• Erin Armitage

How to Build a Homelab Over Time

If you’ve ever thought that your simple computer software didn’t have enough storage space or power, then a homelab may be a great project for you to begin! Even though it may seem like a large undertaking at first glance, following this guide on how to build a homelab over time will have you on your way to the best computer you can imagine.

What is a Homelab?

No matter what field of work you’re in, a space to experiment creatively is always a plus. But, creativity isn’t just reserved for traditional artistic roles like painters or sculptors, but also engineers and computer scientists. This is exactly the purpose of a homelab to experiment with computer projects freely in a non-professional environment. According to epmmarshall.com, “A homelab, in the simplest terms is a sandbox that you can learn and play with new or unfamiliar technologies. They can be as simple as a set of VM's on an old PC or laptop to as complex as my lab (or even more complex than my lab in some cases).” They are quickly becoming a popular project for computer enthusiasts.

What are the Main Components of a Homelab?

To start your homelab, there’s multiple things you’re going to need to begin. Those include: memory, networking, computing power, storage, backup, and uninterruptible power supply. All of these contribute their own unique but important aspects for making sure that your whole setup is the best it can be. To get the scoop on what’s key about each of these individual components, check out this article.

Decide What Level Setup You’d Like

There’s more than one way to make your homelab dreams a reality. Entry, mid, and high level setups offer different benefits for different budgets and time allotments.

Entry-level setups are without a doubt the most cost effective option, but still boast great benefits for your homelab. The main difference in the entry-level setups is that the hardware is all consumer-grade, making it extremely budget friendly. For this type of project, you can even use some extra computer parts that you may have lying around.

Mid-level setups are great if you’re looking for a little more pizazz in your homelab, but still don’t want to empty your bank account in the process. One of the key differences in the mid-level setup is that an external storage drive is added to the homelab, giving a little extra kick to downloading and streaming speeds.

High-level setups are for those who put the specifications over budget. With this level setup, the pieces needed can be consumer-grade but also of higher and more expensive quality. Choosing this level of setup will give you the highest processing power as well as the best storage for all of your projects.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking for a new way to express your creativity, building a homelab could be a wonderful outlet (also check out this article on other ways to find a technology-related creative hobby). Following this guide on how to build a homelab over time will have you with your dream computer in no time!