Sit down. Let me tell you a story.
I bought one of the most popular NAS systems out there.
The world was good.
Then, 2 hard drives failed. Simultaneously.
So I called customer service…and 6 month passed by.
I was brought to the highest level of customer support and, in the end, they further corrupted the file system and told me the words you never want to hear:
“You need data recovery.”
Last week, we talked about How You Should Backup Your Data and Why You Need NAS.
I’m stoked to tell you that, at long last, after a decade-long of trial and error, I have finally found one of:
The Best NAS for Photo and Video Businesses
Drive integrity and stability is VITAL to NAS systems. The concept is that certain RAID systems should be able to repair after 1-2 hard drive failures. Hard drive failures happen frequently and inevitably for various reasons. But we would still hands down recommend Cloud and NAS as your two forms of backing up your files. BUT you’ve got to use the right NAS.
Whether you work from home, a small office or studio, this is for you.
Let’s backtrack and review really quickly again, why you should use Network Attached Storage (NAS) to backup your photos, video, and files:
- Customizable | With NAS, you can maintain, add or remove hard drives yourself.
- Quality | You get enterprise quality that’s easier to use.
- Expandability | You can use a series of 2-20 hard drives or more at the same time. So as your business grows so can your data storage.
- Disk Redundancy | At some point, a hard drive fails whether it’s within 1-6 years. But if one hard drive fails, you can easily swap it out and replace it without losing the memory.
- Easy-to-access and organize | It’s connected straight to your computer so you can easily view, organize and customize the images so it’s easy for you to retrieve, rather than pulling up individual discs or hard drives wondering where your file is.
- Readily Available + Accessible | You can easily access your files since it acts as a file server.
- Portable | You don’t need a dedicated room for your server. You can place it almost anywhere as long as its indoors and dry. You’ll want to leave at least 1.5″ of space between the back fans and any surface but otherwise it’s easy to keep at your studio, home or office.
- Gives Hard Drive Status Before It Fails | You can check the status of each of your hard drives so you’ll know if any of them are about to fail beforehand.
- Available when Internet is Down
- Because of 1-9, it is affordable Long Term Storage.
So now, at last, let’s unveil what we think is one of the BEST NAS out there:
Today, I’m reviewing Synology DS1815+ 8-bay NAS server. And I’ve got to say: this thing is amazing.
the specs of Synology’s DS1815+
- 2.4 GHz quad core processor
- 2GB of DDR3 RAM
- 8-bay (currently supports up to 10TB per drive)
- 4 LAN Gigabit ports
- 4 USB 3.0 ports
- 2 eSATA ports
- Easy installation
- Easy storage
- Easy backup system
- Using Synology’s QuickConnect, you have easy access to the NAS device anywhere using the internet.
- Simple and easy-to-use Disc Station Manager (DSM) operating system interface
- Immediate volume and hard drive status checks | You can even order incremental reports to be kept up to date just in case.
- Ability to install various applications based on your needs
- Link aggregation | Improves connection speeds
- Expandable | You can attach additional devices to expand the capacity even further. Currently the capacity is scaleable up to 180 TB.
- Supports various types of RAID systems | Synology offers their own Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) which is excellent for data safety and integrity.
- Lockable drive bays with key
- Power-off failsafe where you hold the power button until you hear a beep 3 seconds later to shut down the system
- SMART hard drive detection
- Fail-safe | If a drive were to fail or be rejected, the unit will rebuild the drive and protect your data.
- Stays cool with 2 large cooling fans
Synology vs the other NAS guys
From my experience with most NAS devices out there, Synology hands down is the best. Synology has:
- The most features compared to other NAS devices (see the specs above)
- Best customer service I’ve experienced | Especially after the nightmare I’ve had to deal with from other NAS companies, I love their customer service.
- A DSM and user interface that allows for VERY fast access to the device | There are so many clunky and slow clients out there.
- Fastest file transfers over the network | Having tested other devices through a Gigabit network, I’ve gotten slower transfer speeds than with Synology.
- Lockable bay drives | These are excellent to have to prevent accidental removal of the drive.
- Smart test system and readings from the hard drives which immediately tell me the detailed status of each drive | Most NAS drives do not give as detailed information without other applications or third party support. I love that I can access my NAS drive and check the status as long as I have internet connection.
All right, so you’ve never worked with NAS before? Let’s show you how to set it up.
setting up your Synology NAS is fairly simple
- You can either use their RAID Calculator and NAS Selector tool to figure out which of Synology’s products is best for you. Or you can contact them directly to find the right one for you (which I recommend).
- Order your bare hard drives (HDDs) or solid state drives (SSDs) at the capacity that you need for storage. Amazon is a great place for this (link here). Make sure they are at least NAS quality drives (don’t try to get the cheapest bare drive out there – you will pay the price for it).
- When you get your NAS, use File Station where you’ll store and organize all your content on Synology’s Disk Station Manager (DSM). They have both a Photo and Video Station package to organize your photo and film content. Some other packages you may want to check out are Cloud Station Suite, Cloud Station Server (where you can place your NAS onto your own private cloud), Cloud Station Drive (keeping files synced with NAS, and the DS cloud or DS file (a mobile app to view/sync files from your NAS to mobile).
- Synology is great but you do need to get a little technical to set it up. Get help from their resources or excellent customer support to help you set up your device quickly even if you don’t know what to do (at all).
- Now, after your shoot, backup your data and relax!
You’ve taken care of your business.
special thanks to Synology
We’d like to say a special thank you to the awesome team at Synology for giving us the opportunity to review their excellent system and to show off why they are seriously one of the best NAS systems ever.
want to learn more?
Read more about How You Should Backup Your Data and Why You Need NAS.
leave us your thoughts
Comments? Questions? Post them here! We’d love to hear from you.
Check out more of our tips in our past Photographer’s Only posts here.