My mother in law has asked me to organise a system for her that can keep all her files in the one place that can be accessed from different computers. She wants it for her home office which has about 3 or 4 people working there.
I have made my self a 6 disk NAS with a mini ITX and FREENAS but for her i was looking at just getting a Pre-made 4 bay NAS like one of the $500ish ones. I would say she wants to stay documents on there. If i was to build it, it would probably cost a couple of hundred more due to the ZFS file system that FREENAS uses but would probably be more redundant.
Advice on building my own vs pre-made would be nice.
I haven't used freenas myself but I would imagine for their and your convenience a pre-built would be better.
synology makes some pretty compelling products and if speed is not really a limiting factor than their great the whole log in from anywhere and manage your system is also pretty fantastic.
as far as freenas goes a cheap itx board and 8gb of ram with a couple 2tb disks is pretty cheap theses days and would be a great option I would recommend having it back up to an external drive or cloud service like crashplan but you could defiantly get something going home built for $400
If it's being used in an office environment where important documents are going to be stored upon it, I'd just get a prebuilt as if you build something yourself you're going to have to accept liability for ANYTHING that goes wrong with it... and if it's company data being lost then you'll find yourself in a bit of a pickle. You're more likely to be the one having to pay for replacement parts too. If it's prebuilt you're more likely not to have hassle of having to repair the thing yourself, at least when it's within its warranty.
Something like the Synology DS214se with 2x 1TB HDDs in RAID 1 should do for her needs (as far as i can tell). Ofcourse you can adjust for more storage capacity by going for larger drives.
I personally have a WD My Cloud 4TB as a media storage device and its working well. The interface is also easy to use. Creating and managing users is a breeze. It has many other snazzy features that get advertised but that dont work 100%, i dont use any of them and i cant complain. I mostly bought it cause i got an amazing deal on it :D
I think a 4-bay NAS is a little much for home office.
Thanks for all the information guys. Has anyone had experience with the netgear 314 4 bay nas or similar products?