So heres my question, what would setting up a server give me? What advantages would it have over what Im doing now?
hmmm, seems some folks are just bragging in this thread.
To answer your question and from what you said I'd probably not buy another PC for your purpose.
- I'd buy a NAS w/ plenty of drive space or fill it with drive space.
- Make sure NAS has media streaming abilities. Plenty of them out there from cheap and reliable to very expensive.
- Figure out a good backup solution. Remember to backup your backups. (Mozy is good for home)
- Offload everything to that NAS
This will provide better performance in theory and offload everything from PC(s) you actually use for other things. Also, you can then backup other things to this NAS as well.
Remember though, in general a NAS is just a simple PC or otherwise known as an appliance. It has a single purpose. Why do I like a NAS over a built PC?
-Usually very reliable since the OS/Firmware is simple
Disadvantages in general are cost. You know how to buy a chassis/enclosure and drives to do what you're already doing with a PC. Also, most are not the easiest to modify from an OS point of view. At least the lower cost ones are not.
I could go on and on, but do some research on NAS devices and get back with specific questions. At the end of the day *I* personally don't use dedicated servers for what you're doing. I do a NAS and use it for other things as well. I used dedicated servers for specific applications.
Also, make sure your NAS supports FTP, SFTP, SSH and NFS.