Hosting (From Home) for Fun and Profit: Prerequisites, Hardware, and Network - Network and ISP Concerns
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Before you set up your server, you will need to make sure that your ISP allows customers the ability to host servers on their connections and that your ISP does not block or firewall the low numbered ports (below 1024) that are necessary for running servers.
First, consult your Terms of Service to make sure that your ISP doesnít specifically deny you rights for running servers. If your ISP directly denies you this right, you run the risk of having your service cut if you do try and run a server. To avoid this problem, you may want to check with other broadband providers in your area and find out if they have similar restriction. Also, you may be able to change your type of connection (although this may cost more) to get the ability to run servers.
You will also need to check whether your ISP provides you with a static or a dynamic IP address. If you have a dynamic IP (which means that your IP changes periodically), you will need to use a special DNS service to get around your IP changing. You can determine this generally by either consulting your terms of service or calling your ISPís helpline and asking.
Checking if you are firewalled is a little more difficult. You can go to a computer not on your ISPís network (such as a work or school) computer and try to ping your IP address. Also, you can turn on or install a simple webserver and try to access your IP address from outside with a web browser. Also, you can of course call your ISPís helpline and ask this question as well.
A domain name is the golden key for a place on the Web. Getting an easily remembered and quick to say domain name is great for spreading word and drawing new users. There are many different companies that register domain names. The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) maintains a list of accredited registrars here:
In general this is a very competitive industry, so checking several is a good idea in order to get a good price.
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