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Personal web server

(also PWS)

Personal web server definition

A personal web server (PWS) is a software program that allows a person to host a website or web application on their own computer. Serving as a streamlined alternative to more intricate web server options, PWS is designed for modest or localized applications, such as evaluating web apps or sharing files across a home network.

Personal web server examples

  • Microsoft's personal web server: A discontinued web server software for Windows operating systems, allowing users to host websites from their own computers.
  • XAMPP: A popular, open-source web server solution that combines Apache, MariaDB, PHP, and Perl, enabling users to create a local web server for development purposes.

Personal web server vs. full-fledged web server

A PWS is a lightweight, easy-to-use solution for hosting websites or web applications locally, making it ideal for developers and hobbyists. Full-fledged web servers, on the other hand, are designed for hosting websites on the internet, providing robust features, security, and scalability.

Pros and cons of a personal web server


  • Simple setup and installation.
  • Ideal for development and testing purposes.
  • Low cost or free.


  • Limited features compared to full-fledged web servers.
  • Not suitable for hosting websites with high traffic or resource demands.
  • Potential security risks if not properly configured.

Tips for using a personal web server

  • Always keep your PWS software up-to-date to ensure security and stability.
  • Use a firewall to protect your computer and network from unauthorized access.