Home Servers

*** Disclaimers ***
  • Product links reflect lowest price at the time of posting

  • Prices may fluctuate. Take it up with the retailers :)

  • Prices do not reflect shipping and taxes, but I generally try to keep shipping to a minimum

  • Budgets do not include monitors, keyboards, mice, disc drives, cables, fans, the operating system (OS), or miscellaneous hardware

Home servers are like big storage containers for your data. This includes backups of all your other computers and backups of all your important documents, photos, and videos. When you need these files, you access them with a client computer (ie. any other computer connected to the same network) and get the files you need. They generally are on 24/7/365, so low-power and efficiency is key. Servers generally aren't concerned with graphics or processing power. In fact, even a 10 year old CPU can effectively serve files in a house. Many home servers are also headless, meaning that they aren't connect to a monitor. The two key features of a home server are network speed and reliability. Most servers implement some form of RAID to protect the data, and are connected to an ethernet switch via gigabit (aka gigE, 1000mbps) wired connection. Because servers need so much storage space, they are generally quite expensive compared to other computers.

The great thing about servers is that upgrading is usually as easy as adding a hard drive or two. As such, I only have two categories here, $400, and $900, which seems like a large jump, until you realize that a ~$650 server would be the same thing as a $400 server with two more hard drives. It really is that simple. $400 really can buy you most of the features that you would want in a server.

Note that I said these servers need to be connected to a 1000mbps ethernet switch. If you don't have a gigE switch or your router doesn't have one built in, you'll need to purchase one. It's not really recommended for your server to be connected to the network through WiFi or 10/100 ethernet.

 Go To:  $400 $900

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 $400 - Small storage for a small family. 
November 2012

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 $900 - The Cloud? Is that the new restaurant downtown? 

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