7 Best Home Server Software in 2020

7 Best Home Server Software in 2020

It is rather difficult to choose a good home server software, because ideally, it should be easy to configure and secure enough to protect your personal data stored on it.

Choosing between free but confusing Ubuntu Home Server and the expensive but incredibly convenient Emby Media Server, you can make a mistake. I took a closer look at 7 best home server software that are relevant to use in 2020.

Top 7 Home Server Software

  1. Ubuntu Home Server Software - All-around server OS
  2. Amahi Home Server - Easy-to-use user interface
  3. FreeNAS - Best great free NAS solution
  4. Emby Media Server - Easy local and remote streaming
  5. ClearOS - A well thought-out distro
  6. OpenFiler - For making a NAS gateway
  7. Plex Media Server - Easy media server management

Storing gigabytes of media data on your working laptop, which you take with you whenever you go, seems to be a bad decision, because you can simply lose it or break and then your data will be lost forever. Cloud services are still far from being ideal and will lag even with a really fast Internet. So far, a fast and reliable way out that also allows saving some money if compared to cloud storage subscription, is to build your own server at your home.

Choosing decent hardware won’t pose problems. You should get a reliable PC with a good motherboard for an energy-efficient home server build. Things get a bit complicated when it comes to choosing the base software. To make the selection process simpler, I have hand-picked the top 7 home server software that ensure smooth and flawless operation of your computer.

1. Ubuntu Home Server Software

 
All-around server OS
  • World-class support
  • Deploys anywhere
  • Speed and simplicity
  • Easy trouble shooting
  • Hard to learn as beginner
  • Requires manual setup

Verdict: If you're familiar with Linux, then you'll be more than familiar with the Ubuntu Home Server software. It's basically a program that's used to manage a Linux system from a centralized location. It's been around for quite some time and is often used in schools and businesses to provide more control and functionality for the servers they have. It can be a powerful tool to help with managing the server, as well as allowing users to have a more up-to-date and secure operating environment.

ubuntu home server software interface

2. Amahi Home Server

 
Easy-to-use user interface
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Free to use
  • Has a large media app and web app store
  • Comes with a pre-built operating system
  • Only supports PCs with a 64-bit processor
  • You have to buy some plugins

Verdict: Amahi Home Server, otherwise known as Amahi, is a leading enterprise hosting solution provider, and has been for over 10 years now. Today the company Amahi Home Server can be considered as a leading and reputable enterprise hosting solution provider.

One of the most significant things about Amahi is the fact that it offers a comprehensive and user-friendly interface, which is also one of the reasons why it has become so popular today. The interface provides a user-friendly browsing experience and the company has added features which can be used as advanced features, such as e-mail management, in addition to basic administration functions.

amahi home server interface

3. FreeNAS

 
Best great free NAS solution
  • It is a pre-built operating system
  • You can run it from a hard drive, optical disc, or even a flash drive
  • Flexible system
  • Uses little RAM requirement (96 MB)
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Security needs improvement

Verdict: If you've been looking for a computer running your own home network, FreeNAS might just be the solution you're looking for. This open source NAS system is the result of a collaboration between several major computer companies, including Dell, Apple and HP. In fact, Apple has even licensed it to other companies that make desktop computers, laptops and other computer devices.

The Open Source NAS system is built around an open hardware specification that is designed for maximum compatibility with the many different computers and devices that make up an average home network. This is one of the great benefits of using FreeNAS; it's highly flexible so that you can use it with any computer.

freenas home server software interface

4. Emby Media Server

 
Easy local and remote streaming
  • Support for mobile sync and cloud sync
  • Supports parental control
  • Easy media access
  • Automatic detection of DLNA devices
  • High price

Verdict: Emby Media Server gives you complete control over the content that you put on your website, allowing you to create your own unique website that's based around your chosen content, or even get your business started with the use of a website. Emby Media Server comes with a number of features that allow you to easily manage and stream your media.

Emby Media Server allows you to upload multiple video formats such as AVI, MPG, MP3, WMV and others. If you have a mobile device, then Emby Media Server allows you to stream the content through your mobile device or through your PC.

emby media server home server software interface

5. ClearOS

 
A well thought-out distro
  • Easy to set up, install and use
  • Growing online app store
  • Can be tailored according to the SMB’s needs
  • No additional cost if it comes along the server
  • The free version is only available for 30 days
  • Does not provide wide support

Verdict: ClearOS is a Linux based server OS, which is used in servers. It was developed by the Linux creator Linus Torvalds. The main purpose of the project was to create a fully-functional Linux based Operating System that would be easy to install, customize, manage, and deploy on servers. It was created with users in mind, and to this end, it offers many features that will appeal to users.

ClearOS offers features such as a fully functional Linux Kernel, which is compatible with many of the most common servers. This is achieved through the use of various software tools and technologies, which help to build a fully functioning operating system that will run on many different types of servers.

clearos home server software interface

6. OpenFiler

 
For making a NAS gateway
  • Requires minimal manual work regarding the installation
  • Web-based management
  • Volume support and internet filing system
  • Open-source download which is free of all costs
  • Does not provide a lot of space for simplicity.

Verdict: There are two primary versions of the open source OpenFiler software: the Microsoft-based Server Edition and the Linux based Home Edition. Both versions have their own pros and cons, but we're interested in what the OpenFiler Server Edition reviews have to say about it.

The most obvious difference between the Server and Home editions of this software is that it's designed for Windows. While you can install it on Macs, it doesn't work out-of-the-box with OS X because it doesn't support the latest version of its operating system. The Windows Server edition is the only one that works on OS X and can be used to connect a variety of devices like your printer and scanner.

openfiler home server software interface

7. Plex Media Server

 
Easy media server management
  • Allows you to easily pick and choose what to share
  • Offers a parental control functionality
  • Centralized management of library
  • Multiple account management
  • High system requirements for the computer

Verdict: A Plex Media Server is a server application designed to stream videos, music, photos, photographs, and other media files to your computer or TV from an internet-connected device. This means that you can have your very own private library of videos and photos on your computer where you can play and edit them as you please.

With your Plex Media Server, you can also have your own web site with many features for displaying your content. You can set up your own video streaming web site in a matter of minutes. If you have an iPhone, you can use the Plex Remote to control the video streaming page.

plex media server home server software interface
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