Think Inside the Box: The Ultimate NAS Showdown



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I am very enjoyed for this side. Its a nice topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. I think it may be help all of you. Thanks
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This is a nice review of some of the pre-built options that are out there. However, this is MaximumPC and is geared toward enthusiasts. We love to build our PC's and tinker with our hardware. Building a NAS box is now a hot area of growth for enthusiasts with terrific options out there such as FreeNAS with ZFS support. A small case with room for 4 or more 3.5" drives and a power efficient cpu can make an incredible NAS box for a LOT less money than the pre-built options. It's time for MaximumPC to do a feature article about such a project, that covers some of the best options out there, at varying price points (preferably a cover article).



They really need to do a thing with freenas vs these boxes and see if the options (services) and speeds are a good way to see the differences.  Plus Pricing since freenas ia free and all you need is a old computer...



ALL of these things are horribly overpriced.

You can build a WHSv2 Server for around $400, add the WHSv2 server software for $79, and then toss in 4-6TGB of storage and come under the $800-$900 price of these things.

And have increased functionality to boot.  Backups with bare metal restores.  Internet Media Streaming.  DNLA streaming.  Remote Access other than FTP.  And an add-in system that continues to grow daily.

Not to mention performance.  You can use left-over parts from an older PC that are assuredly more powerful than these Atom based boxes (mine uses a 'retired' E6700 on a BadAxe-2 Motherboard).

I just don't see the value in these any longer.  At least not at this price point.  If they sold for $199, which is about all the hardware there is there plus a bit for the customized Linux OS, then they would be more in the market.



It seems you haven't read the full article. Specifically your comments regarding Internet Streaming, DLNA, Remote Access, etc. Several of these devices feature all of the above, and handle those features better than WHS. Also, performance is is a trade-off. Power management is also a key feature for a device that could potentially be running constantly for a number of years.

Your concern with price is valid, but you have to remember that these devices are targeted at Small Businesses, not consumers. The intent of the article was to compare the devices, not necessarily to present them as the end-all solution for your storage needs.




At around $400, this would be a much nicer alternative and gives more flexibility.




I frequently look at the price of these preconfigured NAS and just smfh. about 2 years ago i built one myself and its been the best thing:

Norco 2u case w/8 hotswap - $160

MB I had sitting around from an old PC

Bought another 2u from a guy that didnt want it for $50 to harness the PSU

filled drives 0 - 3 with 500GB drives and bout to fill the remainder 4 with either 1TB or 2TB drives

OS - Openfiler

all the different protocls work nice for me since I left M$ for Linux a few months ago and my Mac friends,TV's, PC's, Apple TV, Roku, WDLive find it with no problem. and the uptime was almost 1k Days lastime i looked



Best NAS Solution? Easy.


1 old computer -- $0

2TB Hard drives -- $69.95ea

Install FreeNAS on an old USB Key and attach to computer -- $0

--- ---? ??? -- ??? --- Profit? Me thinks... yes.



Where exactly are you getting a free computer and a thumb drive?



I got 4 Optiplex 170L Dells from the free store at the local dump. P4s 2.8 ghz, 2Gigs ram, attatched  2 external  2terabyte drives to each. bulky but they work just fine They stack up nice and I can do lots of other stuff with them other than just storage.    

ps also attached a 4 port kvm switch a friend gave me.



This is great and all, but how about doing a story about building your own NAS.  With the price of Hsrd Drives falling it may be better to build your own



We've done that before and will be doing another one soon. Specifically, once FreeNAS 8.1 comes out.



That's excellent news! Please make it a cover article - this is one of the hottest growth segments for DIY PC builders, and FreeNAS is truly exciting. I've been looking to build one of these beauties myself, and there are a dizzying amount of options. I'd love to get a MaximumPC article to help sort some of it out. Information on power usage would also be very helpful. (Please be sure to include some points on how to leverage old hardware, and standard PC cases - not just the NAS specific hardware out there.) I'd also like to see a comparison to Drobo, since it offers similiar features.


h e x e n

Excellent. I have tons of old HDD's just laying around, I'd like to know how to put them to use and the benefits of having a NAS in your home network. Looking forward to the next "build it".

A few questions though: How many computers would one need attached to a network to see real usability from a NAS system? What, besides storage, can you do with these devices? Are they easy to set up and maintain?

I'm completely in the dark here. My external 160gb western digital passport has been my trusty backup now for over 5 years and I have yet to understand the benefits and features of a NAS system. Any input from people running them would be great.




Right. But did you mean 8.1 or 8.0.1?

Anyway, pursuant to the curent crop of 8.0.x releases, I wouldn't expect the blazing-est performance numbers especialy using he now intended default ZFS. ZFS on BSD has always been. . . meh. UFS faster, but sometimes, not by much and slower in SoftwareRaid mirror. Also all the "consumer" level widgets from 7 are gone, namely, Transmission.

But then again,  my little NAS cost $212 initially (including 2 2.5 inch drives) two years ago, but I recenty (two weeks ago) had to replace the mainboard, but I got an OK deal at $74 for a D510 based and I bought another stick of RAM for $12.



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