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Robdemanc
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04 Sep 2012, 3:03 pm

I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?



Fogman
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04 Sep 2012, 3:30 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?


If you have dynamic IP addressing from your ISP, you won't be able to use your computer as a web server due to the fact that the IP address for the URL you have bought will be in a constant state of flux. --You will need a Static IP account from your ISP, which will cost you more as it will be a business account.


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Tsproggy
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04 Sep 2012, 3:49 pm

http://www.no-ip.com/

Problem Solved!



Fogman
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04 Sep 2012, 4:45 pm

Tsproggy wrote:
http://www.no-ip.com/

Problem Solved!


Well there's something new, Cool!


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Oodain
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04 Sep 2012, 5:50 pm

dyn dns can do something similar, we use it to update ip records of ships (in port there is often port wide wifi, using that instead of sattelite is quite a lot cheaper)


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MyFutureSelfnMe
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04 Sep 2012, 8:36 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?



000webhost.com seems alright too

Edit: Oh, you need IIS.

Don't use IIS.



2fefd8
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04 Sep 2012, 8:56 pm

Fogman wrote:
If you have dynamic IP addressing from your ISP, you won't be able to use your computer as a web server due to the fact that the IP address for the URL you have bought will be in a constant state of flux. --You will need a Static IP account from your ISP, which will cost you more as it will be a business account.


Static IP addresses aren't strictly necessary. You can install a daemon on the webserver that will monitor its IP address and update it as necessary.



Robdemanc
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05 Sep 2012, 2:37 am

MyFutureSelfnMe wrote:
Robdemanc wrote:
I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?



000webhost.com seems alright too

Edit: Oh, you need IIS.

Don't use IIS.


What is wrong with IIS?



ZorgsMan
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07 Sep 2012, 9:42 am

If you're looking to host websites and such you might want to look into getting a VPS (virtual private server). They're virtual machines with a little bit of ram (256mb or so) that you can have all to yourself. It's really cheap nowadays (5$ a month or so) and you might be spending more on energy costs alone if you keep your laptop on 24/7.



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07 Sep 2012, 9:58 am

I have my own domainname + webserver. The webserver is a custom-built NAS machine, it has 6 TB of storage and runs a variety of services that are useful for my wife or me. It runs Linux with Apache as a webserver. Apache is also available for Windows, and I would prefer it over IIS, since it's used far more often, so there's much more documentation / help available.

The possible issues to look out for if you host something yourself:
- Dynamic IP addresses. The domainname is nothing more than a fancy front for your IP address, which is how others will actually reach you. Many providers give you a different IP address when you reconnect. Figure out whether this is the case or not. If it is, you'll need a service like DynDNS, which updates the domain->IP translation regularly. If your IP is static, then there's nothing to worry about. In my case, my IP is officially dynamic, but it's only changed when I disconnect my modem for more than 30 minutes or so, which only really happens if there's an ISP outage (which is very rare). Consequently, I treat my setup as if I have a static IP.
- Port forwarding. By default, your modem and/or router will ignore all external traffic that comes in without a prior request from one of your computers. To ensure that web-requests are not ignored, but instead forwarded to the correct machine, you need to set up Port Forwarding in your router. This tells the device to forward all traffic on a specific port (port 80 is the default for HTTP traffic that websites use) to a specific IP address. For this, it's important that your webserver has the same IP address even after it's restarted, otherwise you may have to update the port forwarding everytime you (re)start your server. To ensure that your webserver has a fixed IP address, you'll need to dive into the network settings, disable automatic IP address assignment (via DHCP) and set a fixed IP address.



Robdemanc
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07 Sep 2012, 3:59 pm

Thanks for all that. I do want to do it soon because I am building a website that I'll need to make available. But I am still at the developing/testing phase so nowhere near ready to look into this properly. But your post was informative.



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08 Sep 2012, 1:45 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?


I would not rely on a WIN based system, because that is under heavy attack. Choose an ubuntu/debian based server system.
Or then there might be a special purpose linux system with inbuilt webserver.

Much easier though are webhosted systems, but they are not free.

Using your daily laptop is not ideal because then you mix your personal data with it and risk it with that.

I have some very old computer (Pentium II MMX with 166MHz) with no fans that is on all the time for that kind of purposes.



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09 Sep 2012, 7:28 am

Robdemanc wrote:
I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?
This may have been covered already, but IIS is notorious for having security holes in it, Apache is preferable over it, as for using a laptop, only a retired laptop if you really have to, I use the IBM ThinkPad T21, it runs Ubuntu Server Edition, and uses Apache, and run a few sites from it. You really need a static IP address but DynDNS is a good compromise.

My own personal advice is never to use Windows as a server OS, it's not the most secure choice in the world, any Linux distro that can be installed on the machine's hard disk will suffice, some even allow you to setup the system as a LAMP (Linux, Apache MySQL PHP) server during install (Ubuntu Server Edition is an example).

Static IP will depend on your ISP, they may only give them out on business accounts or they may not give them out at all, I was lucky as the ISP I chose gave me an option of a static IP on a residential account. a paid option but still an option, this was a UK ISP however, if you're not in the UK things may well be different.


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sliqua-jcooter
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09 Sep 2012, 10:43 am

Pikachu wrote:
Robdemanc wrote:
I mean have you got a domain name and made it available? I wonder how much effort it would be to get my laptop connected to the internet as a web server. It already has IIS and so I think I need a domain name and then to somehow hook it up to the web but not sure what steps are needed. Or if it costs.

Anyone help?
This may have been covered already, but IIS is notorious for having security holes in it, Apache is preferable over it, as for using a laptop, only a retired laptop if you really have to, I use the IBM ThinkPad T21, it runs Ubuntu Server Edition, and uses Apache, and run a few sites from it. You really need a static IP address but DynDNS is a good compromise.


a) IIS isn't substantially less secure than any other web server platform, if you're being objective. However, if you ever want to deploy your site on a web host - they're likely going to be running apache, so I'd recommend installing that on your system for ease of use. A good package installer that installs Apache, PHP, MySQL, and Perl is XAMPP (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html). You can install it on your Windows machine just fine.

b) You *don't* "really need" a static IP address. It helps, but by no means is it required to get started. A dynamic DNS entry works nearly as well. The only people who truly *need* a static IP are people like me who need to have an IP hard coded into firewalls/ACLs (and I pay dearly to have that static IP at home).

Quote:
My own personal advice is never to use Windows as a server OS, it's not the most secure choice in the world, any Linux distro that can be installed on the machine's hard disk will suffice, some even allow you to setup the system as a LAMP (Linux, Apache MySQL PHP) server during install (Ubuntu Server Edition is an example).


Use whatever OS you want. There might be some performance considerations if this site were pushing 10/12 requests per second. But it's not, so it really doesn't matter.


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