Ideas to Put Your Spare PC to Good Use
You will, at some point, replace your PC with a newer model but what if there is not too much wrong with the older one? Is there anything you can do with it? Well yes, there are, several things in fact.
1. Turn it into a NAS Server
If you have multiple users on your home network your old PC can be used as a server or as a storage device attached to the network. However, it isn’t as easy as plugging the PC into the network. Desktop PCs tend not to be configured for this kind of thing, mostly because they use up too much power. Your BIOS power management must be set so your cooling fans run quietly if you can and the operating system needs to be set up, so it doesn’t close down at odd times while running in low-power when not in use.
You most likely would not need a monitor, keyboard or mouse once the initial setup has been down and, the normal operating system will not cope with what you want. So, you need to install a network-specific system, perhaps Window Home Server or FreeNAS, an open-source software package that is designed for turning your PC into a storage device on the network.
2. Mine Cryptocurrency
You can use pretty much any old PC to mine cryptocurrency, although not so much Bitcoin these days. You might have to spend a little money to add extra hardware to your PC, but you can get started quite quickly. You do need a good internet connection and a Bitminer client on your computer and once you have those you can start mining. Also consider Ethereum mining as it is easier to do on an older PC. Your PC is going to be working hard so ensure that you have sufficient cooling otherwise it may overheat.
3. As a Media Streaming and/or Storage Device
Most devices on a home network are media hungry. Even if you are addicted to streaming services, you still probably have reams of TV shows, movies, podcasts, music and other media stored that you want to watch on other devices. To do that, you will need a media server. You will need a clean install of the operating system on your PC and it must be dedicated to playback of video and audio files and there are several ways to do this:
- Kodi – can be installed directly to your PC and used with a remote-control app. All your media can be played through it onto whatever device with a monitor that you connect it to.
- Plex – pretty much the same as Kodi, install it on your PC to stream any media you have.
3. As a Game Server
If you have a multiplayer game that you love to play it may be that you can host it on your PC by making it into a dedicated server for games – this requires little in the way of system power and will work flawlessly.