Answered

NAS recommendation - USB, ethernet, etc.

  • 29 October 2017
  • 17 replies
  • 1197 views

I'm moving from a dedicated PC to a NAS for holding my files. I've seen that historically folks like the WD My Book models for a stand alone NAS. Is that still the case? Is there a reason to prefer ethernet over USB? And I gather that I need to make sure the NAS still supports SMBv1. This NAS will exist only for SONOS and not act as a file server in other capacities. Any tips on make/model appreciated.
icon

Best answer by jgatie 29 October 2017, 20:03

The WD models are still the best bang for the buck, IMHO. You will want an ethernet NAS druve, a USB requires it to be connected to a USB port on a omputer or router, an NAS simply plugs into ethernet and is always available, even when your computer 8s off. They are also more configurable and USB drives connected to routers can be slow, and affect router bandwidth.
View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

17 replies

The WD models are still the best bang for the buck, IMHO. You will want an ethernet NAS druve, a USB requires it to be connected to a USB port on a omputer or router, an NAS simply plugs into ethernet and is always available, even when your computer 8s off. They are also more configurable and USB drives connected to routers can be slow, and affect router bandwidth.
Thx for the reply. Is there one in particular that Sonos users like? The reviews on Newegg aren't super promising. E.g., here: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236620
USB drives connected to routers can be slow, and affect router bandwidth.
So I found out three years ago with a 2011 made router and made a move to a WD MyCloud that has worked very well. But my question for these days, with USB sticks of 128Gb and above dropping in prices is whether routers of today have enough bandwidth so that if they have a USB socket, does a plugged in stick now provides a cheaper, and more discreet/elegant solution if all that is needed is network accessible music content for Sonos?
USB drives connected to routers can be slow, and affect router bandwidth.
So I found out three years ago with a 2011 made router and made a move to a WD MyCloud that has worked very well. But my question for these days, with USB sticks of 128Gb and above dropping in prices is whether routers of today have enough bandwidth so that if they have a USB socket, does a plugged in stick now provides a cheaper, and more discreet/elegant solution if all that is needed is network accessible music content for Sonos?

Only if you don't have much music - a quick google found 1Tb stick at around the £800UK mark, which I'd need for my 700Gb library. Much cheaper to use an inexpensive NAS like the WD.
Much music or not is a subjective thing; and even a 256 Gb stick is just about 50 pounds UK now, and may suffice for some. For those whose purchased music is in lossy AAC codecs of the mastered for iTunes kind that yield perfectly acceptable sound quality, over 2000 CDs are accommodated in the 256 Gb stick. In a couple of years, that price point will obtain a 512 Gb one, I am sure.

But all that is digressing; the question is whether the technical disadvantages of these in terms of latency in the past are now overcome by bandwidths of routers of today. Because in terms of footprint, they are unmatched. And, depending on the nature of the library, in price as well.
Much music or not is a subjective thing......
How on earth is the quantity of music subjective? I either have 700Gb, or I don't - it's not something open to a subjective view.

and even a 256 Gb stick is just about 50 pounds UK now
Decent quality much nearer £100 - and you haven't addressed the 1Tb pricing.
Define "Much" in an objective way. 700 Gb? And you are still digressing from the question posed.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
My heartburn with WD products like their NAS (Ethernet based Live drives) is the fairly short support life. All too soon you'll end up like me with one that has several known security issues and no hope of getting patches. Once that happens leaving it on your network is risky.

I used a spare Raspberry Pi computer and a USB to SATA converter to an SSD drive. Using a USB port on your router will work as well. You really don't need a lot of power to support streaming music even to multiple players playing different music.

The type of drive you use is up to you, a thumb drive works, a USB to SATA converter works with whatever you have in your junk box or a full USB WD type drive.
At my start with Sonos, I had ripped CDs to a WD My Passport HDD with a USB interface and wiring that to the port on a Apple Time Capsule of 2011 worked well till I started seeing latency trouble/stuttering with different music in different zones. At that time I was advised to shift to a processor equipped NAS, hence the WD MyCloud which continues to work well as does the Apple TC. But less than half of the 1 TB WD is filled with my 20,000 plus tracks that are a mix of lossless and Apple AAC 256 kbps lossy. And I never use the other features of the WD that are wasted on me.

So I am thinking that when the devices fail in future, and I have make a router change, a 512 Gb flash stick should be the replacement. Makes like Sandisk sell their 256 Gb sticks at the USD 80 price point in India at this time, and nothing better in terms of brand is justified for something that has no moving parts; hopefully my hardware will soldier on till the 512Gb sticks are sold at similar prices, making those a more suitable replacement for me used with a more capable replacement router.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
A USB to SATA converter and a SSD drive may be cheaper than a USB flash stick in larger sizes.
Define "Much" in an objective way. 700 Gb? And you are still digressing from the question posed.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
Why am I not surprised?
Why am I not surprised?
Personal attack? Pathetic.
Express your point clearly and I'll address it. I've no time to waste second guessing you.
🆒Thank heavens for small mercies.
Badge +2
I used to have NAS access to my music (32GB is enough for all my old CDs), but that was with the old Comcast-supplied router in CA. Now I'm in the woods in VA and have HughesNet. Scuttlebutt is that they don't support the USB connector on the back. I've also been told that going the ethernet plug-in route is better. I see some NAS ethernet to USB stick adapters (Addonics for $100, Cirago NUS1000 $44, etc). Anyone have experience, recommendations, or cautions about this type of device?
TIA Don
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I used a Raspberry Pi, just needing 32 GB you'd do fine with just a 64 GB SD card for storage. Your old memory stick would work too but it wouldn't be as pretty.

My Pi has been serving multiple streams here as well as some other light duty tasks without a glitch for several months. The Pi 3 is the one to get. Go for a 2 amp power supply, the 1.5 recommended one minimum is iffy.
Badge +2
Thanx for the responses to my question. I went with Addonics box for ~$95. It was super easy to install. You plug it into any ethernet port and access the internal software by pointing your browser to http://addnas . Their 16 page user manual walks you through all the screens. I'm using a 200GB memory stick for music storage which already had all my CDs on it. You specify the folder with the music as a shared folder. It shows up in Windows explorer. You use the Sonos phone app to select it for your Music Library library, and it works. No more listening to Amazon Prime music with its dropouts (maybe a result of my satellite internet), and no more eating up my monthly GB allotment for music listening. One happy camper again!