Internet hosting service
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (July 2011)|
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 various kinds of services offered.
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.
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Full-featured hosting services include:
- Complex Managed Hosting, applies to both physical dedicated servers and virtual servers, with many companies choosing a hybrid (combination of physical and virtual) hosting solution. There are many similarities between standard and complex managed hosting but the key difference is the level of administrative and engineering support that the customer pays for – owing to both the increased size and complexity of the infrastructure deployment. The provider steps in to take over most of the management, including security, memory, storage and IT support. The service is primarily proactive in nature. 
- Dedicated hosting service, also called managed hosting service, where the hosting service provider owns and manages the machine, leasing full control to the client. Management of the server can include monitoring to ensure the server continues to work effectively, backup services, installation of security patches and various levels of technical support.
- Virtual private server, in which virtualization technology is employed in order to allow multiple logical servers to run on a single physical server
- Colocation facilities provide just the Internet connection, uninterruptible power and climate control, but let the client do his own system administration; the most expensive
- Cloud hosting, which can also be 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 / cyberlocker
- Web hosting service
- E-mail hosting service
- DNS hosting service
- Game servers
- Wiki farms
Internet hosting services include the required Internet connection; they may charge a flat rate per month or charge per bandwidth used — a common payment plan is to sell a predetermined amount of bandwidth and charge for any 'overage' (Usage above the predetermined limit) the customer may incur on a per GB basis. The overage charge would be agreed upon at the start of the contract.
Web hosting technology had been causing some controversy around 2006 as Web.com claimed that it holds patent rights to some common hosting technologies, including the use of a web-based control panel to manage the hosting service, with its 19 patents. Hostopia, a large wholesale host, purchased a license to use that technology from web.com for 10% of retail revenues. Web.com sued Go Daddy as well for similar patent infringement.