Putting server on the internet or not

Edward Dekkers edward at tripled.iinet.net.au
Wed Dec 14 05:15:08 UTC 2005

For the first time ever, with my new account I will get a static IP 
address and high bandwidth (no more dial-up finally!!!).

I've purchased a domain which is waiting to have IP addresses tied to it 
(currently parked).

The question is - is it worth pointing the IP addresses directly at my 
server, and hosting my mail and http directly from this server, or would 
it be considered smarter to have everything hosted at the ISP still?

Bear in mind my web-site has always been hosted at my previous ISP, and 
I've always fetch mailed and masqueraded sendmail via my ISP's SMTP 
server before. This direct way would be completely new to me.

In the benefits I see that I have full control over my mail, adding, 
subtracting users, forwarders, auto responders, scripting, etc. that I 
never had before. However on the other side of the coin I guess I'd have 
to batten down the hatches for hackers.

With the web site also, if I hosted this myself, I could finally do some 
dynamic web pages (php, mysql, whatever...), whereas previously I'd be 
stuck with standard .html pages at my ISP.

How easy is it for me to set up? I've never done this before. I know I 
need to set up (reverse) DNS, MX records from reading this list over the 
years, but I have absolutely no idea how to actually DO it, and what 
steps to follow.

Most important question - to me it seems worth it, but is it unsafe for 
someone of my experience to do?

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