Looking for an affordable Wifi NAS solution
August 28, 2007 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Help me find an affordable NAS that is between 500g-1TB, does Wifi, has iTunes Library support, BitTorrent, and FTP support please.
posted by davidstith to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
1. Small Net Builder is your friend.

2. I've got a Synology 106e (now supplanted by the 107e), which is a "bring your own disk" NAS. I get the impression BYOD NASs are a slightly better deal. It does all the things you mentioned except Wifi. Wifi could be added using a bridge, I suppose, but in most scenarios, you should have wired access to your wifi hub, and for moving a lot of data around, you want wired access anyhow. Price for the 106e was OK. I use mine primarily as a backup for two Macs. I've messed around with most of the other features, and even got LAMP running on it, but found PHP was way too slow for it to be useful as a local development server. I'm satisfied with this box, but not blown away at its wonderfulness.

3. Having just had my NAS box's drive mech go south, you might want to consider getting a two-drive enclosure that can be set up as a RAID 1. Thecus, for example, sells a two-drive box.
posted by adamrice at 7:29 AM on August 28, 2007

I use a mac mini - a little more expensive than a dedicated NAS but very capable and easily controlled with VNC.
posted by exogenous at 7:34 AM on August 28, 2007

i second the idea that you look into at least raid 1. backups are key but are a pain when you get up to the hundreds of GB range -- enterprise LTO4 tapes handle up to 800GB native, and the drive alone would cost more than your NAS box.

however you go about it, try for a solution where you can specify your own drives. if noise, power usage, and physical size are of little concern, openfiler is pretty damn nifty. a cheap spare computer and a couple of sata drives would get you real close to your goal.

openfiler is a linux 'distro' that claims many of the features of big name nas solutions like snapshots and iscsi. it wasnt what i needed, but if i could tolerate an extra computer at home, i would probably look into it.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 7:57 AM on August 28, 2007

Response by poster: I probably hit submit too fast. What I meant was "Wifi /NAS router". I apologize, my first post on here was destined to fail :)
posted by davidstith at 7:57 AM on August 28, 2007

This ASUS gadget is the only one I know of that does all that. It comes with disks, unfortunately not in the capacity you want.
posted by adamrice at 8:12 AM on August 28, 2007

I'd rather stick the NAS directly on a router or another piece of wired equipment - otherwise any access is halving your wireless bandwidth (at least if your other equipment is wireless). That's the whole point of autonomous storage that you can place anywhere on the network, right?

I have an Infrant (Netgear) ReadyNAS NV+ connected to a D-Link DIR-655 gigabit/802.11n router and it's great. $1500 or so at the moment with 4x500GB drives. Streams to every device imaginable (especially when you install TwonkyMedia) and supports rsync/AFP/SMB/NFS/HTTP(S), and so on.
posted by kcm at 8:38 AM on August 28, 2007

The DSM-G600 has some third-party firmware that makes it into a bittorrent peer, which I think places it firmly in "general purpose computer / server" territory, no longer merely a storage device. But whatever.

Is iTunes library support equivalent to UPnP media server support? Because it does that too. It's BYOD, and available in the $130 range. (Kicking myself for not having picked one up when CompUSA was dumping theirs for $80!)
posted by Myself at 5:15 PM on August 28, 2007

I doubt you're going to find many NASs proper that do Wifi, they're generally geared towards wired LANs. Adding a WRT-54g or similar will only run you another $50 or so, and in the realm of ~1TB NAS boxes that's an incidental expense.

I second the Infrant/Netgear ReadyNAS series, I have an old X6 that's working well, but they're certainly not cheap. The "old PC running Linux/BSD and lots of drives" trick is definitely the lowest-capital way, but running a whole PC might bump your power bill a bit.
posted by Skorgu at 6:25 PM on August 28, 2007

I tried to find a 1TB+ NAS for the longest time with your requirements (-the iTunes Library support) and never came up with anything I liked, so I built my own. This might not be a possibility for you if you're not comfortable with it, but I got all the features I wanted and more for much less money. I built mine about a year ago, but here's a quick list I came up from searching newegg.com and zipzoomfly.com if I were building one now.

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UWC - $95 (something with 4 internal 3.5 Bays w/ 350W+ Power Supply)
CPU: Intel Celeron D 336 - $45 (something cheap, mostly just serving files)
Mobo: ECS 945GZT-M - $50 (compatible mobo w/ onboard video [for setup] and PCI E for RAID card)
RAM: 1G DDR2 PC4200 533mhz - $40 x2 = $80 (compatible ram)
Boot Hard Drive: 40-80GB SATA II - ~$50 (I had one laying around)
Storage Hard Drives: WD Caviar SE16 WD5000KS 500GB - $130 x3 = $390 (run in RAID5 for 1TB w/redundancy [you can lose 1 hard drive and not lose data, just make sure you get a replacement before you lose another])
Raid Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 2310 PCI Express x4 (x8 and x16) SATA II RAID 0/1/5/10 JBOD - $155
Wireless Card: EDIMAX EW-7128G PCI Wireless Card - $25

Grand total: $891 for a 1TB file server. Add $130 for another drive and get 1.5TB for just over a grand, this is what I decided to do. But then you'll need a case with 5 internal 3.5 bays.

You will need a monitor and cd/dvd drive to set it up, but I have mine in a closet with a power cord connected and that's it. I have Windows XP installed so I just use remote desktop to control it, but many people prefer VNC of one flavor or another.
posted by Kupo? at 6:40 AM on August 30, 2007

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