NAS recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by thomasp, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    The internal hard drive on my MBP is rapidly filling up (already upgraded it once, and given the age of the laptop, upgrading a second time isn't really a long term solution) with videos as I'm transitioning to a wireless and DVDless existence.

    I'm looking for some kind of network accessible storage to store videos, and possibly iTunes library (this isn't essential), such that I can access them via my Wifi network on my laptop. The ability to backup via Time Machine isn't required, as I already have an external for this. Eventually, when I upgrade my MBP to a desktop of some kind, it would be useful to use the NAS as somewhere to store files that I am likely to use on both computers.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a NAS, with around 1-2Tb of storage. Ideally, the ability to either swap drives without voiding warranties, or a couple of drive bays. I've read reviews for a few and don't really know what to go for, as they're all pretty equally mixed between the usual "This product is the best thing ever", and "Don't even buy this as a door stop". I don't want to break the bank either, so around £100-150 ideally.

    Thanks for any tips!
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Synology has a good following here, but also look at the Netgear ReadyNAS. I've had one for a couple of years and it's been terrific. The ReadyNAS Duo gives you disk failure redundancy, and it's available diskless or populated. I bought mine diskless & added two 2TB drives, not sure you could quite get into this under GBP150 but probably not a whole lot more.
  3. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
  4. Giuly, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    If you're fine with 1-2TB, I'd look at a two-bay NAS. Depending on what kind of hard drives you're installing, the NAS goes up to 8TB at the moment, which should last you quite some time.
    In the £100-150 range, you're basically looking at the Synology DS213j. There is a 1-bay version of it, but it costs roughly the same.
    The great thing about the Synology NAS' is that they have an iTunes server build-in, so you can watch videos and listen to music on your Apple TV without turning on any Mac.

    As far as hard drives go, the unit should be perfectly fine with WD Green drives.
  5. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies, I'll have a look at the suggestions. Ideally I'd like the budget to include the HD as well. It seems a 1Tb HD is going for around £50ish.
  6. Giuly macrumors 68040


    The Western Digital MyBook Live it is, then. It's a NAS and it has Dropbox integration, so you can access files from a laptop or smartphone on the go. And it fits your budget, even in the 3TB version.

    There is a two-bay version with user-serviceable hard drives called the MyBook Live Duo. WD subsidizes the hard drives in the unit, so it's as inexpensive as a NAS gets, yet the smallest 4TB version is slightly out of your budget already (and really not that much less than the Synology plus hard drives of the same capacity).
  7. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV
    I would try and stay away from the WD MyBook Live. Have read nothing good about them.

    Synology seem to be very popular around these forums, I have no experience with them.

    I recommend and use Netgear's ReadyNAS. They just released a new version called Series 102, it's a 2 bay unit with up to 8tb capacity (2x 4tb drives).

    The features are endless. It is a little over your budget (about $200 USD for the actual unit + whatever you pay for each drive).

    The Time Machine support is amazing, works just like a Time Capsule. No issues, backs up quickly, and just works.

    Has ReadyDROP / Dropbox synchronization and it works awesome. Also has iTunes server for you.

    I would say do a bit more research and get something good. If you go cheap now, you will need/want to upgrade later on and that just costs more money. If you get a unit now that does do the dropbox / file synchronization across computers, does RAID so you have redundancy in case of drive failure, and can be upgraded you will be set for a while.

    The link for the ReadyNAS is here
  8. Giuly macrumors 68040


    The Synology is $199, too, yet that was dubbed "too expensive". And as far as inexpensive 1-bay NAS' go, the MyBook Live is the best offer.

    But what just occurred to me is hooking up a regular USB hard drive to a router, and chances are that this would work for the OP's equipment. Even though it may not the best solution around.
  9. viktormadarasz macrumors member


    Jun 15, 2010
  10. Crzyrio macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2010
    I considered the Synology NAS to be expensive too, but that was until I bought one.

    To the OP:

    It is amazing how they have everything set up and easy it is to do anything with all the packages.

    With barely 30mins to an hour set up time, I am able to access my NAS from anywhere in the world, I can stream my entire iTunes library to my laptop, I can watch and control all of my downloads and I have my own personal cloud service. The only thing I have been having trouble set up is the VPN server.

    I would 100% recommend the synology. If you can afford it, DS212J. It will give you the added security of mirroring one drive.
  11. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2004
    I'm pretty sure my router doesn't have ability to hook a USB drive up to it, it was supplied by my ISP, and therefore very cheap! Still, if it ain't broke...

    It seems Amazon are selling the Synology enclosure quite cheap at the moment (but the installed HD pricing seems to work the same as Apple's BTO RAM pricing!), so I'll probably give that quite some thought, as it seems to get a lot of support here.

    I assume a 2-bay Synology (or any other multi-bay enclosure) will work quite happily with only one hard drive inside it?
  12. Radiating macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    I've compared every NAS you can buy. Unless you want to spend more than $1000 get a Synology NAS. Benchmarks show they are TWICE as fast as WD live NAS drives, and around 30% faster than any competitor. They are generally slightly more expensive though but the price is well worth it.

    Most of their competitors are making budget NAS systems for consumers with extremely poor specs. Synology is the only company that makes top end NAS systems for just slightly more than consumer prices.

    I would not recommend connecting a drive to your router. Even with the best router you can buy speed will be 1/10th that of a dedicated unit (this is based on owning the best routers money can buy and getting 1/10th the speed of a Synology NAS).

    Personally I settled on a Synology consumer grade NAS but changed my mind and decided to use a mac mini with an external sotrage array attatched to an N66U router. It was twice as expensive, but instead of acheiving 66% of ethernet speed, I was maxing throughput out completely on every task. A 2ghz ARM processor with linux on an HDD and 512mb of ram (synology setup) can't hold a candle to a real desktop, with 30 times lower performance though. For a similar performing setup every NAS maker wanted over 2k for their box, which is essentially an x86 desktop computer anyways with a highly customized form factor.

    But yeah my recommendation is:

    Medium end NAS:


    High end NAS:

    Desktop Computer

Share This Page