I'm looking for a NAS device for the purpose of running backups of several other machines. My current setup for this is a consumer PC with extra drives plugged in, but this is non-optimal for several reasons.

I want NAS hardware because consumer PC hardware with enough disk slots usually comes in an enormous case and requires expensive motherboards and so forth. This system does not need high hardware performance, and ideally would cost less than $500. However, I intend to install a standard Linux distribution on it (probably Arch) and handle all software requirements myself. Thus, I need a system on which it is easy to boot from a CD or USB and install a new OS. (My prior research suggests that many NASs require fiddling with the hardware to achieve this; I'd prefer to avoid that.)

I would like at least four disk slots, and would prefer that it came diskless. I will connect it via Ethernet, and do not require any other network hardware. As mentioned above, it will be used only for periodic backups of other machines, which have live data; thus, the hardware performance other than network and disk bandwidth is mostly immaterial. And of course, because I will handle the software myself, I do not care about what software package it comes with, only that I can get rid of it.

Any recommendations?

Edit: The usual OS install process requires a video output, which is apparently rare on NAS hardware; however, it should also be possible to install over the network (particularly a distribution such as Arch whose install procedure is from the command line itself). Thus, while it would be more difficult, a device without video whose bootloader can be edited or replaced would also suffice, so long as an unrestricted network shell is available from the original OS.


3 Answers 3


Take a consideration of HP gen8 microserver. It has four 3.5HDD bays,one 2.5 optical bay,and one microsd slot. Cheapest version with intel g1610T cpu,4 GB ecc memory(with out hdd) usually comes with around 220 EURO.

There is a easily used remote control tool called iLO pre-installed on the chip and you can do any configuration via ethernet instead of a display. You can even install a ESXi on it and run several VMs including windows,linux,macos.

Some more information:




I recently bought a HP storage works x1400 from eBay for $50 including shipping. HP storage works x1400 is based on HP DL320 so if you search ebay you can look for DL320 G6


  • quad core cpu
  • Takes 4 3.5 drives it came with 4 500gb disks

You can replace these with your own high capacity drives I think 2TB might be upper limit not sure if there is a way to override this I personally haven't tested whether this limit actually exist but have plans on verifying myself

It runs quiet compared to other racks and is also thin and light weight

I have installed server 2012 r2 but you can even install openfiler or Freenas

It has a sas port so you can join other similar hardware


In 2024, I would recommend Synology NAS. I have had a 4 drive one at my home office and a 2 drive one at a friends place to backup the NAs onto another NAS.

  • I backup all my drives.
  • I mirror all my documents and photos. We can then access these from anywhere.
  • I also have GIT repositories on it for my source (being a developer)
  • You can do everything on a browser
  • The Apps on the NAS as well as the Apps on the mobile are crisp, clean and very functional.

These are the two I have. I am about to install an SSD on it, to speed up the access.

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