Thursday, July 5, 2007

Home Network Attached Storage (NAS)

For those of you that haven't been to my place, you may not know that I have two computers. I have a fast computer upstairs with a 19 inch flat panel monitor. This computer is hard-wired to my router for more reliable internet, has a 3.4GHz cpu for great performance, a DVD-RW, and a 120GB SATA hard drive that is about half full. The downside to this computer is it is stuck upstairs, in the room that the sun beats in on for a large portion of the day. This causes the fan inside the computer to work extremely hard during the hot months of the year. July and August are the worst months to be in this room.

My second option for getting online is my laptop. It connects to the internet wirelessly, has a 1.7GHz cpu, and only a 40GB hard drive. But, I am able to use my laptop wherever I want, which is usually the couch downstairs in front of the HD tv.

As time has gone by my media is spread between these two computers. If I want performance or it happens to be the cooler months, I tend to use the higher performance computer upstairs. Right now with the heat, or anytime when I'm downstairs watching TV and also want to get online, I opt for the laptop. Whichever I happen to choose on any given online session gets the pictures, music, files, etc. stored on it.

The other day I was doing a blog post on the couch from my laptop and I wanted to include a picture that had been uploaded on the upstairs computer. I inconveniently had to run upstairs, turn on the computer, and email myself the picture so I could include it in my post. The thought occurred to me that it sure would be nice to have a pool of storage that I could access from both of my computers so this would never happen again.

Yesterday I got on and typed "NAS" into the search feild. This is the product that came up that was just what I was looking for.

I though about ordering it online, but wanted it NOW. Darcy and I went to Fry's and lo and behold it was in stock, so I bought it. It was easy to set up, and I have already copied all my files over to it. The performance is better to the hard-wired computer than to the wireless laptop, but it works nonetheless, and I'm very happy with it.

This device connects via an ethernet cable to our router, and can be accessed by any computer on the network as a storage device. It has 320GB's of capacity, which is more than we need now, and will probably be enough for many years to come. Now, when I save files I will save them to my "home NAS" so that I can access them from whichever computer I happen to be on.

Additionally, this device will serve as a backup. If either my computers happens to fail, I will have all my precious files safe in another location.

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