Recommendation for a media/file/backup server

Hello community and experienced users,

I’ve been putting this project on the back burner and it is about time I make it happen. I have a plethora of music, movies, photos, etc. I am looking to create a central media/file/backup server. I have an idea of what I want to do, but not really sure where to begin or which OS/software to use.

In the research I have done, many people are using Windows Media Center, Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Apache Server, FreeNas, and a few others.

Here is what I am looking to do: I want to access all my pictures, music, and movies, from any PC/tablet in my house (internal network) and at work/friend’s house (external network). I know I will have to setup some from of SSH and VPN to access the files externally. I mainly have all Windows PC’s (XP, 7, 8, Server 2008) with the exception of one Linux PC (Ubuntu 12.10).

If someone has a similar setup in their home and could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it. If you have a guide or link to a website that has a guide, that would help immensely.

Thanks for reading!
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More about recommendation media file backup server
  1. phalanxs said:
    Hello community and experienced users,

    I’ve been putting this project on the back burner and it is about time I make it happen. I have a plethora of music, movies, photos, etc. I am looking to create a central media/file/backup server. I have an idea of what I want to do, but not really sure where to begin or which OS/software to use.

    In the research I have done, many people are using Windows Media Center, Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Apache Server, FreeNas, and a few others.

    Here is what I am looking to do: I want to access all my pictures, music, and movies, from any PC/tablet in my house (internal network) and at work/friend’s house (external network). I know I will have to setup some from of SSH and VPN to access the files externally. I mainly have all Windows PC’s (XP, 7, 8, Server 2008) with the exception of one Linux PC (Ubuntu 12.10).

    If someone has a similar setup in their home and could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it. If you have a guide or link to a website that has a guide, that would help immensely.

    Thanks for reading!


    Any old PC with at least a dual core and 3 GBs of RAM will do this task easily, though you will need at least a 500 GB hard drive for storage or higher which will get pricy quick. I suggest using FreeNAS as there is a wealth of tutorials available for it, and its super easy to manage from a web-based interface, or you can go with a Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device with three or four 500 GB hard drives, of which are the cheapest and easiest solution.

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/01/how-to-set-up-a-home-file-server-using-freenas/
    http://www.howtoforge.com/network_attached_storage_with_freenas
    http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/cheap_and_nasty_how_build_open_source_server
  2. dcomander101x said:
    Any old PC with at least a dual core and 3 GBs of RAM will do this task easily, though you will need at least a 500 GB hard drive for storage or higher which will get pricy quick. I suggest using FreeNAS as there is a wealth of tutorials available for it, and its super easy to manage from a web-based interface, or you can go with a Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device with three or four 500 GB hard drives, of which are the cheapest and easiest solution.

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/01/how-to-set-up-a-home-file-server-using-freenas/
    http://www.howtoforge.com/network_attached_storage_with_freenas
    http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/cheap_and_nasty_how_build_open_source_server


    Thanks for the info dcomander10. I have all the hardware and sever 1,2,and 3 TB HDs, I've just put this on the back burner!

    I've read that FreeNAS has some limits to it. One person mentioned all of the data is stored on UFS GPT partitions which is does not have native support by either Windows or Linux kernels.

    Have you experienced any issues with FreeNas?
  3. phalanxs said:
    Thanks for the info dcomander10. I have all the hardware and sever 1,2,and 3 TB HDs, I've just put this on the back burner!

    I've read that FreeNAS has some limits to it. One person mentioned all of the data is stored on UFS GPT partitions which is does not have native support by either Windows or Linux kernels.

    Have you experienced any issues with FreeNas?


    No problem, and never really tried FreeNAS, but I have tried FreeBSD & a debian based variant, and never had major issues, but as far as compatibility is concerned, if samba doesn't quite work, theres always sFTP.
  4. dcomander101x said:
    No problem, and never really tried FreeNAS, but I have tried FreeBSD & a debian based variant, and never had major issues, but as far as compatibility is concerned, if samba doesn't quite work, theres always sFTP.


    I may have to give this a try. If I don't like it or if it doesn't work properly, I can format the HD and start over! Before I give this a shot, I want to see what some others suggest/recommend.
  5. phalanxs said:
    I may have to give this a try. If I don't like it or if it doesn't work properly, I can format the HD and start over! Before I give this a shot, I want to see what some others suggest/recommend.

    very true, and understandable, if anything, running windows 7 in a home group & running remote access software, could also work in a pinch.
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