Time to get NAS? Suggestions appreciated

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I'm a keen photographer, and having had a dSLR for a few months now, I'm rapidly finding that shooting RAW has a bit of an adverse affect on my hard disk space. ;)

So far I've just been archiving to dvd when necessary, but this tends to be quite time consuming and the files aren't easily accessible. I've not really got the space in my case (nor any free sata headers) to bolt in any more hard drives (already have 2x Seagate 160GB 7200.7, and an IDE Maxtor 80GB), so I'm looking at external storage for the time being.

At first I considered a USB option like the mybook or suchlike, but would it be best to invest in a dual disk RAID1-capable NAS option? I like the idea of independent access on the network rather than direct attached storage, and since it will mainly be used for backup and long term storage, the slower ethernet speed shouldn't be an issue.

Then again, since I'd probably use a NAS box to mirror My Pictures (which is on an internal drive), is RAID1 really necessary? The Qnap TS201 looks like a decent piece of kit with added multimedia/web server/torrent bonus features, and OcUK have them at a good price, but can't find any opinion on it from anyone on these forums.

How do those of you with 100s of gigs of media (which is the way I'm heading) and some sort of external storage organise your stuff and drives? Any opinions welcome, I'm just at the stage of trying to figure out what would be best for my needs. Thanks in advance. :)
 
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Cheers - hadn't really thought about e-SATA, although i suppose in principle it's not different to an external USB drive, i.e. direct attached storage rather than NAS.

But presumably, there's no way that any direct attached storage can act as a web server or download station unless my pc is turned on, can it?

NAS seems more and more tempting, but still struggling to find any user opinions of the QNAP 201 unit - a couple of reviews are on the net but nothing in the way of longer-term user opinions. Anyone here got one?
 
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Cheers guys - that WD My Book World looks mighty tempting. £293 for a terabyte of NAS is great value compared to the ~£220 for an empty Qnap 201 or Thecus 2100. And the My Book World can have it's disks replaced (i.e. upgraded?) in the future. Will have to wait and see what all the specs, features and reviews are like. I'm guessing it's not likely to have the download/torrent managers and other fancy+useful features of the byod boxes.

I see there's also a Linksys NAS200 box on the horizon, but from what I can gather it's not even futureproofed with only a 10/100 connection. And it's fugly.

@ Bomag: Thanks for the warning, but i'm only an a 10/100 network anyway - and tbh speed isn't my main concern. It won't be used as a main active source of data, but as a backup and long-term storage. I'm thinking along the lines of a weekly backup (if I have new/processed photos or other important files on my pc) using SyncToy. Many well designed/implemented features and reliability are the most important things to me.
 
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