Best Network Storage For Mac

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  • Read more10 Best Best Network Attached Storage Mac. Disclaimer: We are using Amazon affiliate Product Advertising API to fetch products from Amazon, include: price.
  • Synology is best known for its high-end network and storage systems for business users, but it does have a 'value' range for home users and small businesses.
  • Picking the Best Cloud Storage Service for Mac. Apple has transitioned most of its computers — especially MacBooks — from HDD to SSD in order to provide users with thinner devices and faster.

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Best Network Storage For Mac

What Can You Do With a NAS? Once you decide that you need to store files on a network drive, you.

  • My preference: Resilio Sync software
    https://www.resilio.com

    For Time Machine: macOS Server
    edited May 2018
  • Nice write up.
    Did you test the Drobo 5N2's Time Machine support? It's the only one in the list that doesn't mention TM. The Amazon page says it supports TM, but I don't want to completely trust that. Oddly, it's a 5-bay system and Apple only sells configurations with up to 4 drives.
  • Nice write up.
    Did you test the Drobo 5N2's Time Machine support? It's the only one in the list that doesn't mention TM. The Amazon page says it supports TM, but I don't want to completely trust that. Oddly, it's a 5-bay system and Apple only sells configurations with up to 4 drives.
    We have, and it does. The specific mention must have gotten lost in one edit or other.
  • My preference: Resilio Sync software
    https://www.resilio.com

    For Time Machine: macOS Server
    I thought TM was removed from macOS Server some time ago and made part of macOS. Are there additional features for TM in macOS Server?
  • How many, if any, of these support file metadata? In particular Finder tags and custom folder icons. The latter may not matter but if you use Finder tags to keep project stuff together, their loss can leave you with major problems.
    I know Synology don’t support them and outside an HFS+ or APFS formatted drive, I doubt anything else does.
  • How many, if any, of these support file metadata? In particular Finder tags and custom folder icons. The latter may not matter but if you use Finder tags to keep project stuff together, their loss can leave you with major problems.
    I know Synology don’t support them and outside an HFS+ or APFS formatted drive, I doubt anything else does.
    I'm not certain that any do, anymore, as regardless of drive support, I think that the data is stripped out during a SMB transfer from them.
    I'll delve over the weekend.
    edited May 2018
  • Actually forget TimeMachine on WD drives that fail with click of parking heads. Seagate Backup Plus beats all of them for TimeMachine (running business on them). Not a NAS however. As far as NAS (WiFi or Ethernet attached), Synology NAS with Hitachi UltraStar (HGST) is specialized for servers and outlast many WD drive based configurations due to MTBF and optimization on parking heads.Synology has outstanding reliability and updates. No issues for many years. Going SSD is still expensive.
    Synology is for specialized file storage servers - it is Linux based file system so please do not bring to discussion if it supports HFS or APFS - it is not for that as it is different OS that manges storage. You can format USB attached Seagate Backup Plus for that (and TimeMachine), but it is not NAS. Synology has many apps including media connectivity (It is DNLA as article says). You can use all popular apps to get your music and movies from Synology. It has also IP cameras connectivity and app for survailence and recording. It is really a Linux computer that you can manage via browser access. Outstanding quality.
    edited May 2018
  • QNAP TS-251+ would the equivalent of the synology listed here. In some ways works better.
  • QNAP TS-251+ would the equivalent of the synology listed here. In some ways works better.
    I went with a QNAP. There's a crazy amount of features. I'm not sure if this is the correct word, but I wish it was more user friendly as its not something I'd recommend to those that aren't tech savvy or willing to put some effort into learning how to use the UI or properly securing the device.
    Even now I still can't figure out how to get rid of certain folders or keep an AFP drive from appearing alongside the TM drive, even through they're the same thing.
    They do seem to have frequent firmware updates, which I appreciate.
  • It’s truly sad that Apple couldn’t give us a going away gift with time capsule inegration to the Files app for iOS!
  • I found that an encrypted backup is even better, in case you have to deal with ransomware attacks.
    Maybe it is worth taking in consideration units that offer snapshot duplications with complex encryption keys.

    I had to face a ransomware attack a couple of years ago: both the file server and the backup unit, which was a standard NAS, were completely defeated – no hope to retrieve anything from either unit. The Syneto unit that was sitting on the same network got under fire too - but only the last snapshot was accessible via the network, so it was the only one that got corrupted.
    I've successfully restored the previous snapshot in less than 15 minutes (I keep 24 daily snapshots on this machine) and got everything back.... it was really a life saver.

    Since then I rely on a three-level backup: a standard Time Machine on a thunderbolt drive, an encrypted backup via Carbon Copy on the Syneto unit and the icloud stuff on another level. Of course the management of the above is not the simplest, but it seems a fine cover...
  • QNAP TS-251+ would the equivalent of the synology listed here. In some ways works better.
    I'm not sure if this is the correct word, but I wish it was more user friendly as its not something I'd recommend to those that aren't tech savvy or willing to put some effort into learning how to use the UI or properly securing the device.
    Having done some research I went Synology (218 Play) rather than QNAP because the consensus appeared to be that although the hardware wasn’t as powerful, the apps were more ‘polished’ and easier for a first timer to use. I’m still learning what it can do!
    edited May 2018
  • QNAP TS-251+ would the equivalent of the synology listed here. In some ways works better.
    I'm not sure if this is the correct word, but I wish it was more user friendly as its not something I'd recommend to those that aren't tech savvy or willing to put some effort into learning how to use the UI or properly securing the device.
    Having done some research I went Synology (218 Play) rather than QNAP because the consensus appeared to be that although the hardware wasn’t as powerful, the apps were more ‘polished’ and easier for a first timer to use. I’m still learning what it can do!
    Yeah, I went with it for its low cost at the time, and it's been great, but I also only use it for Time Machine backups. I gave Plex a try but didn't care for it (but I also didn't care for it on my Mac mini server, which I felt was much nicer and inarguably faster). It has an iTunes Server and countless other options, which I've never tried.
    I think it took me a few months before I found out how to enable SSL for their local web portal, which is pretty pathetic on my part.
    PS: If this NAS breaks I probably won't go with another NAS, but instead just get a TB3 drive for the RAID connected to my Mac mini and use the older RAID for my TM backups, unless there are some major breakthroughs in what a NAS can offer. Even though my RAID is using USB 3.0/USB-A and my Mac mini is connected to my AirPort Extreme via GigE which is connected to my NAS via GigE it's still much slower than I'd like when having to do a full backup after upgrading to larger drives.
    edited May 2018
  • If you need more drives, this just got posted to AnandTech. No word on pricing yet.

  • Actually forget TimeMachine on WD drives that fail with click of parking heads. Seagate Backup Plus beats all of them for TimeMachine (running business on them). Not a NAS however. As far as NAS (WiFi or Ethernet attached), Synology NAS with Hitachi UltraStar (HGST) is specialized for servers and outlast many WD drive based configurations due to MTBF and optimization on parking heads.Synology has outstanding reliability and updates. No issues for many years. Going SSD is still expensive.
    I agree that Synology NAS has outstanding quality; I've had two over the past 6 years, and my only complaint was the really slow CPU in my initial 211j. My current DiskStation, a 214play, handles multiple services, including Plex Server and Time Machine backups, like a champ.
    To clarify on the WD drives, however, the issues you list are primarily a problem with the Green line (and maybe Blue). The Red line is designed for NAS applications: they're quiet, (relatively) cool, and don't park. I've used the same pair of 2TB WD Red drives almost continuously since I bought them nearly 6 years ago, and they're still plugging along.
    edited May 2018
  • Lenovo are still in this space. I have a 4 drive Raid 5 array in their IX4-300 box. Quirky but it works.
    I would never buy another Drobo after a bad experience with their software and lack of support.
  • No QNAP? Comprehensive.
    FTA: 'Our list is just of the ones we've used and like, with a limitation we've applied on initial setup ease and a reasonable budget.'
    We haven't used a current QNAP, so, it is not on the list.
  • No QNAP? Comprehensive.
    FTA: 'Our list is just of the ones we've used and like, with a limitation we've applied on initial setup ease and a reasonable budget.'
    We haven't used a current QNAP, so, it is not on the list.
    Not including QNAP in a NAS review is akin not including Apple or Dell in a laptop review. The most obscure NAS vendors were included, whereas one of the major two NAS manufacturers was omitted.
    It’s your blog so you can publish whatever you like.
  • None of the mentioned NAS is also a router/wireless-router as an Airport Time Capsule (ATC) does. Most of the NAS processors are too slow for Time Machine sparse files structure.
    ATC, being a router/wireless router, provide internal storage (2TB/3TB) giving SATA read-write speed of reliability to the Time Machine backup sparse files. NAS mentioned can’t do that. None of them can. Sooner or later, NAS users will hit the verification error and TM backup will be scrapped and needs to be rebuilt.
    Conclusion: don’t use NAS to do TM backup. Use USB external drive, if ATC is no more available, or USB-C/Thunderbolt-x external drives are not affordable.

Prepare your storage device

Make sure that your external storage device, such as a USB drive or Thunderbolt drive, is formatted for Mac: either APFS format or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format.

You can't store your library on a storage device used for Time Machine backups. And to avoid possible data loss, don't store your library on a removable storage device like an SD card or USB flash drive, or on a device shared over your network or the internet, including over a cloud-based storage service.

Move Photos Library to the storage device

Best Network Storage For Mac
  1. Quit Photos.
  2. In the Finder, open the folder that contains Photos Library. By default, Photos Library is stored in the Pictures folder of your home folder. You can open your home folder by choosing Go > Home from the Finder menu bar.
  3. Drag Photos Library to a location on your external storage device. Learn what to do if you get an error.
  4. After the move is finished, double-click Photos Library in its new location to open it.
  5. If you use iCloud Photos, designate this library as the System Photo Library.

If you want to delete the original Photos Library to save storage space on your Mac, you can drag it from its original location (the Pictures folder of your home folder) to the Trash. Then empty the Trash.

Always make sure that your storage device is turned on and available before opening Photos. If Photos can't find the device, it stops using the Photos library stored there.

If you want to open a different Photos library

  1. Quit Photos.
  2. Press and hold the Option key while you open Photos.
  3. Select the library that you want to open, then click Choose Library. Photos uses this library until you open a different one.
For

If you get an error when moving Photos Library

  1. Select your external storage device in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info.
  2. If the information under Sharing & Permissions isn't visible, click the triangle to see more.
  3. Make sure that the “Ignore ownership on this volume” checkbox is selected. To change it, you might first have to click the lock button to unlock the setting. If the storage device isn't formatted correctly for Mac, or was used for Time Machine backups but hasn't been erased, this checkbox won't be present or won't be selectable after unlocking. In that case, erase the storage device first.

Best Storage Device For Mac

If you have some other permissions issue with your library, you might be able to resolve the issue with the Photos Library repair tool.

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