Samuel Tan

Sam is a tech evangelist, e-learning and learning platform enthusiast, tablet and smartphone chomping maniac, mac and windows zealot, wireless & network genius, developer, designer, user experience tinkerer, moodle and sharepoint two timer, social media junkie, web analyst and server engineer (and an all round good guy).He has over 18 years of tech experience ranging from ground-breaking university research networks to high level secure government extranet projects. He has overseen many megabuck project deployments from Building Schools for Future to harnessing technology, improving sustainability and realising a performance framework for technology in school.And now, while every other so-called expert and consultant is plotting away on world domination, Sam is quietly working on helping each and every teacher, lecturer and trainer, one school at a time to make the most of Technology for Teaching to enrich every child’s learning experience.

8 Comments

  1. Doodal
    October 22, 2015 @ 12:38 am

    Hi Sam, You havn’t mentioned it in the artical, but a number of the reviewed devices (WD and Buffalo are two I use) include Web Hosting and SQL both very useful in not only sharing files but sharing content. What good is photo album without the power of context.

    Reply

    • Colour My Learning
      February 1, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

      Hi, thank you for your comment.

      Indeed some NAS include the ability to host website and SQL database as well as the ability to install common web packages such as CMS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and eCommerce: Magento and OpenCart.

      But, we would only recommend these for small sites or test sites as these are not purpose built web servers rather NAS with web server and database server features. Still, a great feature nonetheless.

      Reply

  2. pato
    January 30, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

    can any pcs read srt(subtitles)?

    Reply

  3. NLS
    January 31, 2016 @ 11:43 pm

    Hi Sam, Firstly thanks for this awesome and indepth discussion, very helpful! I have a mac and was thinking of getting a device with inbuilt storage like the LaCie, Seagate or WD as it’s cheaper and I largely want a place to back up, but also to be able to remotely access. However, reviews seem pretty mixed, do you think it’s still worth getting one, or should I fork out for a “proper” NAS? Help! Thanks 🙂

    Reply

    • Samuel Tan
      February 1, 2016 @ 11:57 am

      You are right in that Lacie, Seagate and WD are a bit low on features and companion apps hence reflected in the price.

      If you want a full featured NAS but do not wish to get your hands dirty, some online retailers offer pre-configured NAS so you don’t have to buy the hard drives separately.

      The question to ask yourself is do you really need all those extra features? Standard NAS would cater for most users but if you are a power user then only a ‘proper’ NAS would do.

      Some extra features you will gain with a ‘proper’ NAS are remote dashboard access to manage apps and settings, cloud sync to 3rd party (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, box, AmazonS3 and more), media encoding on-the-fly (on some models) for different mobile devices, download manager, surveillance (IP camera required), direct connection to big screen or via chromecast support for signage, media center, browsing content and the web, web server and web apps, mail server, virtualisation and network services.

      For access to the NAS, you can do this via a web browser, or use dedicated apps all available free to download for video, audio, photo, media server, surveillance, iTunes, desktop sync, download manager, notes and more.

      Synology’s DSM 5.2, QNAP’s QTS 4.2, Seagate’s NAS OS 4 and ASUSTOR ADM are among the powerful embedded operating systems currently on the market right now. You can learn more about these from the individual manufacturers.

      If cost is a big factor in your decision, and you do not wish to miss out on all the extras, perhaps you can start off with a single bay NAS. These NAS lets you add extra storage via USB when you need more space.

      Reply

      • NLS
        February 1, 2016 @ 9:38 pm

        Hi Sam,

        Thanks for your response – by mixed reviews I mean to do with the functionality of the lower priced in built storage models – when you used them did they seem reliable enough to buy or is it really worth the extra money for a NAS that is more reliable? If so, what single bay NAS would you recommend? Or preconfigured ones? I will definitely check out the OS’s you mentioned, the review of the ASUSTOR did seem good, do they do a single bay or preconfigured one?

        Reply

  4. Justin
    August 27, 2016 @ 4:46 pm

    Hi Sam, great article, full of detail, however I am still a little lost haha. Hope you can help. I have been searching for ages, I need a network drive that my macbook will automatically back up to when connected to the network (wired and wirelessly), and that I can access remotely, with my macbook, my ipad and my android phone, possibly a windows laptop in the future too. It also needs to have 2 bays so I can mirror 1 drive on to the other. The reason I need all this is I am a photographer and I am terrible at remembering to back up my images. If it makes any difference I use Lightroom and Photoshop. Thanks in adanced. Justin

    Reply

    • Colour My Learning
      September 1, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

      Hi Justin, thank you for your message. Personally, we use Synology and Qnap both are very stable and good solutions. They offer a good list of apps for mobile devices (iOS and Android) and support remote cloud access.

      As for your MacBook, both DSM and QTS (NAS operating systems for Synology and QNAP respectively) supports Time Machine backups and can be triggered manually or scheduled, the later option would require your machine to be switched on during the scheduled time to work. There is a backup software for Windows.

      Our current configuration on Synology is mirror with two identical drives and for the QNAP is a 4 bay NAS running three Hard Disks in RAID 5 configuration.

      On mobile devices like iPad, Android tablets or smartphones, the Photo app does a good job backing up. You just need to setup the subfolders for each device under the main Photo folder on the NAS e.g. ‘Joes iPad’ and ‘Mums Samsung Tab’. You will then configure the devices to back up to those folders and it will sync the photos automatically. It will however, require you to start the App and login to the NAS to sync. There is no background process that automatically syncs (backup) the photos. It is all done in the app.

      Just to add, we also have directly connected USB hard drives that serve static files like music and video, files that do not change and only required occasionally. Both NAS are capable of taking more storage its USB ports and serving this up as extra file space.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: