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DIY NAS for Backup and Media Streaming

Last response: in Storage
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May 16, 2012 5:41:05 AM

For the past couple of months I have tried and failed to find a NAS that suits my needs and fits my budget. I was originally going to do a two-bay NAS with RAID 1, then I wanted to do a one-bay NAS and back it up to an external HDD, but then I found a really good deal on a QNAP TS-412 which came with drives. I was seriously considering this last option as of late, but I didn't know if it would suit my needs, even though it most definitely suited my budget.

So with that in mind, I was thinking of maybe just building my own NAS so it's a bit cheaper and a lot faster.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 6/9/2012 (Subject to change)

BUDGET RANGE: USD $450

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
- Backup server for 1 Windows laptop and 1 Windows desktop
- 4-bay Redundancy (RAID 5 preferred)
- Expandability/Upgradability (I would like it to be relatively future-proof)
- Low power consumption and quiet
- Fairly compact
- A place to hold my media which will be streamed to a PS3 or similar media player (is XBMC a good option?)
- Torrenting server
- Remote file server

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Hard Drives (4x WD 500GB Blue Caviar WD5000AAKX)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Amazon, etc.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada/USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
- I plan on backing the NAS up to external HDDs, so it would be nice to have a Mobo with USB 3.0
- I am planning on doing backups either weekly or bi-weekly, so the NAS will not need to be running 24/7; I would prefer if it didn't
- I do not know which OS to use for this. I've heard about compatibility issues with FreeNAS, but I have no experience with it so I wouldn't know
- Software or hardware RAID?
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I'm sorry that I don't have any of the specifics down, but I am really new to a lot of this DIY stuff and I don't know where to look. And is this a better idea than getting the TS-412, or should I just opt for that?

Thanks for any help!
!