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Best MAC compatible NAS device?

48981 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Sep 11, 2012 4:59 AM by Hibernian56 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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ShortyDK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Mar 6, 2011 2:45 PM

I am looking for a NAS device to use with my iMac and MacBook. Therefore, I was wondering if anybody knows if any of the NAS manufacturers such as NetGear, Synology, QNAP etc. has specialized in Mac compatibility?

If so, which NAS device would you recommend? I am looking for a NAS device with 2 bays for drives.

Thank you for your help

Best regards,
Jesper Pedersen
iMac, MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Clio1 Calculating status...
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    Mar 6, 2011 2:58 PM (in response to ShortyDK)
    The most compatible would be Apple's Time Capsule. Of the third-party developers look to Synology and LaCie for devices most compatible with Macs and OS X. Especially if you expect to use Time Machine for backup software. I would also see what's being offered at OWC.
    2007 iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD
  • J D McIninch Level 5 Level 5 (4,060 points)
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    Mar 7, 2011 8:23 AM (in response to Clio1)
    I can comment that the Synology is excellent. The TimeMachien support works, the iTunes sharing works, AFP works great, etc. I've had nothing but positive experience with Synology units.
    2 iMacs (me + kids), 2 MacBook Pros (work + wife), iPhone 4, Mac OS X (10.6.4), various Linux PCs and one WinXP laptop (gathering dust)
  • Clio1 Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)
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    Mar 7, 2011 9:48 AM (in response to ShortyDK)
    I was not familiar with QNAP so I did not comment on it. Good to hear that they are highly compatible. Synology has been designing with Macs in mind since their first product. And LaCie has been the biggest supplier of Mac external drives for years. Hence the reason I suggested them.
    2007 iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6), 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD
  • sinoue Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
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    Apr 29, 2011 12:51 PM (in response to J D McIninch)

    I recently took the NAS plunge and can concur with JD that I've been pretty happy with Synology.  QNAP is also really good, but I like the clean UI and simplified interface of the Synology better.


    There have been reported issues with Apple File Protocol (AFP) and Synology, but I haven't seen it.


    If anyone is interested in reading about using Synology with the Mac I've been blogging about my experiences with it at:



  • Laplace Calculating status...
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    May 23, 2011 6:55 AM (in response to Clio1)

    As far as I can see, Synology does not support HFS(+) formatted USB drives allthough they have promised this since at least 2009.(ref their forum)

    QNAP does support it (allthough its reported a bug if a folder only contains .mov files)

    I too like the Synology 3.1 web-interface better than QNAP`s and you will get a 4 bay NAS cheaper from Synology than QNAP. Still I would choose QNAP and it looks like the QNAP ts-412 is the best choice if you want a home NAS (abt $300 without disks). From Synology I would probably go for the 411j (abt $230 ex disks).

    I would strongly recommend a 4 bay NAS instead of 2 bay since you then can use RAID 5 which gives redunancy but only "stealing" 25 % of storage instead of 50%

    Another top tip is not to use WD Green disks or any other Eco disks. They have a tendancy to fail or/and make a lot of trouble in Linux based systems (which they are all based on) in RAID. (ref all forums from NAS builders)

  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,360 points)
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    May 23, 2011 7:03 AM (in response to ShortyDK)

    I've done a lot of searching but no buying, yet. I like the Synology products, but right now I can't justify the price.

  • afn Calculating status...
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    Aug 28, 2011 8:40 PM (in response to ShortyDK)

    I have had nothing but trouble with my NetGear NAS since switching from PC to Mac.  Mac folks would be wise to look elsewhere.

  • Laplace Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 29, 2011 1:00 AM (in response to ShortyDK)

    A small update from me:

    I purchased the QNAP TS-412 and have had it now for 2.5 months. I just love it!

    For home users its plenty powerful, easy to use and update.

    QNAP just updated their Firmware to 3.5 to support Lion better.

    They have also autoconfigure of Airport extreme so it seems they really focus on us Apple users. They also have IOS app to view mediafiles from your NAS.

  • funky_pat Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Feb 28, 2012 7:17 AM (in response to Laplace)

    From my brief experience with Synology, I would like to elaborate on something Laplace noted.


    Synology is not Mac-friendly. It is the antithesis of Mac-friendly if only for one reason:


    The ext4 file system.


    The ext4 file system disallows particular file name character combinations to the extent that many files on an HFS+ file system (i.e. Mac's) simply cannot be transferred onto the device.


    Including, but not limited to, ANY invisible Mac file. Or any file with an underscore at the beginning. And the list goes on.


    Why custom partitioning is not allowed is a mystery to me. If there is no way around the issue, it's a bad system for Macs, period. Anyone who tells you otherwise probably doesn't use NAS for network file storage and sharing, which is supposed to be any NAS's main job.


    In summary, Synology and Mac, as they currently stand, do not mix well.


    Not to mention, file names with underscores at the beginning, etc., are not too uncommon on NTFS file sytems either (i.e. Windows'). So Windows users should keep an eye out as well.

  • J D McIninch Level 5 Level 5 (4,060 points)
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    Feb 28, 2012 7:58 AM (in response to funky_pat)

    Interesting. I just checked, and I had no problem creating filenames with leading underscores or invisible files on my Synology unit.

  • funky_pat Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2012 8:22 AM (in response to J D McIninch)

    Which model and DSM version are you using? According to the website all Synology NAS HDDs are formatted to ext4, so maybe it's an issue with some other aspect of Synology besides the use of ext4. I really wish there were some way around the errors being received on this end. Unfortunately the Synology support forums seem 'dead' atm.

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