Chris J Powell

Build vs Buy – My own NAS Conundrum

As it stands right now, I have way too many computers kicking around my home.  My Desktop PC affectionately known as the MonstaPuter, my current Media Server, my Chromebook, my Nexus 4 Smartphone and 3 Tablets…and when my daughter comes over…well then the network grows with her own HTC Desire Smartphone and her iPad.

There is a plethora of options out there to just buy a NAS that will allow me to 24/7 stream my data, videos and music to any device that comes within the confines of my network but they tend to be a bit pricey for my liking and because I already have lots of components kicking around and being a cheap bastard that I am…I figured it was now time to actually commit to the act of building a real NAS, instead of living life with a jury rigged setup like I have.

Currently, I have just over 11 TB of storage available for me, but that is actually coming close to being at capacity so like any good geek that has time on his hands, it is prudent for me to start to look to expanding the storage capacity of my home network and building some redundancy into it so that I don’t have to worry about Data Loss in the event of my next HDD crash (knock on wood it has been about 12 months since my last full crash).

Buy Options:

Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo – Price $149.99 (without Disks)  – max Capacity – 12 TB (cost of disks – 2x Western Digital Red 4TB NAS – $368)

Netgear RN10200-100NAS ReadyNAS 102 – Price $184.99 (without Disks) – Max Capacity – 8 TB (cost of disks – 2x Western Digital Red 4TB NAS – $368)

Seagate 0TB 2-bay NAS – Price $199.99 (without Disks) – Max Capacity – 8 TB (cost of disks – 2x Seagate 4TB NAS – with Data Rescue – $458)

Netgear RN10400-100NAS – Price $309.99 (without Disks) – Max Capacity – 16 TB (cost of Disks – 4x Western Digital Red 4TB NAS = $736)

There are several advantages to purchasing these types of devices, like lower power consumption, plug and play capabilities and ease of maintenance…but anyone who knows me knows that I rarely do things the easy way and being limited to the configurations provided by these devices (like just 2 or 4 drives) is not really conducive to the ever growing need for me to expand, upgrade and refresh so even though the total cost would be between $525 and $1050 to have a dedicated setup for storage…I would prefer to go out to the extreme side of my own comfort zone and build my own.  I would likely leverage the current hardware in my current Media Server (Dual Core 1.8GHz Processor with 4GB of RAM) and put this into a new case…that has a bit more room for growth and expansion.  The Motherboard is a MicroATX board so there are plenty of options out there like:

Corsair Carbide Series Air 240 – $97.99

Cooler Master HAF XB EVO – $109.99

But I really would like to get creative and build my own case from scratch, one that I can fit into my own decor and style…like:



At one point I also found a very interesting old xRay machine that had already been hollowed out for a Halloween display that would make for an amazing storage array…but alas, I missed out on the opportunity to purchase it…but an old 1920’s floor model Radio like this would be perfect:


Stay tuned, because when I actually decide what and how I do my NAS Project…I will post it all here!




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