Airport Time Capsule vs NAS

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Stryker273, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Stryker273 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    #1
    Please bare with me as I'm a casual Mac user and new to trying anything like what I'm about to describe.

    I want to set up a way to store pretty much everything in one location so that I can access it from either my iMac or MBP (I would also like to be able to do this from my iPad but this is not a deal breaker). I want to be able to get to it either on my wifi network or when away through the Internet. I would also like to be able to utilize the media from here on my Apple TV.

    The three ways I thought mi got work were
    1. An airport time capsule
    2. A western digital my book live
    3. A NAS from Synology.

    Please tell me which is my best option and why the others won't work.
     
  2. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #2
    I don't think you will get much of an answer to this. How long is a piece of string ?
    Have you looked at items on this forum ?
     
  3. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #3
    AirPort TC would be the safest path to making TimeMachine backups.
    AirPort TC might have (depending on your ISP) the added benefit of enabling Back to my Mac
    AirPort TC is not the fastest network attached file server available.
    Synology has the best NAS OS on the market.
    Depending on model, your Synology should be faster in file serving, than TC.
    Neither of them is any good for Apple TV without plugging iTunes inbetween.
    iPad can't connect to shared network drives either, by default. There are alternative media players (eg GoodPlayer) that can browse your shared disks either over SMB or WebDAV.
     
  4. ColdCase, Jul 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #4
    The TC will work for everything you want to do, but it won't run iTunes to directly stream video or audio to the apple TV. You also need a mac running on the network. You can make a synology work somewhat, but also fails with apple TV. It would serve video and audio to the iPad.

    The best single solution approach is to spend a little more for a refurbed mac mini and run it headless with OS server installed.

    I bought a synology NAS but, in hind sight, a mac mini server would have been a much much better solution and much less of a hassle.
     
  5. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #5
    Synology has a package called Video Station which can stream ATV ready audio or video initiated from a web interface. It works but isn't elegant.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #6
    1. Time Capsule's strengths is that its ease of setup for Time Machine. As a NAS its much more limited in features and flexibility

    2. The WD My Book Live appears to be a decent NAS but I question the Mac compatibility when the drive is formatted to NTFS. Does it allow iTunes streaming and video streaming to your mac?

    3. Synology is the most recommended NAS here and has some great tools and Mac centric features. I recommend this above the list you have as its the most flexible and robust solution.
     
  7. ColdCase, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Won't stream to the AppleTV directly. Works fine for a iPad... so I have been known to stream the video to the iPad and air play it to the AppleTv. Kinda kludgy but works.

    The Synlogy NAS is nice, but many of the features it offers are worthless in the home as your internet provider block the ports necessary to use them. It does provide for redundant disk storage for files, including iTunes libraries at a reasonable price. TM backups are not supported by apple and updates often break synology's implementation.

    The TC is probably the best compromise on the OPs list. I've ended up with both and if I had it to do over again I would have went right to a OSX server, either running on a spare MAC or a mini.

    There is no question that both the TC and Synology NAS are quality products.
     
  8. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #8
    Actually I've gotten it to stream ATV2/3 encoded videos directly to my ATV3. Problem is when you close the browser the video playback stops.
     
  9. Stryker273 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 17, 2013
    #9
    Will this let me access my media through my iPhone and iPad.

    And where can I find instructions to turn a Mac mini into a server. Preferably ones that are as idiot proof as possible.
     
  10. ColdCase, Jul 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #10
    You don't need a server to home share movies and music stored on your mini with any Mac or iOS device.

    In iTunes preferences, you turn on sharing on your mini. Then open the iPad/iPhone video app and at the top will be a sharing button, click it and your mini should be listed, select the mini and your video library is available to view.

    Similar with music, except you need to select the more button along the bottom of the screen for the music sharing button to be visible.

    You would do the same thing from your AppleTV. You don't need the server app to simply file share and have a network place to time machine backup other machines. But the server app is only like $20 and offers the other features (like remote access) you said you wanted. You may ask why does anyone bothers with any other products, well OSXserver runs on a Mac and buying that Mac will cost you a little more than a TimeCapsule and bottom line NAS combined.

    OS server is available to download from the application store ($19.99 I think). Setup is strait forward, but like any server app, advanced capabilities need more than a casual knowledge. The Mac is simpler to set up than most. Setting up a time machine server as well as video/music sharing is straight forward.

    There is a MacOS server forum around here somewhere. There is also a appleTV and media forum.

    Oh, once you have the server running, there are a wide variety of apps you could investigate, like Plex (~$5 I think), as an alternate way to serve your media. This is not a whole lot different than other NAS boxes, but you need a higher priced NAS that has enough horsepower. The advantage you get with MacOS is it blends well with the Mac ecosystem, provides robust time machine support, and it just works. Folks around her say Synology is easy to set up, but thats with a bit of knowledge about servers and terminology. To do anything more than file sharing is not so straight forward to the casual observer.
     
  11. rikscha macrumors 6502a

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    London
    #11
    I am using an ATV2 with ATVFlash and a 2GB time capsule. Best setup there is.

    I have all my movies on my TC and can access these directly on my Apple TV. At the same time, the TC is doing time machine backups. There is no cleaner solution than this.

    Also, with infuse getting soon SMB support, you will be able to access the very same movies on your TC to play them on your iPad.
     
  12. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #12
    The OP appears to be a casual user, wants something simple plug and play and just works. I'm sure he/she does not want to deal with flashing ATVs or troubleshooting weird scenario like us Geeks like to do.... or dealing with early adopter headaches.
     
  13. pup975 macrumors member

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #13
    I would highly recommend the Synology. The Synology is constantly improving to make it more easily accessible to the casual user. It has a QuickConnect feature that bypasses the need to open ports on your router. You set up a QuickConnect name, and you can use that name (and your username and password) on your the iPhone/iPad/Android apps or Synology computer apps to access the files.

    You can stream content via your iOS device to the ATV. However, you stream the content to your iPad/iPhone then Airplay the movie to your ATV.

    While it is easy to set up, it's not exactly Apple-easy to set up and not plug-and-play. There is some set up that you have to do. However, it is the most elegant set-up out of your options and will be the easiest. Any time you want to access files on a home network from outside the internet, you are asking for a set-up that is beyond plug and play.
     
  14. Stryker273, Jul 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013

    Stryker273 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 17, 2013
    #14
    I think I'm going to try the Mac mini server because I have access to a Mac mini that is a few years old and is not being used. Once this app is installed does it purely become a server or does it still retain its usually capabilities.

    I know how to share media through the Mac to my iPad and ATV when on the same network. What I really want is to be able to get to all of my files through my other macs(and if possible my ipad) so as to keep everything in one place and be able to get to it no matter where I am at wether through the local network or through the Internet. Im not worried about the Appletv as sharing from a Mac is not a problem.

    Also can I add more storage by plugging in external hard drives to the USB ports

    If some setup is nessecary to get the results that I want then Ill just have to learn.
     
  15. Jack Sun macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2013
    #15

    Did this work for you? I'm looking to do the same type of thing now that I bought the new rMBP to go along with my iPad and iPhone and my wife's MBA and iPhone.

    One idea I have rather than Mac Mini is to "Hackintosh" my PC laptop as an OSX Mavericks server. Then buy the 2TB Airport Time Cap. Would this work as a central repository for iPhoto, iTunes, etc?
     
  16. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    Estonia
    #16
    Technically - yes. Logically - who knows? Storing iTunes lib on a NAS has no problems. However, TC is quite slow to serve up online iPhoto library that you would actively work on. For archival of offline libs - no prob.
     
  17. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #17
    Bad idea IMO to run a laptop 24/7 as a server.
     

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