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Build or Buy NAS?

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December 26, 2012 7:14:39 PM

Hi,
i have no experience with NAS or servers. i need something to hold about 1 TB maybe 2 TB max, files are: software, pics, videos and documents. i need to be able to share them with 2 computers, 1 laptop, 2 iPads and 2 iphones. i need to be able to access the files from anywhere. right now i have them on a 1tb Baraccuda 7200.14 installed on the computer and i have the file shared, even though i have cat 6 cables and gigabit ports on all network its very slow to copy or paste or load to view files in folder (the videos cuz they are a lot huge and all in 1 folder). running windows 7 home premium.
i was looking to buy the Synology DS213 http://www.amazon.com/Synology-Feature-Rich-Attached-Wo...
i build computers all the time for office, gaming and even liquid cooling. and it doesn't feel right to buy something like this when i know i can build it. am i right? or should i just buy it? will a built nas do the same thing and the things i want or no? will it be faster or not? and finally which components in a nas affect speed? if you think i should build what configs do u recommend

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a b G Storage
December 26, 2012 10:43:28 PM

To start honestly I do not have a wide variety of experiences with NAS but I am running a FreeNAS system very successfully and with a bit of tinkering and learning I am finding ways to do everything I want to plus a whole lot more.

My FreeNAS system is running 6TB in a ZFS system (~Raid 5) I have a little more than 2TB of info on it right now and get great speeds out of it. Obviously transferring a lot of smaller files doesn't get the best speeds (limited by processor and protocol not bandwidth). But transferring large files and streaming movies I can easily saturate a full Gigabit connection. For transferring files between devices you have a couple of choices. First and probably easiest is to enable ftp (literally the flick of a digital switch because its built into FreeNAS) its super easy and I have used the ftp on everything from other windows boxes, vm's, android phones and even a first gen iPad.

My ftp is currently setup only to work on my home network. You will need to use the dynamicDNS app (also built into FreeNAS), configure your router and setup a web address to have access from anywhere on the web (I am still trying to figure out how to make this work, not because of FreeNAS, mainly because of the external web address and port forwarding through the router).

As a bonus, this may or may not apply to you, FreeNAS also easily streams video and music to a console be it xbox or ps3.

As I said I cannot give you any comparisons of systems but I can tell you that I have had a lot of success using FreeNAS and you can use almost any hardware to run FreeNAS so you could build a FreeNAS box out of old parts you have laying around doing nothing.
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