I'm looking for a large capacity backup system to store all my files, pictures, and home HD camera movies. From the looks of it I have three options:
1) A dual USB hard drive like the WD 2x1 TB unit that can be configured in a Raid 1 for reliability.
-Can be plugged into my router for local network access
-Can be used to backup PS3 data (direct connection)
-Cheap to buy
-Can't be expanded
-PS3 can not access via network, only directly connected
2) Use a cheap/old computer and run either Windows or FreeNAS
-Expandable (numerous SATA and USB ports)
-Can run a web server and be accessed on the internet, as well as locally
-Cheap initially (I own an old computer I'm not using)
-Raid 1 or Raid 5
-Extreamly high power usage compared to other options (5 or more times the power usage even when idle)
3) NAS like the D-Link DNS-323 2 bay enclosure
-FTP access over the internet
-Not really upgradable (max drive size 1.5TB)
-Not expandable (2 drive limit)
I'm not really sure what to get. Using a cheap/old computer has the most possible features, and has the lowest initial cost. But the operating costs are HUGE. Every 100 watts that it uses would cost me about $13.50 a month ($162 a year) if left on 24/7. An idle computer (with no monitor on) with the hard drives off still consumes 100+ watts. In comparison, the D-Link NAS uses something like 25 watts when active, and 16 watts when idle.
So even though the computer would be the cheapest to get going due to the fact that I already own an old computer and I would only have to buy the hard drives, in just one year it would cost more than either of the other options because of the power it uses.
I think the USB drive is the worst option due to its limitations, I just can't decide if the benefits of using a computer outweight the extream costs to keep it running. What do you think?
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