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9 posts

Wannabe Geek

#265759 9-Feb-2020 20:50
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Hi all, first tie poster here


I have just found out about NAS along with PLEX and seems like this would be perfect for the family.


I was hoping to get some recommendations on what to look for  in terms of storage size and brands to avoid.


I will be using it for movies and family photos as well as storing security camera footage eventually.


Will probably look to have 40-50 movies as well as the typical thousand of photos from the families phones and around a weeks worth of HD video from the security camera.




Any advice would be appreciated.





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4201 posts

Uber Geek


  #2415298 9-Feb-2020 21:01
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What is your budget for the NAS including hard drives?

Do whatever you want to do man.


359 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2415300 9-Feb-2020 21:05
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Synology - Something like a DS218+ depending on storage requirements.


16107 posts

Uber Geek


  #2415311 9-Feb-2020 21:33
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I just use my PC as it's on all day, but that's not quite so good if you want security cameras recording to it. I decided to do that after I looked at the cost of a good NAS and hard drives, which was not far off a computer cost.


Since we got Netflix / Disney+ we don't really bother watching anything much locally any more, we just stream stuff. Do you really need one?

1203 posts

Uber Geek


  #2415321 9-Feb-2020 21:56
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You don't need a NAS for Plex & you don't need Plex on your NAS.


Why does this combination appeal to you? What are your goals?



  1. Do you have your own media or do you mainly stream from online sources?
  2. A NAS is a (relatively) expensive low maintenance storage device



    1. Besides media, you can also store / backup everything else
    2. Having used both Synology & Qnap in the office, I like Synology more.



      1. To me the QNAP user forum was not friendly to new users



  3. Plex is a media player that supports various media files



    1. The interface on a PC always felt like it required a mouse vs. Kodi that I could navigate with a keyboard or remote
    2. Search / wait for the special about Plex Pass lifetime subscription before committing
    3. The subscription gives you web TV (not worth it in my opinion)
    4. For me, the multiple users, parental controls & mobile device sync / downloading was worth it.



There are alternatives available



  1. Several people here rave about the Unraid server



    1. This apperently give you more flexibility with disks & loaded applications


  2. Buy a Chromecast or Firestick & simply cast your streaming media
  3. Use VLC on a PC, using the TV as the monitor


As to storage size, buy the biggest disk you can afford. You can never have enough space & it'll become a chore to manage the space.



Please keep this GZ community vibrant by contributing in a constructive & respectful manner.

545 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2415328 9-Feb-2020 22:37
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Yup unraid here. Plex in a docker with hw transcode via the igpu on an i7 3770k.

4893 posts

Uber Geek


  #2415337 10-Feb-2020 06:30
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I just use an always on windows machine with drive pooling software which replicated certain folders onto multiple hard drives. My only disadvantage is that windows 10 only allows up to 20 connections via shares (easy to get around with a Linux vm). But having Plex installed would not count against the connections. So might be perfect.

Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex

67 posts

Master Geek

  #2415341 10-Feb-2020 07:29
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Do you have spare Raspberry Pi -have a look at


160 posts

Master Geek

  #2415351 10-Feb-2020 08:48
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I used QNAP TS-231p for a while. Was working pretty well. Has included license for 2 surveillance cameras (can be bought more). Hs encryption, but not sure about Plex performance on that hardware. 


Unraid is for fairly advanced users IMHO, and cost money on top of hardware for it.

9 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #2415352 10-Feb-2020 08:49
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We use a combination of stored media and streamed. The ability to watch some of my stored movies from anywhere appeals as does the ability to record the security footage.


Ideally I would like to keep the total cost under $1000


Also my wife runs Apple and I am a Windows and Android user.

146 posts

Master Geek

  #2415474 10-Feb-2020 10:04
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QNAP, Synology, Asustor, all good NAS makers in my opinion. Had a QNAP, replaced it with an Asustor, like the Asustor better but they both work well.




Couple of points from me.


1. For anything important you still need a separate backup solution, an external drive or a pc with enough space or a second NAS, etc. Don't rely on a single NAS regardless of any RAID setup. If you don't care about losing the files then it doesn't matter.


2. Use NAS drives like WD red, don't use desktop drives or green drives.


3. For security cameras if you are recording constantly you want a surveillance hard drive really, not sure mixing that with normal NAS use is Ideal. I have a surveillance drive and a pair of WD red drives in my NAS and dedicate them for each use type.






I don't use plex, it is nice but I never saw the point personally. I just use the file manager to find my files and VLC to play them, all plex gives you is a pretty big screen interface with cover art and the synopsis, useful I guess but not something I need.

1642 posts

Uber Geek


  #2415480 10-Feb-2020 10:24
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I imagine if you want to play media on different devices and want a NAS, you need the media to direct play. If anything needs transcoding because what you want to watch stuff on doesn't like the format of the media, you might need a NAS that can transcode or you might need to convert your media to another format. Probably won't be a problem, but might be worth thinking about.


You can also look at Emby instead of Plex.


1128 posts

Uber Geek

  #2415507 10-Feb-2020 11:42
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I use a budget Buffalo 2TB Linkstation NAS (LS210D). As I'm only using it for media (and the occasional backup) it is more than up to the task.

2399 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2415533 10-Feb-2020 12:58
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I got a 412+ years ago with no knowledge about NAS at all and found it an interesting learning experience.

Yes you can go and create your own setup or go synology. It just works.

I run plex because it works well enough and I liked the apps available on iPad, android and my tv

When we go on trips I just select the kids film and tv episode and they sync them. Useful for plane trips.

It has a high wife acceptance factor and it's fun watchos g a 2 year old try to navigate it.

Just ensure the version of nas you get works with plex media server.

1283 posts

Uber Geek


  #2415569 10-Feb-2020 13:57
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I was an old Windows Home Server user (original V1 and WHS 20111) and when that became unsupported, moved to a Synology NAS. Am running Plex server on that, because it works without needing to touch it and the Plex client is supported on a wide range of devices from from browser to mobile phones, tablets, PC's and TVs (Android and some manufacturers - e.g. Samsung). In my household the Plex client also has a good WAF, although they have messed with interface a few times recently.


I reinforce another poster's comment in that if you are going for Synology, make sure it is a model that supports Plex server. Also, the Synology version of Plex server is not quite as full-featured as the Windows version (not sure about Linux), in that it doesn't support recording from a TV tuner.

1542 posts

Uber Geek


#2415623 10-Feb-2020 16:31
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I say Synology. Had WHS2011 then UNraid and Asustor. Asustor was unreliable over time and eventually moved to a Synology DS418play and havent looked back. So far rock solid and Plex Server does support live TV and TV TUner recording which I use a bit. The tv tuner I have is HDHomerun and has been flawless.  I store videos and my home files on it

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