Which NAS solution?


Userlevel 2
I've just started to look at (cheap-ish) NAS solutions, and realised that there are many options.

Do you have any recommendations?

For instance, I like the look of a Buffalo TerraStation and LinkStation as these have USB 2.0 ports for future expansion (and a print server, if you need one).

http://www.buffalo-technology.com/products/storage.php

33 replies

Userlevel 3
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I've been using a 160gb Buffalo Linkstation since February. No problems. Easy to set up. Works as advertised.
Userlevel 2
I use a Linksys NSLU2 and with the new firmware it is very good (FTP server now on board which is handy). The Sonos has never had a problem with it and the multiple USB2 sockets (the latest firmware allows more than two drives via a USB2 hub) storage size is literally limitless.
Userlevel 2
I've been using the Infrant ReadyNAS X6. Lovely product. A bit more expensive than the Terrastation, I believe, but you can order it diskless (if you have a bunch of SATA drives hanging around). It is also very easy to upgrade the capacity, and is decently faster than the Terrastation.

Edit: originally indicated that it was cheaper the Terrastation, which it isn't.
Userlevel 2
Thanks. Good pointers.
Userlevel 2
Maxtor has a nice Shared Storage product. Its really quiet, and has a nice feature that it allows you to plug in any USB drive and it will also show up on your network as a drive as well. Kinda like a NAS box with a built in NSLU2. Mac setup isn't as smooth as when using it with a PC, but you can still make it work.

Best,
graham
Userlevel 2
Cheers Graham. I looked at the Maxtor, but wasn't sure it would work, as the website said Maxtor software was required on each machine - so I didn't like the look of it.

I've ordered a Buffalo LinkStation - it has the USB trick too.
Maxtor has a nice Shared Storage product. Its really quiet, and has a nice feature that it allows you to plug in any USB drive and it will also show up on your network as a drive as well. Kinda like a NAS box with a built in NSLU2.

I can concur with Graham, I've got a Maxtor shared storage, handling my Sonos music collection, photos, PC backups and also networking one of my printers. This thing has been running for 5 months without a hiccup. Its small, silent and reliable.

They go for about a $1 a Gig now, so you can find $200 prices for the 200 G. You need to look around though, some sites still charge the SRP of $299.
Userlevel 2
I am using the 300gb network based Maxtor. It is a full NAS, no PC required other than setup. Works like a charm. Some of the features are a bit funky on it (like the web interface), but I got it for a buck a gig, so I pretty happy.
Userlevel 2
I am using the 300gb network based Maxtor. It is a full NAS, no PC required other than setup. Works like a charm. Some of the features are a bit funky on it (like the web interface), but I got it for a buck a gig, so I pretty happy.
Would that be the H01R300? I have seen it on several sites. The price is good.
I recently used a SimpleTech Simple Share and it was painless. "Installation" amounted to connecting and turning everything ON, associating the SONOS zoneplayers and controls, and assigning the share. No configuration of the SimpleTech was necessary.

My only problem with the installation was that the VERIZON help desk was not able to get the DSL working.
Userlevel 2
I use a Buffalo Linkstation 300 Gig NAS. Was extremely easy to set-up, and cheap at just under a buck a gigabyte.

Works very well, but one thing I'd point out is that I had to hook it directly into a Sonos player (as opposed to my router) to make it work without skipping. I suspect this is because (A) My first ZP in on a wireless bridge, so the connection is already slower than an ethernet connection, and (B) I use FLAC files for my music, and that's a lot of data to push around.

Has worked like a dream ever since I hooked it directly into a ZP, though I hook it back into the router for ripping CDs from my PC, as communciation between my PC and the NAS is much slower when the NAS is hooked into the ZP rather than the router (again, due to my use of a wireless bridge, I assume).

[ ... ]

Has worked like a dream ever since I hooked it directly into a ZP, though I hook it back into the router for ripping CDs from my PC, as communciation between my PC and the NAS is much slower when the NAS is hooked into the ZP rather than the router (again, due to my use of a wireless bridge, I assume).

I agree.

You may find that using another channel will help the throughput.
Userlevel 2
New to forum so not sure of thread etiquette about adding supplementary queries - however here goes;
Has anybody used any of the Freecom SL network drives? They look good value but in the (limited) Freecom literature it claims that they don't need an IP address and appear as local drives to all networked PC's. I guess this will be a problem for the Sonos network to work with them directly rather than through a PC share. Any experience out there?
New to forum so not sure of thread etiquette about adding supplementary queries - however here goes;
Has anybody used any of the Freecom SL network drives? They look good value but in the (limited) Freecom literature it claims that they don't need an IP address and appear as local drives to all networked PC's. I guess this will be a problem for the Sonos network to work with them directly rather than through a PC share. Any experience out there?


I flipped throught the documentation and the unit seemed to need more configuration than some of the other units I've used.

The mode you saw was a connection via the USB port. This mode will not work well with SONOS because your computer will always need to be running. For me, this negates all of the benefits of an NAS.

While I tweaked things a bit, all you need to do with the SimpleTech unit is plug it in and turn it on.

As I searched for the Freecom unit, it seemed to have more presence in the EU than in the US.
Userlevel 2
Steve49, I'd go with one of the other recommendations made in the thread - to ensure its a fully networked NAS solution.

I got the Buffalo Linkstation and it works no problem, but the Maxtor also seems good and I could have equally gone with that.
Steve49, I'd go with one of the other recommendations made in the thread - to ensure its a fully networked NAS solution.

I got the Buffalo Linkstation and it works no problem, but the Maxtor also seems good and I could have equally gone with that.


I would agree, it seems both the Buffalo and Maxtor options have already been vetted and approved by the community. Both come in at the generally accepted pricebreak of about $1 a Gbyte (with some shopping around). As long as you are in that price range you are getting good value.
Userlevel 2
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You should consider Infrant ReadyNAS. It's inital cost is more, but it will pay for itself over time.

You can get diskless NAS for $599, and add HDs. You can easily get 320gb SATA for $120 or less. Add 4 HDs for 1280gb, that works out to be less than $1 per gb.

What you get is true gigabit connection (assume you have gigabit switch) NAS you can use for not only music but video/FTP/storage/etc...
I have a buffalo link station. Easy to set up... been running trouble free for 6 months now.
Userlevel 2
You should consider Infrant ReadyNAS. It's inital cost is more, but it will pay for itself over time.

You can get diskless NAS for $599, and add HDs. You can easily get 320gb SATA for $120 or less. Add 4 HDs for 1280gb, that works out to be less than $1 per gb.

What you get is true gigabit connection (assume you have gigabit switch) NAS you can use for not only music but video/FTP/storage/etc...


I'm very interested in this drive. How do you moves files from the Infrant to a computer? Is it all done thru the browser or does it show up under harddrives?
Userlevel 2
I am using an Iomega, works fine, but is LOUD!
I'm very interested in this drive. How do you moves files from the Infrant to a computer? Is it all done thru the browser or does it show up under harddrives?

I've been using the ReadyNAS X6 for several weeks, now...after lurking for months on their site, I finally jumped with a diskless unit and installed 300GB X4.

The drive is picked up as a NAS and you can map drives to it, e.g., I use drive M for the media share and drive B for the backup share. Under Windows Explorer, you would drag and drop, cut and paste, etc, etc anything thing you want, just like a local drive...very easy to use for the non-techies.

The drive has been pleasing so far...obviously streaming Sonos off from it. It's able to maintain two different streams and handle normal usage without a hiccup. Wired to first Sonos, wireless from there to the second, wired and wireless access from computers constantly. If I start stream video to/from the drive also, I notice video issues, but no sound issues. No big deal for me.

It's a good box. Easy to set up, I like the "extendable RAID", I don't want to think about backing up my volumes and restoring if I change drive size.

I use the X6 for nightly computer backups, music, video storage and picture storage. The redundancy of RAID is key versus the other stand alone disks. I used to use a Linkstation 120 with an external USB for backup, but the idea of everything disappearing with a drive failure was concerning. (The Linkstation wouldn't always backup to the USB like it was supposed to, and you wouldn't be informed of a problem.)

The X6 will keep you informed of power loss and other errors -- I have it send email to my account, phone and pager -- nice to know when the power goes out. :)

Lots to talk about with the X6. RAID is different level than just a NAS disk. There's several different options once you start looking, but I've found this one to reasonable in cost and maintainence.

Good luck!

J
Userlevel 2
I know they've been mentioned in this thread already, and I haven't bought a Sonos system yet, but I did just recently get a Buffalo TeraStation 1.0TB that I'm happy with. Check it out at http://www.buffalotech.com/products/storage.php.

It's a RAID array of 4 x 250gb drives set up in RAID5. It amounts to 696.5gb of usable space because of the data redundancy. It's sort of annoying to lose that much space for the RAID, but It's nice being able to put all your eggs in one basket and still not have to worry about a single hard drive crash destroying your data.

It has a gigabit ethernet port and 4 USB ports for adding extra USB hard drives. You set up users, groups and shares via a web interface and it also has an ftp server on it that can be enabled.

So far the only drawback is slow transfer time when copying files to it. I'm assuming that if I upgraded my network to gigabit this would noticeably improve.

I paid $860.00 for it from TechOnWeb. It's less than a $1.00/gb depending on how you look at it (if you count the redundant space used for RAID).
I am using an Iomega, works fine, but is LOUD!

I installed a SimpleTech NAS that made quite a racket. Forutnately, it was mostly conducted noise and an old mouse pad installed under the unit solved the problem.
Hello,
just to warn you,
after a power outage in my new home,
my buffalo terastation seems dead.
I can ping it but not manage it and shares (if they stille xist) are invisible...

It's terrible for me as I had this solution as a repository for my music and gigabytes of personal family pictures...
The data should still be on the hard drives, which were configured on Raid 5, but I hope i'll be able to recover the box without loosing this data...

I have contacted Buffalo European support... waiting for an answer after having explained my problem.

I should have used a UPS, but hey I just moved in my new house saturday and wanted my SONOS up for unpacking ....

So I share a warning... I thought this raid 5 NAS was reliable, I am now in deep trouble...

How many backups of backups should we have to be safe ? :-(

ANy suggestion welcome...
thxs
Olivier
Userlevel 2
Oh dear. I'm sorry to here that, I know how devastating this can be.

To answer your question, I have two copies of everything I can (the main music on the Buffalso Linkstation in my case, and a backup on a PC - for everything else, the Linkstation is used as a backup) plus DVDs that contain anything important, like digital photos, registration information etc. So primary and two copies for critical things (at least!)

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