Advice on NAS

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Baconstripss, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Baconstripss, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013

    Baconstripss macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Hi guys.

    I've previously asked you about TC as a file server, which I was advices not to buy. So I need some help regarding a possible NAS solution.
    I have to following needs of it.

    1. File sharing between devices (Macs, iDevices and Apple TV (Apple TV is not a deal breaker at all) Windows access is a bonus, but not a need

    2. It's primarily to share/store movies, pictures and documents (.pages .pdf etc.) I want to stream movies to the devices, open pictures and documents.

    3. I'm primaly going to use it at home on my local network, but if it's possible, remote access would be a HUGE bonus and thus almost a demand. (I have a dynamic IP but can obtain a static if needed)

    4. I've heard a lot about HDD failure and would like mine to be fairly secure. If the NAS should break it wouldn't be the end of the world - as the NAS will be more of a luxury than a necessity.

    5. My budget is approximately 500$ but may vary depending of what the more "costly" feature should be.

    I did actually buy the TC, but I have 14 days to return it. So far I'm not that impressed by the movie streaming feature. I can't even wind in VLC without it going completely nuts. And I haven't found a very good app for my iDevices to access the files on the TC.

    I have a 40/5 connection from my ISP.

    I am NOT a tech genius. I know my way around the tech universe, but the whole NAS-world is new to me. So please bear with me I'm confused :)

    Thanks in advance!
  2. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    If you don't consider yourself a "tech genius" per se, building a NAS is out of the question.

    I personally have a Synology NAS, and I LOVE it. Great UI. Super easy to set up. Synology Hybrid RAID gives you redundancy, but it also lets you grow the array with different sized drives, a la drobo.

    I would recommend getting at least 3 drives to start. This would give you a single parity drive + 2 volume drives. The parity drive is for drive failure protection. Any one of the 3 drives can die, and you still won't lose any data.

    If you're looking for file sharing, time capsule / time machine usage, bittorrent, etc, I'd go with the Synology DS413J. It's a 4 drive NAS. It goes for $379.99 on Amazon, which is within your price range. If you were counting drives included, then you could start with the Synology DS212J. This NAS only has two drive bays, but it's only $199. I would recommend getting this and dual 4TB RED drives. That should be about $500. You would have a total of 4TB of available space, as one drive would be used for redundancy.

    FWIW, I have the Synology DS1513+, and it's rock solid, and it works amazingly well. I was just streaming a blu ray rip over 802.11N with VLC before reading your post!
  3. Baconstripss thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Thank you for your answer.

    I've been looking around on some Danish websites for the hardware you suggest.

    The DS212j goes for 224$ at the cheapest retailer.

    Just to be sure: When you say dual 4 TB RED drives, do you then mean I would have to get 2 drives? I have found the WD40EFRX (Western Digital 4 TB) drives, but they go for 241$ each. It might be because of our Danish VAT-system.

    Do you have any other suggestions for drives? 2 TB would be more than enough for me if that can reduce the price.
  4. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    The source to look at is the compatibility table for Drives on the Synology website. See : for the DS212j.

    If you pick two of any drives on this list then they are guaranteed to work with the DS212j firmware. Which drive you pick depends on how much you value your data. Personally, I don't use Enterprise drives as I have found that Consumer level drives are good enough. I have had NAS units for more than 6 years or so with only 1 drive failure. I've replaced drives often enough but apart from once, they have been pre-planned. With RAID (and checking SMART data regularly) you have a window to replace the bad drive before it becomes a real problem. YMMV.
  5. Baconstripss thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Thank you for your input drsox

    I have been looking at theses two disks from Seagate and WD.

    Western Digital Red WD20EFRX 2TB

    Seagate NAS ST2000VN000 2TB

    And then together with Synology DiskStation DS212j NAS server.

    Can you say which of the disks are the better one?

    Also, with the Synology DiskStation, is there a program I can install on my Macs to administrate the content on the NAS? I looked in the App store with no result. On the iPhone/iPad I saw there was the DS Photo+, DS Video etc. so these are fine.
  6. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    One of the advantages of a NAS system is that they give you redundancy, meaning that if a hard drive were to die, you still have another one in there that has all your data safe. You don't HAVE to get two drives, but it's a nice-to-have. If you're okay with your data not being redundantly stored, you could get the single drive DS112J and just pop a single 4TB drive in there. Just make sure to back up your media some way. For example, the DS112J has a couple USB ports on there. You can set the Synology up to back up to the USB drive every night.

    2TB drives will DEFINITELY be cheaper than the red 4TB drive, as it just came out. The "RED" drives are a line by Western Digital that are optimized for network attached storage and constant operation. As the other user suggested, you don't necessarily NEED to get a NAS drive, but if you're going to invest the money, I probably would. Check the price of the 2TB RED drive.

    The Red drives are widely considered to be the best, but I went with the cheaper option on my Synology... I have Seagate drives... As long as you're backing up to another source, it's not that important.

    It's a Web UI. You log in via a web browser. It's a fantastic UI. Very easy to set up.

    BTW... Here is my final recommendation for you, given what you mentioned + price constraints. I would get a DS112J, rather than the DS212J. This will save you some money. I would get a red 2Tb drive, and then I would get a cheap USB 2.0 drive and plug it into the NAS. This will give you 2TB of network storage, a great NAS, and a drive that has scheduled backups running to it, to protect your data.
  7. Baconstripss thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Thank you spaceball. I really appreciate all of your help.

    I'm finally starting to get the RAID system which sound pretty neat.

    I think I'm gonna go with this setup:

    2xWestern Digital Red WD20EFRX 2TB plugged into a DS212J.

    This will get me a total expense of 485$ which is perfect. I'll return my Time Capsule and then add the few pennies needed.

    Sound nice with the web UI and alongside with the iOS apps this seems to be the best solution for me.

    One last question though. Will I be able to stream directly to either my Apple TV (3rd gen.) or Samsung Smart TV (DLNA) or will it have to go through AirPlay --> Apple TV or something else to the Samsung TV?

    I might post again in here once I get the hardware and run into the inevitable problems ;-)
  8. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I would go with the WD Red drives. I typically spend approx 100 per drive and over the years that has bought me drives from 240GB to 3TB. 2TB Red drives seem to be at about this price also.

    Drives designed for NAS operation are quite new on the market but seem worth buying IMO.

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