How To: Log In To a Cisco VPN on Windows

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can be extremely useful when administering your servers, which is why Liquid Web offers Cisco VPNs with our firewalls. Logging in to the device can vary among operating systems. Here are some instructions for logging into a VPN from Windows systems:
Continue reading “How To: Log In To a Cisco VPN on Windows”

How To View Full E-Mail Headers

Full email message headers provide invaluable information when trying to track down a problem. Just a few of the items included in the headers are:

  • The server from which an incoming email originated
  • The actual address from which the message was sent
  • The message’s intended recipient
  • Whether the message was accepted or rejected by the recipient’s mail server
  • If the recipient’s mail server rejected the message, the reason for that rejection
  • Any messages returned by the mail server

This guide will show you how to view full headers in several popular email clients and web services. Once the full headers are in view, you can copy and paste them for your own reference or to include them when contacting Heroic Support®.

Mozilla Thunderbird

  • Open the message in its own window by double clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • In the menu bar, select View, then Headers, and click All.
  • Alternatively, you may be able to click on View followed by Message Source.

Mac OS X Mail

  • Open the message in its own window by double clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • In the menu bar, click on View, then Message, then All Headers (or Raw Source on older versions of Mail).

Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010

  • Open the message in its own window by double clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • Click on the File tab.
  • In the File window, click Properties.
  • The Internet headers section contains the full email headers.

Windows Mail/Windows Live Mail

  • In the list of messages, right-click on the message in question and choose Properties.
  • In the Properties window, click on the Details tab.
  • The headers will be displayed in the section labeled Internet headers for this message. Web Interface

  • Right-click on the message while viewing it in your inbox.
  • On the menu that appears, click on View Source.

Gmail Web Interface

  • Open the message by clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • Click on the More icon (the small downward-facing arrow next to the Reply button at the top right of the message).
  • On the menu that appears, click on Show original.

Yahoo Mail Web Interface

  • Open the message in question by clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • Under the More menu above the message, click on the link marked View Full Header.

Horde Webmail

  • Open the message by clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • Click on the link marked Show All Headers or, on newer versions of Horde, select View Source under Other Options in the preview pane. View Source also is available at the top-right of the full message view.

RoundCube Webmail

  • Open the message by double-clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • Click on the link marked Message Source. Newer versions of RoundCube have a downward-facing arrow that displays Toggle raw message headers when you move your mouse over it. The icon is at the bottom of the message header section, to the far right of the date field.

SquirrelMail Webmail

  • Open the message by clicking on it in the list of messages.
  • Click on the link marked View Full Header in the Options section at the top of the message.


Windows: Fix Auth Errors When Modifying Users’ File Permissions

When you attempt to add or remove users from file and folder permissions within Windows Exporer, a logon box appears and does not accept your administrator username and password.  This may prevent you from modifying the permissions.

Continue reading “Windows: Fix Auth Errors When Modifying Users’ File Permissions”

Configuring an Alternate Port for Outgoing Mail Traffic

Many large ISPs restrict the access to port 25 on their networks to attempt to stem the tide of spam sent out from compromised computers.  If your ISP is restricting access to port 25 you will not be able to send e-mail through your server, but by enabling SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) on a different port, like 26, it may be possible to circumvent the restriction.
Continue reading “Configuring an Alternate Port for Outgoing Mail Traffic”

DNS Hosts File

One of the most powerful tools available to anyone working on their site during a migration is their computer’s “hosts” file. The hosts file is used to map domain names to IP addresses, and can be used as an alternative to DNS. It also allows you to specify the IP address to which a website resolves on your computer, regardless of what may be published in the site’s DNS zone file.

Why Edit Your Hosts File?

Modifying your hosts file lets you view and test a site on one server while the rest of the world continues to see the site on another. That makes it an essential tool when migrating your website. With this method, you’re able to ensure that:

  • everything on the site works as expected on the new server before you update the DNS records
  • your site’s visitors won’t be affected by any potential issues related to different server environments before you’ve had a chance to resolve them

It’s actually a very simple process. Let’s take a look at an example hosts file: localhost broadcasthost
::1 localhost

In this case, the first three entries are defaults used to configure the local network interface. You may have more or fewer such local entries in your hosts file; you don’t need to worry about them other than to note their presence. Any custom entries will go at the bottom of the file, and in this case you can see that I have added one custom entry to the end of the file already:

My custom entry specifies that any request made from my computer (via web browser or SSH, email, or FTP client) for or will be directed to the IP address I’ve specified: You will add your own custom entry to the end of your file using the same format.

The line for your custom entry will consist of three elements:

  • the IP address of the server to which you want the domain name to resolve on your computer
  • a tab or space
  • the domain name(s) meant to resolve to the specified IP address

If you’re migrating to a Liquid Web server, your migration technician will supply you with the line to add; you will just copy and paste it into your hosts file. If your migration involves multiple IP addresses, you will have one line for each IP address, regardless of how many domain names share it.

Note: Do not remove or modify any existing local entries in your hosts file. You will only be adding a new line or lines at the bottom of the file for testing, and then removing the lines you’ve added once testing is complete.

Step #1: Edit Your Hosts File

The location of your computer’s hosts file depends on your operating system. Because it is a protected file which must be edited with administrative privileges, the procedure for editing also varies by operating system.

Click a link below to skip ahead to the specific instructions for your operating system. If you experience difficulties editing your hosts file or are not seeing the sites on the new server after you’ve followed the steps below, check out the Bonus: If All Else Fails section at the end of this article.


In Windows, the hosts file is located at: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. You will need to edit the file with administrative privileges.

  1. First, open an elevated command prompt:
    • In Windows 8 and higher, use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + x to access the Power Users menu, then select Command Prompt (Admin).
    • In previous Windows versions:
      1. Type “command” into the search field at the bottom of the Start menu.
      2. Right-click on the cmd.exe icon.
      3. Select Run as Administrator.
  2. Enter the following command:notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
    Note: There is no keyboard shortcut to paste text into the command window, but you still can copy and paste the command above by right-clicking anywhere in the command window and choosing Paste from the menu. If you prefer, you also can locate Notepad, right-click its icon to select “Run as Administrator”, then open your hosts file (at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc) in Notepad. With this method, you will need to change “Text Documents (*.txt)” in Notepad’s file browser to “All files” to see the hosts file, and you still will need to open a command prompt to flush your DNS cache as described in Step 4.
  3. Add the appropriate line at the end of your hosts file, then save and close the file.
  4. Finally, you will want to flush your DNS cache so that you don’t have to log out and then log back in for the changes to take effect:
    • Open an elevated command prompt as above, and enter the following command:ipconfig /flushdns

Mac OS X

On Mac OS X, your hosts file is located at: /private/etc/hosts. You will need administrative privileges to edit the file, which you can do manually or by appending the new entry directly from the command line.

  1. First, launch Terminal from Spotlight search (Command+Space, or click on the magnifying glass icon in your menu bar) or the Utilities folder in Applications on many versions of Mac OS X.
    • To edit the file manually:
      1. Enter the following command in Terminal:sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
      2. Enter your password when prompted and press Enter to authenticate and open the file.
      3. Now add the appropriate line and save the file:
        1. Use your arrow keys to navigate to the bottom of the file.
        2. Type in (or paste) the IP address and website name you intend to redirect.
        3. Press Control+O to save (Write Out) the file.
        4. Press Enter to overwrite the existing file.
        5. Finally, press Control+X to exit.
    • If you prefer to simply append the entry to the existing file, you can do so with one command, substituting your server’s IP address and domain name for the ones in this example:echo "" | sudo tee -a /private/etc/hosts >/dev/null

      and enter your password when prompted.

  2. While you still are in Terminal, you should flush the DNS cache so you don’t have to log out and then log back in for the changes to take effect. For the current version of Mac OS X, you can do that with this command:dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
    Note: On the first few releases of Mac OS X Yosemite (versions 10.10 through 10.10.3), the command needed to flush the cache is sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache; sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches. For version-specific instructions in older versions of Mac OS X, see How To Flush Your Local DNS cache.


On Linux, you can find the hosts file at: /etc/hosts. Depending on your distribution, you likely will need administrative privileges to edit the file.

  1. You can edit the file manually with vi, vim, or nano, or append the new entry directly from the command line.
    • To use vim, open a terminal and enter the command:sudo vim /etc/hosts

      followed by return, and enter your password to authenticate if prompted. After adding the new entry at the end of the file, type :wq to save and close the file.

      Note: In vim, you can press “i” or “a” to enter text insertion mode; pressing the escape key (Esc) on your keyboard returns you to command mode. For a refresher on editing files with vim, see New User Tutorial: Overview of the Vim Text Editor.
    • If you prefer to simply append the entry to the existing file, you can do so with one command, substituting your server’s IP address and domain name for the ones in this example:echo "" | sudo tee -a /etc/hosts >/dev/null

      and enter your password.

  2. While you’re still in a terminal, you will want to flush your DNS cache. That command can vary widely depending on your specific distribution and version:
    • Many Ubuntu and Debian-derived distributions use: sudo service dns-clean restart.
    • Other Linux distributions using NSCD (Name Service Caching Daemon) may need to use: sudo service nscd restart, sudo systemctl restart nscd.service, or nscd -I hosts.

Step #2: View the Site on its New Server

At this point, your website should resolve on your computer from the IP address specified in your hosts file instead of the IP address specified in the site’s DNS record. If you’re not seeing the site on the new server, it could be because your browser is serving a cached version of the page. In that case, you can:

  • Manually clear your browser’s cache (typically Control+Shift+Delete or Command+Shift+Delete). For browser-specific instructions, see Clearing Your Browser Cache.
  • Use a private browsing window to view the site
  • View the site in another browser
  • Log out of your computer and then log back in

If you’re uncertain whether you are seeing the new site or the old, you can confirm the IP address of the site you’re viewing using a browser add-on. There is no shortage of such extensions, most of which will display a site’s IP address right in the browser’s menu bar. For your convenience, a few are listed below:

Note: Liquid Web has no association or affiliation with any of these browser extensions or their developers and cannot guarantee compatibility or performance. They’re simply among the most commonly used tools for this purpose, and their inclusion in this list does not constitute an endorsement. Please be sure to read the notes and reviews on the individual plugin pages to determine which you prefer to use.

Step #3: Test the Site on its New Server

Now that you can see the site on its new server, you must thoroughly test it to determine whether everything works as expected. It is common to see some issues and error messages when testing a migrated site. There’s no cause for alarm — typically only minor adjustments to the server configuration, such as enabling an Apache module or adjusting a php directive, are needed to resolve them.

To ensure that all your site’s software, scripts, and plugins work correctly on the new server, be sure to:

  • Visit each link on your home page and ensure that it loads without error
  • If your site runs a CMS such as WordPress or Magento, log into the administrative area
  • If your site has a shopping cart, add an item and test your checkout process
  • Test any forms on the site
  • Create a post
  • Comment on a post
  • Upload a file

Should you notice any issues when performing the above tests:

  • Note the full URL of the page
  • Note the specific error message or problem
  • Provide that information to the person performing your migration. If Liquid Web is handling the migration, simply paste that information into your migration ticket to ensure that the proper adjustments are made as quickly as possible.

Bonus: If All Else Fails

If, for whatever reason, you’ve been unable to successfully modify your hosts file to point your website to a new IP address, there remains one nearly foolproof option: View the site through an external service.

Hosts.CX is a free web-based service that allows you to preview and test your website on a different IP address. The site currently does not charge for its service, nor does it require you to register or provide any personal information.

When visiting, you will be prompted to enter your Server address and Website name. Note that you can only use one domain name, so choose the version you’re using on your site (e.g., or, but not both). Once you click the Get My Testing URL link, you’ll be presented with a shortened URL (in the format: which you can click to view and test your site on the new server.

This method can be quite helpful for viewing your site on a new server, but it is not a perfect substitute for editing your hosts file. For instance, your pages will not load over a secure connection (https://). To prevent any possible security risk, you must not transmit sensitive data such as login information or passwords when testing via an external service. Additionally, certain site features, such as some CAPTCHAs, may not function as expected when requests are routed through a web service. Typically it does not indicate a problem with your site, simply a limitation (or security feature) of the code or plugin itself.

Note: Hosts.CX is a private company and has no affiliation with Liquid Web. While their service is free and publicly accessible, there is no guarantee that it will remain so, and they may change their policies at any time.


Windows: Accessing Your Server with Remote Desktop

This article explains how to use Remote Desktop to access your Windows server’s desktop from anywhere in the world.

Please note that this article pertains only to customers who have a Windows server hosted with Liquid Web. Customers with Linux servers can learn how to use SSH to access their server.

On a normal Windows computer you have a keyboard, monitor, and mouse that allow you to interact with the machine. For Windows servers hosted on the Internet, things are a bit different because your server could physically be thousands of miles away. To access the desktop of an Internet-hosted server, Microsoft has created a feature known as Remote Desktop.

Supported Operating Systems

All Liquid Web Windows servers are capable of Remote Desktop.  However, not all client computers can use it.  Here is a list of operating systems known to be capable of communicating with your Windows server with Remote Desktop:

Remote Desktop from a Windows Computer

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click Run…
  3. Type “mstsc” and press the Enter key.
  4. Next to Computer: type in the IP address of your server
  5. Click Connect.
  6. If all goes well, you will see the Windows login prompt.

Remote Desktop from a Linux Computer with RDesktop

  1. Open a command shell using xterm
  2. Type ‘rdesktop’ at the command prompt to see if you have rdesktop installed
  3. If rdesktop is installed, then proceed.  Otherwise, you will need to install the rdesktop package for your flavor of Linux.
  4. Type ‘rdesktop’ followed by your server’s IP address.  Then press Enter.
    • Example:
      $ rdesktop
  5. If all goes well, you will see the Windows login prompt.

Remote Desktop from Mac OS X

  1. Using Microsoft Remote Desktop (Mac OS X versions 10.9 and later):
    • Install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Mac App Store.
    • Click the New button or use the shortcut Command + N to set up a connection to your server with the following settings:


      • PC name: You can use your server’s IP address or its hostname (if the hostname has an appropriate DNS record and resolves).
      • User name: To access the admin account, use “Administrator”.
      • Password: Enter the Administrator password.
      • Configure full-screen and multi-monitor settings to your preference.
    • Once you’ve filled in the appropriate settings, close the Edit Remote Desktops window.
    • Select your connection under My Desktops and press the Start button in the menu to connect (or simply press the return key on your keyboard).


    • If your server uses a self-signed SSL certificate, a message will be displayed as Remote Desktop is negotiating credentials. You can either press Continue to proceed with the connection or, to permanently store the certificate and connect directly in the future, click Show Certificate and then check the box next to Always trust … before clicking Continue to proceed.
  2. Using CoRD (Mac OS X versions 10.5 through 10.8 only):
    • Download and install the CoRD application here.
    • Open the application and click on the File menu, then New Server
    • You will be presented with a window where you can specify information about the server you are connecting to.
    • Enter the server’s hostname or IP address in the Address field.
    • You can alter the other settings in this window if you wish but all you need to start the connection is the address.
    • When you are finished making changes, press the enter/return key on your keyboard or simply close the new server window.
    • Your new server profile will appear in the list to the left side of the application. Double click on it and you will start the connection to your server.
  3. Using the Microsoft RDP Tool (Mac OS X versions prior to 10.7 only):
    • Download and install the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac here.
    • When you open the application, you will be prompted for the “Computer:” you would like to connect to. You can enter the server’s hostname or IP address.
    • After you click Connect the client will ask for your user name and password. If it fails to connect, you can try again inside the remote connection window.