Hosting at Home – Pros and Cons

Have you ever thought of hosting your own website from home? This is a question many people on the Internet have asked before. While there are many answers to the question I wrote above, I will give my basic opinion on the matter.

Hosting from home is not always easy. You have to manage:

  • Your Internet connection (at least to a certain degree)
  • Internet router (I use pfSense as my router OS)
  • Server hardware
  • Software (including securing your server OS installation and keeping the software up-to-date)
  • Dealing with hacking attempts
  • Clean-up successful hacking attempts (this rarely happens on a properly setup server)
  • Keep consistent backups of your data (I do three backups daily on my server)
  • Putting in battery backups and power surge protectors
  • Dealing with support requests (thankfully I don’t get many of those)

As you can see, hosting yourself can be a daunting task for newcomers! The way I see it, if you have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that lets you host your own server, and if you have a decent computer to use as a server, I see no real reason to not run your own server from home.

The advantages of hosting from home are the following:

1) Privacy of your data

If setup correctly, no one can easily snoop on your private, confidential data that is on your own server.

2) You can choose your own server hardware

You are not limited by a web host’s hardware options for your server.

3) You can easily deal with server hardware failures

You don’t have to wait for a technician to fix your server at some data-center.

4) Possibly cheaper for you in the long run

A decent Virtual Private Server purchased online could easily run $20.00/month, and a decent dedicated server could be as much as $100.00/month minimum!

5) No commitments to a web hosting company

You do not have to worry about some web hosting company making unreasonable demands.

The disadvantages of hosting from home are the following:

1) Possible higher Internet service cost

Your ISP may require you to purchase an Internet service business plan instead of a residential one; this can possibly be expensive but not guaranteed to be expensive.

2) You may not have enough upstream bandwidth

To host efficiently from home, you will need to have at least 3 Mbps of upload speed; any less and you will notice performance degradation with loading your websites from other locations.

Please keep in mind if you are wanting to host several large videos, I recommend using YouTube. YouTube will not only provide the necessary bandwidth for your users, but it also will provide the necessary compatibility (to play the videos for your users) as well.

3) Unstable home power

Few people may not have stable power at their house and thus their server goes on and off; however, this can be easily fixed by putting in a battery backup for your server.

4) Reliability of your Internet Service Provider

Unless you have a signed agreement with your ISP, they are under no obligation to keep your Internet connection up 24/7.

5) More manual labor required

On a hosted solution online, someone else does the hard work with maintaining your server; when you host from home, you have to do it all yourself; however, I don’t mind it!

I hope the above helps you make a decision on web hosting from home. I know there are a lot of people online who say it is “bad, silly, stupid, not smart, wouldn’t recommend it” when it comes to web hosting from home.

With all due respect to those people, most of them have never done web hosting by themselves before, and are trashing something they have never done (which is silly and bad in itself!).

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers