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Frihost.com down …. out …. 2005-2018?

29/09/2018 | |0 comment

Author’s Note – this article is written under my Forum names Deanhills of Frihost.com & Hellsing of FreeFTPspace.org.  There is no link between GigaRocket.net and Frihost.com, other than a shared history with FreeFTPSpace.org.  FreeFTPSpace.org previously belonged to the owner of GigaRocket.net and together with StoneRocket.net was sold to Bondings in July 2012. 

Frihost.com has been down since mid-May 2018 … and possibly out.  We’ve been unable to get in touch with Bondings and looks as though Frihost Forum has been lost. For someone who has been posting almost daily to the frihost.com forum (since May 2008), this was something to get used to – a great missing in my Forum life. Frihost used to be the one Forum I thought would go on forever, and outlive the Frihost hosting accounts.

Frihost had been deteriorating since its owner Bondings was unable to attend to the Forum from 2013. He started his “day job” as he called it in January 2013 and since then his presence got less and less until by mid 2014 one could see it was getting more and more difficult for him to keep things rolling as he was severely pressed for time. He was very loyal to the Frihost community however by keeping all of the hosting accounts alive and continuing his sponsorship of the servers and domains. We are very indebted to him for never giving up on the hosting accounts, however thought that the Forum would live on forever!

When Bondings created Frihost with phpbb 2.0 in 2005, he had done a lot of the coding himself, to the extent when the Forum was moved in mid-July 2014 from Burstnet Datacenter in Scranton, Philadelphia to Hetzner in Germany, it required some major re-coding that could not happen because of lack of time. Since he was the only one who had access to the coding and Admin Panel nucleus none of the absentee Admin were able to help out. We were still very lucky to have tiDrug, a Senior Frihost Admin assisting where he could in the background, but he had limited Admin privileges and no access to the servers. Quite a number of the old members who tried to modify their passwords to get into their forum accounts were unable to do so. Also a few of the hosting accounts that had been opened around 2006-2007 got left behind at the Datacenter in the US because of the way they had been coded. So some damage to the Forum occurred during the big move in July 2014 that became permanent as time went on. This could possibly be considered collateral damage however, when during the Burstnet, Scranton, Philadelphia DataCenter disaster scandal Burstnet stopped existing in July 2014 with quite a large number of owners unable to access the data on their servers. Bondings somehow got access to the servers and saved Frihost in the nick of time. We were very lucky as he managed to moved all of the servers to a much better home at Hetzner in Germany. So there was a proverbial silver lining to what could have been a major disaster for Frihost at the time.

Next important event was when Server 4 crashed and died in mid-2016. The server was not very well maintained, still on php 5.2 and one couldn’t really run a WordPress installation on it. However the majority of hosting accounts had been opened on this Server from 2010 to 2016. All of these went up in smoke when the hard disk of the Server melted down as there had been no maintenance in a long time and no backups taken by Bondings. Bondings was the only one who had access to the Server. When this event happened Bondings decided to let go of the server and the remaining active Frihost members who had hosting accounts on Server 4, were offered alternative hosting accounts on Server 1.

Server 1 had gone through some troubled times too, however at beginning of 2015, when it had gone through a similar melt down, Bondings felt somehow obliged to replace the Server because it contained all of the hosting accounts of the sister Forum, freeftpspace.org. All of the old Frihost hosting accounts were unfortunately lost, but through the different and more visible application system for hosting accounts at freeftpspace.org, we were able to recreate the accounts on a brand-new cpanel. Since January 2015 when the Server was completely replaced at Hetzner it has had an unbelievable quality up time. One of the best servers I’ve had hosting on and a joy to work with.

Things went very well for a while from mid-2016 to mid-May 2018. There weren’t that many actively posting members, but Frihost was still regularly attended by some loyal members and we were getting new members. We weren’t all together sure how the hosting on Servers 2&3 (on one server) would last, but since Frihost.com Forum had been on Server 2, we thought at least Server 2 had a chance for a longer life and that it would likely outlast Server 1. Unfortunately this was not to be. Probably similar to the melt down of Server 4 in 2016, the server with Servers 2 and 3 on it must have bitten the dust in mid-May of this year. Could be there hadn’t been a backup for the accounts and Forums so that Bondings was unable to reload those. We may never know what happened as sadly there has been no communication from Bondings to date. We tried everything to get hold of him. Asked Hetzner to ask him to check in with us. But nothing happened, and as time is marching on we’re getting less and less hopeful that the old Frihost and FreeFTPSpace.org will ever make their appearance again.

On the rare chance that someone should see this blog post, we’ve created a temporary forum called: http://frihost.club. It’s not a Forum to replace frihost.com, but just a stop over until we have a clearer picture of what is happening, Bondings has contacted us or until Server 1 has gone down as well. Membership of the Forum is by invitation only to hosted members of frihost.com and its sister forum freeftpspace.org.

Server 1 may be our last link with Bondings. Bondings has been faithfully sponsoring Server 1 with very generous Hetzner quality specs together with a great cPanel and we’re very indebted to him for doing this. As we speak Server 1 is still looking good until end of December 2018. We had a little scare in July when the domain for Server 1, frihost.net, had to be renewed, and felt very lucky when namecheap.com allowed us to renew the domain as a third party. Next major event anticipated for Server 1 is 3rd of January 2019 when the root name server domain – 3ftp.org will expire. cPanel has to be renewed at end of December so may mark the end of Server 1. In absence of any communication from Bondings, we’re not sure how this is going to go down yet.

In the meanwhile we’re all missing the old frihost.com with it’s special very old-fashioned design. And of course Bondings. Thankfully now and then one can check up at the wayward machine and have a look at the old Frihost.com. Even try to log in, but of course the wayward machine only goes skin deep. Nice to check in now and then. Thank you Wayward Machine! And thank you Bondings 2005-2018!