Home server recommendations?

Is anyone using any of the current crop of mini home servers and can share their experience? I have the usual problem buying tekkie devices - half the reviews rave over a particular product, the other half slate it as rubbish. I used to go on advice of the likes of PC Pro "A List", but these tend to go out of date very quickly.

Sort of NAS devices I'm interested in:

- Acer Aspire Easystore H340
- NETGEAR ReadyNAS Duo RND2000/ Stora MS2110, or similar Netgear models
- HP MediaSmart Server
- Asus Home Server TS mini
- Tranquil models, etc

I'm just after a basic network archive & back-up device and print server. Don't particularly need any web or media gizmos, but would like:

1. Very low power consumption or decent power-saving utility for 24/7 operation (one reason i don't want to recycle an old PC);

2. RAID 1 capability (probably 2x 1TB disks; doubt I'll ever need to expand beyond this);

3. Compatible with XP/ Vista/ Win7 PCs;

4. Windows Home Server - unless there is a eejit-proof better system;

5. decent OEM "pull" back-up utility would be nice, but not essential;

6. Low fan noise, if possible (just bought a "Trust" UPS that sounds like a hovercraft - and it lacks any power-down facility..... grrrr).

7. Easy set-up....

Has anyone found a perfect out-of-the-box product?
You would be better getting yourself onto a more specialised forum, probably something to do with computers and servers in particular mate.
I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo for my home server / backuop source.

I use it for 1 x Netbook, 1 x Laptop 1 x PC and 1 x iMac and it works with them all seamlessly. I haven't connected a printer to it as my printer has wi-fi and I don't print huge amounts to bother connecting it to my network.

There is a still a deal on at the moment where you can get a free 500GB drive if you buy one, or a free 1TB if you buy the version with the 1TB drive fitted.

Mine is running with 2 x 500GB hard drives in the X-Raid format that it uses and the drives are hot swappable so you don't lose any data when one goes tits up.

Read the forum at www.readynas.com if you need more info.

I got mine from www.misco.co.uk along with 2 OEM drives and even a muppet like me managed to get it set up in no time.

Hope this helps a little bit.
You could try one of the new nettops, but it would probably need external storage to compete with a NAS in terms of space. You'd also need to install Windows Home Server, and I don't know how easy that is.
I've got a Synology ds101j which I've had for years. It's an awesome bit of kit that I would thoroughly recommend although I accept it doesn't do all that you want. I expect that some of their more recent stuff has RAID, print server, etc.

Synology kit has a reputation for being good and they are also excellent at releasing regular firmware updates that add functionality. In the years that I've had mine they've added FTP, bit torrent, improved user permissions and added stability features.

Windows server ....... personally I would stay well clear!
A QNAP TS-209II Pro - does everything I need, I've got a RAID 1 pair of 1TB disks in it at the moment.

I'm only running the server, print server and UPnP server stuff right now, but it's capable of a lot more... it's a Linux image inside, but it works fine with our Vista boxes and the wife's XP laptop.

Not quite out of the box, but pretty close.

<Edited to add>
I got it because I was looking for a DLNA-compliant server that would talk to my PS3. The PS3 is wired into the living-room TV and hi-fi, and worked straight away. Now if I want, I can run iTunes through some decent kit, or treat the TV as a digital photo-frame.

It also talks to my iPhone, thanks to PlugPlayer, so as long as I'm in Wi-Fi range I can listen to anything on the disk...
Thanks for the feedback.

Hadn't heard of the Synology and QNAP kit - they look a bit more professional than some of the mass market home user offerings.

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