What are WWW2 Sites and Should You Access Them?
Oddly named domain webpages and recognizable sites with slightly altered names are usually a telltale sign of malicious activity. We’ve talked about before how hackers and scam artists use such platforms to get out valuable personal and financial information from you, but we’ve never come around to cover this topic in more detail. Let’s take a look at WWW2 sites and examine them to see whether they are malicious and why there are so many websites that carry such and similar domain names.
What is WWW Anyway?
We use the World Wide Web every day, whenever we go on the internet, but do we know what it is and how it works? To put it in simple terms, WWW is a hostname that serves to identify and specify the way you want to go when accessing a network. For example, typing www.site.com into your bar will always take you to the webpage section, just like typing mail.site.com will take you to the mail server if the website has set it up.
This is as simple as it gets, and there’s no need to delve deeper into the complicated world of the information system. Today’s Internet has evolved so much that you’ll get to your desired online location regardless if you’ve typed in WWW or not, provided you entered the correct website name. You can still type in the three W’s if you prefer, though you’ll get to the same page every time, no matter if you specify it or not. Now to the main point of this week’s Zlog.
What is a WWW2 Site?
WWW3 is a hostname or subdomain used as a part of an old-school naming technique that has prevailed strongly until today. They are usually used by developers who want to identify specific subdomains that are a part of different servers. There are many reasons why website builders do this, but the biggest one is load balancing.
By having several servers with slightly altered subdomains, a website can make sure that it will always be able to serve its visitors even in case of server crashes and overloads. When you type in your desired address, your web browser will automatically take you to a different webserver if the main domain is experiencing any issues. Even if everything is working smoothly, the main server might currently just be updating, or in some cases, the browser just decided that the WWW2 site is the better way to go.
Such a system is called a system of mirrors. This means that there could be many different servers, for example, www.site.com www2.site.com, www3.site.com, www4.site.com, etc. This is certainly an unusual way of handling traffic nowadays so that you might ask, is it safe? This leads us to the next point in this article.
Is a WWW2 Site Safe?
All in all, there are no reasons to worry when you see these kinds of subdomains on the websites you visit. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that you will even see one on big sites like Facebook or Twitter because there are other more convenient ways these websites use to balance large user loads. Where these subdomains can appear are security platforms like banking websites, where companies use different hostnames and subdomains for safety reasons.
With this said, you should still make sure to check that the remaining domain name is the one you’re looking for. It’s hard to tell if a site is safe based only on the domain name. You can never be too careful when it comes to this, so avoid opening any links coming from suspicious sources or whose names you can’t recognize.