Home NAS – Synology
We have had a home NAS (Network Attached Storage) for some time now. The system I chose some years back is Synology DiskStation as it provides far more than just storage. We have had 2 of these, the latest a DS415+ which I use to perform a number of services detailed below.
The DS415+ has a very capable Quad Core Intel processor and 2GB memory to allow all the services to run smoothly. It runs its own DSM operating system that has a lovely web interface that allows me to configure and control it from the comfort of my iPad.
The DS415+ has 4 hard drive bays which I have fitted with 3 3TB Western digital Red hard drives, leaving room for further expansion.
The DiskStation uses this 9TB of space and creates a single raided storage space using their own raid mechanism (SHR). Normal Raid formats can also be selected.
This gives me 6TB of seamless usable storage that’s protected against hard drive failure. Should one drive fail I can remove it and replace with a new drive with no loss of data.
This is a package provided by Synology that’s a home surveillance camera system. It provides many features stores the feeds from my external IP cameras. Its a very capable system with motion detection and allows you to monitor whats going on from many devices while at home or away. See Our “Home Security Cameras” post for more information
Please see my post “Home Security Cameras” for more on this package and how I implemented our own home video security system.
This is a media server and I use it to store all our DVDs, music and photos on. All our ipads, phones and TVs have a PLEX client installed that can view all the media. This could all be done for free but I have found it so useful I do subscribe to the service and pay for it as they put so much effort into this system.
What I find really nice about this software is the way it assigns images and data sourced from places like IMDB to all the media so the interface is a very visually pleasing and intuitive way of accessing all your media in one place.
Once you understand how to store your media its a very easy system to use and has been a favourite of mine for some time. Our Samsung TVs all have a PLEX app and this makes for a seamless professional experience.
I probably don’t use half of the services PLEX can provide but if you want a media server give them a look.
Before I published my blog I installed WordPress on my Synology and learnt how to create a blog before paying for it to be hosted properly and making accessible to all.
I could have hosted the whole site on the Synology but I didn’t like the idea of opening ports up to my personal NAS.
We have our own private VPN (Virtual Private Network) that all our IPads, Phones and laptops can use when we are away from home.
This is an extremely useful addition and keeps our data more secure as we use open networks when out and about or on holiday. When we do go away we also take an Amazon Fire TV and the VPN allows us to still access the BBC iPlayer when abroad.
This was the primary reason we bought a Synology, for backing up our laptop but as you can see it became much more.
The other advantage is the Diskstation also backs itself up onto the cloud automatically. It ensures all our photos are stored in multiple different locations and any events photos the surveillance system has taken get stored immediately to the cloud.
The above are just the main applications we use regularly. Synology has a wealth of other apps and support for 3rd party apps.
I have in the past hosted our own Minecraft server which did take some processing power but worked really well. This allowed my son to host his own world for his friends to explore and build with him.
Others apps I have experimented with are Docker – Homebridge – OpenRemote – CalDav to name a few.
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