How to run you own website over a residential DSL connection for free

by Craig A. Smith

The always-on nature of DSL provides the ability to host your own site for free.  Sorry, but cable-modem providers generally won't allow this.  According to Doc Searl, the entertainment industry wants a "one way internet" like TV where they control the content and you don't have a voice.

Just tell you web server it's got a static ip and then have the DSL modem forward traffic on port 80 (http) to that address.  I've done this with a Cisco 645 and the Actiontec 1520.

No static ip?  No problem!   Register for a free domain from dyndns. They run a free DNS service for dynamic ip address.  You run a client program that checks your global ip ever few minutes.  If it changes, the program automatically updates the DNS so you get  a static name that follows your dynamic address.  For a one-time fee of $10 they'll also provide DNS for any domain (this is in addition to the $10-35 per year you'll pay to the registrar of your choice for the name).


 Actiontec 1520/1540

Since the modem's DHCP server hands out address starting at the low numbers, I've  told my web server it has a high numbered  address like   Point your favorite browser at for the Actiontec's friendly Main Menu. Click Setup and then Advanced Settings.  Next click Port Forwarding to send port 80 traffic to that ip address.  I also  forward ports 20-21 (ftp) and 22 (secure shell) so I can manage content and software remotely.  If you want, you can also restrict the DHCP address ranges so as not to overlap your webserver.

Check out some of the other cool stuff this hardware does, like Wireless Settings (requires WiFi card ) NAT, and Website Blocking.

updated 2003-10-06  by Craig A. Smith
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