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NAS for Photo Relief

February 21, 2007

I had to do something. My Pictures folder is approaching 50 gigabytes in size. I take lots of photos and have for years. And this is what you get. What to do? After weighing the options I decided to purchase a network attached storage device (NAS).

What does it do? Picture an external hard drive. The kind you plug into your computer for extra storage. The difference is with the NAS you don’t have to plug it into the computer because it’s on your network. Any computer in my apartment can access it from anywhere, even wirelessly. This way I never have to schlep out the drive, plug in the power supply, plug in the USB cable and then access my photos. Instead I simply browse my network. My photos are always online and available.

So I ordered myself a 250-gig LaCie NAS for $110. I’d rather not spend the money, but I have little choice. I have no more room on my laptop and I’m certainly not going to start throwing away existing photos. So there you have it.

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  1. For anyone with a lot of pictures, or any other data for that matter, an external drive for both storage and/or backup is essential. Particularly considering the price of drives these days. I use one external as a “clone” of my system drive. I then update that clone every month or so. I use a different external to backup photos, various application projects, and other personal data. The initial “cloning” can take a bit. But once it’s done updating it takes no time at all. Again, with todays prices, it’s essential.


  2. I back up to duplicate CDs, (no DVD-R), and then delete. And I have set up a catalog of thumbnails from each disk to make browsing easier.

    Though for general use involving EVERYTHING, I may have to pick up myself a NAS drive.


  3. I have nothing but bad things to say about LaCie. I bought a drive from them a while back and after a few months it stopped working. I tried calling and emailing to no avail so after two more months I pulled the thing apart and found that the FW board was fried but the drive was okay. If you can still cancel your order I recommend you look at other brands.


  4. I was going to mention that, but as I understand it (and in my experience) it’s their firewire drives (big disk) that are in question. Turns out the power supply they use isn’t sufficient and the drives keep unmounting and causing lock up problems. I have two of their Porsche 250gb drives and they work fine. The big disk that I have I use usb2 and that seems to be fine. If I use it as a firewire drive it locks everything up. For all I know, the NAS drives are fine. But, I wouldn’t recommend LaCie normally.


  5. I use external hard drives for backup, but they are subject to the same corruption, failures and viruses as most re-writable magnetic media. For really important information and photos, I also backup to DVD which also allows me to store the data in more secure locations (including off-site) in case of fire, theft or tornadoes. They are not indestructible, but they do offer an additional level of secure backup at an affordable cost.

    I’ve had good luck with Maxtor One Touch and Western Digital ‘My Book” external drives. On Black Friday afternoon, Best Buy still had WD 250GB externals for $49.99 – I cleaned them out of their last four in stock. I’ve always wanted to have a terabyte of storage.


  6. I read reviews of several inexpensive name-brand NAS products at Amazon and this one was regarded favorably by it’s users. I guess we’ll see!


  7. I backup all my photos to Amazon’s S3, which I trust pretty well, and is pretty damn cheap.



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