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Want to add NAS device to home network, any thoughts?

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February 14, 2006 2:56:15 PM

Hi,
Looking to add a network storage device to my network that will be accessible by all users. This device will harbor pictures, music and documents. I would also like the option to be able to access these files from the storage device and be "played, viewed etc" to a media player from this storage device. Also, we would like the option to access this storage/memory device from a remote location via internet and will not have a computer running on the network full time.

Do I need a specific type of memory/storage device to do this?
Do I need a special router/wireless to achieve this?
Can I use any type of external hard drive/memory/storage device if I use say, the new Linksys WRTSL54GS which is a NAS friendly device or does it need to exclusive to network storage?

Any and or all help is appreciated. Thanks.
Cc
February 14, 2006 5:55:25 PM

I am using a SnapAppliance 2200 for mine. I have 2 300gig HD installed running in a RAID1 configuration. Setup is done by your web browser. The interface is through a 10/100 port to the router. It has a small foot print, 5" x 9" x 5" high. I have it setup to send me an email if any errors accours. With this unit, you the option for JBOD, Raid 0 & 1. I use mine as a backup drive, as well for sharing files. All users have their own secure space, + a shared area.

You need to decide if you want/need the data to be backed up. If so select a unit that supports Raid 1 or 5. Most of the simple NAS are only single drive units.
February 14, 2006 8:37:18 PM

Thanks.
So if the interface is through Ethernet port, what is up with these wireless routers that are NAS friendly with USB ports? I guess if you are going to interface the storage device through Ethernet, it has to be a plug and play device with built in server. If you run with a wireless router that has a USB port then you could use a standard external hard drive and the interface occurs via that USB port with the router as the server. I guess the next question is if you want to access this device via internet, you probably need a static IP address for the device. My network is comcast which is DHCP. How do I obtain a static IP address from a DHCP connection?
Also, if I am wrong about anything; please advise. If anyone else has a sweet set up that they want to share; by all means, sing out.
Cc
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February 14, 2006 11:38:10 PM

Some of the newer router allow for external usb drives to be added. To access NAS storage from the outside world, you may need to setup a DMZ. This will seperate the server from the rest of your network for security reason. There is a service offered by TZO.com that is called DDNS (Dynamic DNS). It takes care of the ip address changes.

I have not setup a DMZ or have used DDNS.

I run a static address on my Snap NAS. Just assign a IP that is outside of your DHCP range.

Comcast gives you 10 meg of web space, which is not very much. You can get more from them if required. If you run it on there server you will not have the changing IP. It will be a fixed web address, which I do use for storing photos for ebay. I do not cycle my router off very often. My IP runs pretty contant. I have it setup not to respond to ping, to minimize unwanted activity.

Your uplink speed will be the problem for web hosting, only 512k?. This needs to be in min 2-5 meg min, depending on the amount of trafic.

I know several person using there snaps for ftp servers.

I use a free service offered by http://rapidshare.de/ when I need temp file space for remote access.
February 15, 2006 8:43:22 AM

i've tried Thecus YES Box. The iTunes Server and Photo server functions are quite nice. So far I've stored about 7000 mp3 (30 Gb )
February 15, 2006 3:09:01 PM

Quote:
i've tried Thecus YES Box. The iTunes Server and Photo server functions are quite nice. So far I've stored about 7000 mp3 (30 Gb )


Hi Panda,
thanks for your input. What is this "Thecus YES Box"? Not sure what you are referring to. Sounds like it is something I need to look into. I want to keep my files within my network and not put them up on say the comcast member storage area.
Please give me a little more information on this product you write about. Between you and Blue I might get the sweet setup I am looking for.
Thanks to all.
Cc
February 21, 2006 10:19:57 AM

Your requirement for supporting hosting of media files means you'll need a device that has some sort of Media server built in. Here are a few candidates:

Buffalo Tech LinkStation
http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Reviews-207-ProdID-HDHG25...

Iomega StorCenter
http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Reviews-262-ProdID-STORCE...

If you really want a nice high-end box that supports over 1T of storage and up to RAID 5 for data security, take a look at the Infrant ReadyNASes
http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Reviews-217-ProdID-H2H5.p...

They just came out with a new version, the NV, that's nice and small with all the features of the previous models.

I would NOT recommend exposing the server to the Internet because these boxes generally don't have the ability to run anti-virus or other protective applications. Our NAS tests also frequently find that these Linux-based products aren't well-secured against simple exploits. So you could find yourself with a wiped drive in short order.

Blue68F100's point about limited upstream bandwidth will probably result in a not-so-great user experience anyway.

If you do decide to make the server available anyway, DO NOT put it in DMZ. Only expose the ports for services that will be used. WEB/HTTP is 80, FTP is 20/21.
February 22, 2006 4:49:25 PM

I agree. do NOT put the device in a DMZ, only expose the needed ports. also, depending on your router you can use port to port forwarding to help minimize attacks. perhaps forward port 4000 to watever standard ports are used for the device. then when accessing them over the internet specify what port to connect to the device. for example, if you connect to my public IP address by typing  ortnumber" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://10.10.10.10:p ortnumber my router will forward the IP traffic to one of my web-configurable devices. It is always safer NOT to have your device available for external usage, but if you do, procedures like this can help protect you. Unless your address is specifically port-scanned. In either case, as long as you have password protection and are not using the standard port, you should be ok.
February 22, 2006 8:12:12 PM

All good guys. I appreciate the input and have not made any moves yet so if anyone else feels compelled to share; by all means, sing out.

Everyone has been very helpful and there is a lot of information here to digest however we all know information equals power, so I will continue to source these products recommended above while watching this thread.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time.

Cc
April 20, 2006 10:42:07 PM

tbh i just imported one of the WRTSL54GS's to the Uk. it is an excellent piece of work. howver now it is ven better. there is 3rd party firmware for this unit from www.thibor.co.uk

Extra features include:

* Adjustment of transmit power of wireless LAN
* Antenna selection
* 14 wireless channels
* 'Boot wait' protection (increase the time slot for uploading firmware via the boot loader)
* Increased Port Forwarding & Triggering fields
* Increased QoS Device & Application fields
* Increased Access Restrictions Policies & Blocked Services fields
* Command Shell
* TELNET Daemon (access to shell)
* Startup & Firewall scripts
* Uptime and load average
* Reboot button at 'Management' page
* Additional filters to proxy, Java applet, ActiveX, cookies, port scans and P2P (blocks BitTorrent, Kazaa, WinMX, eDonkey, DC and Gnucleus)
* WDS and Wireless Bridge (WET) capabilities
* Static DHCP leases
* Local domain names
* Programmable SES button (wireless on/off button or run a custom script)
* UPnP page to view and delete UPnP mappings
* Site survey page to view other networks in your neighborhood
* Secure Shell server (SSHD)
* Wake-on-LAN from GUI (from qwerty)
* Port redirection
* P2P-specific QoS
* Additional DDNS services
* Raw print server for USB printers (HyperWRT Thibor SL only)
* Bugs from the stock firmware fixed
* Plus other improvements

I have been testing his new firmware out all week and it is not just bee released today. for the new firmware thibor15 it is located at my site, however Thibor14 is at his site.

enjoy!
!