm™ web hosting packages allow the usage of FTP, Telnet, SSH, File Manager, MS FrontPage™, and other web development publishing programs, to upload files to your website.
How do I transfer my domain name?
hindcomm™ will attempt to file the necessary electronic forms for your domain name transfer with InterNIC. If hindcomm™ is unable to file such with your specific domain name registrar, hindcomm™ will send you instructions on how to do such yourself, including all necessary technical details. Clients may opt to not have hindcomm™ handle the domain name transfer, or to delay doing such, as an option on the web hosting order form required for signup.
What is included in my website package?
hindcomm™ provides full hardware, software, support, and system administration for your hindcomm™ shared hosting solution. The software provided includes the operating system, ftp & email software, web server software, and a control panel. hindcomm™ even includes free e-commerce shopping cart software. Everything you need to conduct business on the Internet, or maintain a personal website, is included in your hindcomm™ hosting solution. hindcomm™ will provide basic support on services/software that we provide you with your account. hindcomm™ does not develop your website for you, nor provide tech support on how to use software products that we do not provide to your directly...even if we do support them. We are always more than willing to help you if we can though with external issues, time permitting...
How many sites are currently running per server?
hindcomm™ does not have a set quantity of domains running on each machine. We find that sometimes ten domains can utilize more resources than 200 others. hindcomm™ monitors each server's performance levels and attempts to maintain a low server load average and high cpu availability. As needed, hindcomm™ will upgrade the hardware, to increase server performance. Individual domains that become to much for the server to handle, and utilize too much server resources, are moved to servers set up specifically for such resource intensive accounts.
Can I host more than one domain name per account?
hindcomm™ charges additional fees for every extra domain name you point to your account. For a domain name that is parked on top of your main domain name, the cost is a $25 one time setup fee. You may use an index.cgi script, to redirect from that domain name to a sub-directory at no additional charge. hindcomm™ charges a $25 setup fee, and $5.00 monthly for every additional domain name parked to a sub-directory. Each additional domain name parked on top, or to a sub-directory, receives one catch-all email POP account or forwarder for all mail to that domain name. Parked domain names do not receive a control panel of their own. hindcomm™ usually recommends the very inexpensive "Virtual Linux 1" accounts ($4.95 monthly) instead, due to the fact that they come with their own control panel functionality.
What if I want to upgrade to a dedicated server in the future?
Not a problem. hindcomm™ will assist you in setting up the site(s) on your dedicated server, and help you transfer all the files over as well. It can be a very simple procedure, with minimal downtime. hindcomm™ will leave the shared server accounts active while the transfer is occuring, until dns properly clears up, and you are satisfied that your site(s) are functioning perfectly on the new dedicated server.