July 31, 2014

How to host a website on your Android device

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As you may already know, there are plenty of hosting companies out there, some expensive, some not. Some are dependable, some have terrible up time, and some simply shouldn’t be allowed to offer hosting. Even after looking through a list of some of the best options, finding the perfect hosting company can be a rather difficult thing to do. So why not host your site yourself?

Thanks to your Android device’s capabilities you can host a website by yourself. Note this is not meant to be the perfect solution for anyone and everyone. But, it’s helpful for developers who want to test their website or people who want to learn and test capabilities of their Android.

Here’s how to host a website on your Android device:

Setting up the Server

1. Install and run KSWEB on your Andriod device. The app allows a 6-day free trial, after which you will be required to pay $2.99 for the full version in-order to keep your site running. Other alternatives include My FTP Server (Free) and Pixel Media Server (Free). For the purpose of this article we will use KSWEB.

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2. Once opened, locate the IP Address given on the KSWEB and access it through your computer, or access the ‘localhost:8080′ link through your phone.

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3. Go to “Tools” and click on Start, your browser should now open. The default username and password is ‘admin’ for both.

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4. (Optional but Recommended) Select ‘system settings’ and change password from ‘admin’ to something else. Do this again for MySQL. Go on KSWEB settings and enter a MySQL Password.

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Making your Server accessible though the Web

1. Enter your router’s IP Address in a browser to access it’s admin page.

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2. Create a Static IP available for your Android Device. Access your DHCP settings and select an IP range that your router allows you to use.

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3. Access ‘port forwarding’ and change the ports to 80 and 8080. This allows your router to communicate with your Android device and it’s server.

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4. Access the WiFi settings on your Android Device, and long press the name of your WiFi network until you see the pop-up. Click ‘Modify network,’ and check advanced settings. Change IP Settings to Static and IP Address to the Static IP set in step 2.

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5. Find out your IP Address. An easy way to this is by Googling “What is my IP.” People will use the IP Address to access your site so make sure to capture it correctly.

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For now your site will show blank; you have to give out IP to people in-order for them to access your site. Also, your Android device has to be on at all times in order for this to work.

By installing Keep Screen On Free you can allow your server to be on almost always. As for the content of your site, install FTP Server, you can now add files to your site after you change the ports for FTP. This method obviously doesn’t even come close to some of the best hosting services available, but it’s “free” and simple to set-up.

Have you hosted a website from your Android before? Did we miss anything? What would you recommend to others hoping to do something similar?