Solid Performance for Firefox Download Site

The download site for Firefox is performing well following the release of a widely-anticipated update of the open source web browser. Firefox version 1.5, which was released Tuesday night, features "dozens of enhancements," according to the Mozilla Corporation, including improvements in popup blocking, RSS integration and updating.

Firefox download site performanceA distributed network of mirror sites in more than 30 countries appears to be handling current download demand with few difficulties. The site, which redirects traffic to the mirrors, has had good response time today and fared well during a Slashdotting Tuesday night. That's a contrast with last year, when the web site was slowed by heavy demand after Firefox 1.0 was released. The browser has since been downloaded more than 112 million times. While that number reflects multiple downloads by some enthusiasts, the growth of Firefox places a premium on efficient handling of new releases.

A dynamically updating chart of the site performance for is available here.

Fiber Cuts Cause Major Outage at Cogent

Substantial parts of Cogent Communications' network are offline, with the company attributing the outages to a pair of fiber cuts. Cogent says the outage is regional and focused on the Southeast United States, but the company's home page is not responding from any of our seven monitoring stations around the globe. One of the fiber cuts is between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. and the other is between Houston and Tampa, according to updates on a network operators mail list. Here is a performance chart for the Cogent home page at


A dynamically updating chart of the site performance for is available here.

Sluggish Performance for Paypal Web Site

The web site for Paypal is experiencing sporadic outages and sluggish response time tonight, with similar performance issues seen from multiple monitoring points. Performance problems for Paypal can have broad impact because the service processes payments for thousands of online businesses. The service, which enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online, has 86 million users worldwide. This chart shows the recent site performance for

Paypal site performance

A dynamically updating chart of the site performance for is available here.

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Malware Knocks Virtual World Offline

A gaming "virtual world" has been knocked offline for the second time in a month by malware distributed by players within the game. Second Life, an innovative online game with more than 80,000 users, took its entire system down for more than five hours Thursday after an instant messaging bot overwhelmed the game grid with a huge volume of messages. A similar incident on Oct. 23 also caused a lengthy system outage when a user program automatically generated more than 5 billion spheres inside the game.

A user-designed multiplayer world, Second Life encourages programmers and graphic artists to create virtual goods and services to sell, and allows players to convert game currency into real-world cash via an online exchange.

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Datapipe, Rackspace and Interland Most Reliable Hosters in October 2005

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
October 1st - 31st 2005


Familiar names occupy the top positions in this month's survey of the most reliable hosting company sites, as Datapipe, Rackspace and Interland share the top slot for October. This is the sixth time this year that Rackspace has won or shared the top slot, while Datapipe (four times) and Interland (twice) have also made multiple appearances atop the list. There's one new face in this month's top 10, HostingZoom, a Houston-based mixed hosting company that hosts its company site on a server at The Planet.

Five Linux sites are found in the top 10 this month, along with two sites running on Windows 2000, two on Windows Server 2003 and one on FreeBSD. This continues the strong performance by hosters running their web sites on Linux. Of the 12 providers who have appeared atop the reliability survey for at least one month, six are hosted on Linux, while three use Windows 2000, two host on FreeBSD, and Windows Server 2003 and Solaris 8 are each used by one provider.

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Level 3 Network Problems Affect Web Traffic

Internet backbone provider Level 3 Communications reported "wide spread network instability" overnight, causing connectivity problems for many ISPs and hosting companies that rely on Level 3 for high-speed Internet access. The outage lasted several hours before service was restored. A discussion on the North American Network Operators Group mailing list offers additional details on the outage.

Level 3 is one of the largest providers of wholesale dial-up service to ISPs in North America and also connects millions of broadband subscribers to the Internet through its cable and DSL partners.