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If the idea of setting up your own home-based server sounds like a challenge that is beyond your technical know-how, you might be surprised to learn how simple the process actually is.

In a business setting, you would most likely choose to rely on the services of a team that has the in-depth knowledge required to create and maintain a server, such as Essential IT, for instance. However, if you want an offsite backup option or would like to share files, why not take up the challenge of creating a home-based webserver?

Here are the essential steps that you need to know.

Choose a PC

You will obviously need the right hardware and that means finding a PC that you are happy to leave connected and running 24/7.

It doesn’t have to be a top-spec version, but try and choose a PC that has at least a 100GB hard drive and offers 3 ethernet cards for your connections.

Pick the right operating system

Linux is a trusted brand and you can find a desktop version that is just right for your needs.

Installing the operating system

You may want to choose to have dual boot where you have both Windows and Linux. This can be done using the partition editor when setting up.

If you are happy to just have Linux and use the PC as a dedicated server alone, choose the guided setup and select an option to use the largest continuous free space as the location to install to.

Preparing remote access

Next up in the process is setting up remote access. All you have to do is go to remote desktop under system preferences and follow the setup process.

Create the ability to transfer files

To upload and download files you will need to use a facility known as File Transfer Protocol (FTP). It works in much the same way as dragging and dropping folders. Your Linux system will run an FTP server and it is much easier to share data this way.

You will need to configure FTP users

Configuring FTP users is not as challenging as it might sound. Go to system administration and input all of the usernames and passwords.

You can also set parameters such as a maximum number of logins so that you have the control you want over your server.

Connecting your FTP server to the network

The server’s IP address can be automatically detected and then it will configure itself. There are other settings you can scroll through at this point to create preferences and provide your email address as the administrator.

Setting up support for your server

Setting up HTTP support is a part of the installation process that is probably one of the easiest.

All you have to do is type the following text in Terminal – Sudo apt-get install apache2

HTTP will recognize this instruction and your server should be good to go once you have done this.

Port forwarding

If you want your server to communicate over the internet you will need port forwarding.

Open up your router’s settings and look for port forwarding to set this up.

Create a domain

Last but not least, you need a domain. This will act as a mask for your IP address. You could use a free domain if you want to keep costs down.

These steps might sound a bit technical in places, but it not that difficult to achieve if you follow available help pages and tutorials.

You could have your own dedicated home-based server up and running in next to no time.

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