Should you home-host?

Should you home-host?

Let’s find out the pros and cons of home hosting!

Is home hosting for you? Or should you stick with VPS?

In this guide I will go over when home hosting is a good option and when a VPS might be better for you.

When should you consider home hosting?

I’m not saying that hosting your projects at major cloud providers isn’t a bad idea but if you have the resources or are willing to invest in some hardware to home host you should totally give it a shot. Let’s see when it makes more sense to home host or where home hosting is your only opinion:

Torrenting

If you torrent a lot, or are planing on doing so, you might want to automate it. You might want to watch a simple movie or simply want to download something. Most major cloud providers agressively block ports that you can torrent on and even report you to (local) authorities/suspend your account if you torrent anything illegal. We do not support torrenting of illegal/copyrighted content, please do not go that route.

Privacy

Want to store your files in a secure place shielded of from the rest of the internet or simply want to have full control over your data? Then selfhosting a platform to store them on is a really good idea.

For hosting something like a Google Drive clone at home I would recommend Nextcloud but ownCloud is also pretty good!

Connecting to your devices at home securely

Want to connect to your local network and control your devices? That’s totally possible if you home host a VPN service. You can use an installer like this one for setting up OpenVPN within seconds! Don’t forget to portforward!

You can also use software like Parsec so you can control your PC/Laptop and play games on it from a long distance, cloud gaming but selfhosted!

Really high transfer speed at home.

After you’ve set up your applications on your local machines and connect to them from home (the same network) the transfer speeds will be insanely high!

It’s relatively cheap!

It should be cheaper than using a VPS due to the fact that

  1. You’re already paying for internet, so why not use it?
  2. You can reuse old hardware, like an old PC, that you don’t use anymore.

You can of course host applications using a cloud provider but reusing old hardware is still a fun project to set up.

When shouldn’t you consider home hosting?

Like all things, home hosting isn’t fully perfect. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of disadvantages of home hosting.

  • Most people dont have a gigabit network at home which makes uploading to your users a lot slower depending on how much data needs to be transfered but shouldn’t cause giant issues if you are the only one using the home hosted applications.
  • If your network has inconsistent speeds, due to the fact that you probably aren’t the only one living in your home, things could become really slow. Of course, you can allocate more traffic to your server at home but it’s a thing that you should consider.
  • It’s less stable. A power outage is waaaaaay more common than in a datacenter so ensure you can automatically turn the system back on after power has been restored.

Convinced? Awesome! Let’s give it a shot.

To make home hosting a success you have to fill in this check list!

  •  A good upload connection, check your up/down by using fast and check the results. We recommend at least 15/15 mbit to get started.
  •  A place to store your hardware. Since the devices have to be up and running 24/7 it’s not a good idea to put the device in your room. For example, I have a 1U server from HP in my house and I do not want to sleep next to the device (the thing makes a lot of noise). Daniel from Krossor uses a few Raspberry Pis to host his stuff on so that might work for you as well!

Okay you met the requirements? Lets start by choosing our hardware.

The hardware you are going to need depends heavily on what you want to host. So I suggest write down what kind of things you want to host. Here are some suggestions:

  • Your own website about yourself
  • Your own cloud solution. For example nextcloud
  • A game server for your favorite game or for a friend (for example CSGO or Minecraft).
  • Your own DNS server that blocks adds (with Pi Hole)
  • Your own VPN with OpenVPN or Wireguard
  • Emby for watching movies/series
    • And automate downloads of your series and movies with the following tools:
      • Sonarr – Automate series downloads
      • Raddarr – Automate movie downloads
      • Jackett – Search for movies from torrent sites (needed by Sonarr/Radarr)
      • Deluge – Torrent client to download movies (can be any torrent client that Sonarr/Radarr support)
  • And much much more!

Lightweight applications?

I recommend going with something like a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4. They can be easily setup and don’t use a lot of power, awesome!

Heavy lifting?

We recommend an older PC or get your own server at home with some power! Please keep in mind that they use more power so your powerbill might skyrocket depending on what you do with it. An old server from 2010 usually consumes at idle 125 Watts which is pretty high compared to a Raspberry Pi which only consumes 3 Watts on idle.

The last tip I have for you is ensure everything uses ethernet. Don’t get a janky wifi adapter and expect it to be stable. Internet over a cable is waaaaay more stable! And that’s what you want, right?

Thanks! ✨

This was my first article (it was originally posted on Krossor by Lukas), I hope you like it! I know it was kind of short but if you want to learn more, let me know in the comments down below and I’ll do my best to respond to your questions (and I might even write an article about it in the future.)

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