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FKM



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Topic # 136351 24-Nov-2013 11:38
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What's the difference between the following setup?

External USB drives (e.g. WD essential) connect to modem - use powered USB hub if more drives is needed

External USB drives connect to a USB network hub, then network hub connect to modem through ethernet

NAS drives  (e.g. WD my book live) connect to modem through ethernet cable.

I can access the contents anywhere in my home network. What's the major difference?

Thanks for the help.



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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 939879 24-Nov-2013 14:17
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You will find that a NAS device (which can have from one to four or eight drives) will give you a much better performance than routers can provide. You will also have a lot more resources and features available than a normal router.

ASUSTor review

QNAP review

Synology review

I have new ASUSTOR and QNAP models around here - will post next week.




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  Reply # 939918 24-Nov-2013 16:05
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Connecting a USB hdd to a router is SLOW - the vodafone box was barely usable - the fritz box is better but still no replacement for a NAS.

Highly recommend that you use a NAS especially if you have a gigabit LAN.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 939922 24-Nov-2013 16:18
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As others have stated: mainly performance related.

The issue is that not only will you see reduced throughput from the network storage because of the minimal router resources but you will probably see reduced WAN performance too when both are requested at the same time.

FKM



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  Reply # 939943 24-Nov-2013 17:29
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Thanks for the help.

Just to be sure, when you talked about NAS, do you mean these www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=1140 or http://www.wdc.com/en/products/business/networkstorage/? The later ones look overkill for me.....



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  Reply # 939947 24-Nov-2013 18:02
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Any of the systems freitasm linked to in the post above would be perfect. There are several different models from each manufacturer as well depending on your needs.

I particularly like the QNAP TS-269L. QNAP have recently updated their OS from the version in the link above, adding even more enhancements and performance improvements.

Whatever NAS you decide to purchase, make sure you get good quality drives. The WD RED series are pretty good IMHO.

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  Reply # 939948 24-Nov-2013 18:10
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If you have an old machine lying around you could try www.freenas.org lets you try out if a NAS is for you before you spend the $

Equally freenas is very powerful and may be a long term option for you

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  Reply # 939992 24-Nov-2013 21:06
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USB drives on a router etc are at the mercy of what drive types and partition types the router supports.

Yet to find one which is happy with a 4TB drive formatted NTFS so you can stick large files on it.

Plus they are slow as anything. not even able to max out a 100 meg ethernet link on the one I was trying, and the pings went thru the roof when doing it, very poor ability to stream multiple files to people, horridly broken DLNA server which just threw errors on both TVs on the network.




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  Reply # 940102 25-Nov-2013 08:57
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FreeNAS is excellent. I would pick that over any of the pre-built NAS boxes. It will run on pretty much any old junk and is only limited by the hardware.
I have FreeNAS running as a VM under vSphere. Has 10TB of storage running on SATA2 interfaces and hasn't missed a beat for around a year now, time would have been longer if it wasn't for hardware upgrades.

I'm not saying go the virtualization route but definitely build yourself a box and have a play with FreeNAS.

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  Reply # 940160 25-Nov-2013 10:43
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+1 for FreeNAS and OpenFiler. I've used both on and off office hours and neither have given me trouble in the past, neither have failed to deliver. If you have older hardware, check out the community versions of FreeNAS for more backward compatibility.

My experience with small device sharing - routers, appliances etc. is the limit on file systems access, tools to repair, check or manage and user access seems pretty much all access to all connections, not what you want on a border device - and of course, the speed is usually horrendous.

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  Reply # 940286 25-Nov-2013 12:51
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The WD RED series are pretty good IMHO.


You're absolutely right - these drives rock - I have 5 WD Red 4TB drives in my home server and, touch wood, not a single issue compared with the multiple drive failures I'd had previously.

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  Reply # 940379 25-Nov-2013 15:08
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If he already has an old hardware lying around, say maybe already running windows XP, why can't he just use that existing OS to share his external drive rather than spending time setting up FreeNAS?
What's the advantage of FreeNAS in that case?

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  Reply # 940385 25-Nov-2013 15:23
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russelo: If he already has an old hardware lying around, say maybe already running windows XP, why can't he just use that existing OS to share his external drive rather than spending time setting up FreeNAS?
What's the advantage of FreeNAS in that case?


Yep can definately do that. Just won't get as much control over things like user access, permissions etc.
If I had an old drive with Win XP on it I would still put FreeNAS on instead. It is far more lightweight than a windows OS. Also it boots off a flash drive so that will free up an hard disk spots for maximum storage. Then there is all the other good stuff like having the options for creating an SMB or AFP, Rsync, FTP etc. There is also the option to run Jails and you can have a utorrent server sitting there doing some downloading.
Or do it like me and use Rsync to download stuff from a seedbox sitting in germany or wherever.

FreeNAS + WD Red drives all day long!!

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  Reply # 940397 25-Nov-2013 15:49
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russelo: If he already has an old hardware lying around, say maybe already running windows XP, why can't he just use that existing OS to share his external drive rather than spending time setting up FreeNAS?
What's the advantage of FreeNAS in that case?


Don't know for sure, but I've come across more and more posts on forums where people are having trouble with drives over 2TB in size on XP (definitely on old hardware, but XP seems to have some software limitation, too). This might be okay for some, but 3 and 4 TB drives are cheaper than ever and more a common requirement in a home NAS. XP also has some networking restrictions and any tools or services that may be used are over and above in cost as well as being 3rd party.

FreeNAS supports a lot of extra functionality, natively, fully detailed here: http://www.freenas.org/about/features.html

The major differences then being (ironically) XP - build your own, unsupported (soon), thirdparty, not free / FreeNAS - made for purpose, supported, free.

FreeNAS is not based on Windows, but don't let this scare you, the installation is a breeze (you must dedicate all your hardware to this) and the interface is a web page.

Have fun.


In correction to my post above about using FreeNAS 'community edition', this no longer seems to be clearly split. Older versions, for those without 64bit hardware to spare, can be found here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/freenas/files/FreeNAS-8.0.1/ where 'i386' is what you want.

FKM



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  Reply # 940596 25-Nov-2013 19:52
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I must say I feel honored that my noob post grow into a technical discussion 

For my case, I don't have any old hdd/system lying around. I simply need another drive. So far I have 2 external USB hard drives and I have been swabbing them around whenever I need the content in them but it is getting annoying. I have plugged my usb drives into the router and while I have no problem streaming through to my TV/set top box, it is incredibly slow if I want to move files around it. 

Getting a specialized NAS system, like the one freitasm posted is of course cool but that will be expensive - minimum $500 just to have the structure not including the storage itself. I doubt I will need more than 2Tb for the next 2-3 years. 

So the consensus is a separate NAS system? I will have to give it extra thoughts to see if I want to invest that much - whether I need it or not.

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  Reply # 940605 25-Nov-2013 20:04
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Get your HDD's off your internet router, there are plenty of cheap underpowered boxes that will take a couple of USB drives and share them out on the lan which should be faster as you wont be trying to be a router at the same time.

Also try FTP to get the files onto the box if supported, that seemed to go much quicker than windows shares on the one I was trying.




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