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ukbobboy01 November 2nd, 2012 08:23 AM

Home Network (well, sort of)
Hi Guys

I'm looking for help and advice about installing a (kind of) home network, let me explain:

My wife says that my computer is very important to our home and so I should have a spare in case something goes wrong with this one. However, before I start to buy the necessary bits and pieces I think I should have a robust external backup facility.

I know some of you will think that an external HD should be enough, I am currently using one, but of the five (5) units I have bought over the past few years only three (3) now work. And when an external dies everything dies with it.

Now, I have thought of buying a NAS unit, something like this:

NetGear ReadyNAS Duo V2 (2 Bay) - No Drives Included (RND2000-200EUS) -

My priorities, listed in order of importance, would be:

1) Full Backup for my PC.

2) Restore full backup to new PC.

3) Off loading my non-important files to (which are taking up space on my PC).

4) Ability to retrieve files as and when required.

5) The ability to stream stored films to my TV, so that the rest of the family can watch them.

6) Allow my son, with my permission, access certain stored files.

Items 5 & 6 should not affect the running of my PC.

OK, as some forum members will know, I am very security minded and would want my NAS unit to be every bit as secure as the PC I am using, even though NAS devices are connected to modem routers I do not want it to have Internet access.

I think that just about covers it, so to summarise:

I am looking for any advice/suggestion for NAS devices that will possibly suit my (currently vague) requirements that forum members can reasonably recommend (and ones to stay away from).

Users experience on using such a device.

Or am I barking up the wrong tree.

As usually, I welcome any questions that forum members may have which will help to clarify their thoughts and help me to crystallise my requirements .

UK Bob

PS: I'm not sure if this makes a difference but I currently use WinXP Pro SP3, as my PCs O/S, and I have no plans to change this.

Sleepless November 2nd, 2012 03:45 PM

Personally I went in another direction as I'm not security minded in the same way as you, but my service provider recommends a router/streaming unit called AirTies.

While I'm not sure it will cover all your needs, check it out.

As far as backups etc. again I haven't even tried it, but hear good things about Acronis True Image.

BTW while you have no need to change from Win XP. I had a very strangely pleasant change from XP to Win7. And it at least has BitLocker.. again something I don't use.

I even leave my WiFi open to neighbors which need speed.

ukbobboy01 November 3rd, 2012 03:45 AM

Hi Sleepless

Cheers for relaying your own particular solution for the problem you faced but, unfortunately, your particular resolution cannot help me.

Airties, from my quick research, is primarily aimed at those that want to setup and maintain a media distribution centre in their home, which is not my main concern, i.e. it's number 5 on my list.

I already use Acronis True Image to back up my C:\ drive to an external HD but I really want to move away from using externals for backup purposes.

As for my O/S, I see no real reason to move away from XP simply because it's a stable platform for the applications and utilities I use and basically I will not risk losing them to a newer O/S.

As for allowing my neighbours to use my wi-fi, no way. I'm just too paranoid to believe that non-family members are going to use my Internet connection properly, e.g. if an outsider using my wi-fi starts to download CP the police will be kicking down my door and seizing all the computers in my home.

No, it is far better (and less risky) to keep my wi-fi and modem buttoned down.

Anyway, cheers again or your contribution

UK Bob

Lord of the Rings November 3rd, 2012 04:38 AM

I do not know anything about the equipment mentioned other than the link you provided. But when purchasing new hardware, I always try to find the user-feedback on such equipment. Both the positive and negative reviews. The negative reviews can be very helpful for learning about potential issues or problems with support. Positive reviews sometimes give comparisons to similar hardware, etc. to help give any plusses and minuses in comparison.

I'd be curious to know which of your external drive brands failed on you. I've always used Lacie with Firewire 4 or 8. Only the first which was a 160 GB drive was buggy and learnt too late from their support that I had 12 months support and would have been eligible for a replacement. Other than that, I only use such drives for backup and put them away after use. One day I had one not fixed to hold it securely, I accidentally tipped it over whilst it was in use and despite it was only a light knock just enough to tip it over and not a hard surface below, it immediately died. It was a 1 TB drive. I was told many years ago Lacie ship their drives with various actual brands of drives.

Apple Australia online no longer offer firewire-8 Lacie drives, now only offering the Thunderbolt and my mac does not have thunderbolt ports. So I was considering another brand which does, 6 TB for similar price as the Lacie 2TB with Thunderbolt. In practice, FW-8 is a bit over double the speed of USB2 for my Mac. FW is also good for streaming video to/from TV.

Apple have some kind of online system called iCloud for backing up various types of files, particularly multimedia files for streaming wirelessly. I know nothing about it. I think users get a minimal amount of space they can use and for more they need to pay for the larger space.
Apple also has a built in backup system which will duplicate the entire system to any backup drive and you can backup several generations, presumably it only links duplicate files so it does not take up double the space.

Anyway that's all irrelevant to your needs.

ukbobboy01 November 3rd, 2012 05:41 AM

External HDs that went wrong

As mentioned I have had two (2) of my five externals go wrong, they were (in order of failure):

1) Gericom External HD with a 400GB Disk and two USB2 ports. This died in the second or third year of use.

2) Lacie External (porch design) with a 250GB Disk, which died 6 - 9 months after the Gericom.

What really burned me was when the Lacie died, it had all my music, movies and photo collections on it, as well as a back up of all the applications and utilities I was using at the time.

What made the model's failure even worse, and I strongly suspect this, was that Lacie knew the 250GB HD they used in production were prone to failure.

However, the other two Lacies that I have, the 160GB HD (bought when I first started to use Limewire) and the 500GB HD model still work. My third external is a Gericom 160GB HD (bought when my Lacie 160GB HD got full up).

So I am trying to move away from having multiple externals and get something with built in fail safe facilities, i.e. such as a NAS device.

Anyway, cheers for your input.

UK Bob

Lord of the Rings November 3rd, 2012 06:44 AM

Are the porsch design the ones that lay flat? My first two were like that and I did not like them. I moved to the type that stand vertically if you know what I mean. They seemed to work better for some reason (ie: faster response.)

ukbobboy01 November 3rd, 2012 07:45 AM

Porch Design

You asked:

Are the porsche design the ones that lay flat?
Yes they are and, I must admit, I do like their sleek and shiny look.

Here is the latest Lacie Porche Designed externals: LaCie - LaCie Porsche Design P'9230

However, since the failure of my 250GB external I have refused to buy any more Lacie products.

UK Bob

Lord of the Rings November 3rd, 2012 08:25 AM

Looks like if I wanted another Lacie like I had been buying I'd need to get it not from Apple. Interesting to note Thunderbolt transfers at up to twice the speed of USB3 and 12.5 times faster than Firewire-8. Anyway this is all irrelevant to the topic. :D

ukbobboy01 November 11th, 2012 07:22 AM

Netgear ReadyNAS Duo 2-Bay No Disk
Hi Guys

Just to let you guys know that I have ordered Netgear ReadyNAS Duo 2, which should arrive in 3 - 4 weeks time.

I understand that this device may not be the easiest of devices to set up but since I have not set myself a time limit (and I've got the user manuals) I reckon that this will be a good way to exercise my brain cells.

That said, I plan to buy 2 x 2TB Western Digital SATA 6Gbps Power Saving HD - Caviar Green over the next 2 - 3 months and then format the drives using Netgear's X-RAID2.

I am now going to start looking through the hardware and software manuals and probably checkout the ReadyNAS forum.

UK Bob

ukbobboy01 January 20th, 2013 07:28 AM

ReadyNAS Duo 2-Bay + 2 x WD TB Caviar Green HD
Hi Guys

Just to let you guys know that I now have my Netgear ReadyNAS Duo 2 and have installed 2 x Western Digital 2TB Caviar Green Hard Disks for data storage and backups.

The hardware is solidly built and oozes quality, this device is easy to set up and should cause no problems to those who can tell the back-end of a computer from the front. However, as a home user, speed is not an issue for me so for those where speed is important then I suggest using faster HDs, from Netgear's compatibility list, rather than the WD caviars to increase set-up times.

NB: My first HD took approx. 2 hours to set up, due to formatting, etc. and my second disk took 8 hours plus. This was due to formatting, syncing and then copying 0.4TB of data over from the first HD.

As for the controlling software, called "Dashboard", it is easy to use but as a GUI is awful to look at, it has grey text on black background, and is not user changeable. It's obvious that the techs that developed this GUI went some way to make it very user friendly but forgot that not everyone that buys this device are going to have 20/20 vision.

The firmware that controls the device is buggy, and the bug that catches you will depend on the equipment you use to communicate with the NAS. At the moment I am using my WinXP Pro SP3 PC to access, set-up users rights, create shares/folders and transfer data to and from the NAS, the only problem is that the user-rights do not work.

Consequently, I can set up a share/folder, transfer data to that share, set-up rights to include and/or exclude anyone from that particular share but the rights will either exclude everyone, including me, from the share's data or let everyone ihave access to that data, which is not what I want.

I currently have a pending help call with Netgear's Tech Support in order to solve this problem, personally I think that some sort of update or patch is required.

All in all, the ReadyNAS Duo is a solid piece of kit that works as a storage unit and, in the future, as a home media distribution centre. However, it is let down by the latest GUI and firmware, which may have been caused by time constraints, e.g release dates, rather than careless programming.

UK Bob

Lord of the Rings January 21st, 2013 07:15 AM

Sounds like a good set-up. Did you get a response from Netgear yet about those issues?
Yeah the grey on black was not a good idea.

Coincidentally yesterday I set up my new Western Digital My Book II, 6 TB with RAID mirrored 3 TB. Of course this is only for backup purposes. Firewire 8 which is fast enough for me. I did have a lot of backup to do so was on for longer than usual, about 4 hours. In the reviews someone complained about the new device smell. I noticed this, smelled like plastic. The housing is a plastic. I'd prefer a metal box but anyway. Looks as though it is easy to change-over drives if one dies. I took a while to decide whether I'd use it as 6 TB or mirrored 3 TB. Even with 3 TB, still worked out cheaper than Lacie re: drive space versus price. I went for mirrored for obvious reliability purposes. I'd scream if I lost multiple TB's of data due to one of the drives becoming problematic.

ukbobboy01 January 25th, 2013 11:36 AM


I see that you too have decided to move away from having multiple external drives, which I found useful at the time but proved to be problematic in the longer term.

The Netgear ReadyNAS Duo V2 is made out of metal, which adds to its solid look and well-built feel and, by using quiet HDs, the working unit overall is virtually silent when in use.

I, like you, choose to use my 2 x 2TB HDs as one 2TB volume and thanks to Netgear's X-Raid2 format I can upgrade to 2 X 3TB HDs in the future, without risking loss of data.

However, I am still waiting for a solution from Netgear's tech support, in the form of a patch, utility or firmware upgrade, to fix my particular problem, i.e. user access rights not working.

Mind you, I am cautiously optimistic because Netgear recently released (in December 2012) a utility that allowed WinXP, Vista and W7 to work with their built-in remote access facility (which should have worked in the first place).

But, you know, the thing that gets me is that computer companies, at least their software division, can make claims for their products, sell them, then you the customer after purchase finds that certain parts of their products do not work as advertised..

I find it incredible that no one yet has sued one of these companies for selling an incomplete or misleading product.

Anyway, I have a good product that provides a good service but cannot provide one essential part.

UK Bob

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