NAS or Windows Home Server?


My sister recently lost all the stuff on her laptop and I've convinced my parents it is time for them to get something to do backups with properly. Apart from myself no-one in our house is tech-savvy so it needs to be simple and automated. There are 3 desktops (2 Vista + 1 XP) and 2 laptops (1 Vista + 1 XP) on our home network.

I have priced up a Windows Home Server using and for the parts. Using the Shuttle KPC as a basis it is possible to build the following system for approx £320:

Shuttle KPC
Celeron 420 1.6 GHz
1GB Ram
2x Samsung 500GB

My question is this: Do you think the added expense of the WHS above compared to a simple NAS Hard drive is worth it? If not can anyone recommend a good networked hard drive? All those on amazon, for example, seem to get pretty mixed user reviews.

Thanks. Matt
8 answers Last reply
More about windows home server
  1. You much better off with the WHS, as its more upgradable, and more configurable.

    WHS is apparently the simplest OS for backing files up on a home network.
  2. My ½p :

    chookman's reasons for getting WHS are all valid. I've been there and if I had to do it all again I'd go for a QNAP TS-209 - cheap(ish), small, simple and low power usage. The downside of the QNAP is that it is not as expandable as WHS. If you do go for a WHS box don't use a "Shuttle KPC" case as they are very small so you'll be limited in the number of hard drives you can add.

    Cost wise you're looking at about +- £250 for the unit + £360 for drives (2 X Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB SATA2 32MB 7200RPM @180)


    p.s - go for the biggest drives you can get whichever way you go.
    pp.s - have a look at I've been using them lately and been pretty happy.
  3. Thanks for the suggestions. The QNAP TS-209 would seem to be a better solution than a WHS for what we require. Incidently my motivation for suggesting the KPC was that it was small. Long term expandability isn't really a major issue. My parents last PC (replaced last year) only had a 12 GB hard drive!
  4. Hehe, that means their next pc will come with a standard 2 terrabyte hardrive and maybe a 16 core cpu, lol.
  5. This is easy:

    Portability, speed, redundancy, value...NAS wins on all counts.
  6. Glad to hear that we've been able to offer you some ideas. Please let us know what you do and how it turns out.

  7. Hello again.

    Upon discussion with my parents we have decided to go for a dual hard drive NAS solution since they won't need any of the advanced features a server provides. I have a budget of c.£200.

    I have narrowed it down to 3 choices and I would be very grateful for any advice choosing between the three. All cost approx £195 at

    - Netgear SC101T plus 2 x Samsung 500GB Hard drives
    - Buffulo Linkstation pro Duo (includes 2x 500GB)
    - IcyBox IB-NAS4220-B plus 2 x Samsung 500GB Hard drives

    I am edging towards the Netgear since it appears as a local hard drive as opposed to a mapped hard drive. Backup software is included in all three the quality of which is largely irrelevant since Norton 360, which we have, can back up to network hard drives. Speed, special features etc.. are not important since it will be used solely as backup storage for our other pcs.

    Thanks. Matt.
  8. For my ½p they all look much the same - unless anybody has a specific recommendation or warning I'd go for the cheapest.

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