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Home NAS for family

Hey guys I'm looking for some input. Looking to buy or build a NAS for my home. My family would like to be able to store files and access on any of her device's desktop,laptop or phone. My wife is looking to start a small home business which she is going to have a bunch of files she will need to access quickly between devices.

Looking for recommendations. Budget is around $400

Thanks in advance

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If you want to buy a NAS I'd look into either Synology or QNAP. If you want to build a NAS it can be done with a old desktop and something like TrueNAS CORE. For better reliability though I'd look into workstation/server hardware.

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I use FreeNas and I really like it.  It uses ZFS raid, which if you configure properly makes you immune to both user deletion/overwrite and ransomware.  You setup "snapshots" to do this.

I used mostly old hardware to build my box (the first time) then I decided that I use it so much that it was worth investing and building properly.  I have six 2tb drives configured as RAIDz2 (which allows the failure of two drives simultaneously) to give me a usabel storage of 8 TB.  My first build was raidz1 which only allowed one drive to fail, but I decided better safe than sorry.  The boot drive is actually a USB stick (this allowed me to us all the internal drive connections for storage), which works well because once the system is up and running the boot drive is never touched (until reboot, obviously) 

EDIT: you mention that your wife wants to be able to access the files on her phone?  I have no tried that with freenas, but I have accessed media from my fire stick, all the computers in the house, and the tablet I used to have.  I don't expect a cellphone would be much different.

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how much storage are we talking about here and what kind of files?

 

if its for large video files the 400 bucks may not even be enough to buy hard drives.

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Id ask first: how much value does your data is worth? If its important data with just a NAS its not enough. You may require a cloud backup just in case the NAS corrupts all the filesystem with all the data (i had a client which loses all his business data with a similar situation). As far as i know in synology nas you can install an app which syncs to amazon all the data, but you must pay for the service. bye

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5 minutes ago, gdb123456 said:

Id ask first: how much value does your data is worth? If its important data with just a NAS its not enough. You may require a cloud backup just in case the NAS corrupts all the filesystem with all the data (i had a client which loses all his business data with a similar situation). As far as i know in synology nas you can install an app which syncs to amazon all the data, but you must pay for the service. bye

My husband like synology, so two votes there.  but you still need a local copy of your files: still need a NAS.

I'm very generous with the likes I give out on here; you should be, too.

 

I never believed in orthopedic inserts, but then I got a pair.  Now, I stand corrected. 

 

My friend gave me his Epi-pen as he was dying.  It seemed very important to him that I have it.

 

Why do cows wear bells?

Because their horns don't work.

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1 hour ago, shoutingsteve said:

My husband like synology, so two votes there.  but you still need a local copy of your files: still need a NAS.

for a good backup strategy, you require 3 copies, local, nas and cloud. And I never said you dont need a nas backup, just that if you only rely on the nas it could be corrupted randomly. bye

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21 minutes ago, gdb123456 said:

for a good backup strategy, you require 3 copies, local, nas and cloud. And I never said you dont need a nas backup, just that if you only rely on the nas it could be corrupted randomly. bye

Glad we are in agreement.

I'm very generous with the likes I give out on here; you should be, too.

 

I never believed in orthopedic inserts, but then I got a pair.  Now, I stand corrected. 

 

My friend gave me his Epi-pen as he was dying.  It seemed very important to him that I have it.

 

Why do cows wear bells?

Because their horns don't work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Without some additional details it's tough to provide an answer.

I personally don't like the AIO solutions from QNAP or Synology. I don't trust their web services and it's almost impossible to monitor all the packet traffic.

I suggest getting something like an old office PC form Dell or HP - you can get them on Amazon or eBay for quite cheap ($150 or less). Use that device as a NAS and configure with something like FreeNAS. You can then get a pair of 4TB or 6TB drives - wait for a good sale. You'll be really pushing that $400 budget though.

Knowing approximately how much storage you'll need will help a lot. My wife has a photography hobby, and we go through something like 20TB per year in archived photos for clients. This is not a lot BTW - if she were doing photography as a full-time profession, that number would easily be triple or more.

$400 won't even get you the drives needed to store that kind of data, let alone the enclosure, or other devices. Our current configuration is 8x 4TB WD Gold drives, which are about $129 during WD's annual sale - that's over $1,000 USD for 28TB of usable storage after parity in RAID 5. This is the sort of cost you can expect if you need that type of storage volume. Per year in our case.

Staying inside that $400 is going to be tough regardless.

 

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Synology. Easy to use, easy to back up, lots of other tools and features can be added.

My PC: 

CPU: Intel i5-6600K @ 4.7Ghz Motherboard: EVGA Z170 FTW RAM: 2x8GB Corsair LPX GPU 1: EVGA GTX 1060 FTW GPU 2: MSI R9 270X HAWK Case: NZXT H440 Blue Storage: 120GB PNY, 1TB Hitachi Monitor: Asus VC279 Keyboard: Corsair K95 RGB (MX Brown) Mouse: Logitech G602

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Hmm, since multiple people will be using it and your wife intends to run a small business with it, I'd definitely recommend a pre-built solution.

 

Hypothetically, if it was only for yourself for personal use then I would have recommended an Intel NUC with a pair of hard drives. The idea is that the NUC doesn't cost much and uses only about 8 watts of power, which is worth considering when it comes to something that you're going to run 24/7. I wouldn't consider repurposing an old PC since they tend to be power-hungry. Modern CPU's are so much more efficient.

 

Anyway, for your situation a Synology NAS sounds like a better idea.

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