I already researched some things, but I'm a bit new to the whole NAS thing, so I might learn a few things first hand. I heard QNAP/Synology are the best choices for home users, so here I am!
That is correct. both are good brands, although i am familiar with QNAp since i have 2 models, a 5 and 6bay. QNAP TS 659 pro II and a QNAP TS-509 Pro.
Here are my demands:
- I want something that can run 24/7, which I never have to shutdown. My media always available, in and out home.
In my 509 i bought 5 x 1tb Western Digital RE4 7200 RPM which are raid certified for 24/7 operation. At the time they cost about double their equivalent desktop brethren HDDs.
Comparing that to the 5 x 2tb Samsung F3 HD203WI 5400 RPM desktop drives i use for my 659 Pro II, i can now confidently say that the cheaper desktop drives like my Samsung HD203WI are equally as good for raid setup, and cost less to boot.
however not all desktop drives are good for 24/7 operation and raid setup .... refer to my signature for my HDD recommendations.
- I want something without an external power supply, hate having one of those adapters laying around.
My 659 Pro II and 509 pro both don't have any external power supply, as they are inbuilt.
- I want something with atleast 6TB of diskspace (can you disable RAID? do all HDs work? In the future, 3TB disks would work in a drive bay if still connected through SATA?)
6tb Usable space ??? Because remember, after formating the drive in a format e.g. EXT4, and also setting it as raid5 for example, your total space will be reduced. So although you may have 3 x 2tb drives installed, that isn't going to be your total usable space. Anyway for Raid5 1 drive is used for parity so using my example, you will only have 2 x 2tb which will be usable, maybe a bit slightly less after formating. Is roughly 3.5-4tb enough space for you when using under a Raid5 setup ?
Anyways there is no 3bay QNAP. So the one you probably need is either 5 or 6 bay. Higher is always better but it will be more expensive of course
- I want something eco-friendly, low power-usage.
In the link in my signature, i recommended 2 models which are excellent in terms of eco friendly and low power usage. Both brands are Samsung and Hitachi. Check my link to get the hard drive model names. I think the Hitachi might be a better performer fyi.
Here are my preferred features:
- A SeedBox. I want to download/upload my torrents from the NAS so my computer doesn't need to be on for seeding.
- Access to my media from outside of home, so my only option is a public FTP server?
Yes the QNAP can be made into a seedbox. I recommend using the Transmission made by Andy and updated by Internaut. You can also combine that with Transmission Remote Gui for a nicer GUI to use on your desktop/laptop to control your torrent downloads/uploads/settings etc. You can additionally install torrentwatchX to AUTO download your favourite tv series via RSS feeds from places such as EZTV or other torrent sites that provide RSS feeds for their torrent files.
The QNAP can be accessed remotely outside your lan network, through the internet securely using SSL/SSH/VPn etc. You need to set it up as such. FTP can be setup as well.
Here are my questions:
- Does the allocated space on the NAS appear as one large disc in Explorer?
Not quite. You need to create Shares in your QNAP to add stuff to. However it can be accessed like windows explorer files, by adding a shortcut on your desktop and adding this "\\YOUR QNAP's NAME"
Then double click that to open up your qnap to browse files like you would content on your desktop hard drive.
If you want the performance of FTP, but looks like regular file/folder browsing on windows, you can use network drive which is freeware
- What would be the speed of writing with a 5400RPM vs 7200RPM HDs? Depending on RAID?
I keep being told faster rpm is better. But i've been pretty satisfied with my 5400 rpm samsung F3 HD203WI
also the benchmarks at the time showed it performed very close to the 7200 rpm drives. If your gonna be running 24/7 like i am, these 5400 rpm is fine for these purpose. I am using it also for storage and streaming media which it does well. Network transfer speeds i get with these drives are 60-90 MB/s
- Can the 2 network ports on the NAS be trunked? Or is it for backup purposes?
I only use 1 port. But from what i read, port trunking has a few different uses. Load balancing etc etc. Your switch will need to be able to support some of these port trunking features though if you want to use that.
All this for the lowest price possible obviously
Kinda demanding for a low price
In that case 5bay. If that is not enough space for you, then 6bay. If you can survive with slightly less space then you wanted, then 4bay.