NAS Advice Needed


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Mar 30, 2011
I am looking for some advice and suggestions on how to better manage my streaming and back up needs. I think a NAS is the solution, but not sure the best approach. Let me first lay out some details:

Macbook 1 TB drive/using 600 GB
Macbook Pro 500 GB boot drive using 100 GB/750 GB media drive using 600 GB
Two Apple TV’s
Various ipad/ipod/iphones
Time Capsule as main router
AEBS as a wired network extender
Newer Airport Express as I wired network extender

Current Storage:
Time Capsule 500 GB as main router and TC for Macbook, Not backing up 500 GB iTunes library.
1 TB USB drive backing up Macbook Pro, Boot drive only, not backing up 500 GB iTunes library
2 TB WD My Book Studio on Raid 1 config (mirrored) holding ripped media and home movies. Using 700 GB.
1 TB WD My Studio Firewire connected to MBP for video editing/scratch disk.
103 GB Dropbox, backing up documents, Aperture Library, Photo hosting, some other apps. Using 50 GB.
1 TB WD USB drive, partitioned to clone MBP drives.
1 TB WD USB drive cloned Macbook.
1 500 GB USB drive cloning ripped DVD media.
1 500 GB USB cloning home movies.

Desire is to clean up the mess a bit and I feel I am overly complex. I think I can eliminate a lot of the drives and open up HDD space with a properly used NAS. My thought is to have a NAS that would do the following:

Time Machine back up for both MBP and MB.
Media Serving for ripped media and home movies
iTunes library for both machines
Additional Aperture Vault

If I could do this, I would be able to remove the iTunes library from both machines, freeing up a ton of space, I could then use my 750 GB internal drive as my scratch and working disk for video editing, eliminating both WD My Book drives or allowing them to act as connected clones and simplify my process. I also think I could eliminate or reduce my Dropbox use…although backing up Aperture to it is a nice comfort.

So am I on the right track?


macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2008
Yup you're bang on, I've got a similar setup, bought a 2bay Syno NAS 4 months ago, don't even give it a second thought now, all my Mac devices(MBP, Mini etc) back up to one source and i stream movies, music, photos off it from iPads/iPhones/ATVs no problems.

I've got 2x3TB drives in RAID1 so 3TB of mirrored data. It's enough for me. You can go bigger though, say with a 4 bay in RAID1 or 5bay in RAID5.

Crazy Badger

macrumors 65816
Apr 1, 2008
NAS is a great solution for media but I'm not a fan of running my Aperture library from it as I find it too slow. If you get everything else shifted to the NAS though you'll have plenty of space to run Aperture locally :D


macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2011
Yes, NAS

Your system sounds a lot like mine prior to purchasing a Synology. I'd definitely recommend you jump to a NAS (but remember you still need a backup solution for it.) I'm very happy I made the decision.

Search "synology" and you'll likely find some other posts about my experience and other's recommendations. I'm sure there are alternate solutions as good or better than Synology. I'm just not qualified to discuss them as I have no experience. I'll admit I had no server experience prior to purchasing it, so the initial configuration was only a tick up from painless.

Prior to a NAS, I always loved the fact it was so easy to add on another hard drive. I started getting a bit concerned when i saw the rat's nest of power supplies, etc. The words fire hazard started echoing a bit. That didn't make the decision, but became a factor.


macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2006
Bought a synology 5 bay NAS about 6 months ago and filled it with the new 4tb hitachi drives (bought 2 extra in case they fall over). It is connected to an airport base station over ethernet and runs a derivative of RAID 6. Backs up 4 macs using time machine (2 over ethernet, 2 over wifi), serves up media via iTunes on a macmini and I have 2 appletv's. It also backs up 300gb of aperture library over Ethernet.

Have never looked back. This thing is amazing. Bought it when my Lacie Big5 drive was broken by TimeMachine under the new lion security protocols. I will never buy a Lacie product again. No effort on their part to fix the problem.


macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2009
Another option is the Netgear ReadyNAS product line. I purchased a ReadyNAS Pro four years ago with 6 bays. I've had four bays with 2TB drives running (with RAID 5) 24/7 after starting with 1.5TB drives. I'm surprised by how speedy the device is. Most of the time it feels as fast as an internal drive.

It's used for Time Machine backup for several Macs, iTunes, and for video and other projects.

And, as someone else recommended, remember that a NAS needs to be backed up too.


macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2006
Look yourself. Google "Synology Time Machine Verification"
Interesting. I have a Synology 1512+ - it has been an exceptional performer - no issues whatsoever and it backs up 4 Macs using TimeMachine.

Hope I haven't just put a curse on it now!


macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2011
Interesting. I have a Synology 1512+ - it has been an exceptional performer - no issues whatsoever and it backs up 4 Macs using TimeMachine.

Hope I haven't just put a curse on it now!
Yeah, that is odd. I've being in contact with Synology support who confirmed they were having a product wide problem with Time Machine since the introduction of Lion.

Fingers crossed you don't have a problem!



macrumors member
Mar 20, 2011
Go nas

I've been using a ReadyNAS Ultra 4 for 18mo now with 4x2TB drives in their xraid (like raid 5) config. Rest of network is Gigabit LAN, airport wifi, etc. Like you, I had a mess of external drives everywhere.

4 Macs: 2 MBA, iMac, MacMini (for media center)

--I have all data stored on the NAS now, other than my iMac, which is local, mostly photos and general data
--My 1TB iTunes library is on the NAS
--100's of dvds ripped on the NAS, along with all media files
--All machines are doing timemachine to the NAS
--All machines do superduper backups weekly, full disk images using sparsebundles. This works great and super-duper can mount and restore to any external/internal drive when needed.

The ReadyNas has been pretty much set it and forget it. I've done little to it but patch firmware every now and again. I have found the Readynas to have very good forum support + firmware updates. They are still updating units released 5 years ago. The Ultra line supports 4TB drives now too.

Big Reminder: You need a backup strategy for the NAS. I have a single 4TB drive which backs up the entire volume once a week via USB (rsync differential copies, pretty fast). Raid 5 is great, but it won't save a catastrophic failure. You can also do a USB drive swap and keep 1 offsite.

If I were to buy again I'd get another ReadyNAS or look at Synology. For home NAS I wouldn't bother with any others.


macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2012
My eight-year Macbook Pro's display finally having died, I bit the bullet and ordered an MBP Retina (16gb, 763gb, 2.6gb). I added a 2tb Time Capsule (I have an ancient Airport now). Reading this thread has got me thinking maybe I should return the Time Capsule when it arrives, get an Airport Extreme and use the rest of the money towards a NAS/RAID solution.

I'm a technological dummy. I write for a living, but live for photography and have about 20,000 images in Aperture on my old mac and on a Lacacie 1TB drive.

I'm curious what some of you wise folks suggest I do for storage and backup. Could, for example a four-bay, 4TB ReadyNAS be used for BOTH storage AND backup by using two drives in RAID1 and two drive to back those up with storage of drives offsite?

Newegg has NETGEAR RND4410-200NAS 4TB ReadyNAS NV+ v2 (4TB) on sale for $499 (they claim it's normally $1399). Is this a cost-effective solution with some scalability for whole-house networking/backup? Also, can a techno-idiot with ten thumbs make this work??? If not, I'm eager to hear other simple, but reasonably priced solutions (think: <$600).


macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2005
in response to your post, eclipsetime, the Time Capsule is by far the easiest way to back up your Apple computers. It's the only solution, other than a directly connected drive, that has full Apple support at all times. Lots of other solutions work, but will inevitably require some effort over time to keep working.

You don't say how much data you currently have that you need to back up, but it sounds like it is well under 2TB. In that case, with one computer, a NAS doesn't sound necessary. As noted above, if you use a NAS as storage, you also need to have some arrangement to back it up. Your proposed solution of removing two of the drives in a 4 bay nas off-site does not sound like a reliable one.

If you can fit all of your data on the new Macbook, just back it up to the Time Capsule and be done with it. If you need more space, and don't want to deal with directly wiring a drive, then a NAS makes sense, but again, how are you going to back up that data?

If you have a fast home Internet connection, cloud backups are now quite affordable and feasible even for data sets up to 1TB or more if you have patience for the initial upload. With a provider like Crashplan, backups are automated and off-site - it's literally a set-it-and-forget-it solution.