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What do I need for storage? An NAS?

by bretaa / November 14, 2010 2:38 PM PST

Hi everyone,

I'm pretty much a standard "mainstream" computer user with a question for those more knowledgeable than I. In the process of having our first child this past year, my wife and I have rapidly filled up our two laptops and a netbook with photos and videos and other momentos. We'd love to move those off of our machines into storage but where we could still have access to them and to streaming music MP3's as well. We'd also love for family members (read, mostly our parents) bugging us for photos to have access to the drive as well over the web.

I was looking into NAS drives we could plug into our standard Netgear Costco-issue wireless router, but then I read reviews (of even highly rated models) talking about how people had choppiness of home videos or MP3's. That would, obviously, defeat the purpose.

So, what I'm looking for is the following:

- Storage that we can access wirelessly, via NAS plugged into router or a storage solution with its own wireless
- No choppiness or lagging of music or video
- RAID backup not required, as I'd probably just do external backups of the backups myself (if possible)
- Hopefully under $350-400 total

Ideas? Will any NAS work this way? Do I need someone to setup a home network with router to truly make this happen? Thank you in advance for your help!!

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For long term satisfaction
by samkh / November 14, 2010 10:59 PM PST

stay away from low cost (<$300 w/HDD) Linux NAS boxes due to performance issues and clunky management interfaces. WHS boxes are better in performance but again management is limited to network interface without console capability. Why not build your own WHS NAS with an Atom box for energy saving? If you need GbE, pick a nettop, otherwise a netbook will do. Attach USB drives to the box for storage expansion. As far as cost, nettops under $300 will do, plus WHS software and USB drives. If you don't need DLNA (ie. can't stream, just be file server), even WXP Home will work, in which case a netbook under $300 is almost turnkey solution. You'll get lots of relevant hits and advice on how-to by googling WHS NAS and related keywords. Good luck.

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by samkh / November 14, 2010 11:08 PM PST

Some folks have been happy with XP and freeware DLNA servers but I've never been content with them. W7HP can do too.

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WHS, thanks...
by bretaa / November 16, 2010 12:44 AM PST

Thanks for pointing out the WHS to me... The HP WHS box seems like the perfect solution (since streaming is essential) and the prices for them seem to be only slightly higher than or equal to those of "do it yourself" solutions. Much appreciated!

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