How are people accessing their storage these days?

So currently my PC has four HDD and one SSD. I'm in a situation where I want to add more HDD's, but don't want to go with a bigger case (would actually prefer a smaller case if anything).

I'm just wondering, has much changed in the way of how/where people put their hard drives? I've thought about going the NAS route, but that seems like quite a bit of hassle, especially considering I don't need to access the data network-wide. I also want my data locally stored, so no cloud storage.

Don't really know what solution I'm looking for here, so happy to hear others' 2c about their configurations and experiences.


  • +7 votes

    are you trying to archive the internet?

  • Do you regularly access the information on those drives? I would say probably not and recommend getting a couple of external hard drives

  • Go NAS. One of those 4 bay bad boys and put 4 x 10tb hard drives in it from the deal the other day… BAM, archive the entire internet…

    I run a NUC, so no room for anything more than the single drive. NAS setup is super easy, just plug it in, start it up, map the drive to your computer and you wouldn't even know that the drives were not inside your case… Plenty of forums and how to YouTube videos if you get stuck.

    Or, like Nitro said above, there is a fair chance you're just a data hoarder and there would be 90% of stuff on those drives you wouldn't even know was there or have not looked at in years. Buy some external USB hard drives, archive the stuff you are not using regularly and clear out your in case drives to free up space.

    This is like the people that "need" terrabytes worth of storage on a mobile phone. They "need" to have 8.6 years worth of music and entire TV shows spanning 7 seasons because "I take the train to work"… That is one hell of a round trip to work if you need your whole music catalogue and a full season of TV shows to cover you on your journey. I would suggest a job that is closer??

  • I use SSD's in the PC for games and programs etc and any media goes on the NAS.

  • You have a couple of options. First is like what Nitro 123 said and go with externals.

    Another is to get a HDD dock and plug in hard drives as you need to access them. Let's you use faster and more reliable drives and move your old ones out of your case.

    If you need to access your drives all the time, you can get HDD DAS boxes (Direct Access Storage) , like a NAS but instead of networking they just plug straight into your pc through USB or thunderbolt. It's another box sitting around your desk limited by how long your cable is but at least it's not in the case.

  • I am wondering about the same questions too. We set up a NAS in 2009 and it made sense then - plenty of space for all the family, an easy central place for movies and TV, photos, PC backups and documents. We mirror the NAS to a computer drive, back that up to the cloud.

    Fast forward to now, and there is just the two of us and Netflix and I am wondering what makes sense for us now. The NAS is great except that about 18 months ago it has some esoteric file structure problem that gave me grief for a couple of hours. It is also 11 years old, and the firmware… We haven't watched anything from the NAS in six months - there's so much good stuff to stream. Maybe we now just need a HDD plugged into the back of the router. I am not quite ready to let Google look after my photos though.

  • I guess the options are:
    1. Get External drives
    2. Upgrade to larger internal drives

    What capacity are your drives?

  • I bought my specific PC case to hold HDD's but if you want something separate something like this is what i'd get

  • External hard drive. Sorry if the answer was obvious. 4-8 bay (non nas). Pick your choice of interface. Usb 3, usb c thunderbolt etc etc.

    • Media files on NAS
    • Backups on NAS
    • Small backups (e.g uni, work, documents) smaller external drives
    • x1 External drive for full monthly backup
    • 2.5" HDD connected via SATA cable for file/folder history

    Planning on buying a few external drives for fortnightly backups

  • I use one of these which are connected to a PC that was turned into a server. I have my connected via USB 3 and it has enough throughput to max out a gigabit LAN connection which is all I need it to do.

    I also use Stablebit Drivepool which makes them all appear to be one big drive (as least as afar as Windows in concerned).

    There are probably better systems that can be used but this works for me.