Have you ever thought about setting up a home server?

Of course, this isn’t necessarily the easiest process in the world (depending on the type of hardware you’re using), but it’s a fun way to use older hardware or further develop your computer skills.

And besides, if you’re building your own server, there are some cool things you can do with it. If you’re thinking about setting up a personal server of any kind, keep reading to learn more about the benefits.

1. Create a server, control your data

We know what you’re thinking — why do you need a home server when you can just use a service like Google Drive or Dropbox?

The most important difference between home servers and third-party cloud services is data control.

Contrary to some beliefs, Google Drive et al. not own the data you upload to the cloud. However, the companies retain the license to reproduce, modify and create derivative works from your files.

Here’s the relevant snippet from the Google Drive Terms of Service:

You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights you own in this content. In short, what belongs to you remains yours.

When you upload, post, save, send or receive content on or through Google Drive, you grant Google a worldwide license on the use, placement, storage, reproduction, modification, creation of derivative works (for example, produced as a result of translations, adaptations or other changes). we make your content work better with our services), communicate, publish, publicly present, publicly display and distribute such content.

Cloud providers may also share your data with domain administrators, legal entities and affiliates. Once again, you will find a disclaimer in this regard in the companies’ privacy policies.

If you build your own server, you can still enjoy the benefits of file storage on the go without worrying about your privacy and security.

2. Installing a home server is inexpensive

This is a bit subjective.

If you were so inclined, you could spend several thousand dollars on market-leading hardware to build your own server. And after the initial costs, the ongoing energy costs for all units and refrigeration equipment will be significant.

In fact, anyone can create a home server using nothing more than an old laptop or a cheap kit like a Raspberry Pi.

Of course, the trade-off when using old or cheap hardware is performance . Companies like Google and Microsoft host their cloud services on servers that can process billions of requests every day.

Your 10 year old laptop can’t come close to this level of performance. If you only want to have remote access to a few files, this might be enough. But if you want your personal web server to serve as the central hub for your entire family or small business, you may find that you still need to invest in dedicated hardware.

If you’re wondering which Mac makes the best server check out our helpful guide.

3. Create a dedicated game server

Did you know that half of the top 10 games on Steam allow you to run the game on your own dedicated server? In truth, gaming is probably one of the best things you can do with a home server.

Using a dedicated game server has several advantages over renting servers or playing on other users’ servers:

  • You can control and customize every aspect of the gameplay.
  • You are in control of game updates rather than waiting for another person/company to install the latest version.
  • Improved stability and reduced the risk to other players if your slot machine needs to restart in the middle of a game.

Some popular games that you can run on your own server include Minecraft, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress, and Call of Duty.

4. Keep backups of your data on your home server

The importance of backing up your data cannot be overstated. If your computer’s hardware dies or crashes, you don’t want to lose access to years of data.

In an ideal world, you should have one external and one local backup. Typically the backup storage will be either a cloud storage provider or a dedicated third party online backup provider For in-place backups, many people use external hard drives, USB sticks, or NAS drives.

However, it can be argued that a working personal server is better than all these options. Compared to the most similar alternative, NAS drives, home servers are more customizable and (if you already have older hardware to use) cheaper.

On the other hand, making a server is harder than setting up a NAS drive. Depending on the size of your server, it may also consume more power.

Note: we wrote about the warning signs that your hard drive is about to die if you want to know more.

5. Make a home media server

Another reason to set up a home server is to act as a central hub for all your media.

We live in the age of streaming — most people consume media through services like Spotify and Netflix — but many people still have vast collections of music and videos stored locally.

If you want to have access to all your local media on any device in your home, a server is one of the best solutions. To make the process even easier, you can use services such as Plex, Kodi, or Emby. to manage media and control playback.

Plex and Emby will even let you access your content on your server when you’re away from home with just a few clicks. Setting up Kodi for the same purpose is possible, but much more complicated.

Create your own server

Setting up a home server is fun, cheap, and offers a ton of benefits. Of course, there are many more benefits than the five we discussed in this article, so be sure to leave your opinions and reasons in the comments section below.

And if you’re curious about other ways to make good use of old equipment, check out our articles on how to reuse old equipment like a pro. reuse old equipment like a pro. and how your old devices using Raspberry Pi.

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