I'm planning on buying a NAS to store many data (with RAID5), but I need to deal with a weird network. The main PC I'm using that generates data is running on Windows XP, and for security reasons shouldn't be connected to the Internet. Other computers, up-to-date, run on several OS. These computers are all on a local network + access to Internet.

I was wondering if I could use a NAS with two Ethernet ports to get what I wanted: - connect the NAS first Ethernet port to the local network such that up-to-date computers could access it; - use a direct connection between the NAS and the old PC (with winXP) on the second Ethernet port (with an other router if necessary).

Would it work? Will my old PC be safe, i.e. still not connected to the web? Do you have any recommendation in NAS model? I was considering the QNAP-TS431+, but I'm not decided yet, and I don't know much about these devices.

I join a sketch of the network I'm considering, to help visualizing.

Thank you

Imagined network with NAS: Imagined network with NAS


Yes, this should work. The two network interfaces can configured to be on separate networks and neither would be able to talk to each other.

You can directly connect the Windows XP machine to the NAS with a standard Ethernet cable. Most modern network devices have an auto-sensing port, so a crossover cable should not be necessary. You can then configure both the XP machine and the NAS's IP configuration so they are on the same network. However, you could also use any home router (they all have DHCP servers) to automatically configure the network. The only advantage the router really gives you is the ability to easily add more network devices like a network printer, scanner, etc if you wanted to add one to your secure network in the future.

Unfortunately, SuperUser doesnt allow shopping recommendations. If you are unsure if a NAS will meet your requirements, simply contact them and ask.

  • One security aspect to consider is that malicious code could move from the Internet to the NAS then to the vulnerable XP box. – I say Reinstate Monica May 27 '19 at 22:23

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