Acer’s entry-level easyStore H340 gives you everything you need to attach a robust Windows Home Server to your network, with plenty of room to expand. Its technical specs edge out HP’s comparably-priced LX195—both are budget servers equipped with a 1.6GHz Atom processor, but the H340 includes 2GB of RAM and 1TB of included disk storage. The feature that really sets Acer’s offering apart, however, is the availability of four hot-swappable drive bays, meaning you can add three additional 3.5-inch SATA drives with ease. And if those aren’t enough, the H340 also has five powered USB ports and even an eSATA port for you to go nuts with expansions.
Sweet hardware aside, the software bundled with the H340 is pretty basic. Included server Add-ins provide compatibility for DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) supported hardware and iTunes library sharing, but the Lights Out power management Add-in is something you can freely download for any WHS build. You also get six months of McAfee virus protection for your server, but this is a service that you can’t uninstall from the WHS console—you’ll have to use Remote Desktop to manually remove it.
One other notable feature is a one-touch USB backup button. Plug any USB hard drive into the front of the server, push the button, and the H340 automatically copies all of the files into the Public Shared Folder. It’ll also sort the files based on file type, distributing them into music, video, and photo folders. We found this to be a really quick and efficient way to back up the myriad USB keys found lying around at home. As a starter package, the Acer H340 is great for power users who want a home server without building their own.