Looking for very simple NAS solution

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Mikel30, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Mikel30, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014

    Mikel30 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2004
    I have a MacBook Air with a 256 SSD. Between my music, photos, videos, etc, I'm dangerously low on space. Right now I'm offloading older files to external hard drives, but ideally, I'd have access to everything.

    It got me thinking about a NAS solution. I started doing some research, and every product I've seen recommended seems very complex. For example, Drobo and Synology gets mentioned a lot. I really like the RAID 1 options, and the fact I can access the drive no matter where I am. But in a lot of ways, it seems like overkill.

    I don't need Time Machine support. I don't need to host my own website on it. I don't need to convert media files. I don't need a Plex server. I don't need proprietary apps for photos, videos, and music.

    I don't really need anything. All I want is a blank drive that I can interface with directly through the Finder, via a network connection.

    I understand that anything like a Synology NAS device is going to have an OS on it in order to configure everything. And I know that Synology specifically has a ton of "Apps" you can install. But I guess my question is, if I don't want any of that, can I just run it bare-bones like I'm describing?
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    A Time Capsule is about as simple as it gets. You don't need to use it with Time Machine, it is really just a network drive. I get about 30MB/s transfer speeds with 802.11ac wifi on my MacBook Air. With gigabit ethernet it is almost 50MB/s. Have never used it myself, but I think you can access it remotely using "back to my mac".

    I had my iTunes library on it for awhile, and that works, but you can have issues if the Time Capsule becomes unavailable while iTunes is still running. So I ended up getting a Mac Mini for a dedicated iTunes server instead.

    If you're storing important files there, you would need a backup strategy such as Carbon Copy Cloner and an external drive.
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Just because the Synology has extra features it doesn't mean you have to use them. The user interface is very simple for setting up a file store.
  4. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Like most things you need to decide how much you want to spend and how much time you want to use up.
    Adding a USB drive to an AE will work (think of it as a different TC), but then what about a backup solution for that (so you will need 2).
    OR get a Mac Mini and add drives to that
    OR get a NAS from Synology or others
    OR build yourself a hackintosh and run a RAID in that.

    I already have NASs but then I started years ago with a single 4 drive NAS. If I was starting again I would look at a Mac Mini + USB drives as the best alternative to a NAS, but I would still probably end up with a NAS.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    There are tons of routers out there that will accomodate a disk through USB. I use a HooTool TripMate travel router, for example, and keep stuff on a big old USB thumbdrive on it. It even has an iOS app to configure it and access files. All for about $25. And there are others as well.

    Just figure out a way to back stuff up manually and you could probably get by with something very inexpensive.

    An older computer on your network can also serve up files, and has other advantages as well. Depending on your needs that might work too.

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