Why web hosting is important.

Web Hosting and Internet Access, like the Yin and the Yang.

Hey, enough with the “Why web hosting is…” posts already!

This is the last one, I promise. After this I’ll try and think of something else to talk about, for real.

Why is web hosting important?

Well, they say the thing that makes the Internet different from (and better than) TV, besides the sheer volume of content, is that everybody can be a producer. They say the Internet is cool because, unlike most streets in Boston, it’s two-way. They say the Internet gives anybody with something to say a soap box to say it from.

Ever since the days of Al Gore, just by getting on the Internet you’ve added to it. Just by being connected to it, you’ve contributed to it. As soon as you send your first email you’ve become a part of this thing, and your contributions are as important as anybody else’s, except for mine.

If nobody watched TV or listened to the radio, the networks could (and probably would) keep broadcasting anyway. But if everybody disconnected from the Internet, there would actually be no Internet.

Today’s Internet, like the big dig, is wider, faster, and handles more traffic than ever before! But Today’s Internet is something like a tunnel with eighteen lanes going south and just one going north. Even as consumer broadband download speeds pass 6mbps, upload speeds hover around 384kbs.

Not to mention, just about every ISP has in their terms of service something like:

You are prohibited to run programs, equipment, or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises LAN (Local Area Network), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited services and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;

I don’t blame them! If they allowed servers and 6Mbps uploads, there’s no way they could provide what they do for the price they do. And truth be told, Mr. Joe Everyman doesn’t have the knowledge or desire to contribute more to the Internet than the occassional “me too!” Way less than 20% of the people on the Internet ever create any content, which is also a big part of why broadband is $40 a month and web hosting is $8.

ISPs are the yang of the Internet.

Hey, it’s their business, and they can run it how they want. If it weren’t for them, .edu and .gov would still be the top two TLDs! And, if they did somehow offer 6Mbs uploads and servers for $40/month, web hosts would be in big trouble. (Well, not that big, since web hosting is hard!) But as it is now,

Web hosts are the yin of the Internet.

The Internet needs both. The Internet needs content to be worth-while for people to visit, and the Internet needs visitors for it to be worth-while to create content. And thanks to web hosting, the content providers and visitors are the same dude. Mr. Tetsuya Everysan can afford both broadband to visit the Internet and a web hosting account to contribute to it.

And Mr. Mohammed Bin-Every can keep driving to New Hampshire even as the rest of the Internet seems headed to Rhode Island.