Hosting your WebSite on LowEndSpirit

For those of you who are not aware of LowEndSpirit (LES), I highly recommend that you visit LowEndSpirit Website. In short, LES offers Virtual Private Servers (VPS) for bare minimum prices. You can get a VPS in each of the locations (US, UK, NL, IT, JP) for  3 EUR each ($3.80) which is really very cheap. The configuration of these servers is about 128MB RAM (256MB in case of US location),  2GB or 3GB HDD (SSD drive in some locations), 100 Mb/s port in all locations, 50 – 500 GB data transfer cap (varies by location). The catch is you don’t get a dedicated IPv4 address with any of the servers. You get IPv6 addresses and a NAT’ed IPv4 address with 20 ports forwarded to your VPS.

Usually people spend tens to hundreds of dollars on shared hosting every year even when they have the basic skills to deploy a web server and maintain their own website/blog. When the website gains some public attention, the shared hosting provider suspends the hosting account for heavy usage of server resources. Usually, these providers throttle you when you hit 30% CPU usage continuously for 3 minutes. Also you are restricted to only 64MB of RAM. I, personally, feel that a LES VPS for $3.80/year is much better than a shared hosting that would cost at least $4/month, if you are willing to take that extra step of configuring your own server.

People who knew about LES would mostly use it for private VPN. For example, someone who lives in India uses a US LES VPS as an OpenVPN server and uses it to stream US only content streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. They usually don’t use it for hosting websites. One of the most prominent reason is because they LES doesn’t offer a dedicated IPv4 address. But, here is a solution to this problem. You can use your IPv6 address that is supplied to you. Here is how –

Deploy a webserver

You can deploy one of Nginx or Apache webserver software. There are numerous number of tutorials available to do this. Just do a Google search. The tricky part here is to make sure that the server listens to port 80 on IPv6 addresses. By default, these webserver software are configured to listen to IPv4 addresses only. You can do this in the following way:

For Nginx, open the file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and uncomment the line that says –

listen [::]:80;

This will enable the server to listen on all IPv6 addresses available to that VPS. If you want the server to listen to a specific IPv6 addresses out of the many that are assigned, modify the line to look like –

listen [2607:f0d0:1004:2::2]:80;

Point your domain to CloudFlare DNS

Signup with CloudFlare if you don’t have an account already and point your domain to their DNS. Now, add an AAAA record to the DNS entries of your domain. Just like A records point to the server’s IPv4 address, AAAA records point to the IPv6 address of the server.

Enable automatic IPv6 in CloudFlare

This IPv6 gateway by CloudFlare enables users from non IPv4 networks also to access your website on IPv6. This option is available under CloudFlare Settings –> Settings Overview. Be sure to double check that CloudFlare is enabled for all the AAAA records (the grey clouds should turn flame red).

automatic-ipv6

Once this step is done, your website on IPv6 is good to go.

Let me know if things go wrong. May be I can suggest you some quick fixes.

Please note that LES doesn’t do backups or snapshots of your data. In the event that a server crashes due to hardware failure, your data is prone to be lost. Take proper measures to backup your data from time-to-time.

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