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Family Cloud

Last response: in Business Computing
November 6, 2012 3:49:22 AM

Hello all,

I've been scouring the internet for a way to accomplish a mission that I've set for myself. The initial project was simple, set up a personal cloud for myself to allow syncing across multiple devices. With the birth of my niece my vision has grown a bit, but I've not found a way to accomplish what I want. What I want to do is below.

Must have:
-Provide remote access over an internet connection to storage which I will have physical control over (the ability to expand the storage would be a much desired feature).

-Allow users to backup whatever they want to, and permit them to have certain things be public and others private (ideally through the use of password protected folders)

-Allow access to some, if not all, file types from mobile devices (iOS and Android), so that users can at least view the pictures or videos somebody else uploaded to the cloud. For this, I would be willing to have less folder permissions if necessary and just have users dump all media for mobile sharing into one big folder, though if I can have more structure than that it would be ideal.

Nice to have:
-If possible some LAN streaming capabilities to a device connected to a TV.

I've looked at some NAS devices, but they all seem to function through a limited interface, and my goal is to achieve something akin to an HDD that is physically attached to the computer so that each user can completely control the folder structure and password permissions within their portion of the cloud (ideally through windows explorer since they're all familiar with that interface).

Can anybody point me in the direction of how I could accomplish this, or whether I'm off the mark entirely.

Many thanks,

More about : family cloud

November 6, 2012 11:47:13 AM

You'd want a NAS for what you want to do. The "Cloud" is something you won't be able to afford or setup on your own. Yeah, they'll tell you it is the cloud and all, but it isn't. If you really want a cloud, you'll use a service provided on the internet.

The best you can really do is use a NAS and map a drive from each device to it.
November 6, 2012 5:00:10 PM

Will any NAS do? All of the ones I've seen seem to use a restrictive proprietary interface. Is this something I can bypass if I want to?

I'm also looking for something where I'll actually be able to plug the HDDs from the NAS into another computer and be able to read all of the files on there. My father has had an issue with a NAS where it saved everything in a proprietary format so when the device began to give problems the actual data on the drives inside was unreadable.
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November 6, 2012 5:22:39 PM

windows home server does almost all that you want, and it runs on a server OS so you can add software, a NAS is more limited.
November 6, 2012 5:23:37 PM

Also with a WHS build you are running off std PC kit, so no propriety power supplies etc.
November 6, 2012 11:58:40 PM

As 13thmonkey is recommending, you're probably going to be better suited with a server solution like Windows Home Server than a NAS. Yes, there are many great NAS devices out there and several that are getting easier to set up, but they are limited to the functionality of the original software loaded and possible small updates coming from the original manufacturer. With a WHS or another Windows based solution, you've got a lot more flexibility. Full standard PC hardware, better driver support, and most of all support for a huge array of additional software and utilities that can give you added features to achieve your goals.
November 7, 2012 12:46:54 AM

Alright, sounds like WHS will be the way to go. As far as pushing and pulling files from iOS, Android and if possible BlackBerry and WP8, are there any apps you all would suggest? I know there's file management stuff, but oftentimes it won't let you open the file. I don't think anybody will be using this for anything more than pushing and pulling pictures and videos, but they will want to view those from their mobile once it's pulled.

November 7, 2012 6:56:25 AM

have a hunt around on 'we got served', whs v1 and 2011 is a dying platform, but imo so what, there'll be no updates, but if it works it works. I've been using whs v1 for 2 years now, and don't see me stopping. WGS are proposing using windows 8, the only thing it doesn't do is backup. so if you can find any software that does what you want it will run on win8.
December 17, 2012 9:48:50 PM

If you're not happy with mainstream cloud storage options, I would recommend you check out D-Link 'MyDLink' Personal Cloud;
They offer private wireless NAS devices (you buy the HDD's separately, their NAS device houses two drives (you can set it up to write dual copies, one to each disk) and you have to check applicable HDD devices as the applicability list changes every few weeks), they also supply wireless routers and wireless webcams. Basically you can set up your own private cloud including (security) cameras, for less than the cost of two years of cloud-hosted storage - taking 2TB as the basic offer from for example - so from around 18months after purchase you're saving money so to speak. Check it out, you'll be impressed.