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NAS or Windows Home Server?

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August 17, 2007 9:06:18 PM

Which do you think would work better?

Buying a NAS drive that can hold 1-4 drives or using the new Windows Home Server (WHS) software that is comming out and just build a small form factor computer or use an old computer in a mid tower case with WHS?

Ive been pricing some of the NAS for 2 drives and they can run 199 w/o the drives. They nice cause there self contained and uses little power, but on the same token, I could use an old computer or a newer "shuttle" computer barebone, for around the same price and could have more function.


Plus even with Form-Factor computers, you should be able to fit four 3.5 drives (2 in 3.5 bays and 2 in 5.25 bays), and the cheapest 4 drive bay that I can find on Tigerdirect is $470. (Note im just using tigerdirect for quick reference). Im not 100% how flexible WHS is, but you might even be able to run your P2P software in the background or maybe encoding or something.

Ive been reading up on WHS, and they desided to allow people to sell the software through OEM dealers rather then just software bundled with built servers (This was HPs orginial plan).

What are your opinions on this? Do you think the smaller computers w/ WHS offers more then a simple NAS drive will for about the same cost?
October 15, 2007 5:17:23 PM

I've recently tried WHS, slightly impressed, slightly unimpressed. I like it because its very simple and seems to by pretty secure by default.

I dont like how by default it wants to backup your entire HD, you can exlcude folders but its pretty time consuming if you only want to back up a few folders. On the M$ forums they tell you, no just let us back up everything, trust us its better. We can backup 300gb into 280gb! Well I'm thinking big deal, I only wanted to backup 20gb to begin with.
October 15, 2007 6:11:06 PM

try "freenas" no cost, its free, easy to use. Just need old computer. I run free nas on an amd-300. run it from cd"boot drive" and you can over come the bios HD limit. Running a 300 gig maxtor in mine. Works great!
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October 15, 2007 6:54:52 PM

Haven't we given Microsoft enough money over the years? Enough already!!! There's a good review over at Ars Technica on the MHS... they seemed less than impressed. Although I'm FAR from a hard-core Linux user, I do use it exclusively at home... and should the day come where I need a home server, I'll almost certainly find a Linux based solution on just by a NAS appliance. $170-$200 just seems way too expensive to me... and I'm not exactly poor.
October 15, 2007 8:50:42 PM

I've already got the box setup, my goal is just a no frills secure machine that will backup family photos, mp3's and that sort of junk. Would also like to share these files across the network using either a manual login or only allow specific computers to access the shared folders.

You would think with a name like "windows home server" it would suit these needs but like I said this program is built to backup entire computers. But I think I might be able to use a 3rd party backup scheduler like Second Copy , simply copy my files into the WHS's shared folders with it and hopefully disable its backup system because AFAIK WHS does not use the shared folders on its own.
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