After some thoughts, I do believe my main rig is not needed and another smaller one is also not needed. All that I would need is some form of larger hard drive for my files so I can use my laptop.
Looking around, it appears there are some good deals on USB2 external hard drives at the minute. Maplin have a 400Gb hard drive for £90 at the minute which seems a fair price. (23 pence a Gb! ).
But I also want the files to be accesible over a the network so I can access from my modded Xbox in the front room. Obviously I can network share the files themselves.
What is the major difference between them and would I see much difference? I assume as a home user, my best bet would be a USB one? From looking around the NAS solutions appear to be business aimed and seem to be more expensive per Gb.
On the surface, USB also seems to have a better (theretical) transfer rate at 480Mb/s compared to the Network @ 100Mb/s. I aslo will want to use it under both Linux and Windows.
What are your views? I know Damski was using NAS a while back IIRC.
Main disadvantage to USB is that, of course, it’ll only be accessable while it is connected to something. The NAS will be available as long as the network is up. I never understood why so many cheap NAS skimp on the network bandwidth… but unless you regularly need to throw huge files around, 100mbit is generally adequate e.g. media playback. NAS can also have more features built into the software if you need it. Larger NAS units can do raid, which isn’t practical with USB.
most of not all forms of NAS are inaccessable form the XBox, you’d still have to share the data from a PC direct to it, dragging all the data through the PC in questino anyways, so, use USB enclosures, I (last weekend) just got 2 USB2 enclosures(pcworld item 492710) completeley silent, and work a treat, for just his job, 1/2 Tb data storage in 2 small boxes
I brought a Linkstation Pro 320 gig this week with the idea of centralising my main file shares and not having to have main rig turned on to play music or watch a film.
Xbox media center (modded xbox original) can see all files on the box and plays iso dvd’s (highest amount of bandwidth used when you do this) without fault, obviously music etc all plays across the network fine to.
Unit is plugged straight into router and works from wireless/wired as you would expect.
Also has two usb ports that you can plug in external drives, they show up as usb1 and 2 on the shares (it kinda looks like another PC on the network when you browse to it) so its an all round win as far as i can see.
Does exactly what i wanted (can even password shares too )
I guess it is expensive for 320gigs but what attracted me to it was the fact i can use my existing external usb hard drives too, so music is all going on my 2.5" drive icey box attached to it, which i can unplug as/when necessary.
you might want to look at usb hard drive caddies if the cost of those + an internal hdd is cheaper than the usbhdd - I’ve got one and it works great, and gives you the option of swapping the hdd out for another (for backups or whatever).
also, you might want to consider using your main rig to mirror or raid some internal hdd’s - seeing as they’re so cheap these days.
I grabbed a bunch of old hdd’s and using std XP pro (with a reg hack) now have a 360g Raid5 volume and 300g and 80g mirrored volumes.
It’s a bit slow using software RAID but XP will do it, and I know all my music / films are protected against hdd failure