Scheduled server outage May 23, 2014

WideloadShipping.com and PiloTrac.com be online.

Scheduled server outage.

Scheduled down time.

We’ve got to make a few simple changes. Scheduled server outage.

On May 26, 2014 we will have a scheduled server outage for the servers hosting¬†WideloadShipping and PiloTrac.com will not be accessible. We will be conducting a maintenance task which needs to take place. In the last few weeks we’ve had a few users report problems in connecting to either website. As far as we’re concerned we can’t have even one user ever timeout due to the fact that we are hosted on the absolute best servers in the world. We’re currently in 63 physical locations throughout North America. It makes no sense to have the best if it is not working properly. So, what we plan to do is dis-connect ourselves from a service called CloudFlare as we have outgrown it. The CloudFlare server network is no longer robust enough nor powerful enough to handle our needs which means we must change both domain names CNAME records to point directly to our cloud server which involves changing the IP address for both domain names. Once this has been completed all of the many routers throughout North America will need to update themselves with these new numbers. This is called DNS propagation resolution. DNS propagation can take up to 72 hours as reported by Internic but typically from our experience it’s usually completely resolved within 18 to 36 hours. None of the information that currently exists on the server will be changed or moved so everything will remain exactly the same we are simply dropping a service that we’ve outgrown as it’s no longer maximizing the capabilities we have.

Making sure everything is secure.

One of the biggest concerns we have is security of the website. Before you get excited you need to know that we do not store any personal or sensitive information on our servers. That’s why we pay a percentage of our profits to PayPal and our merchant account provider so they can protect credit card numbers using SSL certs. and 128 bit encryption. However, we do have many e-mail addresses stored on the servers that belong to all of you. To address this issue our hosting company has put together a six point security plan which includes hiding us behind two firewalls instead of a single one which is what we’ve been using to make absolutely sure your information (as we’ll as our content and programs) is 100% safe from any threats. The most common ones lately are “Brut Force Intrusion” and “Fork Bombs“.

Only the best of the best.

Since we are hosted with the same company that manages servers for companies like BMW, Bose, Samsung and the Chicago Tribune amongst many others we trust them immensely and with good reason. While we cannot publicly comment on the technology we use for our protection we can tell you that it is very impressive and we’ve not only just read but studied the white papers for this technology to bring us all up to speed with what is happening right now today with internet threats (which reminds me if you are running Windows XP please see my comment at the close of notice). Additionally, the facility where our main server is located is staffed with a minimum of 20 live human beings, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Anytime we’ve called their response time has always been in less than one minute.

How do we do it?

In case you are curious about what drives these two websites, they are hosted on dedicated, bare metal servers with SSD and cloud server features which feeds our content delivery network (CDN) of 62 other servers which all update each other each time any change takes place within milliseconds. This not only makes everyone’s user experience the absolute best by having pages that will load from half way around the world in less than a second with 5000 other simultaneous users at 29 Mbps. Load tests have been performed and passed simulating 150,000 simultaneous users. PiloTrac however is another story. Because of the technology involved with GIS hosting we’ve only been able to achieve loading speeds of about 3 seconds. We will continue to seek other avenues but in reality we’re about as close as were going to get as we’re pretty much out of options at this time as everything is maximized. However when we first released it the loading time was 11 seconds so we’ve come a very long way in just a few months.

We hope that this upgrade in our service does not inconvenience you in any way. We want for all of our users to have the best use your experience possible while browsing any pages of our websites.

Free anti virus software for XP (and other) users.

A quick note for those of you who (like us) feel dumped by Microsoft for discontinuing protection and updates for windows XP there is a solution for security. You can download it from a very cool service called Ninite.com. The security package you want is called Avira and is on the right hand side of your screen. Check the box next to “Avira” and them scroll down a few inches and click the “get the installer” button and the rest is all easy! Everything on Ninite.com is free but don’t get too happy or you will fill your computer up. Make sure that you un-install any other security software that you are running on your computer before attempting to install Avira. There’s not one security software utility that we know of that will work properly if you are running another security program at the same time. You will find that Avira will pick up where Microsoft Security Essentials left off (no longer working or supported) and get back to protecting your computer. Shame on you Microsoft. Windows XP was your strongest most versatile system up to date. I’m not sure if Avira will protect other operating systems or not you’ll have to read the documentation.

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About PiloTrac.com

PiloTrac is brought to you by WideloadShipping.com - the largest marketplace for oversize and heavy haul shipping quotes in the world. Since 2003 we have been sending the trucking companies that use our system to the pilot car companies that list their services on our site. After many years we realized a live system would be not only more fair, but efficient as well. With our live posting feature pilot car companies have a better chance at getting a back haul thus maximizing your bottom line. Live posting works and persistence pays!

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