I am looking at acquiring a NAS to serve as a multi purpose server at home
– Plex Media Server (+host library)
– VM running HomeSEER 3 (home automation, lots of small operations)
– Photo Station / Backup from multiple devices (android, iphone, etc)
– Backup (local) + Offsite backup of important items
– Possibly IP Camera server in the future
So far I have been leaning towards Synology due to their software offering, and especially their DS918+ or RS818+
DS918+ is the way to go. It is more than twice as powerful compared with RS818+. It supports Plex and even video transcoding if that is something you might need in the future. There also enough power to run a virtual machine for any tasks you want. When using NAS for virtualization- M.2 cache I recommended (fits at the bottom of ds918+). Synology Photo station and Moments app is outstanding software which amazes everyone with functionality like Geo-tagging and face recognition. It also automates your phone backups and other mobile tasks. It also will back up your computers and with any other Synology (can be cheapest) you can easily synchronise both systems (giving you offsite backup). Surveillance is also possible with 2 free camera licences included free of charge.
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What can I connect to a NAS?
Wireless Speaker SonosThe great thing about Sonos is that you don't need to pay for music subscription service. With the cheapest NAS at home like DS115j or any other, you can have your backups done for all of your devices and still use your network drive as a Sonos music library. Sonos will connect to your NAS via your network and let access your provided music library. If you have little more of IT knowledge, you can even set up your Alexa or Sonos with Alexa built in to play music on your voice commands ("Alexa! Ask DS Audio to Play Music!").
Casting devicesNowadays it is so cheap to upgrade your old TV and make it smart. All you need is Google Chrome or EZcast alternative plugged into your HDMI port at the back of your TV. Now you have great functionality added to your TV to send a video file directly from your NAS to a TV. No need for wires and chargers and other mess. You can use your phone as a remote to go to your movies or family videos and cast that content on your TV during family or friend gatherings.
Amazon Fire TVYou may not have a smartphone, or you just simply prefer to control your content with a remote in that case Amazon Fire TV will be a great addon to get to your TV. It also plugs into your HDMI port and will play content from your NAS to a TV. No wires no mess.
nVidia Shield TVIt gets even better! If you want some more entertainment and all previously mentioned functions - nVidia TV is a great thing to get. You can use it for playing games and watching movies from your NAS. The greatest thing is - shield TV does video transcoding. So even if you have a cheap NAS with a weak CPU, in a combination of shield TV you can now automatically on the fly change video file size and format for a destination device. It is a great way to reduce network load and let older devices to play video content which normally was not supported on the device.
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