Converting Your Laptop into a Laptop Server: What You Need to Know

Yes, you can convert your laptop into a server, but the conversion process is a little difficult, and you will need to avoid certain pitfalls. If for some reason you’ve decide to use your laptop as a server, you must understand one thing, your laptop has not been designed and configured to act a server. If you want a server, you need to get your hands on a computer power packed with the essential features necessary to work as a server. But, if you still decide to use your laptop as a server, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

What do you Need?

Your laptop will be the most important piece of hardware when it comes to converting it into a server, but there are also some other prerequisites you need to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at them:

High Speed Internet: If you are planning to host a basic website with very few images and text, then an upload speed of 1 MB per second is an absolute must. Ask your internet service providers about the kind of internet connection that will allow you to use your laptop as a server.

Choose a Good Piece of Server Software: There is plenty of server software available on the market, so if you aren’t aware about the various types of software that are just right for your needs, talk to an expert. Server software is a critical component of your laptop server, so you’ll need to get it right. Choose something that suits the configuration of your laptop, otherwise it might result in your server crashing or result in a server downtime.

IP Address: In case of a server, a static IP address is preferable, but if you don’t have one, a dynamic IP address will do. So make sure you get yourself an IP address that is best suited for your server efforts.

The Conversion

Now let’s take a look at the process of converting your laptop into a server:

The first thing you need to do is hook up the laptop to the router. This needs to be done with an Ethernet cable. Once the laptop and router are connected, move onto ensuring your laptop is always powered on. Yes, this is one of the biggest reasons why laptops are not converted into servers. They have this propensity to heat up if used continuously. But if you persist in using a laptop as a server, you’ll need to change its power settings. Make sure it stays on, and just to make sure that it doesn’t heat up, make sure its screen is turned off when the lid is closed.

The second thing you need to do is install your server operating software or system on your laptop. Now, we’ve already mentioned that you need to pick the right system for your needs. But, if you’re finding it difficult to pick the right software, make use of what is readily available. For example, the latest edition of Windows offers you everything you need to convert your laptop into a server. You can even try Windows Server 2012. The great thing about Windows Server OS is that they are really very easy to understand and just a little bit of technical knowledge is enough turn your laptop into a server.

Once you are done with installing a server system, you can now do anything with it; host your site, or convert it into a printer server, use it as a media server or just use it for downloading files.

A word of caution

There is a reason why even home based businesses choose a desktop server for their needs and requirements. The fact is that heat dissipation in laptops is minimal and they heat up faster. A server needs to be kept on at all times and this is where the laptop can falter because of excessive heating. If you’re using a laptop as a server, you will need to make sure that it’s placed in a room that facilitates quicker cooling and that it’s placed on a flat surface. You must also ensure that the laptop’s heat sink is cleaned regularly.

Learn from an expert as to how you can open it up and how it can be cleaned. Dust it off and also clear all the thermal paste off it. Do this regularly and it will help prevent heat buildup. One of the better ways of ensuring your laptop can be converted into an efficient server is making sure that its cooling system is functioning smoothly.

DIY is good but try to get expert help

You don’t need to be a technical wiz to convert a laptop into a server, but you definitely must be aware of what you are doing. A mistake here and there might lead to the wrong server configuration which in turn might affect the tasks that you are assigning to the server. This is why getting experts into the act is so crucial. They should be technical wizards but should have an understanding about laptops and servers. They will help you zero in on the right process of conversion and will also give you information about the tips and tricks needed to ensure your laptop is converted into a server.

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