NAS advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by FortWorthMac, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. FortWorthMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    the parched earth of North Texas
    #1
    Hello all,

    I am thinking of getting a NAS drive for my home network. My 300GB iMac drive is filling up as well my 1TB Time Capsule, so I would like some recommendations on one. Ideally it will play well with iTunes and be at least 1TB.

    Thanks
    David
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Look at the Synology family you can get them diskless and add your own disks as your needs grow. http://www.synology.com/us/products/home_class.php

    Up until last week I would still have recommended Windows Home Server based solutions like the HP MediaSmart, but I can't recommend them now.

    EDIT: Or, if you're happy with the Time Capsule, just upgrade your 1TB drive to a 2TB one. You can probably pick up a 2TB drive for ~US$100.

    B
     
  3. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000

    wirelessmacuser

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Location:
    Planet.Earth
    #3
    I'd suggest taking a look at the new offerings from Western Digital. After doing my research I purchased one of their units with four hard drives. We have a need for a massive amount of capacity on my home network. Now after a months usage, I'm very happy with it's performance and how quiet it is.
     
  4. FortWorthMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    the parched earth of North Texas
    #4
    Thanks for the replies guys. I guess my next question is in regards to iTunes and the NAS.

    Alot of the devices I see says it includes iTunes Server support. Is this specific software that is included with the NAS or something else. And finally, how's it making the transition in iTunes from a local disk to the NAS?

    Thanks
    David
     
  5. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #5
    If you have an old pc sitting around somewhere, you can look into Freenas. It is EXTREMELY easy to set up, has options for just about anything you want to do, and runs on very little resources. If I remember correctly it can be ran on 128MB ram, and a Pentium II or something like that.

    You can set it up for file sharing in literally 2-3 minutes. It is also capable of Itunes sharing, webserver, torrent box, rsync, ftp, ssh, upnp, snmp, etc, etc, etc...Not to mention that if you have an old PC to use, its FREE! It can even be used by Mac for Time Machine.

    I have been running a Freenas server stable for over a year, 24/7, I might have rebooted this thing 3 times, and that was just to update to newer versions of Freenas software.

    This site will walk you through installation and configuration: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/cheap_and_nasty_how_build_open_source_server?page=0,3

    Go here to know more: Freenas



    NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with Freenas. Getting Freenas has literally changed my home computing experience, so I spread the word as often as I can.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Usually this is some version of firefly. http://www.fireflymediaserver.org/ It basically emulates iTunes around version 7. It does not support newer features like "Home Sharing" that would be necessary to support :apple:TV streaming etc...

    On Windows Home Server based boxes, many end up ditching FireFly for this reason and end up just running the regular iTunes client as a server.

    B
     
  7. Eclipse278 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #7
  8. Moomba macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #8
    Aye... FreeNAS. Rock solid and can do everything you want and more. Just pop a couple 2tb drives in there and you're set. iTunes/DAAP server, Time Machine, AFP, SMB, BitTorrent, rsync, and much more for the low price of free. Doesn't need much hardware to run either. I have had good success running it in a VM on an ESXi box.
     
  9. FortWorthMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    the parched earth of North Texas
    #9
    Thanks guys on the FreeNAS info. That looks like something to check into.
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    The advantage of a pre-built system is that they typically consume far less power than building something from old PC parts. A 4 drive system from Qnap or Synology will consume 40-50w when active, and less than 20w when idle. Your old pc build will typically consume 100-150w when active, and near 100w when idle. That adds up for a system intended to be on 24/7/365. (That's $100/year at average electricity costs - so the low power systems will pay for themselves after 3 years or so).

    Another thing to consider if you are going to move everything to a NAS is how are you going to back up all that data? After years of going down that road, I've moved back the other way, and now store most of the data on the clients, and back up the clients to the NAS. Only content that must be accessed by all clients is stored on the NAS.

    Just .02 from someone who has run a NAS at home for many years. :)
     
  11. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #11
    @zhenya
    That is a valid point about energy concerns.

    I personally chose to build mine using a low-energy barebones nettop. $125 + ram and drives. Only has room for 2 hard drives, but thats all I need.
     
  12. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #12
    I'm using a D-Link DNS-323. It works great, my only complaint is that after a power outage it doesn't automatically power itself back on. It does iTunes sharing, DLNA, all that good stuff, and supports 2 drives in RAID or independent configuration. Fairly inexpensive, compact, and quiet.
     
  13. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #13
    Nas

    I currently have three NAS's, one QNap, one Netgear and one Thecus, they all perform differently, but if I had to recommend one I would recommend QNap. In my opinion they have the best build quality, features and performance. As for freenas, its a nice idea if you have the parts lying around and don't wand to spend any or much money, however with a proper NAS unit, they are, in my opinion, more reliable, use less energy and take up less space. You can also expand the drives on most of them on the fly, so if you start off with a RAID 5 config with four 1TB drives, run out of space, and if your NAS supports them, go out and buy 3TB drives, replace each one at a time, and voila, more free space.
     

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