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Help!!! Please recommend me a 4 bay NAS.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by ArcticWolf, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    Hi guys,

    I really need a NAS. (As with everything these days), there's so many available it's an absolute bloody minefield for choosing a decent one that'll be fully compatible for my needs. Will add some further information if it helps.

    I need one that will definitely keep up with streaming large 4K files over 1GB LAN, & importantly one that will definitely allow KODI direct access from the Neo U9-H over the LAN with the ABSOLUTE minimum of fuss!! (I am reasonably tech savvy but I'm certainly not a super geek lol ;) ).

    If anyone has any recommendations based on the above & my budget, & hardware/devices below it would be very much appreciated :). (I don't have any Apple products/devices at all & I don't intend on purchasing any which will hopefully simplify things a little. I will mainly need reliable compatability for both Windows & Android, (& possibly a Linux OS PC again in the future)). I don't really need remote WAN/internet access to the NAS (if it's available so be it), just the capability for fast & reliable LAN access. I also won't need comprehensive simultaneous multi user/multi device capabilities, at most I may have 2 or 3 devices reading/writing data at any time. The heaviest use will still be from the U9-H if any of that helps!!??!?!!?

    (I don't really want to involve Plex either. Admittedly, I've never used it but from my limited knowledge the U9-H & KODI (& my PC's) can play my rips perfectly well over my LAN at their full quality without Plex complicating things, & possibly limiting quality with unrequired transcoding, etc. I won't be playing any large files on my mobile devices either, they're mainly used for general surfing, emails, & light office productivity). With that said.

    Budget - Ideally, no more than £400, (for the NAS itself, I'll factor in the cost of the HDD's seperately).

    My current hardware....

    TV - Panasonic 50" EX750B series. (I don't use its native media player, just the native 4K Netflix/Prime Video apps).

    AVR - Sony STR-DN1080. (Despite the model number, it fully supports 4K, HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2). I'd like this AVR to be able to stream music over ethernet or wirelessly from the NAS.

    HTPC/Media Hub - Minix Neo U9-H :). Mainly using KODI for playback of my Blu-Ray/DVD rips & other locally stored visual media. (Will possibly add a Neo N42C-4 in the future too).

    Satellite/Cable - (UK) Sky+ HD box. (Hopefully soon to upgrade to Sky Q).

    Gaming console - XBox One X. (I do use it occasionally as a DVD/Blu-Ray player, otherwise it's just used for gaming).

    PC's - 1 x custom desktop rig running Windows, (although not used much these days due to my circumstances). 3 x Windows laptops, the plan being to get that back down to 1 :).

    Mobile devices - Android phone (6.0.1), & 2 x Android tablets (one is 6.0.1 & the other 7.0). An older Kindle Fire HD primarily used for reading.

    Modem/Router - ASUS DSL-AC68U.

    Current storage - 3 x 8TB external HDD's, some smaller external HDD's, & a miriad of various USB flash drives, CF/SD/Micro SD cards, etc. (Obviously, various other levels of storage within the networked PC's). Ideally, I really want to centralise all of the data from everything for easy access.

    Think that covers it if it's all of any use lol ;). Apologies for the lengthy post, thought it would be better to provide extra details to home in on the ideal options. Thanks for taking the time to read it :).

    Kind regards,
    Villa likes this.
  2. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator


    I recommand you the Synology DS418. It's a very strong one you can keep years.
    OS is strong, always upgraded. Works perfectly with U9 and all other models.

    If you want to save money you can choose DS416 which is good too.
    johnismih and MINIX - Martin like this.
  3. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    Hey @skynet,

    Many thanks indeed :).

    Synology were on my list to wittle down into a shortlist but I'd read the odd review or forum post here & there complaining of compatability issues. (I think it was a DS418Play that I had originally looked at but I just don't need all the extra features they have & never will). Having said that, the reviews/posts were made some time ago too so I'm assuming that Synology have since issued firmware updates, etc., to address any reported issues.

    The DS418 seems to be more in my ball park for features & budget. Just need to save up now lol ;).

    Thanks :).
  4. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    I use myself 4 Synology Nas without any issue. All is working perfectly (SMB, NFS, uPNP, ..).
    Used with many android boxes ;)
  5. Villa

    Villa Administrator Administrator

    For what it's worth I use a self built NAS running XPEnology https://xpenology.org

    Never had any issues! :)
    skynet likes this.
  6. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    I use 3 Xpenology (DS3615XS) in raid 5 BTRFS, no issues :)
    Last DSM installed
    Villa likes this.
  7. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    Thanks @Villa, will check them out as well.

    Much appreciated :).
  8. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    Xpenology is a very strong system, it works exactly as a Synology system. However if you use an old PC it will eat more power than an ARM system (DS418).

    You can build your own system with a mini-ITX motherbord like Asrock J4105-ITX which consume very few power. (~85€ with a quadcore cpu already installed).
    Villa likes this.
  9. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

  10. itm

    itm Member

    I had the exact same requirement a couple of years ago and decided to buy an HP-Microserver (a compact cube-shaped machine which has 4 SATA bays built in). I installed a lightweight version of Ubuntu on it so that I could also use it as a Logitech Media Server, but could easily have installed FreeNAS or one of the other open source NAS OS's on it instead.
    It worked out much cheaper than a 4-bay NAS (less than £120 after cashback, which is nearly always available on HP Microservers), and I got a much more powerful and flexible machine that didn't have to be just a NAS.
    skynet likes this.
  11. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    Freenas works fine too, and is easier to install on a PC.
    I tried it too years ago.
    IMO, Synology is easier to use, more powerful and rock stable.
  12. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    All noted, thanks again :).

    Xpenology with a custom rig or something like an HP Microserver are certainly attractive options for their cost. Obviously, they would allow for potential upgrades in the future that a prebuilt NAS invariably couldn't match too :). I used to be a keen DIY'er & I've built many PC rigs for myself or family/friends in the past. However, with my circumstances as they presently are, I really need the maximum possible convenience. (Unfortunately, even if that means I have to bite the bullet on the additional cost of a fully prebuilt/configured NAS & maybe lose some flexibility down the line too :( ). My problems really limit my options these days :(.

    I have a hell of a lot more consideration to put into all of this having read the various different ideas here & more of my own research. I'll still have a good look at both ways of doing it & see if I can maybe organise some help to build a custom NAS!! I haven't built anything for quite some time now due to my situation. I'm somewhat outdated lol!!!

    I think I have a general grasp of how RAID 5 works & it's looking like it would also be my best option for performance & recovery. (I've just gone with JBOD, RAID 0 or RAID 1 in the past, I haven't required anything more until now). It would cause another delay initially as I'd obviously need to save up for 4 x HDD's to fully populate the NAS right from the start as well. There seems little point in me half-arsing this & getting 4 x smaller drives initially & then find myself needing to upgrade them within a relatively short time span anyway. I'm presently thinking of 4 x 8TB drives & if I'm understanding things correctly that will essentially give me 24TB of actual usable storage????

    Synology themselves & the DS418 are still ticking a lot of the right boxes for me the more I look into them & importantly the DS418 seems to work well with the U9-H & other Android devices out of the box :). The rest should be straightforward for my DLNA compatible PC's, etc.

    I was going to ask how on earth you guys are using so much storage & multiple NAS's lol, but I'm guessing you're not just using these devices for home use alone & you're also using them professionally too ;)??!!??!!!!!!??

    I'm currently looking at WD Reds or Seagate IronWolf's. I've been using both manufacturers for 25+ years & I can't recall one of their drives ever failing on me. (I haven't been as lucky with Maxtor's or Hitachi's HDD's in the past)!!

    I've also repeatedly found myself looking at the Synology DS918+ in my ongoing comparisons lol ;)!!! It's slightly above my stated budget I know, however, it has a 3 year warranty vs 2 for the DS418. I also can't help but notice the options for easy expansion & extra future proofing with a DS918+ too. I could easily add a DX517 expansion enclosure when I inevitably fill the main NAS. Also, the DS918+ has double the RAM & it has the 2 x NVMe slots as well.

    Decisions, decisions lol. There's some great ideas here but unfortunately the DIY route just may not be possible due to my personal circumstances. It's going to take me a couple of months to fully save up for everything now anyway. It certainly gives me time to see what I can organise, etc., & finalise my plans

    Thanks for all of the input & ideas, it's very much appreciated. I don't know if my decision has got easier or even harder now though lol ;).

    (My Neo N42C-4 has just arrived with a Crucial 16GB RAM kit too :) :). A Kingston 240GB M.2 SSD should be arriving tomorrow too. I'll FTP a copy of Minixs Windows 10 down later today. Am looking forward to getting that all up & running, it'll be a useful device to have. Hopefully the installation will all be straightforward & go well :) ).
  13. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    Yes !

    And Minix system called SHR is even better ! Works like Raid (x) but with less space lost.
    Here you can find a useful tool to watch what is the result with different Hard drives combinaisons


    Click on HD you want, and unselect it by clicking on the bay.

    I love 4K HDR movies : :D ;)

    No need for you, it will help with virtual machines which required more ram and CPU.

    A DS418 or a PC with Xpenology are perfect !
  14. Villa

    Villa Administrator Administrator

    I'm not using so much storage or multiple NAS.

    I have an HP N54L ProLiant Micro Server with only two 3 TB drives.

    Soon I will add a couple more drives when I can be bothered and update the XPEnology DSM version.

    It is solely for home use! :)
  15. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    LOL, certainly sounds like you have one hell of a movie collection ;). OK, thanks for clarifying that the 918+ would be overkill. It would be really nice to build a custom NAS but in all likelihood I probably will end up going with the 418. There's still time, however, we'll see ;). I'll start reading up on all of the different options for configuring a NAS & figure out which is going to suit me best. Thanks for all of the information :).

    Ahhh OK. My bad lol, it's obviously Skynet who has volumes & volumes of data ;) ;). I'll be having a close look at Xpenology too & weigh up the various options. Many thanks :).
  16. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    The Synology community is very active, you will find good help whatever the problem you could encounter ;)

    Sent with my S7 edge using Tapatalk
  17. augur

    augur Member

    I have an HP N54L ProLiant Micro Server with only three 3 TB drives. :)

    Wrt bang for your buck they're hard to beat but require some time for setup, really only a day / day and a half swearing at the workarounds needed because of HPs BIOS and hardware restrictions they deliberately put in. You do end up with greater flexibility or a standard NAS setup for half the cost of off the shelf NAS's.

    If you go off the shelf then, as everyone else has said, go Synology. Qnap is almost as good, but after that YMMV. Hardware is important but equally so is the firmware.

    Definitely get at least a 4 bay, anything smaller and your RAID options are limited. Speaking of RAID consider using Synology Hybrid RAID, unless you're prepared to read up on the alternatives.
    If you use SHR you can start off with two HDD and add more as needed.
    Villa and skynet like this.
  18. skynet

    skynet Moderator Moderator

    For those who want to build a Xpenology Nas here you can find a working list of motherboards or Baremetal compatible hardware :)

  19. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    Good to know, thanks :). Will have a read of that as well. It would certainly be useful to be able to get a NAS earlier if I didn't need to wait to save up for all 4 drives at the same time ;).

    Thanks for the ongoing information, very much appreciated :).
  20. ArcticWolf

    ArcticWolf New Member

    Having read up on SHR a little I'm not so sure it would be any gain for me over RAID 5 TBH. I'm now planning to build my NAS with 4 x 8TB drives right from the off, another 2-3 weeks & I'll hopefully have the cash to buy the lot in one go :). I currently have 3 x external 8TB drives with plenty of spare space to last until I've installed the new NAS too (albeit without the backup/parity of a proper RAID array but they're OK for now). I also won't be removing any of the 8TB drives from the NAS & swapping them out for larger 10 or 12TB drives later on as & when the NAS becomes full. When that time is approaching, I'll simply buy another NAS & populate that with another 4 x 8TB disks or even 4 x 12TB should they have dropped in cost by then. I'll retain the 3 x external 8TB drives anyway to carry on using for new data if there is a delay in building the 2nd new NAS as well, &/or to use as further independent redundancy.

    Again, probably a pricier way of going about it (unfortunately), but it's the simplest solution as far as I'm concerned for my particular circumstances. Information still very much appreciated, thank you :). It's all helping me to gain a better understanding of the more modern RAID options in general over the more basic RAID arrays I used nigh on 20 years ago.

    ( @skynet & @Villa as well ;) ), which HDD's do you guys use or rate in your NAS' please? I can't decide on WD reds or Seagate Ironwolf's for this NAS lol?!!?!!?? I have a large mix of both Seagate & WD in other uses (& some troublesome Hitachi's) but I just can't make my mind up on which ones to get. I realise the Ironwolf has 7200 rpm vs 5400 for the WD reds, but do I really need 7200 rpm drives in a NAS? (Currently, however, the Ironwolf's are cheaper)!!!

    Advise appreciated :).