Networking: Cabled and Wireless Wi-Fi Networks

Network Home Servers

The easiest way to add storage capacity to a network is to make use of a network attached storage (NAS) device, which are inexpensive, but which have disadvantages compared to using a small network server. A home server works like a NAS, but it allows you to add storage features as they are required and run tasks, such as running a CCTV system. As is the case with a NAS, a home server can back up your data.

A home server can transform a home network by providing access to all of its files, music, and movies from any computer on the network. Most home servers can be configured to work without a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. If you need to change the server’s configuration, you can use the Windows Remote Desktop Connection software that is supported by Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate and Windows Server operating systems. Windows XP Professional, for example, is not a dedicated server operating system, but it can be used to operate a server perfectly well. Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP.

Note that Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium,  Windows 8/8.1 Home and Windows 10 Home versions cannot be used to back up to a NAS device, because those versions of Windows can’t be used to back up to a network share. You can only use Vista Business and Ultimate and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate versions and Windows 8/8.1/10 Pro versions. However, you can use free third-party software. Here is a free tool from Microsoft that is now only available from third-party download sites, such as this one:

Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 –

Note that you can set up a NAS device that has two hard disk drives of identical capacity to run a RAID 1 backup system, which mirrors the contents of the main drive to the support drive so that if the main drive fails, the support drive takes over until the failed drive is replaced. If you use RAID 1 and the capacity of the NAS device is 2TB (2024GB) split between two drives, the usable capacity is less than 1TB, because only one drive is used for storage and some drive space is used for indexing and formatting information. The usable capacity of a formatted drive is always less than its total capacity.

Windows Home Server –

“Windows Home Server is a new way to help your family simplify how you keep and share photos, videos and music — all in one central place. For families with multiple PCs, now it’s easy to protect, connect, and organize the way you keep and share your family’s most important memories…” – Microsoft

Windows Home Server Help –

Review: Windows Home Server is a powerful networking tool –

“For once, Microsoft hasn’t ‘dumbed down’ a software package, says Preston Gralla” –…

The Server Primer, Part 1 –

“Servers and server hardware are topics that many publications do not want to write about. The main reasons are technical complexities – there are many aspects that go beyond consumer hardware – and a limited readership. Only administrators and decision makers, along with a handful enthusiasts, really care about professional class hardware. However, server hardware is closer to desktop hardware than you think, and the additional knowledge certainly can’t hurt…” –,review-2112.html

The Server Primer, Part 2 –,review-2131.html

My Own Server Part 1: DIY 1U Rack Servers –

“Whether for Web hosting or general-purpose office applications, 19″ servers dominate the enterprise landscape. We take a 1U server from MSI as an example and offer a step-by-step account of what it takes to build a complete system.” –,review-907.html

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