How to set up a downloading server

I would like to set up a pay-n-download web site. But there are stuff that I need to know:

1. For most of these kind of sites, where do they store their files for download? Do they upload them to web space or do they store in a local machine and let people gain access to those files? In that sense, that would need a local PC 24/7 turned on, wouldnt it?

2. Where can I get the whole pay-and-download web solution ? I mean, or...some cheap one?

3. Which web host can accept huge visiting rate for web sites and wont go down because many people are visiting the site? And also provides huge web space? Of cuz, considering the budget.

Thanks if anyone knows.
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thePENTIUMConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well thats kind of tough considering that you are on a tight budget. Many download sites have their primary download location and then several "mirrors" so if one server goes down, or if one gets too busy, there are more of them. If you are starting a download site, then you should be able to get by with one server.
Harris Internet Services can host for very little...
I believe they will also help develop the site.
All web hosts offer different packages with different space sizes and bandwidth limits. (this is where the huge visiting rate factor comes into focus)
Most hosts will give you a bandwidth limit per month or week. Bandwidth is how much data is transfered. In most cases, the more expensive the hosts get, the more bandwidth you get, Allowing more users. If you exceed this bandwidth then they either shut you down for little bit as a penalty, charge you for the extra bandwidth use, or deny those users that are exceeding the bandwidth amount. This differs among hosts.

But as far as the host is concerned, I host my own website on my high-speed internet line. I don't pay anybody to host it because I set up a computer only for a webserver. It does stay on all the time though, and can't handle a ton of traffic. You might be able to do this depending on your ISP rules, and your computer knowledge.

But then you have to design the site. This takes A LOT of work, because you have to design a user interface, program scripts for payment and user authorization, and secure it against hackers.
Downloading site administration requires a lot of time.And If you do run your own webserver at home, then you have double the work, because you have to block viruses, set up a firewall, make sure that it is secure, etc. So unless you know a lot about scripting and computers, or can pay somebody else to do it, this isn't an easy area to dive into. I haven't seen an all-in-one solution out there for this, but there might be one. If there is one out there, then it is probably pretty expensive.

I hope this made sense to you! If not let me know.
jtcyAuthor Commented:
Hm~~~~ interesting ~~~~~ Well, I do see some pay-n-download web based system that costs around 2000USD ~~~~~ um, am looking for cheaper one, but hard to find. So what site do you run? How to set up a web server at home? I currently just learnt how to open ftp for people to access my local computer, does that mean I would have to turn it on all the time? Which host would you recommend?
Really? Where did you find those sites?

You can see my site if you wish at

Its fairly fast because hardly anybody accesses it... LOL

For setting one up, you need some webserver software and it would be best if you had a dedicated pc for this. On my webserver I have XP Pro, running Microsoft's free webserver software called "IIS" or "Internet Information Services." But I have worked with another webserver called "Apache" and it is much better. I am thinking about changing over to apache the next time I have a free day.
Do you know what operating system your "server" would have on it? (please note that a server system does not have to be fast. My webserver is a celeron 500 mhz. So... LOL.)
For more info on running your own webserver, you might visit This site is what helped me get my server up, and will probably help you out a lot too.

Host? Well I've never hosted with anybody before, so I cannot speak from personal experience. However I am thinking about hosting with Harris Internet, which I mentioned in the previous text, because of the price and value. They are REALLY inexpensive.
jtcyAuthor Commented:
well, i had some *real* experience with joining those cheap hosts. I last and also first time joined with, which always down and even mailed me saying they are going to shut down perhaps due to backruptcy i think, but my site still exists. It is a mess anyway, though their price attracted me (99bucks for unlimited space)~
Wow.. thats interesting! lol

But yeah, I know the people at Harris Internet personally and they are definately not a "cheap" host. I would probably recommend you to join them, or run your own webserver.
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