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I want to host an Apache web server in my residence. I live in the Bay Area. How would I go about this? AT&T and Comcast both offer static IP address options. Does anyone have any experience with this--can you tell me if what I'm trying to do is feasible?

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I don't live in the Bay Area, so I can't tell you about your local ISPs. To speak to the topic generally, connectivity via a 3rd-party datacenter is always going to be better than connectivity from a residential / low-end commercial ISP to a single-homed server network.

If your web site's availabilty matters at all, host out of a 3rd-party datacenter. If you plan to have any amount of traffic, host out of a 3rd-party datacenter. Virtual server instances in well-connected datacenters are obsecenely inexpensive today. If you're just doing this as a fun hobby, or for a very low-volume business web site (one where the web site staying accessible isn't relevant to the business) it's totally appropriate to host off of a residential / low-end commercial ISP.

You'll probably want to get DNS hosting for your domain from a 3rd-party provider (a, or someone like them-- they host regular ol' "static" DNS, too) so that your DNS is stable. In theory you could even host your own DNS, but you don't want to. If your local ISPs aren't changing your IP address very frequently (the rule of thumb I'd use is less than every 12 hours) you could probably get away with hosting off of a dynamic IP address and using a dynamic DNS service.

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Well, I don't know what "The Bay Area" is, but unless you live in a co-location facility, nothing is going to be completely ideal.

What one of our clients did was run an ADSL2+ line into their broom cupboard, enabled a technology on their line called "Annex M" which gave them 10mb downstream, and 2mb upstream. Upstream is the most important number, however your contention ratio (how many people you're sharing your link with) is very low. IN a co-location facility it should be very close to 1:1 (which is ideal).

Then, with the static IP, they pointed their DNS entry for their website to their home connection, opened up their firewall, and all was good in the world.

If you want redundancy and failover for when (not if) the link goes offline, this is something far more technical.

It's worth noting that at no stage should you host your DNS on your home internet connection. It's not worth the hassle. Someone like are so cheap it's just doesn't make economic sense ither.

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Sigh. I just got Anderson'd (see…) while writing that answer. But seeing as how we've doubled up on a lot of points, I think that means that there's some definite rules to follow. – Mark Henderson Aug 25 '09 at 4:42
Hi there! >smile< "The Bay Area" meaning the area around the San Francisco Bay. – Evan Anderson Aug 25 '09 at 5:17

I have to agree with what has already been said. With reliable web hosting starting at only a few dollars a month the hassles and poor performance involved in hosting from home are just not worth the effort. Some hosting plans may not cost much more that the fixed IP option.

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