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Home Network / Media Server set up

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#1 aod_


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  • Local time:05:56 PM

Posted 13 May 2015 - 07:39 AM

I have recently moved house and am in the process of setting up a home network which I would like to make the most of.




My new house (bungalow) has been re-developed to include LAN ports in various rooms, which all terminate in the loft where I have installed my router. This provides 2 benefits – 1) Good spread of WiFi coverage in all rooms, 2) Direct gigabit connections for various devices (PVR / NAS / PC etc).

I have the following equipment as part of the set up:


  • TP-Link TL-WR1043ND Wireless N Gigabit Router
  • Humax HDR-FOX T2 500GB Freeview PVR
  • Zyxel NSA325 NAS
  • Windows 7 PC and Laptop
  • Android tablet and phone
  • Chomecast (HDMI TV dongle)
  • Plex Media Server (NAS)

The 4 gigabit LAN connections provide internet access to the Humax PVR (for catch up TV / smart TV emulation), NAS box for local backups, PC LAN connection, 1 spare connection for Ad-Hoc use.


The main purpose of the NAS is to provide backups for the PC, which contains all of my media / data on a dedicated drive. However this only scratches at the surface of what is can do, however until I can invest in bigger drives (currently 2x2TB RAID 1), this will remain primarily as a backup device. I partly use it as a media server, but looking to transfer this function to another device (see below).


Windows 7 PC
This is the primary workstation that I use daily, and caters for everything from general web surfing to gaming and multimedia / web development.
This PC holds my media library which along with non-media data gets backed up to the NAS daily via EaseUS ToDo Backup.

Media server

My ultimate setup would be to have all of my media (music / videos / photo library etc) hosted on my NAS, and then be able to access these libraries via my Android tablet (using Plex) and stream playlists etc to the TV via Chromecast. However as explained I am having to move away from this as my NAS regularly gets low on disk space for backups.


I have been thinking about taking advantage of the USB feature on my TP-Link router, whereby I can copy my media libraries to an external USB drive, plug this in to the router and use this (possibly) with Plex (or similar) to stream to the TV. This would likely be an interim solution until I can upgrade my NAS WD Red drives to a larger capacity, and use the NAS as a media server (via Plex MS).



Effectively I want to be able to automate backups of my primary data (sort of works with ToDo Backup to my NAS), host media in a personal cloud, be able to stream this to TV’s / wireless devices controlled via android tablet (as well as things like YouTube and desktop sharing etc).


I think I’ve got most of the tools to do this, but just want to see if I’m making any glaring mistakes / missing anything that can do this better.


Any suggestions or comments welcome.

Edited by aod_, 13 May 2015 - 07:41 AM.

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#2 SmokeViper07


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Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:06 PM

Hello aod_,


I apologize this wasn't answered sooner. I believe you have a pretty solid set-up for what you would like to do. I have a similar setup myself where I manage everything slightly different.


Here is how my network is buillt:


Windows Desktop PC

My main all purpose desktop for gaming, web browsing, school work, and occassionally watching media.



Currently just for school work and browsing on the go.


Docsis 3.0 Arris Modem/Router Combo

Configured with port forwarding and QoS to optimize gaming. Also used to connect to my server as a bridge.


Sophos UTM Home Edition Server

Connected directly to the modem/router as a bridge and network filter to prevent malware and unauthorized connections missed by the modem/router as well as providing an IPSec VPN connection for when I'm away.


16 port D-Link 10/100 desktop/rackmount business switch

Connected to one of the NICs on my Sophos UTM to disperse traffic through the rest of the systems on the network.


Multipurpose Linux Server

This is where I have multiple VMs running that host a LAMPP stack, Media Server with Plex, and an option for other VMs to practice with for a pentest lab. This server has 1- 120GB SSD and 4-4TB Hybrid Drives to store media and backups for now


Once I finish the rest of configuration, I will add service from DynDNS to give my Linux Server a domain name associated with the IP to access it anywhere when I don't have access to Plex streaming. This might be a useful addition for about $2-3/month for your setup in case you need to make a quick configuration change on the go where you can't VPN, RDP, or otherwise. Also, you may want to look into your backup scheduling since you are running out of space often due to your backups. Either to invest in more disk space as you mentioned or reduce the amount of backups you keep on the server before deletion. Let me know if you need help with anything.

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