It's been exactly 21 days since I wrote about the NAS I set up at home. I wouldn't say all at home are finding it exciting. But they have started using it as well. The way I'm using it right now is something I thought I'll jot down. If anyone reads this blog, they'd probably know what a NAS is. However, all the youtube videos talk about the setting up part and what they were going to use it for. I haven't seen one talking about exactly how they are using it. So this one is an attempt to alleviate that. I'll write down exactly what I'm using it for and using which software.
First, I created multiple root folders with the names of the folks in the house and the idea is for them to use all their files in the folders that belong to them. I set up one for myself and all my stuff are in there.
Quick recap - I am using a Synology DS420+ model which comes with 4 bays. Right now I have only 2 Bays installed with 4 TB Seagate IronWolf hard drives. I have set these two disks in RAID 1 (mirroing) so I get the usable storage space of 4 TB from 8 TB. These drives are rated for NAS usage (meaning continuous operation). I don't like them to be spinning all the time plus I could potentially save the electricity cost when I'm not using it. Synology allows you to schedule it to be powered on and off. So my NAS comes up at 9 in the morning and goes off at 11.30 in the night.
I configured and set up Synology Moments for the photographs and it does a fair job in allowing us to access and upload photos to & fro from the NAS. My mobile phones and my wife's mobile phone uploads the photos to the NAS and we use the Synology Moments companion app on the Android/iPhones.
Moments works very well on syncing and updating from all devices. However, I wouldn't say it is doing all that I would've liked it to do. For example, I uploaded around 8 GB worth of photos & videos from Google Photos + whatever I have on my phones. I would have liked it, had it automatically sorted all of them into dates/year, create albums etc which provides a better view. Well, for now, it does the job of storing the snaps and I don't have to delete them for the fear of storage space. I upload all kinds of photos & videos taken from mobile phones and my Sony A7III. A single RAW photo is of 30+ MB. So this serves the purpose very well.
I like many of the 90's TV shows and I am a sucker for those. I wanted to download some of the shows that I used to watch. So I headed over to torrents and it was humongous in size. For example one of the shows were of 50GB+ in size per season. So for 7 seasons, I was looking at downloading 350GB+ of data.
Synology has a torrent download manager which can be used to download the torrents and the best part is, it will continue to do that when it is on. I downloaded all of the shows that I wanted over a week's time. I set it up and forgot, it did the job.
So I downloaded all the seasons of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and 'Friends'. I wanted to watch them on my TV.
I installed the PLEX Media server which is supported on the Synology as well as my Android TV. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the way Plex organises things and it even fetches subtitles from OpenSubTitles! It is one of the amazing pieces of software that I have used so far. The transition from one episode to another and the way it brings the theme music is very exciting. I watch a couple of episodes every day along with my kiddo. It is a fun activity and interesting to see that she is enjoying the series from the 90's even though she is from 2000s.
Synology NAS comes with a feature set for it to be accessed from anywhere in the world. Meaning, if you are outside the country, still you could access it from there. Owing to COVID, none of us is travelling anyway for the last two years, so I kept it disabled for the time being.
I stopped using Google Cloud, but I'm still keeping the free tier on dropbox for some essential documents. Synology has a CloudSync option which can be used to keep the files synced between the NAS and a cloud storage space. So any new files or modifications I make it directly on the NAS and it sync's it automatically to Dropbox. How cool is that?
As of now, it is using 37% of the storage space.
The biggest advantage of using Synology is the vast array of software support they have on the system. You could run VM's, Docker Images etc with much ease. There is much more to explore and do, but for now, this is what I'm using it for.
Hope you find it useful...