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Home network - WinXP Pro or Server 2003?

By bereaduke ·
I want to setup a server on our home network that has 5 computers on it. Right now there is no server, but I want to set one up that would primarily be a file server for backup. I have legal copies of Windows XP Pro & Windows Server 2003 that I can use. The hardware available is currently unused & assembled with Asrock motherboard, AMD Athlon64 3000+, and a Maxtor 250GB IDE drive. Would it be worth the time & effort to go with the Server 2003 instead of XP Pro?

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by cmiller5400 In reply to Home network - WinXP Pro ...

The legal connection limit for XP Pro is 10 connections. So a 5 computer network is fine. But, If you don't want to set up accounts on each pc for each user, I would go with the domain. (I believe that W2k3 comes with 5 CALS so, you would only be able to connect 5 stations to it.)

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by rkuhn In reply to Home network - WinXP Pro ...

Server 2003 is a better route if you want to experiment and learn as well as use other things.

Like remote connection via VPN, have better security, access rights, etc along with DHCP, DNS, etc.

Maybe setup an intranet or if it's SBS 2003 then you could use Exchange with something like DynDNS or use their SharePoint services as well.

DHCP and DNS can be handled by a cheap router though.

Other uses I have Server 2003 for are Symantec centralized, a product called SysAid (HelpDesk), LiveCommunications, a product called MeetGate (IM software), etc. Also, MS Virtual Server is free and Virtual PC isn't.

Just a few thoughts.

However, just using XP would be simpler (aside from account management) and some of the above would still be possible.

Just depends what you want to accomplish.

Last option is to scratch both XP and Server 2003 and just setup a NAS if all you want is storage and backup.

For example, NASLite or FreeNas.

Good luck.

If it were me, I'd do Server 2003 and at least be in a position for future "growth", ideas, plans, learning, experimenting, etc.

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