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I want to install a home based server to hold my backups. I have discounted using a paid service like Dropbox or several other similar cloud services, because they are too expensive (example: Dropbox = 1$/GB per year.) I currently have 2x2TB external HDDs that I alternate for my Mac using Time Machine and then I keep all my media files on another 2TB external HDD backup to the last 2TB external HDD. They are all kept in the same place next to the computer and I am aware that in case of a fire or a burglary they all might disappear, so every time the house is empty I hide some of the HDDs. Not an elegant solution.

There are 2 possibilities: First take the backup disks to another part of our (large) house where they will be hidden and no-where near the computer and then link them directly to the Mac. BUT HOW? long USB? Powerline RJ45? The HDDs of course do not have RJ45 sockets.

Secondly use a home server like a WD cloud server hidden away as above. These are called NAS servers. Which ones are good but not ridiculously expensive (up to say 300$) using some of those 2TB HDDs in it or connected by USB?

A completely off site server might be too slow. We live in the country and although the Internet connection is good I think it might be a problem.

I'd appreciate ideas and even a short discussion.


asked Jul 20 '14 at 08:35

AitchB's gravatar image


edited Jul 20 '14 at 08:46

Have you thought about installing removable hard drives in your computer? I have that. Once the computer is shut down it takes literally a second to pop the drives out. NAS devices are unreliable. I work for a large corporation and they have lots off issues, not the best solution if you ask me, plus a NAS box isn't easy to move/hide like what you are trying to do, unless you pop the drives out as well.

Anyway, I use removable drives at home and it works great. Here is what I am talking about, depending on what you get you can either get a tray or no tray. The tray would protect the drive when you pop it out. Each drive would need its own tray, unless you swap the drive out within the tray. Below is a listing of all the different removable options.


Here is what I currently am using, no tray needed. You open the door and the hard drive slides out, you can slide in a new drive to replace or put the same one back in. This is very effective and eliminates the need to open the case up when you need to replace a drive.


Those are some ideas. I hope it helps.


answered Jul 22 '14 at 13:00

zines's gravatar image


Not a bad idea. I don't have problems with quickly disconnecting the HDDs that are connected to the iMac and hiding them on or offsite. I'd rather have a NAS hidden a long way from the computer (we have a large house and so this is possible.) Pricewise the (4) tray solution is actually about the same price or more than a WD Cloud server. Can you tell me how the HDDs in the trays are connected to the computer and will this work with Macs?

(Jul 25 '14 at 04:50) AitchB AitchB's gravatar image

I'm not sure how the 4 bay one works that you are questioning, but the individual one is what I have. This takes up a bay in the computer, so I have 2 DVD drives and then 3 of these removable bays in the front of my computer. These hook up to the board using SATA connectors, just like you would hook up any other hard drive. Then the hard drive slides in and out, it automatically lines up with the removable bay connectors that are inside and there is nothing further you have to do. They also have ATA removable ones, but I doubt you are using anything that old. As far as a Mac goes, I don't see why it wouldn't work. A Mac uses the same type of connectors, SATA, so it should work, as long as you have the bay room in the front of the computer. I actually thought I saw that they had a solid state drive removable too, if you are using one of those.

I don't know much about the WD Cloud Sever, but isn't that a yearly or monthly charge? These things you buy once and you aren't charged again, so from that standpoint wouldn't that be cheaper than a recurring charge every month or year? The individual bays are only about $20 after shipping, which isn't bad. I've had my removables for at least four years now. I think I might actually be pushing six years. My computer is getting old, but I spent a lot on it when I first got it and it's still fast. That was what I was hoping for, so I didn't have to be one of those people that buys a new one every other year.

Kingwin, the company that makes the removable drive bays seems like a good company. When I first got my computer (custom built) one of the bays went bad after a month. I called and requested an RMA, sent mine in and they gave me a new one, customer service was good. I actually ended up receiving two new ones instead of just one, so now I have a spare, lol. Not sure why they sent me two, but that's OK. After all these years they are working fine.

Now on the other hand I have dealt with NAS stuff many times at work. I understand that each company is going to be different, but I'm sure the process will be similar. If a hard drive fails in a NAS, which seems to happen a lot, they want you to try all this different stuff to try to get it to work. They are trying to determine if it is the NAS box or the drive. Not only do the NAS drives fail a lot, the entire box fails. Then when something happens you have to create dump files, send them attachments, do several other things, just for them to check to se if they will replace it or not. It is a long process that takes days and sometimes weeks before they finally even ship something out to you, then you have to wait to get it. That one issue took over a month to resolve, way too long in my opinion. I also don't know who actually owns the drives themselves at work, if the NAS company does or we do, from what I gather I am fairly certain the NAS company does because often when a drive is bad and still under warrantee they will send out a new drive. Communication responses are very slow as well and often confusing as they miss or respond back with something unrelated. I'm just not impressed, but like I said, maybe another company would be better and the products more reliable. I would also prefer to reframe from saying which company this is. If I dealt with them personally for my personal home stuff, I wouldn't have a problem listing them, but since it is work, well I would rather not list their name, even though they have nothing to do with our company other than we contract or buy the NAS boxes through them. We have their equipment all over the USA and several other countries as well, so yeah, I deal with this a fair amount.

Something else that often happens with NAS stuff when one drive bay goes bad in the NAS and it can no longer read a drive. Since the NAS is basically a box, they have to replace the whole NAS box instead of replacing that one drive bay. I don't know, I'm just not impressed with NAS at all. Don't get me wrong, I think the concept is very excellent, I just don't like the reliability and customer service for them.

If you find this information helpful at all, please vote the answer up, or even mark it as the solution as well (if you like it and it works for you).


answered Jul 25 '14 at 08:11

zines's gravatar image


edited Jul 25 '14 at 08:19

I purchased WD My Cloud for my neighbor, then realized how good it was ---- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCZHp4d1HnIsoGwdI2GZHFpdB9e0XZ9fK ---- there are 3-4 levels you can purchase its all in-home, with a small free linking from anyware in the world from WD --- YouTube WD My Cloud - by Lon Seidman


answered Jan 11 '15 at 12:57

Tony%20UT's gravatar image

Tony UT

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Asked: Jul 20 '14 at 08:35

Seen: 3,739 times

Last updated: Jan 11 '15 at 12:57

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