Buyer’s Guides

At STH we are constantly testing the newest gear. We do our own editorial reviews but also host systems for other hardware review sites, industry analysts, paid benchmarking firms, and customer demos/ proof of concepts. As a result, we use a large amount of hardware. Since we have the privilege of hosting in multiple data centers, we also build our own infrastructure. Based on our experience with hardware and software, we have a number of buyer’s guides focused on building reliable and highly cost-effective architectures that can be leveraged in SOHO and SMB environments.

STH Editor’s Choice Awards

STH gives a handful of products each year the Editor’s Choice award to products that offer significant advancements in the market.

Check out The STH Editors Choice Award Winners for how we decide and the products that have received the award thus far.

The DIY WordPress Hosting Hardware Guide

WordPress is the Internet’s #1 platform for running websites. As your site grows, you are likely to find shared hosting, VPS and cloud instances have trouble meeting your cost/ performance needs. The STH DIY WordPress Hosting Hardware Guide will walk you through the decisions you will face.

TrueNAS / FreeNAS Buyer’s Guides

TrueNAS / FreeNAS is an extremely popular ZFS storage platform based on FreeBSD. While FreeNAS is a free platform, it is supported by iXsystems a for-profit company that sells enterprise storage arrays based largely on FreeNAS. Here are some of the guides we have available, with more coming:

As a quick note, we will fold the TrueNAS Scale guide into a future Linux guide.

pfSense Buyer’s Guides

pfSense is the gold standard for open source network appliances. The FreeBSD-based system has a web GUI for management of firewall rules, routing, VPN services, proxies and other network services. At STH, we use pfSense daily and specifically test hardware with the OS. Here are our buyer’s guides for pfSense:

Napp-it and OmniOS ZFS Storage Appliance Buyer’s Guides

Napp-it is a popular web graphical interface for the administration of ZFS storage appliances. The software runs atop OpenSolaris derived OSes. A popular OS choice to pair with napp-it is OmniOS so we have a number of guides focused on that solution.

Moving to Colocation Buyer’s Guides

At STH, we went through the process of moving our web hosting infrastructure from shared hosting to a VPS provider, then to the AWS cloud. We soon found performance constraints and cost savings were substantial enough that we could move to a colocation environment and save (a lot) of money.

Falling From the Sky Series – The story of how STH saved big by leaving AWS (2013)

Going Colo Series (2015)

Falling from the Sky 2020 Update

Ubuntu Server Buyer’s Guides

Coming soon

Proxmox Server Buyer’s Guides

Coming soon

Home Lab Networking Buyer’s Guides

Coming soon

SSD Buyers Guides

Many STH readers are building all-flash storage arrays. As a result, we have a few guides to getting great deals on enterprise SSDs for the data center or lab:

We do plan to expand our range of Buyer’s Guides in the future. If you have ideas, please submit them in the STH Suggestions forum.