Attachments of a Network Style

A couple of weeks ago, driven by the need to get my music library and my 50-odd GB of photos out of a completely stuffed , and as a consequence of several years trying to make do with external hard disks (first , and in the latter years), I decided to get myself a proper NAS.

Although I’ve of late kept a couple of disks plugged in to an aging G4 and an , that solution wasn’t flexible enough regarding replacing or upgrading disks, and I’ve lost more than one external disk to the inclemencies of Portuguese summertime - no matter what you do, anything with a fan risks overheating during 3-5 months.

So I was looking for something that had basic off the bat, spoke AFP and and had a modicum of expandability - everything else would be surplus.

I initially had my heart set on a Drobo FS, but I dislike paying through the nose for my gear, and soon decided that live hard disk replacement wasn’t a requirement - but transparent volume growth was, so after looking into gear (and with a couple of positive opinions from colleagues), I decided to go for a DS411j - which I could have together with a pair of 2TB disks and an external Blu-Ray burner for under the cost of an empty Drobo FS.

The Blu-Ray burner, incidentally, is the LGBP06LU10, a close cousin to the GP08 I got a while back and a model I’ve been keeping an eye on for .

So I’ve now got a comprehensive storage and off-site (sneakernet, but 50GB a pop) backup solution for all the kids’ photos, a music archive and a network setup that is more flexible than a .

But how good is the DS411j, anyway? Well, I won’t bore you with a full-on review - there are entire sites whose sole purpose it is to review this kind of gear down to the bare metal.

I’m actually quite likely to instead do a small series of (short) posts on it, but can say right away that it is a good (and, for my purposes, plenty fast) NAS that has a number of “value-added” features I don’t need.

I’ve done a fair amount of digging around inside it already, and think it’s soundly designed, albeit with a few quirks - just don’t expect much from it in terms of DLNA or support, since it seems to have a buggy DLNA server that doesn’t serve photos right (neither to my WDTV nor to my test scripts) and doesn’t support Home Sharing or 1 - the former being essential if you want to use an Apple device as a remote).

But more on that later, I have some sleeping to catch up on.

  1. By support I mean direct support, streamed straight from the NAS instead of using an device as a proxy - the latest apps do allow you to stream music to an , but the stream is proxied through your device. ↩︎

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