Suggested replacement for my home NAS?
January 5, 2012 8:34 AM   Subscribe

What's the current MeFi suggested device for a home NAS?

My Iomega SoreCenter is now a brick, and that's pretty much the last straw for this device. The drives seem fine, so I'm looking for a 2-drive NAS that I can put 2 1-Tb drives in (mirrored). In the past I've had a ReadyNas, which was rock-solid but was really noisy, a power hog, and underpowered. The Iomega is relatively quiet, doesn't consume as much power, but has been flakey and can't be backed up (seriously. Confirmed this with Iomega tech support. Well, to be honest, it can copy the files on it to another drive, but when you restore all file permissions and access rights are gone). OSX Lion support has been very late to the party too.
So: I'm looking for a home NAS. It's going to be in my office, so it can't make a lot of noise. Ability to run Squeezebox Server (and plugins) would be a win, but not necessary. I ran SS on the ReadyNas for a while, but moved it off to a dedicated old laptop. Scanning my rather modest collection of music took many hours on the ReadyNas, and the collection has increased since then. Upgradeability without having to rebuild from scratch would be a nice-to-have (ala X-Raid on the ReadyNas). Must support Windows, OSX (including Lion), and Linux. Must allow me to back it up to an external drive (Yes, I know it's RAID, but RAID is not backup, IMHO, I want to be able to back the drive up in a manner that it can be restored to an exact copy at the time of backup).
Budget isn't unlimited, but I went cheap with the Iomega and I don't want to spend the next 2-3 years regretting the choice because I saved $50.
posted by Runes to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The ReadyNAS line has a really compelling feature set (note: I have an older one), but if I had to do it again, I'd go buy an HP Proliant microserver off ebay/amazon, stick 8 gigs of RAM in it, and install FreeNAS. If you understand how to run a Linux box, it's hard to beat. The hassle of dealing with custom OSes and oddball CPUs is just too much a pain in the long run. "Oh, Lion came out... guess I have to wait for my old NAS vendor to add support for X." versus "Oh, Lion came out, let's hit the FreeNAS forum and see when a beta build will be ready for feature X." You can install any software you like, because it's a generic-looking x86 box like any other server in the world. Upgrade paths are clear, migration is clear, etc.
posted by introp at 8:45 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Depending on your budget I highly recommend QNAP devices:

I have used them for about ten years (only upgrading for space issues), and I've never had any cause to complain about hardware or software :)
posted by Faintdreams at 8:54 AM on January 5, 2012

I just bought one of these, and it works great.

With one big caveat: it isn't very fast. For a big transfer of huge files (i.e. >100 MB) I got a sustained transfer rate of about 15 megabytes per second. For a transfer of small files (on the order of 200 kilobytes) it was more like 6 megabytes per second.

But if that's not important (and it isn't, for me) then it's really very convenient.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:00 AM on January 5, 2012

We have a few-years-old QNAP I like a lot---it's a rock and has great apps. My brother just bought a Synology box (this one, I think)and really likes that too.
posted by bonehead at 9:00 AM on January 5, 2012

I should mention that they claim that it supports Apple, but I can't confirm that since I don't have any Macs.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:02 AM on January 5, 2012

After messing with some other other options I eventually ended up using a nettop for my NAS recently and it has been working well. It was super cheap, doesn't draw much power, is pretty much silent, and is tinier than my router. The main drawback is that there is no internal drive space so you have to go external only. Other than that though it's great, I can install a real OS on it like Ubuntu so I can have it act as a general home server that does things that can't be done with a straight NAS.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:18 AM on January 5, 2012

If you want something easy and low power, look at addonics. I have an addonics NAS and am pretty satisfied with it.
They are reliable and low cost, low power.

Now this is a bit more work, but I love my server running freenas. Once you get it set up, its a dream. It runs a variety of raid options and I can host my files over the web, instant access to all my media, files, encrypted containers, and what not.

Rolling your own server is a fun learning experience, can be cheaper, and easier to upgrade as you expand your file needs. I really think its the best option at the end of the day.
posted by handbanana at 9:31 AM on January 5, 2012

I have a QNAP TS-210 and I love it. It does all of the following:
- serves media to devices all over my home via UPNP/DNLA, SMB etc
- supports a MacBook running OS X Lion including SMB shares and Time Machine backups
- runs SqueezeBox Server supporting a couple of SqueezeBox Receivers. I'm still ripping my CD collection (yes, very late in the day) but a couple of hundred albums scan fairly fast.
- decent backup capabilities to external drives

It's also low-powered and fanless. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
posted by Dan Brilliant at 11:03 AM on January 5, 2012

ReadyNAS Pro!
posted by iamscott at 12:29 PM on January 5, 2012

I'm happy with my Synology 410j.
posted by NailsTheCat at 12:50 PM on January 5, 2012

I also really like Synology NASes. Their feature set is really sweet. TimeMachine backups work well. Plus, it had AirPlay support and can serve iTunes to an AppleTV. But, you can't sync an iOS device directly.
posted by reddot at 6:32 PM on January 5, 2012

I've been using a DNS-323 for years and while good, I am using it in RAID 0, so there is no recovery. However, for about a month, I have been using a QNAP, 5-bay unit and so far am loving it, I would recomend it fully.
posted by jkaczor at 12:19 PM on January 6, 2012

What drives are people using? The so-called Green 2TB models?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:40 PM on January 6, 2012

What drives are people using? The so-called Green 2TB models?

I am using 3x1.5TB Seagate greens, IIRC, that I bought from Amazon. One of them failed within a couple of weeks. Fortunately the Seagate website lets you request a new one immediately and you can just send back your failed drive within a couple of weeks.
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:26 PM on January 6, 2012

The so-called Green 2TB models?

Yep. Two of them, upgrading from my original 1GB drives about a year ago. No trouble with them at all. Rebuilding the media took a while (swap one drive, wait for copy, swap the other, wait, finally resize the volume), but was flawless.
posted by bonehead at 2:53 PM on January 6, 2012

« Older Should I switch careers and learn to code?   |   What's a reasonable expectation for allowable... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.