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  Free web hosting service

A free web hosting service is a web hosting service that is free, usually advertisement-supported and of limited functionality. Free web hosts will either provide a subdomain (yourname.example.com) (e.g. 50megs, Byethost, Trap17, Qupis) or a directory (www.example.com/~yourname) (e.g. GeoCities). In contrast, paid web hosts will usually provide a Second-level domain along with the hosting (www.yourname.com). Some free hosts do allow use of separately-purchased domains. Rarely, a free host may also operate as a domain name registrar, but their registry services are usually more expensive than others.

A few free web hosts have a basic package for free (e.g. Freewebs), and enhanced packages (with more features) for a cost. This allows users to try the service for an initial trial (see how it performs compared to other hosts), and then upgrade when (and if) needed.

Free hosting may have the following limitations:

1. Limitation on the size of each hosted file.       

2. Very small bandwidth per month compared to paid hosting.    

3. Prevents hotlinking of files.        

4. Do not allow certain file types (for example MP3, MPEG, ZIP etc.)      

5. Compulsory placement of the Webhosts' Banner or Popup ads into all web pages. 

6. Do not provide any uptime guarantee.

Some free host may provide these extra features:

1. A web based control panel

2. File transfer via FTP

3. Scripting languages: PHP, ASP, Perl etc.

4. Relational databases such as MySQL

5. Scheduled processes, known as cronjobs

6. Free email accounts for the domain or subdomain hosted

7. Other features such as guestbooks (e.g. Bravenet)

Methods of giving out Webhosting

A few methods of giving out Free Webhosting to people by Webhosts

Instant Activation

Hosts with Instant Activation usually give very little storage space and bandwidth allowance, and have lots of limitations. The webhosts usually either require the users' web pages to display their banner ads, textlink ads, or popups; or else the users' files to be uploaded through a web-based file manager that display ads to the user uploading files. Hosts with Instant Activation are often abused by spammers, which upload pages to these hosts to use for Link spamming.

Approved Activation

Hosts with approved activation offer good space and Bandwidth but low on features. Approved applications are processed by administrators hired by the free hosting company who validate the applications depending on the details provided by the users. The main objective behind manual approval is to prevent spam and phishing websites.

Activation time can be as low as few minutes or as long as a week. Different hosts have different policies for Approval and Activation.

Post for Hosting

Some free hosts require posting in a forum. Forum-based free hosting requires users to either reach a certain amount of posts before getting a free hosting account, or be an active contributor in the forum. Forum-based free hosting often work on a system of points where posts give points to a user and can be used as credits toward getting a hosting account or more resources. Typically, the forum where users have to post contain excessive advertising.

A typical example of this system would be to post to gain "credits" (points). Perhaps every credit is equivalent to 24 hours or a day. So, if you make a post and get 7 credits, Your hosting account would be active for 7 days. The amount of credits you can collect is unlimited and is distributable among other forum members. Different hosts have different policies.

Forum Applications

This method is popular, as the hosts can decide which applications to deny and allow. This is common when a popular forum has free hosting as an add-on service, rather than the other way around.

File hosting on Webhosts

Most free web hosts discourage using their services for file or image hosting only, with no web page, since advertising is displayed on the web page. Because of this, hotlinking is usually disallowed on free hosts. Some free webhosts will also disallow files over a certain size (for example, 5 MB). However, there are free file hosting services which allow large files as well as hotlinking.

Texts are from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia