Are the Best NAS Options Free?

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I’ve reviewed a few different NAS devices in the past. Do you have a PC sitting around with hard drives in it, that isn’t being used for anything? There’s a utility that can turn any old PC into an NAS device. The utility at FreeNAS is open-source!

FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, AFP, RSYNC, iSCSI protocols, S.M.A.R.T., local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 32MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.

They run through everything you need to get you up and going. You can boot off of a CD or even a USB stick. You’ll have probably the most extensive interface you’ve ever seen for NAS. I’ve had paid programs for this in the past, and they weren’t even this extensive. This is running from Linux, and is just seriously extensive. Everything you can think of you might need from a file storage machine, you will find within Free NAS.

If you have an old computer sitting around collecting dust, you might as well convert it into something. Serve yourself up some files! Don’t leave them on your computer. Turn your old machine into a file server, and make your life easier.


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9 thoughts on “Are the Best NAS Options Free?”

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  5. Openfiler is better. It doesn’t use UFS as its filesystem like FreeNAS. For my SAN/NAS needs, openfiler fits the bill…AND it can run as a VM.

  6. I’ve thought about using an old PC for this type of work, but the power costs of leaving it on 24×7 seem to outweigh the costs of just buying a dedicated, low-power NAS.

  7. I’ll have to give FreeNas a try again. I used it a year ago and it was very fussy about drives and the software RAID features were very lacking in documentation and interface feedback.

    In the course of building the array you had to essentially GUESS if it was done or not and then reboot for it to show. If you didn’t wait long enough you were back to square one. I finally settled for letting it build overnight to be sure.

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