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Information on Web Hosting

Web hosting

Web hosting is a service that provides internet users with online systems for storing information, images, video, or any content accessible via the web. Web-hosting is often provided as part of a general internet access plan; there are many free and paid providers offering these services.

External links - Directories


A self-hosting software distribution is one which provides all necessary source code to enable itself to be re-compiled from scratch, including all of the necessary tool chains needed for its compilation.

Most Linux distributions are self-hosting.

Also (of a computer language): a computer language which is natively implemented in its own language. The programming languages C and Lisp are self-hosting.

See also: bootstrapping

Virtual hosting

Virtual hosting is a method that web servers use to host more than one domain name on the same computer and IP address.

With web browsers that support HTTP/1.1 (as most do), upon connecting to a webserver, they send the address that the user typed into their browser's address bar (the URL). The server can use this information to determine which webpage to show the user.

For instance, a server could be receiving requests for two domains, www.site1.com and www.site2.com, both of which resolve to the same IP address. For www.site1.com, the server would send the HTML file file from the directory /www/JoeUser/site1/, while requests for www.site2.com would make the server serve pages from /www/FrankUser/site2/.

Domain Name System

The Domain Name System, most often known as simply DNS, is a core feature of the Internet. It is a distributed database that handles the mapping between host names (domain names), which are more convenient for humans, and the numerical IP address, which a computer can use directly.

For example, www.wikipedia.org is a domain name and the corresponding numerical internet address. The domain name system acts much like an automated phone book, so you can "call" www.wikipedia.org instead of So, it converts human-friendly names such as "www.wikipedia.org" into computer-friendly (IP) addresses such as

DNS was first invented in 1983 by Paul Mockapetris; the original specifications are described in RFC 882. In 1987 RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 were published which updated the DNS specifcation and made RFC 882 and RFC 883 obsolete. Subsequent to that there have been quite a few RFCs published that propose various extensions to the core protocols.

DNS implements a hierarchical name space by allowing name service for parts of a name space known as zones to be "delegated" by a name server to subsidiary name-servers. DNS also provides additional information, such as alias names for systems, contact information, and which hosts act as mail hubs for groups of systems or domains.

The present restriction on the length of domain names is 63 characters, excluding the www. and .com or other extension. Domain names are also limited to a subset of ASCII characters, preventing many languages from representing their names and words correctly. The Punycode-based IDNA system, which maps Unicode strings into the valid DNS character set, has been approved by ICANN and adopted by some registries as a workaround.

The DNS system is run by various flavors of DNS software, including:

  • BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain), the most commonly used namedaemon.
  • DJBDNS (Dan J Bernstein's DNS implementation)
  • MaraDNS
  • NSD (Name Server Daemon)
  • PowerDNS

Any IP computer network can use DNS to implement its own private name system. However, the term "domain name" is most commonly used to refer to domain names implemented in the public Internet DNS system. This is based on thirteen "root servers" worldwide, all but three of which are in the United States of America. From these thirteen root servers, the rest of the Internet DNS name space is delegated to other DNS servers which serve names within specific parts of the DNS name space.

An 'owner' of a domain name can be found by looking in the whois database: for most gTLDs a basic WHOIS is held by ICANN, with the detailed WHOIS maintained by the domain registry which controls that domain. For the 240+ Country Code TLDs the position is usually that the registry holds the entire authorative WHOIS for that extension, as part of their many functions.

The current way the main DNS system is controlled is often criticized. The most common problems pointed at are that it is abused by monopolies or near-monopolies such as VeriSign Inc., and problems with assignment of top-level domains.

Some also allege that many implementations of DNS server software fail to work gracefully with dynamically allocated IP addresses, although that is the failure of specific implementations and not failures of the protocol itself.

DNS uses TCP and UDP ports 53.

See also: cybersquatting, dynamic DNS, ICANN, DNSSEC

External links



In the general sense, an internet (with a lowercase "i", a shortened form of the original inter-network) is a computer network that connects several networks. As a proper noun, the Internet is the publicly available internationally interconnected system of computers (plus the information and services they provide to their users) that uses the TCP/IP suite of packet switching communications protocols. Thus, the largest internet is called simply "the" Internet. The art of connecting networks in this way is called internetworking.

Table of contents
1 The creation of the Internet
2 Today's Internet
3 Internet culture
4 Internet politics
5 Internet access
6 Public places to use the Internet
7 See also
8 External links

The creation of the Internet

Main article: History of the Internet

The core networks forming the Internet started out in 1969 as the ARPANET devised by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).

Some early research which contributed to ARPANET included work on decentralised networks (including damage survivability) , queueing theory and packet switching.

On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET changed its core networking protocols from NCP to the then-new TCP/IP, marking the start of the Internet as we know it today.

Another important step in the development was the National Science Foundation's (NSF) building of a university backbone, the NSFNet, in 1986. Important disparate networks that have successfully been accommodated within the Internet include Usenet, Fidonet, and Bitnet. See History of the Internet.

During the 1990s, the Internet successfully accommodated the majority of previously existing computer networks. This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary nature of the internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents one company from exerting control over the network.

Today's Internet

The Internet is held together by bi- or multilateral commercial contracts (for example peering agreements) and by technical specifications or protocolss that describe how to exchange data over the network. These protocols are formed by discussion within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and its working groups, which are open to public participation and review. These committees produce documents that are known as Requests For Comments (RFCs). Some RFCs are raised to the status of Internet Standard by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Some of the most used protocols in the Internet protocol suite are IP, TCP, UDP, DNS, PPP, SLIP, ICMP, POP3, IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, Telnet, FTP, LDAP, and SSL.

Some of the popular services on the Internet that make use of these protocols are e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, file sharing, the World Wide Web, Gopher, session access, WAIS, finger, IRC, MUDs, and MUSHs. Of these, e-mail and the World Wide Web are clearly the most used, and many other services are built upon them, such as mailing lists and web logs. The internet makes it possible to provide real-time services such as web radio and webcasts that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

Some other popular services of the Internet were not created this way, but were originally based on proprietary systems. These include IRC, ICQ, AIM, CDDB, and Gnutella.

There have been many analyses of the Internet and its structure. For example, it has been determined that the Internet IP routing structure and hypertext links of the World Wide Web are examples of scale-free networkss.

Internet culture

The Internet has a large and growing number of users that have created a distinct culture, Internet dynamics. see Netiquette, Internet friendship, Trolls and trolling, Flaming, Cybersex, Hacktivism or Hacker culture, Internet humor, Internet slang, and Internet art.

The most used language for communications on the Internet is English, due to the Internet's origins, to its use commonly in software programming, to the poor capability of early computers to handle characters other than western alphabets.

The net has grown enough in recent years, though, that sufficient native-language content for a worthwhile experience is available in most developed countries. However, some glitches such as mojibake still remain troublesome for Internet users.

Internet politics

The proliferation of the Internet caused vast impacts in the society. Instances include copyright issues, issues concerned with free speech such as pornography and hatred. In response to that situation, lately cyber laws have been created and enforced. Many discussions have raged over the question of how states should interact with telecommunication tools including the Internet.

Internet access

Countries with the best internet access include South Korea (50% of the population has broadband access) and Sweden, according to [1] "Web-savviest nation".

Public places to use the Internet

Public places to use Internet include
libraries and Internet cafes, where computers with internet connection are available. There are also internet access points in public places like airport halls, sometimes just for brief use while standing. Various terms are used, such as "public Internet kiosk", "public access terminal", "web payphone".

Alternatively there are Wifi-cafes ("hotspots"), where one needs to bring one's own wifi-enabled notebook or PDA, for which the cafe provides wireless access to the Internet.

The services may be free (possibly in connection with paid services such as buying coffee) or for a fee (metered access or with a pass for e.g. a day or month).

A hotspot may also be larger, e.g. including the piece of street in front of the library, a whole street, a campus including outdoor areas, a town part or, as is under construction in some places, a whole town; see also Metropolitan area network, Wireless community network.

Advantages of using one's own computer include more upload and download possibilities, using one's favorite browser and browser settings (the preferences menu may be disabled in a public computer), and integrating activities on internet and on one's own computer, using one's own programs and data. (Using public computers one can use one's email box as storage area for data. For programs one may do the same, but the size of the mailbox and restrictions on the public computer limit the possibilities of running one's own programs.)

See also

External links

Web server

The term web server can mean one of two things:
  1. a computer responsible for serving web pages, mostly HTML documents, via the HTTP protocol to clients, mostly web browsers;
  2. a software program that is working as a daemon serving web documents.

The most common HTTP servers are: The most commonly-used web server, Apache, with over 60% of market share as of March 2003, is available from the Apache Software Foundation.

You can find the current web servers statistics from the Netcraft Web Server Survey.

See also

simple:Web Server

This page created and maintained by Jamie Sanderson.
© Jamie Sanderson 1999-2005.