Update (March 22, 2017): This article is very outdated and is being preserved as an example of my writing. I do not recommend using the software or hardware referenced in the article as it has been discontinued.
Simple answer, Yes.
Why? Windows Home Server (WHS) has a pretty strong value proposition. Over the past holiday season (December 2009), HP MediaSmart Servers were available for $199 (USD). That’s a complete computer system to store your files, and do some amazing things…
- Remote computer and file access
- Automatic backup of computers on your network
- Third-party add-ons (free) to enable web serving capabilities, BitTorrent client, and more
- Place to run MagicJack without being bothered
- …only limited by your imagination
How? If you want more performance than a nettop-style HP MediaSmart server, you can do that too.
My own WHS is made of spare parts leftover from upgrades to other computers, but still far outclasses the HP MediaSmart servers.
If you go the DIY route, target your hardware to the Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) platform. SBS 2003 (Small Business Server) is at the core of WHS. I gather this is just for the limitations of SBS, as you won’t find Exchange 2003 hiding anywhere.