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How Does NAS Work?


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I really do not completely grasp the NAS storage thing. I use an external HD connected to an always-on PC fed into a wireless router which, in turn, sends music files to my Squeezebox. From what I gather, an NAS has an onboard OS and can operate separately from a PC meaning that it can be left on and accessed much like my external hard drive is doing now. I figured this would be the best fourm to post this question as you all are pretty savvy with computers and audio. Reading manufacturere websites is like they assume you know how these things operate.

 

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Hi breakfastchef - I can help you with this one. Let's start by reading this article I wrote about a specific NAS unit. You don't have to read the review in total, but I gave a small primer on NAS itself. I'm sure the article will raise a bunch of questions. Just ask and I'll try to answer.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/qnap_ts-409_turbo_nas_review

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Nice Intro to NAS, Chris C. First, I assume the NAS runs an operating system. How does one load the OS? Do you have to buy a new copy of Windows (I use a PC)? Is the OS preinstalled?

 

Second, the NAS can run 24/7 and does not need to be physically connected to a PC to operate? I guess you would need a PC, though, if you wanted to make software changes to the device.

 

 

 

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I assume the NAS runs an operating system.

 

Yes

 

How does one load the OS? Do you have to buy a new copy of Windows (I use a PC)? Is the OS preinstalled?

 

Most NAS devices run Linux and it is preinstalled. All the configuration, if any is needed, is done through a web browser.

 

Second, the NAS can run 24/7 and does not need to be physically connected to a PC to operate?

 

A NAS can run 24/7. Mine has power settings so I can set it to turn off during certain hours or spin the disks down after a period of nonuse. No computer is need for a NAS to run.

 

I guess you would need a PC, though, if you wanted to make software changes to the device.

 

Any device with a web browser will usually do the trick. My iPhone works well.

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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  • 6 months later...

Hello Chris,

I couldn't open the link to the article referenced in September, but my question is, can I make my own NAS? I have several large IDE hdd's sitting on my closet shelf. I am not current with computer technology but I have some experience and manage my home network. I read the drives are flashed with the Linex OS. Is there special equipment needed?

Thanks.

 

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Hi dwremote - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. Try the link now it should work. There was a big problem with Godaddy hosting and database servers that caused some serious issues with the site. I believe all is well now.

 

With spare hard drives you'll probably want to setup a server and share the disk space with the other computers on your network. It's not really NAs but it is storage accessible via the network. You can use just about any operating system to do this. I have had problems with accessing shares from within music playback applications in the past. Specifically accessing a shared folder on a Mac Pro from another computer to play back music produced some funny errors.

 

I recommend purchasing an empty NAS enclosure and throwing your current IDE hard drives in the unit. This way everything is built specifically to be a NAS. You could try to create a NAS unit yourself but I've never done it. I'll try to help if you go down this path.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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