More space for stuff

Finweek English Edition - - NEWS -

Our dig­i­tal as­sets take up more space than ever with large col­lec­tions of photographs, movies and other files fill­ing hard drives to ca­pac­ity. The mod­ern home is start­ing to re­sem­ble an of­fice en­vi­ron­ment in terms of its IT re­quire­ments – you need a good lo­cal area net­work at home, along with a backup plan for your data and, in­creas­ingly, a net­work-at­tached stor­age (NAS) de­vice. The lat­ter is like a big hard drive con­nected to your net­work and shared by mul­ti­ple com­put­ers. Western Dig­i­tal re­cently launched a spe­cial drive specif­i­cally for this use – just the thing for home and small of­fices where hard drives are over­flow­ing.

The Western Dig­i­tal Red hard drives are de­signed to de­liver large ca­pac­i­ties with high re­li­a­bil­ity so they are best suited for com­puter back­ups, but also work well for stor­ing me­dia and other files to be shared on a home or of­fice net­work. We were sent a batch of th­ese drives to test with a Synology DiskS­ta­tion NAS prod­uct with slots for two hard drives. You can choose to use the com­bined to­tal stor­age of both hard drives in the DiskS­ta­tion or to halve the stor­age space and pro­tect your data by mir­ror­ing it across both drives.

We tested the set-up with two 4TB Red drives, which we opted to con­fig­ure for high pro­tec­tion, so that gives us a to­tal of 4TB for file stor­age, but if one of the two hard drives fail we can re­place it with­out los­ing any data.

The DiskS­ta­tion is plugged di­rectly into the router that pow­ers your net­work for best re­sults. It is then au­to­mat­i­cally de­tected by soft­ware run­ning on your com­puter. Set­ting it up was a tad tech­ni­cal, but there is good doc­u­men­ta­tion in the box and you can get by with de­fault set­tings that should work for most peo­ple. The Synology web­site also has great tu­to­ri­als and in­for­ma­tion for spe­cific set-ups.

One of the things that we did in test­ing was set­ting up the DiskS­ta­tion to al­low Ap­ple Mac com­put­ers to use it for their built-in Time Ma­chine backup sys­tem. Do­ing so wasn’t very in­tu­itive, but sim­ple once we fol­lowed a guide on the Synology web­site.

With about half an hour of fid­dling around we had the DiskS­ta­tion con­fig­ured and show­ing up on all the com­put­ers on the net­work. My Mac started back­ing up to it via Time Ma­chine and we were able to trans­fer some me­dia files. The sys­tem even has me­dia cen­tre soft­ware

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