Never underestimate the miniscule, $35 Raspberry Pi. Although it’s marketed as an experimental machine aimed at helping you learn to code, there’s nothing entry-level about its capabilities.
In a pinch, you can even use your Raspberry Pi as a Web server. You can host a simple site or store files in the cloud so you can access them at any time—no monthly hosting fees, limited templates, or other barriers to your creativity.
Why do you need a server? The trend has been against running your own hardware and instead storing files and running programs in what’s called “the cloud”—someone else’s servers, to which you connect over the Internet.
But a server’s a server, whether it’s on your desk or in a datacenter. At its most basic level, a server is a combination of software and hardware that responds to requests across a computer network in order to provide services. The computer network could be as small as your home network or as big as the World Wide Web.
In the case of a Web server, the Raspberry Pi responds to requests to serve up Web pages, which can be simple HTML or sophisticated Web-based apps.
Because it requires little electricity and you can keep it running indefinitely, a Pi makes a great server. At my house, my two Raspberry Pis are both running as servers. One is a print server and also runs my virtual private network, or VPN; the other is a Web server. Pis are good at multitasking: I used one of my servers to wire up my fish tank so my fish could send me text messages.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.