I'm planning on setting up a home network & am wondering what will be the best way for my situation for me to do this. Also, will a server benefit me in any way? Here are my particulars. I just purchased a new rMBP. I'm planning on this being my main use machine both at home & obviously on the road. Because of a few frequently used windows programs not available on Mac and the fact that my Adobe CS2 suite (Photoshop, etc.) is for Windows, I'm planning on using an external USB 3.0 hard drive to load Windows 7 Home Premium and these programs on it and operate it using VMWare Fusion 5.0. (Will probably eventually purchase a Mac version of the Adobe CS suite and run it directly off of the Mac.) In addition, I have a Windows XP PC that I built in late 2006 with Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor. On it I I have several physical hard drives installed with tons of data. All data is backed to external hard drives. Because of terrible bandwith, I have not yet backed up to the cloud except for critical data. This XP PC actually runs very well as I've done all the necessary things needed to keep it going. As it is fully backed up, I have mirrored & replaced a few hard drives over time as part of my maintenance on the machine. My wife also runs a Windows 7 Pro PC that is 1 year old. We will probably be purchasing another Mac laptop next year as we plan a long term transition to the Apple world. Now my question: What will be the easiest / best way for me to set up a home network & why? Using the old Windows XP machine? Using my wife's dedicated Windows 7 Pro Machine? Using the Windows 7 Home Premium machine emulated through VMWare fusion 5.0? Or using a home network set up tool on the MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion 10.8? (Being totally new to the Apple world... is there one?) On a side note & this may impact answers to the above question: I'm considering setting up a server to allow me to remotely access home files while on the road (if they happen to not be in DropBox at the time). Any other reasons to set up a server versus simple home networking? Do any of my OS's allow me to access home files from afar without setting up a server? If I set up a server, I'm considering taking my old XP machine and wiping the boot drive & installing Linux, then using Freenas to set up the server. (other recommendations?) OK... lots of possible changes here, as well as possible avenues of change. That's why I'm posting these questions here... I could spend weeks reading and trying to answer all of these questions. I bet this posting will get me much further, much faster. Thanks for your input in advance!!!