Should You Run A Server At Home? Drawbacks and Benefits Compared.

Should You Run A Server At Home? Drawbacks and Benefits Compared.

We often get questions from customers if it’s possible to set up their own web server. A quick answer is yes, you can run a home server using an old computer and connect it to your Internet Service Provider.

However, the success at which it is set up will depend on its purpose and how fast and reliable your Internet connection is.

It’s possible to host your own home server if you have the patience to learn it as the learning curve can be pretty steep. You shouldn’t probably venture into it if your aim is to save on cost since it is more likely cheaper if you had your website hosted by commercial web hosting companies. In today’s article, we’ll give you a rundown on the important factors to consider before running a home server.fi

 

Factors to Consider when Running a Home Server

Hardware

Google runs on thousands of powerful servers to power billions of searches every day. This might not be the case for home servers since it is expected to  significantly use less horsepower than advanced computers.  This is especially true if you don’t have a graphical interface to think about.

In fact, you can turn any old computers into servers with the least amount of effort. You may already have the right machine at home that you didn’t use anymore or a friend of yours is getting rid of their old computers. You can even exchange or buy cheap computers at your local classified ads similar to Craigslist. Each one as its own advantages, so find out which one works well for you.

So, it’s possible to run a small local website using a low-power system. Any machine can handle that. But if you’re hosting a popular website, you need to set it up with a reliable server with powerful hard drives.

 

Operating System

You can build a web server using Microsoft Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. If you a have a spare Mac with a Mac OS X 10.3 or the latest update, then it should already have an Apache on its hard drive. Due to security threats and possible downtime risks, it’s not a great idea to use your work PC as your home server. 

 

Traffic

Home servers work perfectly fine for local websites with low-visitor traffic. The real problem happens when 20 or more people simultaneously access the same site.

While most countries nowadays have faster broadband Internet connections, transferring gigabytes worth of files will take time. Hence, the server will use up more bandwidth, which can eventually slow down your Internet connection.

 

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

If you are already dealing with tons of issues from your ISP (e.g. slow and intermittent connection, poor technical support, data capping),  hosting your website at home would not be a good idea.

In addition, some ISPs do not allow users to run their own servers at home. Make sure to check with your local ISP if such arrangement is allowed or not.

 

Reliability

Keep in mind that your home broadband service may not have the same level of reliability compared to a professional web hosting provider. When there are power and broadband connection failures, your website will also go offline until the power or broadband service is resumed.

When the hard drive is busted and you didn’t back up your files, chances are, those files will be wiped out permanently.

Another possible issue that you might possibly have to deal with are natural disasters, fire, theft, electrical power surges that can damage the hardware, and accidents caused by kids at home. If you’re storing a huge volume of valuable files, it’s best to get your data backup offsite. Here we wrote some helpful articles on ways you can do to backup your data:

WordPress Backups: Protect your Website from Data Loss and Disasters

Difference Between Disaster Recovery and Data Backup

 

Cost

Running a home server for the entire month will definitely cost money. If you know your computer’s specs, you might want to check on the web how much its average power consumption.

Maintenance cost is also another thing to consider. Like any computers, it can be prone to break down at any time. If that happens, you can either have it fixed in a service shop or buy a new hardware. The hassle spent having it fixed in a service shop will lead to an extended downtime period and of course money down the drain.

A professional web hosting provider can do all web server functions more reliably and cheaper than if you were to run a server on your own.

 

IP Address

If you want to host your website from a home server, it is ideal to have a static IP address–not those that changes whenever you renew subscription of your Internet connection.

 

Conclusion

Hosting your website on a home server can be done if you know what you’re actually doing. But if you have to spend so much time learning and buying new equipment from scratch, perhaps you need to assess if all this is worth the trouble.

Most growing businesses would rather rent web servers from professional web hosts on a monthly or yearly basis because they find that it much cheaper to do so.

Remember, a low-cost web hosting service has all the features that can deliver web content faster to their customers. It saves you the trouble of having to operate and manage power interruptions and other issues yourself.

If you decide to get your site hosted by a web hosting provider, then we suggest you read this article which is a chockful of information you need before you can decide to outsource your web hosting:  Different Types of Web Hosting Plan.

 

About Vodien

Since 2002, We are  Singapore’s biggest web hosting service provider. More than 15,000 clients from Singapore and beyond continues to enjoy a solid web hosting service that’s proven to offer uninterrupted speed.

Other features included: unmetered bandwidth, spacious storage space, free dedicated IP (with Spam Guard and SSL Certificate), up to 200 email inboxes, user-friendly control panels,  and most of all, their SuperSupport staff is available 24/7. To know more about how Vodien can help your business succeed, CLICK on the link below to get started.

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BILL POH

Senior Tech Writer for Vodien Internet Solutions

Bill Poh is the Senior Tech Writer at Vodien and he covers web hosting, online marketing, social media, business and the latest tech innovations. When not writing, he’s busy pursuing his passion for photography, graphic design, and creative arts.

Here are some of the other pages created by Bill Poh:

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