[Guide] Setting up Network Attached Storage - Network Side.

Playing music through volumio with an attached USB stick or disk drive or ramplay connected to a DAC amp and speakers is fairly straightforward. Mounting your Network Attached Storage device (NAS) in volumio, as long as it is visible to volumio is again pretty straightforward and has been extensively covered in other posts. Getting your NAS into a position where volumio can see, and keep seeing it; and the music streams perfectly, on the other hand is another matter:

[size=150]As you will see reading through the guide and comments setting up Network Attached Storage is not an exact science. What works for one person’s LAN may not work on anothers. This guide is an attempt to foolproof the process and relies on best practice from major HiFi manufacturers amongst others.[/size]

So in order to stream succesfully from Volumio from a NAS on a home LAN network you need to examine your network architecture, and use a UPNP control app. Also recognise the difference between a hard disk in an enclosure and a Multibay NAS. (MBN)

An enclosed hard disk will be fine to run back up’s of your Multibay NAS but trying to steam music from it over your lan will be a challenge. Think of the MBN as a computer in its own right who’s job is to store, manage and stream files to all your other devices.

All this isn’t really up for debate. From Linn down all the Digital Streaming HiFi equipment manufacturers and computer audiophile website’s agree. Setting up and controlling the LAN is crucial. You could buy a Ferrari Enzo, but with no roads or traffic lights it wouldn’t get very far.

So assume you have a cable modem into a wifi router /or an adsl router, you should NOT plug your nas straight into the router. You need to get an unattended ethernet switch like this one They are really cheap. Like $15-20. The router has a hard enough job assigning IP’s and broadcasting wifi without having to worry about switching your cabled IP traffic.

Connect the router to the switch. And connect any other cabled devices you might have like volumio to the switch. They don’t need setting up. There is no user interface. The switch is just like an automatic railway junction. If you are planning a long cable run, to your music/av room you can get another switch to make things easier.

If your broadband supplier has provided you with a hub or router of any description by definition it’s not going to be very good. If you have cable put it into modem mode, and get a separate wifi/wired router. If you have dsl. Disable wifi, and everything else except the dsl modem and get a separate wifi/wired router. One that you can actually configure freely, as the provider supplied ones are often restricted in terms of port opening and so on.

In practice your network needs to be 10/100 wired tho gigabit is better and wireless n - Advertised top speeds are just that. Like in a car, it can go at 200 kph but how often do you drive it that fast? Streaming 24/192 needs a stable average network speed of at least 10 Mb/s this is much harder to achieve than it sounds.

I know the isps say that the supplied hubs or router can do everything at lightening speed. Well that’s only true if ‘everything’ is having one wired, and one wireless device.

So the network should look something like this.

Nas
^
Switch ------------------ (volumio wired)
^
Router ----- wifi ------ upnp cp -------- (volumio wireless )
^
Modem

This is the bare minimum you need. Lots of high end network audio users set up separate subnets, have managed switches, and more.

Finally you need a upnp control point app (cp) I think the best is Bubble UPNp available for android in the google play store. The cp acts like an air traffic controller helping all the components talk to each other to get your file from the NAS to the speakers/headphones. It doesn’t touch the file in anyway. Just guides it round this highly complicated data network. Upnp should be enabled in volumio system.

You should use your routers IP table to give everything involved a fixed IP address. The easiest way to do this is to set everything up, go to the routers fixed IP config table and identify all the attached devices by mac address; ie volumio Ethernet, volumio Wireless, your NAS, and the device running the UpNp controller. Then fix the addresses. This helps all the components find each other and you find the components config page.

nb It is theoretically possible to run all this over wireless. Especially if you are not playing 24 bit flac. But be prepared to spend a long time wondering why what worked yesterday and will work tomorrow doesn’t work right now.

Before you buy an extra switch try it with your current network setup!

I’m not sure I agree with you Joda. Unless your network consists of a volumio pi, with a pi + USB backup NAS or old computer acting as a NAS and a laptop…

If you buy a traditional multi bay NAS and are running multiple wired and wireless devices, printers, gaming devices, smart tvs, and so on you won’t know what difference a switch will make till you get one. It’s very hard with multi device LANs to maintain consistency as network traffic varies and wifi is subject to huge variations in performance even due to the weather or what doors are open. So what works today may not work tomorrow. If you are spending $400 and up, on a two bay, multi terrabyte NAS to store 24/192 music albums that can be as large as 2 gb each!, not buying a switch for 15 bucks seems like a false economy. But of course everyone’s LAN will be different. Which is why unlike volumio specific issues there are no set answers to many of the questions that arise.

I’ll have to say I agree with both folks here.

Joda’s right - try to right the situation first before you go buying new gear! If you have a newer router/modem combo from your internet provider, the switch might be enough to handle audio streaming.

However, ianmr is also right in that you are most likely going to get better results if you put your NAS and Volumio on a fast switch together, and not use the switch on your ISP’s router/modem. However, I would say that there’s no requirement to use UPNP - if you have your NAS and Volumio on a good switch, Volumio will happily stream high res files reliably via a networked file mount like NFS.

You can buy a great gig-e switch for less than $30 bucks US these days - I’m using a couple of Netgear GS105 switches in my network and they work extremely well.

One Netgear switch is connecting Volumio, my NAS, my ISP’s router, and a powerline ethernet adapter. On the other end of the poweline ethernet adapter I have a printer and a couple of other computers connected to a second Netgear GS105.

All devices can stream high res audio flawlessly with this setup.

Agree with bdouble, Yoda & ianmr, horses for courses :laughing:

If I was advising a new client to invest in new equipment and I was unsure about certain variables (etc. router, ISP capability, the families wireless network usage); I would suggest a switch providing his budget was comfortable.

I also support the “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it” approach. No point in adding another potential failure point if the usage and setup supports the required bandwidth reliably.

There is another option available to guarantee the desired bandwidth; namely QoS (Quality of Service) for UPnP. I haven’t explored this option available on some of the latest routers. I understand that it can reserve bandwidth between a Server & Client. Would be interested to know if anyone has managed to make their home system perform better with this approach :question:

What?? I don’t even have UPNP enabled.

I keep a moderate answer and I will just write “false” but I should be harsher.

ANY switch/router built in the last 15 years is able to effortlessly maintain 10/100 Mbps speeds. Assigning IPs has no impact, since it is done once only. Also, most modem/routers or wifi/routers have a processor separate from the switch: the switch can operate even without the CPU working properly (of course, only as switch and without assignment of IPs or additional functions).
Proof: I uploaded a wrong firmware and I bricked a (cheap!) wifi modem/router from Netgear from year 2006 and any functionality is gone, but switching is still there working fine and fast (10/100 speed, at that time).

Check your sources and don’t believe blindly what you find online, please. Some novices may believe you.

It is still much better than any user reading this “guide” may need.

If you are talking about security, I agree. Otherwise, not,
Most modems from providers also offer UPnP. And port opening is important only if you access from the outside.

No it’s not, if you are talking about wired connections. Any non-ancient device will handle 10 Mbps without even noticing.
Concerning wifi then yes, you don’t know how much you will be getting until you test it. And testing will still mean nothing if later someone walks around and shields the signals.
But wired?
Advertised == guaranteed unless you use hairpins as cables.

They even buy “specialized network cables for audio”, but that’s only a fraud.

What? you don’t need one. You MAY use one, but as totally optional component. As previously said, I even disabled UPnP and nothing was affected.

Of course if you talk about wifi you are right. And if you are suggesting to use wired instead of wireless, I support you.
But once you switch to wired, you rarely need a separate device (a switch). It’s already in every router.

This stuff like QoS is useful if you are running very often close to the maximum bandwidth of the network.
But at that point you should change the network topology and type, not think about QoS.

Well I’m not going to argue with you Lag-Na…

But bear in mind everyone else is not you. Lots of people are novices. People may have very simple lans or very complicated ones. They might have wired, wireless or powerline. They might have an ISP router that is adequate, they may not. They may have a brand new $600 NAS that won’t connect over any lan setup. What works for you, might not work for them.

My guide on the other hand will work for everyone. It might be overkill but if you know what will work you can track back. Telling people not to follow advice, as what they have ‘should’ work is not very helpful. Especially when you have no idea what they have, nor why it isn’t working.

Either what they have works, and they won’t bother to read. OR it doesn’t and they need advice. You want to try and answer lots of unanswerable question’s about why someone’s Verizon DSL router / powerline/wireless setup isn’t fast enough to stream 24/192 from their brand new Readynas to their Volumio powered Cubox-i4 - Be my guest. :slight_smile:

In the meantime:

Here is Linn’s (who basically invented NAS served network DS in 2006 ) guide to running all their DS set ups. If you are spending $75,000 bucks on a Klimax DS system it kinda helps if your network is up to the task. Especially helpful is the networking section.

And

Here is the Linn DS troubleshooting forum filled to the brim with questions from many people who can’t get their Lan’s working, and are using out of date inadequate routers supplied by their ISP’s after having spend thousands of bucks on their overpriced DS systems.

Oh but with Powerline or wireless I agreed with you.

The point is that you surely suggested a failsafe configuration, but you went on with statements like “you need UPNP”, “never use your standard router”, “10 Mbps are critical”, and those are quite questionable.

Apparently Apple’s Airport express 10/100 Mbps router is factory limited to streaming 16/44.1 to make it seamless with their handhelds So I stand by my assertion that not all routers are created equal and you should look carefully at the router specs when setting up your lan.

Source? you mean this one?
computeraudiophile.com/conte … l-limited/

In that case, I think they refer to AirPlay only, using iTunes or similar.

I think one of the members snuka, is having real problems with airplay and downsampling on his 10/100 airport express router, perhaps you could help him out? The thread is here

Maybe we are talking about different things? he said it downsamples… when you use its audio output, that means he uses it as playing device.
You were talking about network infrastructure.

Provided the wifi signal is good enough (and I explicitly stated I agree with your suggestions when we are talking about avoiding wifi), even the AE will stream more bandwidth than 44.1/16 (but gen 1 was 802.11b, I doubt it can get more than 10 Mbps, hence the limit of 44.1/16).