Why Home Media Servers Are Worth Your Timeby@wxaith
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Why Home Media Servers Are Worth Your Time

by Brandon AllenJanuary 18th, 2023
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We live in an age when data is more plentiful than ever, and where media consumption is more prevalent than ever. Not too long ago when it came to computer data storage, files were only a few megabytes or a few gigabytes at most. Now it’s extremely common for files to be dozens, if not hundreds of gigabytes.
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If you have a lot of content that you consume, home media servers will make your life so much easier by giving you a new way to interact with that content. We live in an age when data is more plentiful than ever, and where media consumption is more prevalent than ever. Not too long ago when it came to computer data storage, files were only a few megabytes or a few gigabytes at most for large files. Now it’s extremely common for files to be dozens, if not hundreds of gigabytes in size. File sizes have gotten larger because data has gotten more complex. When it comes to content like TV shows and movies, there are multiple different resolutions that those shows and movies can be captured in. Standard definition picture quality has an extremely low file size because of its low resolution.  Standard definition shows and movies typically only weigh a few hundred megabytes at most depending on how long the run time of the content in question is.

However, when you find content at higher resolutions, say High Definition content, which is rendered in 1080p resolution or 4K resolution, those files are often in the dozens, if not hundreds of gigabytes. This is because of the amount of data necessary to be able to render and display high-resolution content. These larger file sizes are a perfect example of why having a home media server can be so beneficial, because having a home media server will allow you to store all of your data, large in small in one location and access it whenever you want to.

Where Am I Going To Put All That Data?

As data sizes have increased, data storage needs have increased. So people find themselves in need of data storage solutions that allow them to hold all of the media that they want to consume, or preserve, and by far the best solution is to have a home media server.

Some people like to use cloud storage servers, which means that they upload their data directly to a cloud service such as Dropbox, Microsoft Azure, or Google Drive, and trust a third party to hold, manage, and maintain their data. 

This is a good option for people that are not technologically savvy enough to build or maintain a server on their own. However, it is cost prohibitive because in many cases these services cost money to use every month. If you don’t pay the monthly fee, your data could be deleted, and if you don’t have that data backed up, you’ll lose everything.

With a personal data server, you never have to worry about paying a monthly subscription fee to access your data. You can buy a pre-built file server like a Synology DS 220+ and install hard drives in it that will meet your storage needs. For instance, someone that just wants to fill a server with pictures and home movies is often not going to need the same amount of storage as someone that’s storing audiobooks, movies, and TV shows.

What Can I Do With A Home Media Server?

Storing files isn’t the only thing that you can do with a personal media server. You can configure your server to let you access your data at any time, in whatever form is most convenient.

Services like Plex and Emby give you the ability to categorize the content you own by the type of media it is. So you can have your TV shows, movies, audiobooks, music, documentaries and more all in one place. So instead of having to pay for subscriptions to multiple streaming apps every month to be able to access the content you want to consume, you can have it all stored on your server and access it from one central location! The days of switching apps to be able to keep up with all of your favorite shows and movies are over when you have your own server and host your own content.

I’m sure we’ve all been devastated when our favorite TV show or movie got taken off the streaming service that we pay for every month, whether that be Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or something else. If you buy a digital download of that show, you have legal access to do whatever you want to do with it, so you can store that content on your server and never have to worry about losing access to your favorite media again. Eventually, you may get to the point where you’ve cut the cord altogether and stopped paying for subscription services because you prefer to host everything you want to consume on your server instead of paying every month to use someone else’s service.

Remote Access

Another great feature of having a personal server is that you can configure it for remote access, so you can access your content not only anywhere in your home, but anywhere in the world should you give yourself remote access permissions. This means you can access your content anywhere that you have an internet connection, and bypass the limits that services like Netflix have of a limited number of authorized devices being able to access content at once.

Never Lose Your Data Again

Finally, one of the best things about having a personal server is the ability to back up the data that’s most important to you. Some things like pictures, home movies, and important documents are priceless and cannot be replaced. Natural disasters can happen at any time and destroy the physical copies of something like a birth certificate, but if you have a digital backup of it, you’ll never lose it. Personal servers allow you to quickly back up all of your data and easily get access to it if and or when you should need it.

Final Thoughts on Home Media Servers

Having your own server may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. Worrying about which server you want to buy, or how to repurpose an old computer into a server can seem scary, especially since the upfront cost can be high. But when you really sit down and look at the peace of mind that can come from having a personal server that allows you to store and access all of your data at a moment’s notice, whether that be TV shows and movies or backups of important documents, it can be well worth the price you have to pay.