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Security Questions


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#1
sithpigeon

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I was doing some research on setting up a website and server at home and came to a tutorial that showed you how. My only concern was whether or not having a computer be used on the network as a server would bring up security issues for all the computers on the network, or just the one being used as a server. I have an old computer that I don't use for anything and could use that since it doesn't matter if it gets infected or something like that. Thanks for the help in advance.
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#2
ScHwErV

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There are a number of problems with your plan.

First, home connections to the internet use whats called a Dynamic IP Address. What this means is that your IP address will change frequently (as often as every few days depending on your ISP). When you run a website, your client computers will connect to your server using your IP address. If your IP changes frequently, this will cause a problem for your website visitors. Every time your IP changes, you will have to do more work to get the site operational again.

Second, web servers are generally big, powerful, beefy machines. Why? Because it takes a lot of horsepower to service multiple clients at once. Using some old computer out of the corner may put your website on the internet, but it wont be very useful for many people.

Third, most home connections don't have the speed necessary to accommodate running a website. You may have fantastic download speed, but your upload speed is often greatly limited.

Fourth, many Internet Service Providers frown upon people running servers on their network. I know the local cable company here used to scan for systems with open incoming port 80 connections and send nasty letters to their customers. I got one.

Finally, security. If the computer you plan to use as a webhost is on your network, then it can potentially be a threat to the rest of your network. If someone can get into your server, they can use that source of access to wreak havoc with the rest of your network and all the computers on it.

Hope this helps.
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#3
thenotch

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Where I would disagree with ScHwErV is in the use of the system. An older system (you didn't state speed, RAM etc so no idea what your definition of "old" is) can indeed run a basic web server without a whole lot of problems. Granted you are not going to be able to run a busy, dynamic web server, but if you are talking about hosting a personal page then it can absolutely be done.

BUT... like ScHwErV stated, there are now security issues and there are issues with your ISP.

One options, depending on if you are using a router and it is supported on it, is to put the web server in the DMZ. What that will do is separate it from the rest of your network and if that system gets infected it'll just be that system and not the rest of your network.
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#4
sithpigeon

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Thanks for the info. I'm going to keep looking into the idea.
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