- Category: server setup
Do You Need a File Server?
Most small businesses don't use file servers, a specialized PC that is just used to share files among workers. In the past, these PCs were expensive, ran a different operating system from the ordinary Windows XP or Vista, and made it easier to connect to printers and backup tape drives. Because they were expensive, many smaller businesses just opted to store shared files on someone's desktop.
Having a file server has its advantages though: your business critical files are stored on something that has more protection because it doesn't have one of your users sitting in front of it all day, surfing the Web and getting infected with e-mails. You can lock it in a closet to prevent theft, too.
Lately, prices have come down - there are many options for less than $1,000, and some considerably less. Many products allow your files to be shared not only across your local network, but make them also accessible on the Internet as well. Before you consider buying something, you need to answer these questions: First, do you want redundant drives so you have some protection in case one fails? Second, how much storage do you need? Third, do you want to assemble a server or buy something ready-made? Finally, do you need support for both Windows and Macintosh clients on your network?