garrett has written 23 articles for NASACoLab.

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A basic question that often gets asked by people looking to start their own website is, “why do I need to pay a company to host my website?” People wonder why they simply can’t host it themselves. However, web hosting works by providing the storage space for your website, which is basically a file that gets put on display online. The host serves like a hard drive, where your information is stored and displayed to people who are on the internet.
By functioning as a virtual hard drive, web hosts are able to ensure your website stays up and running. The basic reason that web hosting companies are needed is because computer hard drives simply aren’t able to be constantly feeding information to the internet so that people can see your website. In addition, if you were to run a website from your own hard drive from a T3 line or more, it would take a very long time for your website to load for anyone who visits it. Not to mention, it would be extremely difficult to figure out how to do it. Therefore, web hosting is needed as a sort of dedicated hard drive reserved especially for your website.
A good web hosting company makes it easy to construct and maintain a dynamic website. Many provide things such as templates for easy design and options like adding a shopping cart function. Web hosting can often be bought depending on how much bandwidth your website needs to use or how much storage space is needed. These options usually come in the form of separate plans, and it’s a good idea to figure out first, what kind of website you are going to run and second, how much space and bandwidth you will need.
There are tons of web hosting companies out there, so we’ve made the search easier by taking the most reliable and reviewing them, such as HostPapa. Owning and running your very own website can be a lot of fun, but choosing the best web hosting company for you is very important since they all run so differently. The reviews we have on our site are there to help clarify exactly what each site offers and doesn’t offer in the way of web hosting. Some important things to consider are if websites are easy to construct for beginners, what sort of website you are thinking of making (blog, retail, company website, etc.), the level of customer support is available for customers, and of course price and payment plans.

One of the strongest tools used by security software is firewall protection. Firewalls serve as a barrier that filters information shared between you and other internet users. Many have heard of firewalls, but few know exactly what they are and how they work. Because they are such an important part of your protection while surfing the internet, it’s good to know a little bit about them. Security software offered by several reputable companies also offer firewall protection in their software, making investing in internet security a considerable idea. If you are looking into investing security software, knowing how firewalls work can help you judge just how much protection you are getting.
Basically, firewalls are utilized by internet routers, computer operating systems, and by separate software to help distinguish which network transmissions should and should not reach your computer. Outside of specialized software, some very basic firewall protection can be found in many operating systems and internet routers, but if you are looking to step up your online security, looking into some security software with enhanced firewall protection would be a good idea.
There are a few types of firewalls. Packet filters, proxy service, and stateful inspection are the main types, and each uses different protocol and sets of rules in order to determine what gets through the firewall and what doesn’t. These also address how certain types of businesses are run, and one might be preferable over another, depending on the company’s needs.
Firewalls are especially important for business or homes with several different computers accessing the internet. Because all of these computers are linked through one area network, they are all vulnerable should one computer get a virus or get hacked. It is possible that one hacker can infiltrate the system through just one computer and end up gaining access to all of the computers, and it could happen to a company with hundreds of computers. With a firewall in place, this isn’t an issue anymore. Every computer has protection that would not let harmful viruses or hackers in should one person perpetrate a security risk. In other words, each computer is a rendered a separate entity, even if they are all on the same internet network.
If you are looking to invest in some security software, it’s a good idea to do a little research to figure out just how you are being protected. A great place to start is our reviews. Kaspersky utilizes a two-way firewall and BitDefender protects you with a quality firewall as well.

Many people are on the fence about whether online backup storage or physical modes of storage are best for them. Sometimes the question comes down to which is better for long term storage. If you are looking to store data for long spans of time, online backup software is a great option, and there are several reasons why.
Because online backup doesn’t solely rely on a physical storage device, it is simply better at withstanding the test of time. Hard drives can break, get lost in transportation or in a hectic work area, something could damage the hard drive and the information inside, and they can flat-out get old. Online storage makes backup instantaneous and very easy. This information can be accessed from anywhere and at any time. You don’t have to worry about finding a hard drive and trying to open the contents.
Of course both require a computer to access your data, but online backup requires the internet as well. This can pose a problem, but not a huge one. Generally the internet is widely available in both homes and public places. This ability to access your data from anywhere that offers an internet connection will prove very useful.
Using online backup as your front-line protection against crashing hard drives makes it an all-around good candidate for information storage. Plus, you have access to customer service if you have an issue instead of trying to manually work a portable hard drive. This is another reason online backup is a good long term option. Also, if you have large amounts of data you are looking to store, online backup is quicker and easier than putting it on possibly multiple hard drives.
The prices for online backup are generally for year-long subscriptions, you only have to pay one flat price every year to keep your data backup.
If you are looking to try out different options when it comes to data storage, consider signing up for some of the free trials offered by the online backup software companies we reviewed such as IBackup. Each has a unique customer experience, and picking the one you are most comfortable with ensures that a long term plan will run smoothly.

We all hear about the three main credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. They stand like gods over our financial lives, yet they are pretty mysterious. Just how do they work? What sort of business do they conduct? Are they there to help organize the aspect of borrowing, or do they simply run the borrowing machine? Whether you are considering opening your first line of credit or have owned several credit cards for years, understanding the inner-workings of the credit bureaus can help you keep a handle on your credit.
The credit bureau stands as your representative when you go to are looking to get a credit card or borrow money. Basically, they keep complete track of your financial history. They know how many lines of credit you have open, how much debt you have, how prompt you are about paying your credit cards and loans, and a lot more. When you apply for a loan, the lender will contact the credit bureau, who will then report to the lender about your financial situation. It’s the lender that ultimately decides whether or not to approve your loan based on this information.
This final call usually depends on your credit score. Your credit score is composed of lots of financial information, but it’s presented in one number. This number is what will be used to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a loan, that is, if you are likely to pay the loan back.
This being said, it’s important to protect your credit, and therefore protect your identity. If someone gets a hold of some of your personally sensitive information, it would not be hard for them to delve a little deeper and totally ruin your credit score. This is where identity protection software comes in.
Identity theft protection software works by carefully monitoring for changes, disruptions, or abnormal behavior concerning your credit score, and they will often go through the three main credit bureaus to do this. Additionally, they provide credit reports from these credit bureaus, so you can be proactive in protecting your identity as well. Should someone irregular come up, you are notified so that you can address the issue directly.
While there are steps you can take to protect your identity, it’s ultimately a better option to look into identity theft protection software such as Identity Guard. Many come with very large insurance policies attached, offering more peace of mind when it comes to a dangerous identity situation.

The point of these genealogy sites is to be extensive, thorough, and broad. That being said, when you search, expect to find all sorts of results. With lots of results, you might become a little overwhelmed, and that’s more than understandable. However, building your family tree is a mystery and all mysteries begin with a detective wondering, “Where do I start?”
A good way to orient yourself is by understanding what sort of historical record you’re looking at. There are definitely plenty that can aid you on your search for finding your ancestors, but by knowing the context, purpose, and usage of each type of document, you might be better able to understand just how your search is progressing.
The first and probably most relevant source of information you will come across is census records. Censuses were used by the government to discover various aspects of the population. They are still used even today in the United States, and are generally conducted every 10 years. Censuses are useful for discovering, among other things, size of population, average family size, average age, and so on. While you are searching online, you will more likely than not come across a census. The most recent available one is the 1930’s census. On the census, you might find all sorts of information. For example, a census records details of citizenship (including immigrant status), whether or not the person served in the military, family relations including marriage details, and even more.
More very popular historical documents are birth and death certificates. As you may know, birth certificates contain the names of both the father and the mother, as well as place of birth, date of birth, and various birth details. Death certificates also carry a lot of valuable information, such as the cause of death and date of death. What makes these documents so treasured are the exact dates tied to each. Because a date is provided, your records can be more specific and less ambiguous when it comes to who you might be related to. Marriage certificates are also very useful, as they are a means of connecting families.
Military records are another useful tool you will come across. These include a lot of information that can help perpetuate your search, such as birth/death dates, where the soldier lived, and which branch of the military the soldier was connected to.
These are only a few of the tools you are able to use on genealogy websites such as One Great Family. If you have ever been remotely interested in your past, consider trying out some of the free trials offered by these sites. After all, history is very real, and digging into your past can really bring so much information to light.

One of the scariest realities about identity theft and other fraudulent crimes is the cyber black market. The black market of the internet deals and trades in all sorts of things: real peoples’ credit card numbers, email address lists, online bank account numbers, and a variety of services offering hacking, planting of malware, and much more.
These websites are set up like any other retail website on the internet. There are the vendors – those who sell goods and services – and there are those looking to buy. One might expect the prices for these serves to be pretty hefty, but the honest truth is that they’re not. Despite the cheap prices, the internet black market still manages to be valued at around $276 million, and this number only continues to grow.
For those working hard to protect their identity and their credit on the internet, this is troubling news. Easily the most available products from the black market are credit card companies, accounting for around 30% of the transactions on these sites. This information is known to be widely available from these sites, and they are often sold in bulk. All together, it is believed that the total combined potential worth of all the stolen credit cards stands around $5.3 billion dollars. Stolen financial account information accounts for around 20% of black market operations. Together these crimes account for half of the black market operations taking place on the internet.
The people who run these black market websites span the entire globe. You might have heard about the fairly recent arrest of 28 people involved with the cybercriminal organization, ShadowCrew. These people came from all walks of life and from all over the globe. However, even though 28 people were caught, this one particular organization claims to have more than 4000 members.
Despite all of this worrying information, there is still so much you can do to protect yourself. The most beneficial step is definitely to invest in credit monitoring software. This software is dedicated solely to protecting your credit, and many come with very large insurance policies, which grants even more peace of mind when placing your trust in their services. This software scans these black markets and stays up to date with all the latest tricks and scams that aim to steal people’s information.
Prevention is the best way to act. Credit monitoring software works best when implemented early and when paired with safe internet practices. If you are looking to fortify your identity and other personally sensitive information as much as possible, look at some of the reviews we have for various credit monitoring software companies, such as CreditCheck Total.

Social networking sites are becoming ever more popular, and children of younger and younger ages are logging on every day. As a parents, what should you know about the safety risks involved with social networking sites? Should you be worried? What sort of policies should you enforce? Is there parental control software that can help you protect your child on the internet?
While social networking sites can be dangerous, it’s also important to recognize the beneficial aspects. With school and extracurricular activities, sometimes it’s hard for children and teens to keep in contact with friends. A well-rounded social aspect is important in children’s lives, and social networking is a great way to help make this easier for kids. Also, it helps connects families. Having said this, it’s important to make sure your child knows how to be safe and how to avoid trouble while using these sites, allowing them to enjoy the site to its full potential while still being safe. Internet predators are out there, and they know how to manipulate both the site and the people who use them. By learning a little bit about these sites, you and your child can gain the upper hand.
The most important and probably most obvious tip is to simply not share personal information on the internet. This includes addresses, phone numbers, and of course social security numbers and bank information. Also make sure your child knows about the impression he or she could be giving off online. It’s not a myth that employers (and many other important people) look at social networking sites in order to check out applicants.
Do some research. Dig a little and see what sort of reputation the social networking site your child wants to use has. Look into the privacy settings. This determines who can and cannot see your child’s profile information. Also look into the privacy policies of websites and take the time to read the FAQ.
Another important thing to do is be knowledgeable about your child’s activity online. See where they’ve been visiting and visit those sites for yourself. Make sure your child isn’t posting inappropriate pictures, posts that contain to much personal information, or anything else that can possibly put them in harm’s way. Tell them they will most likely encounter uncomfortable situations online but to handle them intelligently. Also make sure no bullying is taking place, whether it’s your child that is being bullied or if it’s your child bullying someone else.
What can really help you protect your child online is parental control software. Out of the products we reviewed, many – such as Net Nanny, Safe Eyes, and Bsecure – include tools to help you monitor social networking activity. Trust is a big component here. Kids often think nothing bad can happen to them, but it can. With parental control software, you gain that extra help when protecting them online.

It’s very easy to get overwhelmed when shopping online. The staggering number of online retailers continues to skyrocket every year, and this has some people worried about what sites are legitimate and trustworthy. People also want the sites that offer the best deals and a user-friendly shopping experience. Chick Downtown has proved to be one of these sites. For several years, Chick Downtown has been making a name for itself on the internet. Having recently had a shift in management, it has taken huge strides. The new owner runs the website’s blog and honestly seems have a passion for making beautiful clothes available to everyone. With its recent growth, Chick Downtown has become even more of a contender in the online retail scene.
Chick Downtown has humble beginnings in Pittsburgh as a small boutique that became popular very quickly. Soon it evolved into an online superstore offering all sorts of fine brand clothing, accessories, and more at unbelievably low prices. This sort of access to designer clothing at mere fractions of the original prices sent their sales shooting through the roof. has certainly grown immensely, and it has quickly become one of the most popular retail websites on the internet among big names like and With almost 200 brand name designers to browse, is a substantial retail site that offers a legitimately well-rounded shopping experience. Brands include Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Versace, Prada, and more.
More features than ever have been made available to help you shop. The blog supplies behind-the-scenes looks during photo shoots, personal staff favorites, a Deal of the Day, which can save you 15-30% on a new item every day, and previews for new seasons’ fashion. Each product page provides extensive information on the product, meaning you can know everything possible about your purchase before completing it.
Of course any site that offers luxury brand items at such low prices receives some skepticism. Some of the prices are legitimately hard to believe. Wandering on to the “About Us” section will show an absolute guarantee as to the authenticity of the products. The owner stands behind her product completely and explains the reason why things are so cheap, and it’s not because they are used products. Chick Downtown simply cuts out the middle man and gets their products directly from global distributors, making the prices remarkably low.
The website is set up for the easiest navigation possible. A list of brands is available on the left side of the website so that customers with favorite brands can easily browse by name. There is also a navigation bar that runs along the top so that shopping by type of product – clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc. – is easy. There is also a search bar if there is a particular product you are looking for.
More people hear about and visit the website everyday. Designer products at low prices is never disappointing, and more people continue to use as their source for fashionable clothing and accessories. If you are looking for one stop in which to purchase all your favorite designer brands, consider visiting ChickDowntown and browsing their selection.

Your web site is done. You’ve tested it. You’ve tweaked it and now with the assistance of your web hosting company, your web site is “live”. So now what? How do you get people to visit your web site and then keep them coming back.
There are companies who specialize in getting you web site visitors or traffic. But with a small amount of effort on your part, you can do this yourself. Of course, depending on the scope of your web site, you might want to contact a company that specializes in such work. A quick search on the Internet will point you to a wide range of companies who will provide such services.  Some hosts, such as LunarPages will offer Google AdSense or Facebook credit for advertising.
But for a lot of us, by just making a few small changes and completing a few steps, you can increase your web site traffic and hopefully keep those visitors coming back.
• Web site design: Take a long hard look at your web site – is it really easy to use? Visitors don’t want to use web sites that are hard to navigate and understand. Make sure your site has a clean and uncluttered look and the navigation is simple.
• Search engines: With over 128 million registered active domains, it is a challenge to get your web site to stand-out. One step many web site owners forget to do is to register with search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. Each search engine has a different registration process, which is detailed, on the respective site. Ensure your web site is registered properly with each major search engine.
• Test: Test your web site. There is nothing worse than broken links and broken pages. Ensure your web site works correctly.
• Keep it interesting: Stale and boring content can chase web site visitors away. Be sure to update your site regularly. Perhaps you need to add a News and Events section to your web site or even a blog where you provide updates about your company or life.
• Interact: Make it easy for your visitors to contact you and provide you with feedback and ask questions. This helps you build a “sense of community” and will keep visitors coming back for more information.
By following these tips and by performing regular web site maintenance you can keep visitors coming back to your site. Also check with your web hosting company for any included software or services that might help with this.

For new and experienced Internet users alike, there is some confusion over what is best: a web site or a blog. Or maybe you need both? First of all, it is important to understand what exactly we’re talking about here.
A web site is collection of static and dynamic web pages that can be used to publicize your business, sell products, provide breaking news, etc. There are no limits on the content that can be included on a web site.
A blog is essentially an online journal or daily log. Most bloggers update their blog daily with new content. Blogs can be about anything and anyone. You don’t need web hosting companies or even web site design experience to have your own blog. Blogs can be updated and posted very quickly often with the click of the “Publish” button on your blogging software such as WordPress, Blogger, or TypePad.
The question you need to ask yourself is, what is the purpose of going online? What are you trying to achieve? If you want to be online for personal interests, for example to keep your family up-to-date with your upcoming trip to Europe, a blog might be perfect for you. With the blog you can post regular updates of your travels and can even do this from your phone or other mobile device. But if you want to be online for business reasons, such as to sell your product, that you want to sell online then a web site could be the best choice for you. You can set up a series of web pages that provide visitors with information about your company, your product and an online store where you can sell your product.
But what about using a web site and a blog? This is becoming more and more common, particularly for businesses and people selling a product or service. The thing about blogs is that people really feel connected to the writer when reading a daily update. Blog posts don’t need to be long and they can take any style you like. So how can your business benefit from using a blog? Well, for example if you are a restaurant, you don’t have anything to sell online but you do want people to visit your web site on a regular basis. You can have your chef write a blog post once a week featuring the weekly specials in your restaurant and include a recipe. You can post photos of recent events that have happened at your restaurant. You can run promotions on your blog as well. The thing is people, love to feel connected – so with a blog, you can build a sense of community that will keep people coming back.
A web site has definite advantages. A blog has definite advantages. The combination of the two can provide you with the best of both. You have an interesting web site that provides the key information people need about your service/product/company and then with the blog you keep people up-to-date with the latest activities/developments/news.
The one thing though that is crucial with a blog – it must be updated regularly. There is nothing worse than visiting a blog to find out it hasn’t been updated in over a month or even worse a year. So if you’re going to integrate a blog into your web site, make sure you have dedicated resources to keeping the blog up-to-date and fresh.  Yahoo Web Hosting offers web site and blog utilities.