Lifehacker has an article on how to set up a NAS for backups, streaming your media and downloading torrents.
At its most basic, network attached storage, or NAS, is a great way to share files on your local network. But it’s also a perfect solution for backing up your computers, streaming media across your home network, or even torrenting files to a central server. If you have an ageing computer lying around, you can turn it into a NAS for for free with the open-source FreeNAS operating system. Here’s how.
What Is Network Attached Storage?
“A network attached storage box is a computer on your network specifically designed to store files. Any computer on the network can access files on a NAS, which makes them great for bigger households, and they’re also nice for when you don’t want to store a bunch of external drives on your desk.
Unlike regular file servers, NAS units are usually built for a specific purpose, like backing up your data or streaming media to other machines. They’re also usually quite low power and low cost, and they don’t require a monitor, mouse or keyboard – once you’ve installed the software, you can configure every aspect of your NAS from a web browser on your other computers.”
Since FreeNAS has mostly enterprise features (“home features” will appear in FreeNAS 8.1), this article deals with FreeNAS 0.7.