Thursday, 11 October 2012

FreeNAS: your very own home-shared file network

This article is originally published at www.pinoygigs.com by xarki, on Mon, Sep 10 2012

Networked Attached Storages (or simply NAS) has been a growing alternative for businesses and corporations worldwide. With the implementation of such system, electronic data (of all sorts) can be properly shared throughout a large network across different platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.)

Though majority of businesses take advantage of this network system, some individuals like me do not disregard the possibility for the application of the same technology in the comforts of my own home. The piling number of documents, photos, music and videos will be too cumbersome if managed through different storage devices and computers. I always find myself stalled when doing certain tasks like compositing digital art for a certain project which leads me to mounting several disks to access my library of digital images needed to build my next master piece.

I did consider buying large capacity external hard drives. Even though their portability may be an advantage, there is this minute limitation in expanding my storage capacity in the near future that forbids me to do so. Also, the unwanted access of my personal files and folders will be defeated by this idea. Additionaly, I may have to purchase several external storage devices just to keep personal things out of reach.


The NAS concept somehow gave me a better idea with what I need at the moment – a central location for all of “our” files with the right user security access, expandable and manageable system, and a cross-platform medium for all our gadgets. With the NAS, I can access all my files from whatever device (tablet, netbook or desktop PC) I get my hands on simultaneously without the need to transfer an external device from one computer terminal to another.

What’s good with a PC-based NAS is that it gives you more room for upgrades (hardware side), nice data back-up (through RAID) and get to choose which software to run your NAS. I tried to use one of those commercially available NAS devices but they are a tad slower than my current setup plus it does limit my storage expansion (usually max of two hard drives only).


Among the softwares available, I chose FreeNAS because of its low system requirement and widely customizable options. I installed FreeNAS in a 2GB USB drive giving me more room to fully use the rest of my four hard drives.

Now, we can save and retrieve our files on a single location, watch our favorite movie collection simultaneously through different media devices and the best of all, I get to save money by reusing my old PC to do the work. Isn’t that nice?

To view the complete set of photos for this project, visit my Facebook page - The Techie Bro: FreeNAS Project
To know more about FreeNAS, you can visit their website at www.freenas.org/

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