November 16, 2007

Windows Home Server: For The Average User

If you're like me, you backup all your digital files/media to a external HDD. You also may not like posting pictures on a photo sharing site due to time consumption, possibilities of lost files, etc. Security is another issue where you want to share pictures but only with particular people and online storage or email is not a solution for all of the above. Here is a good alternative...Windows Home Server. Some key features of this software is that it allows you to organize all your media/files in one central hub, backup your files on all PCs automatically, recover lost files or even entire PCs, access from networked PCs to all your Windows Home Server files, and even a personalized Web address for sharing your photos and streaming home videos. As I have, many will ask what to do when one of your drives crash. Though not as good as a RAID solution, a workaround is that you can set up the server to backup duplicates across multiple drives.

Now, if you don't have a machine laying around or lazy to build one like me, I definitely think this is the perfect remedy...HP MediaSmart Server. There are two models to choose from on Amazon w/ free shipping (currently, there is a special offer and you can sign up for free webinars posted on their site):

Both are currently out-of-stock but you can still pre-order and wait for inventory. Both come with a 1.8Ghz AMD Live/64 Bit Sempron Processer, 4 internal hard drive bays, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and one eSATA port for storage expandability. Please keep in mind that a monitor is not needed as this is a server not a normal PC. Setup is said to be easy as just connecting it to power and your home network. On top of all this, it fits nicely into a small machine (9.7 x 9.2 x 5.5 inches; 10 pounds) and is visually pleasing. Initial reviews are fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on it!


andy said...

my current solution is a bit rudimentary. i use an older laptop (HPL2000) and i upgraded its HDD up to 160GB. I keep all of my photo archive and MP3 collection on there. From there, I back it up to an external HDD as a secondary backup. Definitely not as easy to access compared to a media server.

andy said...

Windows Home Server On Sale, $169 for a 10-client license shipped free: