Now a days, most people have more than one computer at home. If not, then there are a multitude of devices such as – laptop(s), WiFi enabled cell phones, network aware audio & video devices, and game consoles.
If that is true for you, then it is a fair guess that you will have your own private store of music, movies, and video games, not to speak of other valuable files which are scattered across any of the above mentioned devices you own.
Now here is a very nice way of centrally storing all these valuable bits and bytes and making them available to all your network aware devices via streaming. The trick is to build yourself a Network Attached Server (NAS).
One very popular NAS is FreeNAS which supports a variety of file transfer protocols like CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication and Software RAID (0,1,5). FreeNAS comes with a full Web configuration interface and so can be remotely configured. It should also be said that FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key. FreeNAS is based upon FreeBSD.
Once you set up a FreeNAS server at home, it can be put to the following uses –
- Media Server
- BitTorrent Downloading Machine
- Web Server and
- Backup Server.
If reading so much has piqued your curiosity, then here is a very interesting article (Courtesy of maximumpc.com) which walks you through the steps involved in building yourself a FreeNAS server. The article starts from the rudimentary steps namely assembling the desired hardware to actual installation and configuration of FreeNAS server. You can also read a print friendly version of the article here.