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NAS or Laptop with External HDD


Standard Member
I have a Squeezebox Touch which I use with my desktop PC and use WOL. I know a lot of people have a vortexbox or NAS instead. What are the benefits of using a NAS over a desktop PC with WOL?

The other option I've been thinking about instead of getting a NAS / Vortexbox is to get an external HDD and plug this into a laptop and use WOL for this. Reasons are a NAS or Vortexbox is quite expensive for a good spec in my view compared to a cost of laptop and HDD.

P.S. I know there's a similar thread but didn't want to hijack it.


Distinguished Member
What are the benefits of using a NAS over a desktop PC with WOL

Could be lower noise of you can't put the PC/server outside the listening room
Bit less power when running, but marginal overall with WOL
Some NAS make RAID easy (but you still need a backup)

external HDD and plug this into a laptop

I have a 3Tb disk on eSATA connected to an Acer Revo 3600 for HTPC duties and that works well enough.
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Distinguished Member
You don't need a high spec to run Vortexbox. I use a 10 year old Pentium 4 PC (1.5GB ram but will run with 768MB) that I have put quiet fans into and a green drive - did the whole lot for less than £100. It is silent and uses very little power, starts on WOL and is set to shut down after 20 mins of no use. It is a great ripper and does a pretty good job of tagging as well. The s/w is free as well with good support on the forums. Very easy to install and run. The cost saving of using an old PC over a low power NAS or new low power PC buys an awful lot of electricity.

If you are looking at a NAS then these can be very low power, but do not bother with RAID as it is un-necessary in a domestic situation - you do not need high availability. Also RAID uses a lot more power and wears out the disks faster as they are all spinning to provide RAID protection - and you still need to have enough external drives for backup as well.

Amcluesent's Acer Revo would run Vortexbox well.

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