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[OP]
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Aug 20, 2007
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Kitchener

NAS and External Drives

Hi,

I'm thinking of buying a Synology NAS, diskless and rather than buy an internal HDD, just use my existing external drives plugged into the USB3.0 port in the back to share my media. Currently, my externals are connected to an old WDlive box but due to 100mbit LAN I can't transfer anything to these externals at more than 6MB/s. I was thinking that if I replaced the WDlive with the Synology I can get higher transfer speeds. I don't use the WDlive tv for anything other than as a SMB server since I have a shield.
Thoughts, is it possible to by a diskless NAS and then just plug in my externals to the back? Would that work?
12 replies
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Apr 18, 2009
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as supposed spending the money to buy a NAS just to make your external drives network accessible via gigabit lan, can't you just plug them to your PC or router?

the main use of NAS, besides network sharing, is its RAID functionality, and it appears that you are not going to use that if your drives are just going to be connected via USB
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Nov 23, 2004
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Are the drives shuckable? If they're 3.5" externals you could always load them straight into the NAS that way too. USB 3.0 should in theory give pretty solid performance too, but if you have a bunch of drives and they all share the same USB controller then you're likely to see slower speeds if using a bunch all at once.

When I had a synology NAS before going DIY, I was exceeding 100MB/s transfer speeds on my gigabit LAN with the drives installed internally.

I've also built a "for fun" NAS project using a USB 3.0 drive on a USB 3.0 Rock64 mini PC board and speeds ranged from 60-113MB/s depending on file size - and that's copying LAN to USB 3.0 which is more like your scenario here.

In short - yes I think you should see tremendous performance gains, assuming the drives themselves don't have crap performance.
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Apr 29, 2018
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Same, even with cheapo Seagate Greens in RAID1 on my Synology I get 80-100MiBps writes. The advantage of a Synology NAS is the GUI. A lot of the linux CLI has been abstracted away to a Web GUI and works really well. Plus they have their custom Btrfs implementation which can do bitrot checks & built-in RAID options (which I highly advise people not to use and stick with RAID1)

But if you just need a Network attached USB port, how bout just getting a USB capable router. Many ISP routers also have basic file sharing built-in via a USB port. For more ports, you could just get an rPi. Even the basic zero or whatever should run SMB just fine.
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[OP]
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Aug 20, 2007
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Kitchener
Thanks for that comment on raspberry. I hadn't thought about that approach and a lot less cost. Unfortunately my mesh system doesn't have a usb port to connect. I'm not really interested in RAID etc, just faster networking capability.

I don't want to have a PC running 24/7 due to energy consumption. I wish they just made a multi USB device that you could connect to a ethernet port for the the purpose of adding network shares
kramer1 wrote: Same, even with cheapo Seagate Greens in RAID1 on my Synology I get 80-100MiBps writes. The advantage of a Synology NAS is the GUI. A lot of the linux CLI has been abstracted away to a Web GUI and works really well. Plus they have their custom Btrfs implementation which can do bitrot checks & built-in RAID options (which I highly advise people not to use and stick with RAID1)

But if you just need a Network attached USB port, how bout just getting a USB capable router. Many ISP routers also have basic file sharing built-in via a USB port. For more ports, you could just get an rPi. Even the basic zero or whatever should run SMB just fine.
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Apr 29, 2018
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So apparently USB NAS adapters are a thing. No idea how well they work, but might be worth checking
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Dec 6, 2008
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chroma_cg wrote: as supposed spending the money to buy a NAS just to make your external drives network accessible via gigabit lan, can't you just plug them to your PC or router?

the main use of NAS, besides network sharing, is its RAID functionality, and it appears that you are not going to use that if your drives are just going to be connected via USB
Why would you want to expose your hard drive to hacking via a router. Unless there is some hardware firewall you are using
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Sep 16, 2013
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Synology needs at least one internal drive to store the operating system.
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itemsale2003 wrote: Why would you want to expose your hard drive to hacking via a router. Unless there is some hardware firewall you are using
Unless they are shared over the internet, it should not be a problem.
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kramer1 wrote: Unless they are shared over the internet, it should not be a problem.
It will be if connected to the router. Isnt it the same thing as your internet works via the router as well
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itemsale2003 wrote: It will be if connected to the router. Isnt it the same thing as your internet works via the router as well
Nope. You need to enable port forwarding to allow Internet access or have UPnP enabled and then a local device can request for a port from the router. This will allow any data coming on that port of the router, to be forwarded onto the local device.

By default all routers have NAT enabled. This will block any incoming connection to any local device from the internet, unless requested by the local device.
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[OP]
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Aug 20, 2007
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Any links? Never found or seen one
kramer1 wrote: So apparently USB NAS adapters are a thing. No idea how well they work, but might be worth checking
Sr. Member
Feb 4, 2011
694 posts
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I would suggest getting an used PC with Intel gen 4 CPU. They consume very less power. If you care for redundancy, you can install unraid and start expanding

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