Raspberry Pi rival NanoPi NEO's answer to cheap NAS: Build your own for $31

Why buy a network-attached storage device when you can build your own in 10 easy steps?
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

How much the single-bay NanoPi NEO NAS ultimately costs depends largely on the hard drive chosen.

Image: FriendlyELEC

The maker of Raspberry Pi Zero rival NanoPi NEO has released a network-attached storage (NAS) kit to let you build your own cheap single-bay NAS.

The $8 ARM NanoPi NEO's new NAS companion kit takes advantage of the development board's Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports, offering up an aluminum housing for a single-bay NAS station, a heatsink for the NEO, and fittings to mount a 2.5-inch SATA hard disk.

How much the NAS unit will ultimately cost depends largely on the hard drive of choice, but the NAS kit itself is available from NanoPi NEO's maker, FriendlyELEC, for an introductory price of $13, with normal pricing at $17.

The housing measures 143 x 100 x 47.5mm, or roughly 6 x 4 x 1.85 inches, and weighs 414gm, or 0.91lb.

As Liliputing notes, it actually costs $10 more to get the 12V, 2A power adapter, which brings the grand total to $31, and from there you'll need to choose the hard disk. The kit also includes a Debian-based OpenMediaVault NAS software.

While Raspberry Pi is synonymous with development boards, embedded systems news site CNX Soft notes that FriendlyELEC actually started making similar boards well before the first Raspberry Pi devices were available.

According to the site, FriendlyELEC tested USB to SATA performance on a NanoPi NEO 512MB-based NAS versus Raspberry Pi 3 board, and Synology DS916+ NAS.

The Raspberry Pi and NanoPi NEO-based NAS performed about the same, but didn't match Synology's native SATA interface. Still, the NanoPi NEO setup's price is hard to beat.

FriendlyELEC is offering a 10-step easy-to-follow guide to building the NAS and booting it up.

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