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NETFIRMS.COM

Free Site Hosting Service Review
Checked May 13, 2001
 
http://www.netfirms.com is a free hosting service that can host both yourname.netfirms.com sites as well as yourdomain.com sites.

I found the server I tested to be very responsive, and FTP access was not at all slow. They are running the Apache Server on Red Hat Linux, and I found nothing strange about their setup, other than the cgi permissions which are set to 700 instead of the usual 755 for security reasons.

Just to give you an idea how fast their sign-up is, and how well things are configured- the total elapsed time from when I learned about their service until I had my BirdCast script up and running was under five minutes!

To use their service, you have to agree to carry a banner on the top of all pages- including CGI generated pages. In exchange for carrying a standard size banner you get:

  • Real FTP access.
  • Red Hat Linux with Apache Server.
  • FAQ's and support documents are excellent.
  • 25MB storage space.
  • Full CGI and Perl abilities.
As of April 29, 2000 Server Side Include Pages (SSI) are planned but not yet supported.

Porting BNB scripts is a snap!

  • To view all of your environment variables, just call http://yourname.netfirms.com/cgi-bin/printenv from your browser.
  • The path to perl is /usr/bin/perl
  • For sendmail, you can use "/usr/lib/sendmail -t" or SOCKET based SMTP
  • Set your script permissions to 700 (owner-all) Yes, this in fact correct!
  • Your path to your HTML documents directory is:
    "$ENV{'DOCUMENT_ROOT'}/www"
  • Your path to your cgi-bin directory is:
    "$ENV{'DOCUMENT_ROOT'}/cgi-bin"
Overall Impression: The current record holder in getting up and running! Fast server response. All they need now is to add Server Side Include support.  

 



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