How Can You Use a Home Server?
The point to a home server is to put all your various media files in one place. Instead of having some photos and music on your PC, other photos and music on your spouse’s machine, and still more photos and videos on your kids’ computers, you put all your photos and music and videos in a centralized location, where all you PCs can access it. One place for all your media, so that it can be accessed by all the computers and mobile devices in your household.
Imagine this scenario. You’re working in your office while listening to MP3 files in the background. Your spouse is posting some photos to her Facebook page, while listening to different music. Your son is watching a TV show he recorded the previous evening, while your daughter is listening to her own music in her bedroom. With a home server, all these filesyour music, your wife’s music and photos, your son’s recorded video, and your daughter’s musicis all served and stored from the central home server. In fact, if your son had a friend over who wanted to listen to some tunes on his iPhone, you could grant him access to the music stored on your home server, too. No more hunting for files, no more missing files; with a home server, everything is one place, served when needed.
Your home server can also be used to serve music and video to a home theater system. Instead of storing all the files on a big media center PC in your living room, you instead connect a smaller PC or media player to your TV and audio system, and have that device pull music and video from your home server, itself tucked away unobtrusively in another room in your house. It’s a more elegant and less conspicuous way to feed digital media to your home theater system.
In addition, a home server can serve as a centralized backup device for all the computers on your home network. Just schedule the backup routine for each computer individually, and have them all back up to the hard drive on your home server. (Even better, many home servers can schedule backups on all network-connected computers, remotely.) The backup takes place automatically, over your network, with all the backup files stored on the home server. If a computer ever fails, all you have to do is restore the backed up files from your server. It’s hard to get any easier than that.
In other words, you use a home server to store all those files you need to share in your household, as well as to store backups from all your other computers. It puts all your important information in one place, and provides backup security, as well.