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Is it possible to host my website using my Windows Vista home computer?

I have a broadband Internet service.

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+1 for good morning. Tons better greeting for a technical question than hi. –  Nathaniel Jan 19 '10 at 22:34
    
In addition to the answers below, it might depend on your broadband modem too. We once had one that would not forward any incoming connections (hosting a website on your computer requires telling your router and/or modem to forward port 80 to the particular local IP address of your computer). –  NickC Aug 14 '10 at 16:45
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5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

if you don't have a static IP address, you can use DynDNS.

You should check with your provider, some ISP don't like 'hosting@home' and it may not be feasible if you'e on a limited traffic allowance.

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Thank you! Must my Windows version be Server edition? –  Junior Mayhé Jan 20 '10 at 0:04
    
No, you can run a webserver from a desktop OS. –  Molly7244 Jan 20 '10 at 0:29
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Yes, you definitely can. It would primarily depend on 2 things.

  1. If you have static IP available. If your IP changes every time you reconnect to your ISP then you wont be able to associate domain names to your website.
  2. The "up speed" available to you as in this case others will be downloading from your machine. Many broadband services provide a poor up speed , so check it out with your ISP.

Once this is done you can use Apache to host your website .

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Yes its possible. You can use the WAMP stack to power most PHP-MySQL based apps like WordPress, Drupal etc. Is it feasible ? I doubt it.You haven't mentioned the speed, I'd say the uplink is likely to be a huge bottleneck if you're expecting lot of visitors, as is using a standard desktop system ( this might be incorrect since you haven't mentioned the system specifications).

As Molly mentioned, using a service like DynDNS will ensure that your website is accessible even if you don't have a static IP.

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Are there any security concerns with WAMP or is it set up pretty tight by default? –  Nathaniel Jan 19 '10 at 22:33
    
@Nathaniel There are no security concerns that I'm aware of. –  Sathya Jan 27 '10 at 13:43
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I assume that the question refers to a web server mainly for http/ftp, and structured my answer accordingly. If streaming video or music is intended, there are other solutions (but you will need a fast bandwidth in the upload direction from your home server).

To complete the answers already given above, here are some free web servers that I never tried:

Xerver

Xerver is an advanced free GNU GPL Web and FTP server.
Xerver brief feature list:

  • Very fast and low memory usage.
  • GNU GPL open source.
  • Contains all features the larger web servers offers:
    • PHP and Perl support
    • FTP server included
    • Virtual directories
    • Password protected folders
    • Customized error messages ("404 Not Found")

Abyss Web Server

Abyss Web Server enables you to host your Web sites on your computer.

It supports secure SSL/TLS connections (HTTPS) as well as a wide range of Web technologies.

It can also run advanced PHP, Perl, Python, ASP, ASP.NET, and Ruby on Rails Web applications which can be backed by databases such as MySQL, SQLite, MS SQL Server, MS Access, or Oracle.

Pablo Software Solutions

This web site is a collection of utilities, source code and other software products created by Pablo Software Solutions. Some of the products are:

Baby FTP Server
Very small anonymous FTP server for beginners.
Baby POP3 Server
Simple but fully functional POP3 Server.
Baby ASP Web Server
Small Web Server with native support for ASP

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If your Vista installation happens to be Windows Vista Business / Home Premium or higher you're in luck. Read through How to install IIS7 on Vista to learn how to get the webserver up and going. Next you're going to want to read through one or both of these articles. How do I host my own website at home? and Geek to Live: How to set up a personal home web server. You'll want to focus on getting an IP address, a domain name, port settings and fire wall settings. If you're using IIS, ignore the words apache for that's another webserver. If you don't want to use IIS, then go ahead and follow these articles verbatim.

One thing of note for a personal IIS webserver running off of Vista, you will be limited to the number of connections that the webserver can handle. For apache, you shouldn't have any problems at all with that.

Have fun, and hope this helps some.

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Home Premium comes with IIS too –  Junior Mayhé Jan 20 '10 at 0:05
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