Need advice building a cheap NAS


BUDGET RANGE: £400-£600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: File storage (movies, tv shows, music) and streaming to HTPCs


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: + any other uk site

PARTS PREFERENCES: Micro-ATX if possible, Western Digital HDs

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to build a NAS for as cheap as possible with data redundancy. It will be connected to my router and will serve as storage for movies ect to be streamed to 2 HTPCs and laptops. I have heard a lot of good things about FreeNAS and would mostly likely being using it as my OS. As for the hardware a simple MicroATX case with 4 HD bays would be perfect if not ATX is also acceptable. Low power usage is also a want.

I am not too knowledgeable about data storage but i think RAID 5 is suitable for my needs?
If I am using RAID then software RAID or hardware RAID?

Thanks for the help.
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  1. I built my little "file server" using an intel atom based barebone kit from MSI. Nice thing about them is they are cheap, and use a laptop sized DDR2 RAM module, 2GB is ridiculously cheap for those. My case is tiny so I could only put in 1 or 2 drives at most, but you might find one with better features and RAID.

    As for OS, I use Ubuntu server and have samba configured. Makes all files accessible across my windows network, and you can access the server remotely via SSH.
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