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Looking for advice on a whole home wireless/networking environment

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Hi, this is my first post to SNBForums, and its very nice to be here. (if this is posted in the wrong area I apologize) After reading many posts, this seems like a very helpful community, so I have joined to find a little advice as I am trying to develop a networking solution for our home.

To begin with I would consider my knowledge novice but learning but if I had to describe what I would ideally like to have setup, it would entail a place to keep our backups (time machine in our case), a large capacity for photos of the family, like a shared iPhoto etc. As well a place to house all of our music/movies that can be accessible to our devices/tvs through Plex, iTunes or similar. I would prefer a faster connection than I had experienced years back, when we owned a very slow MyBook World, for this purpose, (but I could never get it up and running the way we wanted.) Also the ability to access outside of our network if we need to.

At the moment I have a lot of parts/ideas and not a lot of know how. I have recently set up an Ubuntu home server on an old Windows 8 machine for some of our smart devices, running Home assistant (following guides and a lot of trial and error). Also a installed a Plex server on the machine, accessible outside the network as is HA. No media present in the Plex server yet as I haven't found a way to get my media recognized there yet. (ha). I did make shared folder, and files are uploading at over 100MB/sec to the server, so the speed is good. We mostly have Apple devices (classic 6 core Mac Pro tower, MacBook pro laptops, iPhones iPads). smart devices (lights switches, thermostats ) and game devices nintendo, ps4.

Internet is gigabit fiber, and the wireless router is a TP-Link Archer C9, perhaps to be replaced by an ASUS RT-AC3100 if I can decide if it a makes real world difference in our home with 20+ devices over half of which are wireless. (Harmony, Nest, smartphones, laptops). In our three level home, connectivity and range seems fairly even, with a bit of a nod going to the ASUS. Considering the ASUS, it has more features, (parental controls, McAfee intrusion detection) but will those be rendered moot with a correctly configured server? (money better spent somewhere else?) Lots of questions and no idea how to start.. buy drives and a Synology NAS for example? Configure my Mac Pro as the Server, buy another MyBook network device? Considering routers, keeping the TP-Link or return the ASUS? or vice versa.

Anyhow this is a long post just too say hello, but I would really like some advice where to go from here. Thank you to anyone in advance who can get me started on the right track.

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