External Storage USB or NAS?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by heiber, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. heiber macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    I have more than 1 TB of data so no matter what option I go with, I will need external storage. I also have some Windows laptops. Would be nice to have access to photos at the very least and maybe music. Here is what I understand

    USB - cheaper, but directly attached so files can be shared and viewed, but not necessary directly edited by Windows laptops. I typically leave the computer on 24x7 so access should not be a problem from the other machines

    NAS - more expensive. Slower performance? But files can easily be read and written to by all computers.

    Also would look at a time machine backup for the internal system drive. Where can this be written to? I don't want to have to buy more devices than I need (for example would rather buy a 4 TB external drive than 2 2TB external drives if necessary). Backing up the data to time machine is not as important to me because I already back it up to the cloud via Crashplan. Still, if I have the space can I backup everything to the same external drive? Should I create 2 partitions?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    I used to own a WHS, but now I'm replacing it with a Mac mini server with DAS. NAS has the convenience of being cross compatible with windows/Mac but it's soooo slow even with Gigabit.
  3. XmeX macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2014
  4. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    I had a NAS for a little while. It was cool because I could access the same files from my PS3 and mac and iPhone and iPad. It was too much bother to set up and keep going. So I decommissioned it and went to exertnal hard drives. I just picked up a 2012 mini so I am going to turn my 2008 into a server for everything.
  5. Sagnet macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2009
    If you keep your photos on a USB drive connected to your computer, and use Time Machine for automatic backups to a NAS, would you be able to share (view) the backed up photos from the NAS?
  6. skyway macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2014
    hi. Im using WD My Cloud 3TB NAS end connected WD Elements 4TB so i have 7TB NAS Server . Have DLNA stream i can watch video,pictures, lising music on my smart tv or car. NAS using 4 computer, smart tv, iPhone end on my car. Good write end read speed at home, city or drive. Also my macbook pro 13, mac mini do automaticall backup. Also try write 180GB 3D Video Macbook pro to NAS about 1h 25min. I happy its really good NAS.
  7. adonis3k, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    adonis3k macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2012
    I have a WD Passport 2TB drive which is in split into three partitions (TimeMachine,Backup & Music) This is all backups of my Mac Mini and works well. I use Carbon Cloner every other day to back up to the drive.

    If you need more space I would go for a NAS, also better for future upgradability.

    Not sure where you are but in the UK HP were doing cash backs on HP N54L Micro servers (£89)
    I use that as a NAS. I currently have one with 4x4TB WD Red drives for Plex as media server. It can also be setup as a TimeMachine backup aswell, running on WHS2011.
    Also Synology is a good option but more expensive.
  8. brentmore macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2002
    I'm a big fan of synology's NAS offerings. I have an older DS211j and a new DS214+. They not only serve files, but also run services like my surveillance system, time machine, and PBX.
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    But not very well, unless you are just doing the basics or easily amused, one quickly outgrow them.... and there is no scalability.
  10. brentmore macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2002
    Thanks, but they serve my requirements quite well.

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