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Hosting A Forum On My Home Computer

 12:07 pm on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hello. I just recently decided to start a forum, but to host it on my home computer. I downloaded miniserver which has Apache2, Perl5, PHP5, MySQL5, and PHPBB3 included. It was incredibly easy to get the server to start running, and also to start running the phpbb3 forum, but now I am stuck. I have no idea on how to allow other people access to my site. I can view and use my forum all i want from [localhost...] but i dont know how to make it available to anyone else. Does anyone know of any guides out there on how to go about this? If there is a more specific area on these forums for my question then I am sorry and please move it. Any help appreciated. Thank you.



 1:19 pm on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

If this is a "proper" website you'll almost certainly be better off with a proper web host.

Hosting your own server is not a trivial undertaking, unless it's just a test or hobby server. Do you have the time and skills required to secure it, keep it secure and maintain it? Is this the best use of your time?

See Hosting from Home [webmasterworld.com] for an excellent overview or search [google.com] WebmasterWorld for previous discussions.


 8:36 pm on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

thankyou mattur. I am doing as sort of a hobby type thing, something that i just have to try, but i am concerned about the security issues. Are there security measuers i can take so that i can have no worries? or is that impossible with what im trying to do? am i pretty much setting myself up for viruses and security issues? Thank you.


 7:05 pm on Jan 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Are there security measuers i can take so that i can have no worries?

Hosting from home and having "no worries" are mutually exclusive. Arguably, running a website and having "no worries" are mutually exclusive... ;)

The security measures you need to take are securely configuring, and keeping up to date with security patches on:

1. Your router/firewall
2. You computer OS
3. Your web server software
4. Your db server software
5. Your forum software

Using a proper web host takes care of 1-4. This is why most people use professional hosting.

I suppose this really comes down to your skills and experience. If you're unfamiliar with securing and configuring a web server, are you prepared to put in the time to learn? Remember this is the time you would otherwise be using to build and run your forum.

Shared hosting is cheap. Your monthly electricity charges for keeping the server on 24/7 will probably cost more than a basic hosting package.

Don't forget the other disadvantages: what happens if a hard disk fails? Or your internet connection goes down for a day? Or your house gets broken into and your computer is stolen? Will you scrupulously avoid uploading/downloading large files when people are using your forum? etc. You also need to check that your ISP allows you to host websites on your connection - some block port 80, some disallow in TnC's.

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