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A home server is a computer that functions in a client-server home network, which is defined by two or more computers that form a local area network within a home. A personal computer can serve as a home server as long as it has sufficient storage space and memory. Often, home servers are used by people who want to learn about networks and servers.
To function as a home server, a personal computer must have sufficient space on its hard drive, sufficient memory and, if connected to the Internet, a connection with sufficient bandwidth to handle all connected computers simultaneously. The vast majority of modern PCs meet this criteria.
All the data for connected computers resides on the home server’s hard drive, making it easy to back up data from all the computers in the network. Home servers are often used to serve multimedia content to other devices throughout the home, as well as to the Internet. Users anywhere in the home can then access such data from the home server. When connected to the Internet, a home server can also provide remote access to files and programs on the home server. Other home server functions include Web serving, email, home automation, security monitoring, Internet Relay Chat and instant messaging, and online gaming.