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Advise on first NAS


Established Member
Looking at buying my first NAS to store iTunes, stream to sonos, backup my photos and if possible do a bit of time machine.
When it comes to Raid modes I have no idea what I will need to do, and networks are not my thing. What I would like to do is allow access to my tunes to any macs on my network with the obvious exception that iTunes bought songs can't be shared to another computer. It's mainly for my sonos though and a place to keep my photos of my iMac.
To be fair I'm clueless at this but looking at Q Nap with a couple of 2tb drives. Unsure if this is overkill for what I need it to do.
Any advise gladly received


Established Member
First off,

Raid - This really depends whether you want any fault tolerance, i.e if a drive dies, no fault tolerance = lost data, if you have Raid 5 (you have to have atleast 3 drives) = new drive and the drive will automatically get re-built with the missing data from the other drives. RAID 1, is mirroring, so basically you will have 2 drives exactly the same, so if one drive dies, you have the duplicate.

There are other RAID configurations available, but these will probably be your best options.

Though reading your initial post seems to suggest the NAS will be a backup of the data on your PC? so you could possibly get away with not using any RAID as there will be a copy of the files on your PC, though if a HDD dies, you would have to copy all the data again from your PC to the NAS. So is something you will need to think about :)

Sharing - Your NAS will connect to your network, whether this be via connecting directly to your router, or if you use a switch. Depending on what Operating system you use, the basic idea is you make the drive a share. Example if you right click on your drive in your computer, you get the option share / share with, and you can choose to share it with your workgroup / PC. This is effectively how the NAS would work.

Hope the information is of some help


Distinguished Member
QNAP or synology will do what you want - they both are mac friendly and can run itunes servers (they appears as itunes clients on the network) and can share off the music for your music player.

A 2-bay solution will give you mirroring if you needed the redundancy or will give you 4tb of storage if not - depends how much disk space you need.

Probably a QNAP TS-210 will be sufficient for your needs - specs are here
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Standard Member
I'm looking at a NAS solution too, and have an existing non-NAS 1TB external drive (Samsung Story) that it would be a shame to render redundant.

The QNAP looks good. Looking at the specs in Graham's link, does "Virtual Disk for Storage Expansion" mean that you can plug another drive (like my Story) into the QNAP to increase the available storage?



Distinguished Member
No the virtual disk storage is aimed at business users. It uses iSCSI targets and turns them into multiple single volumes on the NAS

you can plug USB drives into them and share the content but they wont be part of the array. They can also be used as a backup - copying the contents of the NAS to external storage and then taking that off-site


Standard Member
you can plug USB drives into them and share the content but they wont be part of the array. They can also be used as a backup - copying the contents of the NAS to external storage and then taking that off-site

Is that the main difference between the QNAP TS-210 and TS-212? I.e. that the backup to the external USB drive is automatic on the latter, manual on the former? (I'm trying to work out what you get for the £45 extra on the 212!)



P.S. Sorry, Spooky, if I'm hijacking your thread, but hopefully these questions are useful for all of us starting out in the world of NASs :)


Distinguished Member
the model differences for qnap is mainly cpu and memory. The installed firmware is usually the same as long as the hardware supports the function (eg cant have raid 5 on a 2 bay nas) and they may have an extra USB or two or an e-sata port.

The TS-x10 models (so TS-110, TS-210, TS-410) have a 800mhz processor and 256Mb RAM. TS-210 is 11w in sleep, 14w in operation.
The TS-x12 models (so TS-112, TS-212 etc) have a 1.2Ghz processor and 256MB Ram. TS-212 is 6w in sleep, 13w in operation
the TS-X19P+ models (TS-119P+, TS219P+ etc) have a 1.6Ghz processor and 512Mb RAM. TS-219P+ is 7w idle, 19w in operation and supports WOL and has an e-sata port

Deleted member 480461

I went with a Synology in the end and am very happy with it.

With regards to RAID, it really depends on how much redundancy you are after, and how much cash you have to spare!

With a 2 bay device you are looking at either RAID 0 or 1 - where the data is striped across both disks (if one disk fails, you're screwed), or mirroring - where you only get the data capacity of one disc, but the data is mirrored automtically to the second disk - should 1 fail you still have all you data on the other.

If you get a NAS with 3 or more drive bays, you can go for RAID 5. With RAID 5 any single disk in the array can fail, and you can continue to use the NAS as normal, replace the disk, and let the system rebuild. Hence it gives you the redundancy of 1 disk.

Bear in mind RAID is not a full backup solution. It gives you piece of mind over disk failure. You still need to create our own seperate backup. For example, I have a 5 disk NAS in RAID5, so if 1 disk fails Im OK - but I still have an external drive connected to the NAS on which I perform my own backups once a week.


Although maybe overkill for your needs (and for mine! lol) the Synology and QNap NAS's incorporate an iTunes Server, so you can share your iTunes media across several systems as well ;)


Standard Member
Well, in the end I went for a QNAP TS-212 with 2x2TB drives (mirrored). Only installed it this morning but I'm very happy with it so far.

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