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Hey all, I have a few simple NAS/home server questions.

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August 13, 2010 1:09:15 AM

I am looking to move a few hundred GB's of music, videos, documents, and images to some sort of networked storage device. I then plan to only have one laptop computer that will be used to access/edit these files. However, having never had experience with this, I have a few questions.

1. What is the difference between a NAS and home server?
Is a NAS a networked hard drive that doesn't run its own OS? Therefore, is a home server basically a computer with an OS that is used to serve data to another computer? I'm trying to figure out which route to go (if they are even different).

2. How much bandwidth will I have with a home network?
I'm trying to move this data to a piece of networked storage so I can stream DVD rips to my HDTV and stream mp3s to my laptop. Is it possible that a home network would be able to do both at the same time? Is this possible with wireless-G or wireless-N?

3. Which of the 2 (NAS or home server) can run a BitTorrent client on its own?
I plan to have only one full-OS computer (a laptop of some sort). Can a NAS or home server run BitTorrent if my laptop is turned off?

4. Which of the two allows you to access the files stored on them while you are outside of the home network?
Ideally, I'd like to be able to start BitTorrent downloads or save files to the networked storage device while I"m on the road. Is this an easy task for either?

5. Also, is my XBOX 360 the best device to use to "catch" the served video files for viewing on the TV?

Thanks, everyone!

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a b G Storage
August 13, 2010 7:07:09 PM
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decrescendo said:
1. What is the difference between a NAS and home server?
Is a NAS a networked hard drive that doesn't run its own OS? Therefore, is a home server basically a computer with an OS that is used to serve data to another computer? I'm trying to figure out which route to go (if they are even different).


These two things are quite similar, and have many similar traits. From my understanding, a NAS is simply storage, as the name implies, while the Home Server will perform other duties, such as streaming. Both are capable of most of the same things however, so as I said, they're quite similar. Maybe somebody else can explain it better than myself :) 

decrescendo said:
2. How much bandwidth will I have with a home network?
I'm trying to move this data to a piece of networked storage so I can stream DVD rips to my HDTV and stream mp3s to my laptop. Is it possible that a home network would be able to do both at the same time? Is this possible with wireless-G or wireless-N?


I'd suggest going with a Gigabit network, then you should be able to accomplish this. 100Mbit will most likely lack the bandwidth you need. As for the wireless, it's iffy. What wireless speeds is your router capable of?

decrescendo said:
3. Which of the 2 (NAS or home server) can run a BitTorrent client on its own?
I plan to have only one full-OS computer (a laptop of some sort). Can a NAS or home server run BitTorrent if my laptop is turned off?


You will be able to run a torrent client off either. There are also web-accessible torrent clients such as TorrentFlux, which would be nice if you plan to remotely access this rig.

decrescendo said:
4. Which of the two allows you to access the files stored on them while you are outside of the home network?
Ideally, I'd like to be able to start BitTorrent downloads or save files to the networked storage device while I"m on the road. Is this an easy task for either?


If you want to do this, you'll need to just set it up to do so. Forwarding port 80 is generally the first step. Beyond that, things can vary greatly. You will be able to access your files from both within and outside of your home network, and I"ll leave it at that. If you want more info, just say so.

decrescendo said:
5. Also, is my XBOX 360 the best device to use to "catch" the served video files for viewing on the TV?


Your 360 will work just fine for playing streamed media on your TV. I have a few friends that do this.

Good luck.
August 20, 2010 12:53:19 AM

Best answer selected by decrescendo.
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