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Thread: Entry Level Home Use NAS

  1. #1
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    Default Entry Level Home Use NAS

    Tried running Plex from my laptop, but ran it issues that didn't let it work well.

    Looking for a basic, home use only NAS setup to stream movies/music to devices, and act as a backup for photos/docs on computer.

    Looked into Synology and Qnap, but once you start adding drives to the empty boxes they get expensive.

    Are there any better options aimed at home consumer use?
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    I'm also interested in this for the same uses that you have. I can't decide between buying one or building/having one built.

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    How much storage are you looking for?
    How many (potential max) users would you have accessing the drive at one time?

    If I were to set up some NAS for cheap, I'm the sole user and only need a few TB so just an external HDD attached to the router fits my purposes. Or a cheap desktop, put a few HDD in it and run it as a dedicated server.

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    I have a 2 bay (2x 3tb wd red) synology which used to be for streaming but is now for backup only. It is great, just use it as a network drive off my computer. Don't have it currently set up for cloud use though. I have a 4bay (4x 5tb wd Red) qnap for streaming now, and it works great with my shield and fire tvs. I looked at building something myself, but liked the small form factor and ease of use for the increased price. I believe power consumption would also be lower based on the cpus I was looking at back then. Looks like around $600 for a similar 4 bay to what I have now, but memory express has them as a daily deal every once and a while.

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    that's an option I never thought of. if I put a 3 tb thumb drive onto router, would this be able to stream video to tvs? any concerns about decoding on the fly?

    can it be set to take auto backups of computer on same network?
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    QNAP is on the cheap side, it's reliable and works well. There are a ton of "apps" that you can install on there, even Plex (although I think it doesn't have the hp to do transcoding, so it forces full res which isn't a bad thing). I use Google Drive sync on mine, so the entire NAS is sync'd to my unlimited G Drive for cloud backup even though I'm on a RAID setup that's redundant.
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    I use a QNAP NAS but don't use any of the special apps for streaming videos as I have a Windows PC/laptop connected on our TVs.

    I also use it to backup photos and videos which is also synced to Amazon Prime Photos and OneDrive for Business

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    Plex will run on some pretty crappy computers - how old is your laptop?

    Option 1: Synology makes the best NAS' in my opinion, especially with their customer support and extremely polished software and app support (for device streaming). A good, basic, NAS with 2 HDDs will run you around $600-$700 with a pair of 3 TB hard drives. Not too far off a complete compact PC build.

    Option 2: Build a full, cheap PC for downloading/streaming/backup for the same or less money, I put together a quick example:

    https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/v9zYzM

    Obviously you could tweak that either way price-wise but that is a wicked little PC for ~$550 including Windows 10.


    Option 3: Get an Nvidia Shield TV. Runs Plex flawlessly and can even be a Plex server itself. You can attach any kind of storage you want to it. This is by far your cheapest option but you don't really get the backup side of things, so you could pair it with some dirt cheap cloud storage like Blackblaze and have unlimited backup for $5/mo. Or if you're an Amazon Prime member you get free unlimited photo backup plus 5GB for docs/non-photos.

    http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX64888

    It also gives you the fastest and most polished platform for Netflix I've ever seen, and you can do tons of other stuff with it too. You could also add the Shield to a PC option for the best of both worlds.

    Anyways, just some things to think about.

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    Plex and a NAS generally don't do so well together unless you are going to convert your entire library so that it can be direct played. As soon as plex has to transcode something you're going to run up to a wall really quickly.

    If you look up the processor in your laptop or any computer and search for passmark benchmarks, it generally accepted it takes a score of 2000 passmark points per stream for a plex server.

    My suggestion is instead of dropping ~500$ on a NAS that you drop that same amount on a mini itx computer with a case that can hold 4 drives and you'll be much better off.
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    Synology DS216play?

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    While I have a beast dedicated media PC in the basement (6700k, 980,16tb in raid) I find that I still use an old ass western digital mybook network HD because its so maintnence free and just seems to work with everything on the network without having to run separate software or spend time setting it up. (all my vizio smart TVs see the drive over the network and has no problem streaming from it. Xbox has no issues streaming from it. Can pull any of the files off from my android based phone no problem, and of course it is just like a harddrive to any pc.)

    I only bought them because they were clearance at staples once when I was in there like 5+ years ago.

    Like I said its a 5+ year old device at this point and they seemed to change there naming convention the Mybook is now their external powered usb harddrives, Mycloud is there network based ones.

    I've never really looked into what bandwidth they can actually support but i've have no issues streaming a movie to a tv and audio to the xbox at once(while playing a online game).

    One would hope the new ones are as good as the old one turned out to be.

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    I have a Synology that I've slowly expanded over the years... Maxed out at 18 drives now. Hasn't given me a single headache yet though!

    Regardless of what you go with, just make sure you scrub your array frequently if you're running raid.

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    Originally posted by cidley69
    that's an option I never thought of. if I put a 3 tb thumb drive onto router, would this be able to stream video to tvs? any concerns about decoding on the fly?

    can it be set to take auto backups of computer on same network?
    I've put in a 3TB drive into the router. Plex is able to pull it off the network and run movies without any problems.
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    Is there way to get backup functionality from this setup?
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    Originally posted by cidley69
    Is there way to get backup functionality from this setup?
    Install HDD on computer; set up windows auto back up at x interval off the router attached HDD.

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    If you're going to back up files inside your house, then just get an additional hard drive for $100 and set it up to create a backup once a week. No need for a NAS, you can even stream straight from the same desktop. The trick is to back up your files outside your home in case of a fire, if your house burns down, then you lose your main drive and your backup anyway.
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    Originally posted by Mar
    If you're going to back up files inside your house, then just get an additional hard drive for $100 and set it up to create a backup once a week. No need for a NAS, you can even stream straight from the same desktop. The trick is to back up your files outside your home in case of a fire, if your house burns down, then you lose your main drive and your backup anyway.
    Or in case one gets "hacked" .....

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    I'm using poor mans NAS, which means a couple USB sticks hanging off a TP-Link Archer C7. There are wattage restrictions doing it this way, unless using powered external drives.

    Although it states it can use USB 3.0 type speeds, realistically it only does 2.0 type speeds (usually good enough for 2K streaming, but totally inadequate for 4K)
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    Plex should run pretty good as long as your laptop has at least 2 core from a i3 or i5 series from the last 3 year. Here is Plex's transcoding requirment:

    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/art...for-my-Server-

    NAS only be a good storage, Plex transcoding on NAS is still pretty bad because the processor in a NAS is very slow.

    Figure out why Plex is slow on your laptop.

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