I've spent the last few weeks doing research on all the buzz words listed in the thread title, and I'm trying to determine the viability of creating a machine that can accomplish all the referenced tasks.
My hope is to create a stable, home network with a server/client configuration that runs off a converted Dell PC also working as a PVR backend. It would double as a media server and an internet gateway. However, I'm unsure as to the kind of hardware needed to make this work.
Here's a summary of my desired features:
-global Windows user accounts
-both shared and personal filespace on the media server
-full PVR functionality
-reliable internet connectivity, no matter what the home "server" is doing
*secure VPN capabilities allowing sharing music (and maybe video) over an internet connection
*The last item on the list is just icing on the cake. It's not as big a necessity as everything else.
So, is this goal even attainable? I have already invested about 350 bucks trying to make this work, and I'm starting to question how much more it's gonna cost. Thanks for any insight you have to offer.
VPN solution to allow up to 4-5 people to connect will cost about $400-$500 in additional.
Global windows account would require the setting up of a Domain. Reserach that.. which would need Windows Server. It would also cover the file sharing and all that stuff by creating and sharing out folders.
PVR, buy a camera, find some software, have fun.
Reliable internet? Cable or DSL with a battery backup on it. Anything higher is going to start costing you. A fractional T1 for video and file sharing would be ideal for smaller. If you go larger, a full T1.