A managed hardware personal server is a physical computer system that you keep on your premises. We help you to set it up and will be there if you need more help with it down the track, but we don't manage it on a day-to-day basis for you as we do with our Managed Cloud Personal Server.
Benefits of hardware-based solutions include higher storage capacities; lower running costs (if you don't count the time you spend managing it); higher privacy; bandwidth efficiencies; and perhaps more peace of mind that it's harder (but not impossible) for governments to get your data.
For a limited time as an introductory offer we are providing managed hardware solutions for free. If you'd like us to help you setup your hardware server get in touch and we'll help you out!
With a hardware solution it's easy to add a bunch of hard-drives to get terrabytes of storage on your personal server. If you host in the cloud then storage costs are considerably higher.
There are a bunch of hidden costs with a hardware solution. You have to pay for electricity to run it, electricity to cool it, and extra for the bandwidth it uses on your home Internet connection. That's to say nothing of the time you will have to spend maintaining it. But when you add it all up it's probably still a little bit cheaper to operate a physical server.
Privacy is improved when you run a hardware personal server because when it's just you using your server and you are at home then no-one can monitor your use. If you use a cloud-based solution then it's possible for governments and telcos to intercept your meta-data and while they might not know what you're doing on your server they can tell that you're using it. With a hardware server on your premises when you're using it from home no-one will know (unless they're monitoring a wireless network that you are using). Of course if you're not at home but are on the road and are using your hardware personal server then you can be monitored again.
All the time you spend using your hardware-based personal server from home saves you bandwidth. If your server is hosted in the cloud then no matter when you're accessing it from you have to pay for bandwidth. But if you're using your personal server from home the server is on the same network (your LAN) and thus that bandwidth is free. And who doesn't love free bandwidth? :)
You might rest easy knowing that if you run your hardware personal server from home it's harder for government spies to access your data. That's probably true, but not by much. If the government wants your data they will be able to get it regardless of whether or not it is on a computer on your home network. So let's just hope the government isn't particularly interested in what you are doing with your computers!
If you're planning to run your own server but don't have your hardware yet we can recommend that you buy a Lenovo ThinkServer from Amazon.com. Make sure you order one with a hard-drive! We recommend the i3-4130 + 8GB RAM + 1TB HDD model, but you might like to buy one with more capacity.
If you'd like us to help you setup your own hardware server for free then get in touch! Perhaps you're not sure if a hardware solution is best for you and if so you might like to consider our Managed Cloud Personal Server instead. If you're not ready to buy and wondering what to do next you might like to read this article about how personal servers promote and protect your privacy on the Internet: Personal Server Privacy.
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