NAS Solution or just add drives

Hi all-

So, I've been considering buying a small NAS--one that supports two drives--for awhile now. The main reason is that I want to be able to move video both to and from my TiVo, stream music to iTunes, and backup both my server and my MacBook Pro. I've really come down to two options and I wonder what the group here thinks:

1. Add an additional hard drive to my desktop machine (Win 7 Ultimate, i-750, 6GB RAM) and backup my 1 TB "storage" drive (holds my games, documents, VMs) to another 1TB "backup" drive using Acronis True Image. Also have that "backup" drive shared, and have TimeMachine simply backup my MacBook Pro to it, as well. Use my 1TB "storage" drive to hold my Tivo content and as a central storage for iTunes; back this up to the second 1TB drive using Acronis True Image. And I know---before anyone says, "Just do RAID-1 with the 'storage' and 'backup' drive--that RAID-1 IS NOT a true backup solution.

2. Buy a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, stick two 1TB hard drives in it in RAID-1, then backup--again, using Acronis True Image Home--my music, VMs, games, documents to it; use TimeMachine to backup the MacBook Pro; pull TiVo content from it. The issue, as I understand it only, lies with the Tivo content; the ReadyNAS Duo cannot be used to backup content on the TiVo, you can only pull content to the TiVo. In order to backup content from my TiVo, I'd have to pull it to my desktop (using TiVo Desktop), then push it from my Desktop to the NAS (seems like a lot of going around your a$@ to get to your elbow). It appears the only way around this is to buy a higher-priced NAS, but I'm not looking to shell out $400 for a NAS solution.

A potential third option I'd be mildly willing to entertain is building a Windows Home Server. Honestly, if option 2 could only be resolved with buying a $400 NAS, I'd rather just build a WHS and call it a day...

Suggestions? Comments?

Thanks, in advance, for your input.
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  1. Best answer
    If you're not willing to drop 400 on a NAS then I would say stick with the extra drive and simply backup externally.

    However, you're not obligated to build a $500 NAS that blows your socks off. Look at some of the ATOM based mobos with 6 sata ports. Use a USB stick with freenas or freebsd embedded and put your couple of 1tb green drives in there. Less than 400 all in. Now you have expansion capabilities and a sweet little nas to build around.
  2. You could try unRAID:
  3. Best answer selected by noirfan.
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