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I have several hosting accounts with companies, and plan to keep them. However, I would like to try my hand at creating my own home web-server, both for fun and for the learning experience. I would like to know the expenses involved, including:

  • electricity costs (greater than light bulb?)
  • internet costs (will I have to upgrade my internet? Or is 3-5Mbps upload speed fine for a web server with medium amount of traffic? Would I have to get a separate internet connection?)
  • other unknown expenses

Consider that I will configure the web server myself, so that is not an expense. Also consider that I already have a computer (year-old Dell laptop, 15R) to use to be dedicated as the web server.

Note: I have domain name and software already

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closed as too localized by ChrisF, random Apr 1 '12 at 4:26

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

All of these factors depend on how much traffic you expect to get here. Anyone can run a web server, it just matters what web applications will run on it, and who is using it – Simon Sheehan Mar 30 '12 at 5:03
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Depends on your processor and such.

I currently my own home server it off an old atom system, and it possitively sips power (the new ones are better).Running it off something like a PIV would use more. A modernish laptop, should be fine, however. You can probably get a rough idea with a "Kill-A-Watt Electricity Load Meter and Monitor", and some back of the napkin calculations

Internet costs - home internet is enough for small scale web servers, unless you get hit with the slashdot effect. However many home internet connections block port 80, so you'd end up needing to use an alternate port. The advantage with business internet is that most of them have port 80 open, and often a static ip address.

Other expenses... maybe a domain name (though you can use free ones, though there's good, cheap registrars), software (zero for my basic lamp stack)

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what is slashdot effect? – techaddict Mar 30 '12 at 5:59
Certain web forums have a very large number of users. If something gets mentioned on that forum with a link to your server, then all the interested users click that link, you can potentially have thousands of page-loads per second. Kinda harsh, if your typical usage is 10-20 hits per day. For several reasons the load can take a site offline (server RAM overflow, internet pipe clogged, etc.). Accidentally killing a site like this was first commonly done by, and the phenomenon became named for the site. – Scivitri Mar 30 '12 at 6:32

If you have a typical home internet connection, the agreement with most providers states that you can't host your own web server. period. However, you physically and technicallly can do so to experiment without any bells going off. But if the experiment is successfull and starts to ramp up traffic, your internet provider may notice. Not sure what that would mean - just disconnecting you or charging you some higher fees for a business rate. I agree with @Journeyman Geek that atom based motherboards (like the intel D525MW) are a great solution. Just add 2gb of memory and green HD drive for a headless server.

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