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.
A common kind of hosting is web hosting. Most hosting providers offer a combination of services; e-mail hosting, Website Hosting, Database Hosting for example. DNS hosting service is usually bundled with domain name registration.
Generic kinds of Internet hosting, that provide dedicated 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.
Another popular kind of hosting is shared hosting. This is where the hosting provider provisions hosting services for multiple clients on one physical server and shares the resources between the clients. Virtualization is key to making this work effectively.
Full-featured hosting services include:
Limited or application-specific hosting services include:
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 has been causing some controversy, as Web.com claims 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 hosting provider, purchased a license to use that technology from Web.com for 10% of Hostopia’s retail revenues. In addition, Web.com sued GoDaddy as well for similar patent infringement.