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#138551 8-Jan-2014 13:45

I need to put all my files in a central location on my home wi-fi network so that they can be accessed from family members. My requirements would be to set up :

a) a place where files such as pictures, videos, music, documents etc would be accessible to family members
b) a place where family members could back up their own files

I thought I could get a external hard drive and attach it to my router (via usb) and using some sw application to back up/syncronise data (e.g. FreeFileSync) . I understand this may not provide the fastest way of accessing files, but I need something simple to implement and manage.
I have read other topics from this forum but I am at a loss regarding NAS and RAID terminology, and frankly it all seems too much for my needs.

I understand that the perfect solution would involve redundancy but at the same time I do not have a lot of cash to spend on a 2 disk solution, so I am resigned to rely on the improbability that both the original system (e.g. daughter laptop) and the common hardware both fail at the same time.

Anyone willing to share some wisdom and advice on the best way to solve my problem?

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  #963335 8-Jan-2014 15:39
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WD and Seagate have external drives with NAS like features these days, sort of NAS lite they aren't as expensive as full blown multi disk NAS like Synology, Qnap etc.

You want to avoid single points of failure because no single disk lasts forever, you want a copy of importatnt stuff on multiple physical drives in multiple locations.

If you go with two seperate external disks, you can rotate say each week with one being offsite at a friend or families place and one at your place.

Additionally I would also use an online backup service like Crashplan or Backblaze.

You can never have enough backups!  Memories are priceless.

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  #963337 8-Jan-2014 15:52
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This looks pretty good for ya need.
It can take two drives but works with one, so you can room to expand if you need it.
Can get it with 1TB for under $300


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  #963341 8-Jan-2014 16:09
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I use a WD My Book Live 2TB NAS device (single drive). Now priced around $230. The latest version is called My Cloud but is a bit dearer.

These simple NAS drives are better than an ext HDD as they don't need an attached computer to be running and awake.

They just get linked via an ethernet cable and switch or router.

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  #963378 8-Jan-2014 17:31

Thanks for your advice, hellonearthisman and Ragnor I agree that memories are priceless! I also keep disk backups of old photos and videos

I guess I need to save up a little more (groan) for a simple NAS box then.

I was tempted by the current special of 2TB desktop HD from the warehouse stationery at $109.

linw, just to for me to understand, the NAS will need its own power and then I can plug into the router via an ethernet cable right?

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  #963482 8-Jan-2014 19:36
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What about a cheap netbook?

It will be about the same price as a NAS if not cheaper, it will be more powerful and more multifunctional and consume only a little more power.

Sure it won't have some of the extra share options that a dedicated NAS has but it will have a built in UPS.

Something like $299


an off lease laptop $349

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  #963499 8-Jan-2014 19:53
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I'm in the same boat as linw (at the moment) except I use a 3TB model of the Western Digital My Book Live as listed in the link - I brought mine from Harvey Norman though. It's exceptionally easy to set up and use, essentially you just plug it into your router via an ethernet cable and set it up in a couple of minutes through a web browser. I reserved an IP address for the drive before plugging it in so my media extender connects to it reliably.

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  #963699 9-Jan-2014 09:37
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Yep, easy to install, hardwarewise. Power brick plus ethernet cable.


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  #963814 9-Jan-2014 12:02

Many thanks for the advice guys! thumbs up

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  #963865 9-Jan-2014 13:48
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I guess I need to save up a little more (groan) for a simple NAS box then.

I was tempted by the current special of 2TB desktop HD from the warehouse stationery at $109.

Plain usb externals (no ethernet) are a little less convenient in that you have to plug it in to each device/pc you want to backup or share it on the network when plugged into one of the pc's.

If budget is tight you can go that route but I would still recommend you get two: one onsite, one off site at a friends/families/work/other... then you rotate them fairly regularly (weekly/fortnightly/monthly).

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