How useful is a NAS?

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  • UncleLou Moderator 27 Feb 2013 09:15:44 35,423 posts
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    Please say "very useful". I kind of want one. :)

    I am usually not particularly indecisive about such things, but they do cost quite a bit, and having never had one, I lack personal experience.

    Main purpose I see now would be streaming my music to the Squeezebox. At the moment, the PC does that, which isn't ideal, but it's quiet, is in a different room, wakes up auomatically and goes to sleep afterwards. I guess it uses a bit more power, but it's probably not terribly significant.

    Then I would use it to backup my PC (atm, that's the job of an external USB drive), and, well. I don't know. I am not sure if it's one of those "how could I live without one" devices, or if I'll wonder whether it was necessary at all in a couple of weeks.

    What are you doing with yours?
  • kalel 27 Feb 2013 09:20:53 86,328 posts
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    I find it very useful. It feeds my Sonos with music without the PC needing to be on, and allows my wife and I to share access our respective music folders without any faff. We also independently back up all our pictures and whatnot to it. And those pictures can be accessed by various devices without PCs being turned on.
  • dominalien 27 Feb 2013 09:21:25 6,829 posts
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    It's very useful.

    Right now, I'm sitting downstairs at the kitchen table, wishing my Firewire array of drives were network attached so I could check which episodes of Raising Hope I'd already seen. Going upstairs with the computer is not an option, unfortunately.

    Only downside is, network drives are painfully slow, at least relatively, to locally attached storage (except for USB2. If you only have USB2 you will not care one way or another).

    PSN: DonOsito

  • nickthegun 27 Feb 2013 09:21:47 58,782 posts
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    I know I sound like a salesman but just spend ten minutes having a nose around here:

    http://www.synology.com/dsm/dsm_for_home.php?lang=uk

    And then try not to buy one

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    He totally called it

  • THFourteen 27 Feb 2013 09:21:53 32,857 posts
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    Not very useful

    just leave your PC on.
  • Deckard1 27 Feb 2013 09:23:54 27,124 posts
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    I'm more of a Jay Z man myself.

    Edited by Deckard1 at 09:24:11 27-02-2013
  • kalel 27 Feb 2013 09:24:14 86,328 posts
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    Oh and the Cloud thing is useful as well.

    It's also going to make changing my computer a breeze.
  • Deckard1 27 Feb 2013 09:24:31 27,124 posts
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    See because Nas is an american rapper.
  • Deckard1 27 Feb 2013 09:24:44 27,124 posts
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    As is Jay Z
  • mikew1985 27 Feb 2013 09:25:51 12,588 posts
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    I find it extremely useful.

    It's the type of device that, after having one for over a year now, I couldn't go back to not having one.

    If y current one died today I'd order a new one straight away, without hesitation.
  • Zomoniac 27 Feb 2013 09:28:24 7,790 posts
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    I like mine. It just sits there running an iTunes server and a Twonky server. My TV has LAN and DLNA support so I can watch all my media on the TV without having to turn any high powered devices on. It's very handy.
  • kalel 27 Feb 2013 09:30:20 86,328 posts
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    It's one of those things that doesn't really mean you can do anything you couldn't do before, but it makes lots of things much easier. It's a luxury, but a very handy one.
  • silentbob 27 Feb 2013 09:58:28 28,948 posts
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    If you have an 'out of the way' spot to put the NAS with good, wired connectivity between it and the rest of your network then it's a great thing.

    If you don#t, as in my case, then building a media / XBMC server with local storage is a far better option (you can then always use it as a NAS at a later date should you wish). I'm running 3 x 2TB drives in RAID5 for 4TB of usable space and XBMC running on top and it's awesome.

    VR News: www.roadtovr.com -- Follow us on Twitter.

  • warlockuk 27 Feb 2013 10:03:36 19,133 posts
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    They're awesome. Think of all the times you've had to leave a full PC running just to do little petty tasks like sharing files or downloading things - they can do all that at a fraction of the power consumption.

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • KayJay 27 Feb 2013 10:15:29 5,287 posts
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    Always wanted to get one of these up and running.
    And with a jailbroken ATV I don't think im making the most of my 3.5 & 2.5 drives laying around (Probably around 4TB). :/

    Can anyone recommend a NAS drive caddy that can accept 3.5" & 2.5" drives, and perhaps support iTunes Server?

    Is there such a thing? that can accept 2.5 & 3.5?
  • Tonka 27 Feb 2013 10:17:52 20,010 posts
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    I find it extremely useful. But in a luxury way as kalel points out.

    I use mine mostly for films and TV shows tbh. It has a bittorrent client with a web interface so I can set it up to fetch the latest episode of Justified and then cook dinner.

    Then I stream that episode to my phone or watch it on the telly using my media player. The NAS and router and modem are all in a cupboard under the stairs .

    Sometimes when I can be bothered to turn on my iMac i back up some photos on the NAS but not as often as I would like.

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • mrpon 27 Feb 2013 10:34:47 28,427 posts
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    Very. Before I was totally disorganised with duplicated digital shit everywhere. Now everything has a central place, is backed up and (as mentioned) can be accessed on numerous devices in and out of the home. Mine is a ReadyNAS Duo, but on the lookout for an upgrade soon, possibly Synology.

    Couldn't live without it etc..

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • UncleLou Moderator 27 Feb 2013 10:39:05 35,423 posts
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    Cheers all. A shop here is selling a Synology 213+/WD Red 2x2TB bundle for 500,-, which seems pretty reasonable.

    I take it most of you use a Raid 1 configuration?
  • DodgyPast 27 Feb 2013 10:47:57 8,414 posts
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    Is there anything that can handle redundancy across different drive sizes efficiently?

    Ideally also being able to take 6 drives and not cost an arm and a leg.
  • DaM 27 Feb 2013 10:48:54 12,897 posts
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    I could make better use of mine. Have backups every night, but it's not well set up due to lazyness. I do appreciate having a duplicated backup drive that I can remove and put somewhere else when I go on holiday in case of break-ins! Even if we are just away overnight, I pop out the backup drive.

    Very easy to set up a torrent via iPad while sitting watching TV, then stream to the TV.

    I have all my emulators roms on it, so I can access it from several machines (playing with the Raspberry Pi at the moment, and my Mame cab when I get round to it....).
  • dominalien 27 Feb 2013 11:22:33 6,829 posts
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    KayJay wrote:
    Always wanted to get one of these up and running.
    And with a jailbroken ATV I don't think im making the most of my 3.5 & 2.5 drives laying around (Probably around 4TB). :/

    Can anyone recommend a NAS drive caddy that can accept 3.5" & 2.5" drives, and perhaps support iTunes Server?

    Is there such a thing? that can accept 2.5 & 3.5?
    Put them in an older PC. I recently did that with an Athlon X2 machine I had lying around. It uses some 50W of power and is more than sufficient for serving files (plus a web server, plus a calendar server, plus I use it as an office desktop).

    PSN: DonOsito

  • mrpon 27 Feb 2013 11:28:54 28,427 posts
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    T3 Group Test from July 2012, Synology the group winner.

    Give yourself 5 or gig, you're worth it.

  • Chopsen 27 Feb 2013 11:35:20 15,713 posts
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    I've got an old eepc with a very minimal installation of linux on it that basically acts as a NAS with a few extra bits. Never one to find the easiest way of doing something, but it works well (as long as I don't fiddle with it).
  • kalel 27 Feb 2013 11:41:19 86,328 posts
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    I just use a WD My Book Live thingy. I'm sure there are better things out there like the Synology thing, but I really didn't want to spend hundreds of pounds on something that's essentially just there to feed music to my Sonos. It does the job.
  • THFourteen 27 Feb 2013 12:01:56 32,857 posts
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    Re: Power consumption

    A properly set up and specced PC and a good power supply will probably not actually cost as much as you think it will to keep on 24/7

    http://www.dslreports.com/faq/2404

    And it will save a huge amount of fiddling if you can just sit at your desk and sort out your torrents / downloads / files / skydrive / googledrive / dropbox / file format conversions compared to trying to logon via an ipad / remote and worry about setting the whole thing up, or every time you want to make a change.
  • kalel 27 Feb 2013 12:09:11 86,328 posts
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    I don't really give a shit about the power thing if I'm really honest, but I still find a NAS very beneficial.

    Really depends on your needs, but the "modern home" tends to have several users with several devices, and a NAS that everyone and everything can access has a lot of benefits, and that's before you even start on the Cloud based advantages.
  • Maturin 27 Feb 2013 12:11:04 2,889 posts
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    I have been thinking of getting a NAS. But I run Twonky on my study PC and it's on most of the time. I think I'd just be duplicating use really.
  • monkman76 27 Feb 2013 12:15:17 3,948 posts
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    kalel wrote:
    the Cloud based advantages.
    Probably being dim but what do you mean by this? In my fairly layman usage, my NAS is an alternative to the likes of Dropbox.
  • TheSaint 27 Feb 2013 12:17:43 14,199 posts
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    I had a Synology NAS with 2x2TB drives that was getting quite full of TV shows, photos and music so I needed an upgrade.

    I've just finished building my own Raid5 setup using a HP Microserver 4x3TB drives for storage and a 250gb drive running Windows Home Server 2011. HP are offering a 100 cashback on the server at the moment so if you're technically minded then it is definitely the most cost effective option.
  • kalel 27 Feb 2013 12:19:28 86,328 posts
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    monkman76 wrote:
    kalel wrote:
    the Cloud based advantages.
    Probably being dim but what do you mean by this? In my fairly layman usage, my NAS is an alternative to the likes of Dropbox.
    I can access my NAS remotely.
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