Turn an Old PC Into a NAS, VPN, Media Streamer, and More with Amahi


If you have an old computer with some life left in it, or you’re building a do-it-all home server that can store your backups, music, movies, and everything else you need backed up and secure, Amahi is the perfect utility for the job. Amahi can turn any PC into an at-home VPN, a NAS for all of your files, and more. Here’s how.

What Is Amahi?

Amahi is free, open-source home server software that’s based on Fedora Linux. It’s flexible and customizable, easy to install, and has tons of plug-ins, extensions, and other add-on software that can extend its features to suit your needs. If you need media streaming to your mobile devices, Amahi can do that. If you’re just looking for a simple file server or want to pool a bunch of hard drives into a NAS, Amahi can do that too. If you want a VPN you can use to securely connect to your home network while you’re away, Amahi has you covered there too. You can read more about its features here, or take a quick product tour here.

We mentioned Amahi a long time ago, but it’s grown a lot since then, and is even easier to install than it used to be. It takes moments to get up and running, and while some of the configuration can be tricky, once it’s working, it pretty much takes care of itself, and you’ll never really need to log in to the server itself—everything can be managed from its dashboard, which you can log in to from any other computer on your network.

Amahi Turns Old Systems into Full-Featured Media Servers Wouldn’t it be neat if you could turn an old laptop or desktop into a media center that served …

We’ve shown you some other great uses for an old PC, like using FreeNAS 8 to build a home NAS or using Ubuntu to build a fully-featured home server, and Amahi takes a similar approach. If you’re an advanced user looking to set up the perfect NAS, and you need tons of drive configuration and access options, FreeNAS is the way to go. If you want your home server to do lots of things, like serve as a VPN, a media server, a web server, and so on, Amahi is a better option—not just because it’s easier to install, but because it supports plug-ins that do all of those things (and we’ll highlight some of them later.)

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