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New Linksys Network Storage Link

JohnBullard

Active Member
Would this work in an HTPC type environment?

For example having the USB drive store the MP3 files? Then any PC on the network could access the music?
 

theAberdeenKid

Active Member
It would be like any share on a network.
That’s what I'm thinking of getting this for, to store all my MM files for access to any PC\Server on my home network. This way I can have multiple programs and PC's utilize the 'MM database" simultaneously with out tying up a PC.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
I don't get it. Why not simply connect the USB drives directly to your PC? They are still accessible to any machine on the network. What does this device by you?
 

theAberdeenKid

Active Member
Frankly there is nothing you could do with this that you couldn't do with a PC. Its just a matter of preference. Such as you don't have to have a printer on a print server you could directly connect it to a PC and share it. I just like having a stand alone file server with utilities for my data. It can be helpful distributing your resources, such as this week when my workstation at home decided to crap out. Now anything I have on or connected that system is down and I have to set up and configure another system if I need those resources from another PC. Like my wife had a copy of her resume on my workstation and now I have to remove the hard drive to recover the document.
 

smee

Senior Member
The downside of this unit is that it formats the drive using a Linux file system (EXT2 or EXT3, I forget which). These are not supported under Windows. You can't disconnect the drive from the Linksys and plug it into your Windows PC and read what's on it.

Note: This is not entirely correct. There are a couple third-party projects out there that add this capability to Windows. However, one of them is read-only - you can't write to the drive. I don't know about the other. I'm not sure I'd want to deal with these.

This limitation is what killed this for me. If the Linksys box dies, you lose your data unless you have access to a Linux box.
 

smee

Senior Member
Just to make sure my post above is clear...

While the drives are plugged into the Linksys box and the box is on your network, Windows machines are able to read and write files. The box uses SAMBA (I think) to make the drives look like Windows shares.

It's only if you want to use the drives without the Linksys box that you'll need a Linux machine.
 

theAberdeenKid

Active Member
While the drives are plugged into the Linksys box and the box is on your network, Windows machines are able to read and write files
.
Yes this is correct


It's only if you want to use the drives without the Linksys box that you'll need a Linux machine.

This is true but since I have Linux boxes on my home network this is not an obstacle for me.
For the most part I will use this for data access. I will have 2 backups of the info living on the drive (one on site/one off site) So if it dies (even without a linux box) it wouldnt be a big deal.

I have a mixed platform at home and work so I'm not uncomfotable about having this appliance being a linux platform. But those who run a strictly Windows platform maybe should think twice.
I do appologize for not stressing details but I usually just post deals and let the individual research and decide if the respective item is right for them.
 

smee

Senior Member
theAberdeenKid said:
I do appologize for not stressing details but I usually just post deals and let the individual research and decide if the respective item is right for them.
Certainly no need for an apology. I still think this is a good deal. If it weren't for the file system issue, I'd probably jump on it (just 'cause I think it's pretty cool - I have no trouble with mounting drives in PCs that are always on).

It does seem to me like they got it almost right, but not quite. The benefit of external drives is really being able to connect them to other machines. Since they are not going to be connectable to the majority of users' machines, they might as well have made them internal to the Linksys box, not external. It would make for a much neater, cleaner install (no cables).

If I can connect the external drive to my PC, I can download files to it at a much faster speed than over the network. This way, I could connect it directly to the PC and copy all music and video files quickly. Then, I connect it to the Linksys box again to share with the rest of the network. Copying large files across a networks (even a 100Mbps network) is not very fast - especially if you have a lot of multi-gig video files.
 

jlehnert

Active Member
Copying large files across a networks (even a 100Mbps network) is not very fast

Time to upgrade to 1000Mbps. Last time I dropped by a computer show, it looked like they were getting down to a reasonable price. Not sure about the switches though.
 

smee

Senior Member
jlehnert said:
Copying large files across a networks (even a 100Mbps network) is not very fast

Time to upgrade to 1000Mbps. Last time I dropped by a computer show, it looked like they were getting down to a reasonable price. Not sure about the switches though.
The NSLU2 isn't gigabit.

A quick check shows gigabit switches in the $60 range for 5-port up to $120 for 8-port. I'm sure there are cheaper available but this is still pretty expensive. Of course, give it six months...

For the time being, I think I'll stick with the 24-port rack mount 100Mbps Dell switch that cost about the same as a 5-port gigabit (of course, I'm only using 6 out of the 24 ports).

For a lot of home uses, I don't really think gigabit is necessary for day-to-day stuff. You don't need it to stream video or audio, for example. It's only when you want to move large amounts of data back and forth. I'd be perfectly willing to disconnect a drive and move it back and forth to copy large amounts of data onto it.
 
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