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HomeWeb Servers..

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HomeWeb Servers..

Hello,

My reason for writing in this forum is to ask for some advice. I currently want to setup my own web/mail server. This i because i want to learn more on the subjet and how to set one up properly using similar kit to the ones on the racks. Im thinking about buying a Cobalt Qube2 (Gateway OEM model) as they use hardly any power and are compact. My real question is... Does this ISP allow for us to setup these type of servers, or are they banned?

Also can we setup DNS servers, as i would liketo direct domains i register to my server solely setup by myself

Many Thanks In Advnace,
Steven
3 REPLIES
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HomeWeb Servers..

Running your own servers which are visible from the Internet is an accepted practice for Free-Online customers. Free-Online's only restriction (that I'm aware of) is that you must not run an open-relay mail server, since this would allow spammers to use your mail server to pour their material on to the Internet. I believe the Free-Online Terms and Conditions (or Acceptable Use Policy) state they reserve the right to run checks to ensure you don't have an open-relay mail server.

Concerning the DNS part of your question, when you register a domain name, you have to provide two name servers. Because you have only one IP address visible from the Internet, you cannot meet that condition (on your own network, anyway). When you register a domain name, the registrar ("registration agent" or whatever you want to call it) you use normally stipulates its own DNS servers in the registration. Some registrars allow you to manipulate DNS entries as part of their service. Another possibility is to "transfer in" your domain to Free-Online, which means you can use the DNS tool which will then become available to you under the Domain names link over on the left. Depending on which account type you have, you may be entitled to host one or more domains of your own on Free-Online, free of charge. Links from the Domain names page will provide more information.

NB: "Hosting free of charge" here means you have to pay to register the domain (either through a third-party registrar -- which can be the cheaper option -- or through Free-Online), but once registered, you can host the domain for no extra charge (up to the limit for your account type). This means email for your domain(s) will map on to your Free-Online mailboxes, and web space will map on to your Free-Online web space. By manipulating the DNS records through the DNS tool, you can direct these to your own network (by specifying your public IP address in a DNS entry).

If you do register a domain name through a third-party registrant (eg 123-reg [currently claiming to charge just £2.59 per year for a ".uk" domain]) and if you want to continue to pay the registrant, rather than Free-Online, for the renewal fees (because it saves you money), then you need to modify DNS entries to point to Free-Online's DNS servers, and raise a Contact us record to request the "partial" transfer of the domain to Free-Online. You'll find there's a specific "Contact us" "Technical support" option for that very type of request.

If you register through Free-Online, all the "transferring" is done for you as a matter of course, so it saves you the small amount of work involved in the initial setting-up.
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HomeWeb Servers..

Thanks for the quick reply.. I'm sort of getting my head around all of this now..

Basically the only way to get a DNS server working is to have 2 IP addresses (2 BB Connections)...

Ive found this site http://www.jhsoft.com/ which shows a nice piece of software to use for a server setup.. Does a DNS server run through one box, and have 2 seperate connections linked to the computer using 2 NICs?
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HomeWeb Servers..

No, not quite. The point about the two addresses is that when you register a domain name, you are required to supply the addresses of two DNS servers which will service requests for name resolutions for the domain you are registering. Normally, the "registrar" through whom you register the domain name (you are the "registrant") will provide two DNS servers for this purpose. Having two separate DNS servers provides a measure of resilience in the event of troubles with any one of them.

I should have mentioned earlier that it is possible to find third-party sites on the Internet providing DNS facilities which may be used for this purpose, and which users may then configure according to their needs. Some of these are free (or free for low levels of use), but I don't know any names offhand -- I'm sure others will be able to suggest some, however.

The fact that your domain registration stipulates DNS servers X and Y, or even that you don't have any domain names registered, does not prevent you from running a local DNS server on your own systems, and the software you've identified would certainly be suitable, conveniently including an integrated DHCP server component into the package. This would be convenient for a small home/business network, and could also provide a measure of independence from Free-Online's DNS servers, since your local hosts could use your own DNS server for resolutions, and this could itself make requests via the Internet's normal root nameservers, and thus not depend on Free-Online's servers (except in cases where Free-Online's servers are authoritative for the zone being queried).

Many ADSL routers now offer similar facilities, combining both DHCP server functionality with DNS server functionality, enabling them to resolve host names for your local hosts which have been configured by DHCP (plus, possibly, others you have identified to the router). For resolution of external names, however, they normally operate as a "forwarding" name server, always relaying the request to the DNS servers identified when the ADSL connection was established (ie Free-Online's 212.159.13.49 and 212.159.13.50) rather than as a full name server acting independently. I believe Microsoft's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) also provides this kind of functionality.

In these last examples, your local DNS server would service requests from your own network -- ie your local hosts; no requests would be received from hosts external to your network, however, since the domain registration points to other name servers.