How to Set Up a Home Server

By Techwalla Computers Editor

If you have multiple computers that share files, you may wish to set up a home server. You'll be able to access files from any of the computers, and you can store and back up files in a common location. Find out how to set up a home server.

Things You'll Need

  • FTP software
  • Hard drive
  • Computer with Internet access
  • RAM
  • Computer to use for server
  • Router

Step 1

Make a list of what you'll need to buy. You might have some older equipment around the house to use. You will need a computer, a hard drive, RAM and a reliable networking device.

Step 2

Set up a router with enough ports to connect to your server and to all of the computers in your home. You may use a wireless router, an Ethernet router or a combo router.

Step 3

Decide which operating system you will use. Redhat Linux and Microsoft Windows XP are popular choices.

Step 4

Configure the networking connection on your server with a domain name. This will enable you, or others you allow, to connect to your home server from outside of your home network.

Step 5

Install an FTP server program such as Serv-U FTP. Set up as many user accounts as you like.

Step 6

Using your FTP server program, configure the rights for each account. Determine what drives, folders and rights users have access to on your server.

Step 7

Configure your router's firewall by opening port 21 to your home server.

Step 8

Test your new server using a secure FTP program such as WS-FTP Pro. You may also use a Web browser.

Tips & Warnings

  • Back up the data on your server in using an external hard drive.
  • Use a hardware-based firewall like the one that comes with most routers. Make sure unnecessary ports are blocked to prevent hacking.