Making a dedicated server out of an old computer...

Hey all, I got such good answeres here that I wanted to ask a few more computer questions. I have an old computer that is currently running XP at 2.1GHz Athlon AMD with 1.5 DDR RAM, would I be able to turn it into a dedicated server? More importantly, should I? all I have is a small home network running a couple desktops and a printer off one and connected by a wireless router to the internet, would it make a difference at all in processing speed or connectivity on any of them?
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  1. Same kind of question with a slightly different scenario. I have an older P4 based desktop with 4GB of DDR2 with some more laying around if needed. I am moving into a new house and want to build the network right from the start. I have tried, in the past, to use my desktop as a server to allow remote network access but without success. I would be using the network for HD media streaming, file transfers, Wifi phone access, and eventually Wifi security cameras (with remote access). Is a dedicating an old desktop beneficial or will it just complicate things immensely?
  2. Hotshot007: The question you first need to answerer is what type of server do you want? For files, torrent downloads, printer sharing, something else?

    myko14: A dedicated machine for remote access is a great idea. You can get software packages based on more secure OSs like Linux to make it easier.
  3. I agree dedicated server are very beneficial when you need remote access and or have more then one computer. They make files management very easy. I try to put everything I can on my server, so i don't need to remember what computer has this file or what computer recorded a certain tv show and if that computer it on or not.

    Port Forwarding is the key for remote access.
  4. Can someone point me to a thread that would advise how to convert an older desktop into dedicated server? The machine would have an intel P4 processor. It is running XP Pro but I could easily put a Debian/Linux Open Source OS on it.
    What I would really need is advice on the most user friendly software to load and the optimal configuration for a home network used for file sharing, streaming media, and remote access.
  5. It's really as simple as installing the OS of your choice, and configuring the proper network share protocols (SAMBA for Windows shares, NFS for *nix shares). All of this information is available via Google, and it will differ depending on which OS you choose.

    FreeNAS and OpenFiler are easy to use OS's intended for use as a NAS. On the other hand, any Linux/BSD/Windows installation will do the job just as well with the proper configuration.
  6. FreeNAS and OpenFiler are amazing OS for a NAS box. And You can find alot of stuff on youtube on how to set them up. (I find that easier then reading how to do it).

    But me personally, sadly I am not as familiar with Linux as I would like to be, and I like to keep with windows, because you can do alot with a always on computer. For example, you can install team viewer, run game servers stream video to smart phones ect.. But it is a bit harder to setup, and possibility not as reliable as a good solid NAS OS.
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