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I need to buy a new NAS. My last one got dropped (not by me) and the drives were kaput as a result. Just had a look for a new one and wondered if anyone has bought one recently and might have any thoughts on which of the many products to buy might work. I do not know where to start and how reliable some of the units I can see actually are. I have just looked at a nice looking WD drive for example. Is it just a nice box, or does it work under the hood for example.

Features I am looking for:

  • Something relatively robust (not sure I will ever get one that survives being dropped...)
  • Mirrored drives to ensure there is a back up if a drive fails
  • 4TB+
  • Fast transfer rate (1,000MB/s min)
  • Remote connectivity (if you have thoughts on this do share, some people do not like the security risk?)
  • Straightforward set up
  • Access from a MAC and PC

Finally, if anyone has any advice on softwear that will facilitate automatic back up from a PC & MAC to a NAS that would be really useful too!

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Well this is the dog's b***. FreeNAS is FreeBSD (which is the operating system under the hood of your Mac) and it uses ZFS which is amazing. A shame I know it more for the fact that the guy who wrote it murdered his girlfriend. You didn't put budget so I picked something nice.

Cheers John. I did not put a budget you are right, I was thinking less Skoda/VW, more Audi, but not so much Porsche if you get my drift... Looks nice though.

I've had one of these for a few years and works nicely


(there are more modern versions of the same available)

Loads secondhand on eBay too

I'd second whatever the current version of the HP Proliant is. Mine has been running 24/7 for 5 years with 16TB of storage.

You need to put your own OS on there (I run Windows Home Server) but FreeNAS or is a good option or you could just stick Windows on there. Slightly trickier than just plugging in a WD drive but more options and more robust in the long run.

I'm guessing you meant 1,000Mb/s for the speed. If you did mean MB/s (bytes{B} versus bits{b}) then you're looking at something much more expensive.

If you are looking for an all-in-one box then QNAP and Synology have very good reputations but aren't cheap.

For Windows backup I am using this at the moment https://www.minitool.com/backup/system-backup.html Don't know about Mac

Ha, thanks Andrew, you can see how little I know. Yes 1000Mb/s.

How easy is it to install Windows Home Server? I saw that was needed from the reviews on Adam's post earlier. Is it straight forward. I am reasonably savy, but if it goes wrong I could be out of my depth very quickly.

Also, will a Mac recognise the NAS easily. I know the last one I had (Seagate) I had all sorts of issues faffing about to get it to see the NAS- I am not that comfortable with Macs at this level so it was a pain.

Something like FreeNAS or Openfiler will be easier to use as they can be configured with NFS. NFS is the Network File System that is built into BSD and Linux. Easy to use and native rather than using a separate client to speak Windows shares and then interpret back.

I run Ubuntu - was no particular hassle to install

I'd just install straightforward Windows (make sure it is the Pro or Enterprise version) rather than home server. Home server is overkill for what you're looking at, I used it because it was bundled cheap at the time. You can pick up cheap Windows licenses that will do the same. A Mac should see it but I don't use them so can't say for definite.

FreeNAS, Ubuntu server, etc are perfectly serviceable and will do the job very well but will be more complicated to set up with a fair bit of text commands. There are a lot of good guides out there though so you don't necessarily have to understand everything you're doing to get it going.

If you want easy then I'd look at Synology or QNAP. If you want easy and cheap (but less functionality and robustness) then WD or similar

The latest Proloant Microserver Gen 10 is a pile of crap. Massive reduction in quality from the Gen 9...

1) no built in RAID controller. Just a crappy SAS capable of unaccelerated RAID 0/1/10 only.

2) disk bays have no caddies

3) AMD only

Had a call with an HP rep and neither of us could believe how crappy it was!

If you want a simple to use but very capable NAS, go for a QNAP of some kind. They support TimeMachine for Mac backups, and you can use Veeam Endpoint Backup (which is free) for PC backup.

Load the QNAP of choice up with some WD Red drives (suitable for NASs), and off you go.

The more you spend on the QNAP, the better the performance. Note that RAID 1 (mirrors) aren’t that high performance. Maybe go for more spindles (disks) and a more exotic RAID if you want high performance.

Oh, and you can get the QNAP to back itself up to Amazon S3 or Glacier for off-site backups. And you can sync to Dropbox too. They’re pretty capable units.



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