So now I’ve got my Microserver set up, I’ve got a machine in my own house, which is always on, and provides me with some peace of mind that data I put on it wont get lost as the result of a single hardware mishap.

A while ago I experimented with Dynamic DNS, a system which allows you to direct a hostname to a dynamic IP address used for your home connection. This means that, even though your IP address changes, you can always access it through the same human readable address.

I’m a big fan of the convenience that “cloud-hosted services” provide. I use Flickr to host photos, I sync my files through DropBox, I make notes in Google Docs. However, there are 2 things that really bug me about these services. You have a complete lack of control over the service, where it stores your data, if and when it’s encrypted, and who has access to it. Also, you can never use your own resources – for example DropBox gives you 2GB of data, and you have to pay for more. Never mind if you’ve got a 1TB drive in your desk drawer, or 100GB of web hosting you’re not using, you’re using their resources and that’s it. That’s not the way I think of computing.

So I’ve hatched a plan: I’ve now got a terabyte of storage connected to the Internet, and an address that allows me to access it from wherever I am – At home, at work, on public WiFi, on my phone, all the places I might use cloud services. My plan now is to replace all the hosted services I currently use with an equivalent, open source solution that runs on my own hardware, and I’ll cover it in a series of posts. Keep watching folks!