I have a Server type computer, I was wondering what you
recommend I use as an OS and how to use it to host my own websites and/or use
it as an FTP site.
You’ve got a machine on the internet. Why not let people connect to a site you host on your
It’s certainly possible. The question is – is it the right way to do it?
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Actually, what OS you use is less important than how you’re connected to the
internet. Some ISPs don’t allow servers on the connections they provide. Others
charge a bit more for the ability to do so. If you’re using broadband (DSL or
Cable), remember that while it might be fast enough for you, it’s shared between
you and everyone who might be connecting to your server. It can get clogged and
slow very quickly.
Your machine will need to be on 24 hours a day, and you’re most likely going
to need a static IP address – dynamic (or changing) is the more common default.
You’ll also probably want to grab a domain name (like “example.com”) so people
can find you.
Once you’ve got the physical connection, I’d run Windows 2000 Server or
Windows 2003 Server, both of which come with the software to host a web or ftp
site: IIS (Internet Information Services). Another alternative would be a Linux
distribution; most come with ftp software as well as the Apache web
I’ll warn you that you’re in for an education. Hosting a server is not a
trivial task and not for the faint of heart. My recommendation for most folks
is rather than hosting their own, spend a few dollars a month and go to a
shared hosting company where you can get some space on a server that’s
maintained by someone else. In fact, your ISP probably already has some set
aside for you.