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Old 1 Apr 2020, 09:21 PM   #1
TenFour
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COVID-19 Continuity Plan?

Just like many of us who had to suddenly switch to working remotely I suspect many of our email providers have had to scramble to keep the lights on. The current emergency is one reason why I believe most of us need to consider reliability of our email service as the second most important criteria when choosing one. To me security is #1. Reliability means the service is big enough to be highly resistant to things like natural disasters and power outages (multiple server farms around the world), ever-increasing attacks by criminals, ordinary software and hardware failures (redundancy), and now pandemics. I noticed that Gandi has published a COVID-19 continuity plan: https://news.gandi.net/en/2020/03/co...ntinuity-plan/. Here's Google: https://www.blog.google/inside-googl...amid-covid-19/. Here's Fastmail: https://fastmail.blog/2020/03/24/covid-19-fastmail/. I would be very worried using one of the small providers with maybe one or two proprietors as my main email service in a time like this.
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Old 2 Apr 2020, 02:30 PM   #2
jeffpan
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Old 4 Aug 2021, 09:22 PM   #3
anthocleod
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I totally agree that we should consider the reliability of our email as an important criterion for security. Now, when people store all important information in electronic form, the first thing to think about is the security of their accounts, passwords, etc. But there is another problem - the situation with the covid. People still don’t take coronavirus as a serious decease that spreads all around the world. Not only people, but government too! You may have heard the recent story of a disgraced politician Derek Fildebrandt having a lunch at a restaurant with some other politicians during covid-19 (if not, here is a link: https://globalnews.ca/news/7960375/f...taurant-story/). By this I want to say that many people will have to work remotely for many more years, so this is a really serious topic for discussion.
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Old 4 Aug 2021, 10:03 PM   #4
TenFour
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Obviously, one can backup email from a small provider and have a plan in place to move to another service--in other words, create your own continuity plan. For example, I utilize a small email service for some domain email but I send and receive via my Gmail account so I have complete copies of all emails in two places, and because I control the domain via a third provider I can switch the DNS records quickly if needed in order to use a different email provider. Email at your own domain is often touted by many as an important factor in reliability, but I often wonder if the domain registrar could potentially be a weak link. If the domain registrar goes down how easy is it to move to another registrar and how long will it take?
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Old 5 Aug 2021, 06:28 PM   #5
JeremyNicoll
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Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
... but I often wonder if the domain registrar could potentially be a weak link. If the domain registrar goes down how easy is it to move to another registrar and how long will it take?
In the UK, at least, all the different registrar companies only act as your agent; they register your domain with the appropriate IANA-delegated national agency [nominet.uk for .uk domains], remind you every year (or whatever) that it needs renewed, charge you, and update the national agency with the new details.

Surely if a particular registrar goes out of business the national agency will know that and have some process in place for managing it.
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Old 5 Aug 2021, 09:36 PM   #6
TenFour
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Surely if a particular registrar goes out of business the national agency will know that and have some process in place for managing it.
My understanding is that domain registrars, like Namecheap or GoDaddy, are "retailers" who sell and manage domains that are "wholesaled." Frankly, I'm not exactly sure how it all works, but it seems that if a retailer went belly up an individual like myself might be hard pressed to move the domain quickly or manage the DNS for the domain if the web portal was not functioning. What would happen if your domain registration then expired? Could you lose your domain? I wonder if anyone here has heard of domain registrar problems? In short, despite many of us thinking that having email at our own domains is better, I'm not really sure it gives us more protection from losing control of our email addresses in comparison to a huge company like Gmail that will not just fold up one night.
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Old 5 Aug 2021, 10:29 PM   #7
TenFour
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Here's one article about problems with an Indian registrar that apparently took years to resolve. That would be too long for me to lose access to my email! https://www.theregister.com/2021/03/...n_domain_woes/
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Old 7 Aug 2021, 05:56 PM   #8
JeremyNicoll
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My understanding is that domain registrars, like Namecheap or GoDaddy, are "retailers" who sell and manage domains that are "wholesaled." Frankly, I'm not exactly sure how it all works ...
The actual registration is not held by the registrar, so if they go belly-up everything will continue to work until your domain is due for renewal.

IANA - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...bers_Authority - are the global authority for controlling assignment of IP address ranges and control of domains. They delegate control to regional authorities who in turn delegate to national ones.

While, for the UK (or more accurately, for domains ending in ".uk") Nominet are the company who hold the registrations, it does make sense that all the day-to-day hassle of dealing with individuals is farmed-out to the registrar companies, not least because in many cases they are also hosting people's servers/sites so will in any case be billing you for stuff other than domain registration.

DNS-wise, Nominet's info for a domain just defines the name servers where all the detailed information about your domain can be found. Yoiu can see that if you do a "whois" query for a domain, eg at: https://www.nominet.uk/whois/


Perhaps you should read nominet's faqs at:

https://www.nominet.uk/domain-support/
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Old 7 Aug 2021, 07:22 PM   #9
TenFour
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Thanks. If the article above is reasonably accurate it still seems it could be a long and awkward process moving your domain with the possibility of it expiring during the process if the registrar went belly up. Even with routine domain moves I have experienced days of delays at times, which can cause email problems. We have continuos discussions comparing email providers, but we should probably think a bit more about our domain registrars.
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