Virtual hosting is a method for hosting multiple domain names with separate handling of each name on a single server or pool of servers. The term virtual hosting is usually used in reference to web servers but the principles do carry over to other Internet services. One widely used application is shared web hosting. The price for shared web hosting is lower than for a dedicated web server because many customers can be hosted on a single server. It is also very common for a single entity to want to use multiple names on the same machine so that the names can reflect services offered rather than where those services happen to be hosted. There are two main types of virtual hosting, name-based and IP-based. Name-based virtual hosting uses the host name presented by the client. This saves IP addresses and the associated administrative overhead but the protocol being served must supply the host name at an appropriate point. IP-based virtual hosting uses a separate IP address for each host name, and it can be performed with any protocol but requires a dedicated IP address per domain name served.
A web hosting service often shortened to web host is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called colocation , also known as housing in Latin America or France. Until , the Internet was restricted to use only " The World Wide Web protocols had only just been written   and not until the end of would there be a graphical web browser for Mac or Windows computers. To host a website on the internet , an individual or company would need their own computer or server. The owners of the websites, also called webmasters , would be able to create a website that would be hosted on the web hosting service's server and published to the web by the web hosting service. As the number of users on the World Wide Web grew, the pressure for companies, both large and small, to have an online presence grew. By , companies such as GeoCities , Angelfire and Tripod were offering free hosting.
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