NAS Advice - 1st time

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jgbr, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. jgbr macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007

    Thinking about finally embracing the idea of my own cloud in the home,

    Have a mixed environment of Windows 7 machines, multiple Apple Macs, Ipads, iphones, Android and linux devices. Mac support being the more critical.

    The problem being that I have a master machine where much of my photos, vids, academic research is located and I keep having to fire up the 1200W of Mac Pro just to access the data or load it on keyfob. This is of course causing problems as I can not remember which file is the latest and what is located where.

    I think a NAS would resolve this issue?

    My concerns are if I build my own NAS will I be able to see it just as a Hard drive on my desktop (either windows or Mac) as that is all i really want? For example the Synology software confused me alittle.

    What about power saving? - Also any inherent issue with switching the power on and off to it? What about data security?

    Do people think RAID is best to have for this?

    Also keen to hear about anyone's particular experience with starting out with first NAS.

    I will be connecting to a Airport Extreme (Latest edition) router and a Switch.

  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    A couple of points to ponder.

    First a NAS will give you a centalized location to store your data, so if you multiple computers, then yeah it makes sense to use a NAS.

    I'd recommend a prebuilt solution like Synology, and while you can build your own solution the prebuilt option is superior if you choose not to spend the time to tweak, troubleshoot and build it. If you run into issues support will be more problematic.
    Consider a backup strategy, you should back up your NAS as you would your computer because if it a catastrophic failure occurs you lose your data. RAID give you data redundancy but its no replacement for a good backup strategy.

    Synology is the most recommend NAS here, its a good product but do your own research, check out their forums and get a feel of how you think their support is. I have a qnap, and they offer similar products to Synology. I think they may have better support, I've gotten my issues addressed fairly quickly. Either way do your research so you're comfortable with what ever solution you embrace.
  3. jgbr thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Thankyou for the response and advice.

    I am definitely looking at all the options but just was being cautious about taking the leap of faith into the NAS world.

    I really did not want anything so complicated but essentially just looked like a drive on my desktop as does any conventionally attached drive.

    I was very much thinking my mac pro would become part of my backup strategy with my NAS taking over as the 'home' for most days to day files such as regularly access materials.
  4. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    A NAS drive can look just like a local drive if it is setup in your user>login items. I also recommend adding the most used NAS share onto the Favourites list in Finder. I keep my data other than emails on my NAS and back it up with CCC. It works for me as I never user my Mac outside my local network. This approach wouldn't work for a "go anywhere" laptop but you could still access your bulk files from a NAS when the laptop is back at base. Plus you can always network remotely back into your NAS when out and about.
  5. monsieurpaul macrumors regular

    Oct 8, 2009
    The Synology OS (named DSM) may seem daunting at first, but using it is way simpler than it looks. It is tailored for NAS tasks:
    - create shared folders;
    - create users and give them rights to access said folders;
    - create jobs to automatically backup your data, whether on a local hard drive plugged to the Synology or in the Cloud.

    Then, you begin to look at all the others things you can do with it and a new world opens to you ;)

    I'm talking about Synology because I own one, but I'm sure you can do the same with a Qnap.
  6. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

    Jun 24, 2010
    Glasgow, UK
    I too use Synology drives. They're reasonably priced, fast, come in a variety of specifications and have a relatively simple user interface while offering a lot of different functions.

    If you go for a 2 drive unit, I'd RAID-1 (Mirror) your drives for redundancy. If you go for a 4+ drive unit, I'd go for a RAID-5 (performance and redundancy). If you're going down this road, don't go for the basic J model, you need a decent CPU for RAID-5 to keep good write performance.

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