Synology DS-413 NAS

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ZahidHafeez, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. ZahidHafeez, Sep 27, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013

    ZahidHafeez macrumors newbie

    ZahidHafeez

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Dubai
    #1
    Dear All,

    I am interested in setting up the NAS for home primarily for storage of music, photos, movies, magazines and ebooks.

    We have 1 iMac, 4 MBPs, 4 iPads, 3 iPhones,1 iPod and D-Link Boxee Box (used for playing multimedia content on Home Theatre Setup.

    As you notice that I have only Mac based computers therefore would like to know the compatibility of Synology with Macs.

    Do you advise to go this route? If not, what other options are available for me.

    Please note that I am a newbie as far as NAS are concerned. I am enhancing my knowledge by reading various forums.

    Looking forward......
     
  2. outie2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #2
    No problem with Mac compatibility with the Synology DS. I have a 412+ and I really like it. Time Machine, file access, cloud station, etc. all work fine. All their mobile apps also have the iOS versions.
     
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #3
    You could just plug a nice big external drive into your iMac and turn on file sharing.

    A.
     
  4. jdelgado macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #4
    Yes, but the iMac needs to be on to have the drive available on the network. If your iMac is going to be on always, you can share a regular drive. If one needs to have the files available always, a NAS may be the way to go, but it is more expensive and requires more work to set it up. You can also consider sharing a drive with and an Airport Extreme.

    Regarding your original question, I have a DS411+ and a DS213+ and they work just fine within my network (I also have a few Macs, MBPs, iPad, and iPhones).
     
  5. ZahidHafeez thread starter macrumors newbie

    ZahidHafeez

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Dubai
    #5
    Thanks Outie2k, Jdelgado and Alrescha for your opinions. I will be getting the Synology 413 NAS in few weeks and will share my experiences.

    Appreciate your support.
     
  6. ColdCase, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    For a Newbie, the synology NAS is not that easy to set up. You will need to learn the NAS/Unix language and conventions or you will be wrapping yourself around the axle. I was where you were a year ago and if I had it to do over again I'd pick up a refurbished mac mini with an external USB disk array and use it as a server. Forget about a third party NAS unless all you want is a simple file server, a place to store data.

    Although many here seem to like synology, and they do try hard, I've had nothing but problems with corrupted TMs and have struggled setting up the video and photo server. The net is full of corrupted TM backup stories that are not evident until you need them. If you want to use the synology for backup, choose to run something like Carbon Copy Cloner. I've also found their apps are crude and a PITA to set up compared to native Apple stuff. If you are big into multi media, you will ditch the synology software and run something like Plex anyway.

    If you have high technical acuity and know linux, synology may be simple for you. But for us with mac ecosystem guys who just want the damn thing to work, having no interest in NAS geek speak, the mac or mac server are the only way to go.

    The down side to using a Mac as a server is that you may spend more money (if you don't have a spare mac laying around), but that 413 is not cheap. You can get a basic mac mini for that price. But how much is your time worth? How much is your happiness? I was trying to save some $$ and bought the Synology fan boy hype. (by the way I think the synology is the best of the third party NAS products)

    Just saying that there is nothing wrong with using a synology as a NAS, but the MAC's strength is in serving media and being a Time Machine. Want more out of NAS, you need to consider a real server. Replacing that Boxee Box with an Apple TV will make your life even more easier.

    If you search back over the previous year's threads you will find similar recommendations.
     
  7. ZahidHafeez thread starter macrumors newbie

    ZahidHafeez

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Dubai
    #7
    Dear ColdCase,

    Thanks a lot for your detailed reply. Your response has created some additional thoughts in my mind and would appreciate your feedback.

    1. I am not very clear to differentiate the advantages between Mac Mini Server and NAS (Let's say Synology DS-413). As far as I understood from reading the various sources that the NAS (Synology DS-413)) is capable of having downloads (NZBs, Torrents, etc.) on its own i.e. no computer needs to be connected with it to handle the downloads. Moreover, on top of that, one can connect to NAS through an iPhone as well. I would appreciate if you kindly advise me what additional features I would be able to get if go with Mac Mini Server route.

    2. Off course, the key purpose is storage of data at one centralized place (pictures, movies. music, home videos, documents, etc.) so all four family members can use the same source and have the their independent backups from the respective machines to the one centralized NAS. I would appreciate if you can advise on any additional features which I could get if I opt for Mac Mini Server.

    3. Can you please provide insight on issues pertaining to TM backups, setting up of video server & photo server?

    4. Definitely, I would to use part of the NAS as media server as well considering my huge music and videos collection. Will Synology will be able to handle this better than Mac Mini Server or vice versa? Kindly also advise more on Plex.

    5. I am a big Apple Product fan however could not convince my self to get Apple TV as all my movies are in mkv format and I bought Boxee Box mainly for this reason. Is it possible to play the mkv files with Apple TV? Though I have never used Apple TV but is sure that music handling features would be great considering iTunes.

    I moved to Mac platform in 2011 after spending my life on MS Windows. My skills are very limited as far as networking setups are concerned. In this regard, I would also like to ask you on the advantages of having dedicated IPs in the home network versus DHCP setup considering the devices I have.

    Your responses on the above will be highly appreciated.
     
  8. Giuly, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #8
    A NAS is technically a computer, so is a Mac Mini. Transmission and µTorrent allow you to remotely add torrents as well.
    Synology Download Station

    None really. Accessing the data is much easier with a Synology, as it has iOS apps for it.
    DS photo+, DS video, DS download.

    Synology Time Machine setup
    Synology Video Station
    Synology Photo Station


    Both handle it well, however a DS412+ would work much better for Plex than the DS413, as it has a faster Intel Atom CPU.

    No, but there are some stand-alone Plex boxes such as the LG ST600 and the Roku.

    In a Mac environment, close to none.

    A Mac Mini Server is nice, but the Synology DS413 is built for all these purposes without doing it yourself.
     
  9. ColdCase, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    Great answers Giulty, but after using both, I have to disagree a little with a couple points here.

    For a large media collection, the synology is a PITA to set up, their iOS apps are decent. But anytime Apple changes something, typically you wait 3-4 months for synology to catch up.

    A mac mini is much more powerful computer than a synology NAS. If you run MacOS server you have more capability that a simple synology NAS processor and OS, with higher performance for things like transcoding. You may want to browse the AppleTV and Home theater forum here (http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=100) for tips of how to handle mkv files. I was hearing that the new AppleTV plays them directly... but I dunno. Not sure how anal you are about video quality. The MacMini forum also would have some useful tips.

    Synology is a PITA to set up for the newbie, dunno what the comment "synology is built for all these purposes without doing it yourself" comes from. It is designed for those that need a server but don't want to spend the money on one, not there is anything wrong with that. You do have to configure the synology box, like you have to configure any computer or server. OSX server ($30 in software that runs on any Mac computer) can take some effort to set up, but is less effort that synology.. and, for the features you are looking at, I think the computer and iOS is much easier.

    Running a server is a much better performing option to cover all the things you want to do than a synology, and those that you may want to provide in the future, but it can be a little more money.

    I don'y have all the answers for you, but browsing the mini and home theater forums here may provide decent comparison information.
     
  10. Giuly, Oct 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #10
    You can do the Kal Penn thing have a name as short as two syllables, and people still manage to put typos into it. Honestly, I don't get it.

    I had "Guilty" but no "Giulty" yet, so congratulations for coming up with something original. One down, 5! - (~15) to go, if it starts with a "G" and ends with a "y", I'm happy.

    Which however doesn't break the iOS apps, nor the web interfaces, nor Plex.

    If you have a reasonably fast network, no transcoding will take place on the local network. And that goes for both a Mac and a NAS, whether ARM or Atom-based.

    Also, I don't really know what constitutes a PITA to you, but it's a lot easier to figure out how Download/Video/Music/Photo Station works than trying to do that on a Mac.

    He asked for things that probably 10 people managed to do on a Mac, but every Synology or QNAP NAS does by default. Hazel kinda does it, for $28.

    That might be the case, but OS X is not a multimedia storage hub and to replicate all the functionality of a NAS with third-party software on a Mac, you're beyond PITA.

    If nothing else, a Mac Mini also serves as both a Plex server and client, and you can use it as a proper computer, too.

    But a Mac doesn't have something like RAID5 or BeyondRAID to protect your data to a certain degree against hard drive failures unless you add something whose cost is close to the complete NAS to it (a $189 MediaSonic ProRaid would be the least expensive option).

    If OS X Server works for you, cool. If a Synology or LaCie NAS works for you, also cool.
     
  11. priitv8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #11
    At any rate, I wouldn't trust TimeMachine backups to anything else than Apple. Web is full of sad stories about corrupt backups on NASes. I never trusted my own NAS to hold TM backups but decided to use AirPort router and USB drive. That was an epic fail too.
    Running the same USB drive on OS X server as TM bacup destination has yet to fail on me.
    So, TimeMachine is a deciding factor. Shoud OP go for a NAS, then he's in for a purchase of a TimeCapsule as well.
     
  12. ColdCase, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #12
    Maybe for those smart enough and anal enough to double check what auto correct spell check does for us, but for a newbie that just knows how to use a MAC, that is a ridiculously naive statement. Synology is a different language which is very effective at throwing off a newbie, just look at how you have to deal with folders and package managers for example (and each package manager is different. A different environment, a PITA for a newbie. Setting up plex on a server is much easier, to run plex on a NAS means you are into higher end NASs.

    Now if you were starting from scratch or coming from a pure unix environment, perhaps different.

    Just saying that there are tons of us out here that thought they would be prudent and just use a NAS and have found the ease of use marketing exaggerated and constraints disappointing.

    A NAS is good for storage of data, but if you need more services, think about alternatives. There is not one shoe fits all. I think, if you are serving a large video collection, the OTS NAS solutions are difficult to organize and indexes slow to a crawl, not that they don't serve one or two videos well.
     
  13. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #13
    If you're really penile instead and all you want is Plex, you might as well skip the Mac Mini altogether and just install PMS on your Mac. It doesn't transcodes videos (as long as they're MP4) on the local network anyways, so it doesn't majorly affect the performance.

    A) Your Mac doesn't go to sleep anymore.
    B) You need a ProRaid or a NAS regardless to handle the storage requirements.
     
  14. outie2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #14
    As much as I like my Synology NAS, it is true that I can't rely on its TimeMachine function. The latest Synology DSM version seems ok, but before that TimeMachine always told me the backups have consistency issue and must be started from scratch. Luckily I don't really rely on TimeMachine so I don't care for much of that.
     
  15. SpeedFleX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Interwebz
    #15
    I experimented with a Mini as a Server and Synology NAS, I still use both.

    Mac Mini:

    + Familiar Interface
    + Good Hardware/ Quiet
    + Unlimted Software pretty much

    - A pain to actually use it as a storage devices, I tried all kinds of things because I not only wanted a place to storage but a place where it is as safe as possible, the RAID Cages via USB 3 suck, not because of the Mini but more because of them, so if you use Apple's Software "RAID" which in itself is good because you could in worst case still read it if the mini breaks on any computer but is not upgradable and forces you to use multiple harddrives splitting the files among them

    Synology
    + Simple Stuff are out of the box, plug in electric, network cable, pop in some harddrives and go to find.synology.com, depending on how safe you want to be you can have two or 1 harddrive break and still not lose data
    + Have a problem? scared of UNIX commands, kust call the support they will telnet in to the machine and help
    + Easy and Expandle
    + Plenty have packages if you try learning how to copy and paste and google a little
    + Simple to manage via Website, mini you would need to learn how to set up file sharing, screen sharing and what not

    - TimeMachine may work now, but may stop because of Apple updates and what not, do not rely on it.

    good luck!
     
  16. priitv8 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #16
    Did you try to serve files from Mini using a FW or TB RAID enclosure?
    OS X Server lends itself better to that task, than plain OS X. Recent iterations of OS X Server are also cheap and the Server.app is not more complicated to set up than a NAS-OS, IMHO.
     
  17. SpeedFleX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Interwebz
    #17
    No, for the price of a 4-Disk TB Array I bought a Synology 1812+

    OS X Server is nice, I actually now use both the mini and synology, the mini for User Authentication, the synology as a pure backup storage, the Mini as a Media Server/VPN/Directory.
     
  18. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    I love my Synology. Synology Hybrid RAID is great. You can add / remove disks like a DROBO, and it will automatically expand the array for you. You can easily configure single / dual disk redundancy. It just works. I use it for all of our time machine backups, I also have all of our media on it. It just works like a charm. In terms of plex, it's not the best... the atom CPUs can't transcode. If you need transcoding, get something else. I recommend having the plex box separate. I think of my Synology as just a storage server. It keeps my data safe. I don't mess with anything. It exposes all of the data I want via the protocols I want, and it has a fantastic UI. I have a little plex box that is external that has a good CPU. It streams the videos off my Synology.
     
  19. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #19
    What do you use for a Plex box?
     
  20. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Location:
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    #20
    Just being honest here, I've used a Synology NAS for 2+ years in a Mac and PC environment. I found the Synology to be quit easy to setup and maintain, basically it's been in "set it and forget it" mode since I bought it.

    Disclaimer, I make a living managing LISA (Large Installation System Administration) environments. Maybe it's harder for someone that doesn't spend 50 hours a week on hardware/OS/storage/backups.

    For Time Machine, a locally attached USB drive is cheap and effective. I keep a 1TB drive constantly connected and it is exactly what I like. I did cheat a little, I have my VMs backed up on a daily basis via cron / rsync, and have excluded them from Time Machine.

    I also have a spare drive on hand, and have the Synology E-mail alerts etc to me.
     
  21. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #21
    custom built linux box.
     
  22. ZahidHafeez thread starter macrumors newbie

    ZahidHafeez

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Location:
    Dubai
    #22
    Dear All,

    Thanks for your feedback. I just wanted to let you know that I was able to install my Synology DS412+ and installed Plex on it. I am able to use the Apple TV to play the media through Plex Server.

    I am glad that I was able to set it up with the help of all of you.

    Thanks
     

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