Chuck wants to know if he can connect a USB drive to his router. Leo says the router has to support it. It's not really "plug and play." And if it does support it, it may be pretty slow. But it can be accessed from any computer on the network, so it's kinda like a cheap NAS. If the router is open-source compatible, then Leo recommends going with DD-WRT or Tomato for the firmware. They have NAS features that could be most helpful.
Vernon is thinking about upgrading to the new M1 Macbook Pro. But he would really like a desktop. Leo says to wait until the new M1 iMacs come out. No need to get another Intel machine at this point. Leo suspects that next Spring will bring a bevy of new desktops coming with not only the M1 chip but an even more powerful model with more RAM.
What about a NAS? Leo says you can take that old Desktop and convert it into a homebrew NAS using FreeNAS and multiple drives, but Leo says a five-bay Synology NAS is a better option.
Jeff wants to know what's the best affordable Network Attached Storage (NAS). Leo says the cheapest is to take an old computer and run NAS software on it. But that requires a lot of work to maintain. Leo uses a Synology multi-bay NAS with several spinning drives in a RAID configuration. And Synology lets users mix and match, so they can mix several larger and smaller drives. Should he use SSD drives instead? Leo says no. That would cost more than it's worth.
Steve Martin also uses a Windows computer and an iPad, and often they don't talk well together. He's also been getting a lot of his emails being routed into SPAM. He's had to physically move them back to the Inbox, and he's worried that he'll miss an important email from business or friends. Leo says that the SPAM filters have gotten so good, that they're now starting to get false positives as ISPs get really aggressive with the spam filters.
Adriana has a Synology NAS and she's had it for five years. She's ready for a new model with a little more "oomph" to it. Leo says she can go up to 32 drives in Synology NAS models. The naming configuration is based on the number of bays, expansion, and the year. So a Synology 2720 is a two-bay device, expandable to seven, made in 2020. She can also configure two drives for redundancy. Leo recommends a Synology 1520. Or the 418. That will house 5 drives.
Carl is a photographer who is worried about getting his data should he have to "bug-out" during a disaster like the fires that have hit California. Leo says that it's a good idea to use a third party backup like iDrive to back up data, and use a NAS like Synology as well. Follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy (three backups, two different formats, one off-site) to protect the files. Especially as a professional. He can also have an external drive to save them on a 1 TB SSD or spinning drive would work.
Charles has a pair of Synology NAS storage devices and one was hit by ransomware. Leo suggests completely format it and rebuild and reinstall everything from the other backup. But Charles wants to know how it happened. Leo says that once he logs into the NAS, it's on the network, and can be bitten. Leo says that if his Synology is visible to the public internet, then he'll need to really limit it to things he really needs. The more services he turns on, the more exposed he is. Leo turns on SSH to keep it protected. Also, turn on IP blocking after a certain number of login attempts.
Kyle has a home theater PC loaded with media and backups on ten different hard drives that he swaps out. Leo calls that a JBOD (just a bunch of discs). But Kyle is having an issue with the drives getting errors while erasing and starting a new backup. Leo says that the flaw could also be in the backups themselves. It also changed to MBR (master boot record) and cut the drive storage in half. He also can't reformat it with GUID using Windows 10. Is there a special utility he can use? Leo says there is an MBR to GUID command in Windows.
Michael says the time has come to let go of his Apple Airport and update to a new router. Leo says new mesh technologies do a better job and Apple hasn't kept the Airport design up to date. But Michael uses Time Machine to back up his Mac. Do any of the mesh systems offer USB support? Leo suggests going with Network Attached Storage or NAS and backup that way. That will work with any router. Leo prefers Synology, and you'll also need to buy the hard drives to put into them. A good two drive model would work great, and it supports Time Machine. It also backs up to the cloud.
Scott is having issues with his Synology NAS. He can't access it remotely. Leo says it sounds like a settings issue and he recommends going into the router settings and see if the router can see it. Then reserve the DNS number that's listed for that Synology. If it doesn't, there could be a problem with your router or with a power surge that fried your board. But that's unlikely.