Digital media is so common in today’s modern society. Even people who would not be considered “tech nerds” have many gigabytes of personal data. Be it MP3s, digital photos, eBooks, or documents, people accumulate a lot of stuff.
All of today’s digital media is usually strewn all around the house in a disorganized mess. This is one of the primary reasons to get a good NAS, which incorporates several web and media servers with online storage and automatic backup.
While a single NAS is an elegant solution, everyone’s media library grows, and the NAS has to expand with it. One can expand their NAS with external USB or eSATA drives, but these ideas come with some ugly caveats (which I’ve written about here).
Why upgrade instead of adding external drives?
Most NASs’ services are configured to only look on the first volume. For example, UPNP is no longer automatic on external drives, which can majorly impact the SAF (Spousal Acceptance Factor). Our family has several torrent subscriptions to our favorite shows, and they don’t show up from the Playstation or Xbox 360 unless we refresh the UPNP server on our Diskstation DS409. What good is an advanced media system if you lose the spit and polish that made it so attractive? This is one major reason to upgrade your primary array. External drives are still useful… but use them for backup.
The best way to expand your NAS and maintain its functional integrity is to upgrade the primary array. Our focus for today’s article is a Synology Diskstation 409 with four 500GB Western Digital WD500AAKS-00D2B0 Blue hard drives, which ran out of space a long time ago. In order to have space (with room to grow), I’m replacing these drives with four 2TB Seagate Barracuda XTs.
On the next page we go over what to look for in replacement drives…