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Anyone switch from NAS to cloud storage? And were you happy afterwards?
Old 07-13-2019, 09:36 AM   #1
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Anyone switch from NAS to cloud storage? And were you happy afterwards?

Back in the day, one of my side duties was Network Administrator. At that time, company used Network Attached Storage devices for shared drives and backup. Had them in separate buildings so they also served as offsite data storage. Anyhow, my NAS at home is 2 TB Raid 1 device. Purchased it 5 1/2 years ago. Every so often, I backup the 130 GB of data to an external drive that I keep stored offsite. Pretty standard setup.

Anyhow, at 5 1/2 years, I ought to think about retiring it. Everybody and their brother sells cloud storage. It is so cheap, I am not interested in the cheapest. Anyone switched from NAS storage to cloud? And were you happy? What made you pick the service that you did?

A second kind of related question has to do with the 4 security cameras I have in the house - for when we are away from home. I believe we have the cameras sending motion activated pics and video to the NAS. If I go to cloud storage, do your cameras work with cloud storage?
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:44 PM   #2
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What's wrong with just updating your existing system? New NAS devices are cheap, and you can get more capacity if you need it.

I doubt you'd want to send live video to the cloud, anyway.

I have 2 NAS devices, one backs up to the other (in another building.) Important stuff is also backed up on our laptops. Keeping everything in sync is quick and easy on the LAN. Across the WAN (internet) would be more of a challenge.

Sorry I didn't exactly answer your question. Cloud storage is definitely the right answer for some people, maybe one of them will answer.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:10 AM   #3
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I keep two physical backups on two drives in my safe. However, for real-time storage, I decided to subscribe to Microsoft 365. I and 4 others in my family each get 1TB of Onedrive cloud storage and use of the office suite of products on all platforms (Mac, Windows, iOS, etc.). So, my entire family has a strong backup solution and access to needed software.

It is a $99 annual subscription. I have had the service for about 9 months and it has performed flawlessly, offering better performance than other services I have tried (iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Amazon Drive).

Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:11 AM   #4
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I use Dropbox. It synchronizes between all of my devices so that the last file edited syncs on all devices. Cost $100/yr.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:53 AM   #5
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My big concern with using cloud base storage would be security. I just prefer to keep our backups in house. I have a WD 2TB drive that I use to periodically backup our PCs. We used AWS and Dropbox at my former company. Personally, I've been using Google Drive to share photo's from our phones which seems to work ok. Quick check - 2TB of GoogleDrive space is about $10 per month
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:30 AM   #6
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What's wrong with just updating your existing system? New NAS devices are cheap, and you can get more capacity if you need it.

I doubt you'd want to send live video to the cloud, anyway.

I have 2 NAS devices, one backs up to the other (in another building.) Important stuff is also backed up on our laptops. Keeping everything in sync is quick and easy on the LAN. Across the WAN (internet) would be more of a challenge.

Sorry I didn't exactly answer your question. Cloud storage is definitely the right answer for some people, maybe one of them will answer.
Valid point. I don't need a great deal of storage (way less than 1 TB). Just need it to be reliable, accessible outside my network, easy to backup and easily accept camera feed. What brand do you recommend? Buffalo looks good.

The manufacturer of my current NAS continued to provide security updates but failed to keep the thing working right. For example, some update made the thing crawl along doing periodic backups. And every time I backup, it required me to reformat the external hard drive. They got out of the NAS business a year after I purchased it. And they used to be one of the top NAS manufacturers.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:41 AM   #7
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I'm on my second QNAP NAS, and since I use it primarily as a media server, I use these drives. You might not need the space or the speed, but they've been reliable. I have one earlier model with almost two years of uptime.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:55 AM   #8
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I'm on my second QNAP NAS, and since I use it primarily as a media server, I use these drives. You might not need the space or the speed, but they've been reliable. I have one earlier model with almost two years of uptime.
You are out of my league. I was looking more in the $200 to $500 range.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:11 AM   #9
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Looks like the Netgear RN422 does it all. Of course, I would buy 2 disk for Raid 1 configuration. I watched the videos on their site and it looks like it is easy to use and full featured. Anyone?
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:15 AM   #10
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What brand do you recommend? Buffalo looks good.
Any of the name brands will work well. I happen to use Seagate's "Personal Cloud" devices.

With all of these, I find they're "dumbed down" to make them as foolproof as possible. For anyone with an IT background, this can be frustrating, but of course you always have the option to load your own favorite UNIX variant and set it up however you want.

On the other hand, I have enough control for my needs with the Seagate NAS devices. They keep themselves updated and the backups keep humming with very little intervention. I don't use any of their cloud options for security reasons, and limit the services they run to just those I need.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:42 AM   #11
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Any of the name brands will work well. I happen to use Seagate's "Personal Cloud" devices.

With all of these, I find they're "dumbed down" to make them as foolproof as possible. For anyone with an IT background, this can be frustrating, but of course you always have the option to load your own favorite UNIX variant and set it up however you want.

On the other hand, I have enough control for my needs with the Seagate NAS devices. They keep themselves updated and the backups keep humming with very little intervention. I don't use any of their cloud options for security reasons, and limit the services they run to just those I need.
Interesting that you recommend Seagate. I will look into it. Seagate bought the company that made my current NAS. Then they announced plans to phase out Lacie NAS.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:11 AM   #12
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Two things keep me from setting up an NAS:

1) Being on the network and on my power line 24/7 concerns me. A power glitch, lightening strike or some nasty virus that could spread through the network could take out everything.

2) I would still need off site storage, and I'm afraid the convenience of NAS would make me forget about it. Minor consideration is cost.

I'm still in a somewhat primitive, but workable system. I wrote a little script to make it very easy to insert one of my 32GB flash drives, hit a menu item launcher to launch the script, and it does an incremental backup of my data. Only takes a minute to update to current. That's minus pics, music, videos and such - those don't change as often, so I back those up to 2 or 3 hard drives, unplugged when not backing up, one stored off site.

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Old 07-14-2019, 08:23 AM   #13
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Two things keep me from setting up an NAS:

1) Being on the network and on my power line 24/7 concerns me. A power glitch, lightening strike or some nasty virus that could spread through the network could take out everything.

2) I would still need off site storage, and I'm afraid the convenience of NAS would make me forget about it. Minor consideration is cost.

I'm still in a somewhat primitive, but workable system. I wrote a little script to make it very easy to insert one of my 32GB flash drives, hit a menu item launcher to launch the script, and it does an incremental backup of my data. Only takes a minute to update to current. That's minus pics, music, videos and such - those don't change as often, so I back those up to 2 or 3 hard drives, unplugged when not backing up, one stored off site.

-ERD50
I have used NAS for many years, so it is a solution that I cling to. Would be willing to move to a cloud solution. I am glad your solution works for you.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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You are out of my league. I was looking more in the $200 to $500 range.

Sorry, I should have said that those brands are pretty reputable, although particularly with HDDs, you need to look at reviews (more on Newegg than Amazon, but the more the better) for each model, as sometimes a new drive has a LOT more problems than its predecessor in the same line. And QNAP makes smaller versions than the one I have (and larger), but yeah, you might only need one external enclosure and a desktop you're willing to leave powered on. I don't have as much experience with that type of setup, but you could do it on a much smaller scale. I believe some routers will now even let you plug in a USB drive and do it for you!

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Two things keep me from setting up an NAS:

1) Being on the network and on my power line 24/7 concerns me. A power glitch, lightening strike or some nasty virus that could spread through the network could take out everything.
I have a UPS that powers my NAS, although I schedule the NAS to power down at night since I don't need it then. I know some people think spinning a drive up and down wears it out sooner, but I think that cutting the uptime by more than 30% outweighs it, especially with the drives I use.

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2) I would still need off site storage, and I'm afraid the convenience of NAS would make me forget about it. Minor consideration is cost.
I still use Dropbox and Google Drive for different things, and all my files except for my media files are backed up on at least one cloud service, plus multiple devices. (For the media files, I keep all my discs, so I consider those my "backup"; as I mentioned in the streaming thread, I've had to re-rip everything once when I had 2 out of 4 drives fail within hours of each other.)
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:53 AM   #15
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I have a Synology NAS. 3TB RAID 1 mirrored drives. I back up periodically to a bigger SATA drive that lives in my gun safe. We are on a relatively slow DSL connection, so doing any serious backups to the cloud would take more than a day. Then, will the "cloud" service vendor give me a 404 when I go back to get some of my data?

I use Synology's Cloud Station to keep one class of files synchronized on the NAS, DW's laptop and my Surface Pro 3. These are files that we share while we are at home, most importantly the Lightroom Database.

I use Drop Box and Evernote to share another class of files, mostly ones that we need access to when we are not at home. Typically this happens when we go on an international trip. I have both DB and EN on my phone and my Nexus travel tablet. EN travel files are synchronized (like DB) so I do not need internet access to get JPGs of our passports, copies of emails to/from travel arrangers and hotels, etc.

It sounds a bit complicated but in real life all of this is pretty transparent. The only bit that is a hassle is that the Lightroom database is single-user, so we have to be careful to let it synchronize after one of us uses it and before the other uses. it. PITA, actually, but it's Adobe's stupidity, not Drop Box that is to blame.

The Synology box automatically lets the drives spin down when not in use and it handles the occasional power failure gracefully. I do have a UPS that I should be using but it is going to need a fresh battery and I am a bit slothful on stuff like that. IIRC the Synology box cost me (without drives) under $200 on eBay. FYI, many Synology model numbers are like DS412, which decodes to four drive bays, 2012 model year. Faster processors get a "+" after the model number.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:04 AM   #16
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I use a QNAP server, mostly for media but also for local backup copies. I use Dropbox to sync everything between multiple computers and phones with instant backup. I use Google drive for off-site backup of several computers. One backup too many really, but that's OK with me.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:56 AM   #17
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OK, if I am going to replace my NAS with another NAS, I might consider using Plex. DW likes the idea of playing her music any place from any device. Doesn't like the idea of buying the full version - $120.

But when I explored Plex a few years ago, my NAS would not work as the Plex Media Server, so I would have to leave a PC on all the time. Looks like a number of the NAS's you suggest could function as a Plex Media Server.

Has anyone done this?
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Old 07-14-2019, 12:17 PM   #18
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My current one is a QNAP TS-451, and I'm running Plex on it. If you want to set up a free Plex account, PM me and I'll give you temporary access to my library for now so you and the DW can test drive it on the Roku and other devices.

The biggest pain is ripping, renaming the files, and then waiting for Plex to transcode lower-quality copies for streaming. I like to rip high-quality files once to start, as disk space is cheap, then let Plex transcode. Maybe it's because my NAS is five years old, but I can't stream full quality without it buffering, it usually reduces the file size from 1/2 for The Simpsons DVDs to 1/3 for a Blu-ray movie.

My quick-start guide: I use MakeMKV to rip the files, then Bulk Rename Utility and/or Filebot to rename all the files with the same pattern. You'll need to create folders and name the files correctly for Plex to recognize them, but if you do it will pull in the metadata automatically.
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Old 07-14-2019, 01:02 PM   #19
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FWIW Synology includes a media server in their suite of software. I don't know much about media servers so I can't comment on its capabilities vs others.
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:58 PM   #20
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OK, if I am going to replace my NAS with another NAS, I might consider using Plex. DW likes the idea of playing her music any place from any device. Doesn't like the idea of buying the full version - $120.

But when I explored Plex a few years ago, my NAS would not work as the Plex Media Server, so I would have to leave a PC on all the time. Looks like a number of the NAS's you suggest could function as a Plex Media Server.

Has anyone done this?
That's my primary use, Plex. I use a QNAP 471 with an Intel i3 processor. Processor power is nice when Plex wants to transcode a movie (or two) or if you use Plex as a DVR. I'd probably like an even faster processor. It shows 100% CPU usage when recording two TV shows simultaneously but seems to get the job done just fine. It might be that it's trying to transcode on the fly but doesn't really need to keep up with real time.

We have all our DVD's/Blu-rays on the NAS with Plex. We can watch while we're traveling and don't have to dig through the DVD boxes looking for a movie at home. It replaced our ailing 300 Blu-ray carousel player.

Using HDHomeRun tuners we have OTA TV through Plex, with DVR (which requires a paid Plex Pass). Not as easy to skip commercials as with Tivo, but nice when we're traveling. Given the vast NAS storage space I just record 5 episodes of all our usual TV shows as a backup.

We don't use it for music, though it is set up in Plex. I use iTunes on Windows and the playlists don't transfer easily.

We do have pictures and our videos on Plex so they are available anywhere. Again, not our primary means of viewing but nice for putting them on the big screen or when traveling.

A hardwired LAN connection for the server is much better than wireless if you are doing 4k movies, DVR recordings, or multiple simultaneous video streams.
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