I am looking into buying a NAS drive, 2-4TB, for use in file backup and video/movie streaming. We have 4 PC's with a decent amount of media in each one. What are some of the best ones out there for the money?
Netgear has lower cost solutions, but I generally go with Drobo or QNAP devices -- 4 drive housings for expandability and more substantial data protection (RAID 5). It really depends on your budget and data assurance desires. I would opt for a larger device (a 4 drive box) that will give you future upgrade potential. You can start with 3 4tB drives and then later add an extra disk to expand to a fourth disk that will rebuild without data loss.
You think QNAP is better than Synology DiskStation or equivalent?
I'm personally looking for a high-end solution (not netgear) for video streaming and "real" small office work.
Also, how to add a drive in RAID5? I thought adding an extra disk means you need to rebuild the whole RAID array (lose all data)? I had to with my Windows software RAID5 - maybe RAID5 got better in the past 10 years and I wasn't aware.
I have a DS 410 and it is a great unit. I have had no problems with it and it has options galore. when it comes time for another NAS I will be Getting another Synology DiskStation.
Sinology uses a Raid 5 like system that is what I am currently using. I started with 3 disks and added a fourth you just have to go into the NAS’s OS and tell it to add the disk. It will automatically add that disk to your available storage and realign the parity data. This will take a few hours. It will work the same way if you have a disk that fails.
QNAP and Synology are both excellent products -- and yes adding a disk is simple and the array will automatically rebuild to use the added disk(s) without data loss, although it may be somewhat slower to use during the rebuild.
Hardware RAID 5 works much better and faster than a software Windows solution.