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Topic # 84703 6-Jun-2011 09:42
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Hey there,

Looking for a new computer to replace my current old Dell Inspiron 1100. 
What we want is the best of all worlds...portability around the house (so can use for a short time in bed/on the couch and for storing out of the twins reach, and longevity as in it can be our long term first family computer with upgrades as the years go on and storage.
So my instinct is to by a desktop for approx $1000 and have it wireless networked with a netbook (~$500) for doing minor wordprocessing, facebook, web searching, reading books.
Am i on the right track to you think? Any recomendations?

Thanks 

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  Reply # 478173 6-Jun-2011 10:23
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Hi, there are lots of ways to skin this cat and I am sure others would have varying opinions.

If it were me, I would forgo the desktop, instead invest in a NAS solution preferably with a Raid or to keep costs down a modest USB drive that can be plugged in once a month to backup the NAS. I know lots of folk have an alergy to DLink but there current DNS-320 as linked below is pretty good and supports RAID1 so put two 500G drives into it and you have a pretty power efficient NAS that supports media serve function, allup with drives will cost you around $550

From there I would get a modest dualcore 15.6" laptop for your major work and supliment that with a netbook.

Cyril



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  Reply # 478511 7-Jun-2011 12:53
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Thanks Cyril17. Wooosshhhhh! Over my head...lol. So from what i gather we are talking a Gateway/Server which all devices talk to? So it would be the NAS that has the modem/router attached to it? Notsure i fully understand the RAID part..something about multiple drives?
So basically your talking about having a stand alone harddrive that talks to the internet for the laptop and would really need the netbook.

By the way could the NAS be linked in the same way to the Xbox?

Thanks for your help.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 478522 7-Jun-2011 13:05
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Hi, a NAS simply acts as your file repository, it connects to your modem/router and becomes an integral part of you network, its your modem/router that still is the gateway to the internet.

So all your PCs/Notebooks/Netbooks can see the NAS as a network drive and access your documents, photos, music etc etc that is stored there, little if anything needs be kept on your PCs/Notebook except files you want to use while away from the network.

The RAID part is simply a higher level of backup, if you install two identical drives and tell it to RAID1 them then you get the overal capacity of one drive, but the other is always mirroring the other, if one drive fails then you simply plug in a new one and the remaining drive will mirror itself with no loss of data.

Alternatively you can just use the thing with no Raid, but I would recommend if you did that, that once a month (or when ever you decide) you plug a USB drive into it and get it to backup, the NAS has backup software that can organise this backup and even email you to remind you to do it. The logic of using a USB drive (not a pen drive but a disc drive with USB to connect) is that drives fail from continual use, this USB backup drive only operates when you plug it in, therefore in theory its life is significatnly extended by only operatingn for an hour or two every month. As aside the NAS will power down the drives in the NAS when not used for a set period (say 30min) this extends their life and saves power.

I guess my reasoning on this setup is that depending on how you use your computers it may be more appropriate to have two portable devices (a laptop and a netbook) with a central NAS repository than having one fixed PC (which also acts as repository) and a netbook.

Cyril

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  Reply # 478546 7-Jun-2011 13:50
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I would do that (NAS plus Netbook plus Notebook).

You could look at replaceing the notebook with a desktop if you have a need for a bigger screen or the kids want to play the latest games (notebooks aren't that great at gaming)

You could look at getting a tablet instead of the netbook.



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  Reply # 478688 7-Jun-2011 19:54
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Cheers for that explanation i think i understand a bit better.
From what your saying the NAS acts as a'live' external harddrive for all devices...as in thats all its for...storage but it can be accessed at any time.
So i think my stupid question is...what advantage is there on having a NAS vs a desktop that has a large harddrive?

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  Reply # 478692 7-Jun-2011 20:00
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Hi, desktop consumes much larger amounts of power (read 20-30x) has to be on at all times, not normally an issue but when there is a 20-30x power thing involved I think you get the idea.

Further to that much more reliable, a windows desktop PC has the inclination to crash over time, my NAS here has an uptime of over a year currently (but I move house) but previous to that had been up without a glitch for 4yrs, try that with a PC. And finally its got lots of tools dedicated to file serving, be that normal documents or music and media via itunes, DLNA or other protocols that PCs dont off the self do.

Cyril

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  Reply # 478712 7-Jun-2011 20:33
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Cyril, tks for the useful info on NAS.

Excluding using RAID, can you have a NAS where you can add any drives? Where brand and size do not matter?

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  Reply # 478714 7-Jun-2011 20:42
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Hi, I use serval products including NASLite, this lets you use any drive you have kicking around as does FreeNAS, but these are old PC based NAS's, products like the Dlink, Qnap, Synology etc will let you add various drive types within their holding capabiltiy, however in RAID modes they normally only accept drives of the same type/size as would naturally be expected.

Cyril

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  Reply # 478900 8-Jun-2011 11:29
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As someone in a similar position could someone post links directly to purchase the products?

We have three laptops, xbox, PS3, desktop and various mobile devices.
Basically I just want something to store media on so it free's up the actual computers.
So we can watch films on the PS3 and I can access my photos and music without storing them on say my phone or laptop. And as acts as a back up.
I'm not that savvy but a link to the particular product would be tops.

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  Reply # 478905 8-Jun-2011 11:50
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Hi, the Dlink product I have been refering to, you can purchase it with no discs fitted.

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=9393375


or with 1Tb fitted ready to go, although I see on backorder.

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=393376

Another cost effective option is this LevelOne unit

http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=381367

In the same site you will find other brands and models, Qnap and Synology brands are very well respected in this market place.

Cyril


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  Reply # 485232 23-Jun-2011 22:26
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I've just stumbled across this thread so sorry for the belated comments/questions.

Firstly I don't thnk RAID is worth bothering with unless you need a server that you rely on to provide uninterrupted service.  RAID protects against disk failure, nothing else.  It is not a back up in the true sense.  It does not guard against file corruption, theft or fire.  If a file becomes corrupted, the RAID setup just mirrors a corrupt file.

One good thing about some NAS is that they generally have FTP functionality and you are able to access files on the NAS remotely via the internet.

For back up, using a USB drive that plugs into the NAS is a much much better option.

Cyril7
What NAS units have the backup software you mention?  This is exactly the sort of NAS I have been looking for but I couldn't find any with this software on them, or if the software was included it wasn't clear from the specs and no one could confirm it for me.  I want to be able to automatically incrementally backup and swap between two USB drives each using each drive on alternate days.  Each USB drive being taken off site when it is not connected to the NAS. 
 
Thanks




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  Reply # 485239 23-Jun-2011 22:33
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Don't forget to have a UPS on any NAS/file servers you have :)

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  Reply # 485241 23-Jun-2011 22:42
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kyhwana2: Don't forget to have a UPS on any NAS/file servers you have :)


Good point




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  Reply # 485287 24-Jun-2011 08:08
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Many of the NAS appliances will also work as a print server. So if you have a USB printer you get the added advantage of being able to print to it from any of your laptops or netbooks anywhere around the house. (A lot of printers nowadays come with wifi capability built-in, so if you have one of these obviously you don't need a print server).





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