My 2 Cents Set up a personal home web server

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What is a web server? Wikipedia explain this to us in a few sentence, very simple and intuitive:
A computer program that is responsible for accepting HTTP requests from clients (user agents such as web browsers), and serving them HTTP responses along with optional data contents, which usually are web pages such as HTML documents and linked objects (images, etc.).

Running a server on your home computer is a risky undertaking, and before you start, make sure your computer has all the latest patches and security updates, and that you've done a thorough spyware and virus scan. As always, a strong firewall with explicit user-set rules is recommended.

So let's start.

We need
1 Windows PC
DSL or cable internet connection

Download & Unpack
Go to and choose a mirror. You want the latest win32-x86-no_ssl.msi "MSI Installer Package" release.

My file was named: apache_2.2.11-win32-x86-no_ssl.msi

When you install Apache, you will pass trough these steps:


read this first:

you will be prompted with the server information default:

Here is the settings I used, and the setting that 99% of the internet users use:

Network Domain: localhost
Server Name: localhost
Admin Email: (your any email)

[checked]: for All Users, on Port 80, as a Service

Then you have to select the setup type:

I will go for custom setup:

After you have made all of your choices, click the "Next" button.

You are now ready to install Apache's files. Click the "Install" button.

The installation process contains many steps, and you will see several DOS boxes pop up and then disappear, as Apache performs various operations on individual command lines. When the installation wizard has completed, it will display a final dialog box.

Click the "Finish" button. You are now ready to verify that the installation was successful.

After installing, Apache2 automatically starts. The
icon in the System Tray means it started. The
icon means the "Monitor Apache Servers" is running, but Apache2 isn't started.

You can easily start/stop/restart Apache and Apache2 via that icon in your System Tray. If you get "The requested operation has failed!" error while starting apache use the "Test Configuration" shortcut in the Start Menu to find the error (if the text window pops up then closes before you can read it, your config file is fine).

Now the ultimate test. To see if it's serving. Open your browser and head to: or http://localhost/

If it shows the It works! you have your server software installed and running.

Making Apache point to your files
Using Notepad open C:/Program Files/Apache Software Foundation/Apache2.2/htdocs (in the start-menu there should also be a "Apache HTTP Server 2.2 > Configure Apache Server > Edit the Apache httpd.conf Configuration File" shortcut) and search for DocumentRoot. Change it from something like DocumentRoot "C:/Program Files/Apache Software Foundation/Apache2.2/htdocs" to the location where your HTML files and site are located. In my case: DocumentRoot "C:/public_html"

Then scroll down about one page and change: <Directory "C:/Program Files/Apache Software Foundation/Apache2.2/htdocs"> to point to the same location you set DocumentRoot to in the last step. Restart apache to make the changes take effect

The installation process should have added a new menu group to your Start menu.


Bob Barr

Yellow Belt
Many DSL and cable modem suppliers specifically prohibit running servers on their services. It would be a good idea to first check with your DSL company or cable provider to ensure that you wouldn't violate their Terms of Service by doing this. (When I was with Charter cable, I'd get numerous requests daily to ensure that I wasn't serving up HTML pages.)



@Bob Barr Yes agree with you but you can use port forwarding anyway so in this way even if you are not allowed to create a home server you can do it. Of course that some services can be really blocked by the ISP, but the most important is HTTP and MYSQL the rest can be "outsourced". Of course in this condition you cannot relly too much on this for your business home page.


If you have loads of music files stored on your computer, you may want to share these files with others. There are many ways to do it e.g. file sharing but have you ever thought to stream it?
Streaming your music files means that people can listen to your song collections using Internet technology (web browsers) without having to download / copy the song to their own PCs.
To make it even more useful, you can have a single PC running Sock so at home storing all the good music files while the other PCs connect to it whenever they want to get jiggy with it. Now, that is a super disk-space saver!

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Thanks for sharing the information.

WAMP or XAMPP can also be used to make a home web server.
It provides apache, MySQL, PHP and windows environment. And Perl in case of XAMPP.
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