NAS Recommendations

magycks

Active Member
Hi All,

I know absolutely nothing about dedicated NAS so was hoping the community could lend some assistance to get me started on what to know, where/what to read and any recommendations.

I have a Sony KD-75XF9005 TV (aka XF90) which runs Android firmware. I currently have the VLC app for video and would like to stream video files (mostly 1080p, 4k, x264, x265, mp4, mkv) from a network drive. I previously used my Netgear X4S router with its built in 'Readyshare' feature coupled with a 4tb USB 3 hard drive. This was absolutely perfect and met all my needs without any issues whatsoever. It's only in the past year or so (not really sure how long...) that this readyshare feature has beome terribly unreliable, bricked 2 hard drives into read only and frequently does not allow files to be accessed properly on any device.

What might people suggest?
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Maybe look at a small 2 bay Synology NAS. The DS218Play at £220 (without drives) is a good starting point.
 

cjed

Well-known Member
For the use described than the cheaper Synology DS220j (about £150) would do fine. No need for the extras provided by the Play. In fact if it's to replace a single USB 3 4TB drive, I'd suggest a single bay DS 120j (< £100) with a 4TB drive and use the existing 4TB USB drive as a backup.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Only problem with J series Synologies is they only take 2.5” drives, which are more expensive and much smaller in storage than 3.5” drives. Single bay NAS are problematic if you wish to increase the size of the storage. Hence I would avoid both single bay and 2.5” only NAS.
 

bubblegum57

Well-known Member
Only problem with J series Synologies is they only take 2.5” drives, which are more expensive and much smaller in storage than 3.5” drives. Single bay NAS are problematic if you wish to increase the size of the storage. Hence I would avoid both single bay and 2.5” only NAS.
I think you need to check that, J series use 3.5" disks, the DS419 slim uses 2.5"
 

cjed

Well-known Member
Yup, the j series are just the entry level Synology NAS boxes. They take standard 3.5" SATA drives.
 

magycks

Active Member
Maybe look at a small 2 bay Synology NAS. The DS218Play at £220 (without drives) is a good starting point.
Thanks for this suggestion. The Synologies seem popular from what I've seen. Is there a reason you suggest this particular model in terms of spec/features?

For the use described than the cheaper Synology DS220j (about £150) would do fine. No need for the extras provided by the Play. In fact if it's to replace a single USB 3 4TB drive, I'd suggest a single bay DS 120j (< £100) with a 4TB drive and use the existing 4TB USB drive as a backup.
Thanks. NAS units vary considerably from what i can see. Are there particular features I may grow into down the line? I also don't know how techn specs like CPU etc is for these units?


Only problem with J series Synologies is they only take 2.5” drives, which are more expensive and much smaller in storage than 3.5” drives. Single bay NAS are problematic if you wish to increase the size of the storage. Hence I would avoid both single bay and 2.5” only NAS.
Thanks for the advice on drive size. I think I'd rather go for a 2 drive NAS so I have the future proof option for expansion down the line. I do actually have more than one hard drive at present but only regularly use one of them
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
A NAS is just a storage device that makes files available over a network, As such it does not need powerful CPU's and huge amounts or RAM. Serving files is a pretty low CPU/RAM activity. It's when you want to start using your NAS for "extra" things like real time transcoding (converting media from one format to another) that you need to start worrying about CPU or you have large (and I mean dozens/hundreds) of users hitting it constantly. For a lightly loaded SOHO use case almost anything will do.

I don't use a device that calls itself a "NAS" (mine is actually a micro-server running Linux) but if I'm just running it as a media "tank" it barely uses 0.7GB or RAM and 5-10% CPU utilisation (of it's dual 2.4GHz AMD Turons.).

For "future proofing" the ability to expand the amount of storage might be something to more usefully contemplate (ie can you add additional drives) unless you foresee yourself needing real time transcoding (which is best avoided unless there is not other option IMHO.)

If you have to physically host your NAS as any room you "live" in, noise might be something to consider. If you plan to host it in any enclosed space (like a cupboard) heat output might be worth considering - it could get a bit toasty in any confied and/or unventilated space.
 
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magycks

Active Member
Thanks all. I just ordered a DS218 (not the DS218play) on an Amazon lightning deal for £195 on the basis I can lock in the deal and return it at no cost if I discover something that might be better for me
 

magycks

Active Member
Is anyone able to advise on 3.5" HDDs for NAS (given my chosen purposes)? I'm reading what i can but again any steer would be helpful

Also if anything to consider beyond the Synology DS218 i'm all ears
 

Souljacker99

Active Member
What size are you looking for? I've always used WD red or green drives in my NAS. Another option would be Seagate Ironwolf drives. If you are not looking for massive drives it might be worth keeping an eye on the classifieds section as people always seem to be expanding their storage and listing the replaced drives.
 

magycks

Active Member
What size are you looking for? I've always used WD red or green drives in my NAS. Another option would be Seagate Ironwolf drives. If you are not looking for massive drives it might be worth keeping an eye on the classifieds section as people always seem to be expanding their storage and listing the replaced drives.
I was thinking I might start with one 6 or 8tb, the idea being this would last me a very long time and leave the 2nd slot available for expansion down the line. I suppose price per terabyte is important but I don't know what else I need to consider.

This 8tb Toshiba one is £170 vs more for the equivalent size WD or Ironwolf. Seems to be some complains that it's noisy however...

Amazon product
This is a good video i found:
 
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Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
If you're not in a rush, have a look at the WD Duo

Amazon product
This regularly comes up on sale. It's been as low as £270 and inside it are 2x 8TB WD Reds

I do this for my NAS all the time. Wait until there's a deal on Amazon and buy one of these. I just got a 20TB one on Prime day for ~£350 and the drives are normally £285 each.
 

magycks

Active Member
If you're not in a rush, have a look at the WD Duo. This regularly comes up on sale. It's been as low as £270 and inside it are 2x 8TB WD Reds

I do this for my NAS all the time. Wait until there's a deal on Amazon and buy one of these. I just got a 20TB one on Prime day for ~£350 and the drives are normally £285 each.
This is a fabulous recommendation and exactly the kind of thing I was looking for - thank you. I was guessing some of these pre-packaged/cased drives would contain NAS drives available at a lower cost.

Anything similar to look out for?
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Only the WD Duo and the more expensive WD MyCloud EX2 contain WD Red NAS drives.

Anything else by them has a cheaper drive in it (Green, White etc) and I'm not aware of Seagate or Toshiba using their NAS hard discs in any product.
 

spile

Active Member
My Qnap NAS has proven reliable and is used for a range of uses. I am happy to recommend the brand.
 

ajohnson30

Active Member
I think right now for a true NAS class drive the 14TB Seagate Exos Enterprise is in a good spot:
Amazon product
but YMMV. This over a regular desktop or "green" type drive that isn't meant to run all the time
 

Indian9990

Novice Member
I have a Synology 4 Bay 918+ and I love it. I run docker containers, Plex and Surveillance station on it without any issues. I am running out of space though so trying to figure out ways to expand. I have bought WD EasyStore drives and shuck them because there actually WD Reds inside. Cheaper than buying an internal storage. (Note - Shucking an external drive does void the warranty so run a few scans first)
 

magycks

Active Member
Update: I've got my DS218 running with a single 8TB WD RED (and the other drive slot empty for now). So far it's been perfect and I'm hugely impressed with Synology's built in operating system. Many thanks to everyone for their assistance!

I have the ability to return the DS218 if something else crops up that's higher spec & a good price so i'm open to such suggestions. What NAS might be a step up and what benefits might I gain? I see there's the DS220+ for example
 

Indian9990

Novice Member
Update: I've got my DS218 running with a single 8TB WD RED (and the other drive slot empty for now). So far it's been perfect and I'm hugely impressed with Synology's built in operating system. Many thanks to everyone for their assistance!

I have the ability to return the DS218 if something else crops up that's higher spec & a good price so i'm open to such suggestions. What NAS might be a step up and what benefits might I gain? I see there's the DS220+ for example
What exactly are you trying to use your NAS for? I would highly recommend getting another drive for redundancy
 

magycks

Active Member
What exactly are you trying to use your NAS for? I would highly recommend getting another drive for redundancy
Good question:

1) I'm primarily using it as a media server (video in 1080p/4k/HDR) to a Sony XF90 TV
2) As a file server for a load of stuff I had lying around various hard drives from over the past 15 years. That said, there's nothing important on my NAS that I don't have on another drive elsewhere, with all my 'must have / cannot risk losing' files on either DropBox or iCloud. Great suggestion on getting another drive and I'm aware of the redundancy benefits a NAS provides but I suppose this isn't so much of a consideration for me as it might otherwise be
3) I've been using the built in download manager which is useful

However, going forwards:

4) I'd like a highly capable media/file server that's future proof
5) I'm interested in what else I may use the NAS for but there's nothing that's really taken my fancy thus far
 

Indian9990

Novice Member
Good question:

1) I'm primarily using it as a media server (video in 1080p/4k/HDR) to a Sony XF90 TV
2) As a file server for a load of stuff I had lying around various hard drives from over the past 15 years. That said, there's nothing important on my NAS that I don't have on another drive elsewhere, with all my 'must have / cannot risk losing' files on either DropBox or iCloud. Great suggestion on getting another drive and I'm aware of the redundancy benefits a NAS provides but I suppose this isn't so much of a consideration for me as it might otherwise be
3) I've been using the built in download manager which is useful

However, going forwards:

4) I'd like a highly capable media/file server that's future proof
5) I'm interested in what else I may use the NAS for but there's nothing that's really taken my fancy thus far
1. Are you using Plex to stream the files? Or just connecting directly to it?
2. Yeah definitely makes sense. It's always good to have a backup. For me personally everything is on my NAS. I even have Google photos backing up to it. So it's extra nice now that photos is going to go against the data limit.
3. You can also run a few docker containers to check out various things as well.

4. Nothing is truly going to be future proof per say. So, I have a Plex media service and share the content with about 30 people. So the 918+ & 1019+ allow you to do hardware transcoding. This is a huge help if you're sharing media files with various people. They are also 4 & 5 bay NAS so that should help with storage size for a bit.
5. You can use it for a variety of things. It depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. I run various docker containers on mine, host a website, use it as PC and photo backups, Plex media server, ect.

Hope that helps a bit.
 

magycks

Active Member
1. Are you using Plex to stream the files? Or just connecting directly to it?
2. Yeah definitely makes sense. It's always good to have a backup. For me personally everything is on my NAS. I even have Google photos backing up to it. So it's extra nice now that photos is going to go against the data limit.
3. You can also run a few docker containers to check out various things as well.

4. Nothing is truly going to be future proof per say. So, I have a Plex media service and share the content with about 30 people. So the 918+ & 1019+ allow you to do hardware transcoding. This is a huge help if you're sharing media files with various people. They are also 4 & 5 bay NAS so that should help with storage size for a bit.
5. You can use it for a variety of things. It depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. I run various docker containers on mine, host a website, use it as PC and photo backups, Plex media server, ect.

Hope that helps a bit.
1) Connecting directly to it. Don't seem to have any issued with my TV doing the transcoding.
3) Anything cool Docker wise worth looking at?
5) Tell me about the rabbit hole!
 

Indian9990

Novice Member
1) Connecting directly to it. Don't seem to have any issued with my TV doing the transcoding.
3) Anything cool Docker wise worth looking at?
5) Tell me about the rabbit hole!
1. Yeah they you should be good. You already have a NAS that's online 24/7 so mind as well set up plex so you can access these files when you're not home.
3. Docker has tons of various things it can do. I'd suggest taking a look at Docker repos. For example you can use docker to mess around in Linux (headless though). You can use it for running Sonarr, Radarr, Plex, ect. If you're downloading Movies/TV shows then definitely check out Sonarr & Radarr.
5. Similar to point 3. I recently started using the VM manager on Synology and set up a Windows 10 instance. It's a bit laggy but it'll work for basic needs.
 

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