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Title: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 16, 2013, 01:10:50 am
I'm looking at getting my parents a NAS device for Christmas. I've been looking at the WD My Cloud (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EVVGAD0/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_5aPRsb1T68R7G) as it had decent reviews and isn't all that expensive.

Does anyone have any ideas on a good one that's under $250-300? Would I do better to go with a diy route and build a mini PC with a large hard drive running some specialized version of Linux?

Just curious to what experiences anyone has with these devices.

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Bob Charest on December 16, 2013, 08:35:57 am
I'm looking at getting my parents a NAS device for Christmas... Just curious to what experiences anyone has with these devices.
Hi Tommy,

I've used both Seagate and Western Digital units for NAS - and had both fail. I went on the WD site, but could see if there are multiple drives in the My Cloud.

After my failures I went with a RAID config from LaCie (10TB) but the price point was quite a bit higher than the WD unit you're looking at. I never wanted to repeat having to send drives out to get data recovered (if it could be recovered) and I've been very happy with the performance and stability of the LaCie,

I'm sure they've come a ways in the last 2 years. Do you know if there are multiple drives in the My Cloud? I would think there would be at a 4TB capacity.

Best regards,
Bob Charest
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 16, 2013, 09:18:26 am
Hi Tommy,

I've used both Seagate and Western Digital units for NAS - and had both fail. I went on the WD site, but could see if there are multiple drives in the My Cloud.

After my failures I went with a RAID config from LaCie (10TB) but the price point was quite a bit higher than the WD unit you're looking at. I never wanted to repeat having to send drives out to get data recovered (if it could be recovered) and I've been very happy with the performance and stability of the LaCie,

I'm sure they've come a ways in the last 2 years. Do you know if there are multiple drives in the My Cloud? I would think there would be at a 4TB capacity.

Best regards,
Bob Charest
Thanks for the reply, the one i'm looking at is a single drive unit. It does have a USB port on it where you can plug another drive into it to back it up. I'll do some more looking at the 2 drive units and see if I can afford any of them.

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on December 16, 2013, 09:38:40 am
I'm looking at getting my parents a NAS device for Christmas. I've been looking at the WD My Cloud (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EVVGAD0/ref=cm_sw_r_udp_awd_5aPRsb1T68R7G) as it had decent reviews and isn't all that expensive.

Does anyone have any ideas on a good one that's under $250-300? Would I do better to go with a diy route and build a mini PC with a large hard drive running some specialized version of Linux?

Just curious to what experiences anyone has with these devices.

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro
Is this for file sharing, or backup?  If it's for backup and they have 50GB or less of stuff, a cloud backup plan like Crashplan or Carbonite is probably a better option.

If it's for file sharing and there's a desktop PC in the house, make the desktop the central repository, and back it up with Crashplan or Carbonite.

If you have lots of stuff, several devices, or are convinced you need a NAS box, get a real one.  Netgear ReadyNAS boxes are fantastic - RAID is a necessity if you care about your data, and you still need to figure out an offline backup somehow.

Custom PCs used as file servers are OK, but they're hard to maintain, usually made out of junk parts, and don't get backed up, and/or get wrecked with software updates.  The dedicated appliance model reduces many of these risks, albeit at some cost.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Nate Armstrong on December 16, 2013, 09:55:03 am
I just got 2 synology Ds1513+  I have them running in raid 10 + hot spare.. This thing is great. and it has an option for your own cloud system.

http://www.synology.com/en-us/products/overview/DS1513+

They have a single drive model that should also offer a cloud option (free). I would research it.

http://www.synology.com/en-us/products/overview/DS112j
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Paul Frith on December 16, 2013, 10:05:57 am
I've had a lot of success with The Buffalo Linkstation Pro V series.

Also as an alternative - have you looked at any USB to Ethernet products such as Lindy USB2.0 over IP - http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-firewire-c4/usb-over-ip-c1509/usb-2-0-over-ip-server-p1448 (http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-firewire-c4/usb-over-ip-c1509/usb-2-0-over-ip-server-p1448). You could then just add external usb drives to this...
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 16, 2013, 11:46:08 am
Is this for file sharing, or backup?  If it's for backup and they have 50GB or less of stuff, a cloud backup plan like Crashplan or Carbonite is probably a better option.

If it's for file sharing and there's a desktop PC in the house, make the desktop the central repository, and back it up with Crashplan or Carbonite.
Unfortunately the only desktop in the house is about to be disposed of and it wouldn't be much use as it's a 10+ year old Dell. Everybody is on laptops now(4 total, 2 with a lot of stuff on them); we're trying to get everything(mainly pictures with some videos and music) in one place where everyone can easily access them and save new ones. I do agree that using Carbonite or Crashplan would be a good idea, does anyone know of a online solution that integrates with a NAS box?
Quote
If you have lots of stuff, several devices, or are convinced you need a NAS box, get a real one.  Netgear ReadyNAS boxes are fantastic - RAID is a necessity if you care about your data, and you still need to figure out an offline backup somehow.

Custom PCs used as file servers are OK, but they're hard to maintain, usually made out of junk parts, and don't get backed up, and/or get wrecked with software updates.  The dedicated appliance model reduces many of these risks, albeit at some cost.
I'll concur with custom PCs being fussy, I tried it with an old desktop for a little while and it was a lot of trouble getting and keeping it working.

I just got 2 synology Ds1513+  I have them running in raid 10 + hot spare.. This thing is great. and it has an option for your own cloud system.

http://www.synology.com/en-us/products/overview/DS1513+

They have a single drive model that should also offer a cloud option (free). I would research it.

http://www.synology.com/en-us/products/overview/DS112j
The Synology units do look very nice and have better reviews than the WD models. I may see about splurging on their 2-bay model(which would be around $400 after I bought a pair of NAS rated drives to load it with). Is there a way to connect it to a cloud backup service(not the included personal cloud) such as carbonite or crashplan?

I guess I could get a normal external drive and create a mirror of what's on the NAS once a week or so and store it off site somewhere, but that's not as "fool proof" as the online solution.

I've had a lot of success with The Buffalo Linkstation Pro V series.

Also as an alternative - have you looked at any USB to Ethernet products such as Lindy USB2.0 over IP - http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-firewire-c4/usb-over-ip-c1509/usb-2-0-over-ip-server-p1448 (http://www.lindy.co.uk/usb-firewire-c4/usb-over-ip-c1509/usb-2-0-over-ip-server-p1448). You could then just add external usb drives to this...
The USB over Ethernet looks interesting but one of the reasons I want a NAS is so we can view/listen to the pictures/videos/music over DLNA with our Blue-ray players and game consoles.


After reading everything what I'd like to find is a NAS box that we can store stuff to and have the NAS push everything to an online backup service automatically. Does such a system that won't break the bank exist?
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 16, 2013, 12:03:51 pm
So I did a little Googling and discovered that it's possible to install a headless version Crashplan on the Synology devices(including the smaller 2-bay I'm looking at) so I may go that route unless someone has another solution.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on December 16, 2013, 12:13:21 pm
So I did a little Googling and discovered that it's possible to install a headless version Crashplan on the Synology devices(including the smaller 2-bay I'm looking at) so I may go that route unless someone has another solution.
ReadyNAS has a cloud backup service as well - not sure how favorable the cost is vs. other solutions. https://vault.readynas.com/
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 16, 2013, 01:01:58 pm
ReadyNAS has a cloud backup service as well - not sure how favorable the cost is vs. other solutions. https://vault.readynas.com/
Theirs is pretty expensive compared to Crashplan or Carbonite. The ReadyNAS service is $20 per month for 50gb whereas Crashplan is $6(or less if you commit to a contract for 1 or more years, the 4 year contract drops the price to $4) per month for unlimited storage on 1 computer(presumably this plan would work with the Synology). Also the Synology supports Amazon Glacier storage which is $0.01 per GB per month.

The Synology option is looking better and better....
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Rob Spence on December 16, 2013, 01:24:18 pm
For backup of backup I use a drive dock and a robocopy script. That way I know where my backup is.

 What happens to your backups when the cloud company goes belly up or they screw up?

I also know the NSA isn't trolling my data.

Edit:
I was looking at an Apple Time Capsule and so asked the guys at the Apple Store how to back it up?  They were puzzled. It never occurred to them that the Time Capsule might fail :-(

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 16, 2013, 01:36:13 pm
For backup of backup I use a drive dock and a robocopy script. That way I know where my backup is.

 What happens to your backups when the cloud company goes belly up or they screw up?
Well the Synology itself(with 2 drives mirrored) would be the first be the first layer of backup, the Amazon(which I seriously doubt would ever have a problem or go "belly up") would be the off site backup in case something physically happened to the drive.

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Nate Armstrong on December 16, 2013, 02:02:23 pm
My Synology has faster transfers than our hp g6 server. I also have a Drobo ( probably 1st gen )  its slow as crap.

 I went with Enterprise drives. It will work with NAS drives and normal drives. if your doing cloud as well, i think you could save money and go with standard drives..

the nas has built in applications you can activate.

 CLOUD : There is a app called  Symform
description
"Symform is a cloud data backup service that gives free storage to those who contribute to the peer-to-peer network. Symform is intended for any synology device with 256 or more Ram"

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on December 17, 2013, 01:16:14 am
I'm looking at getting my parents a NAS device for Christmas.

I am thoroughly jaded toward any mass-market NAS device. Look at it this way: in order to create a NAS device, they essentially build a tiny PC (running some customized flavor of Linux). After considering the price of the hard drive, you have a PC that costs less than $100 to build. In order to achieve that price point, the components are going to be cheap garbage.

In my experience, they are wholly unreliable. One of my customers has a Buffalo device that I've pretty much given up on because the network interface comes and goes -- sometimes several times in a few minutes with no intervention on my part. Another customer's Netgear device will periodically hang for a few seconds to a minute or two when transferring files -- we just replaced it with a proper server. Another customer purchased a Buffalo device in which the network interface failed within a day of receipt. (To be fair, another customer has two Buffalo devices that have worked OK for several years.)

Don't use a mass-market NAS device to contain the only copy of critical data.

My suggestion is to either purchase an enterprise-grade NAS device (which will cost at least as much as an enterprise-grade server, because that's the hardware that will be used for it) or to build your own using the FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/) as the operating system. You'll be able to choose the hard drives and network interface, which in my opinion are the critical components. If you go with a RAID setup, don't use Western Digital Caviar drives -- even WD says don't use them for RAID. As for the network interface, I *really* like the Intel PRO/1000 series.

EDIT: You'll probably find a lot of debate about what hard drive brand is the best or the worst, and you'll find no consensus. My opinion backed by almost 15 years of experience in small-business IT support is that all manufacturers have good and bad product runs, so you should do your homework. If you're paranoid, build your RAID with drives from different manufacturers or product runs.

P.S. -- There are others on this forum with more experience in IT than I. Their opinion is to be respected.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on December 17, 2013, 01:32:57 am
What happens to your backups when the cloud company goes belly up or they screw up?

There have been some high-profile cloud storage business failures lately. At least one supposedly gave a 30-day grace period, but for many of their customers that wasn't enough time to download all their data even if they could saturate their Internet connections.

Having backups of some form in more than one location isn't a bad idea, either.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on December 17, 2013, 06:34:56 am

Don't use a mass-market NAS device to contain the only copy of critical data.

My suggestion is to either purchase an enterprise-grade NAS device (which will cost at least as much as an enterprise-grade server, because that's the hardware that will be used for it) or to build your own using the FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/) as the operating system. You'll be able to choose the hard drives and network interface, which in my opinion are the critical components. If you go with a RAID setup, don't use Western Digital Caviar drives -- even WD says don't use them for RAID. As for the network interface, I *really* like the Intel PRO/1000 series.

Jonathan, this approach is totally unworkable for 99+% of the home user population, both for cost and complexity.  In my experience, hardware failures are the minor component of data loss.

I am an IT guy by day, and support a couple $xxx,xxx SANs.  They fail too.

I am on my second Netgear ReadyNAS pro (speed and capacity upgrades, not failures) at home, and I've been running them since 2006.  I've installed several others in consulting work.  I have found them to be well made, fast, and so far very reliable.  You do, of course, need to always have multiple copies of your data, but I have found the ReadyNAS boxes to be a good balance between cost, good build quality, and features.  They do cost significantly more than $100, if that makes you feel better.

Many discussions like these have a lot in common with mixer threads - some folks are thrilled to get an X32, others need a CL5.  What's right for most home users with 30GB of stolen MP3s and cell-phone pictures is very different than a professional content creator - both in quantity and value of the data.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on December 17, 2013, 11:29:22 am
Jonathan, this approach is totally unworkable for 99+% of the home user population, both for cost and complexity.

That's true, but I wrote assuming that the OP and most reader here are not 99%ers. A FreeNAS system is certainly more complex, but can be built on a cheap repurposed box with reliable components and will in many cases perform better than most low-end NAS boxes.

Quote
In my experience, hardware failures are the minor component of data loss.

True -- accidental deletions, inadvertent modifications, malicious editing -- all more likely than hardware failure. But for hardware that's not built very well, the possibility of hardware failure is much higher, and in my experience hard drives and network interfaces are the most likely points of failure.

Quote
I am an IT guy by day, and support a couple $xxx,xxx SANs.  They fail too.

No argurments there, but the catastrophic failure rate is probably lower than a $1xx NAS.

Quote
I am on my second Netgear ReadyNAS pro (speed and capacity upgrades, not failures) at home, and I've been running them since 2006.  I've installed several others in consulting work.  I have found them to be well made, fast, and so far very reliable.  You do, of course, need to always have multiple copies of your data, but I have found the ReadyNAS boxes to be a good balance between cost, good build quality, and features.  They do cost significantly more than $100, if that makes you feel better.

Glad to hear about your good experience. There again, price may be an indication of quality.

Quote
Many discussions like these have a lot in common with mixer threads - some folks are thrilled to get an X32, others need a CL5.  What's right for most home users with 30GB of stolen MP3s and cell-phone pictures is very different than a professional content creator - both in quantity and value of the data.

All about risk assessment. What is the cost to you if there is a failure and your data become inaccessible? If that cost is high, you'll be interested in spending a lot of money for high reliability & availability. If that cost is minimal, you'll be OK with going cheaper. Same thing with consoles... many people here have determined that the benefit of an X32 is greater than the cost of an X32 failing; others have determined that the CL5 is a better fit.

I may have come across as pig-headed against NAS; what I was really trying to do was warn of the risk involved with consumer-grade NAS devices. I'll concede that for some people it will be the right fit, so long as they are aware of and understand the risks.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 17, 2013, 11:46:54 am
I am thoroughly jaded toward any mass-market NAS device. Look at it this way: in order to create a NAS device, they essentially build a tiny PC (running some customized flavor of Linux). After considering the price of the hard drive, you have a PC that costs less than $100 to build. In order to achieve that price point, the components are going to be cheap garbage.
The Synology units I've been looking at are $199 w/o the drive(s) which isn't unreasonably cheap for a mini PC; not to mention it come with some nice software, probably much nicer and easier to use than FreeNAS(which I've tried and while it's good for free software I wasn't all that impressed with it).
Quote
In my experience, they are wholly unreliable. One of my customers has a Buffalo device that I've pretty much given up on because the network interface comes and goes -- sometimes several times in a few minutes with no intervention on my part. Another customer's Netgear device will periodically hang for a few seconds to a minute or two when transferring files -- we just replaced it with a proper server. Another customer purchased a Buffalo device in which the network interface failed within a day of receipt. (To be fair, another customer has two Buffalo devices that have worked OK for several years.)

Don't use a mass-market NAS device to contain the only copy of critical data.
I don't see how a RAID multi-drive NAS with NAS grade drives would be worse than a custom PC with the same setup, but critical data(for me that's family pictures and videos and some files) would be kept backed up to the cloud in any event. The NAS is more for convenient local storage and as a local backup to the data on our various laptops.
Quote
My suggestion is to either purchase an enterprise-grade NAS device (which will cost at least as much as an enterprise-grade server, because that's the hardware that will be used for it) or to build your own using the FreeNAS (http://www.freenas.org/) as the operating system. You'll be able to choose the hard drives and network interface, which in my opinion are the critical components. If you go with a RAID setup, don't use Western Digital Caviar drives -- even WD says don't use them for RAID. As for the network interface, I *really* like the Intel PRO/1000 series.

EDIT: You'll probably find a lot of debate about what hard drive brand is the best or the worst, and you'll find no consensus. My opinion backed by almost 15 years of experience in small-business IT support is that all manufacturers have good and bad product runs, so you should do your homework. If you're paranoid, build your RAID with drives from different manufacturers or product runs.

P.S. -- There are others on this forum with more experience in IT than I. Their opinion is to be respected.
For hard drives I'll probably go with either Seagate or WD NAS grade drives which I ASSume would be fine for a RAID config. I know WD NAS drives are in their RED product line, not the Caviar series. Personally the laptop drives I've bought to upgrade machines have all be Seagate(except for the Intel SSD in my MacBook) and I haven't had any problems with any of them.

That's true, but I wrote assuming that the OP and most reader here are not 99%ers. A FreeNAS system is certainly more complex, but can be built on a cheap repurposed box with reliable components and will in many cases perform better than most low-end NAS boxes.
I tried the DIY method once a few years ago with FreeNAS and an old PC I had laying around mainly as a proof of concept before building a newer, better DIY NAS box... I didn't like the results and never built a usable one. In the end I'm looking for a simple system that I can set my parents up with and not have to worry about tweaking all the time to keep it working. With some time and effort I could probably put together a FreeNAS or Linux based system that would work fine but I'd rather have a professionally designed system that works well out of the box.

Anyway has anyone used both the Synology and ReadyNAS products? Which do you prefer and why?
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jason Lavoie on December 18, 2013, 12:00:20 am
Unfortunately the only desktop in the house is about to be disposed of and it wouldn't be much use as it's a 10+ year old Dell. Everybody is on laptops now(4 total, 2 with a lot of stuff on them); we're trying to get everything(mainly pictures with some videos and music) in one place where everyone can easily access them and save new ones. I do agree that using Carbonite or Crashplan would be a good idea, does anyone know of a online solution that integrates with a NAS box?I'll concur with custom PCs being fussy, I tried it with an old desktop for a little while and it was a lot of trouble getting and keeping it working.
The Synology units do look very nice and have better reviews than the WD models. I may see about splurging on their 2-bay model(which would be around $400 after I bought a pair of NAS rated drives to load it with). Is there a way to connect it to a cloud backup service(not the included personal cloud) such as carbonite or crashplan?

I guess I could get a normal external drive and create a mirror of what's on the NAS once a week or so and store it off site somewhere, but that's not as "fool proof" as the online solution.
The USB over Ethernet looks interesting but one of the reasons I want a NAS is so we can view/listen to the pictures/videos/music over DLNA with our Blue-ray players and game consoles.


After reading everything what I'd like to find is a NAS box that we can store stuff to and have the NAS push everything to an online backup service automatically. Does such a system that won't break the bank exist?

I believe a Synology NAS can be mirrored with a second identical unit, which could be in another physical location..
I've been toying with setting on up at a family or friends' house so that we both have the benefit of a NAS AND both get offsite backup automatically.

I use the cloud function in the Synology NAS to keep work files synced between my laptop and desktop and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the cloud still synchronizes while I'm out of town (with no special router settings or setup. it just worked on its own!)

Jason
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Craig Hauber on December 18, 2013, 12:12:39 am
That's true, but I wrote assuming that the OP and most reader here are not 99%ers. A FreeNAS system is certainly more complex, but can be built on a cheap repurposed box with reliable components and will in many cases perform better than most low-end NAS boxes.

And if it's that important you can actually buy/build a new (or lightly used) business-grade machine for not all that much (it can be run headless and without having to buy a Microsoft OS)

FreeNAS also can be run off a live CD or USB stick so you can try before you commit, as well as having a fairly quick way to get into your shares if you do have some kind of hardware failure.

FreeNAS doesn't need to be that complex for those who don't know but for those that do it is much more versatile and customizable than the equivalent priced consumer grade devices.

Also if you run a mac-centric system I've found mac-mini's to be a good NAS system just by using the stock file-sharing.  You can connect rather large pro-grade drive enclosures to it very easily.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Craig Hauber on December 18, 2013, 12:22:21 am
For backup of backup I use a drive dock and a robocopy script. That way I know where my backup is.

 What happens to your backups when the cloud company goes belly up or they screw up?

I also know the NSA isn't trolling my data.

Edit:
I was looking at an Apple Time Capsule and so asked the guys at the Apple Store how to back it up?  They were puzzled. It never occurred to them that the Time Capsule might fail :-(

The time capsule is a backup device, back it up by buying multiples of it.  -Same goes for any non-apple systems too.  (At what point do you have enough backups of your backup?)

Seriously though, use a mac mini as your NAS device then back it up with the Time Capsule!

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Kok on December 18, 2013, 10:21:22 am
I've got a ReadyNAS Duo running as the primary storage device in our office. The only issue we have with it is that it doesn't particularly like power outages, and will rebuild the array every single time power is lost (unless it's actually 'shut down'). No loss of data, though. Not cheap - $400 plus drives - but, IMHO, worth the security.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: George Dougherty on December 19, 2013, 12:46:28 pm
I'm an IT guy by trade, build my own computers for audio and video processing as well as spec, install and configure servers for clients on a regular basis.  I've run several SAC systems I designed built and support over the last 4 years so I appreciate rolling my own.
The Synology or Qnap units are great little units that I'd much rather deploy than a home brewed FreeNAS box.  They're every bit as fast as a standalone server and the better units support link aggregation with the right network hardware.  The Synology 713+ I deployed the other day to replace a users single drive Buffalo linkstation took about 30 minutes to fully configure and prep with hourly incremental backups to an external USB drive.  That was unbox, install drives, configure network and security, download backup app and configure notifications.  The entire unit is under warranty and it just works.  Many of the newer units also work with manufacturer cloud services to make secure configuration of remote file access an extremely simple task.
Rolling your own NAS by comparison is a headache most people don't need when such reliable compact cost effective options are available.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Bob Leonard on December 19, 2013, 10:30:55 pm
Jonathan, this approach is totally unworkable for 99+% of the home user population, both for cost and complexity.  In my experience, hardware failures are the minor component of data loss.

I am an IT guy by day, and support a couple $xxx,xxx SANs.  They fail too.

I am on my second Netgear ReadyNAS pro (speed and capacity upgrades, not failures) at home, and I've been running them since 2006.  I've installed several others in consulting work.  I have found them to be well made, fast, and so far very reliable.  You do, of course, need to always have multiple copies of your data, but I have found the ReadyNAS boxes to be a good balance between cost, good build quality, and features.  They do cost significantly more than $100, if that makes you feel better.

Many discussions like these have a lot in common with mixer threads - some folks are thrilled to get an X32, others need a CL5.  What's right for most home users with 30GB of stolen MP3s and cell-phone pictures is very different than a professional content creator - both in quantity and value of the data.

Tommy,
My daytime gig requires that I work at an expert level with most of the largest storage arrays in the world, so I've been watching this thread with some interest. I'll side with TJ, and let me tell you why.
 
NAS is an abused acronym for network attached storage commonly used incorrectly by anyone who can spew those letters. Your need is for basic remote storage of family files that need to be accessed easily, and kept safe from loss.
 
Do you actually have a network in your house? Or do you have a number of systems which access the web through your providers router? If you're going the NAS route you need to understand more than what's being talked about in this thread, and for your case there is no need to do so.
 
I suggest you change your line of thought and think more in the way of shared storage. Shared storage is the basis for all networks, the simple repository designed to house and share files among two or more people.
 
Thinking along those lines will lead you to a simple multi use solution built upon an easily maintained low cost desktop system running Windows 7. You'll need;
 
1ea. desktop system of your choice running Windows 7. The workstation should have 2ea Seagate or Hitachi 15K SATA drives configured for RAID 1, a wired connection to your router for access to WWW, a wireless adapter for family members to attach to the workstation with using their laptops, a CD/DVD ROM that can also be shared, and an inexpensive 20" monitor.
 
What you've created is a mini server capable of sharing data from any device attached to it including CDs and thumb drives that is as fault tolerant as any "NAS" device you can buy at THIS level. This solution is flexible and serves a multi purpose role.
 
I would not back up my data to anything on the web. I use a Seagate external drive attached to the desktop I am using right now and use Acronis true image for the control software. This one system backs up the data for itself, 3 laptops, my MIDI systems, and my recording systems.
 
I would not use anything with the initials WD on it.
The total cost of this solution should be less than $750 with all the bells and whistles. I don't know if that's your budget, but it's the correct solution for your needs.
 
If this still doesn't float your boat and you've won the lottery PM me and I'll set you up with NAS from one of these guys.
http://www.emc.com/storage/index.htm#Featured-Products (http://www.emc.com/storage/index.htm#Featured-Products)
 
http://web.emc.com/datadomaindeduplication?cmp=knc-BRS_Divisional-data_domain-datadomain-USA&activity_id=196822&division=brs&gclid=CIaDgMXtvbsCFcVQ7AoddhwABQ (http://web.emc.com/datadomaindeduplication?cmp=knc-BRS_Divisional-data_domain-datadomain-USA&activity_id=196822&division=brs&gclid=CIaDgMXtvbsCFcVQ7AoddhwABQ)
 
http://www.emc.com/domains/isilon/index.htm (http://www.emc.com/domains/isilon/index.htm)
 
http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/ (http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/)
 
http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ibmnetefami (http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ibmnetefami)
 
 And this one is for Mac.
 
http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/solution-overview/h10585-isilon-media-and-entertainment-so.pdf (http://www.emc.com/collateral/software/solution-overview/h10585-isilon-media-and-entertainment-so.pdf)
 
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 19, 2013, 11:41:12 pm

Tommy,
My daytime gig requires that I work at an expert level with most of the largest storage arrays in the world, so I've been watching this thread with some interest. I'll side with TJ, and let me tell you why.
 
NAS is an abused acronym for network attached storage commonly used incorrectly by anyone who can spew those letters. Your need is for basic remote storage of family files that need to be accessed easily, and kept safe from loss.
 
Do you actually have a network in your house? Or do you have a number of systems which access the web through your providers router? If you're going the NAS route you need to understand more than what's being talked about in this thread, and for your case there is no need to do so.
 
I suggest you change your line of thought and think more in the way of shared storage. Shared storage is the basis for all networks, the simple repository designed to house and share files among two or more people.
 
Thinking along those lines will lead you to a simple multi use solution built upon an easily maintained low cost desktop system running Windows 7. You'll need;
 
1ea. desktop system of your choice running Windows 7. The workstation should have 2ea Seagate or Hitachi 15K SATA drives configured for RAID 1, a wired connection to your router for access to WWW, a wireless adapter for family members to attach to the workstation with using their laptops, a CD/DVD ROM that can also be shared, and an inexpensive 20" monitor.
 
What you've created is a mini server capable of sharing data from any device attached to it including CDs and thumb drives that is as fault tolerant as any "NAS" device you can buy at THIS level. This solution is flexible and serves a multi purpose role.
 
I would not back up my data to anything on the web. I use a Seagate external drive attached to the desktop I am using right now and use Acronis true image for the control software. This one system backs up the data for itself, 3 laptops, my MIDI systems, and my recording systems.
 
I would not use anything with the initials WD on it.
The total cost of this solution should be less than $750 with all the bells and whistles. I don't know if that's your budget, but it's the correct solution for your needs.

Thanks for the info Bob, I was hoping you'd chime in.

Unfortunately right now a full computer isn't in the budget though I fully agree that a computer is the best option. I wish one of the 2 old machines we have laying around would work but they're too old to run Win7 and don't have SATA on the motherboard(I think they're approaching 10(possibly more) years old. While they would run FreeNAS getting drives for them would be hard in not impossible; not to mention they're SLOW.

Anyway, I think, in order to keep costs down, we're going to get a normal (Seagate) external drive (http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Desktop-External-STCA4000100/dp/B00829THLE/ref=zg_bs_595048_5) and a new  router/WAP(Asus) (http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Dual-Band-Wireless-N-Router-RT-N56U/dp/B0049YQVHE/ref=zg_bs_300189_19) that has a USB port and can host the USB drive. The router I found is highly rated on Amazon and several tech review publications/websites; it also can act as a DLNA certified media server to any media files on an attached drive.

The main reason for going this route is to keep the cost around $200 which is all we can swing right now. Any of the "good" NAS drives mentioned above were at least $300 by the time you bought 1 drive and to get the advantage of RAID with 2+ drives they were $400+. While the router + USB hdd solution won't be as fast or feature packed as the other options I'm pretty sure it'll do the job for us.

If anyone has more input let me know, I'll probably be placing the order tomorrow so I can get it by Christmas.


Thanks and Merry Christmas,
Tommy

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Bob Leonard on December 20, 2013, 08:01:18 am
That should work fine Tommy as long as the router allows file access to the disk. The disk is a perfect choice, and it's actually the same disk I use as described above. If all else fails you haven't wasted any money and can eventually attach a cheap desktop to the router.

I you want to scale down the desktop leave out the RAID drives, stay at about 8gb RAM and you're all set to go. You'll be backing up the system using the Seagate external drive and this is a system that can suffer some down time anyway.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 20, 2013, 09:45:04 am
That should work fine Tommy as long as the router allows file access to the disk. The disk is a perfect choice, and it's actually the same disk I use as described above. If all else fails you haven't wasted any money and can eventually attach a cheap desktop to the router.

I you want to scale down the desktop leave out the RAID drives, stay at about 8gb RAM and you're all set to go. You'll be backing up the system using the Seagate external drive and this is a system that can suffer some down time anyway.

Great to hear. The router does have disk access via SMB and FTP; I think it even let's you setup accounts for individual users though we'll probably just use a single "public" account to keep it simple.

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: drew gandy on December 24, 2013, 01:00:29 am
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is power.  I've been hesitant to put together (another) pc based server for handling this kind of thing at least partly because of the amount of power that would be constantly drawn by a running computer.  That said, I am currently running an older macbook pro as a "server" of sorts and I actually have a VPN setup on my Asus router so that this computer can backup over the net to another computer at another location.  Which brings me to the comment made earlier about setting up a NAS box at a friend or family house.  I think this idea is near perfect.  You avoid keeping your stuff on a cloud service in some anonymous place in the world and when you need files quickly they are stored on the local NAS.  Now, I'm talking about cheap single drive NAS devices [and yes Bob, I'm using the term liberally].  With this type of setup I wouldn't be too concerned about dual drive redundancy.  And I think the idea of using a router, which is going to be on 24/7 anyway, is a great idea.  The newer routers seem to be getting pretty powerful on their own so performance might be decent too.  Do the latest Asus routers support usb3 yet for external storage? 
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 24, 2013, 01:21:39 am
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is power.  I've been hesitant to put together (another) pc based server for handling this kind of thing at least partly because of the amount of power that would be constantly drawn by a running computer.  That said, I am currently running an older macbook pro as a "server" of sorts and I actually have a VPN setup on my Asus router so that this computer can backup over the net to another computer at another location.  Which brings me to the comment made earlier about setting up a NAS box at a friend or family house.  I think this idea is near perfect.  You avoid keeping your stuff on a cloud service in some anonymous place in the world and when you need files quickly they are stored on the local NAS.  Now, I'm talking about cheap single drive NAS devices [and yes Bob, I'm using the term liberally].  With this type of setup I wouldn't be too concerned about dual drive redundancy.  And I think the idea of using a router, which is going to be on 24/7 anyway, is a great idea.  The newer routers seem to be getting pretty powerful on their own so performance might be decent too.

That's an interesting idea, I may have to look into it in the future.
Quote
Do the latest Asus routers support usb3 yet for external storage?
I believe that their top end models do have USB 3 though the one I bought is just USB 2. I doubt it will make a huge difference in my application as most of the access will be over wifi. I just didn't want to pay almost twice as much to get USB 3. :-)

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Bob Leonard on December 26, 2013, 02:30:08 am
Tommy,
You might be interested to know that one of my systems, the one I'm using now, was attacked by a rather nasty virus Christmas eve. I know where the virus came from, and I know what the virus is. I also know that even the 3 virus and malware programs I run wouldn't touch it, and that from past experience in the corporate world this particular threat is above serious. My decision was to roll back my system using the software and hardware I described above. I booted from the recovery CD and performed a sector by sector reimage of my system. 2 1/2 hours later the system is like new and the virus gone.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 26, 2013, 11:21:15 am
Tommy,
You might be interested to know that one of my systems, the one I'm using now, was attacked by a rather nasty virus Christmas eve. I know where the virus came from, and I know what the virus is. I also know that even the 3 virus and malware programs I run wouldn't touch it, and that from past experience in the corporate world this particular threat is above serious. My decision was to roll back my system using the software and hardware I described above. I booted from the recovery CD and performed a sector by sector reimage of my system. 2 1/2 hours later the system is like new and the virus gone.
Viruses can be pretty bad these days. I haven't got one on one of our home systems so far, but I've dealt with a few at work(I am the IT person at a local real estate office). So far I've only had to "go nuclear"(reformat and reinstall everything from the recovery partition and backup) on one of the machines at work; the other ones I've dealt with have been fixable with a combination of Malwarebytes and Microsoft Security Essentials. I'll have to look into some disk image software so I can take images of our computers at home to make recovery easier.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tim McCulloch on December 26, 2013, 12:43:04 pm
Tommy,
You might be interested to know that one of my systems, the one I'm using now, was attacked by a rather nasty virus Christmas eve. I know where the virus came from, and I know what the virus is. I also know that even the 3 virus and malware programs I run wouldn't touch it, and that from past experience in the corporate world this particular threat is above serious. My decision was to roll back my system using the software and hardware I described above. I booted from the recovery CD and performed a sector by sector reimage of my system. 2 1/2 hours later the system is like new and the virus gone.

So what was the infection vector, Victor?  And what was the nasty bug?
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on December 26, 2013, 04:12:44 pm
So what was the infection vector, Victor?  And what was the nasty bug?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_(epidemiology) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_%28epidemiology%29)
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 26, 2013, 11:56:24 pm
Update: I got the drive and router in, the drive is currently attached to my MacBook with a bunch of files copying to it.

The router on the other hand had been having some issues. I hooked up to our modem's cat5 to the router's WAN port and my laptop to one of the other ethernet ports. I went through the configuration wizard in the browser and setup the wifi name and password. Anyway after using it a whole it became clear that the Internet connection with it was very flaky, pages won't load half the time and stuff like that. I poked around the settings trying some different settings but so far I haven't got it fixed. The previous router/WAP was a $30 Netgear unit that was installed by the isp. I'm thinking that there is some random obscure setting that needs to be changed in order to make it play nice with our modem, but unfortunately the guy from the isp that setup the previous router changed the admin password and did bother to tell us what it is... So I can't just look at and copy the settings.

I plan to call my isp in the morning but I thought I'd see if anyone had an idea of what the problem may be.

Sent from my Nexus 4 running OmniROM 4.4 KitKat using Tapatalk Pro

Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Bob Leonard on December 27, 2013, 12:27:51 am
The culprit was a self replicating Trojan, and Kaspersky, Symantec endpoint, Stopzilla, and Super anti spyware could find it but not fix it. I worked the OS for over an hour, edited the registry and got to the point where it was like trying to swat a fly with a cats hair. The end came when I called a friend at Symantec and he laughed.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on December 27, 2013, 01:37:56 am
Anyway after using it a while it became clear that the Internet connection with it was very flaky, pages won't load half the time and stuff like that.
Try setting the MTU on the WAN interface of your router to 1492. The default is usually 1500, but the extra overhead of the DSL PPP connection often requires turning it down a bit.

Does your router get a public IP address on its WAN interface, or is it pulling a private IP address (192.168.x.x) from the modem? If the subnets (first three octets) you'll have all kinds of problems. If they aren't the same but you're getting a private IP address, you might be dealing with a double-NAT issue which can result in flakiness.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 27, 2013, 02:33:43 am
Try setting the MTU on the WAN interface of your router to 1492. The default is usually 1500, but the extra overhead of the DSL PPP connection often requires turning it down a bit.

Does your router get a public IP address on its WAN interface, or is it pulling a private IP address (192.168.x.x) from the modem? If the subnets (first three octets) you'll have all kinds of problems. If they aren't the same but you're getting a private IP address, you might be dealing with a double-NAT issue which can result in flakiness.
The router is getting a private ip(192.168.168.x) from the modem (which is some variety of wireless LTE modem from the local telephone cooperation and is located on the side of the house with a cat5 that comes inside, goes to a PoE, and a cat5 goes from the PoE to the router) and the router is handing out addresses like 192.168.1.x. You may be onto something with double NAT being the problem. I'll see if I can disable NAT on the new router along with changing the MTU(assuming that can be an issue with a non-DSL modem) tomorrow and see if that helps. FWIW best I could tell the network connection itself wasn't dropping, just the Internet.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on December 27, 2013, 11:54:53 am
The router is getting a private ip(192.168.168.x) from the modem (which is some variety of wireless LTE modem from the local telephone cooperation and is located on the side of the house with a cat5 that comes inside, goes to a PoE, and a cat5 goes from the PoE to the router) and the router is handing out addresses like 192.168.1.x. You may be onto something with double NAT being the problem. I'll see if I can disable NAT on the new router along with changing the MTU(assuming that can be an issue with a non-DSL modem) tomorrow and see if that helps. FWIW best I could tell the network connection itself wasn't dropping, just the Internet.

If you disable NAT, you would also have to set a static route in the modem pointing back to you your 192.168.1.x network... otherwise, the modem won't know where to route that traffic. Basically, the route entry in the modem would say "for the 192.168.1.x network, send it via the public IP address of the other router." This also means your router's WAN IP address would have to be set to a static IP address to prevent it from changing.

I don't know what options you have, but for CenturyLink DSL service where I live, I can set the modem to 'bridging' mode, then have my router make the PPP connection. My router then gets a real, public IP address on its WAN interface.
Title: Re: Home Network Attached Storage device
Post by: Tommy Peel on December 27, 2013, 12:01:07 pm
If you disable NAT, you would also have to set a static route in the modem pointing back to you your 192.168.1.x network... otherwise, the modem won't know where to route that traffic. Basically, the route entry in the modem would say "for the 192.168.1.x network, send it via the public IP address of the other router." This also means your router's WAN IP address would have to be set to a static IP address to prevent it from changing.

I don't know what options you have, but for CenturyLink DSL service where I live, I can set the modem to 'bridging' mode, then have my router make the PPP connection. My router then gets a real, public IP address on its WAN interface.
Hmmmm. I don't think I'll be able to get into the modems setup to change anything there but I'll try. I'll give my isp a call later today and see if they can help me get it going. I think getting the modem in bridging mode would be ideal, maybe they can tell me how to access the settings (assuming it's possible with our modem).

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