Maximum PC


Why would you want to build your own NAS server? You can easily pick up a decent off-the-shelf model in the form of a QNAP or Synology NAS, complete with its own operating system, range of apps and all the rest. Why? Because you’re a Maximum PC reader, do you need any other reason?

Of course not, but we’ll give you some anyway. QNAP and Synology are very good at what they do, but you’re tied into their ecosystems, which limits you to their choice of hardware, software, and even proprietary filesystems. None of this sits well with us, particularly when our TS-251+ proved so poor at hardware transcoding.

The beauty of the self-build system is that you’re in complete control, from choosing the components that make up your turbo-powered NAS, to selecting which operating system powers it. We’ve hand-picked the best components for a low-powered NAS build, but you’re free to use whatever you want—an old PC or laptop will do nicely, or even set one up inside a virtual machine. Our NAS will run Ubuntu Server for maximum flexibility and performance, designed to run headless while remaining accessible and easy to manage via any PC on your local network with a web browser. Ready to get started?

First, what hardware will your NAS server be based on? Any PC capable of running Linux is the simple answer. You might have an old PC or laptop gathering dust somewhere looking for a new purpose in life, or perhaps you’re looking for an excuse for your next build. The box on the opposite page reveals what we based our server on, which we found very easy to build.

Your NAS server needs a suitable operating system to run, and because it’s designed to be run headless, we’re going to install Ubuntu Server

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