A server is a special kind of computer that’s designed to serve, which includes websites, media, and other content. There are millions of servers and computers across the world that are all connected together, which is what makes up the backbone of the internet. While most people use 3rd party servers for all of their online needs, there are some drawbacks to this, which is why many are opting to instead build their own cheap servers at home.
Home servers can come in all shapes and sizes, and while some might have the resources and time to manage a large server bank with many terabytes worth of data, for most people a simple media and backup server is usually more than enough. Here we will look at some ways to create a home server with cheap and accessible hardware.
When thinking of a server, most people might think of rack servers, which are many computers that sit in a single cabinet. But a server can be just about any type of hardware, as long as it contains a specific kind of architecture.
One great example of this is a laptop; laptops make great home servers because they have a native battery backup, they usually have the right architecture, and it’s fine to leave one running all the time. They also tend to be fairly cheap, especially second hand, where they are sold in their dozens on sites like eBay. Getting a hold of an old laptop, swapping out the internal storage for something bigger and faster, and setting it up with a server operating system is advised for anyone wanting a good home server.
Next to the laptop and with an even lower price tag is the Raspberry Pi. These are some single board computers that have all the necessary components to run a modern operating system. They make excellent backup and media servers, especially once they have been connected to a fast SSD storage drive.
They’re also some of the very cheapest computes on the market, going for just a fraction of the price of laptops or desktops, and while they do need a few accessories in order to be usable, for those with the know-how, it’s a cheap, elegant, and efficient choice for a server, which can also be used as a normal computer, whether it’s to watch movies or play bingo online. On top of that, because they tend to be fairly low-powered, it won’t hurt the electricity bill to keep them going for long periods at a time.
Hosted Cloud Server
If the hardware is too expensive, inaccessible, or it’s all too technical, the next best option is to find a cloud server that can be hosted. This is essentially hosting a piece of server space that’s run by a company, where they can provide a cloud server that can be accessed at any time. Many of these companies offer services like Nextcloud as part of the package, meaning that the customer doesn’t have to spend time trying to set up their own server as everything is already done and ready to go.