I want my own private video server.
June 15, 2012 10:50 AM   Subscribe

I have a ton of personal videos, but my laptop has a small SSD. I have another computer at home (and access to a VPS) on 24/7 with decent internet connection. What is the best way to stream files from computer to laptop when on the road?

I would like to host my own solution instead of using Dropbox. It would be good if I could grant access to family too, so they can access the videos.

I'm looking for something similar in function to the Dropbox website, where you click a video and it will just play from the browser.

Videos are in different formats (mostly .MOV H.264 and MP4)

Bonus point for very secure connections (willing to setup a VPN if necessary).
posted by helloworlditsme to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Pogoplug is probably the easiest solution. You can either buy one of their devices or use their software on your home PC.
posted by zsazsa at 10:59 AM on June 15, 2012

Plex should do this for you quite nicely. I don't think it's particularly secure, you may have to use a VPN for it.
posted by Nelson at 11:11 AM on June 15, 2012

Not exactly what you asked for, but here's what I did when faced with a similar situation (sorry, Windows-only). I used Windows Live Mesh to sync a folder, and only put the files I wanted in that folder. The beauty of Live Mesh is it doesn't have to sync to the "cloud," it allows your computers to directly sync files from anywhere in the world. It can sync to Skydrive, but it doesn't have to, so the amount of data you can sync is unlimited as long as it's just computer-to-computer.

The problem I encountered with streaming is my home internet upload speed wasn't quite fast enough for streaming. So using Live Mesh I was able to directly download any file I wanted and play it locally. It does require thinking ahead, but it fixes all the skips and jitters that come with streaming if your connection isn't quite up to the task. It also works seamlessly out-of-the-box.

Just thought I'd leave that here in case you had problems with streaming.
posted by Tehhund at 12:46 PM on June 15, 2012

If you don't mind Flash streaming and playback, Subsonic might be worth checking out. It is free (though I think if you want an easy to remember domain name for it, there's a $15 one-time donation), streams audio and video to any computer capable of running flash, and is easy to set up and manage. There are iOS and Android clients, too. Multiple user accounts are no problem. I honestly don't know what I'd do without it.
posted by Betafae at 10:47 PM on June 15, 2012

Oh, did I mention that it transcodes audio and video on-the-fly? No VPN is required, but if you use the web front-end, you'll have to open a pinhole in your router. I'd wager there's a way to make it work over a VPN as well, but I've never had the need.
posted by Betafae at 10:50 PM on June 15, 2012

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