Hey everyone, I'm currently in the planning stages with a NAS I want to build. I've never done this before, so a lot of this is on the verge of feeling overwhelming. To start things off... -It'll primarily be used for movie rips (which I haven't done yet, more on that soon). -Right now I'm planning on building something that will be significantly more powerful than necessary for a NAS, mostly because I want to encode things on this system instead of my main PC (though that one's more than capable of encoding if I chose to go that way). -I'm currently planning on getting 4 6TB WD Reds, and I'm thinking Raid 1 will be my best option (I have about 700 movies and TV shows to rip, and I can currently get a blu-ray down to about 6.5GB, which I'm happy with). -I've been quite impressed with Plex based on what I've seen, so I'm thinking I'll set up a Plex server. So, questions: 1. FreeNAS, or Windows Server (2012 or 2016)? I can get Windows Server for free through school (hooray!), but I've heard lots of good things about FreeNAS. I'm moderately familiar with Windows Server, so that's certainly a plus, but does FreeNAS offer anything that Windows doesn't? 2. I'm not quite clear on why I would want to set things up on VMs... Is that something I should be looking at? Alternative question: Docker? Are there any benefits to doing things that way? 3. Is there any big reasons why I wouldn't want to rip/encode the movies directly on the server? I'd like to keep my main PC free for gaming/whatever, but not spending $2000 on a PC is an enticing idea if there are reasons I'd want to avoid doing that stuff on the server. 4. In terms of security, is AV/anti-malware enough for the server? 5. Right now it'll just be me using the server, but I'd like to build it to be expandable in the future (is this where being proactive with VMs will be beneficial?). By which I mean, eventually there could be multiple people watching simultaneously, and/or I'd eventually like to use the server for other things. 6. On the topic of expandability, if I needed to expand the storage in the future, I'd presumably be creating a new RAID 1 storage pool. Should I just split up the 4 initial HDDs in to 2 different pools right away (for consistency's sake)? ie, 2 6TB storage locations, each mirrored. 7. When it comes to encoding videos, I don't currently have atmos speakers, but that's something I'm looking at getting soon. As a result I'm planning on ripping the atmos track from the movies that have it available, which is fine (as far as I understand). If I was to just rip the 1 audio track (most likely 7.1 with atmos), am I right in assuming plex can transcode it to my current 5.1 system if I was to play stuff through my Nvidia Shield? If I'm not planning on playing movies in stereo on my phone, is there any benefit to ripping additional audio tracks? Sorry for the wall of questions (and there may be more if I can think of them), but I appreciate any advice you can give me.