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Old 12-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

Hi,


I have a home PC with 4TB (almost full) of media. We also have iPads, windows tablets, iPhones, laptops etc.
I am wanting something where I can just store all media or other relevant files so that I can access them from any device without having to power on my main PC. A lot of time I am away from home too and would like to stream the HD video content to my devices. My home 120mb internet connection has good upload speeds.

I have no previous network experience what so ever and have been reading from site to site but am still unsure on what I need.

I have looked at the synology DS413j but am still unsure if it can stream HD video to a device away from the home network?

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

NAS's are good and is great for what you want to do with it. the synology you listed is alright but i would not personally get it. do you plan on buying your own hard drives? usually NAS's have built in FTP servers or clouds. If i were you though i would google how to do a FTP server on your computer.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

Hi,

Thanks for the reply. The reason I thought NAS is that I am away from home for long periods and didn't want my power hungry PC constantly running. I would like to stream my media with the PC turned off.

I understand that I will have to buy the drives separate but it's something I can do over time, just starting with one drive?

With regards to the synology, are any other more suitable/recommended for what I want.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

I do not know of one specifically but try looking at newegg.com
they have good ones there and are usually cheaper. yes you can use one drive, BUT make sure that the NAS has RAID X (i think thats what it is called) because if you plan on putting more hard drives into a RAID you cant just pop a few more in and set it up for raid. it will require you to reformat the RAID and start from scratch. But my buddy has one that has RAID X like i was saying and it lets you put more hard drives into a RAID. NAS's usually have clouds with should work fine for "at work movie time!"
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

I think you'd be better served buying a refurbished Dell or HP and running open source NAS software on it. A lot more flexible and reliable.
You don't really need a lot of computing power or ram for that matter. Just a good connection speed.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

What is your upload speed? I doubt most home connections can stream hd video without some buffering at least.


Honestly any Nas will be able to spit out data at it's network port rate 100M or 1000m? The weak point in this will be your upload speed.

An old refurbished workstation isn't a terrible idea it's very flexible to configure whatever you like on it. But the power bills can mount up somewhat after a while.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:55 PM   #7
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Default Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

If you do buy any equipment to be your redundant file server like a NAS or a server with a simple RAID configured, make sure you purchase a battery backup unit to power it as well. If you lose power or brownout frequently where you live, your system will reboot and report that file system is not clean. To avoid data loss, Ensure that whatever you do buy has a desktop style battery backup unit like an APC back-UPS 500. This will also help if you begin hosting another services on your NAS as well but you can also plug your modem and router.
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do I need a NAS? Worth the money for what I need?

I just got a Zyxel NSA325v2 (2-bay nas drive) - which I must say offers excellent configuration options and a raft of features such as:
1) fast-copy button from USB port on front (to a configurable location on the drive)
2) auto downloading of RSS feeds, podcasts and torrents (obviously intended for legal content)
3) ability to act as itunes server
4) full media server capable on connections on TV, mobile devices, tablets etc. for photo, music and video sharing
5) gigabit networking (as you'd expect)
6) FTP server
7) Web publishing capability
8) auto-uploads to Flickr/Youtube accounts for photos/video respectively
9) drop-box and time machine for backup solutions
10) Print server
...
various other administrative options, user account controls and SSL capabilities etc. It's also very small and quiet with low power consumption. Costs around £90 for the enclosure and then you can get disks as required (it does RAID 0 and 1 obviously since it's 2 bay).

So far I've not had any issues with it and would recommend it to someone looking to start out. It doesn't require you to be overly technically competent, but doesn't hold back those who are (which is a very rare mix I must say).

Aside from all of that, I would say that if you plan on accessing content from outside your home network then ensure you securely configure your router (which may mean putting the NAS on your DMZ) and manage your volume shares correctly to publish only the content you intended over your WAN interface. If you don't feel comfortable doing this try to find someone who does since done incorrectly could easily allow others access to your personal data (stored insecurely on the NAS) or even your internal LAN.
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