Decentralising the Web

If companies truely want what is best for the people, rather than their business, why do they make it so difficult to host a website from my own PC.

I am sat in front of my computer, which is on most of the time, has enough processor and memory to host a small business site from home, but find it hard to get fixed IP and fast upload speed in the UK.

The websites that I’m creating can talk to each other, so it would be possible to allow all my small business clients to have a Facebook type of website that doesn’t rely on a central host. It would be cheaper for them, as they’ve already paid for their PC and regular payments for their broadband, to host the site from home. A little while ago I researched the possibilities, but find it quite impossible. Why?

Surely it would be better and cheaper for small companies to host their own websites from home or an office.

What I don’t understand is why I have to rent a small part of someone else’s computer when I’m sat in front of one all the time.

Are others having the same problems in other countries.
Maybe things have changed here in the UK?

Many Thanks

No its not. There are various complications when hosting on your own computer. Even if your computer is up 100% of the time the biggest problem would still be the bandwidth. With HostGator you could get the first month for $0.01 which is actually free. See my quote from the other thread

I recall of an instance where the owner’s girlfriend left him, taking the server with her.

If you are dealing with decent datacenter so not former girlfriends there.
I bekive you need to think about the complex of actions when talking about security, starting from data center choice to the choice on server security algorithms.

:smiley: Love it!!! Now it makes sense :slight_smile:

Cloud computing doesn’t offer that much though, and thin clients these days have enough power to host a small business or personal website using a fraction of the cost in terms of electricity. Me personally, I have my PC on for a minimum of 16 hours a day. The extra 8 won’t cost much. It seems the main limit is the upload speed on broadband, but hopefully ATM might become a bit more widespread in peoples homes.
I’m looking forward to having websites with execution times available on more servers, it’ll be good to see the difference.
Thanks for all your input, but I haven’t changed my mind. I still want to host my site from home. I’m then not putting my scripts and databases on someone else’s computer. I’ve even created a script to keep my accounts and would prefer to keep that on my own PC, although it is more handy when it’s available elsewhere.
Thanks again :slight_smile:

Thanks ferrari chris.
If home hosting was an option though, would the security not be delt with by the people offering the package?
If a hosted server can be made secure, then surely a home hosting package can be made secure in the same way.

If a hosted server can be made secure, then surely a home hosting package can be made secure in the same way.

In some ways, yes. Not in others. Physical access to a data center is much harder to gain. There’s more than server side security to security.

I recall of an instance where the owner’s girlfriend left him, taking the server with her. :slight_smile:

Oversold shared hosting may well suffer from overload, but quality hosting generally doesn’t as their monitoring systems will halt any runaway process that’s degrading performance for others. VPS servers are another option which provide a useful halfway house between shared/dedicated with typically a minimum guaranteed cpu allocation that can’t be consumed by a bad neighbour. Rackspace cloud servers start at a tenner a month which isn’t too expensive by any hosting standard.

Because of the lack of bandwidth at home, and your broadband network conditions (contention etc) it wouldn’t be difficult to stifle your home service, a couple of simultaneous large downloads would do it. As Karl points out, domestic kit also isn’t really designed to churn 24/7/365 (though you’re correct in that a netbook uses way less power than other pcs) and I’d guess that if you did have hot-swappable raid drives (backed up auomatically too) typical of a datacentre rack server, then the TCO has risen far past purely electricity and bandwidth costs.


I’m going to bow out here as it wouldn’t be right for me to comment any further given the info you’ve just provided :slight_smile:


Here are my stats for this month…

The Avg is the average execution time of each method, HTML being a normal click, Manual is a manual click using asynchronous javascript, and Automatic is using synchronous javascript. (The live functions stopped working last night though, although the page still works. I was trying to improve it, and it all went wrong! (edit) The live functions do work until you try to sort by clicking the table headers)

The averages I get here are 200, 88 and 59 for each method. It’s loads better than my hosted site

BTW, I should mention I’m running on a single core 3.4GHz P4 with 1Gb RAM

If security is your concern, then I think you’ve got bigger issues from external attacks getting into your site and retrieving your code than worrying about it being “stolen” by a webhost.

Also, a webhost is likely to be more resistant to these attacks as their “OS and browser” aren’t targeted like yours are.

If security issues are your main concerns here, then I think you’re doing this “home hosting” thing for the wrong reasons.


Yes, you are and yes we do, but with shared hosting you’re sharing that server (and the costs) with maybe 100 (or in a lot of cases these days, many many more) other customers - so you’re only paying a fraction of the costs. As others have said, you’re not just paying for electricity - you’re paying for security, support, cooling, hardware spares etc. etc.

As for a netbook, or even your average PC, they just aren’t designed for 24x7 operation.

Now of course I realise you may not believe me, as I work for a hosting company - but really if it were better to host on the end of a DSL line in a home/office, then we’d be doing the same instead of paying a 5 figure sum each month for data centre space and multiple gigabit network connections for our servers :slight_smile:

Fibrecity - I’m not sure they’ve even got any ISPs signed up to their service yet, so even if you get a box and a connection you won’t have any service till some ISPs get onboard.


Cool. Thanks for the info.

Apparently fibrecity is offering Asynchronous Transfer Mode here in Bournemouth. Haven’t had our box fitted yet though, so haven’t looked in to the cost, but supposed to be pretty cheap.

As for power consumption, what do you get for your shared server? I’ve seen cloud hosting, offering 1GHz virtual processor with 512Mb dedicated RAM, and it was quite expensive. I’m sure a netbook has the same power, and that won’t cost very much to leave on.

With a hosted site, you are renting space on someone else’s computer, who are going to want a profit from you for doing so.

If companies truely want what is best for the people, rather than their business, why do they make it so difficult to host a website from my own PC.

I believe that is not about all existing web hosting companies at all. Just for the end user that is difficult to determine which web hosting provider is going to be good and which not.

It’s actually a lot more expensive. 24/7 electricity for a typical PC costs a few hundred per annum. There are many other reasons why home hosting is a bad idea, reliability, bandwidth, network consistency, security etc

There is absolutely no scenario for professional business where ‘home hosting’ would provide a better service, particularly when you consider that in most cases hosting costs are trivial compared with other business costs.

The technical reasons why upload/download speeds differ are down to how the typical user consumes bandwidth so the available frequency spectrum available is allocated accordingly.

Personally speaking, we put a maximum of 100 accounts per virtual hosting node. As you say though, most of those sites only get a few visitors and more often than not one sites busy period is another’s quiet time, so it all balances out if managed properly - if it’s done right, it should be a very rare occurrence that you notice any problems caused by other sites in terms of performance.

How much power do each of those users get though? Most small businesses have only a few people visit their site at the same time. Say you put them on a machine that has Dual Quad Core 3Ghz and 10Gb RAM, when divided by the number of sites it is hosting then it is pretty low specs per customer.

You also have to consider the fact that some of those sites may be more popular than others, and some may be coded badly so use more resources than necessary.

My sites’ on a shared server. I have also got a script execution timer. I can tell when other sites on the same server are either busy or badly coded, as my execution time rockets. That’s why, personally, I would prefer hosting my own site on my own computer from home.

The average execution time locally beats the average of the same site hosted online

I personally don’t think that.

I think it’s more to do with file sharing, and keeping the web centralised, which is better for big businesses.

With virginmedia here in the UK, my upload speed is 0.5, yet my download speed is 10. It uses the same cables, so why is there this big difference?

Web hosting service was created to satisfy existing demand. It is ok if you have good PC which allow you host your web sites at home. It’s ok for you you have loyal ISP which allow you this activity, it is ok for you to have good connection speed which your ISP provides for you.
But mostly people do not have such opportunities at all.

I have actually seen a site hosted on a PC. It was very SLOW to load. The real problem would be to get enough bandwidth to have several visitors on your PC.

You can get a static IP possible even if you have a dynamic IP from your provider. It was a couple of years ago, but I read a site that provided static IP addresses and redirected to your dynamic IP. My son-in-law has used that to FTP into his home computer while he was on the road