An article by Top Web Hosting.
As its name suggests, web hosting is a service, which involves hosting web content. There are different forms and types of web hosting, depending on the purpose and on the usage. However, they all involve hosting files, which, once hosted, are made available throughout the World Wide Web. A web host is actually a web server that is connected to the Internet and has its own IP address, which allows users to access it via the Internet. The server's configuration and its limitations depend on the type of web hosting service it's going to be used for.
Depending on the purpose, the hosting service may be:
File Storage Hosting - this form of hosting allows the users to store their files on a specific server. With the standard file storage hosting service, the files that are stored may only be accessed by the person that's using the service. This hosting service generally involves backups of PCs, documents, private files and even other hosting servers. This service may also have certain limitations with regard to the disk space and the root access. There may also be bandwidth limitations, but that depends on the actual service provider.
Warez Hosting - the so-called warez hosting service is very similar to the previous hosting service type. However, unlike the file storage hosting service, the warez hosting service is used for distributing copyrighted materials without the authorization of the copyright holder. To cut a long story short - it involves the unlawful dissemination of files and materials. There are many ways for this to be achieved, but the two main ways are - through simple HTTP downloading and via peer-to-peer connections. The first one involves either a certain website, or, most commonly, just a directory on a server that's been made available for everybody to access and thus download copyrighted files for free. The second method involves a peer-to-peer connection, using the so-called Torrent servers, through which users exchange files between each other. There are a few hosting providers that allow that form of hosting on their servers, mainly because of all the legal problems that it involves. Usually such websites are hosted on private dedicated servers that are registered by third-party companies either in the Middle East or in Asia.
E-mail Hosting - this service is applicable with both shared hosting and dedicated servers, depending on the user's intention. If you wish to set up your own private SMTP server, then you will need either a VPS or a dedicated server that offers the level of access needed to perform such an operation. For standard e-mail hosting purposes, however, you can use a simple shared web hosting account, to which you can point the MX records of your domain name. This is not a service that's widely popular, since the web hosting and the e-mail hosting services are being served by two separate servers, usually belonging to different companies.
Web Site Hosting - the most widely spread and commonly used web hosting service today. It's used for hosting web site files, whose type depends on the OS the server is using - Linux or Windows. Different types of files demand different server OSs, otherwise they won't be shown correctly on the Web. This type of hosting may have disk space and bandwidth quota limitations, server root access and CPU usage restrictions.
Depending on the purpose and on the usage, the user should choose the type of server that he needs for his project, and, of course, the hosting company that's going to provide it. There are several types of web servers, depending on the specifications and the hosting services that they provide. These are:
Shared Hosting Servers - a shared hosting server offers a smaller amount of resources, which, of course, reflects on the price of the service. It can be used for hosting small and medium web sites, which do not require large amounts of disk space and bandwidth.
Semi-dedicated Servers - a semi-dedicated server works on the same principle as the shared hosting servers. However, there are much fewer clients sharing the same server. Therefore, each of them will have a bigger share of the server's resources like RAM, disk space, bandwidth and CPU. Perfect for hosting big websites that do not require root access.
Virtual Private Servers - the Virtual Private Servers are perfect for medium web sites, which do require root access to the server's configuration files. Usually, there are several VPS accounts hosted on the same server. However, each of them is independent from the others and runs its own OS.
Dedicated Servers - a fully dedicated machine set up and accessed by you and you only. It ensures a tremendous amount of resources. A dedicated server also offers root access, which makes it a perfect solution for any kind of web site that requires a web hosting service.
The only question that's left is:
As mentioned, there are very few companies offering warez hosting services because of legal problems. Such companies are being shut down almost every month. Therefore, if you wish to create such a service, you should do it on your own PC. The shared hosting service is the most widely spread type of hosting service. Therefore, every hosting provider offers it. Not all of them, however, offer services such as VPSs, semi-dedicated servers and dedicated servers. Most of the smaller hosting providers do not have the resources needed for maintaining those services. That's why it's always best to go with a bigger company that can provide its clients with all the services that they need. You can easily recognize such companies by the types of services that they are offering and by the way that they present them to the clients. For instance, some providers allow you to start with a smaller web hosting package and then upgrade to a bigger one, if you find it necessary to do so. This is quite convenient, since you do not have to move websites between servers and there is no risk of experiencing downtime because of all the problems that may occur. Companies like 'NTCHosting' are offering all kinds of services and have the needed server resources and staff to assure that their clients will not experience any problems when changing services, which is what a top hosting company is actually all about.