Microsoft has a difficult challenge ahead of them in convincing people that they need Windows Home Server. After all, having another computer in the house—especially one that doesn't have a screen, a keyboard, or a mouse—isn't something people are shoving each other in the face for. But when families take a good long look at what WHS can do, like automated, centralized daily backups, simplified remote access, storage expansion and network file sharing, they may just change their minds. We got our hands on a Norco DS-520 Home Server, one of the first pre-made boxes available, and definitely loved what we saw.
Before the software, here's the hardware we used to explore WinHoServer. Norco's DS 520 has a 1GHz Celeron M processor, up to 1GB RAM, eight SATA II channels, 3 eSATA ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a total capacity of 8TB when using 1TB drives. It's got an MSRP of $649, which may seem high for a headless machine, but it's not quite like a standard Windows machine you've used. True, you can make a Windows XP or Vista machine into a NAS that backs up and has RAID and allows remote access, you need deep networking and computer experience to do so. WinHoSo is designed for the average family with more than one computer. And you pay for both the convenience and the upgrade ability.
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