How to Set Up Home Server?
There are several reasons you may want to set up your own web server on your computer. If you have a high-speed internet connection that has a high cap on the output, then you could host a small website on your computer. Possibly, you just want to be able to access files on your home computer from anywhere. If you're a web developer or programmer, it can be very useful to use that website to transfer files or show work to clients. It doesn't replace a hosting company, but it does have uses.
How does it work?
When you set up a web server on your computer, you are installing a piece of software which will allow you to communicate with other computers on the internet. When someone accesses your IP address, they will be routed to the server software and, ultimately, the website you place on it. You can think of yourself as a miniature web host that has its own, private server.
One of the greatest dangers, though, is that your computer will be open to everyone else on the internet, and that opens you up to being hacked, getting viruses, or having personal information and files stolen from your computer.
If you want to set up a personal server, it's of the utmost important that you invest some time in security. You should only have a limited number of files available to the public, and you shouldn't leave out anything that could allow a malicious program or person to crawl behind your web server and into the rest of your computer.
Once you have the piece of software installed and a website in the correct directory, your website is up for your IP address. If you have a static IP, then it is easy to buy a domain name for your computer for easy access. If you don't you would have to update the IP in the domain registrar's control panel frequently.
What kind of software do I need?
The most popular web server is Apache. It's an open source (and completely free) web server that is very stable and will work on a variety of operating systems. There is plenty of information about it and user support. Also, while you're investigating it, you should look XAMPP, which is a bundled Apache server that has most of what you will need, and you should look at the possibility of an ASP server if that would fill your needs better.
If you're testing whether or not you're capable of maintaining a server remotely, then a home server works fine. If you're looking for a way to share files on your computer with others or have remote access to them, that's perfect for a home server. However, it doesn't replace a dedicated hosting company. Their staff have all day and night to make sure that your dedicated server is running at peak efficiency, and they will take care of the security updates. Also, most home connections simply do not have the bandwidth available to serve even a medium-sized website. If you want to put something up on the web for everyone to read, the best way to do that is with a dedicated server host.
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