Windows and macOS accessible NAS for picture backups

For family pictures, I currently have a 1TB raid setup on my desktop. I back that up to an external periodically. We’re running out of space.

Would like to set up a NAS that is accessible by Windows and macOS. We both use iPhones and importing pictures on Windows has become a pain. I would like the NAS to be compatible with macOS so I can transfer the pictures from our Macbook.

You definitely need Synology NAS as they specialize on picture library apps. Especially Synology Moments app which comes free of charge.  It has great functions like GEO filter, timeline, object and people recognition and more. App can be installed on the phone and it will automatically back up all image from phones to the NAS.

I would recommend getting 2 bay solution to keep your data save on two disks. You can also backup NAS itself to the cloud with a Backblaze app. Useful in case of disasters like flood, fire or burglary. The simplest option is DS218j which will work perfectly fine as a backup solution.

You can add extra storage by simply swapping one or both drives to a bigger size. If you rather expand by adding more drives, then you need to look at options like DS218+ or DS718+. The DS218+ can have expansion box attached allowing another volume. If you prefer to expand existing volume, you need DS718+ which allows the total of 7 drives but come with a price.

 

For backing up your NAS do consider BlackBlaze. You can try it for 15 days free if you don't believe its good. But the main reason is unlimited backup size. Everyone else like Dropbox, Amazon, and others charge per gigabyte. But  with this one there is no price difference either you backup 2 bay or 8 bay NAS. The other great feature is version control. So even if you get hit by ransomware type of virus or simply deleted or mistakenly changed few files. You can restore your data from historical backup versions and get all data back.
You can get it for free here and try:
Home: https://www.backblaze.com/cloud-backup.html#af9rgr
Businesshttps://www.backblaze.com/business-backup.html#af9rgr
Comparison with other service providers: https://www.backblaze.com/best-online-backup-service.html#af9rgr

 


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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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