Shared computer storage

Looking at getting additional storage for my computers (desktop & laptop). Considering these:

Seagate Central 3TB Personal Cloud Storage

WD My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage

Anyone have any experience w/either of them or a similar product?

The other option is to add an external USB drive to the desktop box and share it out on the network.

I know I can get a more reliable RAID type of setup but for a similar size capacity I’d be looking at around $500. I’m trying to keep it under $200.

My family has a NAS drive through seagate. If I understand correctly that is the type of thing you’re looking for. It works wonderfully.

I don’t have experience with cloud storage, but I’ll tell you one thing: Don’t listen to everyone that talks about “SEAGATE SUCKS WD OR DIE.” It’s all hype. Choose whichever one has the features you need, at a price you find attractive, and are overall satisfied with.

Both of the hard drives in my computer are Seagate Barracudas. 3TB and 1TB versions. No issues with them, and they are surprisingly fast for HDDs. Windows 7 boots in 30 seconds off it.

Don’t be afraid to buy Seagate. They make good hard drives, and so do WD.

No experience setting up cloud or network storage though, sorry.

I think my dads friends uses one of these I would have to ask him of course but I can get some user feedback for ya. (for my dads work something like this is a big plus so I am going to have to ask.) I can give you that info tomorrow since it’s a little late right now.

Can I ask a quick question - are you trying to back up existing data or have another source for different data storage? I ask this because it makes a significant difference to what I would recommend. As does whether or not the data is truly critical to you. If it is additional storage, which you definitely don’t want to lose then using an external hard drive is a bad idea. I have absolutely nothing good to say about this type of storage except to say I’m glad it is more or less obsolete. It is just another CD, with a finite lifetime and significant issues. For data storage (for anything with significance) I use a cloud storage device similar to dropbox, which gives you a local data copy (assuming you put some relatively basic safeguards in place) as well as a cloud copy, preventing against hard drive failure. I also run a server which has hardware RAID which has never, and I think, will never fail me but as you rightly pointed out costs considerably more. You may want to consider a ‘software’ RAID configuration which may cost much less.

In terms of corporation choice, I really don’t see that there will be any difference between them, unless they offer different guarantees on your data.

I concur with SlowJoe, why don’t you explain exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Cloud Storage, and additional local storage (USB) or SAN/NAS would be appropriate for very different scenarios. One could also say that they may BOTH be appropriate.

Tell us what you are trying to do.

I have cloud storage and well I have many thoughts of it. If u get it set up right I think it’s really nice. But I guess again it depends on the use.

I’m fairly agnostic when it comes to the manufacturer, though I seem to use Seagate more than WD. And I tend to view the really negative reviews as being the product of a greatly uninformed purchaser who didn’t research what he was looking for or failed to read the directions. The people who don’t like something tend to scream the loudest. There are a couple of other brands I have looked at but these two are the top contenders in this class of device.

Both of the network drives have their own unique features and failings, so it’s fairly easy to compare them to my needs in some respects, and in the end they come out about even overall.

As to purpose, it’s primarily for backup with some file sharing functions between systems. I have no interest in remote access from offsite so the true “cloud” features/failings are not that important to me. I’m willing to sacrifice RAID reliability since it is primarily a backup solution and cost is a factor as well. My reasoning is that if either the primary drive or the backup drive dies, I can replace it and still have a good copy of the data. I also differentiate between backups and archiving. This is not for archival purposes.

All that said, the NAS aspect is sexy and all, but an external, direct connect drive shared from the desktop is also a viable option. I currently have a samba share on the desktop system that works nicely and may be the ultimate solution. There is no room in the box for an additional drive. The cheap NAS solution has just caught my eye a bit.

Using NAS drives has worked flawlessly for us. We can all get to it anywhere as a “cloud” which is awesome. That being said, I’m pretty sure we can also access it manually as a normal drive, as in plugging it into a computer. I would say go for it, it’s not terribly pricy and it’s very effective.

The Seagate and WD drives only connect to a computer via ethernet.

I would honestly say that if you’re only looking for a backup then an external hard drive may be the way to go, despite my earlier comments. The chances are that both drives will not fail at the same time and it’ll be pretty darn cheap. You can also automate scheduled backups to remove some of that wonderful human error :wink:

I keep precious files (video and photos of my family, key digital documents) stored “on the cloud” with a 3rd-party. I use Backblaze who are cheap and offer no actual storage limit.

For local backup (you wouldn’t want to have to go to Backblaze except for emergency or remote access), I use a 3TB WD drive attached to my always-on desktop and shared to the network. I got in on sale for like… $100. Since I already have the cloud backup, it worked out as a cheap and effective solution for me.

Looks like schmexy is winning out here. Probably going with the:

Seagate Central 3TB Personal Cloud Storage

The primary reason is that I want it to be independent of either of the two primary systems I have. Choosing Seagate as I have more experience w/that brand.

Found another recently:

Seagate Business Storage NAS 1-Bay 3TB Network Attached Storage STBM3000100

But looking at the specs etc. it appears they have basically the same functionality and SG uses the “Business” tag primarily to jack the price another $25-$30. My guess is they use pretty much the same components.

My Dad set me up with a Raid for my photos, he bought two hard drives for like a laptop and then put them into cases, it was cheeper the buying a backup drive like seagate or WD.

I used to have a low-end server computer setup for a file server on my network. Recently I just decided to take the HDD out of it, throw it in my high-end desktop (which stays on 24/7 anyway), and re-purposed the computer elsewhere.

No idea how well it works personally, but something like a TonidoPlug may be pretty good too.

TonidaPlug - That’s basically what the Seagate and WD device provide. The price is cheap because you have to supply your own disk drive to install in it. The Seagate device is a linux server running Samba to share the drive out on the network, and I assume the WD box is similar.

In theory, both of my boxes stay on 24x7, but I wanted something independent of either one.

BTW - I popped for the Seagate. Will report on it in a couple of days.