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Questions about a NAS drive...is it for me or too technical?

Goofeys Girl Avatar
6y, 4m agoPosted 6 years, 4 months ago
Hi
Thinking of getting a NAS drive to put all my photos, itunes, etc on so that all the family can have everything whilst saving room on our existing laptops etc.
If I have done my homework correctly the way to go would be to get a NAS drive.
Thinking of getting a Synology DS210j which has been recommended in a computer magazine. Also recommendation on amazon suggests it has easy to understand software which for me is the critical factor. However good it is if I dont understand how it works it wont be worth squat. The cost isnt as important to me as how easy it will be to understand and its reliability. Saying that I am not a millionaire!
I do understand I will have to buy the two disk drives and that this is only the shell.
Can i clarify what a few things mean.
1. Can I get this to put everything on 1 drive and copy exact onto drive 2 so that if one fails I still have everything on the other. I want this to be done automatically and not something I would have to do every week etc.
2. Can someone tell me what RAID is. I think this might be to do with the above backup.
3. The third recommendation on amazon suggests I would need to buy a dongle. Not sure why. Cant it just be part of my existing network.
4. If this sounds a good choice for me any recommendations on disk drives would be very appreciated.
Please be honest if you think a NAS is beyond my understanding or is for the more technical person please say. Honesty is everything. I could have a friend help me set it up who has a little more knowledge but I obviously would want to be able to use it on an everyday basis.
Thank you for any advice, sorry I cannot rep you.
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Goofeys Girl Avatar
6y, 4m agoPosted 6 years, 4 months ago
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1 Like #1
1 & 2, nearly all good NAS provide some sort of redudancy solution in the form of RAID, have a quick google of RAID 1 which is what you want.

NAS connect straight into your network through ethernet cat5/6 cable.. so if you connect it to your wireless router, you will be able to view it anywhere on the network.

some nas's are more user friendly than others, research is 100% key on getting the correct one.. they are not as difficult as you think!
#2
Thank you I will do some reading. I think this is definitely the way to go for my family particularly for all our music.
For me it will be more about being a handy back up for everything.
#3
yeah, you could also do it via a pc if you wanted, but its a great device to stream videos, music, pic, download stuff (bittorrent/nzb) and a whole other load of functions.. very useful! :)

netgear make a good range (IMHO), i think one was posted recently on here also
banned#4
Hey goofyg

yes if you get a 2bay (2 hard drives can fit in it) nas you should be able to find one that provides raid 1 (mirror) which will keep two exact copies of the same data.

You don't need a dongle.

Once it is set up it should be straight forward to use and maintain. If you are worried about issues then i'd suggest getting a popular one so that the more people that actually have it the more that can help solve the problem.

Instead of a nas you could have a home media server but it would essentially do the same job.

Depending on the size of the two drives you're going to buy this could get expensive for you.

Finally, for really important data, you should have several copies in multiple locations. Ie not all at your house incase god forbid it burns down.
#5
Thanks I am thinking of getting 2 X 1Tb. I agree with you about getting one that is quite common as hopefully there will be someone on here to help me if things go wrong. Dont know what I would do without this site now for all my technical stuff.:D
#6
build one yourself & use FreeNas. im in the process on doin this. i looked at the Synology ds410. after looking at what i cud build myself & something which offer more expanability in the long term ive opted to build one myself.

heres a good upt to date guide Guide
#7
RAID - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, the idea is to combine several cheaper, lower performance drives together to produce a more reliable and higher performance system. The different numbers refer to different configurations, for two disk configurations you're mainly looking at RAID 0 and RAID 1. RAID 0 should be avoided in this case as it's aimed at performance and is not at all redundant, the idea is to split data across the drives to increase read/write speed but if any drive in the array fails, all data is lost. Before anyone says it's not relevant to the conversation, I was surprised to see a supposed 'easy to use' NAS offering a RAID 0 option with no warnings about the potential data loss.

RAID 1 is what you're looking for as in a two disc RAID 1 array, all data is written to both drives which means if one fails you don't lose any data, you simply replace the drive and resync them. It's worth checking how easy this procedure is as in some systems you just put the new drive in and the array is resynced automatically but in other units it can be surprisingly clumsy. The main downside to a two disc RAID 1 array is that you lose half your capacity plus there's no improvement in write speed.

It's also worth bearing in mind depending on your data that RAID 1 is not a backup solution as it only protects against mechanical failure, if you accidentally delete a large number of files the change will be made on both drives which means the data will be lost.

John
#8
i love how NAS is becoming aimed at the 'home' user. Expect plenty of mis-selling with the idea that it serves as a 'great' backup. yes a temporary backup if your drive fails, but you need to replace asap. Please ensure that you do have a 'backup' in place should your RAID completely fail.....
#9
Johnmcl7
RAID - Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, the idea is to combine several cheaper, lower performance drives together to produce a more reliable and higher performance system. The different numbers refer to different configurations, for two disk configurations you're mainly looking at RAID 0 and RAID 1. RAID 0 should be avoided in this case as it's aimed at performance and is not at all redundant, the idea is to split data across the drives to increase read/write speed but if any drive in the array fails, all data is lost. Before anyone says it's not relevant to the conversation, I was surprised to see a supposed 'easy to use' NAS offering a RAID 0 option with no warnings about the potential data loss.

RAID 1 is what you're looking for as in a two disc RAID 1 array, all data is written to both drives which means if one fails you don't lose any data, you simply replace the drive and resync them. It's worth checking how easy this procedure is as in some systems you just put the new drive in and the array is resynced automatically but in other units it can be surprisingly clumsy. The main downside to a two disc RAID 1 array is that you lose half your capacity plus there's no improvement in write speed.

It's also worth bearing in mind depending on your data that RAID 1 is not a backup solution as it only protects against mechanical failure, if you accidentally delete a large number of files the change will be made on both drives which means the data will be lost.

John


Yes that's a thought as with me lack of technical knowledge, deleting files by accident could be the way I loose things. I may have to think of a separate back up plan as well particularly for all my photos. I lost a couple of music files not long ago and could never find them. That's the problem retrieving things is difficult when you don't have too much file knowledge. May be worth stick photos onto another back up as well. I already have a small WD elements external hard drive so that could be used for that. Will have to have a think about music and decide how much space I may need.
#10
Could someone also clarify something about NAS please
They all have a maximum capacity, some 500 MB etc.
Are these things totally interchangeable. For instance when eventually the disks were full, could i take them out and just put 2 new ones in and switch disks when i needed the older ones or would this not be practical or even possible.
#11
I bought the LG 2bay nas which also has a BluRay optical drive in it. With 1TB of storage it can be had for about £190 and it has been very easy to configure and use so far.

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