Weekend Open Forum: What is your favorite external storage solution?

By on November 8, 2013, 6:00 PM
open forum, storage, lacie, synology, nas, g-drive, external

I have been tempted by the free online storage offers we see quite often, and although I would consider moving over completely to a paid online storage solution, I still find it more convenient to keep a desktop drive (or two) for images, movies and Logic/Pro Tools sessions. Personally, I like the LaCie options and although they are overpriced, the dependability of the G-Drive ends up warranting the bloated asking price. I have also considered moving over to a NAS solution like those from Synology, but for some reason network options still seem like too much for me.

So for this week's open forum, we're wondering what your thoughts on the state of external storage options are these days. What are some of your favorite drives and do you prefer a purely cloud based storage system over hardware?




User Comments: 35

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2 people like this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

Pen and paper. Write speeds can be slow sometimes, but the reads are usually fantastic.

Alternatively, a 500gb external hard disk supplemented with a Dropbox account doesn't hurt either.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Pen and paper. Write speeds can be slow sometimes, but the reads are usually fantastic.

Alternatively, a 500gb external hard disk supplemented with a Dropbox account doesn't hurt either.

Read times are fantastic when you have one piece of paper but when they build up the small time reads become very slow. The search function also gets messy so I prefer a NAS of some type, either Synology, QNAP or even Asustor.

ljcook ljcook said:

Synology - by a mile for me.

Currently a 10 drive system supporting over 10 TB of data.

I keep all my development work, client work backups, and home computer backups.

The hardware is rock solid and the software is constantly improving.

I would have a tough time moving away from the Synology solution I have. Simply the best solution for what I do.

stupidusernames said:

Economically they don't make sense for a home user - presuming you have an old pc ready to go which most do.

When I was looking a few years ago, a good NAS was $800 + HDD's, and the NAS I wanted was $1500+

HDD's.

A major proponent of NAS purchases is the reduction in power consumption. You have to get the HDD's anyway, so that cost is irrelevant, a NAS you're restricted to a maximum HDD's, windows you're not (at least in any practical sense).

On top of that, a dedicated PC can run a full install of windows, much more useful than NAS software.

Then we have the read/write speeds as mentioned which, from my research, was why I wanted the hugely expensive NAS - the cheaper ones are far too slow for me.

I now have a sweet little pc which I installed in the draw of my TV cabinet. Cut fan holes out the back and plugged it into the network and TV. I get gigabit speeds off it and it runs XBMC for all my entertainment needs.

Suck on that NAS

misor misor said:

One 500gb Seagate external hdd and numerous usb3.0/2.0 flash drives I have collected over eleven years....because NAS systems are too expensive for me.

I'm currently interested in WD TV Live Media Player WDBHG70000NBK-HESN

Staff
Jos Jos said:

I'm pretty happy with my Synology DS212... it's not the highest end but more than enough for backups, and then some. I also have a portable external hard drive from Western Digital for when I have to move large files between places or just to have on the go. Plus, 69GB worth of free Dropbox storage (referrals and 50GB for linking a Galaxy S3 to my account).

greybeard said:

A Linux server in the basement (just about any old computer will do) with 2 drives in RAID 1, attached to the home (wired) network.

mctommy said:

I went from having 6-7 hdd in my tower to ds413j to ds1812+.

The ds1812+ has 8 wd 3tb red.

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

One 500GB external, 50GB of At&t Locker, 27GB of Skydrive, 25GB of Box, and multiple USB drives.

cartera said:

Readynas duo with 2 WD Red 1TB drives linked to my cat6 wired gigabit network and my up to 900Mbps wireless network

Enough bandwidth for all occasions!

Considered Synology since we have them at work and I love the interface but couldn't justify the price for back ups and a bit of media sharing. Looking back now though...... Lol

JC713 JC713 said:

I like Dropbox, but I am really thinking of moving to Skydrive since I have 4x more space on that.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Dropbox for most critical stuff. Otherwise, I have a couple of 3TB externals I use.

Punkid said:

My main desktop, internal drives. Keep it on all the time, serves media and files to all other devices in the house

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

HP microserver G8, only got it a few weeks ago.

4x 4TB WD Blacks and 240GB intel SSD with VMware on, I have a file server on there with most my data on which has most the data store attached to it but I also use it for learning new OS's such as server 2012 and especially exchange 2013, my god was that confusing to use when it first came out! xD

tonylukac said:

Don't just expensive routers do this with less power?

Railman said:

I know my least favorite form of external storage must be SharePoint. My organisation has attempted to force it on employees and there is resistance to it from all quarters (including IT staff). It is so unreliable and difficult to work with. I much prefer a traditional networked hard drive.

1 person liked this | hopgop1 hopgop1 said:

Pen and paper. Write speeds can be slow sometimes, but the reads are usually fantastic.

Alternatively, a 500gb external hard disk supplemented with a Dropbox account doesn't hurt either.

Read times are fantastic when you have one piece of paper but when they build up the small time reads become very slow. The search function also gets messy so I prefer a NAS of some type, either Synology, QNAP or even Asustor.

You can also use a filing cabinet to increase read times when you have lots of files.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Don't just expensive routers do this with less power?

Yes and no, I have the Netgear R6300 router and it does have the functionality but it is very slow (lucky to get 10MBps out of it) while a dedicated NAS will easily be able to do 100MBps.

mctommy said:

tonylukac said:

Don't just expensive routers do this with less power?

A lot of routers gives the basic sharing functionality of NAS/server without advanced features like redundancy, third party app (plex, download station, file station, cloud, VPN, etc...) plus you are typically limited to 2 USB port vs 2+ hdd nas solution. You can even set schedule backup to another nas or an external hdd.

1 person liked this |
Staff
Steve Steve said:

You can also use a filing cabinet to increase read times when you have lots of files.

Do you mean like this server room?

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Do you mean like this server room?
Hahaha

I think I would prefer a single USB stick, rather than opting for that server storage. lol

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Oh easy, I just copy things to a 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes 4th computer.

And really, isn't "another computer ", "external" to the computer that generated the data in the first place?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Hahaha

I think I would prefer a single USB stick, rather than opting for that server storage. lol

There are a lot of files in these cabinets though, you would need at least a 10MB USB stick so keep that in mind

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

There are a lot of files in these cabinets though, you would need at least a 10MB USB stick so keep that in mind
Not to mention the file cabinets are harder to lose, and have more likely a longer life span, than run of the mill, dashed out the door, flash memory. I've got that crap in SD cards that failed before I ever used it.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Not to mention the file cabinets are harder to lose, and have more likely a longer life span, than run of the mill, dashed out the door, flash memory. I've got that crap in SD cards that failed before I ever used it.

True but it took 5 years to make a copy of that server room, I think the USB bus would be faster

Also I have started more fires with paper than I have SD cards.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

True but it took 5 years to make a copy of that server room, I think the USB bus would be faster
To the upside, that's plenty of job security...

Also I have started more fires with paper than I have SD cards.
Um, accidentally, or on purpose?:oops:

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Um, accidentally, or on purpose?:oops:

Sorry I should have said I have lit plenty of fires (in a fire place of course) with paper and none with SD's

Guest said:

I run a FreeNAS server. AMD C60 based motherboard, with 16GB or RAM and 6x2TB drives in a ZFS RAID Z1. It does everything I need it to do. I stream movies and TV Shows to my XBMC machine and also use it for system backups around the house.

lmike6453 said:

I can't believe that no one mentioned Bitcasa yet...can't beat INFINITE online storage space!

Capaill said:

I've only ever had one NAS so I'm not an expert -- a Synology DS413 with 4x2TB WD Reds in RAID 5. I can connect to it from the internet and have created user accounts for my friends to use the space. There is a huge amount of functionality there that I know very little about so it might be more useful for more experienced users. It can host a few programs such as media libraries, uMurmur, anti-virus, and lots of other things I know nothing about. The NAS and HDDs cost me about 800 euro in total.

My main problem is that downloading files from it across the internet is restricted by my ISP's upload speed (about 6 Mbps upload versus 120 Mbps download speed) which makes internet transfers painfully slow.

The HDDs go into power-saving mode when they haven't been used for 20 minutes, I have the fan mode set to quiet and have disabled all notification beeps.

It cost a bit of money and a newer 2-bay model might be just as good for my needs but I'm still happy with it. The DSM software (the same software on all models) is the big draw with the Synology models.

I also have a WD HD TV Live Media player connected to it over the router, which is very handy. But I'm sure there are better solutions these days for watching media. I have no HDDs in my PC (just SSD for the OS) so all my devices (PC, laptop, phone, tablet) can use the NAS for storage.

Edit: How come the comments can't handle the Euro symbol? Pressing AltGr 4 does the Euro symbol on my keyboard but after posting it, it just shows as "?"

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Edit: How come the comments can't handle the Euro symbol?
I can't answer the question, but it's probably better if you spelled it out as not everyone (such as myself) would know what the symbol represents.

mailpup mailpup said:

How come the comments can't handle the Euro symbol?
I think it can: ?

Capaill said:

Ahh, it's only visible in Forum Mode. The main website doesn't show it (for me anyway). Sorry for going waaaaay off topic.

Guest said:

Dreaming of the DS2413+ which is a 12bay Syslogic with the option of another 12 added.

For the time being I'm happy to backup the internet to my usb FDD! ;-)

mailpup mailpup said:

My storage needs are modest so I can make do with rewritable DVDs. The DVDs are really just backups and I make two copies. I have a HDD docking station and an extra HDDs of 1 and 2TB capacities but the DVDs are sufficient for my present needs.

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