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Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 04:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone have any experience with these drives:
http://www.buffalotech.com/products/...e/terastation/
I'm considering getting one to connect to my Mac Pro... any comments (pro or con) would be appreciated...

Thanks,
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 04:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have no experience with it, but there is a review here:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...1917912,00.asp
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobArtLyn View Post
I have no experience with it, but there is a review here:

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/...1917912,00.asp
After finishing the article, it gave the unit an 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10). What's interesting is that the example diagrams for the interface s/w was all Windows-based (no native Mac that I saw and I am a Mac user), but there was a web-based interface as well.

As the article also said, it has me wondering about "rolling my own" with some of the old Linux hardware laying around unused since my Mac arrived. I could easily get a GigE card for it and buy large capacity drives for it and try that out... they say you can't get all the bells and whistles with a home-grown system - I'm just after raw storage and not really interested in RAID capabilities.
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 11:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have one of the 250gb USB Buffalo external hard drives and it works great. I paid $80 for it after a rebate. So if you buy 4 of these you would have a terabyte and your cost would be $320 rather than $600 to $800 for the 1 tb drive. The question is whether you want RAID or just want a good backup method that can be maintained easily. Some people think of RAID as backup but in reality it just provides a fast way to get back on line if one of the hard drives goes bad (redundancy). It is not a backup since if you have a fire or a robbery you lose everything. With the smaller 250gb externals, you can rotate several of them in and out and keep several off premises. I currently have 14 250gb drives that I use for my backup mix. I found this to be less expensive that the DAT tape system I used to use. Its also faster and easier to restore.

One important thing when using external hard drives with the intent of them being the backups, is to have more than one copy of all photos on separate external drives and to leave the drives powered down except when making backups and restores. This greatly expands their life expectancy. The big 1tb type drive will often end up being on all the time, which means you have a short life expectancy.

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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just saw one of the new Linksys Wireless-N routers and noticed a newly integrated feature of providing a USB connection so that you can use any USB External Drive connected to the router as a storage device. Previously, you had to purchase a NAS drive that provided an ethernet connection. Obviously Ethernet will be faster than USB 2.0 but the selection/prices of USB drives is much more competitive. This may not be exactly what you're looking for but I thought it worth mentioning.

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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_Fredrick_Smith View Post
The big 1tb type drive will often end up being on all the time, which means you have a short life expectancy.
I have a Maxtor 1TB external drive that after 8 months of constant use crashed out (last week), with no possibility of recovering my data.

Thank god I have multiple / redundant backups of my photo and video files.

I did however loose about 500Gb of other stuff that I will never be able to recover.
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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while I have not tried this item, I did try the Neatgear "toaster". It is a NAS storage device that you put a couple drives in and they are in a raid array....I never could get it to work quite right and it stored things in a weird format...finally purchased a few USB external drives and back up that way and sold the darn thing on ebay. For me, NAS seemed to have so many problems that I just couldn't trust it...and if I couldn't trust it, why not use something you can trust?
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsc1 View Post
I just saw one of the new Linksys Wireless-N routers and noticed a newly integrated feature of providing a USB connection so that you can use any USB External Drive connected to the router as a storage device. Previously, you had to purchase a NAS drive that provided an ethernet connection. Obviously Ethernet will be faster than USB 2.0 but the selection/prices of USB drives is much more competitive. This may not be exactly what you're looking for but I thought it worth mentioning.

Cheers,
LSC
Not completely accurate. USB 2.0 runs at 480Mbps, while there are three commonly used Ethernet speeds: 10Mbps, 100Mbps, and 1000Mbps. Only the last one is faster than USB2. If you look closely, you'll find that a lot of the cheap and nasty "NAS" boxes are only 100Mbps, so they are slower (in raw protocol speeds, anyway).

To exacerbate matters, a number of the cheaper "NAS" boxes use inadequate CPUs, so they transfer data appallingly slowly. They'd probably be OK to store stolen music, but they are far too slow to use for storing gigabytes of images.
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've used the Netgear Network hard drive item (where you put two of your own hard drives in it). It is okay for backup only, since you can schedule backups while you sleep and then the speed is not an issue. They are very slow however, and usually not adequate for an everyday drive. Since I have 14 other external hard drives (9 usb and 5 firewire) I find them to all be much better than the Network attached device.

I've heard some argue that the Network device would be better because its attached to the router and thus all your computers in the house can access it. But you can also access the USB or Firewire externals from all the computers attached to the router merely by declaring the device to be a shared drive. The only slight drawback, is that the computer its attached to must be on. That is usually not a critical problem however, and its just as easy to move the externals around (most of them are no bigger than a standard hard bound book.

One more thing about the Netgear device is that it uses a non-standard file format which in my opinion is dangerous, so don't depend on it for your primary backup.


Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Network Drives
Old 01-03-2007, 09:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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CatCynic,

You are of course right and I stand corrected on the speeds. I was thinking 1000Mbps but in fact, most ethernet in use is 100 Mbps. Thanks for setting the record straight.

Cheers,
LSC
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