Which NAS solution for us please?

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
So we have a 1TB USB hard drive with all our photos, videos and MP3s on it which we want to access from the home network.
If plugged into my PC, it's not available when my PC isn't on.
If plugged into the BT Home Hub via USB, the internet grinds to a halt.
So is there a cheapish solution which I can plug via a network cable into one of the Home Hub network sockets that I can then plug the USB HDD into?
Or would it be better to buy a whole 1TB NAS system to plug into the Home Hub and transfer everything on to that?
Either way, what are the best choices please?
 

cjed

Well-known Member
Pretty much any NAS available nowadays will do what you want. Unless you already have backups of the photos, videos and MP3s on that external USB disk I'd get a NAS with a disk already in, and after you've copied the data over, put the external disk away as a backup of your data.

You don't mention what devices will be accessing the videos - that might be an issue unless the videos are in a format they can play natively.

Cheapest solutions are something like the Seagate Central or WD My Cloud devices - around £100 for 2TB of storage. Slightly more expensive are the Zyxel NSA range, usually purchased as an empty enclosure, so you'd need to buy a disk seperatly. Next up, and more expensive again, are the Synology NAS units which have highly regarded setup/operating software.
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Thanks. I have two identical Seagate SRD00F2 external USB drives. Actually they are 2TB each. One main and one backup. I guess I could take those apart and install the drives into an empty NAS box. That's assuming the USB connection will be too slow.
The videos on there are a mixture of various video formats including MTSs, MOVs, MPEGs and AVIs.
Of course they barely play at all from the USB drive connected to the BT Home Hub.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
Normally you can't install drives into a NAS and preserve the data on them. Most NAS units will want to re-format drives before using them. How you transfer the data from the external USB disks over to the NAS depends a lot on your home network connectiviy. The Zyxel and Synology NAS devices (and probably others) have USB ports and support some way of copying the data from an external USB drive to the NAS. If your external USB drives are USB 2.0 the quickest they can manage will be around 25 - 30 MByte/s, USB 3.0 drives will transfer at the speed of the disk, for a modern 3.5" SATA drive that's usually in the 60 - 120 Mbyte/s range. This doesn't mean that you'll acheive those speeds writing to the disks in the NAS, that will depend upon the individual NAS !

You can check out common NAS transfer rates at SmallNetBuilder.
 

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