An explanation of web hosting
As its name signifies, web hosting is a solution, which entails hosting web content. There are different varieties and types of hosting, based on the goals and on the objectives. In spite of that, they all pertain to hosting files, which, once hosted, are made accessible through the Web. A web host is actually a hosting server that is linked to the Web and has its very own IP address, which enables users to gain access to it through the World Wide Web. The web hosting server's architecture and its system resources are determined by the form of web hosting service it will be used for.
What are the different forms of web hosting?
Depending on the objective, the hosting service may be:
File Storage Hosting - this type of hosting enables the users to store their files on a certain web server. With the normal file storage hosting solution, the files that are deposited may only be accessed by the user that's availing of the service. This hosting solution normally appertains to backups of PCs , documents, private files and even other web servers. This solution may also contain given limits when it comes to the data storage space and the root privileges. There may also be traffic quota limits, but that is dependent on the actual hosting service provider.
Warez Hosting - the so-called warez web hosting solution is comparable with the previous hosting service form. Still, unlike the file hosting service, the warez web hosting solution is used for distributing licensed materials without the approval of the license bearer. To cut a long story short - it appertains to the illegal dissemination of files and documents. There are a lot of ways for this to be attained, but the two principal ways are - via simple HTTP downloading and via peer-to-peer connections. The first one entails either some web site, or, most typically, just a directory on a web server that's been made available for everybody to access it and thus download copyrighted docs free of charge. The second method involves a peer-to-peer connection, making use of the so-called Torrent servers, via which users share files between each other. There are not many web hosting providers that permit such form of hosting on their web servers, mostly owing to all the judicial troubles that it presupposes. Usually such sites are hosted on private dedicated web servers that are registered by 3rd party enterprises either in the Middle East or in Asia.
Email Hosting - this service is used with both shared web space hosting and dedicated hosting servers, depending on the user's wish. If you wish to launch your very own private SMTP server, then you will need either a Virtual Private Server or a dedicated hosting server that offers the access level required to carry out such an assignment. For ordinary e-mail hosting purposes, though, you can create an ordinary shared web hosting account, to which you can point the MX records of your domain. This is not a service that's widely famous, because the website hosting and the e-mail hosting services are being served by 2 separate servers, usually owned by different companies.
Web Site Hosting - the most popular and vastly utilized hosting service as of today. It's used for hosting site files, whose sort is determined by the OS the web hosting server is utilizing - Linux or Windows. Different kinds of files necessitate different server Operating Systems, or else they won't be displayed correctly on the World Wide Web. This type of web hosting may contain web space and bandwidth restrictions, root access and CPU usage limits.
Depending on the goals and on the functions, the customer should choose the kind of web hosting server that he requires for his project, and, of course, the hosting supplier that's going to provide it. There are several types of hosting servers, depending on the configuration and the web site hosting solutions that they provide. These are:
Shared Website Hosting Server - a shared web site hosting server provides a smaller quantity of system resources, which, of course, is reflected on the cost of the service. It can be used for hosting small sized and middle size web sites, which do not require huge quotas of data storage and traffic.
Semi-Dedicated Servers - they operate on the same principle as the shared web space hosting servers. Yet, there are much less users sharing the same server. Hence, each of them will enjoy a larger quota of the server's resources like RAM, disk storage, traffic and CPU. Perfect for hosting enormous web sites that do not demand root access.
Virtual Servers - the virtual hosting servers are ideal for medium size web portals, which do need root access to the server's config files. Commonly, there are a number of virtual server accounts sharing the same physical machine. Nonetheless, each of them is autonomous from the other ones and has its own OS.
Dedicated Hosting - a fully dedicated web server set up and accessed by you and solely you. It guarantees a vast amount of system resources. It also offers root privileges, which renders it an excellent environment for any sort of website that demands a hosting service.
The only question that's left is:
Which hosting corporation should I pick?
As mentioned, there are not many web hosts providing warez web hosting solutions because of judicial entanglements. Such providers are being shut down almost every month. That is why, if you wish to offer such a service, you should do it on your own PC. The shared site hosting solution is the most widespread kind of hosting service. So, every webspace hosting corporation offers it. Not all of them, however, offer services such as VPS web servers, semi-dedicated web servers and dedicated hosting servers. Most of the small scale web hosting firms do not have the resources required for maintaining those services. Therefore it's invariably best to pick a bigger web hosting company that can furnish its customers with all the solutions that they are searching for. You can effortlessly identify such hosting companies by the types of services that they are offering and by the manner in which they present them to the clientele. For example, some companies permit you to start with a smaller web site hosting package and subsequently upgrade to a more powerful one, if you find it necessary to do so. This is quite convenient, since you do not need to move web pages between web hosting servers and there is no risk of facing service disturbances because of all the complications that may show up. Hosting companies such as Free Hostia offer all types of solutions and possess the required server resources and personnel to ensure that their clients will not face any complications when swapping services, which is what a top hosting provider is in fact all about.