Host A Web Server On Your Home PC

Host A Web Server On Your Home PC

A web server is a software that runs on a computer continuously and allows other computers to download files, folders, and documents from it. Usually, web browsers are loud and scary machines that you can host a web server on your home PC.

What is the need to host a home web server? Here are some reasons why someone wants to turn their home computer into a web server.

  • You can access various files from an Internet-connected machine such as mobile phone, PC, laptop, etc.
  • You can upload your pictures online to sites like Flickr to share them with your friends and family members. After converting your home PC into a web server, you can connect your camera to the computer and transfer your digital pictures to your designated file or folder.

It becomes easy to download files like a digital music collection and MP3s if you host a web server on your home PC. But before getting into this process, make sure that your computer is updated to all the patches and securities. Remember that this is done through spyware and virus scan.

What do you think are the requirements to host a web server on your home PC. You just need a PC and an Internet connection for it. Okay! let’s get into the process to host a web server on your home PC.

Step 1: Install Apache HTTP server

If you are running any firewall or server software like Skype, Trillian, or any other messaging app, first disable and stop them. If these Softwares aren’t disabled in any case, the installation and startup to fail. Once the web server is set up, these programs and services can be started and used again as usual.

Click here to download the Apache HTTP server. Accept the license agreement and use the default location for the Apache files, in the following location.

C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\.

installation wizard

The installation wizard appears and it prompts you for the server’s information. Here, you have to enter the network domain (, server name, and your own email address. Use the “Typical installation” settings to complete the installation. After it’s done, open your web browser and go to “http://localhost/”. Now you can see that the page displays, “If you can see this, it means that the installation of the Apache web server software on this system was successful.”

Step 2: Configure Apache to share documents from the right folder

If you want to download your music collection with ease using your new web server, you can find all your music files in “C:\Gina\My Music”. Use a plain text editor like Notepad and open the following file:

C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2\conf\httpd.conf.

This is the Apache’s configuration file, which seems long, but most of the default configuration files will work just fine. The only thing is we just have to change a few things. In the https.conf file, comment out the line that starts with “DocumentRoot” and adds another with your directory, like the below:

#DocumentRoot “C:/Program Files/Apache Group/Apache2/htdocs” DocumentRoot “C:/Gina/My Music”

Then, comment out the line that starts with “<Directory “C:/Program…” and adds “#<Directory “C:/Program Files/Apache Group/Apache2/htdocs”> <Directory “C:/Gina/My Music”>” with your directory.

Then save this https.conf file. Then, click on the Apache icon in the taskbar and tap on “Restart.” After the successful restart of Apache, it says that you have edited your file correctly. Go to “http://localhost/” in your web browser. Now you can see a list of music files.

Step 3: Secure your website documents

We never wish to have access for anyone to know our secrets for which we secure them with a password. Likewise, we don’t want anyone to be able to download the music file or the documents. So, let’s create a password to have more secure documents.

First, open a command prompt for which go to the Start menu, choose Run, then type cmd. Change to the Apache bin directory by typing “cd “C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\bin”

Then create a password file by typing the following:

htpasswd -c “C:\Documents and Settings\Gina\my_password_file.txt” gina”

Replace the path with the path of your new password file (which should be in any folder except the web server’s document root). Replace gina in the above file location with the username you want to use. When prompted, enter your password. Then you can see that a password file will be created successfully.

Now we want to apply that login to your music directory. Open up a new file in a plain text editor like Notepad. Copy and paste the following into it:

AuthType Basic AuthName “This is a private area, please log in” AuthUserFile “c:\Documents and Settings\Gina\my_password_file.txt” AuthGroupFile /dev/null require valid-user

Make sure you replace “C:\Documents and Settings\Gina\my_password_file.txt” in the text with your own secure file which you have created. Save this new file in your web server document root (in this case, it is C:\Gina\My Music) and name it .htaccess. Don’t forget the dot before htaccess. So, in this case, we’re saving the file as “C:\Gina\My Music\.htaccess”.

Note: If you’re using Notepad to create your .htaccess file, when you save the file, put the filename in quotes like this: “.htaccess”. Because Notepad doesn’t automatically put a .txt extension on the file. If there’s a .txt file extension, your password won’t work.

That all! You are successful and have known how to host a web server on your home PC. Now, using your web browser, go to http://localhost/. You will be prompted to log in. Enter your username and password which you have set up in your password file.

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