FreeNAS – Open Source NAS Operating System

FreeNAS is an open-source NAS operating system built upon FreeBSD and is maintained by iX Systems. It offers enterprise level file storage with encryption and redundancy options.

FreeNAS is a straight forward install and runs as a headless system that is configurable through a web browser on the local network. Through the admin dashboard you can create file shares for SMB/CIFS (Windows file shares), Unix file sharing through NFS, in addition to AFP (Apple file sharing).

There is a multitude of plugins available that run as FreeBSD jails. This includes the ability to back up your FreeNAS volumes to the Amazon S3 storage. Some of the more popular plugins include:

  • Resilio – Formerly known as BitTorrent Sync. Allows for data synchronization between multiple devices.
  • Plex – Perfect for a home media center. Store the media files (videos, photos, etc) on the FreeNAS box and then download the Plex app on compatible devices for viewing.
  • ownCloud – Gives you a cloud based dashboard for accessing and sharing files over the internet.

FreeNAS itself can be installed on minimal hardware; only requiring a 64-bit CPU, 8Gb of boot storage, 8Gb of ram, and at least 1 hard disk. FreeNAS supports all of the standard RAID levels in addition to ZFS. ZFS is an enterprise level file system offering significantly better data integrity than older file systems.

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