Web Hosting – the activity or business of providing storage space and access for websites.
Web hosting is a necessity for any website — it is the physical location of your website on the Internet, an online storage center that houses the information, images, video, and other content that comprises your website. Web hosting service providers maintain the server where the data associated with your website resides, and also manage the technology that makes your website connect to the Internet.
Website hosting is typically measured in the amount of disk space you’re allotted on the server and the amount of data transfer or “bandwidth” you need for accessing the server. For example, if you have a lot of customer interaction at your website, such as files to download, you will access the server frequently and you’ll need more Web hosting transfer space than someone who simply puts readable text on their website. The more “items” or “content” you have on your site (i.e., photos, maps, PDF files, etc.), the more disk space you’ll need for website hosting.
A web server is a computer, physical or virtual, which serves websites. One or more servers can host a single website. Your computer uses an IP address to contact the web server. By looking at the registrant of the IP address, you may be able to identify the web hosting provider.
A domain’s website and emails can reside on the same server. By analyzing the mail servers, you may find some hints as to who is hosting your website.
Nameservers & DNS Records
A name server acts as a “phonebook” for domain names. To get the IP address(es) of a domain, computers need to query a name server. Many DNS records other than the IP address are available. By digging through these records, you may find who your hosting provider is.
In a shared hosting environment, a single web server hosts multiple websites from different customers.
Content Delivery Networks
Websites are sometime hosted on multiple web servers. A Content Delivery Network (or CDN) is used to achieve this. A CDN consists of several web servers spanned across the globe. This provides faster loading speed for websites. Find out the location of these servers and who is hosting them.
While a lot of domain registrant hide their personal information, you can still contact them through the registrar most of the time. You can get this information by performing a “WHOIS lookup” on any domain.