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Ok, guys, lazyweb time.. But please read the question first, because I will aggressively delete comments that don't actually answer the question (and by "aggressively", I mean "randomly and capriciously when I decide I've had enough and you've acted like enough of an ass, and I want to show you who the real ass is").

I want to add a home NAS box, but I'm looking for something that is

 (a) dead simple (yeah, no, I'm not building my own even if I could). So I'm looking for "add disks, connect to ethernet, fire up browser for simple setup, go"

 (b) reliable, ie at the very least mirroring. I've hard too many disks go bad on me over the years, and I want redundant disks (or ssd's).

 (c) reasonable for a home: physically small and quiet. 

I'm sure something like that should exist and some people here could give recommendations. I'm thinking just plain RAID1 mirroring, simply because I don't want the kind of bulk and cooling that goes with having an enclosure that does lots of disks.. But you can try to convince me otherwise (not on the noise level, though).

Rules of the game:

 *1* If you haven't used it or don't know people you trust that use it, don't mention it.

 *2* If somebody else already mentioned it, don't mention it again, just "+1" the first one.

 *3* If it doesn't do physical redundancy or is big and bulky or otherwise doesn't fulfill the requirements, don't mention it, no matter how much you love it. Sorry.

Also, if it's ridiculously expensive, don't mention it unless it's also ridiculously cool and otherwise would fit the bill ("This beast costs an arm and a leg, but it takes eight mSATA SSD's and does RAID51 over them, and you can hold it in the palm of your hand and/or take it scuba-diving with you").

Gigabit ethernet preferred, but this is meant more as a reliable backup and media device than any kind of speed demon. And not only do I want it to be physically small, it can also be pretty small in actual capacity. I'm not putting movies on it, so we're talking hundreds of gigs, not tens of terabytes. 

If it runs Linux, that's obviously a plus, but no, I'm not looking for something to play with. Quite the reverse. I'm looking for something I can ignore and not worry about.
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203 comments
 
Drobo has some interesting appliances.
 
I would recommend buying your own parts and building a FreeNAS system. :) A second pick for me would be to get a Synology brand NAS.
 
Synology makes a wide range of home and small business NAS units in varying sizes and capacities. I just bought a four bay DS 412+ a couple weeks ago. I can't speak to longevity, but it is compact, quiet, and dead simple to use. The UI is basically a web VNC into Linux instead of some web based nightmare.
 
My Synology (DS210J) has been working beautifully for the last 4 years. The web interface is excellent and constantly improving, and the newer models are even better.  Sometimes wish I had a bigger one (this is a two disk model) so I had more space/could do RAID5 etc, but was great for the price.
 
We use a lot of Synology Diskstations at work (the 4 disk versions)...  smallish, flexible and have been very reliable for us.
Jake T
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Synology ds411slim. 2.5" drives, small, quiet, Linux, ARM
 
I like my ReadyNAS with 4 3TB drives. Relatively cheap, nice and quiet, gives me a bit of redundancy.
 
I use a net gear NAS sever at work. Came with 4 drives already setup with raid. You can add USB hard drives later to expand it. It is small, has dual gigabit. Supports NFS, afp, ftp, smb and more protocols. The best part is that it's insanely easy to setup and use. ReadyNAS. The guy above beat me to it
 
I don't know if +Drew Kollasch is talking about the WD ShareSpace, which I did a lot of playing with when I worked at WDC, but their current product, the WD Sentinel DX4000 is a pretty nice solution as well.  I think it's overkill since it uses Windows 2008 R2 Server, but it's definitely reliable and it worked fine with my Ubuntu 12.04 system when I was poking at it to break it.  It uses Terminal Service Client for configuration so it's as simple as anything, but it's small and pleasant to look at.
 
I have a Synology NAS and set it up quite fast. It runs a webserver as control paner where you can configure users and raid settings and fps server and things like that.

They have a client that works with linux to detect the device and connect to it's control panel, but it's not needed for normal use. It has a backup software, but not sure if there is a linux version. You can configure it to use NFS and easily mount it in linux to use as any other drive. I backup using rsync and it works fine.

About sound: it's very quiet and it goes into stand-by mode when not used for a while (goes out when used again).

Size: It's no the smallest thing, but I'm not sure what you mean by reasonably small. It's smaller than a toaster :P.

see: http://www.tones.be/thumbnail.php?gd=2&maxh=230&maxw=215&src=http://www.tones.be/assets/img/productimages/114242/002.jpg
 
I've been using a Synology DS1511 for over a year now with no issues. Pretty much meets the above requirements. Though you can't hold it in the palm of your hand.
 
A friend of mine swears by his drobo. Might be more "Soho" then home NAS, but the features are nice.. Particularly in adding additional storage, you just plug it in.
 
Either Qnap or Seagate Blackarmor. I have the latter with 4x2TB disks, but am planning on getting a Qnap with 10x 512GB SSDs + 10GbE instead (super fast, super quiet).
Dan Embry
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I have personally used the LaCie 5big Network 2 shown here.  http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10485

The diskless model is inexpensive.  RAID5 and hot swap.  Dual G/bit ethernet.  SImple, easy, fast configuration.

Please don't delete me ;-)  I think I followed the rules...
 
+Linus Torvalds 
well my questions would be how much storage you need?
is it just files you want or you going to stream music and movies?

i have personally have taken a old p1-66 and put in 3 1tb drives and a copy of puppy linux and added a few other options and made that in to a nas.
i did one for a friend using a netbook and external storage drives.
you would want raid 1 for important things but if speed is your need then raid 0.
pogo plug is good for streaming not only at home but on the go.
 
Avoid DROBO! - they have proprietary RAID formats that do not allow for you to recover data (without sending it to DROBO) when the DROBO crashes and burns (and they do).  I avoid NAS appliances that use filesystems that cant be recovered outside the appliance itself.
 
I am going to suggests a couple more things you consider, before deciding:

1:  ECC.  (I think it's important, not everyone else agrees.)
2:  Firmware/OS upgradability, and whether that requires downtime.
3:  How do you back up the data?  Can you do incremental and full backups?
4:  Can you access the data some other method, if the company dies and your box goes belly-up?  (This is related to the item above.)
5:  Can you schedule scans/scrubs, to ensure that the disks and data are error-free?
6:  How do you expand the storage space?  How do you swap out a drive?  Does this require down-time, either for the physical access, or for resilvering?

Feel free to delete this if those points aren't important to you. :)
 
I've got a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4. It carries four drives, but you can buy them without disks and add 'em as you need 'em. It supports various RAID modes, but they use their own proprietary naming. 

You can also replace smaller disks with larger ones and keep the extra space (i.e. upgrading from 2TB to 3TB drives) and redundancy.

it has two gigabit Ethernet ports.

I had one that ran for about two years and died, but Netgear sent another one within a couple of days and all I had to do was put the disks back in the new unit (in order) and it was ready to go. It runs 24/7 and I barely know it's there, although the power button is a bright blue.

An empty one will cost around $480.

Buffalo Technologies also has a few different 2 to 4 (and 6,8,12) drive NAS units. They all run Linux, have a somewhat easy (if slow) web GUI. They support RAID modes 0,1,5,6,10,51,61 depending on the amount of drives installed. Gigabit Ethernet. etc. They don't come without disks and the 4 drive models can be around $900.
 
I use a DLink DNS-321 with two WD 1TB mirrored drives. My windows PCs work well with it and my Linux box mounts it at boot. It is used primarily for family picture backup and mythtv backups. I have had drive errors during power loss and it has always recovered with no issue.
 
+Linus Torvalds I am not sure if you would like this option, but as I was becoming increasingly busy on more business activities, I opted for a MacMini with the OwnCloud free tool which also have iPhone and iPad application. This still enables me to play with the shell while keeping things simple and efficient. With DynDNS or a remote DNS server that you would control, you can ensure your home server is accessible at all time too.
 
Hey Linus I have a raided D-Link DNS-323 NAS and it was definitely plug and play, the drive slots are in the front and easily changed or updated. Doesn't get much simpler.
 
I'd recommend QNAP (http://www.qnap.com). Scales from simple home setup to corporate. Plug and play - add disks and go (or get one with disks already installed). Linux based, Samba support, ssh access, standard setup via http/https - dead simple to configure. Many models to chose from - starting at 2 bay for simple mirroring/raid1. Reasonably priced. Many additional features (e.g. can control cameras if you feel the need, smartphone support blabla), integrates well with home entertainment. So in case you don't want to build something like FreeNAS based yourself - in which case I would recommend a more expensive iXsystems device - I think this is what you want. Many models to chose from, e.g.:

http://www.qnap.com/en/index.php?lang=en&sn=822&c=351&sc=514&t=523&n=13443&g=1

Sound Level (dB) HDD sleep: 18.5 dB  
In operation: 20.4 dB  
(with 2 x 500GB HDDs installed)
Power Consumption (W) Sleep mode: 16W
In Operation:25W
Power-off (in WOL mode): 1W
(with 2 x 1TB HDD installed)

(they have very detailed specs available)

Based on my personal experience I can not recommend drobo.

(seems like I broke your rule without noticing, since writing my post took longer than writing QNAPQNAPQNAP).
 
I have a dlink dns-321, and it is exactly described by your requirements, including running linux, having mirroring and being reliable small and easy to set up. I hear the latest version is just as good.
 
I use the Iomega Clouds - bought the empty chassis then added disks, saved about 150 per by doing that even with using the only hard drives they had said to use.  

Slow write speed, but for small business and media, I haven't had any issues.  Small, easy interface to setup, plenty of options.
 
stay away from seagate (crappy firmware) , dlink (crappy speed).
QNAP and synology. prefer Synology check their os it's great
 
Hi Linus.  I use a QNAP TS-419P II at home, and it fits the bill nicely.  They have smaller models with less disk if that is your preference, but I wanted the 4 bay for the extra capacity.  The base unit was about $600AUD at the time I bought it, and I have 4 x 2TB WD Red's in it.  The Reds are ideal due to low power consumption and noise.

The unit itself sits behind one of the monitors on my desk, and it is very unobtrusive and quiet.  I highly recommend it.
 
Take a look at the ioSafe N2 it uses a Synology controller and is "fire proof" it does support several types of RAID. There is a good review of it on pcper.com (with whom I am not affiliated but do trust) 
 
I would have said QNAP up until I had a firmware update deny me access to my disks. I will say this though. They will try their best to help you out. I still haven't gotten access to my disks however.
 
Drobos are "slow".  But you don't mention performance as a requirement.  Last I heard, the Drobo gets you about the performance of a single disk.  Which may be just fine for your application.
 
+Linus Torvalds WD Sentinel
Can't remember the site, but the company I used to work for got a 9TB RAID 5 for under 2 grand from some music store in NYC (online)
WD Sentinel is the SHIT
 
For what it's worth WRT the Drobo stuff, since rule 3 was poorly defined (how big/expensive is too much?), +John Pozadzides could be a good poke for details.
Ben Imp
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http://www.readynas.com/

I've had one of these guys running for years.  Really easy web admin panel, and it supports a whole bunch of protocols.
 
My main home server also hosts a bunch of websites so it's not relevant, but I'm piecing together a low-power backup: ASUS m-ITX motherboard with 6 SATA ports, 1 80GB SSD +2 3TB WD drives configured as RAID 1 mounted as a VFS so I can add a second pair later. The only thing I'm lacking is a small form-factor case that will accomodate the drives.  I recently built a media server with similar specs (minus the drives - it pulls from my file server) and connecting wireless I'm only pulling 20W when playing a movie, so I expect similar results, albeit a bit higher when the array is in use.

Mobo here - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ZT1FAI/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Edit - and I missed the "dont' want to build" part.  I guess it still qualifies as simple (and inexpensive)
 
I've used the Netgear ReadyNAS before and it was terrible, do NOT get that one. The more drives or the larger capacity the hard drives, the slower it gets. Eventually I was getting less than 10K/s read/write performance. I've switched to the Synology DS 1511+, and that one has been great. It sits there and stores my files and I never have to worry about it. It's an expandable RAID, has gigabit ethernet, and a simple web based configuration. I wouldn't consider it small but it's reasonably sized considering it holds 5 drives. I can consistently transfer files to the NAS at over 90MB/s.

I realize this is a repeat of what someone else mentioned, but I thought some more details would be useful.
 
Synology is the way to go here.
 
+synology -drobo (both personal experience)
 
I have a Zytel NSA 221.  It's small, it's not a power hog, it can do raid1 with SATA drives.  It's not fast, it says gigabit ethernet, but it's more like a a pair of bonded 100mbit lines.  But for a nightly backup, it works just fine for me.
 
Synology All the Way... http://www.synology.com You could go with the 2 disks unit DS213 which supports mirroring and striping (I use the latter), and the price is reasonable. The web interface is very user-friendly and the packages availability is good. And yes, it does run Linux.
 
Synology, as many have suggested, but I didn't see that anyone mentioned they run Linux, but maybe I just missed it.  :)

I use a 1511 plus the expansion unit, total of 10 drives, but they have 2 drive units and up, so you should be able to find something you like. Plus they have many apps, ie Audio and photo server, mail server, web server, and much more.
 
unraid! cheap, easy to build with any kind of drive you want.
 
Dropbox and Bitcasa have stalled my NAS purchase indefinitely.
Joel Shea
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So many of you have already broken rule 2 I'm muting this thread.
 
QNAP Pro units. My friend has one at home and convinced the college digital media labs to use them for their graphic processing classes. WONDERFUL UI and User management, Linus based box with a custom "OS" running it that has great management similar to AD and you can use it like dropbox giving people links to DL items if you just want to share single items. His personal one at home ( he has another personal at work) has 6 2TB drives in RAID Hot Swap
Edit: apparently I was 50th+ in line, should have refreshed my stream before commenting
 
Another feature of the readynas is an app that will allow connections through firewalls without opening ports, although it does run through a Netgear web site. Nice if you need to grab something on the run.
Also, it has some third party apps, USB printers, UPS etc. The 2 drive unit consumes under 50W even under load.
 
I have been using a couple of Thecus N4100 Pro units for video to 24 users the last couple of years with good results. They take up to 4 drives with raid 0-6 options. The OS is BSD with a web interface. They have newer models..
 
Synology has proven very popular with my storage geek friends, but you could also ask Beepy if he can spare an old StoreVault appliance he's not using.  It's essentially Data ONTAP & WAFL, so that will be tops for reliability :)
 
+1 to +QNAP Turbo NAS, I've been using an older TS-409 (non-pro) and they're dead simple, with nice integration of media streaming stuff, easy disk management, etc. I started with two 1TB disks, mirrored. Later I bought two more, stuck them in and clicked the "Give me RAID5" button. hours later, I had all 4 disks in RAID-5. It's been solid for about 5 or 6 years now.
 
Can't figure why I followed this hyperbolic asshole to begin with...
 
+Linus Torvalds go with Drobo for sure.It is easy to use and you don't need to buy enterprise drives for the raid to work properly or suffer rebuilds when drive is still alive...
 
i can only compare a custom server and what i use now, a dlink dns-321. the storage server took up too much of my time to maintain (and it died).
positives: my little dlink has two disks set up as RAID1. it supports gigabit, cifs, nfs, ftp, dlna. it supports multiple user accounts and permissions. it boots up virtualbox images pretty well.
negatives: permissions. every file seems to get copied over with 0777 permissions. i guess since it's using whatever permission'ing that is built into the device. --or maybe it's how i'm mounting it.
also, can't seem to properly have my git server use the nas mount as it's storage. 
it's an okay device. gets the job done. ymmv. g'luck!
 
Raspberry Pi, with 2 USB hard drives mirroring each other. Plus you get the greatness of SSH plus browser remote is you so desire.
 
I'm in portland. I'll come put in a NexentaStor box for you ;-) 
 
Hi I have a Synology NAS with RAID 10 and offer different options and products that bring applications to install are very complete and simple this is the page http://www.synology.com/
Ovi Pop
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Buffalo LinkStation Pro LS-VL. Small, quiet, reliable, fast. Under $200.
 
Synology is my new favorite. Qnap is definitely a close second. 
 
I'm on my second LaCie 2Big - excellent mirroring, simple to set up, attractive enough that my wife doesn't object to it being around (once I turn off the big blue light - which is a UI checkbox).

the interface is intuitive, it supports nfs, smb, and afp2 (the second device came about when my wife's Apple no longer supported afp and the 6-year-old LaCie didn't support afp2).

I'll buy a third one when it's time.
 
I recommend the Buffalo NAS's to clients and business partners. So I trust it enough to recommend it, even when there's a risk of loss financially if it doesn't work correctly. They make several versions supporting different types of RAID configurations. Most run Linux, are quick to setup, and are decently priced.
 
IOMEGA NAS runs linux and comes with EMC2 technology 
 
ZFSonLinux (zfsonlinux.org) has come a long way. ZFS is exceptionally easy to manage, with tons of flexibility, and blazing fast as well. Very easy to setup and grow your mirror as your needs increase.

Don't get locked into a slow standalone unit. (I have a first gen Drobo that sits unplugged) Take a couple old drives and make a zfs test pool before you buy any hardware.
It's worth checking out.

 
Netgear ReadyNAS nv, up to 4 disc sata2, raid 0,1,5, gigabit ethernet and run with linux. 
 
I've had a ReadyNAS since Infrant was still an independent company. Solid device and dead easy to use.

That said, if I replaced it with another commercial device, I'd probably go for a TrueNAS (http://www.ixsystems.com/storage/ix/truenas/). It's FreeNAS without any freaking effort whatsoever. I've played with FreeNAS a few times over the years - getting a turnkey solution is pretty much a no-brainer (though, it appears they've gone up-market in recent years, so price may now be a consideration).
 
I've been using a Netgear ReadyNAS 6000 for a few years now.  Requirement a: exactly; wizard mode and "tweak everything tweakable" mode.  Requirement b: I use RAID 5 across 6 3TB drives; using their XRAID2 (I think it's actually RAID 6, not sure), you can incrementally add disks; in most modes you can replace drives; add/replace is transparent and online.  Requirement c: it's in my bedroom and does not keep me awake.  Dual Gig-E can be bonded or not; runs nfs/cifs/rsync/others.  See the Netgear site for more.
 
I bought a fileserver from http://www.queegtech.com/ - the one I have has 13 trayless bays, so it is pretty large, but it is absolutely whisper-quiet.  They have much smaller ones too.  I just run stock Fedora Linux on it, with md RAID-6 for redundancy.

Their products aren't the cheapest, but they are customizable and the company had amazing personal service - I suspect it is only one guy who really wants to do a good job.

I really recommend that whatever you get, make sure that it has trayless hotswappable bays.  Disk drives are consumables these days, and just popping one out and popping one in is so much nicer.
 
+Antonio Dias I like Drobo too. I guess if one connects two drives an d backup to both that solves the physical redundancy issue. They have a USB 3 version but my setup is just USB 2.
 
Why hasn't anybody recommended a Windows Home Server to you? lol...
 
Iomega StorCenter px4-300d Diskless NAS. Stores 4 hard drives, or;
Iomega StorCenter px6-300d Diskless NAS, storing 6 hard-drives.

I set up two of them personally at my work, and they're in daily use. These are the "diskless" editions, so you just fill em' with whatever hard-drives you pick; Standard or SSD. just go and buy a bunch of identical drives, and they slide right in. You can also buy pre-filled versions, but go diskless.

The web interface is dead simple. Turn on. Pick your RAID. Add a share. Add user. Done. Lots of fiddly features if you feel like it.

Copy jobs are a obscenely useful feature - just copy from point A to point B, either can be a remote system or a local computer. We have one set up remotely and one set up in our office, I had no experience and in an hour I had one backing up to its twin in our remote office via rsync. It also lets you back up to cloud services, or act as your own personal cloud.

They have 2 Ethernet ports and 1 power cable/brick with a respectably long cord. They're silent and small, about the size of a normal 2-slice toaster and would fit nicely on a bookshelf. You can rig it to E-mail you if anything goes awry and I can attest it's not particularly chatty unless you need-to-know. The display will also give you the IP address and you can wheel though simple info.

Lastly, there's a USB port in the front, and you can plug things into it, press the dedicated button and it will run a copy-job of your specification. I haven't used that particular feature, but apparently you can plug things into it and copy the contents of the stick onto the NAS.

Roughly $430 (Canadian) on Amazon, but that's a sale price... Mind you I haven't seen it off sale, but I'm unsure if that price is limited to my slice of the globe.
 
To expand on what Kevin Gregg said (because he didn't include some of the greatest features and I figured an 'Executive Summary' was necessary):  UnRaid http://lime-technology.com
* Uses commodity hardware
* Can add/expand drives WITHOUT rebuilding
* If multiple drives fail - you DON'T lose all data (only what was on that drive) as files aren't split (can read any/all of the remaining drives on any Linux system)
 
I have the Patriot S4 and it works, but I'm thinking of switching to something cloud based. I've had too many hard drives going bad before the warranty is even over. The replacements barely make it past 6 months.
The speed and convenience are obviously factors, but the utmost to me is reliability and that just seems impossible with the quality I've seen with the average hard drive these days. 
 
D-Link DNS-321 - Plug'n'Play, Mirrored 1TB x 2, Set and forget. 1.5 year and still going strong, no problems either.
Mapped to all Winblows boxes on the network as a local drive. FTP for WAN access and file drops. You can only hear it from a few feet away, otherwise pretty quiet.... depends on what drives you pick. SSD would probably never be heard as I can never recall the fan even kicking on.
 
I have two ReadyNAS units I run, one at home, an older NV+ unit from when Infrant was still it's own company, that is 4 drives and max throughput is somewhere around 20-30MB/s.  I bought one of their current models for my work a few years back as well as a result of my experience, 6 bay with dual gigabit ports.

On my home one I do basic file serving primarily, store my videos and photos, watch them from computers or media players throughout the house.  For a while I had it publicly accessible as well, but removed that when I moved and had crappy internet.

On my work, along with handling all the file serving for an approximately 15 person office, the 6 drive unit, of which we are only using three drives currently, also is fast enough I have been editing multitrack audio and HD video directly off of it on my Linux workstation via NFS.  Other standard office people use AFP or CIFS depending on their computer, and while I have some interesting needs for permissions, I have been able to SSH into the box to set up customized things the web browser wouldn't do easily, and have a nice rsnapshot backup running to do incremental backups of all the docs on the machine.

I have not had them go completely down yet really.  The closest I have come is the DNS server stopped working for a brief period of time on my work NAS recently, a firmware update via the browser (We were out of date anyways) and it was back up and running.

So in short my experience has been pretty good and I will be looking for another one when I get my next unit, sometime in the distant future most likely.

And yes I rarely touch either unit.  The work one I really only touch to update users.  The home one I haven't touched beyond turning it back on after a power failure when it shuts down to low battery on the UPS, I don't remember the last time I brought up the web interface or ssh'd into it.
 
ReadyNas Duo v2. Inexpensive, gigabit Ethernet, quiet, 2 bay with mirroring, simple web interface, supports several access methods like cifs, ftp, afp, and even iscsi (with a plugin). This device is also very inexpensive and uses little power.

zixu mo
 
My solution may be a little no professional, but it works for me . i am using an old pc , it had two 500GB HDD, i set up FreeBSD 64bit OS + ZFS mirror. working well for me , i set up it last year. i had no extra cost for it . they are old hardware which bought years ago.
 
Some good options (several I've used/have) already on the list.  Add the D-Link DNS-320 ShareCenter to it. (or newer model). cheap, 2 bay, raid mirroring, nfs, samba, etc...   "I'm looking for something I can ignore and not worry about." To most of us, that means running Linux under the hood.   
 
I've +1'd the QNAP Pros as requested, but here's why: if you check the throughput numbers on smallnetbuilders, you'll see the big jump occurs when you move from ARM to Atom. I didn't think I really needed it for moving media around the house, system backups, and scanning documents - but I OOMed the TS-419P in minutes. The build quality is also lacking compared to the Pro models. See http://www.dvhart.com/2011/03/qnap_ts419p_configuration_raid_levels_and_throughput/ for my experience with the TS-419P. I am now a very happy user of the QNAP TS-459Pro+. Very well worth the money to upgrade. Running RAID10 currently with 1.5TB Samsung Spinpoints. It's just worked for two years now with zero issues.
 
I love my Synology DS212... But do yourself a favor... Go to their website and test drive their interface... It makes all other NASes look like thumb drives. (I used to own a Buffalo and also tried FreeNAS... No comparison.)
 
I always want my NAS boxes to have ECC RAM (especially if they're doing software RAID).  Sadly, most devices don't.  Anyone have pointers?
 
I had a Buffalo NAS drive. Garbage. Constantly failing, about a dozen support calls. They shipped replacement disks, worked for a month, them failed again. Then they shipped a full replacement of the unit, DOA. They shipped a third replacement unit, worked for a month, then failed again. All data lost. Got a full refund.

Bought a DLink. Works ok, has never failed, but dog slow, underpowered. Still use it just as a target for backup of the new NAS I bought:

QNAP. Solid, fast, simple to operate. All the features you mentioned. One firmware upgrade caused it to fail to wake up after sleeping due to not waiting long enough for specific model of disks I was using in it. Disabled sleep mode until next firmware fixed the timeout problem. Solid ever since. And fast. Not cheap, but I'm ok with paying for solid fast worry-free performance.

Good luck! Looking forward to hearing which way you end up going. 
 
Another, but rarely mentioned relative to all of these arm based NAS devices, the Zyxel nsa320, and nsa325. Stock, they work well, run Linux from read only NAND, and use fully open drivers and usable GPL bundles. You could of course also then supplant that with full blown Linux. These house 2x3.5" drives directly, and can take SSDs with the appropriate adapters. Love mine, runs +Arch Linux ARM though ;-) The 310 has eSATA that supports multiplexing.
 
Quite a few posts recommending Synology.  Since I've only owned a Synology NAS, I won't claim it's better than the others, but, my DS211+ was damn easy to set up, and, is easily accessible using Firefox on all my Linux installs (siduction, Fedora and openSUSE).  Two bays, Raid 1, rsync, sure made my life easier.
 
Unraid make a nice looking solution. You can either roll your own HW and add their stack or buy a complete solution from them. The real nice thing is upgrades to bigger disks is quite easy and one disk at a time upgrades are possible
 
Drobo's performance and redundancy technology has been met with some fairly harsh criticism and they weren't competitively priced. In the end I felt a tried and true RAID technology was the better bet.
G+ needs a 1 button ;)
 
Is there a particular reason why you want specifically a NAS? I used to think that I just wanted a NAS and then I realized that a server would be way more useful. You can get everything you want if you build a server from scratch with all of your needs in mind (including a shit ton of storage), and then have it perform other functions.  I run +Amahi on my server at home, and it pretty much rocks.
 
The best NAS I have used that was dead simple to set up was from D-Link. It was just an enclosure for the drives and a simple web interface to set everything up. I would stay away from Maxtor NAS enclosures though. 
 
I was going to buy a NAS, then I came by SpiderOak www.spideroak.com online backup. It is extremely secure, and it runs automatically in the background on all my Linux PCs/laptops.  I have not looked back since, and when my main PC died, I had no trouble accessing and restoring all my data. Also, nice that I can access all my data anywhere on my Android phone using their Android app.
 
Go to Best Buy ask a Geek Squad nerd. (seriously I am only doing this as a delete decoy) seriously, don't run GNU / Linux DOH! 
 
FreeNAS. Just need an USB disk for hosting the OS and browser to configure. Supports ZFS (great for RAIDZs, adding/removing disks, snapshots and "time-machine") and several sharing services such as FTP, NFS, AFP, etc.
Web interface is very intuitive and super easy to use. Hope you can handle the power, dear sir :-)
 
I like my QNAP NAS (419P+) because of how durable it's been. I bought it after the floods in Brisbane, AU, a few years ago - it had been under water and thrown around, etc.  I cleaned it off and away it went.  4 bay, reasonably small (for a 4x3.5" NAS), runs linux and has packages you can install if you want extra features..
 
I've had a Buffalo TerraSaltation NAS running in my home office for about 5 years. Quiet, reliable, small, hot swappable drives. Highly recommended.
 
+Adam Nicholson pogoplug out of the box is no good. If you hack it and install ArchLinux it is somewhat better, but that takes a bit of effort to do.
 
Tonido, Pogo, or Pi.

I like the Tonido hardware, but their software was a bit lacking when last I used one, to get the most out of it you'd need to install something else on it.
 
I use Amahi for my NAS. It's really easy to set up, runs on Linux and helps you configure the raid. (Actually it does it for you.) I took an old Dell Poweredge 2500 server I had with 6 disks of various size and it configured the raid just fine on them. Granted Amahi is a little overkill as it does have a lot of other features/options but you don't have to use them. 

The other NAS I have is a simple 1.5TB external US drive that is hosted through my router. All my systems can access it but the only downfall is that it isn't redundant. Although I've been looking at getting a second one to see if I can daisy chain them together. 
 
I have to say I've heard too many horror stories (and experienced some doing contract sysadmin work) with Drobos and Linux. Stay away from that. I already +1ed the things I do like that meet your rules.
 
1. Grab a toaster that runs Linux
2. Profit.
 
I had a bad experience with an older NAS.
Suffice to say, PSU failed, and I discovered the RAID'd disks were unreadable when plugged into a separate Linux box to try to recover from it. It was hard to tell whether it was fully corrupted or the disk-format was not-quite-standard, but after many attempts, browsing web, etc, I was leaning towards some proprietariness of the format.
Whatever NAS you choose, make sure you can recover your data on a different system without effort.
 
We are a Phoenix based MSP and this is becoming our default NAS storage solution for clients.

EONNAS PRO 500 5-BAY ZFS TOWER DEDUPE SNAPSHOT COMPRESSION ISCSI
Bays:  5 x 3.5" Hot-swappable Internal Total  
RAID Levels: 0, 1, 5, 5+Hot Spare, 6, 6+Hot Spare, 10 
Processor: Intel Atom D525 Dual-core (2 Core) 1.80 GHz 
Standard Memory: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Interfaces/Ports: 1 x 7-pin - eSATA, 5 x USB 2.0 - USB, 2 x RJ-45 - Network 
Network Cards: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet IEEE 802.3ab 10/100/1000Mbps RJ-45 
Protocols: LDAP, SSH, CIFS/SMB, AFP, NFS, HTTP, HTTPS, iSCSI, SNMP, NDMP, NTP, ICAP, IPv6, DHCP, CHAP, RSync 
Web Interface SunOS embedded O/S

Yes, made in China, but decent hardware based on solid O/S.  Can't be beat for the price.  Replaces the Dell NX200/NX400 line we were providing to clients. Only draw back is that it doesn't expose an SNMP MIB but relies on traps and Email relays to notify you of issues, but lacking that, is amazingly full featured.

Chassis is $569 List.  You can add your own 1/2/3 GB SATA drives from 2-5.
We put the following drives in for $135 / each.
x5 3TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive. 7200RPM, 64MB Cache

Full loaded with x5 drives for $1,250-$1,300  With only two drives : $839
 
+Linus Torvalds try using unraid. It runs +Linux and I found it relatively easy to set up as well as cheap. I use it for my nas at home. Has a nice web interface as well. 
 
QNAP, any model that doesn't have the Marvell CPU.

Supports IEE802.3ad port trunking, removing the network bottleneck pretty nicely - provided your switch supports it.
 
I've had my LG NAS for some time now and it just chugs along quietly. 

Latest model: http://www.lg.com/us/data-storage/lg-N4B2ND4

Small, quiet, gigabit
Ability to plug ESATA externally
Nice little USB/SD/Card reader to backup memory sticks with the touch of a button making incremental backups
RAID 0/1 is there as well as selective folder mirroring
Built in optical burner for backups of backups
Nice apps available for Android to view/copy from NAS to mobile.
Custom firmware from Tantalus: http://lg.threnor.de/
Streams to my PS3 like a champ
Built in bittorrent client
Cheap
 
Just a word on disks. I did a home-brew nas using addonics hardware, with 24 x 2 Tb disks. I put them in 2 x 12 raid 1+0. I am happy I did that, since both WD and Seagate disks failed one way or another. I just don't belive disks above 1Tbyte are trustworthy anymore. That being said, some of them are still alive (1 year after power on, no rests here). So, it looks more like a roulette.
 
HP MicroServer with FreeNAS (I know, it has already been mentioned - but here are some details):
* ECC memory
* Hardware RAID controller or software RAID (ZFS) through FreeNAS
* at least 4 disks (not hot-swappable), although more are possible with modifications
* costs approx. € 200.- w/o disks - comparable to QNAP TS412, which is not as flexible.
* apart from FreeNAS it can run any (PC-)OS. I have read about gaming configs, Ubuntu, ESXi-server, Windows server,...
* measures 27cm x 21 cm x 26 cm (H x W x D)
* ...

I have chosen it, because it costs same or less as comparable NAS-systems for 4 disks. IMHO it is the better hardware (e.g. ECC memory, HW-RAID). The server hardware is well constructed, and FreeNAS runs out of the box with a fast 4GB-USB STICK using the internal USB-port, thus hidden inside.
 
hey Linus, how about 'converting' an older PC (with decent RAM <1GB per TB of hdd> and several hard drives) to a FreeNas unit, with ZFS (RAID-Z) file system. All I had to do was plug in a 2GB USB flash drive (FreeNas 8.x preloaded) and fire it up. Took me 30 minutes to complete the whole setup - and the thing's still running like a champ (8+ months with no issues)... (hope mentioning UNIX/FreeBSD is not taboo here)
 
Har du jättehemliga hemligheter? För annars, om det bara är för backupp, kan du ju synka mot "molnet" och låta någon annan ta bullret, besväret och elräkningen..

Google Drive, Dropbox Ubuntu One.. Finns ju hur många som helst numera. Eller om du inte litar på dem; används CrashPlan för att backa upp dina filer krypterat till en släkting/kompis dator.

Fast... Min arbetskamrat har ett tidningsklipp på sin kontorsdörr
"riktiga män tar inte backup, de lägger sina alster på en publik FTP och låter hela världen göra kopior" --Linus Torvalds

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Linus, get a Synology RAID bay.

They come reasonably cheap. Low power consumption. Multiple sizes and options.

I have a DS1512+ (5 disk bays) but they have from 2 disks to 8 disks models.

- Add disks.
- Plug in.
- Open web browser and configure and operate it like a simple router.
- Add or replace disks one at a time.

Heck, some models even have 2 ethernet ports and CAN act as a router too.

Lots of add-on products possible (cloud storage, Amazon glacier backup, media servers, even Logitech's own media server is ported on it).

The machine runs Linux. There's a whole community of developers out there also porting third party apps to repositories for it. All models share the same operating system.

Most models are expandable. My 1512+ can be increased by adding up to 2 additional dumb (i.e. no software on board) 5 disk bays through high speed interconnect.

Even their own RAID is cool. You can use different sized disks together. If will do the best it can to use as much capacity. You can hot swap disks. You can thus increase storage size hot swapping one disk at a time : you have 3TB disks... one goes down, put a 4TB. Next time you h ave another 3TB down, put another 4TB on the 2 4TBs now available it will RAID-mirror the 2 extra 1TB of storage... and so on. When all your 5 3TB disks have been replaced by 4TBs you seamlessly moved to a 5x4TB RAID system.

And you can even buy them from Amazon. :)
 
As others have mentioned: It's well worth looking into ZFS.  It supports simple mirroring (RAID1), but it makes sure that all your data is checksummed too, so that individual sectors going bad doesn't cause corrupted data coming back (none of mdraid, LVM, or ext* can provide that guarantee; btrfs does, but last I checked, it still sucks on performance and possible corruption issues).

ZFS's current downside is that it lacks shrinking the pool; either in capacity or top-level vdevs; you can add new disks to mirror non-redundant disks, and remove redundant disks in the same way, and capacity can always be increased by replacing all the disks with bigger ones.  Shrinking has been on the roadmap for years, but the Sun buyout delayed it.
 
Im using QNAP ts498Pro simple, quiet, good features as iscsi, nfs, web file manager, quotes and is based on linux.
 
Stay away from D-Link DNS boxes; they advertise Gigabit speeds, but the underpowered CPU can't keep up, the NFS implementation is stupid (you have to hack it to enable "insecure"), and the web interface crashes. I had a DNS-323 and DNS-343 and both also ran very hot and had very noisy fans.

I struggled for years with various off-the-shelf NAS boxes and ultimately tossed them for a mini-atx mobo with an i3-3220T in a Coolermaster Silenco 550 (not at all bulky by my definition) with a Corsair sealed water cooler. I now have 12 TB of redundant NAS that is completely silent and low-power. Put whatever OS you want--I use Ubuntu (on a separate SSD drive), but FreeNAS requires less work to setup. The whole setup cost €1,000 and took about three hours to build and setup.
 
I have a Netgear ReadyNAS NV2+, it cost less than $300 without drives. The initial setup in the diskless version is a bit of effort, but after that it's effortless. Even changing our upgrading drives is zero effort.

Best of all, it runs Linux and it's raid is compatible with mdadm raid so if the box dies you can just connect the drives to a Linux box.
 
you should just go for the synology +DS1812 straight away and stuff it in your bat cave then populating it with SSD HD as you can afford them.

Going for smaller modules does not really pay of in the long run + you want to stay away from large capacity last century rotating media HD junk altogether thus you need more slots for higher storage capacity with SSD.

Seriously investing in rotating media this days is just throwing money down the toilet and your data with it.

 
 
I've been using a Buffalo Linkstation 2TB RAID-5 NAS for serving up video at work - one of the drives went bad, and it only took me a few minutes to replace it.

SUPER easy to set up.  Didn't cost very much - about $500 or something - it might be cheaper nowadays.  It's about the size of a Nintendo Gamecube.

It has ethernet and USB connectivty.  To my knowledge, I believe it runs a version of Linux, but don't quote me.

We've had it for about 2 years, and aside from the bad drive, which happened just a couple months ago, I haven't had a problem with it - super-reliable.
 
I have been using a 4 disk intel nas. Web interface is slow as - well i can't think of anything as slow. Smb and nfs performance is poor. It recovers nicely from disk failures but they happen often! Runs a proprietary linux based weirdness. Why mention it at all? Because it should really be taken scuba diving. Permanently. Can only be used as a backup destination, nothing else. So I ended up filling an old pc with disks and running fedora/btrfs for primary storage. Dead easy and far more stable.
 
QNAPQNAPQNAP   oh and try out QNAP too... another good one is QNAP
 
Hear me out first and strike me later.
Why don't you choose Google Drive or AWS.
(a) They are dead simple to use and configure
(b) I have no idea what kind of redundancy they use by I am pretty certain they are more safe than anything you can set up with reasonable expense
(c) They are dead quite and take up zero space, for your home at least.
On top of that they are accessible from everywhere and with the internet speeds available these days in most of the world your HDDs are probably more likely to be the bottleneck than anything else.

Just my 2c. Otherwise +1 to all synology posts.
 
Well, I've tried to find something for myself and finally decided to build it manually. Just have to find motherboard with enough count of sata (want about 10 hdd). And good silent coolers (thinking about MasterCooler) 
 
Pogoplug works great, if you don't mind having a little spy in your home network, that has a direct line home to report what you are doing.
It's just plugged into power, ethernet, plug in some external drives, ready.
And if you had enough of it, just convert it easily to a regular linux machine.
 
QNAP all the way. Have a 419P turbo myself. Works nicely out of the box just as you described. Nice added bonus is that you CAN add ipkg package management or install eg. debian if you want to at some point.
 
I'd say QNAP too... I know I'm late ;)
Their slim models (SS-439/839) are kinda obsolete though, so you'd be looking at something like the TS-469(L), which can hold both 3.5" and 2.5" disks. 
Their firmware is currently a little behind for certain packages, but very soon they will be releasing a brand new 4.0 firmware and update core packages to current versions.
And support is great!
 
I got annoyed when I couldn't easily recover data without the raid box. So I migrated to a generic (read: cheap) multi-sata dock, run a nightly software mirror, and periodically swap one drive with my in-laws for off-site redundancy.
 
+Terrance Cohen RAID is no backup solution, RAID only protects against failing disks by assuring uptime. If the RAID failed (or the hardware), you fall back on your backups. That said, since the RAID setup that QNAP uses is linux compatible, you could have mounted it on a PC, I'm pretty sure there is even a guide in their wiki or forums.
That's one thing I love about QNAP, the NAS basically runs linux, and whatever they do is compatible, If I let my NAS create an encrypted backup on an external disk, I can just mount it on my Linux PC.
 
I used and still use Thecus NAS since 6 years. I would recommend the N2200EVO, or if you are a "big data guy" the N4100EVO. I haven't had any trouble with them. Currently I use the N2200EVO at home as a centralized backup destination using rsync, streaming media to TVs, smarthphones, tables and pc. The CPU of the N2200EVO seems a little underpowered if you read the specs of it, but in "production" I am able to watch two movies in HD while rsync does the initial (full) backup of the /home folder of two of my machines.
Configuration is pretty staight forward and the interfaces are designed to enable "fast-n-quick" changes, but you are always able to step in deeper. Well, and if this still isn't enough felxibility, you can always log in via SSH and edit config files "like a real man".
 
I got a DNS-323. It's a compact two bay NAS that works quite reliable. I've got one on home and two on my office and both have been working 24/7 for years without a problem.
 
Your best bet might be a Raspberry pi running Raspbian on an SD card and hooked up to a USB based storage device. I would advise getting two SD cards, because, if you hook your large screen entertainment monitor to the pi HDMI port and augment this with pi XMC you will never look back, and the USB storage will become full of interesting videos.

By the way thanks for Linux and I hope your family is well.

Flint
 
The number of people not reading "I'm not building my own even if I could" is rather astounding. I'm sorry, but it has to be said.
 
I use the D-Link 320 with 2 Seagate 2Tb Green drives. Cost me £255 one year ago and I couldn't be happier! Same setup would cost half now and the setup was nothing more than adding an IP to the box! Fans are not loud but there is about 3 seconds delay when initiating because of all the "green" stuff but I'm happy with it!
 
Synology or QNAP are really the only two solid NASes. Synology has better (and more via a open market) packages/applications and has better and faster customer support.

QNAP is slightly cheaper. Both do various raid configurations, and I have found Synology to better support both Windows and Mac (and Linux on some services).

Synology Cloud Drive for me is the big seller... although a lack of a Linux client is a bit disappointing (It is still early though, so there is hope).
 
I have a D-Link DNS-323, RAID 1 and 0 (only two drive bays) Torrent client via web interface, scheduled http downloader, upnp/iTunes server. works great for home.
 
ReadyNAS...dead simple, *nix-based, used a couple different models for years, currently on the Pro6, traded up from an NV+.  It's quiet, notifications on system events and works with everything.  Has a dedicated community for add-on support as well.
 
I have a DLink DNS-320 that I'm quite happy with. It has two 2T 3.5" drives installed in Raid 1. It runs Linux and can easily be "enhanced" (google Fonz Fun_Plug). It's not much larger than the two drives stacked. The Fun_Plug installs SSH, and with that I can directly copy or move files around without going through the ethernet. Can also directly copy files to a USB drive through the built in USB2 jack. I backup the raid drives to a 2T external USB hard drive this way.
olli k
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+Ibrahim Ulf Karlsson"riktiga män tar inte backup, de lägger sina alster på en publik FTP och låter hela världen göra kopior" --Linus Torvalds
Translation:
"Real men do not take backups, they post their creations on a public FTP and let the world make copies" - Linus Torvalds

 
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Drobo looks like it would fit your requirements, however be aware of what +Richard Frost said further up: they use proprietary RAID stuff and I have a friend who had to live a few months without access to his photos when the unit went bad and he had to send it in.

If that's not a problem to you, it's pretty nice: drive hot swap, zero configuration, on the fly resize (get 2TB drive out, put 4 TB drive in, let it rebuild itself), etc.
 
Still prefer and use Windows Home Server v1, one disk pool, allows many disks, mirrors, easy to remove/add disks over the years, RDP proxy, Windows client full backup/restores. Quiet and low power with mini-ITX. Best Microsoft product ever, pity they abandoned it. 
 
I use a DLink DNS-323. It has space for 2 drives and is pretty small.
I simply bought and plugged in 2 TB drives, booted it up, went into browser and set it for Mirror + Stripe and made a directory to be seen by my Windows machines and I was done. It's been working for the last 2 years non-stop except for those power interruptions (and I should put it on a UPS already....).

However, it is no longer current. So I guess this comment gets deleted. :/
 
"If it runs Linux, that's obviously a plus, but no....blabla" ...i believe 100% of such kind of equipment obviously runs an embedded linux...i don't think you can find ...something different
 
Drobobox connected to a Raspberry Pi.

The Synolog box comes highly recommend amongst those that I hang with.
 
I played by the rules and +1'd the first isntance of this, but my Synology DS 412+ is amazing.  It serves as my NAS, VPN server, Web server, Plex server and all my NFS and SMB shares.  It's tiny, quiet, and has been running half a year straight from first bootup.  It's even managed to stay up through power quirks (and it's not on a UPS, I'm working on that.)
 
+Linus Torvalds Use something that you can (if you choose to) encrypt your data and save off to AWS S3 or Glacier.
 
Any HP micro server. Small, quiet, cheap and x86... I'm quite happy with mine.
 
I like my synology rs812 which can take alot of the new sata oversized drives, and best of all I can hack it up and install bacula-fd to it so my bacula director can backup anything off of it. My big ugly EMC monster can't do that.
 
+Ron Woodard do you actually understand the point of a mirrored hard drive?

First drive fails. Please replace.
Second drive is alive and will probably fail sooner than later after the first.
Replace first drive and restore the mirroring.
Replace second drive and restore the mirroring, or just have a replacement on standby.
 
Hands down get a Synology. 
 
Setting up a NAS with a raspberry is quite easy, took about 15 min. with raspian. Hdparm is able to let the 3TB USB disk go sleep over USB. I only have one disk attached, but the raspberry has 2 USB ports, and Marty Ballard above showed how to set up the pi to backup parts of the first disk to the second one. The PI NAS looks very nerdy as you tie the pi just to the case of the USB disk (see my post). So my old QNAP with raid 1 will be obsolete soon...
 
Drobo is good but pretty expensive. Whatever you do DON'T use D-link, their throughput is terribly slow (Gigabit connection and only 20mB/s read/write). Personally, I just bought a low power server and put Fedora on it...
 
Synology DS 412+ is what I use. Fast, easy to use, and very extensible.
 
+Tyler McHenry Concerning longevity, already encountered a disk corruption on a DS211 2x1Tb disk RAID1 running 4 years, the bay  resynced the 2 disks in 30 mins or so and restarted like a charm.
 
By the way, if you have 2 Synology units, it is really easy to set one up as an off site backup for the first. That is what I am doing now, a backup for my backup.  :)

Using a DS212j and two 3 TB drives.
 
Synology o qnap products are very good. Though my preference for the synology DS411+ as use it as my media, web and any other type of software. Their linux OS is based on ajhax for front end and is really well built. Simple UI to use and a breeze to setup. 
 
I've got an HP microserver, running Solaris 11.1 - It' helps having a Solaris evangelist next to me at work! You've got to admit, zfs offers some compelling benefits, data checksumming not least...
 
Synology. White, Smooth, and Beautiful.  It just works.
 
I use brain-dead NAS. One HD allocated to a 'data' volume in each computer in the house. Whenever on, each computer has an Arkeia client that finds and synchs that volume w/ its equivalent on any other computer that happens to be on. No NAS, raid-level ridiculous, only requirement is that at least one computer be on in the house at any moment. Only trick was writing a Win & Linux bkgrnd client to discover first computer that is on and redirect a Desktop shortcut or a Sym link to that machine's data volume dynamically. 
 
Qnap. I love my TS-410. Enough storage capacity. Easy setup through a web interface. Reliable even in the case of fried electronics (its using md devices for its raid. just put the discs in your pc and your good to go and save your data). Great replay value if you decide to tinker with it later on ;) (iscsi etc.) I have mine sitting right next to my desk, so noice aint an issue either.
 
+1 for the QNAP 410 - very happy user of said box, for nigh on 3 years now. Only problem I've had with it is a faulty power supply that died after 2 years, but it's a stock part anyway so £20 later and all was well
 
HP microserver and FreeNAS installed on a USB pendrive. Easy to configure via browser, and you can choose the disks you prefear (even SSD, if you want/can).
 
Raspberry Pi (approx $30) with FreeNAS and USB external laptop drive.
 Very low power, very reliable, very quiet, and very small...
 
QNAP would be my top pick,  however you being the Linux GOD you may prefer to build your own with FreeNAS.
 
I agree with Kris. I also do have a Qnap 659+ Turbo NAS (100% Linux). It have 6 drives in RAID 5. The 2 biggest one on this segment is Synology and QNAP. If you want something easy, one of those 2 brands are perfect and both using Linux. Some think that DYI is good but there is some conditions..., but watch out to not using Software RAID, this is a pain and not reliable, buy a very good RAID card for DIY solution.  Best regards
 
I used openindiana, a miniITX board and 5 sata disks. It works fine. Sure there is no fancy web access, no special effects. All is done by shell/perl scripts but what the heck, i use it to store files (yes, i use git for src). I still prefer zfs on solaris to ext4 on linux. Those itx boards are really cool, there is an asus equipped with a c10 which is very nice.
 
+Armando Ortiz I have the LinkStation Pro Duo (LS-WVL/E). @ ~ $120 with BYO SATA II Drives, HW RAID 0/1 & GbE; I recommend it with the following caveats:
Get the disk-less version, it comes with a nand chip, and the drives that came with my unit were WD Green.
Go to the nas-central forums and find the Debian for armel walkthrough, it takes an evening, but is copy-paste-able, and you have Squeeze 6.0.7. 
The 1.6Ghz Kirkwood processor runs Virtualmin/Webmin passably, the only issue so far is the power switch doesn't turn the unit off, but on works.
There is a Quad bay version LS-QVL @ ~$200 & RAID 0,1,5,10.
 
Dont get anything with EXT, get something with BTRFS or ZFS. The snapshot ability is just too good. Seriously go with a Netgear Readynas 516 or 316 - aka RN516 or RN316 , they implement snapshots w/ btrfs etc. good stuff. Fun little debian boxes slapped on with systemd... Even if you hate systemd its fun. whatelse...Just make sure to use the compatible drives. just kidding use whatever drive you want as your linus and will make any drive compatible. It has awesome cloud features, and you can write cool little apps for it as well for the genie platform. There is a contest to win $1000000 if you write the winning app - which I bet you can easily do.. The NAS is a great media server espeically with readydlna and plex and upnp. You name it has it. Anyhow if your budget is more open go for the Readydata 5200 or RD516 - aka zfs motherships... Who cares what the reviews say - in the end the engineers are always making it better, we all know how to use linux here, great systems honestly! I literally on my nas have like 50 snapshots per share I can go back to, hourly and daily ones, so if i deleted something or edited something the wrong way I always have a way out. Its like "git" versioning the filesystem way :-) Sorry for the spelling mistakes its a long night
 
Is Necromancy allowed in G+?

+Linus Torvalds , what did you finally do with the NAS? It seems like both Qnap and synology had lots of supporters. Would you recommend your solution?
 
If you're rich and want something sold, consider a Netapp box and a Cisco switch.  Otherwise, Synology seems to have some of the best reviewed solutions, and it offers DLNA, spare hot swap, SSD caching, bonded NICs (although you'll need something like a Cisco switch to handle the bonded ports), but you'll be missing out on the Gen 5 file systems (aka ZFS and btrfs).  

I'm in a silimar boat but decided to take the DIY route with a FreeNAS box I'm putting together.  I have photos I don't want to succumb to bitrot.
 
Synology DS1813+  Reliable, Super quiet, Super fast when you fire up 802.3ad Link Aggregation. UI is superb.
 
+Sebastian Muñiz
Many years ago I used to manage a large disk datawarehouse. Think average disk life is 3-4 years. This is not a "guaranteed life", it's just an average. When you have 24 disks expect 1 or 2 to fail every year. Where I worked we used to change a couple of disks every week
 
Recently I scraped Iomega Home Media solutions, but didn't go for NAS as gradually I figure NAS is either very expensive (RAID and professional builds) or too consumer level tight to traps of incorporated commercial interests, and a bit insultful for Linux-guru to use.
Final decision, a combination of the following two:
A. big long-term storage: go for many online cloud solutions, if one is not enough, two, three more.... also heard happy stories using China's 360 cloud and Baidu clound...  then combined with:
B. temp storage @ home/SOHO:  ArchLinux FW hacked/compatible that can support 2.5" harddisk just in FAT32/NTFS, not noisy and green. 
idea is if one hdd is down, throw it and put a 2nd (assuming important files all backuped to A). To make things simple, I use SD card as firmware/rootfs, so can backup once setup.  Some Pogoplug devices are cheap and good.   
If down or EOL, can buy RaspPi and BBB to temporarily replace.
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