Want to set up a server for your home?

Are you looking for a central place to store all your pictures and movies? Or do you want a place to larn new IT skills? And what nearly your smart dwelling? A home server tin can exist used in many different scenarios and can be a great improver to your home network.

When we talk about a home server nearly people are concerned nearly the power consumption, or noise that it makes. But that is actually no demand for that. These days you can build your own home server for around $500 that consumes just x watts when running idle.

In this article, we are going to accept a look at where y’all tin employ a dwelling server for, and what yous need to build your own server or the options to buy one.

  1. What is a home server?
  2. Dwelling Server Uses
    • Central storage with a Home Cloud Server
    • Home Media Server
    • Central Backup Solution
    • Home Automation Platform
    • Domicile Security Organisation
    • Password Manager
    • Hosting your own website
    • Run your own Home Gaming Server
    • Monitoring
    • Homelab Server
  3. Building a Dwelling house Server
    • Low Power Dwelling Server
    • Alternatives
  4. Wrapping Up

What is a home server?

When we talk nigh a abode server we are not necessarily talking about a big enterprise-grade server that you use at home. A home server can be any computing device that is used for central (cloud) storage, backups, serving media files, surveillance, etc in a home surroundings.

Most people utilise a home server to play media files on their Tv or apply information technology as a central storage device for all household members. The advantage of centrally storing your files is that everyone in the household tin access them. Also, you only need to back upwardly a unmarried device and don’t need to pay a monthly subscription for cloud storage.

It Pro’south often use a home server to railroad train their Information technology skills. If you lot are working in IT you may want to test scripts or programs in a safe non-product surroundings. A homelab server is a perfect solution for this. It gives you the ability to deploy VM’s, create a small network/domain to exam and learn new skills.

Home Server Uses

A home server can be used for many dissimilar tasks. I already mentioned a couple of ideas, but let’south have a deeper look at the unlike functions for a server at home. Nosotros will start with the most common use cases.

Primal storage with a Abode Cloud Server

Files are getting bigger and bigger, and we all desire to keep our photos, videos, and other files as long as possible. When you have a server at home then it makes perfect sense to centrally shop your data on the server.

The trouble in every household is that data is scattered over unlike computers and external drives. By consolidating them into one location on a home file server, everybody can easily admission the files, and you lot tin can better protect your data.

When you shop all your data centrally in one place, make sure
y’all accept a skillful fill-in
of that information. A RAID solution alone isn’t a backup, brand sure you keep a copy of the data on an external device.

One of the advantages of cloud storage is that yous tin access your data from anywhere in the world, even from your mobile phone. With a dwelling deject server, you can become the same features as with other deject solutions, only based on your own storage.

At that place are a couple of advantages when it comes to running a local file server compare to using a cloud solution:

  • Speed
    – Yous can access your files blazing fast over your local network (no need to download them beginning)
  • Privacy
    – Nobody is sniffing through your files
  • Security
    – Full control over who accesses your information
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There are different solutions available for storing information centrally. If you are using a Synology NAS and so you can use the built-in features to make network shares and admission your data remotely. Other adept options to make a home cloud server are:

  • NextCloud
  • Tonido
  • FreeNAS – If yous don’t need deject access

Home Media Server

The most common use case for a home server is to use it for streaming media. With a home media server, you tin watch movies directly on your Smart TV, mobile phone, or computer from your ain library. Besides movies, yous can also stream music from your home media server.

Plex – home media server – src plex.tv

There are unlike solutions for creating your own home media server, but the popular onces are:

  • Plex
  • Emby
  • Jellyfin

Getting started with your Habitation Media Server is really simple. Install the software of your selection and add your library with movies to it. Plex made it really easy to stream media, they have apps available for pretty much every device on the market, inc Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, etc.

Central Backup Solution

Making frequent backups of your files is important. Hard drives may fail, files can get accidentally deleted, or ransomware can encrypt all your files. They are all common things that tin happen to anybody.

Software tin be re-installed, merely family or holiday pictures can’t be retaken. And then information technology’due south really of import that you make a fill-in of your calculator on a daily or weekly basis.

Making backups should not be a transmission task. It gets forgotten and y’all will always see that something happens when you haven’t taken a recent backup.

If you take a home server and so you lot tin automate the backup of your computers. This mode you are assured that your data is safely backed up on a regular ground. Again, at that place are different solutions available, only a couple of proficient ones are:

  • UrBackup
  • BackupPC

Home Automation Platform

I love creating a smart home, I have written a lot about information technology, including this listing with smart home ideas. When you want to create a smart habitation you will need a central place to manage your smart domicile devices.

You could buy a defended smart home hub, like a Homey, which may accept some advantages. But if y’all accept a server bachelor and so yous can also install your own Home Automation Platform.

A good solution is for case Dwelling house Assistant. You can install it on pretty much whatever platform that you lot want to use and it’s well documented. Other abode automation solutions that y’all can take a look at are:

  • OpenHab
  • Domoticz

Home Security Organization

Besides home automation, we as well accept home security. Network cameras are actually affordable these days and offer good recording quality. Making them perfect to secure your home and keep an heart out on your driveway for case.

Now I am a big fan of Ubiquiti, so personally, I have a full Unifi Protect system, which you lot can read more about hither. But for your dwelling server, there are a couple of different options available. Among does is Blue Iris, which is really a bully product (still want to incorporate it into my network as well).

Blueish Iris supports motility and sound triggering and can be used to extend hands with add together-ons like license plate recognizing for example.

Countersign Managing director

It’s important to apply unique and strong password for every business relationship that yous have, to secure your online identity. The only way to do this is by using a password manager.

When you accept abode server then it’s really easy to run your own password manager and make it available to every member of your household.

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Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that you can install on your own server at home using a Docker container. You can find the complete install guide here.

Hosting your own website

You tin can as well employ your server to host your own blog or website. Hosting isn’t really expensive these days, merely if yous have a pocket-sized website and like to learn how a web server works, then you can run it perfectly from home.

Keep in mind that you will need a decent internet connection. Mainly the upload speed of your internet connection is import to run a website.

For example Nginx in a Docker container or Xampp are neat ways to get started.

Run your ain Dwelling Gaming Server

Online games are popular and some games allow you to host your own gaming server. Running the gaming server on your home server will increment functioning and stability. Information technology also allows you to customize the gameplay.

When you are hosting your own game then the upload speed of your internet connection is important. Brand sure you lot have enough bandwidth available.


When yous accept a server running 24/seven so you have a great opportunity to start with monitoring your network or smart dwelling house. PRTG offers a gratis version that can be used to monitor your home network, remember of monitoring used bandwidth, CPU/memory usages, free infinite, etc.

If have writting an extensive article virtually monitoring your home network which you tin find hither.

Besides your abode network, you tin can also use the server the monitor your house. Near Smart Dwelling sensors tin monitor things similar temperature, humidity, ability consumption, etc. If you pull all this data into a overnice Grafana dashboard you will get some great insights.

I as well use my home server to monitor my car (battery level, consumption, location) and report it all back, including the weather, to ABRP.

Homelab Server

Having your own server is a nifty style to learn new It skills. A homelab server gives you the ability to test new programs, learn how to install VM’s, manage Windows or Linux servers without risking any data loss.

You can use a hypervisor, similar Vmware or HyperV to easily deploy servers and create a modest network to play with.

Edifice a Habitation Server

At that place are a couple of options when it comes to edifice your own habitation server. You could buy an quondam enterprise-grade server on eBay, like this Hp DL360. These kinds of servers often take enough RAM, form processing power, and support RAID configurations.

The downside of these servers is that they brand a lot of noise and utilize a significant amount of power. Yous can however supplant the fans with quiet models, like these from Noctua.

Simply for most home server configurations, these kinds of models are a bit overrated. An erstwhile laptop or desktop, however, are a great way to go started.

If yous desire to build your own dwelling house server so in that location are a couple of things that you need to consider:

  • Required storage capacity
  • Power Consumption
  • Mounting options (rack or not)

Low Power Home Server

I have put together a office list to build your own low ability abode server. In idle it should swallow around 10 watts and with a couple of servers running around 20 watts. Hard drivers consume the most power, so the more than you add together the higher the consumption.

Component Products
CPU Intel Core i3-9100
Motherboard Fujitsu D3643-H
Memory Samsung M391A2K43BB1-CTD
PSU Mini-box PicoPSU-160-XT
Extenal PSU LEDwholesalers 12V 20A 240W Air conditioning/DC Power
Case Fractal Design Core one thousand USB
SSD Intel 660p NVMe
HDD Seagate BarraCuda 2TB


A dwelling house server doesn’t really need much calculating power, even an Intel G5400 is more than plenty for almost use cases. Simply the I3 doesn’t toll much more, also has lower power consumption, and gives you that fiddling chip actress in example you practise need information technology.

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The ARCTIC Alpine 12 Passive is an excellent libation for the Intel I3.


Choosing the right motherboard tin actually help in lowering the power consumption of your server. The Fujitsu motherboard is really energy efficient which is achieved by disabling features that it doesn’t need.

The downside of this motherboard is that they are hard to discover and quite expensive. At that place are different models in the market, The D364x-B line comes with six SATA connections, and the -H line with 4 SATA connections.

Another skillful option for the motherboard is the ASRock B360M-HDV.


If you are using but docker images and then y’all don’t need a lot of retentivity. 8Gb would be more enough in those cases.

Try to stick with i memory module, because each module increases the memory consumpution.

Power Supply

The picoPSU’southward are really efficient power supply for building a low-ability home server. I have listed the 160W version, but the ninety watt version should also be enough with the I3-9100.

Yous will need to use an external ability adapter with the picoPSU, as listed to a higher place.

SSD and Storage Disks

SSDs are really groovy to apply equally a boot disk and to install your servers and applications on. The NVMe SSD has a slightly higher energy consumption than normal SSDs, but this way we can utilize the 4 SATA slots for the storage disk.

The Intel and Samsung SSD’s accept the lowest power consumption. I have listed a 500GB version, which should be more than than enough to run your servers.

For the storage, nosotros utilize normal spindle disks. The reward of the two.5 inch difficult drives is that they use way less power than the iii.5-inch models.


If y’all don’t want to build a home server completely from scratch and then in that location are as well a couple of alternatives on the marketplace. For example, the Intel NUC is a great piddling, but powerful machine to get started.

You can also start with a Raspberry Pi four. Those are really affordable and are great footling machines to run small-scale programma or services on.

Another popular choice for a domicile server is a Synology NAS. Although they are basically a NAS, network-attached storage device, they also great devices to run your habitation server on. At that place is a big community behind Synology with a lot of cool and useful apps that you lot can easily install on your Synology.

Make sure you bank check if the model that you lot desire to buy supports running docker images. A good entry model from Synology is for example the DS220+

Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS220+ (Diskless)

Synology ii Bay NAS DiskStation DS220+ (Diskless)

  • Featured dual 1GbE LAN ports to support network failover, and with Link Aggregation enabled, DS220+ provides over 225 MB/s sequential read and 192 MB/s sequential write throughput. Data can be further protected with RAID 1 disk mirroring to prevent sudden bulldoze failure.
  • Intel dual-core processor with AES-NI hardware encryption engine; ii GB DDR4 memory (expandable up to 6 GB)
  • Access, share, and sync your data easily across unlike operating systems and devices.
  • Boilerplate 15% performance heave to photo indexing and other computing-intensive operations, as well as database response fourth dimension.
  • By default, 2 camera licenses are installed; extra licenses can be purchased (CLP1, CLP4, or CLP8)

There is always a trade-off when it comes to pre-congenital servers, they may take a college ability consumption or don’t offer enough room for expansion. Just if you are non into edifice your ain server so these are great options.

Wrapping Upwardly

Having a abode server is a great oppurtinity to learn new IT Skills and to extend your abode network. You will probably discover that one time you have a server, that you will detect more usecases for information technology and then yous planned.

When using the server for central storage, brand sure that y’all create proper, and regular, backups of the information.

In that location is also an crawly listing on Github with free software and network service that you can host/run on your own server. Make sure you lot bank check out this list!

I hope that this commodity helped you to get started with your own server, if you accept any questions, just drop a annotate below.

Want to set up a server for your home?

Source: https://lazyadmin.nl/home-network/home-server/