NAS or WiFi Router + USB Drive

Discussion in 'NAS Buying Advice' started by tom-in-hk, May 22, 2009.

  1. tom-in-hk

    tom-in-hk New Around Here

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    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
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    Hello,
    I am investigating creating a home network centered about a NAS.

    I am looking to use it for Bit Torrent, and hosting music, photo's and videos (streaming them from the NAS or ext HDD)

    I notice I could buy a NAS and connect to my existing LinkSys WRT54G 802.11g router,
    (I've been looking at something like: the Planetx/PCI MZK-NAS01SG

    or

    buy something like a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH which is a wireless router, and plug in a external HDD via USB.

    I understand that the NAS route will mean a proprietry file system, that means if I take out the HDD I cant access the files natively - not so good.

    If I go the router + external USB HDD then the file system would be ok, however there may be a performance hit.

    Any suggestions on devices to look at or comments which would suit my needs?

    Also as a side issue, I understand that the whole itunes thing is not so good as everytime you add music to the NAS it screws up the itunes database. Any pointers to advice on that would be appreciated also.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom
     
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  3. Oldgoat

    Oldgoat New Around Here

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    May 11, 2009
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    NAS or USB port

    I have been considering doing the same thing you are thinking about. First I have a Belkin N router which has a USB port. I will tell you now if you will be doing much in the way of moving files the USB method is very slow. I have connect my external HD directly to my desktop via USB port and uploading/downloading files is reasonable. When I move the external HD to the USB port on the router ul/dl slows to a crawl. For that reason I will probably buy a one drive NAS with a eSATA port. I will then purchase an external HD case with an eSATA port, add the HD and I'm good to go. The way I understand it some NAS boxes will format the external HD attached to them with your choice of file system. In my case a Synology will format in either native (Linux) or FAT, my choice. If I do it that way my backup HD will be readable by my PC. There are other NAS devices that will do the same thing. I forgot to mention many of the NAS devices also have a USB port for external hook up. I'm going with eSATA because it will be a bit faster. The externnal HD is backup for the NAS drive.
     
  4. tom-in-hk

    tom-in-hk New Around Here

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    May 22, 2009
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    Thanks for your reply.
    Do you mean get a nas with a hdd and then add a esata hdd also? That's not really the solution i was looking for.

    With the ext hdd approach i understand it will be slow but is it fast enough to stream hd video from the device/router to a conputer? I imagine when i first set it up i will connect directly to a computer to dump the bulk of the files, so potentially this is not a showstopper unless file serving isnt fast enough to stream video smoothly.

    For the nas route i understand that even though the hdd may be formatted in ntfs fat32 etc the actual files on board are not in their native format. Perhaps this is only for 2+ nas's in a raid config. Not sure about a single hdd nas file system. Can someone confirm?

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2009
  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Routers that allow you to attach a USB drive for file sharing have typically measured around 5 MB/s for read. This is around 40 Mbps, which should be fast enough for HD streaming. But I haven't tested this, so no guarantees.

    Most NASes run open source based OSes and use EXT, XFS or other similar drive formats. There are programs that allow EXT drives to be read on a Windows machine.

    If the USB drive is FAT formatted, you probably won't notice a performance hit, especially since the performance is so low anyway. NTFS might not be allowed for read/write, you need to check the router's specs.
     

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