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Turning an old PC into a NAS

IF YOU’VE NEVER owned or used a network attached storage device, there are two things you should know about them: a) they’re awesome; and b) the commercial ones are basically just PCs running a specialised version of Linux. Their main advantage is their industrial design: the ease of installing and removing hard drives. But you pay quite a bit for that industrial design, and many commercial NASs have their flaws.

The most common flaw is a very weak processor, especially in the less expensive models. Very cheap NASs, those in the $200-$400 range, very often use extremely low-powered ARM chips. Which is fine for file sharing and media streaming from

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