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Ultra low power home servers - what are my options

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 4 years ago

Networking 1

An anonymous reader writes "OK Slashdot — I'm looking for suggestions. While at work and away from home, I find that it would often be nice to have access to a trusted machine.

The problem is, leaving on my desktop PC is completely overkill, as the functions I need are quite simple.

Does anyone have any suggestions for low power device that could handle the following functions?

1. A way to securely connect to the machine and use it as a proxy to instant message, email, etc. (I don't want my work reading everything I write)

2. The ability to download files overnight, via FTP or bittorrent, to an SD card / USB drive / etc. I realize that some routers currently have this feature.

3. (more demanding) A secure web browser that lets me browse from work with privacy

Now, option #3 probably means this will end up being something closer to a small form factor / atom-based custom PC, but that's really more than I want to spend. Additionally, these will probably draw more power than necessary.

Are there any options out there for around $50-$100 that could let me do the very basics? I recall reading about some PC's that plug directly into the electrical outlet, but they seemed to have limited functionality.

What do you think?"

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MSI Wind PC for ~$140 (1)

stewartjm (608296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28987739)

The MSI Wind PC [newegg.com] alone costs $100-$130, and you need to add RAM($10-20) and a CF card($10-20+) or HDD($40+). It's the cheapest, modern, full fledged x86 PC, that I'm aware of.

I bought an open box version for ~100 shipped a few months back. The open box unit had all the needed hardware. I'd guess they're mostly returns from people that didn't like the unit.

I installed Ubuntu on a 4gb CF card, from a USB flash drive. And used a 1gb SODIMM I had left over after upgrading my laptop's RAM.

It's been a perfectly functional Ubuntu box. I have run a web server on it, but haven't tried any of your other tasks.

I plan to eventually set it up as a network Keyboard and Mouse server(i.e. Synergy). And then add an Arduino hooked into some DVI/HDMI switches, along with some midi controlled line mixers. I.e. basically use it as an IO device router for my other computers.

Instead of a CF card, you could also install to a second USB flash drive.
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