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Networks Now getting a Micro Server

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by j_jay4, 20 Aug 2013.

  1. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    I want to upgrade my home network with some storage. I want to keep all my documents and media (Films, Photos, music) in one place and access it from my PC over a wired connection and from laptops (and mobiles?) wirelessly and then through the internet when I'm out and about. I also have a standard USB printer and so connecting that up to the NAS/router would be brilliant too.

    So I was going to get a Synology DS112j (£115) and a WD Red 3 TB (£115) and hook it up to my BT Home Hub. But then I realised the home hub has 10/100 Ethernet ports and it would be slow transferring data to the NAS box.

    So I had a look at an ASUS DSL-n55u (£93) that has got Gb Ethernet ports. It also has 2 USB ports so you can connect your printer and external storage. So this product could do everything I want in one, just buy an enclosure and a WD Red 3 TB? Granted the USB 2.0 speeds would be very slow for large uploads, but I could load everything onto the drive before connecting to the router. Access times should then be ok for films, docs and music?

    Ideally, living in London and with the BT socket in the living room, the least number of boxes the better. I think getting the ASUS router will relieve me of a home hub router and an openreach modem? This would be a bonus.

    So which combo would be best, performance wise and value wise?

    NAS box with current BT home hub, cost £230
    Router + External HD, cost £250
    Router + NAS box, cost £320
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2013
  2. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    If you plug an external HDD in to a router you usually need to format it on the router as it uses a linux partition.

    As you've got a separate modem do we assume you've got vDSL (Infinity)?
     
  3. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    I'd personally steer clear of a USB HDD plugged into a router, purely a) for speed and b) proprietary disc format.

    If you've got an Openreach modem then as saspro says, it sounds like you've got Infinity, so shaking that will be a pain. You're probably stuck with the Openreach modem on top of any new router you buy.

    Of course, what you do depends on budget. I'd be minded to go for a router and NAS combo. Much more future proof :)
     
  4. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    Did not realise this. Can I not format it on the router, connect to PC, upload data?

    Yes we have got BT Infinity.

    Under what circumstances would I be able to use the ASUS model as a modem and a router?
     
  5. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    If you had straight ADSL then you'd be laughing, however vDSL is a bit different, and not just a straight swap for an ADSL modem - you'll likely need the version of that ASUS router that has an RJ45 WAN port, if you're keen for the ASUS router in general.
     
  6. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    I knew I didn't know anything about networking. Now I'm glad I asked.

    So the ASUS DSL-N55u wouldn't work as it's an ADSL modem and I've got vDSL. So I need to keep my openreach vDSL modem. Are there any vDSL modem routers? I guess if such a thing did exist that it would be useless to me if I moved from BT? Would an ASUS RT-N66U do the trick then?
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2013
  7. lancer778544

    lancer778544 Well-Known Member

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    There's a Draytek router I think with an VDSL modem built in but I can't for the life of me remember the model number...

    A simpler and probably cheaper option would be to get the N66U like you said. In that config, you'd keep the Openreach modem and just plug the Asus into that, replacing the Home Hub.

    Edit: Its the Vigor 2750 Series but it looks like its been replaced by the 2760 Series. The 2760n is £140.90.
     
  8. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    The N66U would be just dandy, and then if you moved to a different area/provider later, you could just get an Ethernet DSL modem like the Draytek Vigor 120 and plug that in! :thumb:
     
  9. davefelcher

    davefelcher New Member

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    May I muddy the water with another option?
    A small desktop gigabit switch would be cheap; get one of those and the NAS box.
    Also for less than £50 more (which you'd have by buying a switch rather than a router) you could get the Synology DS213j which would give you some expandability in the future.
     
  10. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    Why get a Synology when the HP Micro Server is much cheaper and we can help you set it up to do that and much much more?


    (use the forum search too and look for HP micro there are many interesting threads on the little beauty)
     
  11. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    That's a fair point actually, although I see the appeal of a Synology NAS - the embedded apps etc are very good!

    It's down to the OP - what do you want from your network storage - a 'dumb' disc, or something a bit more snazzy?
     
  12. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    Might look around and see if you can get the model of modem router I have, ZTE H368N. It has adsl, vdsl, 3G support and allows bonding. It also has wifi N, voip, printer and disk sharing. The disk sharing allows for use of exfat so you can easily plug it into a windows machine for management tasks if you need. I got mine on ebay new for really cheap as surplus from some dutch isp KPN. It's configuration is a bit hard to get around as it is not very well laid out, but it has been rock solid and performs as expected. I do have a full fat home server I use generally for all media. I only use the KPN share for my older legacy machines that can't connect to that, and occasionally for guests.

    Another way you could go though is if you roll your own NAS. I would always go this way over buying something like a synology. This way you can get say a large enough case to house up to X disks as you may need, and use lower cost more powerful and flexible standard desktop components. You can also have it take care of router role if you say were to get a 4xport gigabit pcie card, wifi card, etc as you require. You can spend a lot less this way, and with the flexibility of standard hardware components it's so much easier to upgrade or repurpose at any time.
     
  13. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    In the UK you have to use the Openreach supplied router on vDSL. They don't let you change them over.
     
  14. Votick

    Votick My CPU's hot but my core runs cold.

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    Really?

    All I heard was your not allowed to sell it and if you move house that modem has to remain in the property.
     
  15. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    Yeah I've just seen the DSL-N66U in Scan's ASUS catalogue which has VDSL. Can't find it anywhere on the net though. I assume its not released yet.

    Are you talking about getting the synology DS213air and a switch? I will need wifi. So I'd plug the WAN into the switch, the NAS box and my PC, thought you should have a router for connecting to the outside world? Not sure I'm understanding this correctly.

    I only have a 1 TB drive at the moment, which isn't full so I was getting a 3 TB drive for future proofing and a single drive synology DS to save space. Although, I do understand you can never have too much storage and I do keep looking at my DVD collection and thinking that would be better stored digitally.

    There seems to be a lot of love for the Micro Server. I understand it has PCIe slots, could I get a TV card in there? Might make a great HTPC in the future but at the moment I don't have an office for a separate Gaming PC and having another PC under the TV would take up too much room.

    The original thing that attracted me to the synology NAS devices was seeing someone at work access all their holiday photos. I think they have apps so you can get access through your phone/tablets too. Not sure how easy it would be to make the micro server that accessible.

    Seems hard to source

    Again maybe this is something to consider when I separate my Gaming PC and HTPC but at the moment I only have space for one machine.
     
  16. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    Do you need information from BT to switch the modems? If not and the vDSL routers work. I can't see how BT would stop you.
     
  17. hughwi

    hughwi Well-Known Member

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    I faced the same problem as you, as the supplied Thomson router was rubbish, I purchased a NT66U and its been great.
     
  18. davefelcher

    davefelcher New Member

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    No, the DS213j, it doesn't do wifi. It got a good review in Custom PC the other month.
    You would need to keep your BT router. You'd plug that and everything else into the switch. Not sure how many ports you require but some of the 5 port switches are tiny. You could hide it behind the NAS box.
     
  19. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

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    My experience of vDSL and Draytek routers is all bad. Only from a BT point of view, though, it just seems that they keep dropping the vDSL line, changing profile, and reconnecting, anything up to five times an hour.

    IMO BT Infinity, leave their white box, use a WAN2 port on a router, or a different vDSL router that's not as **** as the Drayteks are with BT Infinity.
     
  20. j_jay4

    j_jay4 Member

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    I understand now, So I would have gigabit from PC to NAS through the switch, but not gigabit to the net. Sounds like a stupid question but does the 10/100 Ethernet of the home hub limit download speeds? I know 100 Mb/s is a lot higher than the 16 Mb/s BT are supposed to be giving me but on fibre it might affect the 60 Mb/s you can get. The new router still gives wireless speeds and coverage which will trump the home hub hands down.

    I didn't think of Draytek as a quality brand. So you had no trouble with BT in replacing their vDSL modem?

    It seems to be difficult to get hold of a VDSL modem router. I think I will go with the ASUS RT-N66U then be annoyed when I see the DSL-N66U in online stores, although I will have avoided the hassle of replacing the vDSL modem
     

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