The Usefulness of a Home Server

Posted on Sat 28 January 2023 in Tech

One tool I’ve found extremely useful is my “home server”. It’s actually my gaming rig at the moment, though I want to change an old desktop into a proper standalone server for the various uses it can have.

One of the reasons I have it around is file sharing between my machines. I have an SMB share to store files that my MacBook can access, and it’s set up to let me get to it from ftp if I need something for another system. Of course, that doesn’t get out to the internet, so it’s all internal to my network, so security is fine there.

I also use it as a HTTPS proxy for old web browsers, mostly to have a bit of fun with them. The WebOne proxy makes it possible for things like snownews (RSS Reader) and old IE/Netscape to get to sites they’d normally not be able to due to the TLSpocalypse. Again, it’s just for fun, but it’s also a useful piece of kit as a vintage systems enthusiast.

I’ve been thinking of setting up a VM with a PiHole as well, making it possible to adblock from the DNS level instead of needing a heavy adblocker on my old browsers. Of course, with Chrome going down its path, it’d be useful there as well.

Once I get things sorted, I can also set up a media share to listen to music and watch videos over the network, instead of storing it all on my MacBook Pro as I do now. The file server makes it more convenient, and keeps everything in one place. Plus, I can add another HDD later if I want, much more easily than I can in a laptop.

And there’s much more, but the point has been made: home servers can be awesome.