I was just wondering:

Can I use my Raspberry Pi Model B as a Network Attached Storage?

My plan is to have a wired connection from my router to the Pi, and a 2TB Exfat formatted drive attached to it.

This NAS will be used for video steaming from the harddrive and data backups if possible.

Will there be any lag for the video playback? Devices playing the video will be connected via WiFi.


2 Answers 2


There's one big thing to keep in mind when setting up a NAS with a RaspberryPi. The Ethernet on the Pi is USB. This means that any data you're reading off a USB hard drive across the network goes down the USB bus from the disk to Pi, then back up it from the Pi to the network. This effectively halves your possible bandwidth. The USB/Ethernet setup on the Pi is also a little bit less than stellar in high performance situations. Ethernet throughput under ideal situations (e.g. sending /dev/zero) will top out at around 80 mbits. You can expect at least half of this (probably closer to 2/5ths or 1/3rd) when reading off a disk, so around 35 mbits, or around 4 MB/s. Backups will be a bit slow, but doable. Streaming video will depend on the bandwidth. Most 720 video will be under that rate as well, but you may encounter problems if more than one person is watching a video at a time.

For the price though, the Pi is hard to beat...

  • 2
    To put it in context, digital broadcast television is about 20 Mbps (ATSC/North America) or up to 32 Mbps (DVB-T/rest of the world). A standard DVD plays at 11 Mbps, and a Blu-Ray runs at 36 Mbps.
    – Mark
    Apr 17, 2014 at 8:22

It can work. You probably want to expose your file system as a NFS, and it is definitely possible to get lag free playback, but it depends on a lot of factors, where the pi, the drive, and the router are only some.

Be careful not to expose the content of the hard drive to the world. Otherwise, it is a simple setup, and I would recommend you to try it.

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