Amahi For Ubuntu: The Ultimate Home Server?

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What is Amahi?

Amahi, according to the server’s official Web site at amahi.org, is the software that powers the PC that acts as a central computer for your home network.

Amahi handles the storage, entertainment and computing aspects of your home network. You can view your downloaded TV shows on your laptop, listen to music files on an Android tablet and work on documents on another PC without having to copy these files onto your separate devices. It stays on the central PC.

Developers like to bill Amahi as a home digital assistant that delivers all the functionality of a home server while being very easy to use.

Amahi for Ubuntu: Features and Benefits

Amahi is simple to install and maintain, and ultimately makes your home network simple as well.

With Amahi, you can easily:

• Protect all your devices by allowing you to have a backup of all your connected computers. This means that you could easily restore your machines when the need arise.

• Set up your own VPN. Having your own VPN allows you to securely access your home network anywhere you may be.

• Organize files on any computer. With Amahi, you can search, access and share files on just about any PC you have on your network.

• Extend capabilities with apps. With Amahi, you are dealing with something built on open source standards: Linux. But even if you have no experience at all working with Linux, you will be able to download, install and use Web apps that could help you enjoy your PCs more.

Amahai now has a list of Web apps that you could readily use with its system. You can view the list at amahi.org.

So whether you need to install a Wiki software to help manage your affairs at home, or have some easy-to-use backup solution, or an alternative to iTunes, or have the time to play with some games, there’s an Amahi app for that!

While Amahi has been around for a while now, it was only in 2012 that it released a version for Ubuntu. Amahi’s Ubuntu uses Greyhole 0.9, which was the latest storage pooling technology at the time of its release, while it was made to be more reliable and featured a more polished look. Amahi for Ubuntu included support for 32- and 64-bit machines, and had additional cloud storage via Amahi Synch.

What Others are Saying:

Amahi has been gathering a lot of rave reviews from the experts.

Luke Addison switched from Windows Home Server to Amahi, and declared that Amahi seemed to run much better than WHS and used fewer resources.

Addison noted that everything was so easy from installation to configuration. Not to mention that with Amahi, he does not have to worry about viruses and having to recover data, reformat and reinstall everything just because the OS has been screwing everything up in just several months of operations.

MaximumPC had an article that compared different free server installations and notes that Amahi is no-fuss, simple and free to operate. Plus you will benefit from Amahi’s rich community where you could get support and even add-ons without having to learn a single command line.

However, to give you an idea of just how good Amahi for Ubuntu is as a home server, it would be instructive to compare it with Windows Home Server, which many would be more familiar with.

Amahi vs. Windows Home Server

Windows has traditionally been coming out with networking software aimed at businesses. But with the growing use of networking at home and the need to connect devices such as PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, consoles, smart TVs and other similar devices, Microsoft realized that it needed something more in tune for the home.

Microsoft addressed this by coming up with Windows Home Server. But when Server 2012 was launched with four different flavors, Microsoft also announced that it was discontinuing Windows Home Server.

WHS is actually a very good piece of software that allows your devices to communicate with each other. Very simple to use, too.

But having been discontinued, people would have to find an alternative for it.

As far as functionality and features are concerned, there is not much difference between WHS and Amahi. But Amahi might not be as intuitive. With Amahi, you would need to accomplish smaller tasks before you can complete a bigger task, unlike WHS that makes use of simple GUIs. Thankfully, Ubuntu has a great support community that you can consult with.

Here’s a comparison of the features:

• Storage pooling. This is where all of your hard disks act as a single storage medium, making it easy to add or remove hard disks. Amahi has this feature, while WHS removed its Drive Extender feature in later releases.

• Automated Backups. While Amahi offers several backup solutions and can automatically back up all your devices, WHS has good automated backup systems that Amahi can’t beat.

• File Sharing. Both Amahi and WHS accomplish regulated file sharing very well.

• Media Streaming. WHS can immediately stream any movie file, video or music file to any DLNA device. With Amahi, however, you will need to install an app to handle media streaming.

• Security. Because Amahi is grounded on Linux, it is by far more secure and reliable than any Windows server. Linux is known for more secure servers that crash less often than Windows Servers.

• App Center. WHS does not have its own official app center.

Amahi for Ubuntu comes from a long line of outstanding releases that garnered a lot of positive reviews from IT professionals. In a nutshell, Amahi is simple to install and use. It may not be as polished as Windows Home Server, but it does its job quite well. But what takes it over the top are its apps and the support you get from the community, so you do not have any problems extending its functionalities even if you are not that familiar with Linux or Ubuntu.

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