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Need advice on some NAS details

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I'm looking at getting a NAS for home use. I've read the sticky, looked at charts, and read reviews. Price is the most important factor since drives are cheap. With low pricing, I don't expect top-chart speeds and I don't need those speeds.

I'm looking at storage mainly, remote viewing photos/streaming as a close second, and maybe background downloading as a distant third use.

This is where I need the help.
1) Is there any processor I should avoid? Marvell, Atom, SoC, etc. I don't know what I'm talking about here. Reviews talked about one or another being inadequate, so what do I want or don't want?
2) What is the breakover point in desirability (Ex., Marvell x37 with 1gb ram is ok, but 512m ram too slow)?
3) Hardware, firmware, or feature-wise.....Is there something I should look for or avoid in a unit?

Per the sticky, I think I've figured out what I want it to do. Unit details I like are:
1) 4 bay, but I will only use 2 to start. Mostly for organization ease (video/photo,personal records, projects and random crap. USB drive for backup.
2) multiple volume, with the ability to add drives as a separate volume without re-doing the whole unit(I don't know the term to look for in reviews)
3) streaming apps,extensions,or what have you for movies and music. I am not familiar with them, so I have no preference...twonkey, donkey, monkey...as long as it works.
4) ok performance. Heaviest load I'm looking at is 2 users (1 video stream, 1 photo browsing). Other file access is negligible. Some remote use but it will be minimal as most access will be within the LAN.
5) power consumption. Not really an issue, but I don't want to run a stripped PC.

I don't think I need RAID, but may find it useful later. I'm trying to do something a little cleaner than plugging 3 or 4 Seagate Centrals or WD MyBook Lives into the back of the router.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
If you're not doing RAID, you'll be treating each drive as a separate volume. So you can add drives as you need. You, however, will need to keep track of what is where.

Processor/memory doesn't matter for what you want to do. Basically, you choose a price point and go from there.

The bad news is that there aren't any inexpensive four-bay products. Four bays gets you into the $300+ range.

Depending on what you are using to view the streamed content, you may not even need a DLNA server. But most all NASes have one these days.

If you drop down to two-bay products, you get a handful of options below $150. With 4TB drives, do you really need more than 8 TB of storage? And don't forget the need to back it all up.

Use the NAS Ranker, filter by # of drives and use the Sort By Price option to see your options.

Thanks for helping.

My ultimate goal once everything is organized, is to have the critical stuff in RAID1. Until then, organization for each drive will be very basic: movies/photos, personal records and files, and then open project stuff along with crap that hasn't been prioritized. Access control is easy that way rather than split across folders and drives.

Your input on processor/memory is invaluable! That was the one thing I just couldn't get down. I had figured that for my use, something middle-of-the-road in the performance charts was adequate.

The $300 or so for a 4-bay isn't so bad, I had been looking at the WD Ex4 and Lenovo ix4-300D to start. If I were looking from a business POV, I wouldn't hesitate to drop double that for a good product.

Your input about 2-bay units got me to thinking. I could really use 2 2-bay units to accomplish what I want. One could be in RAID1 and the other single drive volumes. I wouldn't have to replace 4 matched drives if a failure occurs. It would definitely make back-ups easier with each having it's own USB drive. I might even be able to make security easier by exposing only 1 unit.

Off to read reviews and start a new list of potentials.

Thanks for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
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