Server /Nas Help & Question requested!


I have a few questions & just trying to get some help from ya'll smart people.

I am looking to set up a home server / nas mainly for Plex streaming (would like up to 3-4 devices simultaneously steaming), back-up Windows, OS X, & Linux devices too. As with that possibly other fun features, but nothing specific that I can think of right now.
(Note: I would like to run the server / nas headless if need be. I am not against having a dedicated monitor & such with it.)

The easy part for me is building it & getting the hardware together. The part I am struggling with what would be best for me. As to be honest I am not good with linux, although I am happy to learn how to be good with linux is need be or to follow instructions. ..

With that being said I am looking to have it host a good amount of storage (~5TBs of storage) & have it run a raid configuration that at least mirrors so if something happens to a HD I can get it back.

I have looked into using UnRaid, FeeNas, a little into Debian, Amahi, & a few others.

Sidenote: I am also looking for what would be a good client for Plex around the house. I know most people will say Raspberry Pi 2 & I will probably go that route for MOST. But, I do want to look into a different one for the living room so I can have HBOGO, Netflix, Hulu, & of course Plex. Should I look into getting a switch for my house hold? Or should I just plug the NAS / Server into the modem / router.

Thank you in advance,


Update: I am probably going to us an Nexus TV or Amazon Fire TV. Both apparently have & can use HDMI-CEC which is a big selling point for me. Since I want my wife & eventually little kits to be able to use, as far as an opinion which one SHOULD I use?

There's a really nice video that @wendell did about RAID and different software solutions. Check it out:

There's also a sequel to that video on the same channel if you're interested.

As for file sharing you could use samba, because windows can easily access it natively. Other platforms support it too. Although I've heard it had some big security issues.

As for streaming I have no idea. Most people just use Plex, because of its wide platform support.

Oh and I've just remembered tek syndicate already did a great video on home media severs. There's also a whole bunch of FreeNAS videos.

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Have a look at snapraid

It's a great alternative to conventional RAID and RAID-like systems for media and other static storage. It's what I use on my media server.

As for your plex client, I use a PC. There are plenty of cheaper options but with a PC you know it's going to be able to do whatever you need it to do without too much hassle.

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All super useful information & I really appreciate you getting that for me. I didn't know Teksyndicate already did some videos on this.

currently I am using my main machine for a Plex server & it does pretty alright I have a I7-950 Bloomfield @ 3.8Ghz & it does pretty well. Although, I would like to get it off my main machine just for 1) Storage & 2) Would like to have another machine run it for performance reasons (I know it'll be so small I probably won't notice, but I like the idea of another computer running it).

I have plex on a vm on my server, but I don't really use it. It works pretty well from messing around with it though. I have two storage servers and an 8350 as my HTPC which might sound like overkill but I need it to run SVP and madvr.

I think what I will end-up doing is making a FreeNas machine with an i5 for transcoding & so I can support 3-4 devices. I appreciate the heads up & what you do for your data solutions.

If you want an actual server check out mostly rack mount but you don't have to put it in a rack. i just ordered a older hp server with 8x 300GB 10k sata drives 32GB of ram 2x quad cores @ 3Ghz for $800 they are refurbished but come with 2 year warranties.

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That is awesome, I had no idea that was even a thing!

just be aware that some servers need a setup CD to do raid n stuff, as they dont do it with a bios on the controler.

Still isn't to hard to set-up, but a good idea ether way. I will probably look at it & look at the costs of making one out of regular PC parts.