A home media server is a PC, perhaps one you’re not using anymore, dedicated to sharing files on a network with all other PCs. It’s useful to have a computer for this purpose, so that other PCs in the home can find specific files whenever they need to.
The instructions for setting up a PC as a home media server differs depending on your chosen operating system. In this tutorial, I’ll be covering instructions on how to do that for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. I will also tell you how to connect to the resulting Media Server in the different operating systems.
Before we get into setup, we need to discuss what kind of PC you’re going to be using for this. If you don’t have an old computer sitting around that you don’t use, then you’re going to want to get a really cheap machine with a good hard drive to store all your content. Once you’ve done that, you’re going to want to set it up.
Note that you can also use an application such as PlayOn on the host computer to automatically stream movies, music and other documents from that computer to any other PC, Xbox, PS3 or mobile phone in the home.
Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.
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