Hosting At Home: Pros and Cons

Hi again! Last time was just an introduction to what Web Hosting was. Just to recap, if you have a website which you want to share with the world, or a blog where you want the people to listen to you or are working on an open source project and want the people to work with you in or anything else, you’ll have to host your website on a web server. Now there are two ways to do this. One is to rent out a hosting service who will take care of all your hassles of setting up a server and everything else related to managing a server and all you’ll have to do is pay them a monthly or yearly fees. Or, you can take a step further and host your own server at home. Both the options have their own merits and demerits.

Here are some of the Pros of In house Hosting:

  • You have complete and utter control over the hosting while hosting at home. A slower processor can be replaced, Ram and storage can be increased etc. and the entire specification of the server can be changed if you deem it unfit. Not only that, if you have the server close to you, you can easily make the physical changes yourself without relying on any external person for doing it for you.
  • An even better advantage of having an In house hosting server is the relative ease with which you can update/modify and upgrade your softwares especially updating the Operating System of the server. Doing the same over the Internet to your rented server can be a huge pain. Any changes to the data being hosted or any other tasks related to system administration can be performed easily without having to remotely log in to a server.
  • Any changes you make to your server at home are immediate. You do not have to wait for your server to implement the changes which you request. You can make the changes immediately, view them and approve them if appropriate or change them again if not needed or incorrect.
  • The initial cost of setting up the server can be relatively low depending on whether you already have a computer present or not. Even if some of the components are faulty, you can easily replace the faulty ones. Better than that, with an in house server, you are not answerable whenever there’s a downtime or whenever the server crashes for whatever reason. You are the boss of your own server.

Now let’s look at some of the Cons:

  • A big issue with hosting online is that most ISPs provide a dynamic IP Address to its customers who can change every few days or every few hours. This means that once your IP changes, the visitors to your website won’t be able to access your server until and unless you update the IP against your domain. While many ISPs also provide a static IP Address, this can incur an additional cost as well. The issue of the dynamic IP Address however can be tackled by installing a script in your server which updates your IP address at the DNS Host every time your IP address is updated by the ISP.
  • The speed of the Internet is also a big factor. If you have a Standard 1Mbps DSL connection, it is pretty much sufficient for a website which online receives a few hits per day. But if you have a website which is very popular and very frequently visited, this can greatly affect the speed of the server. The visitors can experience a lag and the server can even crash if more load is put on it than it can sustain.
  • Another factor is that the speed of the internet is not always consistent. You can experience a slower connection at peak times or the connection can go down altogether for a few hours or days if there is a fault in the ISP’s connection lines. This can greatly affect your Website’s performance.
    Any server when enough loads are put on it will create a lot of heat and noise. This is probably one of the biggest factors why people don’t put servers at the homes and server farms are created especially to tackle this problem of noise and heat associated with servers.
  • And the mother of all demerits of hosting at home. Being in charge of a server no easy task. You have to take care of it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. You have to take care of all the hardware failures. You are in charge of updating and modifying all the softwares and are in charge of the security of the server as well. And this is no easy task. If anything goes wrong, you’re the one who’ll get all the blame.

Now hosting at home does have its troubles and problems. But is it worth it? I don’t know. I probably have experienced some of the troubles I have mentioned but I have surely reaped the rewards as well. If you can figure out whether the pros outweigh the cons of in house hosting, wait up for my next post where I will be discussing ways in which money can be made with free hosting.

Stay Tuned!

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