General Questions about NAS

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What is NAS? What is RAID? Is NAS a computer? Advantages of NAS? NAS is a new territory for many of you, explore this subject here.

Mac User - New to NAS - Requesting Advise Please?

Hello. Backstory: I've been using Macs for many years with larger internal storage options (3-4TB.) This houses our iTunes music, Plex movies, photos and document collections. We also utilize larger external storage solutions for our photography business (4TB.) Over the years, I've become accustomed to using a system backup application called SuperDuper! and multiple external drives to create 1:1 backups for our main machine. I also utilize a file sync application called ChronoSync to ensure 1:1 copies of our photo business drives. All in all, I have 5-hard drive backups for my main machine, which are rotated frequently and 4-hard drive backups for our photo business, which are also rotated frequently. As you can see, I have a lot going on that needs to be maintained quite frequently and would like to simplify if possible. New use-case: Now that hard drives are cheaper than ever before, I would rather move into the realm of NAS, but want to see how close I can get to my existing backup solutions? 1. If I purchased the Synology DS920+ with 4-8TB hard drives, could I use each hard drive independently to generate backups directly from the Mac itself whenever I wanted? My thought is that each backup would cover both the main machine as well as the dedicated photos drive into one disk on the NAS. I could then setup an automated solution to perform these 4-separate backups throughout different intervals during the week. 2. If I decided to move away from purchasing Macs with larger internal storage options, could I instead place all my data on the NAS directly and access it at anytime as if it was stored locally? This route would probably mean that I go with a Raid setup, but would need help understanding the best Raid option to choose. My goal for this method is to hopefully allow me the option of no longer needing to worry about my devices having certain internal storage sizes as I should be able to access the singular file on any device that I affectively use (iMac, Macbook, iPad, iPhone, PC, PC Laptop, etc.) Would this option be a solution the NAS can provide? Any downsides to this approach? Of course, I would probably keep some files locally for ease of access, like say 1-2 photo shoots. Once edited and sent off, I could then move that information to the NAS for future access and backup redundancy. Ultimately, I just want a better solution to what I have today. I have hard drives all over the place. I also want to be able to access data no matter where I'm at in the world for work and I want to be able to utilize my music and movie libraries to stream across all my devices in the house (or on the road too if possible.) Hope the above questions made sense and were clear. If not, please let me know what additional information you require to help me find the right solution for my needs. Thank you for your time!
JA Jamesgarland asked on 26 September 2021, 13:10
0 answers / 0 votes / 156 views

Stress Testing for new HDDs?

I have heard people mentioning that a HDD will fail either at the beginning or at the end of its life cycle, therefore a stress test should be done on all new HDDs before use. 1. Is it recommended to do a stress test for new HDDs before putting it to use in a NAS? 2. How can I do a stress test? Any software needed? How long will it take? Step by step and alternative methods are appreciated. 3. Can I do it on the NAS itself? This is because I do not own an adapter and power supply for a 3.5" HDD. 4. If #3 is possible, can it be done for the second and subsequent drives on the NAS itself while keeping its RAID configuration? Same reason because I do not own an adapter and power supply. Thanks and appreciate all responses!
US User asked on 10 September 2021, 15:36
1 answers / 0 votes / 286 views

Need advise on hard drive choice for adding drives?

Hi, I have a Synology 1813+ 8-bay with 6 WD RED 3TB drives in a SHR-2 array. I've had it since 2014. I wanted to increase storage by filling the remaining two bays, and have been looking at 6TB drives to start the migration to a much larger array. Now I'm wanting to increase storage and was considering adding two 6TB drives in the open bays to start moving toward a larger array. I'm seeing a lot of discussion about the WD Red drives being SMR instead of CMR and also 4K vs. non-4K native drives. 1) My drives are WD30EFRX-68EUZN0. Do you know whether these in 2014 were CMR or are they SMR like the ones available today? (Seems like SMR was new tech in 2015-16) 2) What would be my options for increasing storage? Can I add to my SHR-2 array? Can I add two new drive in a second pool/array in the same NAS? 3) Should I look at buying a newer NAS (Synology or other) that might be better for PLEX video transcoding? Many thanks for your assistance Cheers
Need advise on hard drive choice for adding drives?
JA Jake2015 asked on 23 August 2021, 23:20
0 answers / 0 votes / 144 views

Best way to setup new DX517?

Hi NAS compares team, The storage space on my Synology NAS (DS1520+) is running out. That's why I bought an expansion unit (DX517). Now I saw your video on youtube called "Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Synology DX517 Expansion - Part I". Unfortunately, part II and III have not been released yet. (Hope they will in future). I am sure that you may would have answered my question in video part 2 or 3. Anyway, i want to strictly separate the hdd's / storage from the expansion unit from the storage of the NAS to prevent data loss caused by NAS or DX failure. For example if the NAS or DX Powersupply fails or one of them just stops working, the RAID will be damaged, because suddenly several disks disappear at the same time. This is why i want to separate them. Unfortunately, it is not clear to me how to set it up the right way. I am not sure, if i have to create a separate storage pool with its own volume(s) for the new disks in the expansion unit, or if it will be enought to simply add the disks to the existing storage pool and create a new volume within this storage pool? I think the second option (adding drives to existing pool and creating a new volume in there) will distribute the data from volume 1 and 2 which are in the same storage pool, across all HDD's (These in the NAS and DX517) and will not separate them physically on the Harddrives, right? Thanks in advance and kind regards Cedric PS: Hoping to see part 2 and 3 of your video "Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Synology DX517 Expansion - Part I" soon - really interested in it.
3L 3limin4tor asked on 23 August 2021, 11:36
0 answers / 0 votes / 162 views


I'm setting up a NAS primarily for PLEX and media(audio, video, pictures) storage/streaming To that end I have purchased the following: QNAP TVS-h1688X-W1250-32G WD Gold 10TB HD(WD102KRYZ4) 4 each WD Red 1TB SSD (WDS100T1R0A) 4 each Now I am looking at which M.2 SSD NVME cards to add. I intend to use these drives for my system volume in a Raid 1 configuration. *Do you recommend using these SSD's in this way? *Which brand and size do you recommend for this purpose? It seems like the 32G RAM included is a good start but I'm not sure it is enough. *Should I add more RAM while I have the case cracked and if so how much?
FN Fnosm asked on 12 August 2021, 17:30
1 answers / 0 votes / 240 views

Which 16GB ECC RAM to buy for QNAP TS-873A-8G?

I am wondering what is the recommended ECC RAM stick to buy for the QNAP TS-873A-8G? I read that I should get ECC memory for the ZFS file system. Which sticks are compatible and recommended for this unit? I would prefer each 16GB stick to be around $120 or cheaper if possible.
IC Iczyg asked on 26 July 2021, 20:29
0 answers / 1 votes / 248 views

Which NAS for VM / Blind User?

Hi there, I've been really enjoying the site, and appreciate the help it's been giving people like me who are very much new to the world of NAS. I have a very niche question here that I'd love to get your expert advice on. I'm asking on behalf of a blind person, my dad, who runs a radio station. My situation is that currently I have a DS218. But now, this is not enough! The PC which hosts my dad's radio station, which has sat on my desk for the last 3 years, has finally given up the ghost. We like the idea of resurrecting the radio station, but this time running it as a VM on my always-on NAS. It needs to be a Windows VM because the radio station apps are Win only. More importantly, whichever NAS we choose, it absolutely must be able to handle the GUI aspects of the VM REALLY WELL: being blind, my dad uses JAWS screenreader software to navigate the GUI and use the radio software, so slowdown here would be a nightmare. So what we're looking for is a NAS that can handle this requirement. I will also be using the NAS for home/photos, and plan to slot my current 2 drives into it. So, getting to the point... Am I right about the following? - My current NAS, DS218, will not run the VM well - The DS920+, which looks like the next step up, won't run the VM particularly well either - The DS1261+ should run it all fine? Except 6 bays seems overkill for what will be 8TB of data at most! Just checking in case there is any new machine I should be looking at. Happy to consider QNAP options too. Budget of £1,000 including HDDs. Thanks so much for reading my question. :)
AM Amcfarl1 asked on 24 July 2021, 19:07
0 answers / 0 votes / 234 views

Pro Photographer, looking for a good backup solution?

HI guys, Love the YouTube channel. I wonder if you can help me, I'm Currently backing my MacBook laptop up, via Time Machine, to a basic extrnal drive, 8TB, and then saving projects to another basic External Drive, just Seagate or similar 8TB when I'm ready to move the files fully off my laptop. I also backup final edits in HD jpeg to Amazon Drive and Dropbox. I'm looking for a better solution, I've thought of keeping a basic Time Machine drive going, but also getting a Synology DiskStation DS720+ or DS220+ ,saving all my final Projects to those Drives, in a Mirrored Raid, probably using 4TB Barracuda drives, (8TB when available) And then just swapping those drives out when they are full, and storing them away, labeled, and in a database, so if i need access to any old projects, I know which drives to slot in. I'd keep the cloud storage going also. Just wondered if that was a good solution, or if something cheaper like a Terramaster would work as well. Thanks a lot for your help, Have a great week, Chris.
CH Chrisd asked on 21 July 2021, 18:58
1 answers / 0 votes / 199 views

Best Choice for a NAS?

The idea is to set up a NAS for a small business (a non-profit small animal shelter - 100 animals per year). The staff is non technical but can do basic administration of various applications. About 4 normal staff users although the Board might be able to use various applications. Of the Board members, most use an iPad, a few an iPhone, and the Treasurer and myself are PC users - as are the staff members at work although they use iPhones and Androids when they aren't at work. As it is, there are two kind of users - those who handle the administrative work (primarily handling donations and mailings) and the shelter operation (keeping track of the animals coming in and out along with their vet records etc.). There are a lot of photos involved in the later case - we link to the Petfinder application and share a lot on social media like Facebook. People love pictures (videos) of dogs and cats. There are thousands of pictures to be organized. We also want to have a surveillance system. We had applied for grant for an elaborate one but with COVID funds dried up. We still have a need, probably in the area of 8-10 cameras although they won't all be active a lot of the time. Our original proposal (from a local vendor) ran about $10,000. Looking at it today there's little logic for it as it includes an NVR and 13 cameras of the $300 variety along with all the wiring. There's some logic to it however in that we don't have any internet connections other than through the router (fiber - 600 mbs) and there's a lot of metal in the form of cages for the dog area for example. We are probably going to need range extenders if we don't do wired connections. And we'll probably need an additional (mesh?) router setup to get decent signal through out the building and outside. Not particularly a NAS issue but an issue. So we are looking at a file server and a surveillance system at a minimum. Another issue we have is that various Board members have a lot of files on their own PC's, iPads, etc. We should have a central repository so that we don't lose track of what's happened. Last year we had an audit and it was a major effort to piece together from the emails of different Board members (over 5 years, thankfully most had some of them) what had been done. If we had a NAS we could offload a of what now resides in various clouds to a central source controlled locally. At this point I'm assuming we can somehow use low priced wireless IP cameras (seems you like Reolink and they're in a wide variety of models at reasonable prices) that would be wired internally and batter operated outside. Synology looks a bit better in a way given that QNAP decided to go for a subscription model. I thought the 8 camera perpetual license made sense but I can understand their desire to move to subscription (for the MP4 format if no other). Now Synology looks more competitive. Given that it looks like Synology might be easier to administer for non-technical people. I'm the technician on the Board but I'll be off soon and our personal situation is such that we might not be here three years from now. I do like to fool with technology although it's been a while at this level. I ordered a QNAP TS-230 and have been working with it for the past week or so. A very nice device for the price. I've got two WD Red 2TB drives. Not a space issue. That said I can see this might be a challenge for the Shelter staff to keep track of. So I ordered a DS220+ to see what I can make of it. It should arrive in a few days. In the interim I'm checking out an outdoor Reolink camera (I have an E1 PRO working in the house). I know I've got network issues to deal with for range extension but fundamentally that has little do with the NAS. I will say to this point that none of this is a cost to the Shelter. If and when we do this, it will all be the non-profits cost and we're working on a fund raiser to that effect. I'm pretty sure we'll need a 4 bay given that one drive will be devoted to surveillance. OK - two questions. First, in you Synology install you said that Synology might not install over formatted disks. I plan to use the ones I set up for the QDAP. So how does one uninitialize a formatted hard disk. Is it the old wave it over a magnet thing? Second, and more importantly, from what I described is it more likely a QDAP (which seems to be more technically oriented) or Synology (which looks more user friendly) a likely if more initially expensive choice? I do want to thank you by the way for all the videos on Youtube. They have been very useful so far. Thanks, John
WI Willernest asked on 18 July 2021, 23:53
0 answers / 0 votes / 151 views

Using Old NAS HDD for USB Backup?

BI Bianchirider asked on 24 June 2021, 17:04
0 answers / 0 votes / 145 views

New to NAS - looking for Rack Mounted solution - large storage space?

Hi! I just upgraded our home theater systems (2 4K 7.1 systems, theater and by the pool). I hate having discs laying around and have ripped all my DVDs/BluRays to a hard drive and play through there. I currently have a Mac mini as a Plex media server connected to 4 18Tb Western Digital Drives. These connect to two different audio/video receivers and stream via two separate Apple TVs. (This is the setup that the local A/V company I used recommended, but they were not super helpful at coming up with a NAS system). I now have a rack that has 2U space still available and would love to use a dedicated server so I can access things away from home as well as stream to multiple locations in the house at the same time. I have never used a true NAS and would love some recommendations. I'm looking mainly for something with a good processing speed that can handle multiple streams concurrently, large storage space (100TB or higher), hot swappable drives would be ideal. I would also love to be able to access PDFs, Word documents, and powerpoint, and all other documents/photos from off-site. I don't know how to make that happen. Cost is not the biggest factor when deciding on a set-up, more about if it will work appropriately. The computer systems we use are Mac based, and we are iPhone users, in case that makes a difference. Thanks in advance for any help that can be given. I have been looking for weeks now and just keep getting more and more confused. I also would need some guidance in setting things up to work on our home network, as servers are still exceptionally foreign to me. I've attached a pic of the rack. Not sure if that's needed or not. (With me pointing to the 4 WD hard drive bays that are connected to the Mac mini).
New to NAS - looking for Rack Mounted solution - large storage space? New to NAS - looking for Rack Mounted solution - large storage space?
DR Drchrisdvm2009 asked on 21 June 2021, 04:07
0 answers / 0 votes / 163 views

Asustor AS6604t Plex playback via HDMI to LG OLED TV?

Have Plex currently installed on the NAs without issue and can play via streaming through my LG TV. I have connected the NAs directly to the HDMI port on the TV but cannot figure out what I am missing to get direct playback though HMDI not the network. Do I need to install asustor portal? When connected there is no image displayed on the TV. Sorry for the noob question but I am rather new to the NAS world.
RE Rencruz asked on 28 May 2021, 04:26
0 answers / 0 votes / 153 views

Synology Desktop NAS for Plex 4k movie streaming?

I have a Synology DS414+ and the CPU is showing its age. I currently have 5 cameras running with Surveillance Station and use my Synology for backups and it also houses my video library. I am looking to upgrade to a new NAS and was originally looking at the DS920+, then started looking at some of the 2021 models. I saw the NASCompares review on the new DS1621 with AMD processor. I'm glad that I saw it before pulling the trigger, as it was mentioned that the AMD processor wouldn't be able to do the decoding for Plex, which I would like my NAS to be able to handle, although realistically I will probably end up using Apple TV or a Nvidia Shield instead. The DS1621xs is price prohibitive but has a Xeon processor, which would be great vs the Celeron in every other new model. I will need the new NAS to continue running the same number of cameras through Surveillance Station. I also want to seamlessly stream 4k video through Plex, but it's seeming less realistic the more I look into this. I do not want a rack mount unit and would like to stick with Synology. I wouldn't mind having the flexibility of running a VM or 2 also.
ZM Zmaninny asked on 14 April 2021, 00:21
0 answers / 0 votes / 225 views

Help choosing?

I would appreciate insight in to the best NAS with HDMI for my money.
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 29 March 2021, 01:35
0 answers / 0 votes / 115 views

NAS for videographer?

Dear Nas Compares, I'm a self-employed videographer. I now have a large collection of external drives with different projects on. I no longer have a desktop machine (I use a macbook pro for video editing). I'd like to get a reliable system to host all my video projects for archiving. I wouldn't necessarily work off of this as I have some USB-c SSD drives which are pretty quick and portable for working on the go. I just need somewhere to host things safely (I can't afford to lose anything). Another bonus would be if I could host things like dropbox and myitunes library on the device and access these things remotely on my macbook. I was thinking about a synology 8 bay, with some pro drives loaded in to give me around 20tb, as I understand it you can add an expansion unit to give you more space in the future. Am I on the right track? I'd like to order this week so if you are able to respond soon that would be great. Many thinks, Owen
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 28 March 2021, 12:20
0 answers / 0 votes / 114 views

Some basic NAS advice?

Hi, I have a few beginner's questions about using a NAS. I'm looking at Synology DS420J 4-bay NAS to use 8TB drives in. The first two drives would be full of 'unique' data and the other two would be redundancy for each of the first two. First of all – is this feasible given that I'm starting with one drive and one redundancy drive? Can I add another two later and still use it how I'm planning? Secondly – what RAID/SHR do you recommend for this plan, if it's possible? Lastly – if this is not possible to do, what do you recommend A 2-bay NAS with offline redundancy (desktop USB hard drive)? Thanks, Chris
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 27 March 2021, 22:15
1 answers / 0 votes / 212 views

Buying advice?

First I love your content. it's kept my super entertained for the past 4 days. I looked on your site for a store so i could support the channel but unfortunately no merch. If you send me a referral link i'll use it or purchase from whatever retailer you have a relationship with. about me: always been a bit of a techy. took an intensive course and just my A+ , not because I wanted a job but because i liked it. What i want: I essentially want a server but i don't know if i should or even want to build one. 85 percent of my media is consumed via Plex. multiple Tv's I want to host web sites I want to self host email I want to self host a CRM i want to set up 4k surveillance cameras ( 3 here at my house with option to add more from rental properties.) I'm a photographer i also occasionally edit video self hosted drop box type service Under $1000 but will spend up to $2000 4bays (6 if the price is right with option to get expansion unit) no drives included i will eventually want to go to 10gig networking but not needed absolutely needed at time of purchase will probably never hook up a monitor or tv directly to it As far as operating systems, my personal preference is MAC for the slickness, ease of use and just works BUT i feel like im fighting with my macbook to do certain techy things vs my PC where its whatever you want. i'm attracted to synology because of the apple like software integration But if there is a third party app that does a better job and is better looking I will go with that. ( I prefer apps to scripts) I'm even open to another operating system like Linux. I want something that once setup i don't have to think to much about it again. I'd max out the ram myself would like the option of changing out the processor after the warranty runs out to give it some new life. I would even take an older model unit that I can upgrade myself & bring it current.
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 27 March 2021, 17:30
0 answers / 0 votes / 127 views

Resetting Nas ds 220+?

I have set up My Synology ds220+ But put it as Raid 0 I wpuld like to change this SHR. I know I have to reset the nas after I've backed up my files from my nas. How do I do a complete reset of the Nas? Your help will be appreciated
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 27 March 2021, 10:45
1 answers / 0 votes / 198 views


Hi. on qnap page is says TL-D1600S and TL-D400S but not the TL-D800s why ? QNAP QXP-1600e is - PCIe 3.0 x8 Interface QXP-400eS - PCIe Gen3 x2 (16Gbps) and the QXP-800eS - PCIe interface - PCIe Gen3 x4 (32Gbps) and the NAS TS-251D has - Fack 1: PCIe Gen 2 x4
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 27 March 2021, 05:50
1 answers / 0 votes / 224 views

Wd as a plex server?

Hi i watched a few of your videos on YouTube and it seems like you never recommend Western Digital im thinking of buying the WD my cloud home 4Tb, maybe the Duo version of that for having it as my plex server and from what i can tell it can handle up to 1080p transcoding (hardware+software) and thats more then enough for me (im not interested in 4k streaming) so do you think its a good buy or not ? aka is it good as a plex server ? and if you ever answer this msg i wanna ask you another technical question if i may .... i have a mesh network (tp deco m4, four of them) connect to a 5g router Q1: if i connect my plex server to the 5G router does it give a direct connection to my tv that is connect it to the mesh network ? Q2: if i connect my plex server to the mesh main router, will i get the same experience for remote play as if i was connecting it the 5G router ? thanks Adel
NA Nascompares_blog_push asked on 26 March 2021, 22:25
1 answers / 0 votes / 199 views