Beginning A Homelab


I started building a Homelab in earnest this past summer. I had been wanting to do something with my ancient hand-me-down Acer Aspire because 1) it's thrifty and 2) waste not want not! At the moment it's been put on hold, but in the brief time I spent on it I concluded its a very worthwhile pursuit, not just for those interested in cybersecurity.

At First I wanted my laptop as a sort of convenient, versatile, always-online box that I could just put whatever I wanted. That's the very essence of a server isn't it? I figured some good starting points would be a plex server so I don't have to lug my PS4 wherever I wanted watch blu-rays, and instead could lug my somewhat lighter thinkpad. I also wanted to make a seedbox (for old books!) just so it was doing something. But a big reason was to have a machine dedicated to hosting virtual machines, so I can do challenges from VulnHub and others. All this also led to me trying to have that laptop at home accessible anywhere (again mostly for plex), but that quickly turned into a big security hole for my whole house, so I axed that. So far a literal "Home"lab has not panned out and I figure I'll just get a raspberry pi or stick to using VPS's on Vultr (non-referral link here

I've been recommended by peers and the internet to use Azure or AWS for an online homelab, but if you know me you'll know why I prefer Vultr or literally anything else. If you don't, here's why: I dislike both Microsoft and Amazon as companies in general, and I find their cloud services to just be too big and bloated for my use cases. I shouldn't need a tool that has training certificates just to ssh to a remote server I pay for.

This ties into my beliefs on simplicity and how it pertains to technology. I like Vultr in this way because it's nothing but setting up a server and getting an address to connect to. This website is actually hosted on a Vultr server.

In the near future I'll certainly get to work on vulnerable virtual boxes, so look forward to those writeups coming soon. Until then I'll be busy finishing my internship, moving back to and starting up school, and going back to my part-time job.