Why do some sites start with WWW2?

Why WWW2 appears

This is something that can appear in the browser when we enter a website. Where should appear the acronym of world Wide Web, WWW, shows us WWW2. It can be disconcerting and even make you doubt if we really have put the URL right or even if that page is safe or can be a threat.

Keep in mind that we not only find WWW2, but sometimes it appears WWW3, WWW4, etc. There are several reasons why this can occur. A common reason is that the server we are trying to access, the main one, is down and not working properly. What it does is forward us directly to a backup.

Another reason is that there a lot of load on that server and the load balancer is spreading the traffic between two or more servers so that it works well. In this way, it automatically redirects us to WWW2 instead of showing us that the page cannot be opened at that moment. The content of the site, yes, would be the same.

When does this happen? There are services that use multiple servers running in parallel at the same time. For example banks, the Tax Agency or any large website that, at any given time, may have many users. If there are problems accessing the main server, the user is redirected to another copy.

We cannot enter WWW2 directly

You may be wondering if you can go directly to a page with the WWW2 prefix. For example, on occasions when the main site does not work well and you think it can go faster by being more empty. But the truth is that this it’s not possible. At least, it is not usual.

If you enter a web page with the prefix WWW2, WWW3 or whatever, the normal thing is that the load balancer will forward you directly to the main WWW server. You could not access these types of subdomains directly.

Option deprecated

This that we explain has been a way of salvation for many web pages for many years. A way to redirect users to a parallel server and thus avoid loading problems, something that could leave without service for a few hours or during the time when there is a peak of users.

However, this nowadays it is in disuse. Currently there are other more sophisticated techniques to balance the load of a server, so even if we are in a subdomain or balancing server, WWW will always appear. In addition, the servers have greater capacity.

Are WWW2 or WWW3 websites dangerous?

Many users, when they come across the WWW2 or WWW3 prefix, see it as something strange and doubt if it really is reliable or not. The truth is that there are many scams on the Internet and they may end up on the bank’s site and show you that prefix, for example, and make you doubt.

Now, find us with the WWW2 prefix does not mean danger. As we have explained, it is simply a technique that they use so that the servers can have sufficient capacity. A way to distribute the load of all the traffic that enters that bank or in the service that is.

Therefore, if at any time you come across the prefix WWW2, WWW3 or any other instead of the typical WWW, do not think that it is a scam. Of course, it is always advisable to check that the rest of the URL is the true one and that there is nothing strange. In addition, as we have seen, it is not normal for us to enter a website directly with this type of prefix.

Tips to identify a fake website

Although WWW2 does not mean that the page is dangerous, we are going to give some general tips to identify a website that may be fake. This could lead to Phishing attacks that steal our passwords and cause systems to malfunction, putting security and privacy at risk.

Check the URL well

The first and most basic thing is check the URL very well which we are entering. Simply by looking at the domain name we can already detect many threats. Sometimes hackers change a letter, a number or add something to create a totally different website and thus steal data.

It is also interesting to observe if that site has encryption or not. This is what we can see with the typical HTTPS that appears just before the domain. Navigating HTTP pages is insecure, as we could suffer Man-in-the-Middle attacks that steal passwords and everything we send.

View site content

Another point to take into account is your own content of that site. We must see the general appearance of the page very well, observe the texts, the menu, the images … All this will help us to recognize if we are really on the original page or we are on a site that has been created as a fake.

For example, we can analyze if what we see has a real relationship with the theme of the web page. Hackers sometimes modify the content of a web page and fill it with phishing links and malicious files. We can analyze all this visually and detect possible anomalies.

Use an online service

We can also use one of the different free online services that analyze the URL of a web page and tell us if it is reliable or not. An example is URLVoid. We only have to paste the address of that page and, automatically, it begins to scan the URL in search of any danger.

Analyze links with URLVoid

We can also use a classic such as VirusTotal. It has a very extensive database, where it registers web pages that are considered unsafe, for example due to having Phishing or malicious files, and it sends us a warning so that we do not enter. This will prevent our computer from being infected.

In short, if you come across the WWW2 prefix, you should know that it is not dangerous. It is something that, although increasingly obsolete, serves to decongest servers and divide the load. We have also explained some security tips to detect when a web page can be dangerous.

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