Network Storage Tips

Home Or Home Office Network Storage

Home Network Storage / Small Office (SOHO)


Page Highlights:
Product Lineup
Uses For Network Storage Devices
2 Drive & Diskless NAS Comparison
4 Drive NAS Comparison

Product Lineup

dlink dns 323
Dlink DNS 323
netgear readynas duo
Netgear ReadyNAS Duo
iomega storcenter ix4 200d
Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d
netgear readynas ultra 2
Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2
netgear readynas ultra 4
Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4
netgear readynas ultra 6
Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6

Two factors have really been contributing to the demand for home network storage and home office (SOHO) NAS devices; one is the proliferation of digital entertainment in the form of music, games and movies and the other is the dramatic rise in people working from home or establishing a home office for work needs. Network attached storage really covers the needs of these two areas by providing a host of benefits:

  • Centralized network data storage protected with share level security and redundant drives
  • Affordable per gigabyte solutions
  • Performance to enable data access without delays
  • Easy web based management of storage device
  • Remote access to data from any internet connection in the world
  • Very large data access; video, multimedia
  • Cross platform access including compatibility with Apple Time Machine
  • Download direct to the NAS with BitTorrent software built-in, no PC involved

Are you one of the many music lovers who have lost music they purchased when a hard drive crashed? Do you wish you had better access to your library of music without constantly syncing to your iPod or other music device?

Maybe you enjoy movies and have found that you can buy digital copies of your favorite movies and even find lots of video online that you can download and watch at your convenience. What better way to enjoy it than by watching through your PlayStation or networked TV after picking from among your collection stored on a centralize network storage device?

Maybe you have data you share among multiple computers in your home but hate trying to network an Apple MacBook with your Windows PC. Would you find benefit in a centralized network storage device that was compatible with Apple, Windows and Linux; that could be used to backup your PC’s to, share common data and entertainment files AND be used to share a printer too?

Welcome to the world of home network storage devices. Small, toaster size, attractive electronic devices designed to take your home computing to a whole new level.

What Can Network Attached Storage Do For Your Home?

Store & Share Data:

Stop buying bigger hard drives for your PC only to see them go bad and lose valuable files, music and movies anyway. Why hassle with trying to figure out which of your PC’s have that printer attached to it or the file stored on it. Did you ever really figure out how to connect your Mac to your PC anyway? Home network attached storage devices make it easy to backup your PC to your NAS or share files among all of your different computers whether they are Windows PC’s, Mac’s or even Linux boxes.

You can even connect network surveillance cameras directly to your network storage device and not have to run a dedicated PC.

Digital cameras photos are easily transferred to a home NAS, easy to organize, safer to store and easy to view.

Access Data:

You can access your data from anywhere on your home network including your game consoles like XBox, PlayStation, iTunes player or SqueezeBox. Secure web access means you can even get to your data from any internet connection in the world, without any additional hardware or a static IP address.

Home Music Server:

For those of us with lots of digital music that we want to hear when around home without wearing ear buds all day long, a home music server coupled with a SqueezeBox or similar device can pump the music you like throughout your home, office or garage.

If you don’t mind the ear buds, a home music server incorporated into your home NAS gives you access not only while home, but also through your mobile device on the go.

Protect Data:

The last thing you want to do is lose valuable data that you have either paid for or are irreplaceable family memories:

  • Photos
  • Video of the kids
  • Music library you may have thousands of dollars in
  • Movies
  • Financial & tax records

The right NAS device has redundant hard drives in case one dies and will send you an email if that happens. Further, you can even configure the network storage device to directly backup to an online backup service!

Take the worry out of protecting your data.

Compare popular Network Attached Storage
(NAS) for home/home office/small office:

2 Drive Bay NAS Device (Diskless NAS Option) Comparison

A 2 drive bay NAS device is considered an entry level network storage device in that your options are a bit limited. You can order these diskless and add your own disks, with the choice of using just 1 hard drive with no redundancy.

I do not recommend just one hard drive, though. Being a full fledged network attached storage you do have many improvements over just an external hard drive, but redundancy for your data is not one of them. Mirroring (RAID1) is your only protection option with a two drive system.

That said, these are excellent storage devices and a great way to pick up all the advantages thereof without spending a fortune.

NAS Model DLink DNS-323 Netgear ReadyNAS Duo Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2
Click Image For Larger View dlink dns-323 nas netgear readynas duo netgear readynas ultra 2
Profile Size (HxWxD) 5" x 4" x 7.8" 5.60" x 3.98" x 8.70" 5.59" x 3.98" x 8.66"
Hot Swap Drive Bays (Max Capacity) 2 (4 TB) 2 (4 TB) 2 (4 TB)
CPU 500 MHz Marvell 88F5181 Sparc based IT3107 Intel Atom 1.8 GHz
Memory 64MB 256 MB PC2700 DDR SODIMM 1 GB DDR2 SODIMM
Network Ports/Speed 1 x 10/100/1000 1 x 10/100/1000 2 x 10/100/1000
Snapshot Support No No No
USB Ports 1 (Printer Only) 3 3 (1 is USB 3.0)
Power Supply External inline brick External inline brick External inline brick
Warranty 1 Year 3 Years 3 Years

DLink DNS-323 (Diskless model available) Summary

  • Compact Desktop design
  • 2 User installable (no tools), but NOT hot wap, SATA hard drive bays
  • 500 MHz Marvell 88F5181
  • 64MB RAM
  • Can be purchased with or without disks
  • USB Port for Printer Sharing

Read Full DLink DNS-323 Review

Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (Diskless model available) Summary

  • Compact Desktop design
  • Sparc based IT3107
  • 6 Models/Drive Configurations available
  • 3 USB Ports for external hard drives and Printer Sharing
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Cross-platform support for Windows®, Macintosh® and UNIX®/Linux systems
  • Built-in ReadyNAS Vault support for High Quality Online Backup

Read Full Netgear ReadyNAS Duo Review

Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 (Diskless model available) Summary

  • Compact Desktop design
  • FAST Intel Atom 1.8 GHz Single Core CPU
  • 1 GB DDR2 Memory
  • 3 Models/Drive Configurations available
  • 3 USB Ports for external hard drives and Printer Sharing (1 – USB 3.0, 2 – USB 2.0)
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Cross-platform support for Windows®, Macintosh® and UNIX®/Linux systems
  • Built-in ReadyNAS Vault support for High Quality Online Backup

Read Full Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 Review

4 Drive Bay NAS Device Comparison (Even 6 Drive Bay!)

4 drive bay NAS devices give you expansion and redundancy options that you just do not have with a 2 drive system. Not only can you employ RAID5 (or the even better X-RAID2 in the case of any ReadyNAS unit) but you have the ability to start with just 2 redundant drives and add capacity as you need it later.

The four drive network attached storage device is my suggestion if you can afford it.

NAS Model Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6
Click Image For Larger View iomega storcenter ix4-200d netgear readynas ultra 4 netgear readynas ultra 6
Profile Size (HxWxD) 7.9″ x 7.7″ x 6.6″ 8.07″ x 5.28″ x 8.78″ 10.0″ x 5.28″ x 11.2″
Hot Swap Drive Bays (Max Capacity) 4 (8 TB) 4 (8 TB) 6 (12 TB)
CPU Marvel 6281 @ 1.2Ghz 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Single Core 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Dual Core
Memory 512MB 1GB 1GB
Network Ports/Speed 2 x 10/100/1000 2 x 10/100/1000 2 x 10/100/1000
Snapshot Support No Yes Yes
Power Supply External inline brick Internal, Server Rated Internal, Server Rated
Warranty 3 Years 3 Years 3 Years

Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d Review Summary

  • Compact Desktop design
  • External, brick style inline power supply
  • 2T, 4T, 8T configurations ("green" hard drives in 2T, 4T configuration)
  • Simultaneously supports NAS and iSCSI SAN for database and server virtualization applications
  • Cross-platform support for Windows®, Macintosh® and UNIX®/Linux systems

Read Full Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d Review

Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 Review Summary

  • Compact Desktop design
  • 4 hot swap hard drive capacity (1T, 2T, 4T or 8T configurations)
  • Intel Atom 1.66 Single Core CPU
  • Internal Power Supply (no inline power brick!)
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Cross-platform support for Windows®, Macintosh® and UNIX®/Linux systems
  • Built-in ReadyNAS Vault support for High Quality Online Backup

Read Full Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4 Review

Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6 Review Summary

  • Compact Desktop design
  • 6 hot swap hard drive capacity (0T, 6T configurations Preconfigured, 12T total)
  • Dual Redundancy Option with minimum 4 drives
  • Intel Atom 1.66 Dual Core CPU
  • Internal Server Rated Power Supply (no inline power brick!)
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Cross-platform support for Windows®, Macintosh® and UNIX®/Linux systems
  • Built-in ReadyNAS Vault support for High Quality Online Backup

Read Full Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6 Review

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