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Circuitous 03-17-2010 12:01 AM

Is there such a thing as a networked external HDD?
Something I've been wanting to do around the home network here is setting up a server kind of as a storage dump, to share music and videos between all the eight or so computers in the house without having to soak up hard drive space on anyone's actual computer.

Plan 1 was to just build a server. Little bit out of my price range right now.

Plan 2 was to just share an external hard drive, but that's a little inconvenient, and streaming off of it would worry me to no end if it's not able to handle the constant demand.

So plan 3 is to find something that is basically a hard drive with LAN access, accessible from any computer and comfortable being used on a near-constant basis to stream data from and to, without wearing out in a couple months or a year.

So! Anyone got any ideas?

GenghisTron 03-17-2010 12:45 AM

I've been using Amazon's S3 storage, it's cheaper than building your own server and maintaining it, and it's also more reliable than an external hard-drive.

I'm not a huge tech-savvy person, so S3 was an easy decision for me. If you have your own domain you can also hook-up your S3 service and use it that way, as well. It's kind of like webhosting, but this service is a bit different, same concept but you don't get screwed over ($$$) by hosting companies.

I've been using it to backup data, costs me like $3/month, which is pretty cheap considering.

Here's a good blog about it, with a pretty good cost/benefit analysis.

Circuitous 03-17-2010 01:53 AM

Well, the primary use of this would be storing data constantly being accessed by all of the computers, as well as storing videos/music that we would stream directly from the disk. So I don't see S3 working very well for that.

mervaka 03-17-2010 02:24 AM

the general term is NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Mooga 03-17-2010 07:05 AM

(Larger networks are also known as SAN - Storage Area Network. A SAN is basically a ton of hard drives working as storage for a network. Just thought I would throw that out there.)

GenghisTron 03-17-2010 07:05 AM

It probably is possible with S3, but it is kinda of impractical. Good luck, though.

Dexter 03-17-2010 08:43 AM

I don't know how much space you need, but this one has a lot of bells and whistles. You plug it in, setup username and password for shit and go.

oh yea, if you already have drives - you can just plug them into something like this, tho if they're small/older its probably cheaper to go with a new NAS:

Innoc 03-18-2010 12:53 AM

You can do it both wired and wifi. You can either get someone's pre-packaged NAS or you can get a NAS enclosure and then put the drives you want in it. Pay attention to how you intend to read and write the files and how the NAS makes them available. Not all enclosures will provide the same services or service level. Also pay attention to cooling...

Circuitous 03-18-2010 12:55 AM

That first NAS you linked looks like exactly what I'm after, Dexter. Very awesome.

stray kitten 03-18-2010 05:51 PM

Wow That is a pretty good deal for a 2 TB NAS. Plus it has 2 extra bay and supports raid.

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