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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    running a web server from home

    HI,

    Ive recently inherited a decent desktop pc and am wondering if its feasable to run it as a web server from my home to serve pages from a few small websites. I know some about setting up a web server with linux and think i could get it going in theory but am wondering if a home pc setup would be reliable enough in this situation....?

    Any opinions

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do that myself. If the computer stops working you'll need to be there to fix it and you'd want a backup machine sitting there just incase. I'd recommend using a free host rather than going down that route, although free hosts have their own issues. I've used freehostia.com in the past, although they're nothing like as good as a half decent paid service.

    A managed hosting solution is usually best. Plus the site will normally run faster as it'll almost always have a faster connection to the web than your home line will. The only reason I could think of for hosting a site at home would be if its extremely processor intensive, but most sites aren't.

    I'm no expert though ...

    Ryan,

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast lkagan's Avatar
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    Other benefits from running a site at home is the learning potential. You would essentially have unlimited disk storage as well. Note that some ISPs block port 80. For example, Comcast blocks port 80 so you would have to jump through loops to get the site running and that's not worth it. If your ISP doesn't block port 80, you'll be fine.

    If the sites are not mission critical, I'd recommend running them from your house. For example, I run my personal web site from my home (http://larrykagan.com/). I store thousands of photos, over a thousand MP3s, and a few videos without issue. Granted, the upload speed (the user's download speed) is limited but to be honest, I don't care. It's just my personal site.

    If you want further advice on this setup, just ask.

    Good luck.
    Larry Kagan
    Lead Web Application Developer
    Superiocity, Inc.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
    wwb_99's Avatar
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    Learning how to administer servers on a public-facing website is not a good idea. Generally that translates into giving some botnet a compromised box to launch attacks from.

    You are alot better off getting hosting and serving things up from there.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast lkagan's Avatar
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    I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm always learning. There is always a security risk when you open up a service to the Internet. If you keep these basic security precautions in mind, you'll be fine:
    • Use a white-list approach to port availability on your server. Block all ports not required to be open.
    • Keep your software up to date. Most Linux distros are ridiculously easy to maintain compared to 10 years ago. Use the package manager and stay up to date.
    • Run as few daemon processes as possible. The fewer services your server is running, the better.


    If you're comfortable with the above, move forward and learn!

    If you want to take security to the level of paranoia (as I do), look into Snort and Tripwire. Also be sure to install and configure Logwatch so you can monitor your system easily. I'd be happy to give any further security advice, just ask.
    Larry Kagan
    Lead Web Application Developer
    Superiocity, Inc.


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