An Internet hosting service is a service that runs Internet servers, allowing organizations and individuals to serve content to the Internet. There are various levels of service and different kinds of services offered.
Most hosting providers offer a combined variety of services. Web hosting services also offer e-mail hosting service.
Generic, yet rather powerful, kinds of Internet hosting provide a server where the clients can run anything they want (including web servers and other servers) and have Internet connections with good upstream bandwidth.
Full-featured Internet hosting services include:
- Dedicated hosting service, also called managed hosting service, where the hosting service provider owns and administers the machine, leasing full control to the client. Management of the server can include monitoring to ensure the server continues to work efficiently, backup services, and installation of security patches and various levels of technical support.
- Virtual private server, in which visualization technology employed into small multiple logical servers to run on a single physical server
- Co-location facilities, which provide just the Internet connection, uninterruptible power, and climate control, but let the client do his system administration; the most expensive
- Cloud hosting, also termed time-share or on-demand hosting, in which the user only pays for the system time and space used, and capacity can be quickly scaled up or down as computing requirements change.
Limited or application-specific hosting services include: File hosting service, Web hosting service, E-mail hosting service, DNS hosting service, Game server.
Internet hosting services include the required Internet connection; they may charge a flat rate per month, or charge per bandwidth used — a standard payment plan is to charge for the 95th percentile bandwidth.
An Internet host can be a machine or an application connected to the Internet that has an Internet Protocol address (IP address). An IP address is used to identify every host on the Internet uniquely. Because these IP addresses are unique, they are used as the source and destination IP addresses in any IP-based communication. At the most basic level, Internet hosts fall into two categories, Servers, and Clients.