Friday, June 11, 2010

NAS Backup / File Sharing?

On a totally different subject, I'm doing some research on how to best accomplish the following tasks on my home network:

  1. 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
  2. Provide automatic backup of the PC's attached to the network
We are all building libraries of personal photos, videos, all sorts of data that we do not want to lose. One of my co-workers recently lost nearly all of his kid's baby and toddler photos- ouch. Just because of this risk, it is probably a good idea for everyone to have some sort of redundant backup of their data.

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
  • etc


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.


  1. I would go with the online backup. You don't have to deal with troublesome hardware and software. That's what I plan on doing...

  2. interesting question. thanks for the idrive link. i am thinking about doing something like that for pics and video. it would feel good to have them safe in case of computer loss or damage.

    I am also interested in sending pics/video from an android phone easily to online storage.

  3. There is a flickr application for the droid I've tried, seems OK. I haven't played with it very much though.