Hosting at home: what do you need? Hosting at home: what do ...

Hosting at home: what do you need?


Hosting your own web server has a lot of benefits, for example, the flexibility to use any hardware you prefer and the freedom of having way more control over your bandwidth usage. You don't need a lot to make a server. But some things make it much easier. Here’s what you need to get started hosting your own web server.

Web Hosting
A web server

A web server can be a computer you built from scratch or a spare desktop you have around the house. While the server won’t perform like a high-end server, it will serve a few dozen clients without issue.

The server needs a web hosting application. Windows Professional and Ultimate versions come with Internet Information Services (IIS), and Apache can be installed on Linux machines. Technically, Apache has a version for Windows, but most Windows hosts use IIS for web hosting.

A 'static' IP address

For any computer in the world to access your website, your website will need a public address. That address is called an IP address. This piece of the puzzle is where Dynu can save you money. You have two choices for Internet Protocol (IP) address management. Most ISPs offer a static IP address at an additional cost.

If you have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides a dynamic IP address, this can’t be used for hosting servers. Web browsers must be able to do a DNS lookup for your IP address. DNS servers use what is called an “A” record, which is the IP address for your web server. If a dynamic IP address changes, the A record won’t have the correct location after your IP addresses changes. With our dynamic DNS service, you can keep your domain name mapped to your most current IP addresses. Therefore, your website will never be lost on the internet.

Port forwarding

“Port forwarding” sends traffic from the internet to a computer within your network, which is your web server in this case. Web traffic runs on port 80, so you must configure the router to forward web traffic to your web server. Each router has its own interface, so consult the router manual to configure port forwarding. Please see this tutorial for more information.

Many ISPs may block port 80 for home users. This problem can be solved by using Web redirect function which allows you to host your website on a port other than port 80 while maintaining the convenience of accessing your website with a regular URL without specifying the port number.


Now that you have your own web server, how secure is it? This is an issue that plagues most people new to web hosting. You should assume that traffic delivered from the cable or DSL modem is not secure. The easiest way to segment insecure web traffic from your personal computer is using a secondary router. Connecting the secondary router to your primary router places a firewall between the two areas of your network, so web traffic remains in what is called the “demilitarized zone”. The DMZ protects the internal network while allowing traffic to flow from the Internet to the web server. Most routers have DMZ configuration these days and hence there is no need for a secondary router.

So there you go, the basic tools to host your own web server. For more tips on how to set it up, visit our community forum or support area.

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