I am using shared internet connection at home. The main computer is connected to internet through the internet gateway. (my computer is connected to the main computer in a LAN and i use the shared internet connection on the main machine).

Is it possible for me to deploy a web server on my computer such that any http request coming in is routed to my computer(which is hooked up using the shared internet) and the response is routed back through the main computer(which is connected to the internet gateway).

I am using Windows XP on both the systems.
My knowledge about networks is very limited. Please excuse me if this question sounds foolish.

Thanks a lot,

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Wow that’s going to be tough, the simple answer is yes it’s possible. By installing web server software like apache on your computer you can host a website off that computer. There are however a few problems which are very likely to impede your web hosting aspirations:

A) Firewall rules - May not allow HTTP Traffic to flow in thru the Gateway or the shared internet connection, (if you have access to the control panel on the gateway you can add a rule allowing the traffic)

B) Dynamic IP Address - If your Gateway uses PPP or some other controlled access system to start / stop traffic then there’s a good chance your IP address is always changing, making it hard to host a website because the address would be different every time

If you’re serious about hosting a site check and see if your ISP has any website space allocated for your account

If you aren't going to have a lot of traffic and want to host the web site yourself then you can look at www.dyndns.org to take care of the Dynamic IP problem. I would recommend spending $50-$100 and buying a router and eliminating the ICS though. It would make the setup much simpler. Then you could just forward all request on port 80 to the web server.

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