Can I host my website at my home computer? Actually one of my friend, host his website at his home computer and I want to do the same but don't know how can I do that…??
Please help me out..
Yes, you can do, if you only have few visitors. Or you will need a strong / stable internet connection, able to pay for electricity monthly charge, and if you don't have plan to expand your web sites.
Otherwise, choose a good hosting vendor, you will be safer. Hosting nowadays just few dollars per month, and you will have GIG space, transfer/month, and room for expanding.
I guess maybe a free host would be suitable for you
But hosting at home is sure fun
Hosting at home requires some setup knowhow, and you pretty much need to use a spare computer which you have running 24/7, which could be more expensive than just paying for cheap hosting. You also have to worry about security and other server maintenance considerations that come with web hosting.
You can host at home, if you odn't mind having a computer on 24hrs a day and are happy to deal with the software and updates on it.
Depending on your home location and internet provider, it may not be recommended or 'allowed' however.
You might be better getting a cheap host on the internet rather than a home server.
As several others have said you are probably going to be better off using a Free Web Hosting provider such as X10Hosting or 000Webhost and there hundreds of others out there. However they do have rules about what you can and cannot put in your website, basically anything nude, naughty or just illegal and the will shut the site down.
Many ISPs do have a clause buried in the T&C's saying that 'Thou Shalt Not Run a Server' but provided you are not shifiting large amounts of data on a regular basis like movie files then you should slip quietly under the bandwidth throttling radar.
The old iMac G3 is ideal for home sever use because they do not have any noisy cooling fans and can be picked up for almost nothing. (I actually gave my last three away to Freecycle) Elderly laptops or newer ones with broken screens also make for good home servers and I'm presently running a seven year old Toshiba Lifebook with a 3G dongle to keep one small experimental site up.
Of course anything will do at a pinch right down to first generation stuff like PentiumIII and Socket7 chassis desktops when Win98, 64Mb of Ram and a 5 gigabyte hard drive was considered awesome. Unless the site needs to do a lot of number crunching or database manipulation then you don't need a lot of hardware resources.
BTW did you know Android phones can run as an HTML only webserver?
Old machines can promote good code - enforced optimisation.
If a computer uses only 150 watts of power and is on 24 hours a day, 30 days a month, that's a total of 150 x 24 x 30 = 108,000 watts of electricity, divide by 1000 to get kilowatts, gives us 108 kilowatts. At $0.10 per killowatt, the rate where I am, that is going to cost 108 kilowatts x $0.10 = $10.80 just for electricity to run a server at home.
You can get a nice web hosting account on a shared server for half the cost of electricity for running your own server at home. And that 150 watts of electricity consumption is a conservative estimate.
Your best option is to get an account on a professional web host.
Cheesedude makes a good point and like most things in life it's a compromise.
Whilst there is cost savings and bandwidth benefits to be made huddling with the crowd on a shared hosting package, economies of scale and so forth you do lose the ability to use some of the servers features/ commands and of course any privacy as the host has access to all areas. Some actually get very 'unpleasent' if you use encryption for anything but basic password storage.
The cost of running a small home server will of course depend on the individual hardware being used and how hard you are making it work but 120 - 150 Watts is about right depending upon the age & performance specs for a Win98 generation desktop. However disabling the graphics and swapping out the HDD for a 'memory stick' / flash SD card will almost halve that power consumption figure. The numbers get even better for static sites delivering only html, javasrcript, images & video, where no server side processing is required. I mentioned Android devices earlier and the Motorola Zoom tablet uses just 18 watts/hr (roughly $1.50/month using the above figures)
You should be using hashing for passwords - not encryption.
Also the host has no reason to be upset if you use encryption as the code needed to decrypt will also be there. Encrypting would only prevent accidental exposure of the data - they can always decrypt it if they want to deliberately see what's there.
For hosting at home the cheapest solution would probably be a network storage device with UPS attached. Of course that still doesn't handle the system crashing while it is unattended.