Ismaeel Akram

This website is a dumbed-down version of the one to come.

Why you should have a home server

Although I host many of my projects on AWS or DigitalOcean now, not all things are ready to be hosted on production servers. For example, my personal AI, November, is still in development and it is being hosted on my home server. My home server is a 2015 HP Pavilion laptop with a malfunctioning keyboard. Other than the keyboard, this laptop runs fine. This laptop is strange because before I turned it into a server, it worked perfectly, other than a corrupted Windows system that can be easily fixed. My entire server setup is free because the only thing you need is an old computer and some Internet. A server can be a great thing for many people, even if you are tech-savvy or not. Here's why.

File Storage

Many people run out of storage on their devices as no computer can hold an infinite amount of data. A popular solution for this is using USBs and external hard drives. However, these can get misplaced, they are unorganized, and you can only access them on one device at a time. With my server setup, I can change a text file from my computer, and have it change on my phone. Normally, you would have to pay huge companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft for this functionality, which you already have a hard time trusting with your data. Home servers are very easy to trust because you're not going to lie to yourself, are you?

Media Streaming

Plex is a media streaming software that you can download on practically any device. If you have a collection of movies and shows that you are watching or are planning on watching, putting them on an old laptop is a good idea. Plex has apps for all types of systems so your favorite movies will be accessible from your phone, or even from outside if you set up port forwarding.

Web Hosting

This can be challenging if you are not familiar with computers and networking but it can save you $12 a month, excluding other costs. Although people discourage self-hosting, some people just want a small blog that is not going to have a lot of viewers anyway. For something like that, you wouldn't need much.