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NAS solution

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August 4, 2007 5:07:38 AM

Hello,
I could use some advice regarding a NAS storage solution for my home network. I will have 1 desktop, 1 laptop, 1 PVR, one Xbox360, and two PDAs on a wireless G router connected to a cable modem. I would like to be able to share common files, photos, and music between the laptop and the desktop. I would like to be able to easily back up this data. I would guess 200-300 GB of data at least.

Due to some issues on my PVR I cannot easily store the data there. I have come up with a possible solution and I would like to get opinions on it as well as any other alternate ideas.

Put the laptop and the desktop on a gigabit switch along with a NAS. The laptop would use synchronization software to synchronize the data needed when it roams. This requires a bridge to connect the switch to the rest of the wireless network. Linksys makes a bridge with a gigabit switch but it is $200 which is more than I want to spend. I'd like to but a cheap switch ($40) and connect it with something else. I have an MN-740 game adapter but I can't get it to work with my current 100MB switch so I don't know if it can be made to work. (if there are two computers connected only one can work) Backups in this case can be made either by replicating the data to the PC or by using an external USB drive.

Any ideas on:
Which NAS to use? Brands, etc.
Which synchronization software would work best in this case (windows built in, syncback, etc.)
A cheaper way to connect the switch to the wireless network
Ideally I'd like to share the printer too... (I understand all of the features might not work though)

Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give.

More about : nas solution

August 4, 2007 7:27:03 AM

I'm not clear why you would need a bridge, unless you want to segment your network traffic. Even then, your network wouldn't generate that much traffic to cause a severe amount of congestion (assumption), and the bridge really doesn't provide a benefit security wise. I assume you have 4 ports on your Wireless routers (WRT54G), you would likely need one more port to accomodate the NAS.

What are the speeds on your laptop and desktop, in terms of network connections, are they 10/100 or 10/100/1000? If this is the case, then getting a GB switch for the NAS is a complete waste of time (despite what the geeksquad tells you).

From the sound of it, all you need is a basic switch (speed dependant on your desktop/laptop) from linksys (or whoever) and connect that to your switch.

Perhaps I'm way off on this... any other takers?
August 4, 2007 2:15:27 PM

Good questions. I'll give some more details. The WRT54G router is upstairs in the bedroom connected to the cable modem. The rest of the computers are downstairs and not anywhere near a cable drop. Although the WRT54G has 4 ports there are no computers in the bedroom so it is used only for distributing the Internet connection to the rest of the house.

The laptop and desktop are both new so I made sure they were 10/100/1000. I haven't purchased the NAS yet so I could do the same with that. Since I want to transfer large files for video editing I thought it would be a good idea to put everything at the desk downstairs on the GB switch (that is the desktop, sometimes the laptop, and the NAS)

Therefore I need to bridge the wireless connection to the router upstairs to the small wired network downstairs. I hope that makes more sense. Thanks for your good first input!
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August 13, 2007 1:00:27 AM

Instead of buying a ready-built NAS you can use an old computer, put in a few PATA disks and put FreeNAS on it. Quick, easy, fast and cheap. The downside is that it consumes more space and potentially more energy.
August 13, 2007 5:33:04 PM

For the bridge I would use another Linksys WRT54GL (Note the "L" on the end).
After you get the new router install dd-wrt or another linux distro. This gives the wrt54GL the ability to act as a bridge. You can then hang a cheap gig switch off the wrt54GL. This, gives you a cheaper solution that linksys's $200.00 bridge.

If you're up for a good DIY project take a look here:
http://www.mashie.org/casemods/udat1.html

Regards,
~B
August 18, 2007 5:53:39 PM

Thanks for the hints. Getting a WRT54GL and using dd-wrt is a good suggestion.

I'll also look in to hosting some files on my PVR but its in the other room and I don't know if I want to run wires...

I think I have all of the information I need to complete my setup. Thanks again.
August 18, 2007 6:32:33 PM

BrainDeadHead said:
For the bridge I would use another Linksys WRT54GL (Note the "L" on the end).
After you get the new router install dd-wrt or another linux distro. This gives the wrt54GL the ability to act as a bridge. You can then hang a cheap gig switch off the wrt54GL. This, gives you a cheaper solution that linksys's $200.00 bridge.

If you're up for a good DIY project take a look here:
http://www.mashie.org/casemods/udat1.html

Regards,
~B

I would get a bigger case with a better MB with GigE, more ram slots, better cpu, and pci-x or pci-e slots and use pci-e raid or a pci-x raid card in a pci-x slot not a pci-x raid card in a pci slot that is on the same bus as the network, and firewire.
!