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

By Justin Kahn ยท 35 replies
Nov 8, 2013
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  1. With so many options out there for external storage, I find it hard to settle on a single solution as well as on which is the most convenient. Lately, I feel as though I have everything split up between free...

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  2. 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.
    SantistaUSA and VitalyT like this.
  3. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,996   +2,456

    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.
  4. ljcook

    ljcook TS Rookie

    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.
  5. stupidusernames

    stupidusernames TS Rookie

    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+

    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 ;)
  6. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,397   +303

    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
  7. Jos

    Jos TS Evangelist Posts: 3,073   +97

    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).
  8. greybeard

    greybeard TS Rookie

    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.
  9. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 297   +68

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

    The ds1812+ has 8 wd 3tb red.
  10. drjekel_mrhyde

    drjekel_mrhyde TS Rookie Posts: 101   +7

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

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 379   +121

    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
  12. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

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

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,124   +1,617

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

    Punkid TS Guru Posts: 422   +9

    My main desktop, internal drives. Keep it on all the time, serves media and files to all other devices in the house
  15. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    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
  16. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +72

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

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    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.
  18. hopgop1

    hopgop1 TS Booster Posts: 166   +33

    You can also use a filing cabinet to increase read times when you have lots of files.
    davislane1 likes this.
  19. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,493   +1,295

    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.
  20. mctommy

    mctommy TS Addict Posts: 297   +68

    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.
  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,996   +2,456

    Do you mean like this server room?

    cliffordcooley likes this.
  22. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,364   +5,001


    I think I would prefer a single USB stick, rather than opting for that server storage. lol
    Steve likes this.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,925   +3,985

    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?;)
  24. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,996   +2,456

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

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,925   +3,985

    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.

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