If you're like me, you've got hundreds of gigabytes of digital media files, everything from movies, to music, to TV shows, stored across portable hard drives, old laptops, and various PCs. Wouldn't it be great if all of that media could live in one place and be able to be easily accessed by your other computers and smart devices? With the right apps and a network attached storage device, you can do just that.
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As popular as streaming video and TV is in 2016, there are still plenty of people out there that want to buy DVDs or Blu-rays, rip them to a local storage device, and watch them whenever they like. To do that, you need somewhere to store all those high-resolution files — like a NAS. Then you want to stream them to your TV, your PS4, your smartphone — and for that you need processing power. And the Synology DS716+ is just about the most powerful 2-bay NAS you can buy.
Synology is a name that you'd usually associate with network attached storage (NAS) boxes — y'know, the big black hard drive enclosures that you hook up to your router or modem to store your movies, music and photos. Synology does NAS very well — it's certainly one of our favourite brands — but it's also extending its reach into another networking device. The RT1900AC is the first router from Synology, and its hook is that just like a NAS, it runs an operating system that you can use to browse through your files, download stuff from the 'net, and monitor all your network traffic.
Need some extra storage for your movies, music or personal photos? You can get a portable hard drive and carry all your data around on it, or you can step up to a proper network-attached storage device with all the bells and whistles. More often than not, though, you don't need them. For the vast majority of users that just want to watch their movies and listen to their music wherever they are, Seagate's Personal Cloud is a really simple networked storage drive.
Sam Thorp is a research communicator and founder of a small web startup based in Sydney. He’s also the second of two winners in our recent Synology NAS competition and, with the help of his two housemates, took the device through its paces over the Christmas break. This is his in-depth review.
You could say that Heath James’ technology life is complex. He’s the manager of an IT-centric team within a large organisation and has 14 years project experience. At home, he and his wife have a teenage daughter and two younger children shared on a part-time basis. Heath is also one of two winners in our recent Synology NAS competition and, with the help of his family, took the device through its paces over the Christmas break. This is his in-depth review.
Storage is one of those things that you always need more of. Especially if you have a network storage drive at home or at work, you've probably run into a situation where you're faced with either deleting old files to make space or finding a more drastic solution. Up until a few days ago, I was juggling files around and deleting old backups just to make everything fit, and was in desperate need of salvation. So, I took a direct route, and ditched the old hard drives entirely for two massive improvements.
Yesterday, Western Digital unveiled its first My Cloud storage solution for Australian consumers. The WD My Cloud is a personal cloud drive that allows users to remotely access and backup content across all of their devices. It's essentially a cross between a traditional NAS and a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive with nearly unlimited storage potential. All data is stored on your own private device with no monthly fees to worry about.
You will pretty much always get what you pay for when it comes to technology. Get a cheap device and you can expect a cheap experience. Spend a little extra and get a better experience. Simple. So what are we to make of LaCie’s 5big NAS Pro? It’s very good, but the price will just about make you faint.
Seagate’s latest “don’t call it a NAS” home storage device has landed. Dubbed the Central, it comes in 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB flavours and it allows you to stream content across eight devices, much like the Wireless Plus drives. What it sacrifices in portability it makes up for in extra features – It provides seamless backup services over the home network that can be accessible over the internet, like your own personal private cloud storage.
Lacie's LaPlug is identical to the Pogoplug in concept: plug in any USB HDD and it magically transforms into a Time Machine-compatible NAS drive that's accessible from outside your home network. This is a product trend I like.
At its most basic, network attached storage, or NAS, is a great way to share files on your local network. But it's also a perfect solution for backing up your computers, streaming media across your home network, or even torrenting files to a central server. If you have an ageing computer lying around, you can turn it into a NAS for for free with the open-source FreeNAS operating system. Here's how.
Apple's Time Capsule refresh generated about as much chatter as a networked hard drive an possible drum up - but what if you don't want a router/backup mutant? Here are three non-Apple data-ass-savers we vouch hard for.