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Thread: Home Web Hosting

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    Andy101's Avatar
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    Home Web Hosting

    Now I have a high speed optical fiber internet connection that just got upgraded, I am going to experiment with web hosting from home. The upload speed is around 7MB/s. Download speed is always faster with home internet.

    For the allways-on server hardware I am going to use an old mini-ITX (EPIA-M) computer that should have low power consumption since the CPU doesn't need a fan. I plan to disconnect the CD ROM, and IDE hard drive.

    For the OS, I am thinking to install Debian Linux onto a modern external USB Hard Drive (2.5 inch type). Plug this into a USB port, and configure the BIOS settings to boot from this drive (USB-HDD). I was using this 500GB drive to store media files, but I think that I can install Debian onto it and keep the data files to still share on my home network. It will involve some disk partitioning maybe?

    In the modem configuration there is a one-click web server setup feature. This will route port 80 (the standard port for web sites) traffic to this server box (it's IP address on the network).

    For the server software, I will set up the standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stuff.

    And to share files with Windows computers over the network, I think there is a package called SAMBA.

    In the Apache web server you can set up virtual hosts for multiple websites.

    And to route the web addresses to the IP address of your home server, you can set up a nameserver domain (in your domain registrar's control panel such as GoDaddy) that links your registered domains to a mechanism to translate the domain name to your server's IP address (DNS). So for all of your domain names, you will set them to use this new nameserver that is under your control.

    Well, that's the theory!

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    Let us know how it works out.

    SAMBA is easy to set up and works well. It gives password-protected access to Linux boxes from Windows machines.

    If you have not already added this to the plan, think about a firewall. I am not sure if Debian comes with a built-in firewall or how sophisticated it might be. IP tables are not enough to stop most hackers unless you have already identified them. CSF can be easily added to most Linux hosts. I was getting over 250 hack attempts per day on my VPS server until I installed CSF. It has a graphic interface and is easy to use.

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    Let us know how it works out.
    Thanks, I am a beginner to this so I look forward to the learning experience.

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    Hi,

    Just wondering what is the cost vs expense on all of this? Will this save money in the long run? If so how long?

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    Add me to the list that wants to see how it works. 7mb upload speed is blazing fast compared to Charter cable.
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    Just wondering what is the cost vs expense on all of this? Will this save money in the long run? If so how long?
    I should save a lot of money in the long run. In the past I didn't care about hosting costs since I made good money from affiliate Ads.
    I already have some spare hardware for the server box, so that is not an expense.
    So the main cost is electricity. Hence I am using a low power computer, disconnecting the usual bulky 3.5" internal drive, and using a portable USB drive for the Operating System.
    And I can hopefully avoid paying monthly hosting fees.

    My optical fiber internet is not cheap, but it's what our family uses for everyday Internet, and telephone line. So it is like a household bill rather than a business expense.

    At the moment I am struggling to get Linux to boot off the drive since the boot loader (Grub2) is messed up. I think this was due to me having the old hard disk still connected as I installed the OS. I think that I will have to erase the HDD and start again since I tried all kinds of ways to try and reconfigure the boot loader. Also, it doesn't help being a Linux noob.

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    The main downside is that you don't have a tech support number to call.

    My Cox cable connection is so unreliable and intermittently slow that I could never do it here, but I have thought about it.
    Last edited by TopDogger; 23 March, 2013 at 13:00 PM.
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    Bob Barr is offline Newbie Net Builder
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    I'd recommend carefully checking your provider's TOS terms for anything regarding at-home hosting. When I had Charter a few years ago, their TOS explicitly prohibited hosting websites on their system.

    I inadvertently left a test connection open on my machine (dumb, I know). When Charter sent an http request and got a response, they shut my connection down until I could convince them that I wasn't doing at-home hosting. (Their system was set up to ping all of their assigned IP addresses once an hour looking for any response.)

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    And here I am going to take a step backward!
    We will be moving in about 3 weeks.
    So, here fiber optics...there, same old crap connections.

    Years back, SWB (southwest bell) down in Houston would not allow home hosting using their service.

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    Bob Barr makes a good point. Some ISPs do not allow web servers on their network. I forgot about that. Also, you will need a static IP or will have to use one of the online DNS services if you have a dynamic IP that changes periodically. I think you can get a static IP from your ISP, especially if they allow web servers. They will probably charge you a monthly fee for that.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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