Asus routers and NAS capability

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by silent ninja, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    Funny how I was about to buy the Asus RT-AC66U and the security flaws get exposed all over the news. Anyway, I believe they have it plugged.

    How are the NAS capabilities on these routers (the AC and N ones)? This is one major feature I'd like to stream content. Can I access movies easily say by WDTV, a Panasonic TV, PS3, bluray player etc (format permitting of course). I'd also like to access them remotely, but this isn't a top priority. Before I get suggestions of buying a NAS, even a cheap one will cost well over £200 which I can't justify. I don't have huge albums of music or photos either, just movies. At the moment I'm lugging around a portable hard drive which isn't ideal.

    I see the USB NAS feature highlighted a lot but whats it like in actual operation? Interface? Ease of use, compatibility, reliability etc?
     
  2. Navvie

    Navvie
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    IMHO, a router has no business being a NAS. My router helps protect me from the script kiddies of the internet... putting a harddrive that close to the internet is the very last thing I'd want to do.
     
  3. remixedcat

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    Any drive you connect is able to be seen by the world really easy. I don;t use router USB storage due to the insecurity and sloooow speeds.

    Mine topped at 4 MBytes/sec. that's bytes and not bits.
     
  4. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    Thanks guys. It sounds like a useless feature
     
  5. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    Due to the overwhelming response on this thread, what basic NAS drives would you guys recommend? I may go down this route. It's primarily for accessing movies-- cloud options to this would be great.
     
  6. next010

    next010
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    Synology DS214Play if you want minimum fuss. That model has a hardware transcoder that the Synology media server is tied into so it can transcode content when streaming over DLNA or over the internet making media that wouldn't otherwise work play properly.

    Without transcoding you would be reliant on native playback for the PS3 and the PannyTV, streaming over the Internet would vary depending upon the media and your upload speed so the 214Play takes the sting out of those two options.

    Downside the 214Play costs around £270 which is way over your budget.

    A Western Digital MyCloud is within your budget range, it's only marginally better than what the Asus router but it does come with a HDD installed and the 2TB version is only around £100. Same limits apply to streaming media with no transcoding support.

    Another option, better than MyCloud at £176 is Asustor AS2 NAS, has x86 CPU similar to 214Play but cut down no hardware transcode, but it can still soft transcode via the CPU which is much better than the CPU in the other low end NAS, soft transcode has more limits in what it can handle with media.

    Plex media server can run on it and Plex can transcode the media and stream it over the Internet independent of the NAS, they have their own system in Plex. Plex is also available on the Synology.
     
  7. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    I'll look in to those suggestions! I've bought the Asus router so WD My Cloud may have to suffice. I have a WDTV Live which can accept pretty much any format. The PS3 will be a ball ache so I think I'll have to swap my devices around. Decisions!
     
  8. charles_b

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    If you have a WDTV Live, much like my O!Play, it will play mostly everything without transcoding, so a My Cloud would do the trick nicely - and they have the WD Red drives in them. Avoid the WD My Book Live as it has a WD Green inside and they don't play nicely with NAS.
     
  9. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    Today I installed Sony's Homestream application (which is based on Serviio, whatever that is) which is working a treat. Not only does it stream to my WDTV but it transcodes so that I can play anything on my Sony BR player and PS3. It was extremely simple to set up (running in about 60s). HD video is streaming great.

    So having successfully done this on an old Dell PC, which wouldn't cost much in this day and age, why do NAS drives that transcode cost so much? Let's forget all the extra features which many basic users have no interest in. Is it because they're low powered? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a basic PC and install Plex or whatnot.


    My Asus AC66U arrived today. I'm curious if I'll get performance increases over the unstable Plusnet router, especially in terms of 5ghz (shame only my phone supports AC atm but that'll change).
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  10. charles_b

    charles_b
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    Yes. Both in cpu and memory. Most consumer nas have only 128mb memory in which to run everything. Some have 256 and some have 512 or more. Transcoding takes a lot of grunt and memory.
     
  11. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    So a PC is a much better option. Is power consumption a significant issue?
     
  12. cjed

    cjed
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    It can be - Consumer NAS units typically use between 10 and 40 W (less when idle and the disks are spun down, more when active and disks are spinning). 10W on 24/7 would cost me around £12.50 a year. The HP servers I currently use for NAS duty idle at just under 30W, which is £37 a year in electricity. A typical 3 - 5 year old desktop PC will idle at between 60 and 100W, so may cost as much as £120 a year!
     
  13. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    So I watched Frozen 1080p via DLNA on my home PC and Sony bluray player. On the whole it played brilliantly, but it struggled a lot during the detailed snow bits where it was whirling around - the info showed 30+Mbs on screen so that's a LOT of data from my PC connected wirelessly to my router which then connects wirelessly to my BR player. So I don't think this solution can handle full HD. Anything above about 15-20Mbs was really pushing it but thankfully it played pretty darn well on whole. I don't know if these figures are typical.

    I'm gonna set up the Asus AC66U and see whether I see any improvements. My PC has a 5ghz option but I don't think the BR player does. I'm guessing this means DLNA won't work since they are on different SSDs? I'll need to put them both on 2.4ghz
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  14. cjed

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    No, both APs in the router (it'll have a WiFi Access Point (AP) for the 5GHz band and one for the 2.4GHz band) will be routed the same. In fact, having your PC on the 5GHz band and the BR player on the 2.4GHz band will help as they can both operate simultaneously. A WiFi AP can only have one device transmitting at a time, by splitting your devices across two APs two devices can transmit on the different bands.

    Of course, the best solution would be wiring one or both devices using ethernet cable to your router or a central switch.
     

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