TVS-951X, TS-653B or the TS-673 – VPN, Kodi, HDMI

The current situation is as follows:
– I have a TS-439 with 4 x WD30EFRX running RAID6. Static volume. – Though I have about 300GB vacant space available, the Qnap have been warning me of “Almost full” since I “only” had 800 GB vacant space!– A 1Gbps switch is linking the NAS with my HTPC running Kodi, my Windows PC, and a network printer.– I manage the Qnap through QTS in the browser on my Windows PC.– A little too often I fail in the process of using File Station to move files between shares, and then end up waiting as files are transferred to a different share over the network.– After Symform closed their service I no longer have an off-site backup of my data.– I have purchased service from NordVPN, but haven’t been able to get the internal VPN client on the Qnap to work.

An idea for a future solution:
– Purchase a new Qnap with 5 or 6 bays, purchase 1 or 2 new WD30EFRX like the ones I have and rebuild a new volume using the new and current drives (while data is moved to a temp location).
– Afterward install 4 x 250GB SSD running Raid 5 in the TS-439 and run it of-site and use it for snapshots/backup synced over the internet.
– Scrap the HTPC and plug the Qnap directly into my TV using HDMI and run mediacenter directly from it.
– Maybe connect the Windows PC and the printer directly into the NAS with its VirtualSwitch-option.
– The option of connecting multiple surveillance cameras would be nice for the future.

Questions for future setup:
– Which would be the better choice: TVS-951X, TS-653B or the TS-673? I have the “fear” of purchasing an out-of-date product, is the TS-653B getting old already?
– The TVS-951X already have both 10Gbe and HDMI, the TS-653B need a 10Gbe expansion card, and the TS-673 need a graphics card – and I would need a 10Gbps switch as well… but is 10Gbps overkill for my home usage?
– I have more of the 250GB SSDs to fill the TVS-951X’s four SSD bays as well, but would I even notice a performance difference with my usage of documents, music, movies and DSLR photos?
– Would the option of an in-built switch in the Qnap be optimization enough of bandwidth experience from NAS to PC by eliminating the external 1Gbps switch I currently have?
– Would it be a problem having the NordVPN running on the Qnap if my Windows PC uses the Qnap as default gateway? Will my Windows PC also have outbound traffic through the VPN tunnel?

Qnap x73 series would be most powerful NAS and x series would be weakest option. The golden middle way will be the on to choose. The x53B series are still a quite new release and will last for next few years. Qnap have release x53Be series with removed remote, RAM, card slot and direct attach juts to make it more affordable for those who can not afford standard version. The B series have a powerful enough CPU to do even 4K transcoding if needed.

You most likely don’t need 10GbE connection yet, but if you decide to have one to boost file transfer speeds then single-port 10G card will cost around 100$ and will fit in the NAS and also in the PC. You can connect a PC over 10G directly without a switch. But you can get 10GbE + 1GbE switch for under 200$ if you want to.

SSD would improve the feel of QTS or PLEX as it is much faster to gather all metadata. But once you stream – there won’t be any different. Also, you should consider 10GbE card to enjoy the increased speed of SSD.

Built-in switch will not be very useful as there are not that many ports to play with. It is better to keep things tidy and use the switch for a switching task.

Private VPN will allow you connect to your NAS or connected peripherals through the encrypted tunnel. Here is info on setup: link and video.

As a Symform alternative you might consider CRASHPLAN.

Also it is a great idea to use your old NAS as offsite backup- just use regular HDDs not SSDs.

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Home: Business: Comparison with other service providers:  

What can I connect to a NAS?

Wireless Speaker Sonos

The 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 devices

Nowadays 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.


Apple TV

Amazon Fire TV

You 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 TV

It 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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