If you want to make a small site of your own and don’t desire to pay for hosting prices, this article will precisely tell you how to do it. I had always wondered if I can host my blog or a small site on my laptop computer but looking at traffic and security I can’t. However, if you want to make a website, for friends and family, this can be the right solution for you. It’s free software, so you don’t have to pay any money for this. In this post, I will share how you can host a web server and also deploy a mini website on your home PC or Windows 10 Computer.
How to Host A Web Server on Your Home PC or Windows 10 Computer
- Download and run the Software
- Configure the port
- Test HFS
- Register A domain
- Install The dynamic update Client
- Launch Your Website
1] Download and Run The Software
Download the HFS or Http file server. It is a free and open-source web server and above all that it’s a standalone executable that requires no installation.
- When you run HFS, you might be asked whether or not allow hfs.exe to connect to the Internet. Unblock it.
- But if you have 3rd party firewall, you will have to configure it accordingly.
Features of HFS
Since you are hosting a web server, here are a few things you should know about HFS.
- Download and upload
- Virtual file system
- Highly customizable
- HTML template
- Bandwidth control
- Easy/Expert mode
- Full control over connections
- Dynamic DNS update
2] Configure the port
By default, HFS uses port 80. If your firewall is blocking port 80, set HFS to some other port (for example, 8025) or whichever is free. As a precaution choose any port above 1024. The operating system itself uses ports under this.
- To change the port number, click on Port Number menu and enter a new one.
- Also, if you are behind a router or firewall, you may in some rare cases, need to set up port forwarding.
- For all the help required for port forward, check the link.
- Port-forward can help you out to set up port forwarding. There you can choose the router type and choose a program you want to set up port forwarding for, which is in our case is HFS.
3] Test HFS
Now you need to test your settings before you start. Click the menu in HFS and choose the self-test. If the test completes successfully, your settings are correct, and you are ready for the next step, To point your web browser to your ip address.
4] Register A domain
For setting up a web site, you need first to assign it a domain name. A domain name is another name for a computer ip address. For this, you will need to a DNS service running on your computer, which can be, mapped to a particular ip address.
- Create a new user at No-IP account.
- Login to the site with the account you created. On the left sidebar click on “Hosts/Redirects.”
- Click on Add. In the page that opens enter a domain name of your choice, e.g., “my family pics” and It will create a sub-domain on its server that will work on your ip.
- Your IP is recorded when you add the domain name. If your ISP is blocking port 80, you can choose a redirect given under the same page.
- Click on “Create host,” and you are ready to roll.
- Access the same from your browser. You can add your file In HFS and access the same.
Trust me, I have done it, and it works. But I can’t give the link of my url (as it is hosted on my computer) here keeping in mind the security issues of which I am not aware. So you also should share it only among your friends.
5] Install The dynamic update Client
Skip this step if you have a static ip, but if you don’t, you will need client software to take care of your changing ip address.
- Download the No-Ip.com Dynamic DNS update client software.
- Install it and provide your login details. This program will sit in the system tray and automatically update your NoIp account when your external ip changes.
6] Launch Your Website
You can now decide what page will appear when someone accesses your site, like the default page. To change the default page :
- Open HFS and click on “You are in Easy Mode ” to turn it to advance mode.
- Right-click on little house icon on VFS and click on “Bind Root to Real Folder.”
- Now you can add files and folder here which you want to make available on your website.
- When your site is ready, send the address which you created in NO-IP or step 4 to all your friends.
- You can even see what others are viewing in the advanced mode of HFS.
This helped me a lot to understand how things work, for example, when my blog is hosted and how does my hosting service work. It was a small example on a low scale basis for you to try and for people who want to run there host on their system. Do tell me your experience when you try it. I will be glad if you are also able to Host web server or website on your computer for your small projects.
Update: Also check out Opera Unite, advanced option to create a web server on home pc.