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Thread: Turn your Pc into a host?

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    Question Turn your Pc into a host?

    How do you setup your everyday computer so that a user can type ww.somesite.com and it connect them to your computer, and on your computer is where the site is.?

    Please, i am learning what a host is, what a domain is, i just need some SIMPLE BASIC understanding of somekind.

    From the best of my memory, you could buy a doman name back in the day for like 2 dollars? and it would be your's forever? did i dream this, or do they just not do it anymore?

    even if i had a domain, and my computer was set up as a web host. would i have to pay to have my site name turned into an ip? i am so confused. Please try to answere in the order i ask the questions if you will.. Thank You

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    Banned timeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    When you buy a domain online, that domain becomes the ultimate owner. Your site is stored on their servers, but you have access to all the HTML to edit your pages.

    I'm not exactly sure how to set up your computer as a host of a site...

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    1) You need to make sure your cable provider gives you a static IP.
    2) Register a domain at a domain provider that includes free DNS services. A DNS service would allow you to point your domain to your home PC's IP. Domain registration is typicaly $8/year. Try godaddy.com
    3) Deploy a web server on your computer and start serving web pages.
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    I beleive IIS 5.1 (comes with windows xpprofessional) will expose one site publically (for more, you need windows server which coms with 6.0. you can also go with apache, but thats a little out of my expertise). What TS was explaining was the DNS issue with your ISP. Most of them won't allow you to host, so they give you a dynamic IP address that keeps rotating to stop you from being able to host. There are services out there that will route to your dynamic settings. For instance, no-ip.com (I beleive they're a subsidiary of networksolutions) will allow you to host on a non-static IP.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by OG
    1) You need to make sure your cable provider gives you a static IP.
    This is also an option, but don't expect to pay less then $150 a month. Keep in mind, having a static ip opens you up to more consistent attacks as well. Make sure you have a good firewall set up and set up properly.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Once you have XP Pro, install IIS under Add/Remove Components.
    Get yourself a DDNS name with one of the companies, they are free (eg. DynDns.com).

    Either enter that User DDNS info in your router, if you dont have a router download their free software that updates the IP with their servers.

    Setup IIS and a folder where your web pages will reside, under the IIS tab in Admin Settings, and make the folders an application, named accordingly.

    Once the DDNS name and IIS is working then you can give them that information to connect to. If you want to run ASP scripts you also need to install the Scripts Virtual Directory which is under the WWW Service in IIS in Add Remove Components.

    Then they can just type in http://yourname.somedns.com, or http://yourname.somedns.com/myapp/ to access the web site/s on your computer .. IIS has other options you can setup also.

    Also, you could use this free service for your Domain Names ..
    http://www.zoneedit.com/
    They also have API's that would allow you to use/create your own NO-IP type update service ..

    And there is also this one, I havent used it myself yet though..
    http://www.granitecanyon.com/
    Last edited by rory; Oct 30th, 2006 at 12:15 AM.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    The problem with dynamic IPs is that it gets cached at various DNS servers by various IPs. So when your computers IP changes, some regular visitors may not be able to access your website for upto 24 hours even though you updated your root dns servers immediately

    That is why i really won't recommend hosting anything on dynamic IPs.
    A web hosting solution is a good idea if you can't afford one.
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Yeah for a professional type web site, it is always going to better to source out the hosting anyway, or use a Static IP and your own PC if your ISP is good, but still choosing a good hosting company which has back up generators, Sprinkler Systems, and is on a good ISP is better. I pay $10 a month for shared Hosting ... saves me having to worry about it, plus on one of them I have 3 different websites under 1 hosting account ..
    Last edited by rory; Oct 30th, 2006 at 12:16 AM.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory
    Once you have XP Pro, install IIS under Add/Remove Components.
    Wow. Two major security issues in one sentence.

    Quote Originally Posted by timeshifter
    When you buy a domain online, that domain becomes the ultimate owner. Your site is stored on their servers, but you have access to all the HTML to edit your pages.
    No no no.

    A domain name does not own anything, nor does it host anything. A domain name is simply a name-server record that points to an IP address. When you type in a domain name into the address bar of a browser, it is first looked up in the DNS cache (local, then ISP) then in name server records, until it either finds the matching IP address or fails to resolve it.

    If you want to host files on your own computer you need to do what OrdinaryGuy said.

    Dynamic IP addresses aren't really designed to stop people from hosting. It's more to do with the fact that static IPs require more management, so it is easier to allocate dynamic IPs as people connect and charge extra for static IPs. Business-type plans cost more but generally include static IPs. As the others said, you can still host on a dynamic IP, you just need to point the domain name to a static IP (such as DynDNS) that proxies the request to your dynamic IP which is stored on their server. DNS records take up to several days to update, which is why it is not feasible to point one to a dynamic IP directly.

    Actual web access to your computer is done through web server software: like Apache, or (heaven forbid) IIS. Web servers listen on for incoming HTTP requests on port 80 (www) and/or any other ports you have configured, and serve responses to these requests accordingly.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by penagate
    Wow. Two major security issues in one sentence.
    cant disagree there .. though the main security issue is using IIS and the default http ports. But definately would recommend a firewall and antivirus if using IIS ;-)

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Well, you can batten the hatches on Windows and IIS about as much as you can on Linux/Apache, the difference is more how secure the default configurations are.

    So I guess we agree on that. That makes, what, twice in a week now?

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Yep .. default windows (XP in particular) is the most unsecure thing ive ever seen ..

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    I guess that about sums it up... Thank ALL OF YOU, it is much appreciated!!

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by Triple_access
    I guess that about sums it up... Thank ALL OF YOU, it is much appreciated!!
    BTW i Do use IIS but i change the ports (eg. From default Port 80 to: 81, 82, 8024, etc) and also I dont use it for my live web sites .. good for other stuff though such as direct file downloads for friends .. but also have a firewall and nortons (and some others) installed and 50% of Windows XP Services are disabled. .. but its my personal PC also ... in fact I run IIS as well as another Web Server specifically for Geovision Remote Video (DVR). But i think the above posts do sum it up pretty well.
    Last edited by rory; Oct 30th, 2006 at 11:31 PM.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory
    cant disagree there .. though the main security issue is using IIS and the default http ports. But definately would recommend a firewall and antivirus if using IIS ;-)
    I run about 50 windows 2000/2003 servers running IIS
    Never had a server hacked due to a security flaw in IIS. NEVER in 4 years

    How many times have you seen a critical security patch for IIS?? They are rare...
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrdinaryGuy
    I run about 50 windows 2000/2003 servers running IIS
    Never had a server hacked due to a security flaw in IIS. NEVER in 4 years

    How many times have you seen a critical security patch for IIS?? They are rare...
    Not really an IIS issue, but Installing IIS with default settings on XP leaves you open, well XP default settings leaves you open, then having a webserver running just asks for more .. I get attacks every day, many times a day .. Norton's blocks them but I still get them .. If you are hosting sites and not using any form of firewall id like to know how you do it without getting attacked ... cause the hackers love my PC But really any time you have open ports your PC is basically accessible, if they want in they'll get in.

    PS. I install XP SP2 then no more updates ... im a speed freak
    Naw I never claimed to be an IIS expert ...
    Last edited by rory; Oct 31st, 2006 at 01:07 AM.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    It's halloween, you can turn your pc into a GHOST now.

    Yes, IIS > many servers. I wouldn't trust any solution that uses, say, Cassini.

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    Wink Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by penagate
    As the others said, you can still host on a dynamic IP, you just need to point the domain name to a static IP (such as DynDNS) that proxies the request to your dynamic IP which is stored on their server.
    Actually, it is perfectly feasible to point the host to a Dynamic IP address when using DynDNS.com. There are no proxies involved at all and in fact, no traffic goes through DynDNS aside from the DNS query, just like any DNS provider out there. The host simply resolves to the IP you have set; static or dynamic makes no difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by penagate
    DNS records take up to several days to update, which is why it is not feasible to point one to a dynamic IP directly.
    That is not true at all.

    If you setup a domain with DynDNS and have the Custom DNS service (or use one of their free hostnames), you just need to run an update client on your server that will tell DynDNS when you IP has changed so that your hostname will point to the new IP.

    Dynamic DNS hosts, our free service, has a TTL of 60 which is how long in seconds that DNS queries are cached. In a nutshell, that's how long changes take to propagate.

    With Custom DNS, you can set the TTL to whatever you want. 60 seconds, 10 minutes, 12 hours, 10 days, whatever you choose. The expert interface gives you more control over that while the Standard interface lets you choose the type of host and that determines the TTL: Dynamic is 60 seconds, Pseudo-Static is 10 minutes and Static is 12 hours.

    The only difference between hosting on a static IP or a dynamic one is that if you have a dynamic IP, you need to use a DNS provider that supports it. Normal DNS providers have no way of automatically updating a host when your IP changes.

    Google has a listing of Dynamic DNS providers and any of them should be able to let you do anything you need with a dynamic IP without needing a static one EXCEPT for reverse DNS (which is only needed for sending mail to some places). The reason you can't have Reverse DNS with a dynamic IP is that your ISP, which controls your IP, won't setup the required records for it.

    --
    Alan Ellis
    Customer Service Technician
    Dynamic Networks Services, Inc.
    http://www.dyndns.com/

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Strange no one mentioned about port forwarding.ADSL based connections require routers which in turn have to be port forwarded so as to let external users connect to your server which is on a private IP address (inside a LAN) via a NAT-enabled router.

    Port Forwarding
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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by litlewiki
    Strange no one mentioned about port forwarding.ADSL based connections require routers which in turn have to be port forwarded so as to let external users connect to your server which is on a private IP address (inside a LAN) via a NAT-enabled router.

    Port Forwarding
    ADSL connections (nor cable, fios, etc, etc) do not require routers. A router is used to allow several devices to be connected on the same network, but if you only have 1 device, a router would be pointless. Sorta like building a 4 lane highway that only 1 car will ever be on.

    But yes, if you use a router that is NAT-enabled, you would need to setup port forwarding.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by aellis
    That is not true at all.

    If you setup a domain with DynDNS and have the Custom DNS service (or use one of their free hostnames), you just need to run an update client on your server that will tell DynDNS when you IP has changed so that your hostname will point to the new IP.
    I wasn't talking about dynamic DNS services, but name-server records. In my experience changes to these do take several days to fully propagate. If that wasn't true then there would be no real point in using a service like DynDNS.

    But then, if a professional says otherwise, who am I to argue.


    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by aellis
    no traffic goes through DynDNS aside from the DNS query
    I'll give you that one; I should have said "proxies the DNS query".
    Last edited by penagate; Nov 16th, 2006 at 02:04 AM.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by aellis
    Actually, it is perfectly feasible to point the host to a Dynamic IP address when using DynDNS.com. There are no proxies involved at all and in fact, no traffic goes through DynDNS aside from the DNS query, just like any DNS provider out there. The host simply resolves to the IP you have set; static or dynamic makes no difference.



    That is not true at all.

    If you setup a domain with DynDNS and have the Custom DNS service (or use one of their free hostnames), you just need to run an update client on your server that will tell DynDNS when you IP has changed so that your hostname will point to the new IP.

    Dynamic DNS hosts, our free service, has a TTL of 60 which is how long in seconds that DNS queries are cached. In a nutshell, that's how long changes take to propagate.

    With Custom DNS, you can set the TTL to whatever you want. 60 seconds, 10 minutes, 12 hours, 10 days, whatever you choose. The expert interface gives you more control over that while the Standard interface lets you choose the type of host and that determines the TTL: Dynamic is 60 seconds, Pseudo-Static is 10 minutes and Static is 12 hours.

    The only difference between hosting on a static IP or a dynamic one is that if you have a dynamic IP, you need to use a DNS provider that supports it. Normal DNS providers have no way of automatically updating a host when your IP changes.

    Google has a listing of Dynamic DNS providers and any of them should be able to let you do anything you need with a dynamic IP without needing a static one EXCEPT for reverse DNS (which is only needed for sending mail to some places). The reason you can't have Reverse DNS with a dynamic IP is that your ISP, which controls your IP, won't setup the required records for it.

    --
    Alan Ellis
    Customer Service Technician
    Dynamic Networks Services, Inc.
    http://www.dyndns.com/
    Hi, do you guys have any SDK for updating records?
    thanks

    Rory

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    I did it by

    1) Installing XAMPP (google it)
    2) Setting up DynDNS (DynDNS.com is free)
    3) Bargain!

    I have a dynamic IP and it works like a charm
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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by aellis
    Actually, it is perfectly feasible to point the host to a Dynamic IP address when using DynDNS.com. There are no proxies involved at all and in fact, no traffic goes through DynDNS aside from the DNS query, just like any DNS provider out there. The host simply resolves to the IP you have set; static or dynamic makes no difference.



    That is not true at all.

    If you setup a domain with DynDNS and have the Custom DNS service (or use one of their free hostnames), you just need to run an update client on your server that will tell DynDNS when you IP has changed so that your hostname will point to the new IP.

    Dynamic DNS hosts, our free service, has a TTL of 60 which is how long in seconds that DNS queries are cached. In a nutshell, that's how long changes take to propagate.

    With Custom DNS, you can set the TTL to whatever you want. 60 seconds, 10 minutes, 12 hours, 10 days, whatever you choose. The expert interface gives you more control over that while the Standard interface lets you choose the type of host and that determines the TTL: Dynamic is 60 seconds, Pseudo-Static is 10 minutes and Static is 12 hours.

    The only difference between hosting on a static IP or a dynamic one is that if you have a dynamic IP, you need to use a DNS provider that supports it. Normal DNS providers have no way of automatically updating a host when your IP changes.

    Google has a listing of Dynamic DNS providers and any of them should be able to let you do anything you need with a dynamic IP without needing a static one EXCEPT for reverse DNS (which is only needed for sending mail to some places). The reason you can't have Reverse DNS with a dynamic IP is that your ISP, which controls your IP, won't setup the required records for it.

    --
    Alan Ellis
    Customer Service Technician
    Dynamic Networks Services, Inc.
    http://www.dyndns.com/
    Dynamic DNS should only be used where absolutly neccessary and is never preferred over having a static IP. While you may set the TTL to 60 seconds, there is nothing stopping name servers from setting a minimum TTL of several hours or even several days for a DNS record.

    It is therefore possible that updates will take longer to propogate and in my experience sometimes do.

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    VBA Nutter visualAd's Avatar
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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by aellis
    ADSL connections (nor cable, fios, etc, etc) do not require routers. A router is used to allow several devices to be connected on the same network, but if you only have 1 device, a router would be pointless. Sorta like building a 4 lane highway that only 1 car will ever be on.

    But yes, if you use a router that is NAT-enabled, you would need to setup port forwarding.
    A router actually routes IP datagrams across different networks or subnets. Hence the the name router. It does not "allow" several devices to be connected to the same network. You would need a network bridge or a switch to do that.

    If you want to allow more than one PC to use the same Internet connection, unless you have been assigned a block of static IP addresses you need a routing device to route traffic from your assigned IP address from your ISP to your local subnet and use NAT to make all outgoing traffic appear as if it is from the one IP address.

    Most ADSL "routers" have an integrated network switch. This means you don't need to buy a seaprate switch to connect PC's to your local network.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by penagate
    I wasn't talking about dynamic DNS services, but name-server records. In my experience changes to these do take several days to fully propagate. If that wasn't true then there would be no real point in using a service like DynDNS.

    But then, if a professional says otherwise, who am I to argue.


    Edit:

    I'll give you that one; I should have said "proxies the DNS query".
    What do you mean by name-server records? If you mean delegation changes or glue record changes, yes, that can take awhile to propagate but has nothing to do with DNS records changing (like A records) which have TTL settings that determine how long the data gets cached.

    The reason for DynDNS has nothing to do with that really and instead it's simply that the service was designed to allow you to make changes to your host automatically. If you use a normal DNS provider rather than one that was designed for dynamic DNS, they do not have a way to automatically update your host. That's the difference. You'd have to log in and make the changes manually. In theory, if they allowed you to set the TTL you could manually log in when your IP changes and have the same results as if you used us. But with us you can run an update client and it'll do it for you instead and that is the benefit.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by rory
    Hi, do you guys have any SDK for updating records?
    thanks

    Rory
    We have an API for updating host records at this link:

    http://www.dyndns.com/developers/

    If that isn't what you meant, please let me know.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by visualAd
    Dynamic DNS should only be used where absolutly neccessary and is never preferred over having a static IP. While you may set the TTL to 60 seconds, there is nothing stopping name servers from setting a minimum TTL of several hours or even several days for a DNS record.

    It is therefore possible that updates will take longer to propogate and in my experience sometimes do.
    While it is true that in theory someone's DNS server could override the TTL setting and set it's own minimum, I've seen it happen maybe once in 2.5 years when dealing with our 2 million users. And in all the years running my own web/media servers, I've never once run into it. But yes, in theory it could happen.

    Basically, if someone doesn't want to spend the money for a static IP (which I've seen cost over $150 per month), a free Dynamic DNS service will work perfectly fine. While we'd all love to have static IPs, it simply isn't feasible for 98% of the population wanting to run a server themselves.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Quote Originally Posted by visualAd
    A router actually routes IP datagrams across different networks or subnets. Hence the the name router. It does not "allow" several devices to be connected to the same network. You would need a network bridge or a switch to do that.
    True. I was speaking of it's use in practice, not how it actually works, and I stand corrected. When someone contacts us and asks what they need to hook up multiple devices, it's usually easier for them to understand "you need a router", which is what they want, rather than explaining the difference between hubs, switches and routers. When they walk into Best Buy looking to hookup multiple devices, they walk out with a router unless they have technical knowledge, in which case they generally don't ask us about it. Sometimes it's hard to switch mindsets from support tickets/calls and when posting in a technical forums and I apologize for my goof.

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    Re: Turn your Pc into a host?

    Hosting your web site

    The first (and most important) step in putting your pages online is finding someplace on the Web to put them on display - a host. In general, you have two choices for hosting your pages

    - Host them yourself
    - Pay someone else to host them.

    The world host is used in the Web industry to mean a Web server set up to hold Web pages (and related files) so they can be accessed by the rest of the world. This chapter uses host as both

    - Noun: The physical machine that holds the web pages
    - Verb: The act of serving up the Web pages

    Youo need to decide whether to host your own pages or to pay someone else a fee to host them for you. This chapter shows both approaches to hosting - and gives you the skinny on each. You can decide which option is best for you.

    You aren't stuck with your hosting decision for life. If you find hosting your own pages overwhelming, you can move your files to a serveice provider (or vice versa). To decide which hosting option is best for you, consider your needs for the next year, but plan to review your needs in a few months.


    Hosting your own web site
    This section illustrates an average-sized site (up to about 100 pages) that doesn't include more than a couple of multimedia files and doesn't have any special security or electronic commerce (e-commerce) applications

    You can set up your own Web Server and host your web pages yourself. To do this, you need:

    A computer designated as your Web server: Web servers are often dedicated to this task, leaving word processing and other activities to a different computer.

    Web-server software: Common Web-server software packages include Apache and Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), called Internet Information Services in windows 2000 and later.

    In the Web world, the term Web server refers to both
    - a dedicated computer (the actual hardware)
    - Web-server software

    You can't use one without the other.

    A dedicated Internet connection: Your Web server isn't useful or reliable if it's connected to the Internet only when you fire up a dialup connection.

    If hosting a Web site yourself sounds a little complicated and expensive, you're right. Not only do you have to pay for the equipment and dedicated Internet connection, but you also must know how to set up and administer a Web server and keep all the pieces working 24/7. Consider using a hosting provider.

    Using a hosting provider

    A hosting provider manages all the technical aspects of Web hosting, from hardware to software to Internet connections. You just manage your HTML pages. Back when the Web was young, hosting provider options were scarce, and what was available w as expensive. The times have changed, and needs have grown, so reasonably priced hosting providers are abundant these days.

    If you decide to let someone else host your pages, you have two choices for how much you pay:

    Nothing: Some services actually host your pages for free. That's it; you pay zip, zero , nada to get your pages on the Web. What's the catch? YOu must pay in other ways, usually with advertising attached to your page.

    Something: Most Web-hosting services, however ,charge you a fee, from a few dollars a month to triple digits a month. The trick to making the most of your hosting funds is to find just the right hosting service to meet your Web site needs.


    .
    best regards,
    loon
    Webhostforasp.net Hosting Team
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