Wifi network drive?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by OtisAir, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. OtisAir

    OtisAir Line Up and Wait

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    Hoping Santa Claus will bring me a wifi network storage device (1 or 2 TB harddrive type) but not sure what to tell the wife to tell Santa I want.

    What I'm looking for is something I can connect (wirelessly) to my home network and access it from any of my computer type gadgets (pc, Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc). I have looked online and found a few but I am hoping for some real world feedback on what's good and what sucks.

    Thanks,

    Shane
     
  2. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you looking for it to have built-in WiFi, or just a network port so you can connect it to your WiFi router / home network?

    If the latter, I've had great success and zero errors with the D-Link suite of home NAS products. I have a total of 10TB of mirrored (RAID 1) space allocated across two different models in this list:

    http://sharecenter.dlink.com/ShareCenter_Meet_The_Family
     
  3. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Many WiFi routers have a USB port that allows attaching and sharing an external USB disk drive. With that you can also easily connect the drive directly to a computer to get at the data.

    Check out Buffalo for good routers:
    http://www.buffalotech.com/comparison-charts/wireless/wireless-n-routers-access-points/
    They also have the NAS storage with the drives in them already:
    http://www.buffalotech.com/comparison-charts/network-storage/home-and-small-office/

    If you speak Apple, the Time Capsule is it: http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/
    It is a network drive and complete access point and router, not just for backup, and you can add a shared second hard drive or printer on the USB port.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  4. OtisAir

    OtisAir Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the ideas... sorry my initial text was a little muddy..

    1. What I'm wanting to do is plug this hard drive into a power outlet and turn it on.
    2. Connect it to my network (preferably wirelessly).
    3. Access it from my other devices

    I video the majority of my Flights (Airplane and PPG) using 2 Contour HD Camera's. The files can get large 3-5 GB's for an hours flght (per camera). I'd like to have a convenient place to store them that I can reach from any of my computers or iPads.

    Thanks again,

    Shane
     
  5. rpadula

    rpadula En-Route

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    I don't think there is such a beast. Not in the 3-5 GB of storage range. The only WiFi enabled hard disk unit I've seen is the Seagate GoFlex Satellite Wireless, which clocks in at 500 GB, and gets mediocre reviews on Amazon:

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/external-hard-drive/goflex-satellite

    Your best bet is to attach the drive directly to your router, either via USB or Ethernet. I think that would give you the best performance. For what you propose, any data fetch from the hard drive would go WiFi to your router anyway, and then back out WiFi from the router to the computer/iDoo-dad that was requesting it. Wastes precious air bandwidth.
     
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    If you're doing much video eventually you'll want physically attached storage. Even over 802.11n the copy times become maddeningly annoying.

    USB 3.0 or FireWire attached storage ... Or something that speaks Gigabit Ethernet if your machines also have that... will make you happier, long-term... doing video.

    Waiting hours to shuffle large video files around will eventually drive you insane. If you're doing any re-rendering to different formats you also either have to shuffle the originals onto a machine over the network, render new version, shuffle them back... or with reasonably fast attached storage you can just render on the fly to/from that disk.. (or better, read from that disk, render to the local drive, then copy if it's "done right".)

    That said, I've used both the Apple Time Capsule and Buffalo stuff on the LAN for big file storage.

    Time Capsule's throughput is significantly slower than almost everything out there but the integration/automation with Time Machine -- for desktop Macs -- can't be beat for "brain dead easy". It's completely useless for iOS devices, though.

    Apple's model for iOS going forward is either wirelessly backing those up to iTunes or backing them up to "the cloud" which they're charging too much for. They've never done a direct iOS to Time Capsule feature. (Even though it would make sense.)

    I have a few friends who are gaga over the Drobo stuff. I'm not willing to pay their prices. Cool boxes, but proprietary RAID schemes you can't recover if they barf, aren't my cup o' tea.

    I think primary storage for most media producers is local add-on disks, rotated and backed up. The backups could be on a NAS device or just a copy of the entire drive to a "twin".

    Just thoughts... Hope it helps Santa out. ;)
     
  7. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm pretty sure he wants lots more storage than that; he's saying each of his video files, individually, are that large.
     
  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. Maybe a Drobo is sounding better. Stuffed full of the biggest drives he can find. ;)
     
  9. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    I'm with you but you were right about the Drobo in the first place. I want drives I can get to and read if the gizmo goes to crap.

    I still say put a USB drive on a router.

    My NAS is now 8 drives connected over USB and Firewire - that I can read on any Mac.
     
  10. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What enclosure are you using? None of the Buffalo's are that big. You running a Linux NAS appliance you built yourself?
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    For my home stuff "more is better" so I had the Buffalo and the Time Capsule on the network at the same time. Different stuff stores on each. Have the Buffalo to a friend who wanted to hack on it.

    I was avoiding bringing DIY up since its more "DIY" than most folk want to mess with. But at the sizes he's talking about, it really might be a good option. More work, cheaper price long-term. Cram as many drives in the case as you want, and with those little full-height six-drive hot-swap racks for 2.5" SATA drives, if you had enough big fans to move air across 'em, you could cram a LOT of relatively cheap laptop drives into a tower case.

    But FreeNAS does work really well... But it's FreeBSD based, not Linux.

    But the one I built from an old Dell server that was past it's useful life but had a boatload of attached SCSI storage in an external array, performed better than I expected. I even ran it from CD-ROM boot with the config loading from a USB stick for a week or so while I sorted out a boot bug in their kernel config on that ancient Dell server.

    For various DIY options, http://www.diynas.com/ links to all sorts of interesting stuff.

    I never got around to building a NAS from OpenFiler. It's supposedly pretty good too.
     
  12. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    :D A G4 Mac Mini with bunches of 1 and 2 drive external enclosures with 2TB SATA drives.
     
  13. rpadula

    rpadula En-Route

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    Unfortunately, thanks to the flooding in Thailand, now's a baaaad time to buy hard drives. Unless you like paying 3x the price! :eek:
     
  14. rpadula

    rpadula En-Route

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    You sly dog, you!
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Yup. Won't get better anytime soon looks like, either. We were just talking about this over dinner.

    The local MicroCenter now has a "one hard drive per day" policy in the middle of Holiday shopping season to maintain their inventory.
     
  16. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The speculation I've heard is that hard drive prices will be elevated for a year or so.
     
  17. OtisAir

    OtisAir Line Up and Wait

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    I'm going to look into the DIY option. I've a little IT experience so I may wire it up and blow the lights, but it should work. In the interim, I decided to go out and get a 500 GB MacBook Pro 17 to hold me over for a little while. Now I just gotta learn how to operate a MAC, never had one.

    I'll post some PPG video's soon with the iMovie program that I bought with it.

    Thanks again for all ya'lls assistance.