Why No SSH Access?

Web security is the primary consideration of most websites today. That is why a lot of measures and security features are made available to users by web hosting providers today. These features include SSL certificates, domain privacy and SSH access. Here, let us discuss SSH access in relation to iPage web hosting.

iPage Hosting

A veteran web hosting provider, iPage has been delivering quality web hosting service since 1998 and has already helped in putting up millions of websites. You can find it on most web hosting review sites with high ratings and usually taking the top spot of the list of best web hosts. It features the following essential services: unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain name for the first year, unlimited email accounts and MySQL databases, free advertising credits, free website builder, the vDeck control panel, a one-click application installer, and tons of other add-on services.

SSH Basics

SSH stands for Secure Shell, which is a kind of protocol used for providing security to data transmissions of sensitive or confidential information over unsecured channels – such as the internet. Everybody knows that the information you share is not safe on the internet. Anyone can take a look at them with the right tools and software. SSH intends to prevent this from happening to your website. To do this SSH uses what is called “public-key cryptography”, an advanced method used to authenticate hosts which request access to SSL-protected websites. In this method, a matching pair of keys is created. One is called the private key while the other is called a public key. The public key is stored in the computer where information is protected while the private key is with the owner or the person authorized to have access to this information. To authenticate a request for access, SSH will check whether the public key and the private key will match. This method is more commonly known as “associating the public keys with identities”.

Is SSH indispensable?

Well the simple answer is no. SSH is not a prerequisite for any website and is neither required by any international standard. Most web sites today run without any SSH support at all and only a few webmasters know and use this security feature. However, SSH becomes indispensable in these two cases: first, to get direct access to a web server; and second, to protect your site from brute force attack.

  • Direct Server Access. Usually, a website hosted by a web hosting provider sits on the same server along with other web hosting accounts. This is called a shared webhosting environment. That is why a problem in that server will affect all the hosting accounts handled by it. Because of this, web hosts’ take measures to protect these web servers from malicious access. And one way of doing that is to prohibit direct access to these servers. However, there may be instances when you need to access your web server directly. And as mentioned, web hosts will not allow you to do this. That is what SSH Access is intended for. If a web host has support for SSH Access, you can directly connect with your web server and perform important functions like manually changing its configurations or remotely executing a command line.
  • Protection from Brute Force attack. A brute force attack refers to repeated login attempts on websites to chance upon a valid username and password. This is done by hackers who try all kinds of combinations of letters and figures to gain access. By using SSH login, the entire login process and the transmission of the password undergo encryption making it impossible for another to collect these passwords by intercepting them.

No SSH Access on iPage

iPage does not provide SSH Access support to its users. As discussed above, SSH access is not indispensable and is only necessary under certain circumstances. Not all websites use nor need SSH access. If you intend to build a simple website with basic functions and HTML contents, you don’t need the added complexity of installing SSH on your website. This is why iPage does not include this to their essential hosting plan for it is not really essential at all.

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