I am looking to create a file server to store all my home network PC's and laptop files. Basically a home share - I don't need file and folder permissions but that would be nice so i could make sure the kids don't delete stuff they shouldn't. It would also be nice to have previous versions or shadow copies enabled so it is easy for my home users to restore files on their own.
I would also like to setup a pfsense firewall for my home network.
I was thinking i could build a server that would handle all of this in vmware! But the more i read i think it seems that I would need to purchase vmware essentials licencing and potentially a windows 2008 r2 server license from Microsoft.
Is there any way to accomplish the above without purchasing licensing or maybe im just confused on the licensing stuff. Can someone please explain the licensing required for the above for a home setup?
OR is there a completely free or low cost alternative that would allow me to setup a virtual environment to accomplish the above? My budget is about 300$