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Pardon my ignorance, why does everyone have a hard-on for NAS PC?

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LurchFrinky

Senior member
Nov 12, 2003
287
48
91
With 2 PCs running side by side (one running FreeNAS and the other Windows 7) with just the power and ethernet cable plugged in, you mean to tell me the Windows 7 PC will CRASH on a daily basis and needs to be restarted every day? o_O
Are you smoking something? Nobody here has claimed anything of the sort.
But Windows does have to be rebooted periodically for updates, FreeNAS does not.

Does FreeNAS give you the ability to run a VPN server so that you can connect to it and have access to your files anywhere in the world?

Does it offer Offline files feature that let you have access to the files even when you're offline and will automatically update the storage server with the most recent copy whenever you're connect to the network?
These abilities are typically not needed for NAS. The point of the stripped-down OSes is that you don't need to have a full-blown Windows (or even Linux) installation in order to share your files with everyone on the network. As I said before, a NAS doesn't need to be very powerful. This is only true if your software isn't a major resource hog.
 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
81
You can run a VPN server on Unraid.


I'm convinced that you are just saying whatever and hoping that something sticks.
 

Ryland

Platinum Member
Aug 9, 2001
2,818
13
81
It's a python script that runs in a console, but there are different versions for different OSes...

*grumble*
LOL, I saw the post about no minesweeper and figured there had to be a way to run some form of it on UNRAID :)

Im now trying to figure out which processor to get. I think that the i3 4330T should be enough for UNRAID, few plex transcode streams and anything else I throw at it.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
Does FreeNAS give you the ability to run a VPN server so that you can connect to it and have access to your files anywhere in the world?

Does it offer Offline files feature that let you have access to the files even when you're offline and will automatically update the storage server with the most recent copy whenever you're connect to the network?
I think you are missing the point of a NAS for some people OP.

A NAS is not just a bunch of shared folders on a network. Optimally a NAS provides your many disks in some sort of RAID array that gives you a single share and some level of protection (whether that is duplication, one disk parity, two disk parity, etc.) for your data while serving that data on your network.

Anything above and beyond that- such as a sickbeard server, or a MySQL server, or a Plex server (just naming random stuff running on my NAS)- is icing on the cake. What matters is the cake, which is the shared array.

Personally, you couldn't PAY ME a reasonable amount to move my data from my Unraid servers to a Windows server. Why? Because there are many advantages to me that my Unraid servers have that a Windows server doesn't have related to my primary goals of a NAS. Heck just losing native SSH would drive me nuts.

With my Unraid servers you could take out the pen drive the OS runs off of and all of my disks that make up my array and move them all to a COMPLETELY different computer (different mobo, sata controller, GPU, etc.) and as long as the new hardware is on the compatibility list the system will start and bring up my array without any fuss.

No asking for activation or drivers, no needing to reinstall the OS, and updates and Flexraid or whatever. The system would boot, my array would come online and my content gets shared again.

I don't care what geewiz bonus features Windows can do for me. I care about as much content uptime as possible and an array that can survive a complete hardware migration.

To each their own, but there are real reasons to avoid using a Windows computer for a NAS.
 
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Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
Well said, Poofy,

If a person is happy with Windows and not FreeNas/Nas4Free/UnRAID/etc., then use it and be happy. Just understand that Network Attached Storage is created for (drumroll) STORAGE that is accessed through your NETWORK. If you like features that you get in a different OS that are not related to storage, then enjoy your full featured OS. If you want all sorts of services and features that have little to nothing to do with networked storage, then get a server...and understand that your server may be better for your needs, but those features don't make it a better NAS.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
To the Windows supporters out there, my NAS/Server is WHS 2011 with FlexRAID and it has been extremely reliable and trouble free. I especially enjoy the fact that I can import and export HDDs with data between the server or any other Windows PC by just plugging and playing. I could literally shut down my server, pull the HDDs out, put one in my tower running Windows, use the data like a standalone drive and then put the drive back in the server, boot up and not miss a beat.

I can bring a 3TB drive full of data, import it into the array, do a parity rebuild overnight and have the data in the array the next morning.
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,824
2,355
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My last FreeNAS box stayed up for 6 years straight, outside of power outages. Zero crashes. Zero maintenance. It's an appliance. If it meets your needs, why not? I'm a fan.

With that said, I recently retired that system. I now have a 4TB USB drive on my wife's Hackintosh acting as our NAS. It gets backed up with Backblaze daily (unlimited cloud backup for $5/mo). One less thing to manage at home. Works great.

So it all depends on your needs & wants. I wanted to get my feet wet with BSD and I wanted to try my hand at a dedicated NAS; FreeNAS fit the bill. Right now, a USB 3.0 external drive is doing just as good of a job off a computer.
 
Feb 25, 2011
16,552
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So... OP.

Couldn't you just install a Linux desktop distro like Ubuntu, and get all the features of both a full server OS, all the features that the NAS people like, and still pay the ever-important $0 price tag?

Because the answer is yes, you could.

The advantage to the NAS OS's is just a happy, convenient front-end for configuration, and a community forum of people using it for the exact same thing you are. (So, support.)
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
641
121
I think you are missing the point of a NAS for some people OP.

A NAS is not just a bunch of shared folders on a network. Optimally a NAS provides your many disks in some sort of RAID array that gives you a single share and some level of protection (whether that is duplication, one disk parity, two disk parity, etc.) for your data while serving that data on your network.

Anything above and beyond that- such as a sickbeard server, or a MySQL server, or a Plex server (just naming random stuff running on my NAS)- is icing on the cake. What matters is the cake, which is the shared array.

Personally, you couldn't PAY ME a reasonable amount to move my data from my Unraid servers to a Windows server. Why? Because there are many advantages to me that my Unraid servers have that a Windows server doesn't have related to my primary goals of a NAS. Heck just losing native SSH would drive me nuts.

With my Unraid servers you could take out the pen drive the OS runs off of and all of my disks that make up my array and move them all to a COMPLETELY different computer (different mobo, sata controller, GPU, etc.) and as long as the new hardware is on the compatibility list the system will start and bring up my array without any fuss.

No asking for activation or drivers, no needing to reinstall the OS, and updates and Flexraid or whatever. The system would boot, my array would come online and my content gets shared again.

I don't care what geewiz bonus features Windows can do for me. I care about as much content uptime as possible and an array that can survive a complete hardware migration.

To each their own, but there are real reasons to avoid using a Windows computer for a NAS.
He clearly doesn't understand what a NAS is for. Maybe he doesn't have a lot of files nor really care about this type of stuff.

There are just too many reasons to even list as to why someone would use a NAS. Steam In Home Streaming is the only reason I'd switch to a Windows server.
 

Ryland

Platinum Member
Aug 9, 2001
2,818
13
81
He clearly doesn't understand what a NAS is for. Maybe he doesn't have a lot of files nor really care about this type of stuff.

There are just too many reasons to even list as to why someone would use a NAS. Steam In Home Streaming is the only reason I'd switch to a Windows server.
I stream to my bluray player from my Synology NAS box so I dont need a windows server for that. About the only reason I would want a windows server is so that I could stream live tv from my Prime tuner.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
641
121
I stream to my bluray player from my Synology NAS box so I dont need a windows server for that. About the only reason I would want a windows server is so that I could stream live tv from my Prime tuner.
Forgot to list that as well. That's the ONLY reason I run a "Windows" server. Except it's just my HTPC gaming box. In reality, I still would rather get a separate UNRAID server box. I would like to have some form of protection on my server.

Also it'd be nice to be able to put my server box with my routers. I currently have 2 networks in my house (For some reason my new router and older router just want use EXTEND mode correctly with all the other devices in the house so I just have 2 separate networks). Makes it frustrating when you always have to switch to the original network for Media. Would be nice to just have the server hooked up to both networks, but I'd need a dedicated server to do so.
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
Does FreeNAS give you the ability to run a VPN server so that you can connect to it and have access to your files anywhere in the world?

Does it offer Offline files feature that let you have access to the files even when you're offline and will automatically update the storage server with the most recent copy whenever you're connect to the network?
I don't know, I don't care, and it is not related to my comment. You're now asking if a NAS can do everything windows can.

Your statement, which I pointed out was incorrect, was the other way around: that windows can do all a NAS can.

People use a NAS because it can do things windows can't. Examples of that are in this thread.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
So, OP...... if you answered your question in your own Original Post, why are you even making this thread?

You ask us why everyone likes their non-Windows NAS and then proceed to tell every unRAID and FreeNAS user that they're stupid because they can't do non-NAS things on their NAS. We get it, you really don't want a NAS, you want a hybrid. Just set up your Windows 7 PC to share a drive or two and stop trolling.
 

Zaap

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2008
7,175
423
126
One of the main reasons I don't use Windows for a NAS (other than cost), is I don't want to reboot my file server on a regular basis.
I don't think I've rebooted my NAS (running Windows 7) for at least 3 or 4 months now.

I used to buy into all the same beliefs- that I needed a server or NAS OS just to run a simple home file server. One day I just got fed up with what had really been a headache (various Linux installs, a few forays into FreeNAS -which in my experience was sloooooooooooow compared to Linux, etc.) and I just installed Windows 7 out of frustration. I planned it to be a temporary thing until I figured out what to try next that wouldn't eventually have me tearing out my hair.

That was about 4 years ago now. To my own surprise, plain ol' Windows 7 works perfectly for me. Box is running 24/7- headless in a media closet.

I notice no slowdowns what-so-ever in performance after months on end of uptime and lots of use every day. I was never intending this to be my NAS OS, but it's worked out just fine, and I realize I was mostly just wasting my time with all the other stuff, because I didn't really need any of it.

I'll probably eventually replace Win7 with Windows server, (something that can handle a lot more storage potential and proper redundancy than what I currently have) but I'm completely done with Linux and FreeNAS never impressed me in the least. (I'm sure it's gotten way better since I tried it).
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
I don't think I've rebooted my NAS (running Windows 7) for at least 3 or 4 months now.

I used to buy into all the same beliefs- that I needed a server or NAS OS just to run a simple home file server. One day I just got fed up with what had really been a headache (various Linux installs, a few forays into FreeNAS -which in my experience was sloooooooooooow compared to Linux, etc.) and I just installed Windows 7 out of frustration. I planned it to be a temporary thing until I figured out what to try next that wouldn't eventually have me tearing out my hair.

That was about 4 years ago now. To my own surprise, plain ol' Windows 7 works perfectly for me. Box is running 24/7- headless in a media closet.

If it's running perfectly for you, then no reason to change. I run Windows 7 for my theater pc (damn Intel/Microsoft refusing to write Win8 drivers for Clarksdale integrated graphics), Windows 8.1 on my main desktop, and Linux Mint 16 on my fileserver that I like to play and learn on while leaving a Zyxel NAS box online all the time for my movies and music. I used to run Nas4Free, and it was fast and reliable, but moving to Linux Mint lets me actually use the computer when I'm tying up the main box (kvm switch - gotta love them).

I don't fault anyone for ever finding what works best for them and going against conventional wisdom (okay, admittedly I found fault recently when a guy was talking about ripping blu-rays into 2-3gb files...but you have to excuse the audiophile/videophile in me.) As long as you make an informed decision, do your thing. I just think the OP - and to a lesser extent, you in your first sentence - need to understand that just because Windows does what you want doesn't mean everyone with a traditional NAS is ill-informed or following the crowd. I don't want a headless Windows 7 machine. If I'm going to set up a file server, especially a headless one, I don't want to spend towards a hundred dollars for an OS that I find less reliable than open source. But that's just me and my needs.
 

Noo

Senior member
Oct 11, 2013
387
10
81
I don't think I've rebooted my NAS (running Windows 7) for at least 3 or 4 months now.

I used to buy into all the same beliefs- that I needed a server or NAS OS just to run a simple home file server. One day I just got fed up with what had really been a headache (various Linux installs, a few forays into FreeNAS -which in my experience was sloooooooooooow compared to Linux, etc.) and I just installed Windows 7 out of frustration. I planned it to be a temporary thing until I figured out what to try next that wouldn't eventually have me tearing out my hair.

That was about 4 years ago now. To my own surprise, plain ol' Windows 7 works perfectly for me. Box is running 24/7- headless in a media closet.

I notice no slowdowns what-so-ever in performance after months on end of uptime and lots of use every day. I was never intending this to be my NAS OS, but it's worked out just fine, and I realize I was mostly just wasting my time with all the other stuff, because I didn't really need any of it.

I'll probably eventually replace Win7 with Windows server, (something that can handle a lot more storage potential and proper redundancy than what I currently have) but I'm completely done with Linux and FreeNAS never impressed me in the least. (I'm sure it's gotten way better since I tried it).
That's what I'm saying since post #1. But don't let the 3 villagers tential, digirible, and smithbret see your post, they'll blow a lid. You obviously don't know what a NAS is or is participating the in the trolling.:whiste:
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
That's what I'm saying since post #1. But don't let the 3 villagers tential, digirible, and smithbret see your post, they'll blow a lid. You obviously don't know what a NAS is or is participating the in the trolling.:whiste:
My server runs on WHS 2011, dumbass.

We just don't get the point of your post.
 
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Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
But don't let the 3 villagers tential, digirible, and smithbret see your post, they'll blow a lid. You obviously don't know what a NAS is or is participating the in the trolling.
Which one of them hypnotized you and made you start this thread?
 

Zaap

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2008
7,175
423
126
I just think the OP - and to a lesser extent, you in your first sentence - need to understand that just because Windows does what you want doesn't mean everyone with a traditional NAS is ill-informed or following the crowd. I don't want a headless Windows 7 machine. If I'm going to set up a file server, especially a headless one, I don't want to spend towards a hundred dollars for an OS that I find less reliable than open source. But that's just me and my needs.
I don't disagree with you at all. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to be combative or suggest others are somehow "wrong" for their choices. I'm certainly not claiming to be any expert, and more, I don't want to be an expert to run a simple file server.

What I meant by "buying into beliefs" was responding to the idea that Windows *must* be rebooted all the time or that it constantly gets slower and slower until it dies and all the usual things (so therefore you *must* use a server or NAS OS for this task) but it's been to my surprise that hasn't been the case.

I say to each his own, and I'm glad there's tons of choice.
 

AE-Ruffy

Member
Apr 15, 2012
122
0
76
My freenas box uses 34watts during normal use, a bit more when I plex, not much more when scrubbing weekly, and it goes down from there. It's always on, but powers down drives when needed, sickbeard/couch handle all my media needs.

This allows my desktop to sleep more, no reason to have my machine waste power when I'm not around.

Beyond that I run RaidZ2x2 for reliability. My data matters to me, most of it can be recreated/redownloaded. Not my family pictures.
 
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