Looking for an entry 3-4 bay NAS for file backup, perhaps 2 security camera in the future and some moviestreaming via VLC or Plex. Don’t expect to need transcoding as this is only for local usage on the main tv. The Qnap TS-328 is perhaps my first choice with TS-431p being second. Also consider Synology 218, 218+ as well but it doesn’t provide as much storage. Already have 2 new 8TB WD Red for this project.
Qnap recently released TS-328 which is great storage space versus money solution. With two-bay NAS you always overpay for storage space because of the RAID1. One drive is effectively lost for redundancy purpose – just in case one drive fails.
Example with an 8TB hard drive if the price was $200 each.
2x $200 = $400 with a storage space around 8TB.
But if you get a 3 bay NAS 3 x $90 = 270$ and you get more then 8TB storage space.
When deciding between 431p and 328 series, you need to keep in mind that there is no Plex installation created for this processor, but others have. But Qnap own video app is very similar and do most of the tasks Plex does. Performance wise TS-328 will be a better choice. It features a better processor and more RAM. Also, it will be quieter and consume less power.
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!").
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.
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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