How to host a web site in the internet through a win XP computer?

Hi all experts,

I have a web site in the internet.  I'm using Yahoo's hosting service.  However, I want to do the hosting by myself.  I have a Win XP Pro computer, it is always turns on 24 hours.  I wonder:

1.  What software I have to install?  Like IIS, but I don't want IIS.  It is too expensive.  Any free and less expensive choice?
2.  What other software I need to install?  Like FTP.
3.  What is the steps of setting up the computer for hosting?
4.  What else should I do?

Thanks for all replies.
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IIS is part of the Windows XP Pro Operating System but it only allows 10 concurrent users.
IIS is also part of the Windows 2000+ Server operating system.  
Neither costs you anything extra on top of the price of the OS.

This is also an IIS forum so if you want to know about other web hosting software I would recommend you ask community support to move this question to the "Web Servers" forum instead.
The first thing to do is to take a look at the following tutorial.  It gives a good overview of all the elements required to host your website at home.

Apache is an open source (ie. free) web hosting platform that will run on Windows.  Yes, you will need FTP if you want to allow people to remotely upload files to the server.  There are a number of FTP server programs available that will run on Windows.
Hi, depends on what kind of web site you want to host.

If the site you want to host is expected to recieve high bandwith you should supply it, and of course the security. You can use firewalls. You may consider Appache web server, unless you want to use ASP/.NET..

You will need static IP address. You need to redirect your pages to your IP.

FTP you will need if you want to transfer files to your computer from outside of ur house. You can find FTP Servers for free.

Stay up to date always!.. I do not know why you want to do this, but it may not be good idea to serve from home. Your computer performans, your internet bandwith and security should be enough always..

Have nice a day.
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Go apache it fee and better than IIS, the apache 2.0 runs great in windows xp and has good support for Dual CPUs

can get from
The version of IIS that comes with WinXP (and so is also free) is very limited.  Apache is a better choice, but WinXP/Apache isn't really an ideal platform either - fine for simple, personal sites or testing, but not really for anything professional or anything terribly important.

I am using Apache for very large pulic web server I pick it for speed and security.  Also most wed server are apache.

I have run linux with apache side by side with window xp, for apache 2.0+ I think its better that running it on linux.
For web site hosting, it is better to run apache in *nix (Linux, Unix), better performace,
more secure, and more stable than M$ Windows. and you can enjoy the open source freeware.

see : http:Q_21079831.html
and : http:Q_21120504.html
Shalom CarmelCTOCommented:
Unless you forecast more than 1000 visitors a day, you can stick to XP pro + Apache. Do not use IIS - it is less stable, much less secure and requires more maintenance. IIS is more patchy than apache.

Get a fixed IP address, if you have a domain name you will have to manage the DNS record and to point it to your computer.
Have a double layer firewall: many routers have built in firewalls, use them. Also, you should have a firewall on the XP - the one that comes with SP2 is good enough.
An up to date Antivirus is a must have too.

I suggest that you drop the FTP idea, lately too many FTP packages have been plagued by buffer overflows.

>>Do not use IIS - it is less stable
Sorry, i had to react to this.. IIS is not less stable/secure or harder to maintain than Apache, its all in the OS. Bad config gives bad performance.

Second, XP handles only 10 concurrent sessions through the network, so no matter what webserver you run you will not be able to allow more than 10 users at any given time. (Without tampering with some configfiles/registry)

FTP is also included with IIS, its all ready to go.. and you`ve got lots of links above to look at. FTP is (If you configure it right) secure, easy, and a very reliable way to do remote admin of a website.

Since you have XP Pro, I`d say go with IIS for all of it. Its works great, and gives you all you need..

Not ture xp windows apache we suppurt 1000 are more  -  I run a large public webserver a have had over a 1000 web conection between to Xp web server  run fine

I run linux and windows xp side by side  with apache 2.0 the windows was a faster
"IIS is not less stable/secure or harder to maintain than Apache, its all in the OS. Bad config gives bad performance."
I completely agree.  The key benefit of IIS (and Windows in general) is that it's user-friendly and easy to learn how to use.  That is also its weakness, however, as there are more people using IIS who aren't fully qualified to configure it properly.

"XP handles only 10 concurrent sessions through the network"
I was also under the impression that this was limited to IIS and that Apache on WinXP or Win2k would handle more than ten connections.

I agree that is stable - IIS

I don't think it as fast Apache 2.0

IIS is hacker maggnet

Apache on Xp has no limits on number of conection
I dont exactly understand your english writing there gjohnson99, but I`ll give it a go.. If you mean that you run 1000 concurrent users on a XP Pro machine I`d say you`re joking... Its just not very likely that XP can handle it, and the webserver is not the problem in such a case..!
You might serve 1000 users on a 24 Hrs basis with no problem, and they might not get any errors if you have quick and straight html pages.
It will however require that you have altered the MaxConn values of the computer. (Witch violates the M$ licensing..)

This means in other words that XP just about can act as a Intranet server, but hardly function a "large public webserver"...

Since this question eventually are going to be PAQ`ed and searched by others I think its important that info like this is made available for all to see.. And for them selves to make up their minds.

"EventID 4226 TCP/IP has reached the security limit imposed on the number of concurrent TCP connect attempts"
Will turn up in your eventlog if you get more than 10 TCP connections on a XP Pro machine, there are ways around it, but none that we promote here at EE as it would be a MA violation and a violation of the license that you bought from Microsoft.

>>WinXP or Win2k would handle more than ten connections
True, but not anymore for workstations..

From M$:
"Windows XP SP2 limits the number of possible TCP connection attempts per second to 10 from an unlimited number in SP1. This can affect performance on server and P2P programs that need to open many outbound connections at the same time"

This is all TCP conns, handling the workload of large volumes of pictures, or ASP pages/Database would make XP slow up, and BSOD.
(We all have SP2 right? We`re not the kind of guys that spread worms and so on.. and do that ugly P2P stuff.. )

And a little detail, the registry changes you could do on W2K/XP Pro was infact also a violation of the licensing.  More users, more licenses...

From a Apache forum:

"XP Pro has a limit of 10 and XP home has a limit of 5.
Apache will continue to serve requests up to that limit but not after that."

And a little M$ beauty:
"The maximum number of other computers that are permitted to simultaneously connect over the network to Windows NT Workstation 3.5, 3.51, 4.0, and Windows 2000 Professional is ten. This limit includes all transports and resource sharing protocols combined. This limit is the number of simultaneous sessions from other computers the system is permitted to host. This limit does not apply to the use of administrative tools that attach to the system from a remote computer. "
That sounds pretty decisive to me.
Yup.. What it dont say is that you can have 1000 connections between a host and 10 users legally and slow.., but who would do such a thing.. and why?
Just to sum up...

1.  What software I have to install?  Like IIS, but I don't want IIS.  It is too expensive.  Any free and less expensive choice?
IIS is free.. Its on your OS CD, how-to:
Apache is another choice, and if you are the open source kind of guy its the one for you..
Macromedia offers one with their studio packages..
And then theres several others..

2.  What other software I need to install?  Like FTP.
Its also a part of XP, Just install it..

3.  What is the steps of setting up the computer for hosting?
Opening ports in a firewall, setting up routing in a server/XDsl modem, getting the site files from your host, or make a new and better site.. The rest is covered..

4.  What else should I do?
>>I'm using Yahoo's hosting service.
Do they offer dynamic domain forwarding? Or check out this: or simply buy a domain of your choise and start the next EE...

Shalom CarmelCTOCommented:
About IIS stability:
We have 25 IIS servers and 12 Apache servers on Win2000 and win2003 servers.
10 Apache servers are a front to Java applications, 1 is PHP and 1 is CGI (C programs).
All IIS servers are used for ASP scripts.
During the past 6 months, we had 46 IIS crashes, distributed normally among almost all servers.
During the same time, we had 8 Apache (and whatever works underneath) crashes, 4 were attributed to the CGI server.

The ratio is almost 1:3 in favor of Apache, on the same platform.
IMHO, IIS is the less stable and less preferred platform.

I suppose that by careful grooming IIS can be brought to a reasonably safe performance level, but I don't want to carefully groom each one of dozens of installations.

jesshonAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all replies ^_^

Actaully, I want to host my small web site where I can apply some scripts and database search, web login account etc.  So, I want to host it in my computer.
Well, just like what was already stated.  You will need a Static IP from the ISP.  If you have Cable or DSL, you will need to make sure that your ISP will allow you to host your own server.  Most ISP throttle your upstream bandwidth with makes for a crappy web server.  Example, my ISP does Allow it, but my Upstream is only about 20K a sec while the downstream is almost 350K a second.  If you ISP does not allow it, they might have went as far as blocking port 80 from accepting connections.  This would stop you from hosting, unless you change your port number.
If this is a simple, small website, your easiest option is to use the IIS that you already have (IIS 5.1 which comes with WinXP).  It does have limitations, but they shouldn't be an issue for what you are trying to do.  A static IP is handy, but if you don't have one, you can use a DNS service that supports a dynamic IP (such as or - both are free).  If this were a professional or commercial site, it would be a mistake to host it at home regardless of web server platform, static/dynamic IP, etc.

Lots of good info in the thread, plus lots more at the link I provided above (Run Your Own Webserver at Home - and the two links provided by yuzh.

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