Need help finding a good NAS

Well I feel like a n00b. I'm more then certain that people post things like this all the time, and some are sick and tired of it. I apologize in advance if I've offended you in this way but I'm just having difficulty finding a good NAS for my needs with all of the different companies and models that are out there.

I've done research for a while and I'm still back at square one figuring out what would work. I'm hoping many of you will be able to get me pointed in a direction (very specifically) on what I should purchase, and why.

So here is my setup:

I'm currently running a home built desktop computer that is running Windows XP/7 RC and a 13" Macbook over my wireless N gigabit network.

What I would like the NAS to do for me:

Store my 100 GB+ and growing digital photo collection that is currently filling up my external HDD and Macbook. Store my entire collection of MP3s, and digital copied movies. Oh, and of course to make all this content available anywhere in my home for playback, specifically the movies through my HT and iTunes through receivers in my garage, and kitchen.

Backing up information isn't too important as being able to stream my information fast throughout my home. I want to be able to wirelessly access my files on my Macbook, and save things onto the NAS wirelessly.

Being able to access my files remotely would be a nice advantage, especially if I'm on vacation and want to watch a movie, listen to my library, or show off some photos.

Ok so that's what I'm thinking, by all means let me have it. Am I in reason for needing a NAS or do you think that something else would fit my needs better?

Which company/model of NAS would you purchase if this is what you were going to use it for? Please be reasonable in the price category, although I don't want junk (I'm willing to buy good quality) but I'm not made out of money either (specifically nothing $800+ please).

Are there any other things that a NAS could do for me that you could see me taking advantage of?

My thanks and gratitude in advance. I'll be looking to make a purchase within the next couple of weeks so I'll be checking this thread multiple times daily so I can clarify anything if needed.
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  1. I personally haven't used a NAS, but perhaps you could give the reviews over at NewEgg a quick looskey?
  2. I'm having the same issue, it isn't the lack of good options, it's the overload of great options. I personally would love to get some feedback from people as to what they have and why they like it. I have a friend running a very simple LINKSYS NAS200 Network Storage he bought from New Egg and although he likes it, he tells me it's slow and he wishes he'd ponied up the cash for something faster possibly muti-streaming capable. Hope everyone takes a little more interest in helping both of us out.

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