NAS using old laptop - advice required


Active Member
I have just received an old laptop:

HP Compaq 6715b

This laptop has no hard drive and I need to buy one. The HDD I buy will depend on the answers I can get here on setting up a NAS.

ATM I have a home PC upstairs connected to the netowrk with home plugs. I have the router downstairs which is directly connected to a PS3. I stream from the PC upstairs using PS3 Media server, although some larger 3GB video files tend to stutter when streaming and often I just copy them to a memory stick to play in the PS3.

I am wondering what the advantages of using a NAS would be (installing FreeNas to the laptop)?

1. A 500-750GB harddrive would be big enough for all my photos/videos etc, would any HDD do? I read that older laptops (with older chipsets) might not be able to handle bigger hard drives?

2. How would this laptop perform at streaming/serving 1080p/720p video files? Any ideas?

3. I was considering just plugging the laptop directly into the router if using as a NAS. Would this be feasible?

4. Any way to setup VPN access so I can access my data from elsewhere?

5. Anything else I should consider? Any other uses for NAS or laptop?

If I don't decide to go for the NAS - I will just buy a cheap 80GB HDD and put Ubuntu on it and use it for surfing etc.

Thanks for helping me work this out..


Active Member
Also - since this laptop is SATA - when you buy a HDD do they come with the cable? Or do they simply slot into place?

Many Thanks - I have been reading up about FreeNas and I think I will go ahead with it to see how it performs. Just want to know if 1 internal HD would be ok - anything from 500 GB to 1TB? If I get one 750GB SATA HD will this work fine without any RAID etc. I know in terms of data loss it would be and issue but I have all my important stuff stored on dropbox.

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