Which NAS do list members prefer?

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jarrod2750

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There is nothing like PHYSICAL ownership of your data and your backups.

Cloud... sucks.

Get a home safe, fire and water proof. Make backups to a drive, brick, with a simple USB interface in a standard format (NTFS). Keep the drive in the safe.
I completely understand this POV. My reasoning is that while I have physical hardware backups, they too could fail and without warning or reason. Why not have another method as another failsafe that doesn’t rely on a physical device? $70 a year for unlimited data backup isn’t a bad deal as an additional back up method. Plus it automatically scans for file changes and new ones to back up. I like the safe method, but I’m constantly adding more media so I would have to update those drives too occasionally.
 
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AYanguas

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Very impressive your home networks.

My approach has been a little different.

I started with a Synology NAS (2 drives) and then a WD NAS (2 drives). When deciding how to evolve for the continously increasing storage capacity, I conclude that I didn’t need to have online all my media archive.

Then I build a Desktop Windows PC with enough HDD capacity. Currently 34 TB spread in various HDDs and SDDs according to the content. It has two USB 3.1 dockings to plug and un-plug the rest of HDDs of the archive that I do not keep online. The total capacity now being around 95 TB.

Yes, when I need some particular files for the next sessions (myself or with my wife) I have to look for where they are in a nice Excel spreadsheet, plug the corresponding archive HDD in the USB docking and serve it via SMB or copy the files temporary to the PC server. Not everything online, not PLEX, but that’s enough for my needs. For example I have online all Music and Video Concerts (quickly switching among them) but offline archive Films, Series, Docus, etc.

For Backup and contingency purposes, aside from local daily backup routines, I have implemented a similar network in the summer house (only 10 Km apart), with another PC server similar characteristics and a replica of all the HDDs contents. Another 95 TB replica.

I always buy HDDs by duplicate, for both houses, and the manual effort to copy content to keep all mirror duplicated is low enough for me once I got practice and copy everything via Internet ISP 1Gb links. (Then I need manually change the discs, but no problem). This have forced me to have a very clean and well organized Media Archive.

My main house has a backbone wired network with tree switches (ISP router + 2 Tp-Link) for a total of 28 wired ports. Additional two Unifi AP WIFI access points to properly cover the whole house. (about 40 wireless devices, many for home automation). The second house has a smaller network.

My professional work was not exactly networking, but Systems Projects Consulting, so I apply my knowledge, but at a very ‘reduced’ scale. :D



The most critical data (personal files, edited family videos, etc.) are backed-up and also copied regularly to the other house contingency site, and then backed up there also.

I’m still reluctant to put “my data” in a Cloud service. Even having worked for Cloud Services Projects professionally.:rolleyes:
 

tonyE

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I quite like this idea...

Two single points of failure.

The idea of NASs is to move away from single points of failure.

Instead of that.... create two partitions in each NAS, one for audio, one for video. Use one NAS as backup for the other.
 

tonyE

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I completely understand this POV. My reasoning is that while I have physical hardware backups, they too could fail and without warning or reason. Why not have another method as another failsafe that doesn’t rely on a physical device? $70 a year for unlimited data backup isn’t a bad deal as an additional back up method. Plus it automatically scans for file changes and new ones to back up. I like the safe method, but I’m constantly adding more media so I would have to update those drives too occasionally.

I've been looking at these.... kind of pricey but...

 

tonyE

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Very impressive your home networks.

My approach has been a little different.

...

Then I build a Desktop Windows PC with enough HDD capacity. Currently 34 TB spread in various HDDs and SDDs according to the content. It has two USB 3.1 dockings to plug and un-plug the rest of HDDs of the archive that I do not keep online. The total capacity now being around 95 TB.

You have built an ad-hoc data center with plenty of storage capacity. I think at some point most of us started that way... except that in the 90s, having 3TB of storage was awesome ( we had 200GB drives then...).

At some point, though, you'll have to start thinking about organizing the data (users, public, private, media) and working a plan for online backups. You have achieved catastrophic security by having a backup in a different physical place, but it's inconvenient as currently implemented since the physical backup should be your 3rd or 4th level not 2nd.

My advice is to start looking into RAID enclosures, they are dirt cheap and USB 3.1 is quite fast. Format them in a simple file system that any windows/linux machine can read. Get two laptops ( low power ) and implement samba. I got my "nas" laptops used on eBay, you don't need lots of power for them for simple data sharing.

Make sure the batteries in your laptops are good and get a nice UPS.

The next logical step will be getting real stand alone NASs. Dual power supplies plugged into the UPS.

Oh a Plex server is a wonderful thing. Our smart TVs find them. It's like having your own Netflix. I've have all of Get Smart, Hogan's Heros, Gilligan's Island, etc, etc.. plus all of Mel Brooks on line.
 

cdheer

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Ultimately you have to consider how valuable the information is, and how easily replaceable it is. The rule of thumb is that if you don't have three separate copies of the data, it doesn't exist, and certainly in a business/professional environment, I would agree.

However, you also have to factor in cost. I have a LOT of media on my NAS. The important stuff on there also exists on physical media that I can re-rip. Yes, I'm vulnerable to a house fire. I'm OK with that; if a disaster like that strikes, I'll have bigger fish to fry. The vast majority of it can be re-purchased.

Important data that would really suck if I lost is also backed up to my PC, which is then backed up to OneDrive. It's not a perfect solution, but it functions.

My eventual plan, once I get the new NAS and drives, is to sync them, then move the old one off-site to a friend or relative's place and keep them synced. If I put it at my mom's house, well, that's far enough away that my data will survive a nuke. ;)
 

AYanguas

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You have built an ad-hoc data center with plenty of storage capacity. I think at some point most of us started that way... except that in the 90s, having 3TB of storage was awesome ( we had 200GB drives then...).

At some point, though, you'll have to start thinking about organizing the data (users, public, private, media) and working a plan for online backups. You have achieved catastrophic security by having a backup in a different physical place, but it's inconvenient as currently implemented since the physical backup should be your 3rd or 4th level not 2nd.

My advice is to start looking into RAID enclosures, they are dirt cheap and USB 3.1 is quite fast. Format them in a simple file system that any windows/linux machine can read. Get two laptops ( low power ) and implement samba. I got my "nas" laptops used on eBay, you don't need lots of power for them for simple data sharing.

Make sure the batteries in your laptops are good and get a nice UPS.

The next logical step will be getting real stand alone NASs. Dual power supplies plugged into the UPS.

Oh a Plex server is a wonderful thing. Our smart TVs find them. It's like having your own Netflix. I've have all of Get Smart, Hogan's Heros, Gilligan's Island, etc, etc.. plus all of Mel Brooks on line.

I fully understand all what you say. Actually I've been professionaly working designing and implementing those kind of Data Center Projects.

This is not my starting point but a stable consolidated point over the years. I have adapted my solution to my real needs:

- All the data is already fully organized. (After many years of improvement).
- I have separated the Critical Data from non critical data. Own Familiy Edited Video, Photos, Music files and discs, Video Concerts, Films, Series, etc.
- Each kind of data have already its own different Backup strategy. The critical data is backed up daily outside the PCs to a "real" NAS (WD), that I still keep working with Content Data and Backup space. Also System Disk images are backed up, from my PC and my wife PC, for recovery in case of disk failure. Also data is replicated weekly to the other House.
- No need for a more frequent backup or replication, as I don't work anymore at home with projects that update data continously.
- The PC Server, NAS and switch are backed up by a UPS.
- The Router at the ISP Internet entrance at the Kitchen is also backed up by another UPS.
- The Players and AVR serve good to three Displays: TV and Projector at Home Cinema room, and a second TV and ZONE2 Speakers at the Kitchen. Also additional Bluetooth for other speakers spread around the house. (Including Bathroom) :)

I do not need everything online, neither PLEX. For the things that I rotate more, i.e. Music files in all formats FLAC, DVD, Bluray, SACD, etc are all on-line in the SMB PC Server. Quick access and easy to navigate.
Also on-line the most accessed files.
The rest, sporadic access, Archived Films, Series and Docus, are resting in HDDs properly inside antistatic bags inside old VHS cages. The VHS cage size is ideal to contain a 3,5'' HDD. And the time that I need to keep this organized, replicated among the two houses, and retrieving archived files for use is already also too sporadic. So I can assume that and prefer this way.

I keep the PC server running 24x7. I know I could save some power using a small machine (not 24x7) and an bigger online NAS. But the solution I have adopted is the most comfortable for me, and the power consumption is really not high.

I do not need full availability 24x7. If something fails I can wait the needed time to replace it and recover the data that is already backed-up and replicated, two or more times depending on its criticity or value.

Fortunately (or not) we are only my wife and me. No children at home, anymore. So no need to have a Data Center that serve "many users".
 

tonyE

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I fully understand all what you say. Actually I've been professionaly working designing and implementing those kind of Data Center Projects.
.....
- The Router at the ISP Internet entrance at the Kitchen is also backed up by another UPS.
- The Players and AVR serve good to three Displays: TV and Projector at Home Cinema room, and a second TV and ZONE2 Speakers at the Kitchen. Also additional Bluetooth for other speakers spread around the house. (Including Bathroom) :)

I do not need everything online, neither PLEX. For the things that I rotate more, i.e. Music files in all formats FLAC, DVD, Bluray, SACD, etc are all on-line in the SMB PC Server. Quick access and easy to navigate.
Also on-line the most accessed files.
The rest, sporadic access, Archived Films, Series and Docus, are resting in HDDs properly inside antistatic bags inside old VHS cages. The VHS cage size is ideal to contain a 3,5'' HDD. And the time that I need to keep this organized, replicated among the two houses, and retrieving archived files for use is already also too sporadic. So I can assume that and prefer this way.

I keep the PC server running 24x7. I know I could save some power using a small machine (not 24x7) and an bigger online NAS. But the solution I have adopted is the most comfortable for me, and the power consumption is really not high.

I do not need full availability 24x7. ...

Fortunately (or not) we are only my wife and me. No children at home, anymore. So no need to have a Data Center that serve "many users".

(1) A long ago I figured that UPSs were only needed to gracefully treat the RAID arrays and computers. Power losses are the most likely cause of a catastrophic failure.

(2) An UPS on your ISP router... is nice, but overkill. Nice touch though. I mean, if the power goes out, chances are your ISP's vault also went down. But nice, WTH.

(3) I only use Plex for video. I use it with my LG OLED TVs. For audio, I record my LPs at 24/96 and I download lots of albums on Tidal into my tablets. If the power goes out, there is no way I can power the class A amps in the living room, but I can plug some headphones into my tablet/DAC combo. So, that's standalone.

(4) email, some types of data/doc files and browser profiles are the only files I need 24/7 access to. Meaning, whenever we decide to use our PCs. Otherwise, I got my hosted domain name elsewhere so I can reach my latest email over a webmail interface using my cell phone- but then I lose the history of my emails, which goes back to '96.

(5) Yep, two of us now... almost ready to retire. I joke that I only work for more stereo amps (just had three vintage receivers fully done: Marantz 2325, Sansui G-7500, Akai AS980) and now I got another one in the pipeline (Marantz 4215). Meanwhile, I've got a stack of DIY Pass designs, including a pair of Aleph 2 monoblocks being built). So, why do we have so much wiring and storage etc.. in the house?

Because, as you said, I've been lucky to merge my work with my hobbies. ;-)

I mean, I got like 22 audio amplifiers... at least... likely more, who knows? It's like stuff like movies, LPs, books, bottles of good scotch, cigars.... do you know really how many you got? All I'm sure of is how many turntables (1), wives, kids, houses and cars I got. I mean, do you know how many shovels and hammers you got?
 
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timothyemerson

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This is all interesting reading. I have zero experience with NAS but am looking for a solution to backup all of my movies and a Synology DiskStation is looking like the tidiest option at this stage.

I'm still at the point of MKVing/M2TSing certain movies to see which works best with regard to chapters/subtitles/decoding Atmos-only audio as Dolby TrueHD on my 5.1 set-up but I have some newbie questions that will probably get some eyerolls but if anyone's able to help, it'd be mucho appreciated. Here goes:

1. How far is your NAS from your listening area? I'm anticipating positioning one about 4 metres from my ears just behind the TV and wondered how much of a racket they make with ~16TB drives in them. Noise levels listed that I've found online are tested with 1TB drives and listed at around 22dB. If your NAS is near your listening position, do you find the fan noise annoying in quiet movie scenes?

2. As I'm looking at NAS for the purpose of backing up movies, it's only needed for about 10 hours per week (I watch about 4 movies per week on average). Is it OK to turn it off when I'm not using it and to just switch it on when I want to watch something?
 

cdheer

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1. How far is your NAS from your listening area? I'm anticipating positioning one about 4 metres from my ears just behind the TV and wondered how much of a racket they make with ~16TB drives in them. Noise levels listed that I've found online are tested with 1TB drives and listed at around 22dB. If your NAS is near your listening position, do you find the fan noise annoying in quiet movie scenes?
Mine is on a different floor LOL. It sits in my bedroom at the moment (remodeling). I don't notice the fan, but I do notice the drives chugging. Yeah, you'll hear it during quiet scenes.
2. As I'm looking at NAS for the purpose of backing up movies, it's only needed for about 10 hours per week (I watch about 4 movies per week on average). Is it OK to turn it off when I'm not using it and to just switch it on when I want to watch something?
AFAIK there's nothing wrong with doing that.
 

timothyemerson

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Mine is on a different floor LOL. It sits in my bedroom at the moment (remodeling). I don't notice the fan, but I do notice the drives chugging. Yeah, you'll hear it during quiet scenes.

AFAIK there's nothing wrong with doing that.
Thanks for the speedy reply!

Hmmm, yeah, I forgot about the racket HDD's can make, especially if you get a bunch of them all buzzing along together like a swarm of bees. I could either put the NAS in the large cabinet (there'd be enough airflow) that the TV is on or in another room. If it goes in another room, I'm guessing a long ethernet cable would be the way to go so that it's connected to my hypothetical Raspberry Pi running Kodi that would sit under the TV?
 

cdheer

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Thanks for the speedy reply!
Yeah, well, it's either read the forum or work. ;)
Hmmm, yeah, I forgot about the racket HDD's can make, especially if you get a bunch of them all buzzing along together like a swarm of bees. I could either put the NAS in the large cabinet (there'd be enough airflow) that the TV is on or in another room. If it goes in another room, I'm guessing a long ethernet cable would be the way to go so that it's connected to my hypothetical Raspberry Pi running Kodi that would sit under the TV?
Yeah; I have a central switch and Ethernet pulled to the TV room, the gaming room, the office, and the bedrooms, so I can move it wherever. Eventually it'll end up in the office.
 

tonyE

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This is all interesting reading. I have zero experience with NAS but am looking for a solution to backup all of my movies and a Synology DiskStation is looking like the tidiest option at this stage.

I'm still at the point of MKVing/M2TSing certain movies to see which works best with regard to chapters/subtitles/decoding Atmos-only audio as Dolby TrueHD on my 5.1 set-up but I have some newbie questions that will probably get some eyerolls but if anyone's able to help, it'd be mucho appreciated. Here goes:

1. How far is your NAS from your listening area? I'm anticipating positioning one about 4 metres from my ears just behind the TV and wondered how much of a racket they make with ~16TB drives in them. Noise levels listed that I've found online are tested with 1TB drives and listed at around 22dB. If your NAS is near your listening position, do you find the fan noise annoying in quiet movie scenes?

2. As I'm looking at NAS for the purpose of backing up movies, it's only needed for about 10 hours per week (I watch about 4 movies per week on average). Is it OK to turn it off when I'm not using it and to just switch it on when I want to watch something?

(1) My WDC PR4100 NAS boxes are pretty quiet and they go to sleep when not in use for a bit. So, you shouldn't have to do cycle power on them. I don't know about the Synology boxes.

(2) I keep my NAS and my laptop/samba enclosure combos ( DIY NAS ) in a closet with ventilation, dedicated power and UPS. Wired to the rest of the house.

(3) Right now I got a RAID-5 box (not NAS) on my desk, about 2 feet from my head. I can hear it -the fan always runs.

How much storage do you think you need?

What features do you think you'll need? Plex? SMB?

You might not need an NAS. Remember, the NAS is designed to run over a networked connection. Some media streamers provide USB 3 interfaces.
 

timothyemerson

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(1) My WDC PR4100 NAS boxes are pretty quiet and they go to sleep when not in use for a bit. So, you shouldn't have to do cycle power on them. I don't know about the Synology boxes.

(2) I keep my NAS and my laptop/samba enclosure combos ( DIY NAS ) in a closet with ventilation, dedicated power and UPS. Wired to the rest of the house.

(3) Right now I got a RAID-5 box (not NAS) on my desk, about 2 feet from my head. I can hear it -the fan always runs.

How much storage do you think you need?

What features do you think you'll need? Plex? SMB?

You might not need an NAS. Remember, the NAS is designed to run over a networked connection. Some media streamers provide USB 3 interfaces.
Thanks for your reply. All good info.

I'm thinking Kodi running on Raspberry Pi rather than Plex. I have zero experience with either media player but I've read about Plex doing some weird things (I can't remember what exactly but the outcome I remember was "Use Kodi when the time comes"). In terms of interface, I just need something really simple that displays folders in the usual alphanumerical order I expect based on how Windows Explorer displays folders/files. For example, I play all my music from a HDD plugged into my Sony X800 4K player. Its basic interface is all I need.

In terms of storage, I can only estimate at this stage based on 50GB per movie (which will be twice that of most but half that of my 4K discs) that 90TB will give me enough storage space for 3 copies. From what I have available locally, this box looks decent at this early stage in the process: Buy the Synology DiskStation DS2419+II 12-Bay NAS Server, Quad Core Atom C3538... ( DS2419+II ) online

It's all early stages for me though and nothing's set in stone, so if you or anyone else has any other ideas as to what else would achieve the movie back-up functionality I'm looking for, I'm all ears.
 

cdheer

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I'm thinking Kodi running on Raspberry Pi rather than Plex. I have zero experience with either media player but I've read about Plex doing some weird things (I can't remember what exactly but the outcome I remember was "Use Kodi when the time comes").
In terms of video playback, Plex does a fine job. I play 4K rips with HDR or Dolby Vision all the time without issue.

Audio is the trickier bit, as Plex really doesn't do hires audio. Kodi will, as I understand it.
In terms of interface, I just need something really simple that displays folders in the usual alphanumerical order I expect based on how Windows Explorer displays folders/files. For example, I play all my music from a HDD plugged into my Sony X800 4K player. Its basic interface is all I need.
Then Kodi is definitely what you want. Plex won't do that at all; Plex is designed to present you with a Netflix-style interface to your content. Clients can't see the file/folder structure at all.

I don't have any recent experience with running Kodi on a Pi, so I don't know what limitations it might have (if any).
 

AYanguas

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(1) A long ago I figured that UPSs were only needed to gracefully treat the RAID arrays and computers. Power losses are the most likely cause of a catastrophic failure.

(2) An UPS on your ISP router... is nice, but overkill. Nice touch though. I mean, if the power goes out, chances are your ISP's vault also went down. But nice, WTH.

In this case the UPS for the router was a requirement of the Installer of the Alarm of the House. And was not possible to use same UPS for both PC/NAS and router because in a different rooms.

Anyway, it has been of good value when losing power only at my house because of differential switch break. I installed a rearmable differential switch, and when losing power for two seconds you don't have to wait for the reconnection to internet of all services. It is really very annoying when this happens and Alexa, the lights, the motorized blinds, some power switches dont work anymore with the voice :eek: (First world problems ;))

Also, if power outage is more than some minutes, you get the alarm to the Mobile application and the Alarm Service Call Center is calling you asking about. The alarm does go out via Internet. Do they poll for availability ? I think yes, but who knows!

But yes, if the power outage is more general, on the whole neighborhood, I probably will lose the fiber conectivity to ISP because of power outage at the ISP's vault. Or the fiber trunk conections at the closet of the building will continue working without electric power? I don't know.

It was only a small UPS 80 EUR cost just for the router. So no problem.

(3) I only use Plex for video. I use it with my LG OLED TVs. For audio, I record my LPs at 24/96 and I download lots of albums on Tidal into my tablets. If the power goes out, there is no way I can power the class A amps in the living room, but I can plug some headphones into my tablet/DAC combo. So, that's standalone.

(4) email, some types of data/doc files and browser profiles are the only files I need 24/7 access to. Meaning, whenever we decide to use our PCs. Otherwise, I got my hosted domain name elsewhere so I can reach my latest email over a webmail interface using my cell phone- but then I lose the history of my emails, which goes back to '96.

Fortunately, very few power outages here.

If I have a power outage, Nothing will work. I only expect that the UPS routine setup in the PC server will wait for some minutes and then remove shares, shutdown the NAS, wait two minutes, and shutdown the PC. I have tested several times and it works.

(5) Yep, two of us now... almost ready to retire. I joke that I only work for more stereo amps (just had three vintage receivers fully done: Marantz 2325, Sansui G-7500, Akai AS980) and now I got another one in the pipeline (Marantz 4215). Meanwhile, I've got a stack of DIY Pass designs, including a pair of Aleph 2 monoblocks being built). So, why do we have so much wiring and storage etc.. in the house?

Because, as you said, I've been lucky to merge my work with my hobbies. ;-)

I mean, I got like 22 audio amplifiers... at least... likely more, who knows? It's like stuff like movies, LPs, books, bottles of good scotch, cigars.... do you know really how many you got? All I'm sure of is how many turntables (1), wives, kids, houses and cars I got. I mean, do you know how many shovels and hammers you got?

We did a final House renovation, three years ago, when I built the glorious new Home Cinema. And after that time we still have many things inside boxes to clasificate, relocate or throw away.
I have not only an Excel for the Media Library, but also another Excel for junk, gadgets, spare parts, boxes and its locations.
 

timothyemerson

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Audio is the trickier bit, as Plex really doesn't do hires audio. Kodi will, as I understand it.

Then Kodi is definitely what you want. Plex won't do that at all; Plex is designed to present you with a Netflix-style interface to your content. Clients can't see the file/folder structure at all.
Thanks for confirming. These could have been the Plex show-stoppers I read about. If I end up doing the spend-thousands-on-drive-space route, I might as well add my music to the mix so the media software will need to be able to handle it.
 

AYanguas

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This is all interesting reading. I have zero experience with NAS but am looking for a solution to backup all of my movies and a Synology DiskStation is looking like the tidiest option at this stage.

I'm still at the point of MKVing/M2TSing certain movies to see which works best with regard to chapters/subtitles/decoding Atmos-only audio as Dolby TrueHD on my 5.1 set-up but I have some newbie questions that will probably get some eyerolls but if anyone's able to help, it'd be mucho appreciated. Here goes:

1. How far is your NAS from your listening area? I'm anticipating positioning one about 4 metres from my ears just behind the TV and wondered how much of a racket they make with ~16TB drives in them. Noise levels listed that I've found online are tested with 1TB drives and listed at around 22dB. If your NAS is near your listening position, do you find the fan noise annoying in quiet movie scenes?

I have the PC server (mine), my Wife PC, and the NAS for the Media Library in another room.
As we did a whole Home renovation I plan for cabling the house and put additional recessed gutters that cross between rooms.
This way I can throw myself cables (ethernet, hdmi, USB) as required, from one room to another.

If you have a room dedicated to office, where you have your working place with your PC, in a different room than the Listening/Watching room, it could be better to locate the NAS near your PC and have access from the Listening room just through ethernet. Asuming you can do the cabling. You have to plan then for switches to have enough ports to connect.

With respect to the noise, as soon as music or movies play a little, the sound of the NAS should go unnoticed. Of course it depends on what you consider annoying.

In my case, I was afraid of the fan of the projector noise, that is really a lttle high. I do not have the projector enclosed in a cabinet. But when music/films start to sound the projector sound dissapears.
For low volume music critical listening, I then turn off the Projector and start the TV for player navigation. Thats much better when I want silence.

2. As I'm looking at NAS for the purpose of backing up movies, it's only needed for about 10 hours per week (I watch about 4 movies per week on average). Is it OK to turn it off when I'm not using it and to just switch it on when I want to watch something?

I think there would be no problem in power ON/OFF the NAS several times a week. Someone have said in the past that specially the HDDs could suffer from start/stop many times more than beeing ON all the time at its constant temperature. But with modern disks I belive you can do that without any problem. If the disk is going to fail it will fail because it is a bad unit, and not because power ON/OFF every one or two days.
 
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