NAS, the system
I've been asked multiple times to include a diagram of a network music playing system including a NAS. I have hesitated doing that because my artistic skills…well, they aren't too hot. But, then, I realized I can use Google Drawing - and as a diehard Google Docs user that wasn't too far a leap to learn the simple program. Voila! Here's my creation. Not too shabby, eh? I think one of the helpful benefits of such an illustration is to point out the importance of the WIFI router in the setup. Note how everything branches off the router. It is the router that actually forms the LAN (Local Area Network) or, for the purposes of these discussions, we can simply say the router forms the network. The modem, in this drawing, is really the only piece not entirely necessary. If you're not streaming music, you don't need a connection to the internet. That's how I run my traveling music system, without a modem. I included it because chances are good your router is connected to a modem (in some cases the router and modem are one piece). Of course the elements in this illustration are just that, illustrations, and you can substitute different DACs, different network players (no, I haven't any clue what the image of the network player is or where it's from). I would make one suggestion. Get a good, high speed router. I spent the money to get this Linksys router and I have never regretted it. Do you need to spend that much? No, but make sure it's the latest, high speed type - and anything else in the network, like switches, they need to be good ones too. The greatest number of help calls we get from our customers concerning network audio is almost always network related. Like power matters, the network matters too. And a lot. Don't assume the router you're using is adequate. Really. Spend a few bucks and get a new one. And every five years or so, do it again.
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