Please help select a NAS


Jan 4, 2010
Hi All,
First time looking into NAS solutions. Here are the requirements:

-Data centrally stored.
-Ability to access data from anywhere through web browser.
-Ability to mount NAS as one of the drives on MAC and PC on home network or other wifi/cellular network. Dropbox like storage with files on your local drive would be the best.
- Easy and Useful iPhone & iPad app for data access.
-Ability to stream videos on iPad (home network only, too expensive to stream videos on cellular network)
-Automatically upload photos, videos to NAS from iPhone & iPad (preferably without using iPhoto)
- Ability to play most common video formats (including mkv), photos and music on Smart TV (a very near future purchase) which connects to a sound bar.
- iPhone app to control videos, photos, music playback on TV instead of standard TV remote (controlling such content through standard TV remote is too complex)
- Compatibility with Apple TV ( a very near future purchase). I don’t store videos in iTunes. I only store music in iTunes.
- Can be used with home video surveillance system. 4 security cameras (purchasing next year)
-Raid 1, as I am only looking at 2 bay NAS at this stage.
-Since NAS is going to be my main storage drive, I want to use one of the free drives on my iMac to backup NAS through Time Machine. Or I can hook-up another drive to NAS through USB port be able to back it up through Time Machine.

I have heard good things about Synology DS215j and FreeNAS but open to other suggestions. I have a spare i7 computer lying that I can use for FreeNAS but people are saying it will be overkill and energy bill is going to be higher. I am not too concerned about utilising existing spare computer. All I am concerned about is that above requirements are met in most easy and stable way. I am moderate computer literate with beginner’s level of knowledge in networking. I have no idea of SAMBA, Plex and this kind of stuff at this stage. I am expecting at least 5 years of life if I buy a system.

Please advise which NAS will tick the most boxes and is better. Then I can invest more time into that.

NAS boxes can stream, but I doubt they will transcode.

All of "App" requirement have nothing to do with NAS either - if you find an app which can upload photos to local network, it will work with the NAS. Same for streaming, "app to control videos etc" - this has nothing to do with the NAS. If an app fully supports DLNA, and your TV fully supports DLNA, it should be able to do that (don't ask me for an app, I am not iFan).

You have to check with OSX gurus whether Time Machine can work with networked drives (you don't expect Time Machine client in the NAS, don't you)