Question Recommend me a Windows media server with wifi for home use

McLovinHawaii

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Need your help guys as I have little to no knowledge of media servers and after looking around it seems to be a bit of a jungle.

I want to set up a Windows media server that all devices at home have access to in order to browser personal files such as photos and videos. The media server has to have access through wifi as most of the devices at our home are wireless. I'd like it to have at least two separate HDD´s in order to use one as backup. What type of device am I looking for and what should I get?
 

punkncat

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Any standard PC with the space needed for drives and a WiFi card, or built into the mobo.
I highly suggest utilizing the "server" with a wired connection, particularly if you are going to have simultaneous user access. Just go in and set up the share for the folder, drive, or drives you wish to share content from.
Even better, get a PC with "Pro" version of OS and you can remote access it for admin duties.
 
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Eximo

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There are several off the shelf NAS you can buy. Depends on the capacity you want. Typically you would plug a NAS directly into the router that provides WiFi to the rest of your devices. Check your router, some offer the capability to attach a USB drive directly, but see below.

Dual hard drives aren't really a backup by themselves, more for availability. If one disk fails, the other can keep things running until the bad drive is replaced. If the NAS fails spectacularly, then you might lose both drives (or if someone kicks it, drops it, it gets set on fire, a water leak magically appears above it, etc)

If you keep your files on your other devices and backup to the NAS, that is good, you have two copies. Ultimate though would be to have the NAS also backed up to the cloud through Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or companies like Carbon Copy.

Here is an example of a NAS, a low power inexpensive computer that accepts hard drives of your choice.

https://www.newegg.com/synology-ds220/p/N82E16822108743


You can also take most any old PC and turn it into a TrueNAS server: (formerly FreeNAS, and the basic version is still free to use)

 
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McLovinHawaii

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Thanks a lot guys, made it a lot easier for me to understand. After reading about the area I was tuned into the Synology DS220+ but I didn't know how to actually get it to work on the wifi system.
 

punkncat

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Thanks a lot guys, made it a lot easier for me to understand. After reading about the area I was tuned into the Synology DS220+ but I didn't know how to actually get it to work on the wifi system.
I would give a word or two of warning about that Synology. I have the same model. It's a small enclosure unit that fits neatly in a small space, it's quiet even with the fan running. As was mentioned above, you plug this in to your router on a network cable and access it for admin from another computer on the same network/workgroup.

These use ext4 format. There are claims on the website that it can "see" a bevy of other formats but simply not the case in my experience with it. Make SURE that any drives you put into the enclosure have no data on there that you wish to keep. I goofed up, believing that it was going to be fine with "fat" drives and lost a bunch of media I would have liked to keep. In my experience it also doesn't do a particularly good job with swapping a drive either. It says you can hot swap, but also went through having to rebuild afterward (again).

Be aware that these have a "public facing" side within its software. There have been some security issues related to attacks focused at gaining access to and then ransom situations. I personally turned those aspects off. If you do utilize that side of it, make sure to pick a strong password....speaking of that, even on the local (LAN) side it's going to want a strong password. You can change that, but keep it in mind for first setup.

All in all it is capable of quite a few functions I simply don't utilize. In my own use case, aside from the size of it I likely wouldn't buy one again with what I know now.
 
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kanewolf

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Thanks a lot guys, made it a lot easier for me to understand. After reading about the area I was tuned into the Synology DS220+ but I didn't know how to actually get it to work on the wifi system.
You place the Synology near your wireless router. You run a wired connection from the Synology to the router. Now all wired and wireless clients have access.
 
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