Wireless Home Server itunes/time machine?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by lowonthe456, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    Hey gang,

    I would like to find a small home server. Basically I want it to:

    have 2tb of space if possible
    wireless N (if possible)
    host each family member's itunes folder remotely
    handle time machine backups
    set so a ps3 or such media device can get movies from it

    am i deaming? is there an all-in-one solution for something like this? I basically want to put it in a well ventilated closet and forget its there...everyone in the household can have their mac or pc's get their itunes media from there and such.

  2. Slarti Bartfast, Apr 24, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  3. mb335 macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Although not a "plug and play" solution, I would opt for putting together your own home server with some inexpensive PC parts, and installing any of the free linux distros out there. Although much tinkering is involved, you do have the most flexibility to configure your own services needed for your Mac, and windows clients.

    For my needs, I have an Ubuntu server running hardy (8.0.4 LTS) with a bunch of disk drives. I use software based disk mirroring to provide redundancy. I also have samba running on there provide network shares for my Windows boxes and virtual machines. I just ordered an i7 MacBook Pro, so my next project would be to integrate time machine services on this ubuntu server. Google has some excellent how-to's on how to do this.

    A friend of mine had purchased some NAS solution which had some array issues recently. Unfortunately, we could not recover any of the data because it had used some proprietary disk format.
  4. abmedic macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2010
    NAS Home Server - Any recommendations?

    I'm echoing the question of the first poster. I'm looking for a NAS/media server, that would be accessible by any computer in my mixed home network environment (Win XP, Win 7, Mac, Xbox-XBMC, Mac-Mini-Plex; wired and wireless). I currently a D-Link DNS-323 with two 1TB drives (WD Green drives, running fine for ~ 1 year), connected to a D-Link DIR-655 router, and the NAS box works fine (media accessible wirelessly and via wired), but I've filled up both drives, and the drives are not in RAID setup or mirrored.

    I'm looking for an NAS / media server solution, that is:
    1. Expandable (at least to about 8TB, using today's 2TB drives)
    2. Compatible with Win XP, Win 7, Mac, and able to be accessed by Win/Mac as well as XBMC and Plex.
    3. Able to handle RAID 5 (so all media data is more protected). I have no backup in place now, so anything is better. Obviously I have online and local backups of my crucial data, but I'm looking to provide at least some level of protection for my movies/TV shows/etc. that are on the DNS-323.
    4. Reasonably priced for a home user (under $800, without disks).
    5. As technologically simple as possible. Basic "setup and go" or the Mac mantra of "it just works..." The D-Link DNS323 was very painless to setup, and has worked well, but I've heard nothing but bad reviews of the DNS-343. I'm a total newbie, and not ready for tackling building my own server (without a specific and exact parts list; with a very specific parts list, I'd probably undertake the job...), and I don't need advanced features. The server is simply to mostly just serve up movies / music / TV to my Mac-Mini running Plex and my PC-XBMC setup on multiple TVs, as well as provide a central repository for other media files and another backup location (in addition to my online backup, Time Machine and local bootable clones which remain on separate drives). Right now the DNS-323 fits the bill nicely, but since I wanted to max out storage space I don't have any RAID or mirroring setup on the DNS323, and with only two bays expandability is limited. I don't need access to files remotely, although it's always a nice feature.

    My main computers are an iMac 27inch, and a Mac-Mini (running Plex), although we have a Win XP laptop and a Win 7 laptop in the house as well that access the network.

    I've looked at:
    1. DNS 343 (bad user reviews)
    2. Netgear ReadyNAS NV+
    3. Synology (DS 410j and DS410)
    4. LimeTech RB-1200 (not selling for past 4 months...)

    Any recommendations from the more technologically astute? All help is greatly appreciated & thanks in advance!
  5. EasyJW macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    get a mac mini [​IMG] they are really nice for servers, and although you're not meant to be able to change the HDD there are many youtube videos showing how to do this
  6. abmedic macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2010

    My two cents regarding your initial post (I'm in the market for an upgrade to my current media server solution). I use a D-Link DNS-323 coupled with a D-Link DIR-655 Wireless N router, and ActionTec PowerLine 200mbps adapters. I don't have any specific love for D-Link products, but these were recommended to me by someone else, and I've found that it's often (not always) easier to use products of the same brand together. I'm able to stream 720p/1080i quality movies (all my HDTV will support), TV episodes, iTunes music files, and "other" files (documents, spreadsheets, etc.) that are stored on the DNS-323 throughout the house without a problem. For the movies/TV shows, I usually access them through a wired connection on the PowerLine adapters, but I can access them wirelessly as well. Wireless streaming of the movies/TV episodes isn't flawless - despite being N speed, it seems hit or miss - sometimes the videos play well, other times they stutter (streaming to Win XP laptop and Win 7 laptop with N wireless). I tried a D-Link Wireless N bridge with the same results -- streaming videos would sometimes work perfectly, and other times would fail miserably. Wired streaming via PowerLine is perfect, no issues - streaming to Mac Mini running Plex and PC & classic xBox, each running XBMC. The DNS-323 was easy to setup, supports up to 2TB drives in each bay (2-bays). After initial setup, and aside from adding new videos or other media, I never think about it. Just chugs along doing its thing. Working fine for about 14 months now with two WD Green 1TB drives. I want to upgrade so I have more slots and be able to use RAID 5 setup to protect my videos/media. For what it's worth :) Cheers!
  7. abmedic macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2010

    Wow, that was quick. Gracias for the reply! Question -- even with upgrading the Mac-Mini server HDD that would be used to stream media, what would be the best way to protect and backup the data on that machine? Time Machine for that Macmini server to an external USB/firewire HDD? Any idea what size HDD I could put into a Macmini server? I really like the idea of the Macmini server (my Macmini running Plex is phenomenal), I just couldn't conceptualize what would be the best way to get 6TB-8TB of data stored on a single Macmini, and how to make that data protected (RAID? Time Machine? Other method?). I already have about 2TB of movies/videos/etc. and would need to move that onto any new server machine. Any tips on how to make a Macmini server meet my needs? Thanks again!
  8. batistuta macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    Mac Mini would be nice and flexible, BUT not very cheap and I don't see 6-8TB without a bunch of external drives as it can only house one 2.5" drive (two if you remove the optical drive or buy the server edition), so 1TB is max.

    I have owned several Synology 'servers' over the years; they have performed well, so I would recommend either the 410j or 410 - the key difference is performance. If you stick with the powerline setup (ie. 200 mbps max) then the 'j' version is probably sufficient. Another brand providing much of the same functionality is qnap.

    You get lots of possibilities; itunes server, dlna for ps3/xbox and recent flatscreen tvs. web and ftp server. file, photo and audio server with remote access - the two latter even from free iphone apps. Can control and record from surveillance cameras. print server. download manager - keep downloading from http/bitorrent/emule etc. even when your computer is off.
    Raid 5. Scheduled power on/off. TimeMachine support. Setup users, groups and access rights.

    I would say such a NAS is a lot simpler to setup than building your own server and probably uses somewhat less power.
  9. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have a qnap nas that will do all that and more. Setup might be a little complicated if you are not at all familiar with linux (the box is essentially a linux server with a web based gui). They don't have WiFi, but if you plan on using a device like this you should DEFINITELY have it wired anyway. They offer various flavors with different number of drive bays. check them out at www.qnap.com

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