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Build an Internet Server on a Shoestring : Page 4

If you're thinking about setting up an Internet server but don't have much money, this article is for you. It describes how to build and deploy a Web server for under $250.00, using a broadband connection, Red Hat Linux and other free software—and a very small budget.


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Setting a Domain Name Service (DNS) Provider
If you have a static IP address, you can have your service provider or a domain name registrar create a DNS entry for your domain name. If you have a dynamic IP address, you will need to associate your IP address with your domain name every time your server connects to the Internet. This dynamic process is called as dynamic DNS. You should be able to obtain a domain name for about $8.95 (this is the lowest price I was able to find for registration of a domain name for one year. I checked recently, and this price is offered by two registrars: Go Daddy and Bigfoot.) There are many dynamic DNS providers. Just search the Web for "dynamic DNS" to get a list. I chose ZoneEdit for dynamic DNS because it has good setup instructions and easy, Web-based tools for maintaining my account. If you want to use ZoneEdit, you must first sign up for an account, and then create a zone for your domain name.

You will also need to download a dynamic DNS client. I chose DDClient because it's easy to use and appared first in ZoneEdit's list of compatible DNS clients. To install and configure DDClient, unarchive the distribution file to /usr, and follow the instructions in the README file. Cost Summary
The total cost to set up your Internet server as described in this article should be somewhere between $50 and $250, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: A cost range estimate for all the hardware and software mentioned in this article. Note: All costs are approximate.

Service $49.95
Domain $8.95
Hardware $0 - $130
Software $0 - $30
 
Total $58.90 - $218.90

Lock and Load
Once you get everything installed and configured, you are ready for visitors. Load up your content, fire up the Web server, and tell all your friends and neighbors to come on down.


Thornton Rose is a contract developer with over twelve years of experience in a variety of programming languages, tools, and methodologies. He lives in Atlanta, GA, and is currently working at BellSouth as a technical lead. Visit his web site, or reach him via e-mail .
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