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ext hd for backup/music/photos - shared storage or fw/usb?

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June 15, 2006 3:13:26 PM

I'd like to offload my photos and music to a common location for all the computers on my home network. I'd also like to have a convenient backup location for all the computers.

Any comments on a shared storage drive versus a usb/firewire drive connected to a desktop pc?

My desktop pc is always on, so I could attach a standard external firewire/usb drive and share it through the pc...very simple. On the other hand, I could use a NAS device or a simple ethernet drive (e.g. Maxtor shared storage drive) connected to the router. I like the idea of the maxtor solution better than the netgear sc101...no extra drivers or wacky filesystems to deal with.

One thing that scares me about the maxtor shared storage drive is that it doesn not have a usb or firewire interface in case I want to connect it directly to a pc (not through a router). Will the ethernet port on the drive connect directly into my pc's (or laptop's) ethernet port? How is the drive accessed in that type of connection (by ip, drive letter)?

If I go with a standard drive, it can go from machine to machine as necessary. However, do I sacrifice network throughput or cpu usage on the host desktop pc, while a laptop backup is writing to the drive?

Shared ethernet storage sounds good in theory, but in my case, due to the fact that my desktop pc is always on, maybe the standard drive makes more sense?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Gary
June 15, 2006 3:22:03 PM

Using NTBackup to one of your external drives is the best option for backups.

My experience is that you will not see much difference between a network attached storage device or a hard drive that is connected to your computer. Your network is going to be the bottleneck.

Good luck with your quest bobogs!
June 15, 2006 4:28:27 PM

What I've done is put a second storage drive in each of my computers and have an external drive as well. Then I sync my music, photo, and work folders using a program called GoodSync, which is free and works well. Have synced over 9000 files, music, photos, and work stuff with GoodSync with not problems. Couple of reasons I do it this way. I download my photos to one computer and use a second computer for ripping music. Second, I have the files on the computer I'm using so I don't have to worry about any network bottlenecks. The external drive I just use for backup only. To start, you really wouldn't need an external drive because you could have copies of everything on the 2 computers. Hard drives are pretty inexpensive, an 80GB is about $50 and a Seagate 320GB is about $120. Idea to think about
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