The main thing I like about the NAS's you can buy, is size. They typically will hold 3/4 drives, and you won't find a PC case on the market that will hold 3-4 drives, and be the size of any of the commercial NAS options.
That said, I love the versatility of building my own. Since home made NAS's will be based on Linux or BSD (usually).. the things you can do with them is pretty much unlimited. I think both have their advantages and disadvantages
Below is strictly my opinion, not meant to be the authority on this issue, it was just how I looked at things when I was trying too decide on whether to buy or build. I admit that I was (1) Probably a bit biased and (2) I have/had never owned or used a "store bought" NAS.
Hardware (not related to drives):
Store bought -- Pretty much limited to what is inside the NAS build, case specs, etc.
Custom build -- Pretty much limited by your imagination and budget. Do you want 2 drives or 10, 1gig of ram or 16gigs of ram (yes, I've seen this)
Winner -- Custom
Store bought -- Installing "custom" services to integrate with the rest of the NAS will probably be fairly difficult/impossible.
Custom build -- Again, limited only by your ability and willingness to learn to configure services (depending on the OS you use, a lot of them may be configurable by the webUI, others may have to be configured via command line)
Store bought -- Technical support, documentation, etc.. should all be fairly good. If you have a problem, there's likely a technical support phone number you can call, or possibly a forum on the manufacturers website.
Custom build -- Big hang up for the custom build here. If your "google-foo" is broken.. You'll have a helluva time. If the operating system you install is fairly well supported, finding answers can be pretty easy, but still very frustrating at times. Initial setup can also be quite a bit more difficult (again, depending on the OS you decide to use)
Winner: Store bought
This will probably be the biggest section, as most people will probably buy a NAS if building one is going to be considerably more expensive.
Store bought: I've saw some store bought NAS's that were very reasonable, others that were super expensive. Probably how good a shopper you are will come into play here.
Custom build -- Again, it's all about the hardware you choose and what you need.
My Build would require 4 storage drives
A 4 bay ReadyNAS -- $529 (I think it was a tad more when I built, but this is the current price)
Case: Antec Sonata Proto $49 (this was on sale)
Motherboard: MSI 760GM $60
CPU -- 2.8ghz Sempron $49
RAM -- 8gigs of Crucial $40
Power Supply -- 500w Antec $50 (to be fair, this had been sitting unopened in a closet for quite some time)
Misc -- Fans, cables, etc.. $50
Time -- Took me about 60-90min to assemble, install an operating system, and install and format the storage drives to a Linux filesystem. After that, it was simply a matter of setting up services.. which I don't count here, as you'd have to do that with a ReadyNAS as well.
Total: $300.. probably figure another $10-15 bucks on shipping, tax, etc.. for a few items... so I'll be generous and say $320.
Is my NAS faster than a ReadyNas? I honestly don't know.. but I'm really happy with it. Now if you're the type who calculates some "hourly rate" into your builds... I guess if you're paying yourself $200 an hour, you could find the ReadyNAS wins here.
Winner: Custom* -- I'll give this an asterisk, as you may well consider your time way more valuable than the amount I saved building my own.
After looking at the above, deciding to build my own was easy.
Edit: In the interest of fairness, I forgot to add the cost of some cables, fans, etc.. to the price on my custom built NAS.
Originally Posted by GioaJack
The fire is no longer my major concern since I am leaving immediately on an unexpected road trip to Indianapolis. Watch the national news over the next couple of days, I'll wave... well, only if I'm cuffed in the front.
Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 11-17-2012 at 11:20..