NAS Drive, Do you use them ? Need Advice...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by vim147, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. vim147 macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    I been looking at this WD My Book Live NAS Drive.

    In my house i use a,

    Mac Mini
    Windows Laptop
    Playstation 3
    HTC One (Android) phone

    Just wanted to know if these NAS Drives would be compatible with my devices to access documents, photos, movies.

    Also my assuming these drives are just connected to the wifi router so eliminating the need to have a computer switched on.

    I've been on their website and it says i can also access the drive remotely when am away from home via a website. if this is the case would i need a good internet connection at the place i am to be able to watch movies on my ipad ?

    Are there any other recommendation for NAS drives at the £140 price with 3TB ?
  2. tattooedpierre macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2007
    Glasgow, Scotland
    We use a few Bufallo NAS drives at work and they have this web access feature; can't say we've used it before so I couldn't say for certain, but I'd imagine to stream it'd need to be a decent connection - though depends on the size of the movie I'd posit.

    As for compatibility; Bufallo drives let you format and manage shares for unix, Mac or Windows clients. Some of the Amazon comments specifically say they have it working on their Macs so looks like it's fine.

    EDIT: Should say that the price seems great. I mind when I got a NAS at work it was £80 for 1TB.
  3. Crazy Badger macrumors 65816

    Crazy Badger

    Apr 1, 2008
    I don't really understand the point of these single drive NAS solutions. What will it do that an external drive attached to your Mac Mini won't?
  4. JoeFkling macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    the main thing about the single drives is that you wont have to leave your mac mini on all day if you want to access it. Some people dont like to keep their computer on all day or even better if all they have is a laptop, why plug it all in just to watch a movie on the nas? They have their uses.
  5. Infocalypse1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    Good uses for NAS drives

    I too hate the need to access my media on my ATV via a PC. To make life easier, I set up a couple of WD NAS drives on my network. I can easily access all of my media via iPad using either the WD app (which works well), or using a DLNA client such as Ace Player or 8 Player, using AirPlay. I never have to leave the couch or turn on the computer. For added convenience the NAS drives serve my iTunes media library when the PC happens to be on. If your media library is large, the only inconvenience is that the remote apps will not span multiple drives.
  6. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    I have about 1.5TB of movies & music and 15GB of pictures.

    Being able to access my music/movies remotely from ipad is convenient when am travelling about as ipad is only 32GB and cant attached external drives on it.
  7. priitv8, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
  8. Infocalypse1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    NAS bandwidth

    I generally stream lots of 1080p video w/ digital surround via NAS and have never had any problems; no stuttering or freezing. My ATV is connected via wifi. I also have a HTPC hard-wired into the system with its own HDDS. I see zero difference between the two even playing the same files. The same cannot be said for remote access to the WD NAS drives. The bandwidth limitations there seem to be the limits on upload speed from the drive to the Internet.
  9. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    The NAS is just a computer that you are leaving on all day. The Mac mini draws ~10 watts at idle.

    If one has a Mac mini, that is the optimal solution for sharing content to a collection Macs, Apple TVs, etc.

  10. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Not necessarily. I get 100+MBps Write and 90+MBps Read with my ReadyNAS units through a CAT6 LAN. That's with a test on 1GB files.
  11. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    External drives require a host machine to be powered on. NAS doesn't.

    Personally - I rather have at minimum a dual drive NAS with RAID 1 if I'm going to leave it on all day.

    Drobo's and Buffalo units are great devices. Some require a host though, so be careful which ones you get.

    Not sure about Buffalo, but some of the Drobo's allow you to use a mSSD to boost performance of your HDD. All your data copied to the drive is done on the mSSD then copied to the HDD. This helps read/write. Then there's the B1200i which is like Fusion - has 3 or 4 SSD drives and the remainder HDD, keeps transactional data on the SSD and archival data on the HDD.
  12. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    I wont be using a NAS drive for anything complex.

    It'll just be as a back up and also able to stream movies that are downloaded as avi's (think they are 2500mbps ? )

    I dont have any HD movies.
  13. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I was referring specifically to OP's WD NAS, which is very low-end, just as my D-Link.
  14. vim147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2011
    Do you feel the WD drive wont be adequatefor my needs ? bearing in mind i wont be streaming HD movies.
  15. drsox, Nov 2, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013

    drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    OK, understood.


    As long as you get 10MBps you will be OK for SD movies.
  16. JoeFkling macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    But most people dont have the knowledge or access to upgrade their Mini. So it will still end up being the mini + another drive. So power wise it will still draw less for the NAS only. Yes, I agree the mini is a better solution, but for pure power consumption, the NAS alone is less. Also it requires less management for most users who leave it in its basic form.
  17. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    We are talking about watts in the single digits. I suggest that the power difference is not worthy of consideration.

    I don't see how managing two boxes (a mini and a NAS) can ever be less management than one box (just a mini).

    There are lots of good reasons for owning a NAS. Sharing iTunes content when you already have a desktop Mac is not one of them.

  18. Lord Hamsa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2013
    I have a Synology NAS, and in theory, I can access my files over the web from anywhere, using a Dynamic DNS provider to map a fixed name to my potentially-shifting IP address.

    In practice, however, I have been generally unable to access anything, thanks to some unholy combination of my network settings and which ports Verizon will allow me access to remotely. There's probably some configuration that works, but it's none of the obvious ones. (I do get alerts if the device goes offline, so some part of it works, just not the ability to see my files.)

    So, device aside, you may want to check to see what you outbound network will allow for before making any commitments.
  19. Xgm541, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
    I have a synology NAS which works very well. You may want to get a full-feature NAS instead of the "Cheaper" ones. Synology, QNAP, Buffalo works well.

    A mac mini is also good, and will provide even more functionality but at increased wattage. With a mac mini you may also be able to do transcoding of media which is definitely a plus.

    As for remote access, you need to have fast enough internet at home.
  20. keeper macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    I used to run a QNAP 219P NAS, good enough for serving media and basic raid.
    In the end I got fed up of managing it, ensuring the drives were mounted etc, poor software upgrades by QNAP. Making sure iTunes stayed mapped to it.

    I put a 3TB Thunderbolt drive on my Mac Mini and put partitions on it for Time machine backups of the mini and macbook pro.

    To be fair it just works. I don't access video media remotely and for music I use iTunes match. Any documents i may need access to are on iCloud or synced to my Box account.
  21. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    WD My Book Live

    I have been using the Western Digital MBLive for well over a year now. I have a massive amount of video and music content (read 1 TB+) and I access it all the time via my ipad. For the most part, it has worked well but if you are in a location where your wifi signal is weak, the MBLive has a propensity to stop, then start. Again, this is a bandwidth issue but, generally I would recommend it with one exception:

    With OSX 10.9, TimeMachine no longer recognizes it. I believe this is a WD issue but I wanted you to get the full picture. So, if you don't plan to use it with TimeMachine, but rather, video, audio and photo content, it is a good solution.
  22. jimthing, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

    jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    DAS is better generally.

    DAS (directly attached storage) is generally better than NAS (networked attached storage, home usage will be gigabit Ethernet speed), when it comes to overall performance considerations.

    Most DAS (i.e. any external drive connected DIRECTLY to your host computer) —especially if you use Thunderbolt connection— has better throughput with very low LATENCY. Transcoding on the fly when using something like Plex is much more likely to work seamlessly using a host computer to do the work connected to fast DAS, compared to an all-in-one NAS on your network with a low grade chip attempting to do the same thing.

    DO NOT try using a NAS in remote "iTunes Server" mode, as not all of the formats the support are actually supported on these NAS that claim to offer such functionality (i.e. it's marketing to sell devices, and not actual truth that they work well to do such a job!). Additionally, things like music artwork and other items usually do not work AT ALL on such NAS devices in this mode.

    If you plug a DAS into an always-on computer, you can always remote access all the content on the DAS via the computer when away from your home. But even when you're in your home, you'll also benefit from faster and more satisfactory performance using DAS.

    Trust me, I tried a NAS, then got a Thunderbolt DAS-to-Mac Mini set-up: it was like night and day in almost all actions!

    FYI, I have around 8TB of video/music/photos on my Tbolt device, backed-up to another separate Tbolt device, of course, for data security (and another stored elsewhere too — yes, overkill for most users, but not for those understanding all possible data loss risks!).

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