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What Is Hosting?

How much time do you have? Hosting is one of those core Internet concepts that starts out simple and gets insanely confusing as you delve into it.

Every website is 'hosted' somewhere.

In other words, the 'hosting' entity runs a machine that not only stores a given website but - most critically - makes it possible for other machines around the Internet to find that website on their machine.

Many Internet Service Providers (AOL is the biggest but there are tens of thousands worldwide) offer physical space on their machines for their customers to create and manage their own website. The Provider (known as an ISP) runs the software that enables those websites to be found by those looking for them around the world.

(As you might imagine, there are still other entities charged with managing the software, indexes and other widgets that keep track of tens of millions of web sites. Let's not worry our heads about that at the moment).

If you have a powerful enough machine and the right software, you can host your own website - and the websites of your family and friends, for that matter. Indeed, you can host your Radio weblog on your own machine as well if you are running your own Internet server and have a static IP.

While these concepts may seem intimidating (host my own website? You've got to be kidding ...), many of us envision a day not too many years away when most of us will indeed host our own sites - or, rather, our personal computers will do that with a surprising minimum of fuss required on our part.



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Last update: 06/09/2002; 3:52:47 PM.