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I'm looking for a wireless NAS that I can put in my attic? However I can only find a handful of options, each with their own pro's and con's.

The D-Link DSM-G600 enclosure sounds good, but you have to format the disk with their own propriety format, meaning you can't use the disk in other machines.

I've also looked at the Plextor solution and the Apple Time Capsule, but these both seem pricey.

Has anyone looked into this before, and what product/s did you end up going with?

Edit:

I'm not sure about using a full blown PC as a NAS, i'd imagine it might be overkill? Won't it consume a fair bit of power and will be quite noisy? Most of the cheap PC's on ebay are all ex-corporate too, so not sure how robust they're going to be??

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8 Answers 8

Have you thought about building one yourself?

The cost would be much lower and you could use a Linux distribution like FreeNAS. This way you have full control of what setup you'd like as well as which features you get. FreeNAS has a really good feature list. Most NAS-boxes don't come close to having as many features as it does.

FreeNAS also has a good support community in their forums.

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I'd imagine using a full blown PC as a NAS is quite a bit of overkill? Won't it consume a fair bit of power and will be quite noisy? Most of the cheap PC's on ebay are all ex-corporate too, so not sure how robust they're going to be? –  mwjackson Oct 7 '09 at 20:55
    
So use a low-power mini-itx (or smaller) system e.g mini-itx.com/store/?c=50 or mini-itx.com/store/?c=53 . –  timday Oct 15 '09 at 12:33

A wireless NAS is going to be exactly the same as a wired NAS, except for the networking portion.

You are going to pay a premium if you are looking for a specific "NAS" with wireless. The cheapest way to do this is to build your own using an old PC.

I would think twice about putting it in your attic. If you mean the "attic" as in above the space which has A/C, it will get quite hot up there in the summer and may not be a good choice for PC equipment.

My personal NAS box is made from old equipment and some new hard drives. I have it plugged into my router for the fastest connection, wireless WILL be slower and you will notice performance problems when dealing with large files.

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+1. wireless NAS just strikes me as asking for trouble. and keeping it in the attic doesn't help. –  quack quixote Oct 14 '09 at 14:43

If you really want a cheap network disk, any old PC can serve as your NAS device.
You don't even need any NAS software, just so that it's available on the network.
If it doesn't have a strong enough wireless card, invest in a wireless router.

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If you have a generic USB Hard Drive enclosure, you can use this NAS Adapter device to connect the drive to your wireless router. This sounds like a good option for your needs, it will be very low power and very low noise. You won't need to format your drive to a vendor specific format.

The Addonics NAS Adapter is a convenient and economical solution for adding any USB storage devices onto your LAN (Local Area Network). Once on the network, the USB storage can be shared by any network user, just like an ordinary NAS device. When use in conjunction with Addonics Storage Towers or Storage Racks, a Multi-Tera bytes storage with various RAID capabilities can be instantly added to the LAN. With the NAS adapter, you can custom build you own NAS appliance with RAID capability and plenty of storage expansion using Addonics family of Drive Enclosures, Port Multipliers, and IO converters. Come built-in with a USB 2.0/1.1 connection and a fast Ethernet 10/100Mbps connection, the NAS adapter supports both SMB (Server Message Block) and the open source Samba network protocols, allowing for cross-platform access of all shared data for most versions of Windows, Mac OS X, and various Linux distributions. For remote users who are not connected over the LAN, the NAS Adapter provides FTP access for up to 8 simultaneous users anywhere in the world with an internet connection. In addition, the NAS adapter can also be used as a print server or as a Bit-Torrent downloading appliance.

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I also have this device. Very small, in fact smaller than a pack of chewing gum. However, with today's storage devices you can buy for cheap at Best Buy / Future Shop, this little device may not be enough. I found out that it only supports FAT32 partitions, up to 512 G. today's drive you find in computer stores are 1TB and more. I had one of those, and tested it. No go. Also, it only supports FTP and SMB. No support for NFS, SSH or SFTP. –  jfmessier Oct 15 '09 at 12:32
    
Thanks for the input, there is also a slightly more expensive one from Hitachi that supports NTFS amazon.com/gp/product/… but for $70 you might as well choke up the extra $30 to upgrade to a TonidoPlug or PogoPlug –  Bob Oct 15 '09 at 14:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've decided that the wireless option was too expensive and not worth the hassle. My motivation for putting it in the attic was so that thieves wouldn't find it if we ever got burgled. I suppose I can achieve a similar result with a wired NAS, hooking it up to my router and putting both in a difficult to find (but ventilated) location.

So I've decided to go for this:

Netgear ReadyNAS RND2000

It supports remote access, streaming media players, its own bittorrent client and RAID1 (if I ever want to add a 2nd disk for redundancy).

And I'm going to put one of these in it:

WD Caviar 2TB 32Meg Cache

That should sort out my storage requirements for the next year or two.

Thoughts/comment welcome

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The QNAP TS-239 Pro II+ is an 'upper-middle of the range' 2-bay NAS that can be used as a wireless NAS:

QNAP NAS supports USB wireless dongles for flexible and secure deployment in wireless network environment. You can securely connect the NAS to a wireless network with a compatible b/g/n USB Wi-Fi adapter.

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While wireless NAS is fairly expensive. If you go with a wired to a Wireless access point. I would recommend the NSLU2 by linksys. Fairly inexpensive and rock solid when you install NSLUG linux. Just a thought. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2

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Today, you can find little boxes that can have a full OS installed, such as FreeNAS. As long as it has a USB 2 port and Ethernet, that's all you need. Use a monitor temporarily to to the installation, but once it's done, all management is done over the web, and you can connect and manage your USB devices easily. ClarkConnect also has some NAS solution, but it includes more internet-based services, which you may not need. FreeNAS, however, does not seem to run on some ARM-based processors.

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