When we browse the Internet, one thing we constantly see is WWW. It appears before the domain name that we are putting, such as this article. It is a prefix used to indicate that we are connecting to a web server and not to another type, such as FTP or MAIL. Now, the truth is that in recent years browsers already identify web pages without having to put that prefix. But why do we sometimes see WWW2? It is not very common, but it exists. We are going to explain what it consists of.
Why does WWW2 appear?
This is something that can appear in the browser when we enter a website. Where the acronym for World Wide Web should appear, WWW, it shows us WWW2. It can be disconcerting and even make you doubt if we have really put the URL correctly or even if that page is safe or could be a threat.
Keep in mind that not only do we find WWW2, but sometimes WWW3, WWW4 , etc. There are several reasons why this can happen. 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 send us directly to a backup.
Another reason is that there is a lot of load on that server and the load balancer is spreading the traffic between two or more servers to work 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 occur? There are services that use several servers running in parallel at the same time. For example banks, the Tax Agency or any large web page that, at any given time, may have many users. If problems appear to be able to access the main server, they refer the user 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, sometimes when the main site is not working well and you think it can go faster by being emptier. But the truth is that this is not possible . At least, it is not usual.
If you enter a web page with the prefix WWW2, WWW3 or whatever, the load balancer will normally forward you directly to the main WWW server. You would not be able to access these types of subdomains directly.
This that we explain has been a way of salvation for many web pages for many years. A way to derive users to a parallel server and thus avoid load problems, something that could leave the service unavailable for a few hours or during the time when there is a peak of users.
However, this is now deprecated . 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 whether it is really 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, finding the prefix WWW2 does not mean danger . As we have explained, it is simply a technique that they use so that the servers can have enough capacity. A way to distribute the load of all the traffic that enters that bank or whatever service it is.
Therefore, if at any time you find 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 a good idea to check that the rest of the URL is the real one and that there is nothing strange. In addition, as we have seen, it is not normal for us to be able 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 to review very well the URL that 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 completely different website and thus steal data.
It is also interesting to see if that site has encryption or not. This is what we can see with the typical HTTPS that appears just before the domain. Browsing 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 consider is the content of that site itself . 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 if 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.
We can also use a classic such as VirusTotal . It has a very extensive database, where it registers web pages that are considered insecure, for example because they have Phishing or malicious files, and sends us a warning not to 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.