Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Pioneer Edition FreedomBox Home Server

Why would you want to run a server in your own home? There are many reasons but perhaps the most important one is that it insures a lot more privacy for you and your on-line activities. Let’s ask the opposite question: Why would you want to store your data in some company’s servers where it can be hacked by credit card thieves, identity thieves, employees of the hosting company, and even by government agents with an evil intent?

If you run your own server(s) at home, you can control who has physical access to the server(s), the level of encryption used, and who has permission to access the services being run. That is a huge improvement over trusting some unknown company with all your personal secrets or even the business secrets of your employer.

There are dozens of servers to choose from, including purchasing a server intended for commercial use and installing it in your home. However, several companies make small servers designed for personal use that probably make more sense for individuals and undoubtedly cost less to purchase.

One new entry into the field of personal servers is called the Pioneer Edition FreedomBox Home Server. It is based on Olimex A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 single board computer and runs FreedomBox software.

The FreedomBox firmware image gives you easy access to the Tor browser, BitTorrent file transfers, private encrypted file sharing, private encrypted chat, peer-to-peer file sharing, voice chat, a web proxy, VPN, IRC client, private calendar and address book, file synchronization, distributed file storage, and your very own hosted Wiki and Blog. Not bad for a server that sells for less than $100 US!

You won’t run a large department at a mega-million dollar corporation with this tiny device but it is more than powerful enough to meet the needs of most individuals and even families.

Pioneer Edition FreedomBox Home Server specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A20 dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU @ 1.0 GHz with dual-core Mali 400 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – microSD slot fitted with 32GB class 10 card loaded with FreedomBox, SATA data and power connectors, 2KB EEPROM for MAC address and custom data
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p60
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports with power control and current limiter, 1x micro USB-OTG with power control and current limiter
  • Power Supply – 5V DC
  • Battery – 1400mA /3.3V LiPo battery for UPS power backup supply (good for about 4 to 5 hours)
  • Dimensions – TBD (custom metallic box with FreedomBox decal); board only: 84×60 mm
  • The board ships with an enclosure, a one meter Ethernet cable, a power supply together with optional plug adapter for US or UK.

You can purchase this tiny server from the Olimex store at for 82 Euros ($91.93 US). Make sure you order the version that has the appropriate power plug adapter for your country.

You can

Categories: Email Security, Encryption, Online Privacy & Security

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