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  1. #1
    Chemical Ali
    Guest

    Default Home Based Server

    At the moment I'm running 3 PCs on a network with cabling, network cards and a switch.
    The main PC (the gateway) has an ethernet card as well as the network card for broadband (cable) internet access.
    I am thinking of getting a cheap PC (via Trade Me possibly) and using it as a server for the purposes of file sharing, internet access etc. -- so my questions are as follows.
    1: Would I need to install the ethernet modem card in the server along with a network card in each PC so as to enable internet access?
    2: Would I be able to host my own websites on/via the server and what software would I need?
    3: Can I store all my Photos, MP3s etc on the server for shared access from my other PCs?
    4: As I'm a keen online gamer I'm concerned that switching to a server will slow up my games PC (a P4 1.6GHz) -- is that the case??
    5: Assuming I install a firewall on the server should it be a hardware one or a software one and will it intefere with online gamimg?
    6: Would it be worthwhile considering using Linux for the server and is it easy enough to integrate this with my 3 windows based PCs interms of internet access, file sharing etc?

    I look forward to your replies.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    cyberchuck
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    1 - However you connect to the internet, transfer the modem to the server and then install it (pretty simple). If you're using Win98SE or later then you can use ICS to access the internet through the lan - plenty of demonstations and How-to's if you search the forum - (don't forget that Firewalls can wreck havoc with this sort of thing)
    2 - You will need a webserver program to host websites. A few I can list off the top of my head IIS (comes with WinXP Prof and 2k IIRC), PWS (free download from Microsoft which is the Win98 version of IIS), Apache, Xitami (free and lightweight) etc. What you get depends on what you want - do you want static HTML pages or dynamic ASP/PHP ones? You will most likely also need a dynamic DNS account (no-ip.com, dyndns.com, etc) which you can use to point your webserver to www.myname.no-ip.com and so forth, just set the auto IP updater to update once every 12hrs or so (depending on whether you are on dialup, adsl, etc)
    3 - Yes you can, just store them on the server and then share the directory. You can even map the network drive to a Drive letter if you really wanted too.
    4 - Yes and No... It depends really, for example do you intend to go
    Network PCS <-> Server <-> Internet (which means all internet traffic goes through the server and you'll find that you may have slower games depending on how heavily used the server gets), or
    Network PC's and Server <-> Router <-> Internet (which means the router handles all connections to the internet and shares it around which will result in less lag)
    5 - Software unless you really want to invest in a hardware firewall...? Assuming you tell the firewall to allow Internet connection Sharing access to the internet you will find that you have free rein over the entire internet from your workstations, however, be aware that firewalls which are non local (eg: on the server ) will only monitor traffic on that machine and will not manage your local traffic (so if you get a Trojan or something it could potentially connect through the servers firewall.. Although it could have problems on it's way back due to the nature of ICS)
    6 - Linux is yes, linux is no. Do you know anything about Linux? Do you want to play with IPTables and IP Masquerading to set it up as needed? on the uphand once the server is running you can configure it via SSH on any machine on your network, so it doesn't need a monitor.. I think there's an article in this months APC which lists the ups and downs of a linux server and how to get one implemented....


    CyberChuck

  3. #3
    agent
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    > on the uphand once the server is running you can configure it
    > via SSH on any machine on your network

    You make it sound like you've never heard of the Windows port of OpenSSH.

    > do you want static HTML pages or dynamic ASP/PHP ones

    You can get the PHP runtime for Windows, which will allow PHP to be run regardless of what internet server you use. Before I discovered IIS, I was a huge fan of Xitami (free, small, ftp server included, can run CGI, etc).

  4. #4
    stu140103
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    > 1: Would I need to install the ethernet modem card in
    > the server along with a network card in each PC so as
    > to enable internet access?

    Yep

    > 2: Would I be able to host my own websites on/via the
    > server

    Yep

    >and what software would I need?

    What OS are you going to run on the server????

    > 3: Can I store all my Photos, MP3s etc on the server
    > for shared access from my other PCs?

    If you want

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
    segfault
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    > You can get the PHP runtime for Windows, which will
    > allow PHP to be run regardless of what internet
    > server you use. Before I discovered IIS, I was a huge
    > fan of Xitami (free, small, ftp server included, can
    > run CGI, etc).

    Also available for windows (and free!) is Apache, the webserver that runs more than 2/3'rds of the web.


  6. #6
    mejobloggs
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    I am planning to do this too. I am on a pretty low jetstream plan (500mb), so what this effect it too much?

    For example, If I used it to host my website, and had a 50mb file, and theat 50mb file was downloaded once, would that count as 50mb in my mb useage plan?

  7. #7
    segfault
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    Yeah, thats right.

  8. #8
    cyberchuck
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    > For example, If I used it to host my website, and had a 50mb file, and theat 50mb
    > file was downloaded once, would that count as 50mb in my mb useage plan?

    Assuming you get charged national bandwidth then yes it will, which is why it's generally easier to find a free webhost to run sites for you, or a service like Yahoo Briefcase where you get 50MB free MB and can make the uploaded files available to anyone you want

  9. #9
    mejobloggs
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    Ok, so on Mandrake 9.2, how would I set it up so that only those on the network could access and upload, but not anyone else?

    I have an old machine also, and I want to use it as a server to run PHP.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    agent
    Guest

    Default Re: Home Based Server

    I'm sure Mandrake comes with extensive documentation, though maybe not on IPtables and that sort of stuff.

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