Do you remember the days when your computer was struggling to catch up with all the tasks you had at hand? We don’t blame you if you’ve already dumped your desktop for a slicker model, but in case you have one or more collecting dust in your storage room, here are some ways to make use of your ancient computers.
You might have to do some light upgrades like install more RAM and a bigger hard drive, depending on how old your PC is, but it’ll be worth it. Once you’ve done that, explore these options:
Try a lighter OS
While you might be tempted to install a new Windows or macOS on your old computer, they won’t work optimally without a fast processor. However, Linux-based operating systems, which come in a variety of options called “distros”, will make your computer feel brand new without exhausting its hardware.
Popular distros options like Ubuntu, elementary OS, and PinguyOS, can be easily installed, have similar interfaces as Windows, and come with a ton of software packages. The best part is they only require a minimum of 4GB of RAM, which means you won’t have to invest much at all.
Make a NAS server
Network-attached storage (NAS) is a server for your home or small business network that allows you to store files that need to be shared with all the PCs on the network. If your old PC has at least 8GB of RAM, you can use it to make your own NAS instead of purchasing one.
Simply download FreeNAS, a software accessible from any OS (Windows, MacOS, Linux) that enables you to make a shared backup of your computers. FreeNAS features access permissions and also lets you stream media to mobile OSes, like iOS and Android.
However, if you prefer turning your PC into a private cloud for remote access and data backup, Tonido is a great alternative. Compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux, it turns your PC into a storage website so you can access files from anywhere on any device.
Tonido offers up to 2GB of file syncing across computers. There’s even Tonido apps for iOS and Android for mobile access.
Secure your online privacy
Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn your old computer into a dedicated privacy PC so you won’t have to worry about compromising privacy while browsing the web? With The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS), you can.
This Linux-based software routes all your internet traffic and requests through TOR Project, a software that makes it extremely difficult for someone to track you online. All of TAILS’ integrated applications like web browser, Office suite, IM client, and email software, are pre-configured for robust security and privacy protection.
Take your media up a notch
If you’re looking for a way to listen to your music, podcasts, or watch videos on other PCs, or mobile devices, a server software like Kodi can help.
What it does is bring all your digital media together into one user-friendly package so you can use your old PC as an audio and video hosting platform. From there, you can play files on other devices via the internet. There are remote control apps for iOS or Android users and even an app for Kodi playback on the Amazon Fire TV.
Kodi works on any device running Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and even rooted Android and jailbroken iOS devices.
We’re always on the lookout for ways to help our clients make the most out of their technology investments. If you’d like to know more about how to utilize other hardware to your business’s advantage, give us a call.