PurpleNova is an innovating service that lets you convert your PC into a webserver. You can host your files (even your blog) using PurpleNova without spending any extra buck.

How does PurpleNova works?
Get the installer, run the program, drag/drop the files you wish to share in PurpleNova’s console. For each file shared, PurpleNova will give PurpleNovaa URL which can be accessed from any browser.

What’s great about PurpleNova?
It takes the complexity out of hosting and gives you the control of what you want to share and with whom you want to share. You need not worry about the hosting space or bandwidth utilization. Your PC is the host and your Internet connection (suggested: broadband) fuels the bandwidth.

What can you do with PurpleNova?
Apart from enabling sharing of photos (JAlbum, Picasa), Music (Windows Media player) and any file types, PurpleNova has very smartly supported the most relevant apps – phpBB forums, WordPress, BugZilla and more.

Premium users can even point their domains to the locally running PurpleNova instance.

This service can be boon for smallbusinesses, since:

  • 90% of smallbusinesses don’t even utilize more than 10% of what they pay for (in terms of server storage/bandwidth etc), since most of the small businesses don’t need more than 5 web-pages in their website.
  • Smallbusinesses are online not for discoverability, but for diverting the offline traffic to their site so that people can learn more about them (in the past, I have done several focus group studies with SmallBusinsses in US and most of them use their business cards to drive people to their website, so that prospective customers can get all their questions answered from the website).

Which essentially means that they can coolly utilize their PC space and broadband connection to put up their site (and not pay any major $$s). The tool is also a cool utility for consumers who want to share their pics/videos etc within a circle of friends.

But the basic question is will this product be taken seriously by small businesses? Well, here is a quick QnA with PurpleNova team:

  • What’s your target market? Consumers or SMBs?If its the SMB market, what are the other services that you are offering to be relevant to the market. For e.g. one of the most needed (and trusted) hosting request is uptime. Of course, you can’t guarantee uptime (since you don’t own the servers), but isn’t that a really needed feature? Our target market is both consumers as well as SMEs. As far as SMEs are concerned, there are three factors that are critical : Uptime, Security and Service.
    As far as uptime is concerned, Broadband partners today are offering 99% + uptime in most developed countries. We believe that overtime, all countries will get there. We know that security is very important to users.All the traffic goes through our proxy server which essentially acts as firewall between the publisher machine and the reader machine. So all requests from reader machine are filtered for malware, viruses etc. Also, this solution works, even if the publisher computer is behind routers, firewalls, proxies, NAT devices etc. All content resides on the publisher computer and is securely delivered end-to-end only when requested by the reader service.
  • Is PurpleNova a P2P product? What stops from it becoming another Napster (i.e. why can’t people share/download music from each other?) – How do you handle security in the product? PurpleNova is not a P2P product. In P2P products, both publisher and the reader need to have the same client on their machines. Also, in P2P, your computer is vulnerable for attacks from outside. In our solution, reader just needs to have a browser and the publisher computer is protected from malware because of reasons stated above.
  • Such a product can surely eat one’s entire bandwidth – how do you manage to take care of this? I personally want you to play with the product to see the performance. Most of the users tell us that they do not see performance degradation vs. if content was hosted on a third party machine. We have spent a lot of time and effort to make sure that the performance is up-to-the mark.
  • It would be great if you could share some of the upcoming features in the product. We are coming up with some cool widgets for Facebook, Y! 360, Google pages shortly.

Do give PurpleNova a spin. The concept is quite innovative and I do see them gaining a good traction worldwide. By the way, if you are a Java dude and want to host your Java apps, check out Eatj.com

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