Do you cringe at the thought of buying a domain and putting up with the headache of trying to make sure your IP address is up to date with your domain? Do you hate the 40 dollars you spend on DNS service each year to resolve your IP address to your hostname? Read on and learn the the flat-broke-and-busted way of maintaining a fixed hostname for your IP...even if you have dialup.
I'll divide this up into 2 sections. The first will deal with Linux. The second, Windows. This is only something that I've found easy to do and the price is just right (it's free). The only thing that I recommend is a dedicated internet connection (cable, DSL) but even this is not necessary.
I'm assuming that you aren't behind a firewall/proxy of any kind. If so, you'll need to configure this on your own as an extra step.
No matter what version of Linux you run, chances are that you'll have the apache webserver installed by default. This is good news as over half the websites of the world are run by the extremely efficient and speedy apache. I'm not going to address the specifics of how to set up your page...only how to get it a fixed address without buying a domain. So, you have your pages dropped into your webservers public directory...good. Now, how to resolve your IP...lets say it is...126.96.36.199 (for our example) and you want it to have a host.name.com to bind to. Easy. Go to http://www.no-ip.com/index.php and sign up. You can get a site from noip that is like yourname.theirdomain.com/.net/.info. They have cool names like sytes.net and servebeer.org...even workisboring.com
The linux client is a tar.gz source and is simple to install. Follow the instructions. You now are the proud owner of yoursite.theirsite.com and your IP will ALWAYS update (as long as noip.com is up) each time you log on/sign on/beam up or whatever it is you do.
First you need a free and clear webserver since one is not included by default with windows. I recommend Abyss Webserver. You can get Abyss from http://download.com.com/3000-2165-10283992.html?tag=lst-0-1
Interestingly enough, Abyss is also FREE! I ran it while my linux machine was being worked on (bad hard disk...it was a Quantum 200MB drive from 1913...had to upgrade) and it worked just great off of XP Home! Download that puppy and install it. Make sure you read all of the documentation and familiarize yourself with how Abyss does business.
The next step...getting a hostname... is even easier than the linux method because you don't have to manually install the noip client...they have a windows installer. Go to http://www.no-ip.com/index.php and sign up. Choose the domain name you would like (see above examples in Linux section). Next, download the noip client from the download tab: https://www.no-ip.com/downloads.php but this time choose the windows client. From there, you'll be able to install this with a simple double click. Fill in all of your information (pretty self explanatory) and make sure that it will run with each time you sign on. You're set! Your IP will now resolve to the yourchoice.theirhostname.com
You don't have to spend a dime to keep a domain bound to your IP. This is perfect for the home user who just wants a gallery or homepage. It's even good for someone who has a weblog or enthusiast site. I would not recommend this to anyone who has a business and wants to run a site. Just remember that the best things in life are free. Thanks open source!!!
PS: It's always good form to put a link of the stuff you are using on your website to direct traffic back to your software provider. I included a noip link on my mainpage and also an abyss webserver icon as well. It's just good form and some companies/software providers necessitate the use of their logo or a link on sites that use their software/code. Just be a nice person and give a linkback to them. Good luck! Have fun!