Reliable NAS solution with surveillance and multimedia

I have a small home based business with 3 people and 3 Macs. I need to make my business data more accessible to the other two people and the HDD I have attached to my WiFi router is not ideal. It’s too slow to access so I’m looking at NAS systems and realizing that they can do a lot more than serving up data to the network. Below is a list of solutions I am looking for in order of priority.

A) Data – Approximately 450GB and growing at about 50GB/yr.
– Quick easy access by all on the network.
– Redundancy for loss prevention
– Accessible over internet

B) Surveillance cameras
– 8 or more cameras
– 4K capable
– Some PoE and some WiFi
– Push notification to iOS devices.

C) Website and email hosting
– Is this easy enough to do?
– Is it secure?

D) Plex
– I’m just learning about Plex and not sure about running it on a NAS or just keep it
on other iOS and Mac OS devices.
– What are the pros/cons either way?

Final thoughts
– Even though a top end NAS can do all these things I wonder if it’s maybe better to
just stick to serving/storing data with it and put the money saved by going with a
more middle of the road NAS towards a dedicated NVR unit and everyone running
Plex on their own devices.

The NAS you are looking for is DS218+ or DS718+. The DS718+ will let you expand storage up to 7 drives later on. It will also allow you to grow your business beyond 5 simultaneous users and more tasks. DS218+ will be a cheaper option if you consider upgrading to a 4 bay solution in next 3-5 years instead of expanding expansion unit.

Two drive option will keep your tasks uninterrupted even if one drive happens to break. It will also support quick data access over the internet, not just local network.

Synology have created outstanding surveillance software for NAS and mobile devices. You can connect over 20 cameras, have advanced recording rules, and even face recognition functionality as well as many more functions.

Email server, as well as website server, is possible and easy to set up. But if you have thousands of visitors accessing your website and you can not afford any server downtown and slowdown, you should consider hosting it on serious service providers. Your speed and performance will depend entirely on your home internet speed and reliability.

Having a Plex on the NAS is a very good solution, as you don’t need to keep a PC running for playing a movie. Everything can be centralized and accessed by many users with a Synology NAS. You can even stream over the internet.


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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.