- Provide a central file location so I can store my photos, video, documents etc, access them from any of my PC's without having to leave one of the PCs on all the time to act as a file server
- Provide automatic backup of the PC's attached to the network
After doing some research into options, it seems like a NAS box (network attached storage) is the way to go. Basically, the NAS plugs into your home wired network or wireless router and acts like a file server. The question is, which one to choose, and how not to spend a ton of money making it happen.
Critical features seem to be:
1) RAID 1. This is two drives mirroring each other, to provide redundancy if one drive fails. I don't want to accidentally lose all of my photos
2) some way to backup the NAS box easily. Currently I'm thinking that using a web backup service would be the best and most secure option. One of my co-workers recommends IDrive- $4.95 / month for up to 150 Gb of backup.
Most of the NAS boxes out there also have other useful capabilities:
- iTunes streaming
- web access to data
1) D-Link DNS-321
Another contender. Spotty reviews, although mostly positive. I've had good luck with Dlink products and I think this would be a top choice.
There is also a $20 rebate on this at Microcenter right now.
1) Buffalo Linkstation Duo
This seems to fit the bill- although as with everything else there is a wide variety of reviews- both good and bad.
3) HornetTek Mobile LANdisk
Seems generic and I haven't found much in the way of reviews... At least Microcenter has a good return policy. This is distant third.