How to best use home server, External HD? NAS? Thinkserver?

12
Found 27th Jan
I just bought the 3TB Seagate expansion drive the other day from Amazon. What I really need is a homeserver, where I can drop files and share between my devices. Im not so sure ive purchased the right thing here. Ive seen something called NAS, im not sure what that is? and I have also seen some Thinkserver posts. I will be running a small business which involves storing scanned documents and word reports for its primary use. I dont want to get work mixed with home stuff either, any suggestions on the best way to set this up will be greatly apprectaied, thank you.
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Can you not just connect it to your router to share via windows or even perhaps your TV has a usb port, last resort via PC. I just build a cheap computer to do the same and also use for websites.
4TheManyNotTheFew27th Jan

Can you not just connect it to your router to share via windows or even …Can you not just connect it to your router to share via windows or even perhaps your TV has a usb port, last resort via PC. I just build a cheap computer to do the same and also use for websites.


im not sure I havent opened the box yet, i dont think it has a ethernet connection to plug straight into. I have an old quadcore pc, i could remove the internal drive and put it in that, but the pc would have to stay plugged on i guess and as its 7 yrs old, its probabbly not a good idea. This is what I have amazon.co.uk/dp/…-21
Edited by: "f2raf" 27th Jan
Yea that's just a external hard drive, you need to connect it as I said above, if you add it to a pc you just share it using windows. But the might be other features I don't know about so search youtube for a review is best.
As for you existing PC, that would be fine, I only recently change from a quadcore didn't really need to but wanted a quieter box for the living room.
If you want the folders/files for your external hd accessible over the local (in home) network you'll need to attach it to a OS (I only know Windows and Android) that is constantly powered up

Then as stated above you just create a home network and share the files/folders across the home network

If you want access to the files/folder wherever you are (then don't quote me but) I think you'll need a router that has a USB sharing capabilities

I can access my external hd (similar to yours) connected to pc (via Android smart phone and any Windows device) in my home (local network) so long as the pc is powered up but I also have an old DLink NAS connected via router (RJ45) where the files/folders are accessible globally

ps if you do go looking for a NAS please stay away from DLink devices << my own personal opinion
Am just wondering if the nas server is really the best route - current trends with cloud computing has plenty of offerings that would give you storage accessible everywhere with it backed up and recoverable which for business requirements would be good. Personally quite like one drive that come with my works subscription and has had great progress in the collaboration aspects on offer - this article covers a number of choices - Cloud storage

If you do want local then western digital my cloud isn't a bad entry and cheap choice - next step up is to synology like devices. Of course if wanting to accede those remotely then you will need to open up through your router to be able to access - but these are always on.
philphil617 h, 9 m ago

If you want the folders/files for your external hd accessible over the …If you want the folders/files for your external hd accessible over the local (in home) network you'll need to attach it to a OS (I only know Windows and Android) that is constantly powered upThen as stated above you just create a home network and share the files/folders across the home networkIf you want access to the files/folder wherever you are (then don't quote me but) I think you'll need a router that has a USB sharing capabilitiesI can access my external hd (similar to yours) connected to pc (via Android smart phone and any Windows device) in my home (local network) so long as the pc is powered up but I also have an old DLink NAS connected via router (RJ45) where the files/folders are accessible globallyps if you do go looking for a NAS please stay away from DLink devices << my own personal opinion


i can attach the 3tb HDD to my old pc in the loft, and leave it running there, i have power ethernet cables up there, so use the power plugs to get direct internet into it. however to make it global, i think what you are saying is i need a D Link type of router, but you dont recommend D Link. I did have an old Lynksys Router which i chucked away. I am on virn Media and my router is downstairs. What i understand I will need an additional D-Link typr of router which when plugged into the pc, will give me global access
Bertz9927th Jan

Am just wondering if the nas server is really the best route - current …Am just wondering if the nas server is really the best route - current trends with cloud computing has plenty of offerings that would give you storage accessible everywhere with it backed up and recoverable which for business requirements would be good. Personally quite like one drive that come with my works subscription and has had great progress in the collaboration aspects on offer - this article covers a number of choices - Cloud storageIf you do want local then western digital my cloud isn't a bad entry and cheap choice - next step up is to synology like devices. Of course if wanting to accede those remotely then you will need to open up through your router to be able to access - but these are always on.


Most my files will be uploaded onto a cloud database for the firm i will be working with, however I want to retain the copies I upload on my HDD rather than deleting them. I understand what you say about cloud, but the problem is that each client will have many different Word & Pdf files, all which are held in thier client file, when i work on the files i need regular access, to maybe edit the reports whilst working on them or creating new documents. I have found with cloud that it can be slow, accessing editing etc. I like the files accessible instantly from the folder.
f2raf4 h, 5 m ago

i can attach the 3tb HDD to my old pc in the loft, and leave it running …i can attach the 3tb HDD to my old pc in the loft, and leave it running there, i have power ethernet cables up there, so use the power plugs to get direct internet into it. however to make it global, i think what you are saying is i need a D Link type of router, but you dont recommend D Link. I did have an old Lynksys Router which i chucked away. I am on virn Media and my router is downstairs. What i understand I will need an additional D-Link typr of router which when plugged into the pc, will give me global access


If you want access to the files whilst you are not local (home network ie inside your home) then you are probably looking at DNS access (generally this is covered via NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Please don't get confused between NAS and router

NAS will allow, via DNS setup, access wherever you are so long as you can login with the IP/DNS address and account/password

Some routers come with a USB port which allow you to connect an external hd and access it through similar methods (I've no expertise on these)
^^this might be a better/cheaper option as you've already invested in the 3TB Seagate expansion drive^^
example hotukdeals.com/dea…742 (please read the first comment)


I have a DLink 320L NAS - unless your funds are very restricted I would stay well clear of them as you will find nothing but headaches from trying to get things like Kodi or similar to operate with them. They offer some support but restricted only to their own DLink devices (webcams etc) which seem overly extortionately priced.

If I had to replace my DLink 320L and money was restrictive I'd save until I could afford (what I would call) a real NAS device like
hotukdeals.com/dea…838


The above opinion on DLink is my own personal opinion gained from experience but I cannot quantify this as it's the only NAS I've ever owned.....if that makes sense

I'm no geek - others might be able to offer other options but I think you need to answer some basic questions

1 - Where do you want to access the files?
2 - Are these mainly media (video/music) ?
3 - Would you consider later on on expanding the total storage capacity?

My main use is movies/tv shows/music - they can be streamed or accessed anywhere around the world (my friend in The Philippines had access to my files)
I have 1 x 2Tb and 1 x 1Tb disks
I have 2 x 4Tb disks to replace when either the existing ones become full on they fail and the OS on the DLink NAS needs updating but knowing all the issues I have suffered with this I just can't be arsed and don't need the stress so that's why I'm waiting for either hd full or the NAS fails

Apologies if too much to read but sometimes I need to reiterate a point and/or explain

But if you need anymore questions/advice be sure to ask them.
Get a refund and get a nas
chocci1 h, 54 m ago

Get a refund and get a nas


This. Leaving an old PC running in the attic would worry me slightly from a fire safety point of view and it will end up costing you as much in electricity as getting a NAS instead.
f2raf28th Jan

Most my files will be uploaded onto a cloud database for the firm i will …Most my files will be uploaded onto a cloud database for the firm i will be working with, however I want to retain the copies I upload on my HDD rather than deleting them. I understand what you say about cloud, but the problem is that each client will have many different Word & Pdf files, all which are held in thier client file, when i work on the files i need regular access, to maybe edit the reports whilst working on them or creating new documents. I have found with cloud that it can be slow, accessing editing etc. I like the files accessible instantly from the folder.



Personally have found the opposite with one drive and office suite in being able to access files anywhere when ever to be great and if your business is already subscribed to office for you then you already have 2tb available like this.

Any remote access though is not going to be a fast as a locally stored copy - response times from a top end m2 ssd stored locally to something remotely accessed is going to be magnitudes of difference in performance. Much like comparing getting a glass of milk from the table in front of you, from the fridge, from the local corner shop or from the supermarket. -the further you are remotely from it the more significant the time to consumption will be.

NAS - Network attached storage - is remote access and will be slower than local but has other benefits - such as central storage, collaboration to going as far as business continuity(BC) to as far Disaster recovery(DR) methods - from your initial description, I was ensuring your scope wasn't missing BC/DR requirements when you termed business needs - which if it is in addition to what your business is doing sounds covered.

Also to note the faster the performance of the NAS requirement the more costly the solution will be. Additionally a usb HDD that you have purchased needs a server (be it an intelligent enclosure, router, pc) to make it network avialable.

Personally Iwould take back the usb drive for a refund buy one device rather than also need a router or other device and do think the western digital mycloud would better suit - this device also comes with usb connection if you want to have it directly attached but also has the onboard electronics and software to serve files across the network. N.B. this is still entry level performance although your use case would match - if streaming multiple files concurrently it would be better to spend more with the next jump up being the synology devices.

If the task is learning the tech behind what is happening then setting up you own NAS (microserver/thinkserver) is another route - will be more expensive than dedicated devices, especially in your time. These also have the greater scope in performance/usage but also as you do in cost.

In respect to Domain name system (DNS) being referred to above, this is the means to take a friendly name (e.g. https://www.hotukdeals.com) and looking up its ip address to communicate(route) with. With the mycloud example you would plug it into your network, internally your router will assign an ip and you would locate it (standard in instructions). Externally you would need to open up your routers ports (uPNP configuration should make this a doddle) and then you would need your to know your external ip address but could then log in and browse your files from remote locations to your home (albeit slower than in your home).

Two means to knowing your external ip address - one it to pay you service provider for a static address. If dynamic you need an application at home updating for you which, in the case of WD's mycloud, is already factored into their mycloud web app.
Thank you Bertz99 and philiphil61 and everyone else for the detailed response. I took on borad the consensus and returned the 3TB HDD, this has aleady been refunded by Amazon. I like the idea of a NAS, but im pretty happy to start with Mycloud, which I believe prerry much acts like a NAS, currys have a WD Mycloud NAS, its looks like a newer model of the WD Mycloud drives but they have added NAS in the title. I dont need to store pictures or stream videos, it will only be Word/Pdf/XL documents for storage. Ideally id like to use it to back up my entire pc, so i can recover it, if my pc drive fails. I think mycloud will be the simplest solution, I could always upgrade to synology type of system. Thanks again folks!
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