This weekend I have set up an old laptop with a broken screen as an Amahi server in my house, such that I can access the files stored on the server with my other computers from anywhere.1 I use OpenVPN to establish a connection to the server and its files. As an additional benefit, connecting over a VPN when on a public network secures the traffic to and from you.
Initially I got the idea for a home server after an email from Dropbox informed me that my promotional 48 GB of storage space expire in a month. Instead of paying one of the numerous cloud storage providers, I decided to host an ownCloud at home (after some guides online made it sound easier than it actually is…). Unfortunately, ownCloud on an Amahi server turned out to be quite disappointing. I found ownCloud to lack some functionality and to be very inconvenient in certain ways, and it possibly poses a security risk when accessible from outside the local network. So, I eventually got rid of ownCloud, and retreated to storing my files directly on the server in file shares. ↩