10 things you can do with your Dedicated Server or VPS
Dedicated Servers can be useful for a multitude of different reasons. For example, you can use your idle server for setting up your own personal data synchronization services, virtual private networks, and more.
10. Deploy a Personal Data Sync Service
There are plenty of services out there currently that offer syncing options for your cloud syncing needs like Dropbox and Bitcasa, although some worry about potential security issues and feel uncomfortable hosting their private data on third-party servers that they don’t control. In addition to personal data syncing, there are also business services like Nexsan, however, they are typically more expensive.
You can choose to host your own Personal Data Sync Service instead using private syncing services such as Resilio. Hosting your own private syncing service enables you to sync your data across multiple devices, very similar to how Dropbox works, but without the cloud components and the “always-on” network connection. Choosing to install a private data syncing service on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) would enable you to create syncing system similar in function to Dropbox, but lacking the privacy concerns.
9. Secure Your Network Connections
Dedicated Servers and Virtual Private Servers are also useful for securing your network traffic and wireless connections through Virtual Private Networks or VPN. A VPN is a method of employing encryption to provide secure access to a remote computer over the internet. There are many tutorials on how and why you should set up a VPN.
There are many different Virtual Private Network solutions available today that will work on dedicated server or virtual private server such as OpenVPN.
Virtual Private Networks
8. Set Up a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Voice over Internet Protocol, also referred to as VoIP, is form of communication that utilizes the internet as a transmission medium by sending voice over the internet network. Using VoIP is becoming more common among businesses as they want to use their own networks to ensure they have more control and higher voice quality than a traditional phone system can provide. A common example of Voice over Internet Protocol is Skype. You can also read about what VoIP can do for your business.
Setting up your Dedicated Server or Virtual Private server to host your own VoIP service is simple. There are many tutorials on how to set up your own VoIP system. There are many services you can use on your dedicated server or virtual private server to host your own Voice over Internet Protocol such as Mumble, TeamSpeak, and Ventrilo.
Voice over Internet Protocol
7. Project Management and Personal Cloud
You can do much more with your idle dedicated server or virtual private server than you could in the past. Technology is helping businesses and individuals in many different ways. A personal cloud is a private section hosted on the public cloud that allows you to upload, store, and retrieve data. A common personal cloud is Dropbox or Google Drive.
Today, you can manage your own personal projects for yourself or your small business. A good example of a project management tool is ProjectLibre, which is a very immersive, open source, and feature rich project management tool. Using a dedicated server or VPS, you can also host your own personal cloud— allowing you to sync your contacts, calendars, files, and images. Certain programs like ownCloud allow you to process data syncing as well, but it also includes a task manager, calendar, image galleries, and document editing software.
Personal Cloud Storage
6. Private Analytics
Using a dedicated server or virtual private server, you can choose to host your own web analytics server. Web analytics is important to understanding your customer base and improving the effectiveness of your website. This is a common alternative to depending on services such as Google Analytics. If you aren’t satisfied with Google Analytics, you can opt to use a service like Piwik for a feature rich web analytics tool including many features of Analytics such as real time analytics, visitor tracking, referrer analysis, and even geolocation.
Personal Cloud Storage
Stanford University is offering you the opportunity to help find a cure for many of today’s illnesses and cancers, such as Alzheimers, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s. Folding@Home is a way to help donate your unused computer power to the world’s biggest distributed supercomputer. Currently they boast over 84,000 users and a total combined computing power of over 80,000 teraflops.
4. Communication Services
Dedicated servers and virtual private servers can also be used as an email server or IRC server. Internet relay chat, or IRC, is the most simple form of chat dating all the way back to 1988. You can use Internet Relay Chat for more than just basic chats, like transferring files, encryption, proxies, multiple channels, and different users. People mostly use IRC for their website chat rooms or for private conversations as an alternative to popular chat services such as MSN or Facebook messenger. Email servers allow you to access and manage your emails, including how they are received, sent, and distributed to users. There are plenty of free email services such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo, however, many businesses prefer to use their own domain name for their emails.
Using your own dedicated server or virtual private server, you can host your own email server, a common example being Postfix, which is open source and full of features. Another way to utilize your inactive dedicated server is to become your own mail service provider using Mail-in-a-Box.
3. Hosting Your Own Web Page
You can use your dedicated server or virtual private server to host your website, a blog, a forum, a wiki, and so much more. Hosting your own site has many advantages, such as lack of forced advertising, increased overall speed, and an unparalleled level of control. Although it is technically possible to set up your own server for web page hosting, you will most likely run into issues for high bandwidth usage if you have a large amount of traffic as well as decreased reliability. Learn how to simply host your website with WordPress or how to host a blog with Blogger.
Web Hosting Services
2. Hosting Game Servers
If you play multiplayer video games, you’re familiar with how game servers work. Using a dedicated server you can host your own multiplayer lobbies and dedicated game servers with minimal downtown and optimal speed. There are plenty of tutorials for how to set up dedicated servers for common games like Minecraft, Counter Strike, and Arma 3.
1. Use Your Server As a Firewall
If you are in the market for a firewall but your budget won’t allow for the hardware or commercial software firewall, consider that there are other open-source alternatives such as SmoothWall and Sophos, some of which are said to be just as effective as some commercial applications.
The possibilities of are endless with what you can do with your dedicated server. There are many things that couldn’t be included in the list such as creating a simple test server, converting your server to a monitoring server such as Nagios, creating an internet jukebox for streaming different multimedia formats to different devices with Ampache. or even to set up HTTP tunneling.