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Looking for a good home NAS


Odell
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I'm hoping that some of you tech-heads can help me with finding a good home NAS (network attached storage) solution. I don't need a boatload of features and I don't need multiple discs for RAID configurations. I need something that is reasonably fast and user-friendly that I can back up the my and my wife's laptop, share files, possibly stream media to my PS3. Remote access via web would be a bonus but not required. Something under $200 would also be nice.

 

Do any of you have any recommendations you can share from your own experiences?

 

Thanks!

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I would recommend a used QNAP TS-509 if you can swing it. They tend to go on eBay for around $400 (sometimes even with drives).

 

Easy to upgrade the CPU/RAM, well supported, and very reliable.

 

Otherwise a dual core atom Netgear Readynas ultra or any Qnap dual core atom variant will be very solid. I am partial to qnap, and again, I highly recommend the TS-509. It would do very well streaming to your PS3.

 

On my TS-509, I have no problems streaming at over 900mbit (up and down). Very solid for the money.

 

recent auction that just ended:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/251114569012

 

 

www.qnap.com

 

A few features:

http://www.qnap.com/...n=28&lang=en-us

 

 

pretty nice demo of the GUI:

http://www.qnap.com/useng/index.php?lang=en-us&sn=3543

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The QNAP and the ReadyNas are both out of the budget for what I need. We use a ReadyNAS at work and it does very well but it's overkill for me. Something along the lines of what AJ recommended is about right. I have looked at the MyBook products but I have had some bad experiences with WD external drives (early drive failures) before so I am a little leery of them.

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I'm kind of in your boat... looking for a solution but don't know where to look. I ran across a NYT tech article that recommended a site called The Wirecutter and they have an article on inexpensive NAS solutions you might want to look at. They recommend the ZyXEL NSA310 enclosure (about $100) with a Hitachi DeskStar drive (about $150 for 2 TB). Here's the full article:

 

http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/zyxel-nsa310-best-cheap-nas/

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The QNAP and the ReadyNas are both out of the budget for what I need. We use a ReadyNAS at work and it does very well but it's overkill for me. Something along the lines of what AJ recommended is about right. I have looked at the MyBook products but I have had some bad experiences with WD external drives (early drive failures) before so I am a little leery of them.

 

There is so much variability in hard drives, the best way to mitigate hard drive issues is to go with a system that allows for you to hot swap.

 

Hot swap to replace dead drives (or expand your nas) is really nice.

 

One of the nice parts about the TS-509 is that, for whatever reason, the resale value of the NAS is very low. $400 with drives is a REALLY good price, and they pop up around that price every month. No other NAS seems to offer the same functions, same throughput capability, upgrade potential, etc.

 

Most other solutions are in that $400 price range once you add a few drives. Just something to consider.

 

With a solution like that, you don't have to worry about disk failures anymore.

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irev210 makes a good point about mitigating HDD failures with a hot swap solution. That wirecutter review referenced the same concerns about drive reliability with the Western Digital as I have experienced.

 

Thanks for all the insight guys. I think I have to reconsider my budget. Now that you guys have me thinking I realize that a storage solution with no redundancy is just as bad as no storage solution at all.

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irev210 makes a good point about mitigating HDD failures with a hot swap solution. That wirecutter review referenced the same concerns about drive reliability with the Western Digital as I have experienced.

 

Thanks for all the insight guys. I think I have to reconsider my budget. Now that you guys have me thinking I realize that a storage solution with no redundancy is just as bad as no storage solution at all.

 

Not only failure, but also future expansion.

 

I've upgraded my NAS's storage space twice already, without ever shutting it down.

 

You can hotswap with larger drives and then do an online expansion. It's a great way to "right size" your nas while not having to over-commit to buying very expensive drives.

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I've been happy with my Buffalo Linkstation Pro. They have 1, 2 and 3TB versions and you can hook up an external USB drive to it if needed. The 2TB about $182 on Amazon.

 

Only complaint I had was the included Windows backup software, forget what it was called. When I had a hard drive crash I found it wasn't backing up everything it was supposed to. I've since bought something different that I'm happy with so far. Of course, it was a couple years ago when I bought mine so they may include something different now.

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Along this thread/train of thought, what NAS would be the best to allow remote media streaming? If I wanted to stream a movie on the fly, what would be the best that could handle conversion, etc. so I could stream?

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The Buffalo Linkstation Duo is just about right for what I am looking to do. According to what I am reading the drives are not hot-swappable but I can replace a drive if/when one fails if I run it in RAID 1. The fact that it comes with drives is a selling point as well. I'll just have to do some price comparisons.

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I Have two sinology NAS, one the primary and one secondary that backups the first one (actually synchronizes to the primary). The primary is also backed up to Amazon's AWS. I can't say enough good words about them. They have been solid.

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Along this thread/train of thought, what NAS would be the best to allow remote media streaming? If I wanted to stream a movie on the fly, what would be the best that could handle conversion, etc. so I could stream?

 

TS-509 can do that :)

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build a WHS 2011 box and get the stablebit drivepool add-on. thats what i run and love it, holds all my media that i stream to all my devices in my house, backs up my computers with an easy to use restore function, and has redundancy for data with the drivepool add-on. plus the computer itself doesn't need to be anything beefy, a cheap dual core 64-bit CPU, couple gigs of RAM, and at least a 160gig HDD for the install drive. then you can use as many as you want of any size of HDD for storage.

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I'm definitely not looking to build anything. My PC building days are over. Not looking to manage much either. I will likely be doing very little streaming. The major function will be file storage and backup. I just need it to be simple to administer, rock-solid in terms of reliability and performance and redundancy.

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fair enough, it doesn't take much though, about 2 hours to get my WHS system up and going and haven't touched it since, been running for a good 2 months now 24/7. had WHS v1 before that, it ran for almost 2 years with no issues.

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Again, I paid $140 for a WD MyBook Live 2 TB NAS last year. It holds my Time Machine backups and some redundant A/V files. In other words, it does not contain crucial data and does not require RAID mirroring. If it dies, I could replace it two or three times over before I hit the costs of the ~$400 multi bay, swappable, RAID capable NAS drives. As an added plus, WD offers both web and Android app remote access.

 

AJ

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Again, I paid $140 for a WD MyBook Live 2 TB NAS last year. It holds my Time Machine backups and some redundant A/V files. In other words, it does not contain crucial data and does not require RAID mirroring. If it dies, I could replace it two or three times over before I hit the costs of the ~$400 multi bay, swappable, RAID capable NAS drives. As an added plus, WD offers both web and Android app remote access.

 

AJ

 

I have used a WD MyBook before and it worked pretty well, until it just...didn't. If I was just putting backups on it I might go with it because the odds of my local drive failing AND my backup drive failing at the same time are pretty long. But I will definitely be using it for file storage so I need some level of redundancy.

 

I have been very lazy with my data and I've gotten away with it but I have had a couple friends who recently had complete drive failures with no backups and I don't want to deal with what they're dealing with. Right now, there are things on my laptop that don't exist anywhere else and that's just asking for trouble.

 

Some of the solutions presented here are much more than I need but I think with a little investigation I can find a suitable bridge between the single network connected HDD and a full blown $500+ NAS solution.

 

That's why I come to the members here because you guys have such diverse experiences and expertise that I am bound to get good ideas.

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I have used a WD MyBook before and it worked pretty well, until it just...didn't.

 

I am no IT expert. But my perspective on hard drive reliability is about the same as it on wireless carrier superiority. Just as you can find plenty of people who will say that Sprint is "crap" everywhere, I surmise that you can find any number of people who will say similar about WD or Seagate or whichever hard drive manufacturer you want to dismiss. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

 

AJ

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I am no IT expert. But my perspective on hard drive reliability is about the same as it on wireless carrier superiority. Just as you can find plenty of people who will say that Sprint is "crap" everywhere, I surmise that you can find any number of people who will say similar about WD or Seagate or whichever hard drive manufacturer you want to dismiss. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

 

AJ

 

Indeed it is. My statement about the MyBook was not an indictment of WD products, although my experience with them has not been good. The statement was just to set the context that when a single drive storage solution goes, it just goes and you have no simple recovery options. In a situation like your own where the data is not critical then the MyBook is a great solution. That is not the case with my intended usage. Whether the single drive is made by WD or Seagate or Joe's Hard Drive and Bait Store it isn't appropriate for my needs.

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you can get a diskless readynas ultra2 for $262 at amazon

 

http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-ReadyNAS-Diskless-Attached-RNDU2000/dp/B004AM61XY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343847803&sr=8-2&keywords=readynas+ultra+2

 

by default it will be in expandable mirror (x-raid2), but can be configured for individual disk volumes if that is what you prefer (no redundancy).

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