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Old 12-28-2005, 06:52 PM
ThomasW ThomasW is offline
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Default Home File Servers

Anyone using network-based file servers at home? If so what kind of solutions are you using, and are you finding performance adequate?

Some of the more affordable solutions, like Buffalo Technologies Terrabyte servers and such look interesting, but I am concerned about performance, back up and redundancy issues. I am really in the early stages of investigating this, but what I am looking at doing is having a centralized file server that can be accessed from any of the pcs in the house. All of my pcs are currently going across wireless, which I think could dampen my performance expectations to start. I imagine I am going to have to have the server connected directly to the main wireless server and serve it from there.

Right now this would be used to share data files, music and other files that would be pretty much read-only. Thinking of functionality down the road I would like to store and share video and video recordings off the same server as well. This is where the performance issues start to become a worry for me. Pulling an excel file over wireless on a network server is not going to be a problem. Doing it with a streaming video file might be a different story.

Finally, I am wondering if I will have any issues using one of these network devices across two routers. I have one pc that is a linksys basically as an access point. Would I still be able to use a network drive off the core router on this secondary system?

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Old 04-16-2007, 07:24 AM
iscatel iscatel is offline
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What about starting with DIY?

I'm thinking

Trustix Secure Linux - Home

paired with


Samaba, Apache, DHCPD and many more are included in trustix. Last time I looked, webmin was not but was an easy install. That could be set up on a Pentium I box because trustix is intentionally light weight -- nothing there that isn't needed for a server. I'm not so sure about the state of video streaming, but audio is certainly ready now.

That combination would give you files in native windows speak (CIFS). Apache would give you http, webmin would allow you to distance yourself from the CLI and allow administration via your (familiar) browser.

Why spend so much $$$$?


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Old 04-17-2007, 10:08 AM
Cobalt Cobalt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Cobalt will become famous soon enoughCobalt will become famous soon enough


I simply use a modest-spec PC to handle all my file sharing needs at home and have a similar set up to that mentioned by iscatel albeit I don't use Webmin and prefer Fedora Core 5.

A dedicated server would be preferable, but you're looking at double the cost or more to set things up, and unless you have mission-critical data on your machines that needs to be stored securely and backed up daily, purchasing a server may be a little over the top. Instead, you could simply purchase a low-end PC and equip it with either wireless or Gigabit ethernet if network speed is a big issue for you and also fit additional hard drives and a RAID controller. That will take care of storage as well as backup facilities. Unless many machines will be accessing your server simultaneously, I wouldn't worry too much about getting a high end processor or kitting the machine out with several gigabytes of RAM as you don't really need it from what I can tell.

If you want fast network performance, wired is still the route to go. Gigabit ethernet isn't ridiculously expensive anymore and is about as quick as you're going to get in a home environment. Though wireless is improving, it can still be slow progress transferring gigabytes of files at a time.

That said, if you can afford a standalone, ready to go server solution then go right ahead, though personally I would recommend using either a low-end server if you can get a good deal or consider using a desktop machine albeit kitted out with one or two extras to work as an effective network server.

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