How to choose your personal server

Servers are suitable for different operating systems. While a Windows server is comparatively easy to manage, Linux servers are usually more suitable for tech nerds and professionals who are well versed in the subject.

Finding Personal Home Server

With a home server you expand the possibilities of your home network. Save music and films so that you can access them from all computers on the network. Or save important documents and backups on your own server in the future.

Depending on your needs, you can choose between different server types. For example, you can buy a powerful and configurable server with an Intel Xeon processor or an easy-to-manage NAS server.

Hardly any household can do without a computer. But the possibilities of computers are usually hardly exhausted. Many users use their computers to surf the web or while away the time playing computer games or streaming films and series.

But if you want to access your films or your favorite music with different end devices, you have to save the corresponding files so that you can access them with different devices.

This is where home servers or host computers come into play. With a home server you can manage your own cloud in which you can save the documents that only you should have access to.

We studied a number of host computer tests to find out what makes a good server. In our server comparison 2021, we introduce you to some home servers and tell you what you should definitely look out for when buying a server.

1. Home Server convince with a variety of possible uses

Manage your data and files on your own server computer. If you integrate a host or host computer into your home network, you create the possibility of storing important documents on your own server. First of all, a server is nothing more than a computer that is designed for continuous operation in a network.

If you save your data on your own server, you can access the data stored there from any device in your network. You can also use a home server as a game server, for example.

If you research server tests or servers, you will usually come across devices of two categories: so-called home servers and so-called NAS servers. Basically, the two types of servers are very similar to each other. However, they differ in their equipment.

NAS stands for “Network Attached Storage“. It follows from the terms that these devices are primarily used to save files, which in turn are then output to end devices on the network.

Home servers, on the other hand, usually have more RAM and faster processors, so they can also be used for other tasks. Home servers have no clearly defined area of application. The configuration therefore requires a bit more technical understanding.

The properties of home servers and NAS servers at a glance in our server comparison:

Home server    

  • one or more hard drives
  • faster processors
  • larger memory

NAS server    

  • one or more hard drives
  • Processor and RAM rather low
  • primarily intended for storing files

2. How to Find the Best Server for Your Needs

In the future, save and back up your data and files on a home server. If you want to buy a host computer or a NAS server for your home network, you don’t have to worry too much about the high costs of buying such a server.

Discounters like Aldi, for example, have cheap servers on offer from time to time. Keep an eye out for the offers of the individual branches or for offers from online retailers for computer accessories.

2.1. Product type (1U, 2U etc.)

Depending on what you want to use your host computer for, according to server tests, either a home server or a SAN server is better. We have already discussed the differences between these two types of servers.

However, there are still several things to consider when purchasing a server. For example, it’s about the right type of product. HE describes the unit of measurement for the height of the electronics housing, which is not insignificant, for example, in large data centers.

Perhaps you have heard of height units before? Whether a server needs 1U or 2U (height units) is primarily important for data centers where you pay according to the height units you need.

2.2. Processor, processor core and clock frequency (GHz)

The performance of a server depends, among other things, on the processor installed. Most devices in host tests use dual-core processors up to 2GHz or processors called quad- core from 2 GHz.

The former are particularly suitable for file servers, media centers without transcoding, web servers or mail servers. Quad-core processors, on the other hand, are ideal for private clouds, media centers with transcoding, game servers and Teamspeak servers.

2.3. RAM (GB) and RAM slots

The available memory is also decisive for the performance of your server. We recommend servers with 4 GB of RAM or servers with 6 GB of RAM.

Many servers in tests have additional RAM slots that allow you to upgrade the device later. To give you enough leeway, the server should be able to handle twice its current configuration.

2.4. Hard disk space (GB)

Hard disk space is a key aspect of testing servers. Here, too, you should have a little leeway to be able to upgrade the device in the future if necessary. For this purpose, the server should have a free hard drive slot, which you can use to retrofit additional hard drives and thus have a server with memory.

Many servers are equipped with express slots or PCIexpress slots for this purpose. Make sure you have enough free slots, for example on a server with express slots if you want to upgrade your (SAN) server to a server with storage.

2.5. Controller (SAS, SAS 2.0 etc.)

Raid controllers ensure that different hard drives are interconnected to form a logical drive. This enables data to be stored more securely and accessed more quickly. In a RAID 1 system, for example, the same data is located on two hard drives. This gives the system better protection should one of the two hard drives fail unexpectedly.

2.6. Operating system (Linux, Microsoft Windows etc.)

When buying a server, the main thing to make sure that the server is compatible with your preferred operating system. Most of the devices in server tests support the common operating systems such as Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 and 2016, Red Hat (Linux), Suse (Linux) as well as My Cloud OS or ReadyNAS OS (Linux).

2.7. Price

The price differences between different servers from different manufacturers on the market are quite large. While you can get very cheap NAS servers from discounters at a low price of around 120 euros, the high-quality home servers cost around 700 euros in tests.


3. The best servers score with fast processors

If you want to use a home server as a game server, for example, you benefit from powerful processors according to server tests. But don’t just pay attention to processor performance and RAM alone.

Some servers, such as tower servers, can usually be upgraded. In the course of time, you can build in additional RAM, for example with IDE hard drives specially designed for servers.

4. Server under test: With your own server you optimize the security of your website

If you have your own website, you have the option of hosting the content on your own server or renting web space. Your own database server offers you more options than rented web space.

In this way you can completely adapt the database server to your needs without having to comply with the specifications of a host. This may also improve the loading times of your website.

5. Different operating systems of servers

If you want to run your own server, you have to choose an operating system. As a rule, servers run with Windows or Linux distributions. Windows has the advantage that most users are used to working with this operating system from their computer.

Therefore in this case a server appears to be easily configurable. There is also good support for Windows because it is a commercial product. Linux, on the other hand, is much cheaper.

However, the configuration of a server under Linux is much more complicated than under Windows and therefore more suitable for computer experts.

6. Frequently asked questions about servers and home servers

6.1. What is a server?

A server is a computer that provides data or services to one or more other computers. The term server comes from English, where the term means “servant”. Servers can also be both hardware servers and software servers.

Another term for hardware server is host or host server. Software servers are, for example, programs that offer special services that can in turn be used by others. A connection to a network is essential for a software server.

6.2. How do I integrate a server into the network?

For a secure connection to your home server, you should connect it to your network with a LAN cable. Connect the LAN cable directly to your router or switch. In theory, you can also connect a host computer to your home network via WLAN.

However, a constant connection cannot be guaranteed with a WLAN connection. Furthermore, the bandwidth of the router is often insufficient for this.

6.3. What brands and manufacturers of servers are there?

Whenever electrical goods such as computers and computer accessories are concerned, you will be confronted with an almost unmanageable variety. Even if you want to buy a server, you have a large selection: SAN servers, tower servers, storage servers, blade servers and IDE servers are offered by many manufacturers.

AMD servers and server processors are familiar to many computer users. At this point we have put together the most important names relating to server hardware and server software for you:

  • Acer
  • Asus
  • Dell rack
  • Fujitsu
  • HP
  • Lenovo
  • Windows


Which are the best servers from our server test or comparison 2021?

Choose your personal server test winner from the following list:

  1. 1st place – good (comparison winner Fujitsu Primergy TX1310 M3 – from 701.10 euros
  2. 2nd place – good: HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 X3216 – from 477.05 euros
  3. 3rd place – good: Netgear RN212D22-100NES – from 522.82 euros
  4. 4th place – good: WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra 6 TB – from 296.99 euros
  5. 5th place – good: Western Digital My Cloud Home Duo – from 303.68 euros
  6. 6th place – good: Synology DS218J / 4TB-RED – from 379.00 euros

With 2 server models, the Western Digital brand has the largest variety of products from a single manufacturer in a server comparison and is therefore particularly known among server manufacturers for its product variety.

How many manufacturers can I choose between in the server comparison?

In the server comparison, the models from 5 different manufacturers are compared and evaluated. More precisely, the experts compared and rated models from Fujitsu, HPE, Netgear, Western Digital or Synology.

How much do the award-winning server models cost?

We offer you a selection of different price categories – 296.99 euros mark the cheapest server, 701.10 euros the most expensive server. On average, you should plan around 446.77 euros for a server.

Which server gets the best reviews from customers?

The Fujitsu Primergy TX1310 M3 received the best rating with an average of 4.8 stars, but the Western Digital My Cloud Home Duo received the most ratings.

Which server can I choose between?

In total, you can choose your personal favorites from 6 different models:

  1. Fujitsu Primergy TX1310 M3
  2. HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 X3216
  3. Netgear RN212D22-100NES
  4. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra 6TB
  5. Western Digital My Cloud Home Duo
  6. Synology DS218J / 4TB-RED

What other products in the Server category do I see when I search for “Dell Server”?

We want to offer you the best selection of products and therefore not only compare servers, but also related products such as Dell servers, Lenovo servers or Fujitsu servers.

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