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Looking for some advice on setting my father up with a decent pile of idiot proof, easy to use, and reliable home network storage. My dad has an amazing knack for turning average pre-built electronic devices into bricks somehow so I want to build this one myself. I don't need a lot of features, just reliability.

I moved my personal build out of an old CM Storm Trooper case not long ago so I can't decide if I should build a PC in that case (fair bit of 3.5 inch bays) that will serve as a server/NAS, or if I should just get a standalone NAS enclosure. If I do go the PC route it has to be Windows so my father can actually use it (he can barely use Windows as it is so any decent server platform or NAS specific OS is out of the question).

All I really want out of it is the ability for him or my mom to be able to store and view pictures and maybe a few home videos (not films/shows so don't need that kind of streaming capability) throughout the house from any kind of laptop, tablet, or phone with redundancy. Unfortunately, I'm also looking at a wireless only solution as well most likely. I am going to look into getting the house wired for 10g Ethernet but I expect the cost to be too prohibitive and I won't be able to do it myself. Not sure if that limits my options.

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I 'm not into storage or NAS setups. But what you are telling me about your parents, leads me to believe that you need a multilayered, automatic backup solution. First layer with read + write access by your parents and the second one with read only, both with incremental functionality after the initial setup.

 

And forget wifi for any form of serious backup. 2.5 and 5GBits is becoming relative affordable if I remember it correctly.

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I wasn't thinking I'd need to so deep as to need multilayered, I was mostly thinking RAID redundancy with drive monitoring so a bad drive could be swapped out and the data doesn't get lost with it.

But then, this is my dad we're talking about here.

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If he 's as bad as you describe, anything he has write access to is prone to turn into shit. On the other hand he probably wants to have write access ... .

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My Synology NAS has the ability to backup online storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google drive.  If they save everything important to a Dropbox folder then the NAS can also back it up locally.

Also the Dropbox PC client has the ability to get files from other Dropbox clients with the same account over the local network.  When you save something to a PC in the Dropbox folder, it gets copies to other PCs on the network logged into the same Dropbox account.  Google Drive doesn't do this and gets uploaded to their server then downloaded to other clients.

If you don't use a prebuilt NAS, It might be good to have a solution that saves to both local and online locations or saves to an online location and backs it up locally.

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Which Synology unit do you have? If I do go for a dedicated enclosure I'd probably lean in Synology's direction, although I've personally never used one.

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