Is it possible to host a website on the local network with a Windows XP computer as a host?

Also I would like to have the user have to login to access the website (just in case).

Thanks in advance!


You absolutely can! The only requirement for XP is that it is Professional Edition.

I would suggest IIS as it is easier to setup the password protection as you can use windows privileges to control it.

Go to "Control Panel" > "Add or Remove Programs" and on the left side click "Add/Remove Windows Components" Check off "Internet Information Services (IIS)" make sure you have your windows disk as it is required to install this component.

If you need help in how to setup IIS for a website check this link out

As for a password it can be done a few ways. One way is in IIS right click your site and select properties. Navigate to the Directory Security Tab and click "Edit" on the "Anonymous access and authentication control" You can uncheck "Anonymous Access" and setup "Authenticated Access" below.

This is to setup IIS 5.1 on Windows XP. IIS 7.5 for Windows 7 is much improved if you can get your hands on a copy of Windows 7 you will be doing yourself a favor.

Make sure your firewall on the local machine is open on your websites port or your networked computers will not be able to browse to the local site.

Hope this helps.


Certainly, just install/setup some web server software. You can either use IIS, or grab Apache or some other webserver. If you want to restrict access so that no one can get to it from the outside, just make sure your router isn't forwarding port 80 to that computer, this shouldn't be necessary, however.

Configuring user/pass depends on which webserver program you use.

  • The Apache install wizard is asking me to enter the Server Domain, Server Name, and admin email. What do I enter for these? Sorry, I don't know much about servers and such. :P – Mark Szymanski Jun 1 '10 at 15:30
  • If you just want the web server to be running on your client, whatever its name/domain name is... Like mine is "turtwig.amer.corp.mycompany.com" so serverdomain is amer.corp.mycompany.com, server name is turtwig, and admin email is your email address. Don't e thrown by the word 'server', it just means "you and your PC." – Ernest Mueller Jun 1 '10 at 17:54

I like using Uniform Server as a WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP) setup in a Windows environment. You just have to make sure your firewall allows it and to change the .htaccess file to allow public:

Go into the www folder, open .htaccess file with Wordpad and comment these lines...

Order Deny,Allow
Deny from all
Allow from

To comment put a hash -> # infront of the lines like so:

#Order Deny,Allow
#Deny from all
#Allow from

Source: http://forum.uniformserver.com/index.php?showtopic=1307

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