While it can often times being counter-productive to do so, there are instances where it can be beneficial to run a your own web server yourself without help from a web hosting company. In these instances, I find it’s worthwhile to locate stable webserver software for the platform you are to be running things from. And because for most of you this will be Windows, this translates into finding compatible web server to meet your needs.
Recommended Web sever software for the Windows host
IIS aka Internet Information Services – Among one the most popular proprietary web server software solutions available, IIS is considered a strong Microsoft option for hosting a website on a Windows box. One thing to note here however, is that IIS is considered to run both in userland and at the kernel level. How secure this actually is, remains a bit of a debate.
Apache HTTP Server- Licensed open source under the Apache software license, this freely available web server will do anything you could possibly want and a whole lot more. It differs however as it may be seen as more complex than other solutions of a GUI nature. Apache runs in userland.
Abyss Web Server – I have found that for Windows users looking for easy yet secure, Abyss is pretty good for the most part. Like Apache, it runs in userland, which is nice from a security stand point. The provided console is fairly straight forward and will have most people up and running easily. This software isn’t free however, it will set you back you want the full featured pro version. The personal version on the other hand, it completely free of charge. Abyss is proprietary software and runs on all three popular platforms.
Which is the best option for you?
For Windows users looking for a simple to understand solution to run on their own home network (ISP allowing), using Abyss is my best recommendation. It’s easy to use, up to date and won’t leave you confused trying to get it setup. This being said however, it’s important to understand the dangers of running a web server on their home network. Besides potencially being against your ISP’s terms of service, there is a high likelihood that you may be inviting trouble if the server isn’t properly configured.