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Instead of using shared hosting, why not host yourself?

Discussion in 'Server Configuration and Hosting' started by kprojects, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. kprojects

    kprojects Well-Known Member

    Shared hosting, as many know, is about as secure as your neighbors' passwords on the same host. Working at a hosting company we run across tons of clients on shared hosting with total insecure passwords..

    Now that fios has their faster residential speeds, they're plenty fast to host a start-up forum. I just upgraded my fios to 75/35.. but they also have 150/65 and 300/65. For hosting something on your residential line, you're looking at the 2nd number - that'd be your users' download speeds.

    You could grab a pc you're not using (I grabbed a dell r200 from work) and set it up with a Linux distribution.. set it up like you would if it were a dedicated server at a datacenter.

    You'll want to forward port 80 through your fios router - and probably port 22 as well so you can get to it from the outside.

    Also, don't forget to set up good firewall software - csf/lfd is free and is a great solution. I'm blocking 5-6 IPs/day for port scanning and failed logins on my home network currently..

    The only issue you'll run into is outgoing mail since verizon blocks port 25 from getting out. One workaround is to set up your server to send mail through a gmail account - which it could reach on port 587. All mail will appear to come from that gmail account, but users signing up to your site will at least get mail.

    You'll also want to keep an eye on your IP address - verizon doesn't seem to update them very much - sometimes when the router reboots it will change though. You can use a service like dyndns to keep track of that.

    Anyway, for a new forum, this makes a great way to grow it with free hosting. Once it gets a little popular or starts making money, then you can look into a good secure hosting solution.

    Is anyone on here doing this already?

  2. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    Visit a popular webhosting forums like webhostingtalk.com and this idea pops up about once a week :)

    The drawbacks:
    • no business quality connection to the net
    • probably no server grade hardware
    • probably no UPS
    • probably no offsite backup
    • probably no professional support (or do you know your OS inside out, the network, security threats,....)
    • what if there is a problem and you are not at home
    • mail problems, some were already mentioned by you
    • ...
    And hosting so cheap nowadays...
    ragtek likes this.
  3. DRE

    DRE Well-Known Member

    Horrible idea if you have an unreliable electric and internet company like my own.
  4. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    Plus, it's usually in the TOS of your ISP that you can't use the connection for hosting a website on a residential connection.
  5. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    I would love to be able to host at home, but with <1mbit upload it's never going to happen :p

    Colocation is probably better overall though - 1u generic cases are reasonably cheap and desktop grade components work a lot better than most people would have you believe. I've saved thousands compared to renting unmanaged dedicated - for the same specs would be easily 5x or more a month
    gordy likes this.
  6. euantor

    euantor Well-Known Member

    I'd far rather buy some cheap shared hosting (you can get some pretty good shared plans at like $6/month these days) and have the peace of mind that there's somebody with experience there to manage the hardware.
  7. Jesepi

    Jesepi Well-Known Member

    You're much better off finding a VPS somewhere for like $10 a month.
  8. kprojects

    kprojects Well-Known Member

    Your own VPS (or dedicated server) w/ a good company is your best bet, I'm not arguing that.. but if you're just starting out and want the security of being on your own server (and your site can't afford a quality vps) then you could get away with this setup.

    8thos: I agree - they're pretty good in my area, but that's something to think about..

    MattW: That's a chance that some might be willing to take.. I haven't looked into how seriously they take it.

    Darkimmortal: For a popular forum/site, it's not do-able :) I've tested it with a couple of my smaller forums and while it does load a little slower, you wouldn't think its on a residential fios line in someone's basement..

    euantor: Cheap shared hosting means you have plenty of others on your server ready to use up all the resources allocated to it. It's also not real secure. You also can't ssh into your shared hosting account with most hosts.

    Jesepi: A $10 vps usually means they're overselling/sharing the resources on the node - which will drive you crazy with random issues until you end up buying a better one if your users notice.


    This is just a fun idea for someone who knows their way around a Linux box.. for a site that's small or just starting out.. and temporary until your site makes enough money to be able to afford hosting on a reliable service. I'll also agree that an oversold VPS or shared hosting may give you better performance compared to an old packard bell in your basement... :)

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