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Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC

Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC - PCSTATS
Abstract: Obstacles like IIS and dynamic IP addresses can make the process of running a website off a home broadband internet connection complicated.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Aug 31 2005   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Understanding DNS

The Domain Name System puts a friendly face on the Internet. Let's put it this way... what's easier to remember: www.google.com or '64.233.161.104'? Right, we agree.

To your browser, the above two entries become one and the same thanks to the magic of DNS. What the system does is to map domain names like Goole.com to IP addresses like '64.233.161.104'.

For example, when you type www.pcstats.com into your browser's address bar, the computer sends that address to a DNS server on your network or the Internet, looking to have it translated into an IP address that it can contact directly. That DNS server will send back the IP address if it knows it, and if it doesn't, it will contact other DNS servers all the way up to the root of the Internet until it finds the address it's looking for. The entire process generally takes less than a second.

Internet Service Providers generally assign each customers computer a DNS server to contact when the connection is first set up. If you are using a home Internet sharing device, it will receive DNS requests from your network and pass them on to the ISP's server. Without a DNS server, the web browser will be unable to transform domain names (URLs) like www.pcstats.com into IP addresses, and thus cannot access web pages.

DNS and Website Hosting

Technically, you don't NEED a domain name to host a website. If your home computer is connected to the Internet with IIS running, and you have created a web page (in a special folder), anyone on the internet can access that information by typing the IP address of your home computer into their web browser.

If you want to have a website that people will actually visit though, it's best to get a domain name, preferably a catchy one.

How do I get a DNS domain name for my website?

To get a domain name, you'll need to register your choice with one of the many, many domain name registration services. Network Solutions is the grandaddy of them all, but there are other independent companies which offer more competitive pricing on a yearly, or multi-yearly basis. It pays to do some research, and we would suggest choosing a domain name registration provider based in your native country if at all possible. A central body governs all domain names on the Internet, and the various registration services have acquired permission to lease them to you for a period of time, usually starting with a minimum of 2 years.

Once you have found a domain name registration service provider you like, the next issue is ensuring the domain name you've chosen is not already registered. It it is free, you can choose the extension (ie. .com, .org, .net, etc.) and register that name. The registrar will always run a search to see if the particular domain name you have chosen is already taken, so there is no chance of two individuals owning 'Google.com' for example. Fees will vary, but in all cases you are registering that domain name only for a certain length of time, measured in years.

Once you have registered your domain name, you can use the domain name registration service's tools to map it with your computer's IP address. From this point on, anyone who enters your domain name into a web browser will be directed to your IP address.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Website Hosting From A Home PC
 Pg 2.  — Understanding DNS
 Pg 3.  Domain names and websites
 Pg 4.  Patches and IIS Options
 Pg 5.  Making a website Accessible from the Internet
 Pg 6.  Hosting a website on a dynamic IP Internet connection
 Pg 7.  Hosting a website on a static IP Internet connection

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