Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 22, 2006
Hey all, I'm looking to get a little advice on backup options after my TC then Mac Mini died.

Background: I had a TC 2GB that I used as my router, but it failed. Rather than replace it with another TC (I felt EOL was coming for TC before they made the announcement), I decided to get an Eero system (loving it btw) and then use a Mac Mini I was running Plex on as my media & backup server. THEN my mac mini bit the dust ....smh... so i'm trying to figure out what are the best options for backing up and also getting Plex running again, while not busting the budget and keeping things relatively simple.

Generally, my backup requirements are not very robust. As far as media, I have <1TB of movies that I run on Plex and about 5gb of old family photos that have been scanned. My MBP has about 200/512gb used. As far as Plex, there are never more than 1 stream connected, and most of my movies are mp4 files that direct play w/o transcoding.

My first thought was to just get a mac mini and keep on like I've been doing. Easy peasy. But I started looking at maybe a Synology or MyCloud NAS and a raspberry Pi to bring some separation to my system. I'm just thinking the Synology will be overkill due to the low data volume and the MyCloud wouldn't be accessible enough as there is no access when not connected to a LAN.As for the Pi, I'm wondering if it will be complicated to setup/maintain and/or be under powered.

Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations you all can make


macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2013
Would a Nvidia Shield work for the Plex server?

I replaced my mini with one (which I was using as an HTPC). I have about 3TB of data on a 4TB external drive connected to my Shield, and it's running as a Plex server. To add media, you just login from another computer and wirelessly transfer.

Anyway, I highly recommend the shield. I have Kodi, my VPN (Nord), Plex server running on it, a bunch of emulators, and a bunch of other TV/movie stuff.....

Also it plays Android games, and the Geforce Now thing (which worked well when I tried it, but I don't really use it).


macrumors 604
Dec 19, 2004
Have you considered FreeNAS? You could build a device powerful enough for Plex Transcoding and allow Time Machine backups. You could design it for WiFi or Ethernet. Although as it is a NAS. I don't see why you wouldn't leave it plugged in to a router all the time via Ethernet? Ethernet is more responsive, especially when it comes to scanning and copying thousands of tiny files the system generates daily.

While the Raspberry Pi could work as a NAS. I don't think it would be fast enough for Plex transcoding. Which is pretty well non-optional. If a file needs transcoding. It will try to do so.

It's more budget friendly than the likes of QNAP or Synology. The low end units don't have the processing power for Plex transcoding.

Really you could do the same thing with Ubuntu as FreeNAS. FreeNAS just provides a NAS like remote interface. Ubuntu has the advantage of more software already packaged for it.

Personally, unless you need file revisions. I'd use Freefilesync for backups. They run much faster and have far less network overhead. Time Machine really bogs down over network connections. You could also use a program like CCC to clone to a disk image over the network. It's less effort to setup than a sync.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
I use a Synology DS216+ (which I think is discontinued now). It does technically have hardware transcoding when using the Synology video app, but Plex can't use that hardware transcoding. As long as you really don't need transcoding, a box in this class would work totally fine for you.

I use it for surveillance station (4 motion-detect cameras with videos constantly being uploaded to Dropbox), time machine backup of 2 laptops, as a Plex server feeding 2 apple TVs, and recording 2 tuners from my HDHomeRun OTA tuner box. It obviously doesn't always need to do all of those things at once, but it has never even stuttered for me. Just stay away from transcoding in real time.

I do sometimes download episodes to my iPad when I'm away from home. When I do that, the NAS does transcode them at about 1.4x
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.