Installing and configuring a personal Web server has become an increasingly popular undertaking in recent years. Given the widespread availability of broadband Internet connections to the home, setting up your own Web server is not only easy and inexpensive, but can also save you money if you plan to host your own small Web site. While a Web server running on a Windows XP Professional system may not be practical for sites that will ultimately experience large volumes of traffic, it does present a good solution for those looking to set up a small Web site, learn something about how a Web server works, or even want a way to gain access to critical files while on the road.
The Web server software included with Windows XP Professional goes by the same name as its Windows Server counterpart, Internet Information Services (IIS). IIS is not installed on Windows XP Professional systems by default, but it is available for installation as a Windows component. Unfortunately, Windows XP Home does not include IIS – if you’re running XP Home and want to install your own Web server, you’ll need to look toward a third-party solution, such as the free and popular Apache Web server.
In this mini-series we cover all you need to know to install and configure your own IIS-based Web server from scratch, as well as how to get an FTP server up and running if that’s your goal. Even if you ultimately choose to go the Apache route as a solution, you’ll be happy to know that many of the concepts are similar, if not identical, to those associated with installing and configuring the Web server component of IIS.