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I previously wrote about why one should(or shouldn’t) self-host. I wrote it with someone thinking of launching a specific service in mind. But what if you want to have many services? What if some of them really benefits from self-hosting?

When I built my server I had one specific goal in mind, a cloud/backup server/NAS. I wanted a way to sync my documents, photos and videos between my devices as well as backing them up in case of tragedy (my arch nemesis, concrete floors…). Photos and videos can become quite heavy and transferring them through LAN is preferable. When you want to, say, make a video using clips taken with your phone, it’s easy to transfer them to your computer and start editing. It’s even possible to edit without transferring them, my partner is a heavy user of the samba I set up when she works on her projects in adobe premiere, davinci resolve and similar. Just make sure to use ethernet as WAN is not good enough in latency terms I have found.

There are some things to consider in this use-case. When I self-host I don’t have to worry about having to pay for a monthly fee in order to keep my data. If we have a period of economic distress I don’t have to pay the hosting provider, I just have to pay the electricity to run the NAS (it uses MAX 60W so it’s not a huge expense). If you use large amount of storage you have to pay more and there aren’t as many alternatives as when you just set up a blog. You also don’t get a NAS when you use a hosting provider. I wanted a NAS as well.

The thing is, when you’re already paying for a NAS then you might as well make good use of it! The way I set it up is that energy hogging hard drives are only used for mass storage through smb or Nextcloud. Other services are hosted on an SSD which don’t use that much energy. The hard drives spin down after 5 minutes of idle but the NAS is on 24/7. If it’s going to be on 24/7 then it wont increase the cost to have more services running on it! The extra load is usually negligible anyway.

My point is that if you just want a blog then you should probably use a hosting provider. If you have a NAS and you like to fiddle a little with computers I think it is perfectly valid to self-host! You might even call it cost effective (cost of NAS + hosting provider > cost of NAS + extra electricity cost of hosting).

All this depend on you having great internet though, personally I have gigabit internet included in the rent so it’s not a concern…

Jesper

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