FreshRSS

🔒
❌ À propos de FreshRSS
Il y a de nouveaux articles disponibles, cliquez pour rafraîchir la page.
À partir d’avant-hierNAS Compares

Plex vs Emby on your NAS Drive – Which Should You Choose For Your Media Server

14 mai 2021 à 01:03

Choosing Between Plex and Emby on a NAS in 2021/2022

Despite the fact that network-attached storage NAS has a vast number of services and utilities for home and business use, many users predominantly use their NAS for a media server. From streaming multimedia to numerous devices in the home, to sharing their entertainment collection with friends and family worldwide, the advantages in using a NAS as a centralised location for all of your movies, box sets, music and photos are pretty obvious. Many users choose to buy a NAS as a viable alternative to streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime video in order to watch the media they own, rather than pay monthly for media they can only rent without choice. In recent years, creating a private media server with your own collections of TV shows and more has become increasingly easy and even manages to provide the slick, detailed and appealing design of internet streaming giants. Two of the biggest media server applications for NAS drives in 2021 are Plex and Emby, two free media server applications set are available 4 pretty much all the client and playback devices in your home, your bag and your pocket worldwide. Both services not only package your own media in the most appealing way possible, but also the connections to online media databases and the scraping of metadata can allow you to transform your decades of multimedia into your very own personal Netflix. However, each kind of media server application for NAS has its own advantages and disadvantages, with some people preferring the more user-friendly plex or the more customisable Emby. Today I want to compare the Emby and Plex media server programs for NAS and figure out which one is best for your own personal multimedia collection.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Installation

After you have set up your NAS for the very first time, you will have the option to install more applications on your device and make the most of all of those terabytes of storage you have to play with. Both Plex and Emby are completely free applications that are supported by the majority of modern NAS brands, with installation being possible within minutes. However, it is worth highlighting that although Plex media server is an available application in practically all NAS app centres from Synology, QNAP to Asustor and WD, Emby in most instances needs to be downloaded directly from the official website and then installed manually in the NAS system software. This is by no means difficult and only adds around a minute to the initial installation, but the result is that many users are not even aware that they can use Emby due to its apparent absence on most NAS application stores.

After its initialisation, both the Plex and Emby media server software will ask you the location of the media on your NAS, categorise it by type, configure how much metadata scraping and from which sources you want the media server software to perform it. Metadata is crucial in how the media server software creates a beautifully graphical user interface of thumbnails, media descriptions, cast lists, reviews and just overall makes your multimedia collection into your very own fully-featured personal streaming service! However one of the earliest differences between the Emby and Plex media server software is that Emby allows you to scrape from multiple sources at once and then it will select the best result for your media (so, a larger capture area), whereas Plex asks you to choose one source from several choices and then pull the metadata from that single source. There are exceptions in some of the background data that Plex pulls from multiple metadata sources, but in the majority of cases and where graphical details are considered, you have less flexibility in Plex than you have in Emby.

Once your media collections are complete and metadata scanned and applied, you can create multiple users to connect with your media server and stream those lovely box sets and movies. Another early advantage of Emby media server free version is that it allows you to create multiple users on a single NAS that each have a custom level of media access and NAS control. This allows you to share the contents of your NAS with some users but prevent them from changing all or accidentally deleting any of your content. Plex media server has this but unfortunately is part of the premium Plex pass service that requires an additional fee.

Overall I think it is safe to say that the initial installation is definitely easier and a lot more straightforward on the Plex media server application, however, the Emby media server application is a great deal more customisable and arrives with numerous features at the setup that are either absent on Plex or require a paid subscription. 

Plex vs Emby Media Server – User interface

The difference in the user interface of your media server NAS depending on whether you use Plex or Emby is notable, but more on a backend/server level. The actual front-end that connected clients use when browsing your multimedia on their phones, Amazon Fire TV, consoles and more is is quite similar with each type of media being clearly distinguishable and the scraped metadata immediately doing its job to create a smooth, slick and intuitive user interface for your connected users and devices. Indeed, logos aside and use of green vs orange, the UI for a connected client/user is largely the same.

However, the back-end where you customise your Plex or Emby media server, adjust user privileges, produce Analytics, adapt the system behaviour and just generally control your entire media server are very different indeed. Plex media server is the slightly more user-friendly option of the two, as you might have expected. The areas related to users, the server, file handling and connected services are all clearly indicated and although the number of configurable options on Plex is a fraction lighter than those found in Emby, they are easy to follow and for the most part, do not require any kind of technical understanding.

Where options can become technical in areas of DLNA configurations, port forwarding, checking on system resources and monitoring connected devices, Plex has hidden most of the technical aspects behind an ‘advanced tab’ option. As you might expect, some more useful and popular aspects are only accessible with the Plex pass subscription and although most of these can be ignored, the fact they hid the task manager, adding multiple users and system resource monitor behind a subscription service seems a little mean to me

Emby by comparison throws a whole lot of options and choices at you immediately when entering the system & software settings of this media server. If you have ever used the back end of a WordPress website, then the general server admin user interface will seem very familiar. Although much like Plex, it also provides an advanced tab that hides some information deemed more technical from the user, even the standard options and configurations of Emby are a few steps above the novice tier and despite descriptions and clarifications of what each setting is for are available, can still be a tad intimidating for those less tech-savvy. Emby media server makes up for this by being incredibly adaptable and if you are willing to take the time to configure it and navigate each of the settings available, you can easily create a farmer custom and ultimately better media server for your needs.

Overall I prefer the flexibility and customisation found in the Emby media server over that of Plex because it allows a wider degree of customization to the end-user. Little options such as saving metadata and grouped media background files locally to the NAS in custom locations to be used in other ways (info files too for other media players and resources). Then you have the much more open worldwide supported functionality towards subtitles and metadata downloading where you can be more regionally specific to your needs and wider simultaneous support of metadata sources at once means that although the Plex media server is incredibly user-friendly by comparison, after a while the advantages of the Emby system become abundantly clear. You should take the time to learn your way around your new media server with Emby.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Client Applications

Although both Plex and Emby are available as media server applications for multiple NAS host platforms, in order to watch and enjoy the multimedia on your NAS, you will need to utilise the client applications of each software. The majority of modern internet-accessible household entertainment devices have access to either their own dedicated app centre (Google Play Store, iTunes, etc) or provide the ability to manually install third-party applications. Both the Emby and Plex multimedia client apps are available for numerous hand-held, desktop, home cinema and console platforms. However, Plex has by far the larger coverage of these devices and the majority of devices in your home probably have access to the Emby client app but certainly have access to Plex.

The advantage that Plex has in client support is further improved by the fact that a number of key devices do not feature the Emby client app in their native app centre, leading to many users having to manually install the application (mentioned earlier). It’s a very small distinction and one that generally has little to no impact in the grand scheme of things, but many devices will ask you to confirm and accept liability when installing applications from outside of their official app centres. This can all too often make users give Emby a miss and stick with the presented security that the Plex client app provides. Overall Plex most certainly winds in terms of client support and availability over Emby.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Playback

Once you have your Plex/Emby media server NAS ready and installed all the proprietary clients on your entertainment devices, the next big deciding factor is simply going to be playback. The performance of your NAS multimedia server is something that theoretically you should NEVER think about and if a media server is doing its job properly, you should never notice any performance problems. As both Plex and Emby media server are third party applications (i.e neither have 1st party hardware and rely on a NAS or custom PC server build for installation) this leads to an additional layer between the software and the server hardware that does all of the tricky media handling, transcoding and tweaking to ensure that the multimedia client applications playback faultlessly. So, it is worth mentioning that technically, both Plex and Emby will never outperform the native NAS video application on the hardware itself (see Synology Video Station vs Plex/Emby videos below).

Generally, if either Plex or Emby is installed and deployed on a NAS system, they will playback files pretty much the same and any differences between them is barely noticeable in the case of playing back media in its original file format. The user interface of the player as well as the location and navigation on both media software clients is intuitive and everything is where you might expect it to be. One small difference between them that is worth a brief mention is that Emby has a stats for nerds button that allows real-time playback and media information to be displayed on the screen. This is an incredibly niche and largely overlooked feature, but still pretty cool for those that want to know the quality of the multimedia they are watching.

In the event that you need to adapt files to be better suited to destination device hardware, network strength and screen size, the system will need to utilise transcoding. As mentioned, if you are using older client hardware, using a device with fewer supported formats, streaming over a more limited connection or just generally want to view a more compressed version of a file, both Plex and Emby support this functionality. However, both media server platforms only provide software transcoding in the free versions and in order to take advantage of hardware transcoding (i.e use the NAS system embedded graphics or a graphics card) you will need 2 views Plex Pass or Emby Premiere on a monthly subscription. Nevertheless, in testing when trying to play HEVC/H.265 10bit files that required transcoding or forcing the system to transcode files on the fly, the Emby application was notably the more responsive and executed these transcoding actions marginally quicker on almost every occasion (even with just software transcoding). Both platforms allow the numerous different transcoding formats to choose from but Plex would take those extra few seconds longer to continue playing the file after each instruction. It’s a small edge, but the Emby Media Server did do a slightly quicker job which will likely be felt in exceedingly high format media (whilst still considering the base level NAS hardware of course).

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Metadata Scraping & Plugins

The thing that sets Plex and Emby media players apart from regular DLNA multimedia streaming and basic file servers is the awesome graphical user interface that ultimately allows you to turn your bog-standard decades of multimedia collected over the years into your very own personal high-quality media centre. Premium media server applications like Plex and Emby are able to utilise resources found on numerous film and TV databases such as IMDb and then use this to present your own collections alongside box art, descriptions, cost lists, published reviews and even trailers. The information gathered from these third-party databases for use in Plex and Emby media servers is known as metadata and the act of collecting the appropriate resources for your personal collection is known as scraping. Despite their similarities, these two media server programs approach the subject of metadata scraping slightly differentially and the resulting implementation makes a difference on your media server. 

Plex media server has access to all of the usual official TV and movie online databases, as well as review sites and casting information. It also has access to some third-party and unofficial databases that allow users to have a more bespoke user interface on your Plex media server. Likewise, the Emby media server has access to practically the exact same resources for all of this metadata. However, the big difference is that whereas Emby allows you to aggregate and apply metadata from all of these sources at the same time (with the system prioritizing metadata from multiple sources for a single media file by priority of source), Plex asks you to select just one source for that metadata for it to scrape at any time for each category. This is a small but significant difference as it ensures that more obscure media in your collection has a higher chance of having its metadata found and applied automatically. 

If your collection is made up of popular classic media and all from reputable sources, then this will be little or no difference for you as Plex will no doubt find all of the metadata appropriate to your media. However, if you have slightly harder to come by media in your collection (older recordings of non publicly released content that has been found on older film forums and Reddit sharing for example), unique versions or simply multimedia that is formatted in a less common way, you are far likely to find the metadata applied initially on an Emby based setup overall. 

Emby is made significantly more attractive when it comes to custom content over Plex when you also factor in plugins. Services from data and coverage upgrades, the IP TV streaming, add-on media services and smart home upgrades are available to be downloaded and installed on the Emby Media server in it’s very own app/plug-in center. Plex Media server seems to have largely abandoned this feature (available in a more open form in earlier versions of plex and now largely cut off) in favour of connecting plex with numerous online content sources for shows and movies, though many question the appeal of this as they are not exactly premium service and ones that can still be accessed online easily outside of plex. There are newer innovations for Plex (such as the recent Plex Arcade from emulation service at an additional cost) but these are all seemingly paid extras or small diversion services that Emby provides in a better way in the plug-in center.

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Free Vs Paid

Both Plex and Emby require you to create an account with the respective media server developer. This allows you to access long-term software updates, access numerous software add-ons and also enables remote access over the internet to your NAS multimedia server collection. Both Plex and Emby media server do not require any kind of payment to use the base-level services and features of their programs, but both platforms have a premium level subscription service for around £5-10 a month that allows access to more fully-featured services and functionality, such as hardware transcoding, trailers and more.

VS

Now, it is important to highlight that you do NOT need a paid/premium account for Plex or Emby in order to enjoy all the main range of services on offer. In most cases, the Plex Pass and Emby Premiere add ons are related to things that require 3rd party services, are something that only a small % users might use or are genuinely things that have seemingly required technical/design implementation in the media server platform. However, that still does not make them ALL justified and overall. Here is a breakdown of which services are included on Emby and Plex that are either Free or Paid:

X = It is included in the appropriate FREE/PAID service

Feature Plex Emby
Free Plex Pass (PAID) Free Premiere (PAID)
Camera Upload X X
Remote Streaming X X
Local Streaming X X
Full Playback (Local & Remote) Web App, Non-mobile Android (Fire TV, Android TV), Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Smart TVs, TiVO, and Game Consoles Mobile Android and iOS Apps – require Unlock fee or Plex Pass Web App, Roku, Apple TV, Smart TVs Android (including Fire TV, Android TV), iOS, Emby Theater, Game Consoles – require unlock fee or Premiere
Media Optimizer X X
Hardware Transcoding X X
Live TV X X
DVR X X
Mobile/Folder Sync X X
Multiple Users X X
Parental Controls X X
Photo Albums X
Lyrics X
Library Sharing X More Options X
Trailers and Extras X X
Cloud Sync
Multiple Users X (All accounts except Managed Users require Plex online account.) X (All accounts are local. Emby connect account is optional)
Smart Home Unofficially Alexa and Google Assistant
Other Content Movies, TV, Web Shows, Podcasts, and News Podcasts

Even at a casual glance, it is abundantly clear that the bulk of the services that are on offer from Plex is either ONLY available in the paid Plex Pass tier OR are only available in a more limited/streamlined capacity at the free tier. This also applies to Emby too in a number of key areas too, however, there are certainly some odd choices. Hardware Transcoding (which requires the software to understand the complexity of many hardware platforms) is understandably only in the paid version of Emby and Plex, however the fact that the dashboard resource monitor AND ability to add more users requires the paid subscription service on Plex is a little harder to justify!

The 2021/2022 Price of a Plex Pass Subscription

Parental controls on Plex being locked behind a paywall is also a little disappointing too, especially when cross-referencing the certification and suitability of media in your collection via metadata must arguably be very easy indeed. Emby is by no means perfect though, with the client application for game consoles not being in the free tier being a real shame. However, taking everything into account, when it comes to both the free AND paid services on each media server, I think Emby and Emby Premiere give you more than Plex and Plex Pass on your NAS system.

The 2021/2022 Price of a Emby Premiere Subscription

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Conclusion

Both Plex media server and Emby media server for NAS are great applications that manage to give you that great feeling of owning your very own Netflix style streaming service, however as good as Plex is, it is arguable gotten a little too comfortable as the de-facto media server of choice in the last few years and allowed a few more fringe services like Emby and the slightly more technical Jellyfin to close in and (in some ways) surpass them. With Plex trying to merge more entertainment streams into their service (3rd party online sources, podcasting, emulated games roms, etc) they might have lost their focus a little and in doing so make their platform less immediately desirable to the new NAS media server user. Emby is still a media server service for NAS that has a few early hurdles for some (either by its absence in the default app center of your NAS brand, or the more layered setup options on day one, but if you are happy to spend a little more time at setup, Emby will most certainly allow you to create the better Media Server solution on your NAS in 2021/2022.

 

Choosing A NAS – Need More Help?

So, those were the key considerations for those looking to buy a new NAS or looking to upgrade/migrate from an older NAS Drive. However, there is still so much that you may need to know to range from operating system compatibility, how to connect the NAS in the best way, ideal software and the best backup methods. If you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

 

 

Upgrading to 10Gb Network in 2021 – An Beginners Guide

17 mai 2021 à 01:45

How and Why Should You Upgrade to 10Gbe – An Idiots Guide

Let’s face facts, our data is getting bigger and we want it even faster. As selfish as it sounds, both home and business users alike demand faster and faster data transmission in 2021, despite the obvious fact that the average size of our photos, music and videos are getting unquestionably larger. Luckily, at the same time as all of this, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10Gbe) networks become increasingly more affordable and despite their lofty business only focus a decade ago, have become accessible to even modest home users and their budgets. Deciding to switch your home or office network from one-gigabit ethernet (1Gbe) to 10Gbe can often be intimidating, however, with numerous more cost-effective solutions and much more user-friendly hardware on offer, you can switch up your network to 10-gigabit for just a few £100’s. Today I’m going to detail each of the necessary components that you will need to consider when upgrading towards 10G, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and recommend the best piece of 10Gb hardware for each tier of your setup in 2021.

Disclaimer – it is important to understand that increasing your network from the default 1Gbe to 10Gbe will increase the bandwidth available to you and your connected devices. However, bandwidth does not automatically translate to speed and you will still need to ensure that both targets and source hardware in the 10Gbe network can deliver the potential 1,000MB per second possible. It is best to think of your network as a series of pipes filled with water. Upgrading to 10-gigabit ethernet merely provides a larger pipe to send the water down, but you still need storage media and active data connections that can push data fast enough. First lets discuss the individual components that make up a modern 10Gbe network.

Upgrading to a 10Gbe Network – What You Need to Buy

In order to understand how much work is required when upgrading your network, it is worth knowing just how many different pieces of equipment you may need to buy when upgrading your internal bandwidth potential. The first most obvious upgrade is your switch (otherwise known as a network switch) – and you will need to look at 10Gbe equipped switches that allow each connected user the full potential to 1,000MB/s bandwidth each (or at the very least a single 10Gbe port that allows 10 users a full 100MB/s each). Managed switches, although more expensive, will allow you to combine these connections via link aggregation and trunking 2 or more to multiply this performance significantly, however, there are numerous affordable unmanaged 10Gbe switches out there too that are priced quite closely to 1Gbe counterparts.

Next, you will need to upgrade the network connectivity of your client devices, such as PCs, laptops and servers. Some 2020/2021 Prosumer hardware releases have started arriving with 10Gbe connectivity by default (e.g. the newest generation of Mac Pro Tower Machine) and to meet this there is thunderbolt to 10Gbe adapters available from numerous brands (I personally use the QNAP QNA-T310G1T or Sonnet Solo 10G – both of which use system power, so no mains power needed). Otherwise, there are numerous 1-port and 2-port PCIe upgrades readily available to buy that are even cheaper than external alternatives.

Next up, you need to think about whether you will want to use copper or fibre cable-based ethernet. Copper-based 10Gbe, known as 10GBASE-T, uses near-identical cables to those used in your standard 1Gbe connections (known as RJ45) and is much better suited to distances of up to 20 metres when deployed. After that distance, you will be much better off choosing fibre-based 10Gbe (known as SFP+ in architecture). This can cover many, MANY more times to distance, but see more expensive fibre cables. SFP+ 10Gbe also requires dedicated port transceivers (these connect between the client device and the cable), which adds to the cost even more. That said, there are MANY cost effect SFP+ only 10Gbe switches and NAS systems out there, as well as there being transceiver-ready shorter cables (called DAC cables) that are up to 5-7M long. There are other Pros and Cons to RJ45 and 10GBASE-T, so I recommend you check out my guide below quickly to learn the difference before going any further:

Click Below for the SFP+ vs 10GBASE-T Guide

Finally, we can talk about routers (which are arguably optional for most in this setup and still not quite mainstream in 10G). Although some modern routers do feature a dedicated 10Gbe LAN connection, it is worth remembering that most internet connections worldwide will not really be able to saturate 1,000MB/s of data. When you look at the internet plan that you have with your ISP, the speed is generally provided in bits ( ie Mb = megabit, Gb = gigabit), not BYTES. Unless you are living somewhere with a decent fibre optic connection, or dedicated high-speed business line that promises speeds higher than 1 gigabit, a 10Gbe router will only be able to push as much internet/external packet data to a connected user as the internet service provider allows in your initial plan. so there is no need to spend money on a 10Gbe equipped router unless your ISP subscription is comfortably approaching 5-6 gigabits (5Gb+). Aside from those three areas, nothing else in your typical hardware environment should require an upgrade when making the switch to a 10Gbe network. Remember, 10Gbe over copper and typical 1Gbe use exactly the same cables for connectivity (RJ45 or Cat cables) so you can reuse your existing setup easily. So, now we know the hardware, however, 10Gbe is recommended to use at least Cat 6 or Cat 7 cables, whereas regular 1Gbe and 2.5Gbe can get away with Cat 5 or Cat 5e. Let’s discuss the Pros and Cons of 10Gbe.

Upgrading to a 10Gbe Network – Price

The affordability of 10Gbe as an alternative to traditional gigabit ethernet LAN is getting better than it was when first commercial in 2008 or so (when it cost thousands!). When hardware started embracing 10Gbe connections, it was priced at an arguably fairer 3-4x times that of a normal 1Gb connection. However, it soon became apparent that due to demand in network use alongside data growing more rapidly in both home and business, that 1Gbe was fast becoming unsuitable for most businesses. Therefore in more recent times, the cost of 10Gbe has begun to arrive at just a pinch above that of accepted 1Gbe hardware (with numerous 2.5Gbe options arriving on the market meaning that the price is getting even better). In fact, many hardware manufacturers consider 1Gbe a tad dead in the water and have embraced 2.5Gbe, 5Gbe and affordable SFP/Copper10Gbe connections as standard at no additional increase thanks to more cost-effective ARM processors on the market from Realtek, Annapurna and Marvell (in the NAS community, the heavy hitters on this are QNAP and Asustor).

The real cost of a 10Gbe setup as an upgrade to, or an alternative to a 1Gbe setup, is in the network upgrades for traditional client hardware and interfaces. I am of course talking about PCs, tower servers, Apple Macs and just general day to day devices. Upgrading a desktop device with 10Gbe is around £80-100 per connection, about 75% more than the same thing at 1Gbe. For portable and less easy to upgrade devices, such as Macbooks and laptops, a 10Gbe to Thunderbolt 2/3 external adapter upgrade will cost you around £175-200, which is about 80% more than a 1Gbe USB or Docking Station alternatives.

Upgrading to a 10Gbe Network – Internet Speeds

As mentioned, 10Gbe networks are largely concerned with internal network traffic within your home or business building. The effects of introducing 10Gbe into your router/modem system with the aims of improved internet speeds on your devices are hugely dependent on your ISP subscription service and in most cases will not fully saturate a 10Gbe connection. If you have an internet connection that surpasses 1 Gigabit bandwidth, then you can start to enjoy the benefits of 10Gbe connected devices exceeding 100MBs, just ensure that you are using a primary modem and router that features a 10Gbe port, otherwise connecting a 10Gbe switch or additional router via 1Gbe will create an instantaneous bottleneck. If you are using wireless devices and looking to exceed 1Gbe, then you should look into WiFi 6/6E/AX (which we will touch on later). In 2021 there are a few 10Gbe Routers on the market from brands like Netgear and their NightHawk series, Asus in their Gamer ranges and QNAP in their QHora-301W System.

Upgrading to a 10Gbe Network – Availability

10Gbe hardware is a great deal more accessible and available in 2021 than ever. Alongside numerous affordable network upgrades via USB and PCIe, lots of motherboard makers, NAS server manufacturers and network switch brands have released 10Gbe options. Additionally, home or business users that have a 10Gbe setup that is shared by multiple 1Gbe uses can often allow connection of 10Gbe devices on these copper ports, as the majority of 10GBASE-T ports are backwards compatible with 5G, 10G and 1G (otherwise known as auto-negotiation). As mentioned earlier, a lot of hardware that would have once featured gigabit ethernet now arrives with 10Gbe connectivity at no additional cost, allowing a more gradual and organic upgrade into this larger bandwidth connection as you upgrade standard hardware in your environment. Lastly, the majority of plug-n-play 10Gbe upgrades for clients are reusable/shareable with numerous devices.

Upgrading to a 10Gbe Network – WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E Support?

One of the most attractive reasons that many users consider upgrading their setup to 10Gbe is due to the evolution in Wi-Fi connectivity, most recently in Wi-Fi 6. Otherwise known as 802.11AX, Wi-Fi 6 allows wireless connectivity that exceeds that of traditional 1Gbe LAN. Although the bandwidth and Wi-Fi coverage in Wi-Fi 6 is spread across multiple bands and frequencies (5Ghz and 5Ghz air communication, not to be confused with Gb data networks of measurement), it still allows bandwidths of 2.4Gigabits and greater (i,e 240MB/s). Many users who have upgraded their Wi-Fi network to Wi-Fi 6 (or holding out for Wi-Fi 6E) also want to upgrade their wired network to keep up, which is where 10Gbe hardware has grown in popularity noticeably. Indeed, a number of new Wi-Fi 6 solutions have arrived on the market in the last 12-months that also factor in dedicated 10Gbe ports and even 10Gbe in some cases (such as the QNAP QHora-301W). If you intend to set up your home or business environment wire-free, with a NAS in the centre for backups/sharing and wish to connect wirelessly to this device over Wi-Fi 6, then upgrading your NAS to at least a single 10Gbe connection will be hugely desirable and convenient. Equally, if you use a more modern WiFi 6 solutions with larger AX ratings (AX3000, AX6000 or AX11000 for example), then this will translate very well into multiple connected users and a 10Gbe (1,000MB/s) connected NAS or Network for sharing.

Upgrading to a 10Gbe Network – Recommended Products in 2021

So now we have discussed at length a number of the advantages and disadvantages to upgrading to a 10Gbe network environment. As mentioned, there are many new 10Gbe pieces of hardware available as 2021 continues, making the ease of choosing the right network components evermore confusing. Below I have detailed my recommended 10Gbe switch, NAS, Router, Plug-n-play laptop upgrade and Desktop PCIe upgrades to ensure that you are ready to make the jump to 10Gbe networking.

Recommended 10Gbe Switches

Likely the most important part of the 10Gbe network upgrade, the switch is what manages traffic between your client devices.

Budget Unmanaged 10Gbe Switch

Budget Managed 10Gbe Switch

Best Budget Dedicated 10G

QNAP QSW-308S

$139

QNAP QSW-M408-4C

$329

TRENDnet 8x 10G TEG-7080ES

$529

Recommended 10Gbe Laptop Upgrades

If your network is populated with more compact and portable devices, then you can still use a range of Thunderbolt connected devices to interact with a 10Gbe network. Here are the ones I recommend:

 

Sonnet Solo 10G Adapter

QNAP QNA-T310G1S Adapter

ATTO TLN3-3102 Thunderlink 2x10G Adapter

Thunderbolt3-to-10G Copper

$209

Thunderbolt3-to-SFP+ Fibre

$179

2x Thunderbolt3-to-2x SFP+ Fibre

$999

Recommended 10Gbe Desktop PC Upgrades

If you are using a desktop PC/Mac/Linux system, then you are able to consider PCIe 10Gbe upgrades. Although these are more expensive than the plug n play alternatives, they do allow more connections per card. Here are the 10Gbe PCIe cards I recommend:

 

1 Port 10Gbe PCIe Card

2 Port 10Gbe PCIe Card

Fully Featured 10Gbe PCIe Card

TRENDnet 10Gbe TEG-10GECTX

$99

QNAP QXG-10G2T-107 2x 10G

$199

QNAP 10Gbe and 2x NVMe QM2-2P10G1T

$279

Recommended 10Gbe Routers

Once again, very much an ‘optional extra’, upgrading the router/modem in your network towards 10Gbe will only really be beneficial if your internet service is greater than 1Gbps. Never the less, there are some great 10Gbe, 5Gbe and 10Gbe routers out there, some of which even include WiFi 6 too. Here are the best 10Gbe routers right now in 2021:

 

Best Gamer 10Gbe Router

Best Prosumer 10Gbe Router

Best Business 10Gbe Router

ASUS AX11000

$389

ASUS AX6000 10G

$410

QNAP QHora-301W 10G & WiFi 6

$329

Recommended 10Gbe NAS Servers

When it comes to seeing the true value of an upgraded network environment, then a NAS that features greater than gigabit connectivity is a great way to show this. Whether you are feeding this NAS into a 10Gbe/10Gbe network switch shared environment, or directly interfacing (i.e network connection PC-to-NAS), greater than 1Gbe speeds will be abundantly clear. There are quite a large number of 10Gbe NAS systems available in the server market right now, but I have narrowed it down to three below based on how you want to interact with your data:

 

Best Budget 10Gbe NAS

Best Prosumer 10Gbe NAS

Best Business 10Gbe NAS

TS-431KX

$369

TS-h973AX

$999

TVS-872X

$1699

Thanks for reading. Do you still need help? Use the NASCompares Free Advice section here – https://nascompares.com/contact-us. It is my free, unbias community support system that allows you to ask me questions about your ideal setup. It is NOT a sales platform, NOT a way to push hardware you don’t need and, although it is just manned by me and might take a day or two for me to reply, I will help you any way I can.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Synology RS2821RP+ NAS Review – Bigger and Better?

18 mai 2021 à 16:58

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Hardware Review

Synology has really spent the first half of 2021 concentrating on their enterprise and SMB solutions, haven’t they? In just over 5 months we have seen 5 or 6 new Rackmount solutions arrive in their portfolio and although each of them is similar in software and arguably comparable in hardware, none of them provides the level of storage that the RS2821RP+ Rackstation that we are reviewing today can. The Synology RS2821RP+ is the latest in their small-medium business 16 bay solution series and much like other Rackstations that the brand has released into the market this year, the RS2821RP+ uses the popular embedded Ryzen processor, features ECC memory, PCIe upgradability and does this while supporting the full range of DSM applications. Arriving with twice the storage potential of the RS1221+, this solution with its £3000+ Price tag can be a touch intimidating for some. So today we will take a closer look at what this rather monstrous sized rackmount NAS includes, what it is capable of and ultimately whether the Synology RS2821RP+ NAS deserves your enormous data? 

Synology RS2821RP+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

It is reasonable to say that when it comes to having a huge storage array, competent hardware and business class software, that the Synology RS2821RP+ does deliver on a number of its promises. Indeed, despite the huge similarity in internal hardware between the RS2821RP+ and other recent rackmount releases in 2021, the RS2821RP+ manages to still stand out with its unparalleled level of storage against the majority of solutions in the Synology portfolio. The price tag, edging closer to a number of Xeon powered solutions, may seem a touch high for some and given the difference between this 16-bay and the £1200+ 12-bay being relatively small – that price tag does seem a tad overly ambitious. That said, much like other rackstation NAS solutions of late, the jump from Intel Atom C3538 to embedded Ryzen V1500B was long overdue and although may seem fairly predictable and pedestrian now in, still remains a firm favourite. If the software and services of Synology Diskstation Manager appeal to you, you need storage in the hundreds of terabytes and you need a solution that is both scalable and centralised, you would be hard pushed to find a better solution from Synology right now without spending £5,000-10,000 without drives.

 

Synology RS2821RP+ PROS Synology RS2821RP+ CONS
  • Ryzen Powered Solution
  • Massive Scale Synology System at £3k
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
  • Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB (UDIMM, not SODIMM too)
  • Numerous Backup Software Options
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • 3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
  • 1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
  • 4GB Memory by default seems a bit small
  • Synology Hard Drive Exclusivity is still an Opinion Splitter!
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike desktop alternatives and requires a PCIe Upgrade Card

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

 

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Retail Packaging

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the packaging that this rackmount NAS arrives with. The Synology RS2821RP+ is a solution for business and hardly something you’re going to see sitting on the shelf of your local PC shop. However, I will take a small moment to highlight that Synology did not scrimp on the protection in transit and the RS2821RP+ arrives in multiple layers of the cardboard, as well as being surrounded in the usual rigid hard foam to protect it from motion and shock damage. That said, let’s be realistic though – the box itself is underwhelming in the extreme.

Opening the shipping carton however shows us an impressive level of protection surrounding the entire RS2821RP+ chassis and ensures that short of a forklift truck arm penetrating the box, that this system can withstand even the harshest typical logistics. 

Inside we find and the Synology RS2821RP+ chassis itself and a small box of accessories. In recent years we have seen Synology scale back on the number of included accessories with their systems, with them sighting that most business users will have the default cabling already in place. For the most part, I agree, however, I don’t quite agree that rackmount devices should arrive with optional rail kits. Rackmount servers like these, especially 3U chassis’ like the RS2821RP+, will almost certainly live in a rack cabinet and regardless of sliding or fixed rails, will need them. Why Synology continues to make rail kits and optional extra still confounds me.

The unit itself is pretty massive and aside from its 3U height is also an impressively deep chassis in order to facilitate active cooling and ambient airflow throughout the full length of the chassis. Inside the accessory box, we find a light pamphlet on first-time setups that is significantly less useful than the online portal, as well as information on the 3-year manufacturers included warranty, screws for individual hard drives or SSD to be installed, power cables and that’s about it.

As mentioned, there isn’t a great deal to talk about in terms of external packaging on this but nevertheless, there are still the small branded touches for this box that are part of how Synology market themselves. Most brands would just wrap a label on a default one size fits all carton, and at first glance, it looks like Synology did that. However, a closer look at the box shows that it is printed with information dedicated to the RS2821RP+ NAS unit precisely and its little things like this that make Synology stand out in the presentation stakes. Let’s take a look at the unit itself.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Design

The chassis of the Synology RS2821RP+ is one that many are already familiar with, largely because it has featured on each iteration of this product series and serves as the template for most of the Synology SMB rackmount solutions. lacking any kind of real-time LCD panel or connected interfaces like USB or HDMI, this system communicates either by using sound alerts, multiple LEDs or almost exclusively via the Synology DSM user interface and applications. 

The front of the RS2821RP+ rackmount NAS is 95% made up of 16x 3.5″ SATA storage bays. These allow ventilation to be passed around the storage media inside, as well as further ventilation panels featured in the middle of each tray and at the top of the front panel.

These areas of passive ventilation work together with multiple active cooling fans throughout the whole system and this is how the RS2821RP+ maintains efficient working temperatures, gets away with passive heat sinks on components (instead of inefficient CPU fans) and ultimately allows the system to achieve the reported 2,220MB/s performance benchmark stated on official pages. The right storage media and external connectivity always play their part of course, but NAS servers at this scale and with this sheer volume of storage will generate a comical amount of heat, which is the kryptonite of high-performance in storage. It does mean that the system will also be insanely loud, but no one buys a rackmount NAS solution and expects it to be whisper-quiet. Each corner of the RS2821RP+ front panel features handles for moving the device in an appropriate rack cabinet, as well as a power and mute button.

Although the power button is pretty obvious, many users don’t actually realise that the mute button is simply to disable alerts that may come from the system as warnings occur. It always seems odd to me that rackmount solutions should feature a mute button and desktop solutions do not, despite the fact that most users will rarely be in close proximity to a rack-mount but will be to a desktop NAS solution. Nevertheless, this button is designed to silence warning alarms on the NAS without having to log in via the system software user interface.

The 16 bays at the front of the system each have their own dedicated LED notification light which allows users at a glance to see when drives are active, having status abnormalities or are completely unable to respond to the system. The Synology RS2821RP+ does not technically need the full 16x storage bays to be occupied in order to use the system and indeed you can run it with a single drive if you chose. This would be rather foolish however and somewhat underutilising the storage potential of this system, but nevertheless, some users may choose to partially populate the RS2821RP+ in an expandable storage configuration that allows them to add more drives as time goes on and their data requirements grow. This flexibility is especially useful when using Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), which I am pleased to confirm is available on the RS2821RP+.

Each tray also features a locking mechanism that allows you to ensure a drive is not removed by accident. This is not a key lock arrangement and will not stand up to any kind of physical abuse, but nevertheless is still useful when making sure that non-hotswap and hot-spare discs are not removed in error. Unlike a number of desktop SMB solutions, the Synology RS2821RP+ does not arrive with screwless click and load plastic trays. Instead, this rack mount system arrives with metal trays that support screwdriver installation of SATA hard drives and SSD. Once again, arguably metal trays generate noticeably more noise when in operation but in the case of this rather hefty rackmount, that would rather be a case of locking the door after the horse has bolted. Installation is quick and easy, with SATA SSD being available for use in caching or raw storage pools and volumes.

Generally, I would always recommend that a NAS system uses network-attached storage class hard drives (Seagate Ironwolf/WD Red/ Toshiba N300) and although the RS2821RP+ is not really an exception, at this kind of volume I would strongly recommend the use of PRO class NAS hard drives such as WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf at the very least. Otherwise, go for Western Digital Ultrastar, Seagate EXOS and WD Gold SATA hard drives to really get the best possible performance that this system is reported to be capable of, even in a RAID 6 or SHR-2.

However – according to the Synology Compatibility pages for the RS2821RP+ NAS, only Synology HAT5300 3.5″ Hard drives and SAT5200 2.5″ SSDs are primarily supported by the NAS. There are a few exceptions in a Toshiba, Seagate and Ultrastar drive being added at the time of writing this review (see image below) and Synology have been observed in bending this rule in some places if a user is migrating from an existing NAS with alternative drives (or a chosen capacity is unavailable in the Synology portfolio). However, if you are in any doubt, I would recommend contacting Synology directly to check, as this is the kind of potentially prohibited support that would be a real pain, years down the line!

Removing all of the trays inside the RS2821RP+ and taking a look inside will show us each of the 12 dedicated SATA ports. As is the expected standard these days, separate power and data connection wire cables are long gone and replaced here with dedicated combination SATA ports and little to no exposed wiring visible. Equally, there is plenty of ventilation visible in order to facilitate that horizontal active airflow mentioned earlier.

The sides of the RS2821RP+ chassis are suitably nondescript for a rackmount, although a couple of areas can be highlighted. One side of the rack mount chassis features too small patches of ventilation, likely for side-mounted sensors and the wiring towards the front of the chassis. The other side is much more sparse but features an ejector button at the top.

This ejection button allows the end-user to access the removable internal fans for maintenance when the system is in operation. These fans can be removed even when the system is in operation, cleaned and then reintroduced into the system with immediate reactivation. The RS2821RP+ is not really designed to have its external chassis opened regularly, as a big part of the consistent successful performance is by using a controlled airflow environment for low temperatures. Nevertheless, I’ve always kind of liked this small token gesture by Synology in allowing maintenance without too much intrusion of their rackmount solutions.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The external connectivity of the Synology RS2821RP+, much like recent Synology rackmount solutions in 2021, will please some and annoy others due to Synology seemingly continuing to play-it-safe with the level of hardware on offer to bridge with your network environment. Once again, there is a huge amount of passive and active cooling visible, but it would be overstating it to say that the external connections available here are in any way groundbreaking.

The ventilation covers more than 80% of the rear of the Synology RS2821RP+ and this leads to a fantastically noisy environment with the reported ambient noise when the system is in operation at 53.5 dB(A). You know that bit when you’re on a plane and it is taxiing onto the runway? Well, that bit just before the plane begins to move and the pilot ramps up the engines is not unlike this rackmount when it is in full operation. Not exactly deafening but certainly impossible to work around in any kind of close proximity.

One area that Synology has received notable criticism for in 2020/2021 is their continued use of 1Gbe / Gigabit connectivity on all of their SMB solutions. Greater connectivity at 10Gbe is available on their SA and XS series devices, as well as the ability to upgrade this system to 10Gbe with numerous first-party supported cards (the most recommended being the E10M20-T1 combo card), but the continued use of gigabit LAN on Synology solutions has become a tad underwhelming. In their defence, they do provide four 1Gbe LAN connections on the RS2821RP+ which opens the door to link aggregation and failover support, but still, 100-109 Megabytes per second connectivity by default seems wildly unsuitable to this 16-bay solution, especially at over £3000+.

Equally, the Synology also arrives with USB connectivity as found on all of their NAS solutions. However, the USB ports on the RS2821RP+ are still just USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) connections, something that is looking a tad dinosaur in 2021. Additionally, Synology is quite strict about the supported range of compatible USB devices that their Synology NAS systems will work with and along with the lack of support of any kind of KVM setup, you cannot even officially use increased network interface adaptors over USB on this device to enable 2.5Gbe or 5Gbe connectivity. Support of large USB storage, office peripherals and UPS’ are still more than possible, but it’s still a tad underwhelming.

Lastly, there is the expandability of the Synology RS2821RP+ with the device arriving with an external mini-sas (12Gb/s) connection to connect the RX1217 or RX1217RP 12-bay expansion device. This ability to create a potential 40-bays of storage between the RS2821RP+ and a connected expansion is always going to be welcome for business and the fact they aren’t using more limited eSATA connectivity (as seen in the RS1221+ or RS820+) remove the potential for a bottleneck. This level of expandability was absent in smaller embedded Ryzen solutions from the brand and is therefore particularly welcome here.

Another popular feature of the RS2821RP+ that you would have expected is the inclusion of redundant power supply units (RP). The system arrives with two removable 550W oblong PSU modules that are connected in unison when the RS2821RP+ is in operation. This means that in the event that the power supplier fails (not uncommon in 24×7 utilisation and the PSU is arguably one of the most fragile parts of a storage server), the second unit will continue to maintain the device’s operation and audio alerts and push notifications will be sent to appropriate admins in order to replace the PSU as quickly as possible. These PSU can be exchanged individually without having to power down the device and many system admins will tend to keep a spare PSU on a shelf in order to facilitate this transition when needed.

These twin PSUs are included by default and are covered by the manufacturers 3-year warranty, as well as included with any additional warranty extensions you purchase. They are specific to each NAS model and you are unable to utilise the PSU from another Synology Rackstation model or another storage server due to this unique design. Each PSU is surprisingly petite for such a large watt rating and even then, is quite high for just needing to support 16 SATA storage devices and a single PCIe slot. Nevertheless, a big chunk of this power likely goes into operational cooling which the RS2821RP+ has in spades.

As mentioned, the Synology RS2821RP+ external connectivity and general ports are not exactly groundbreaking for this series of rack-mount devices. Nevertheless, this is a functional, if rather safe, arrangement on the rear of the device. Next up, we will take a look at the inside of this device to examine the internal hardware on offer.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Most rackmount NAS servers are quite similar to likewise scaled desktop solutions. There are differences in how chips are placed and certainly the controller board used in rack-mount devices will be wider, so active airflow can cross all the heatsinks, but generally, they can be compared to traditional computer mobos. The Synology RS2821RP+ controller board is surprisingly small for such a large system and although you likely (and rightly!) assumed that the majority of the internal chassis was occupied by the storage media and cooling, it is still a relatively compact controller board inside. 

Accessing the internal hardware are of the RS2821RP+ is done via the removal of several screws dotted around the rear of the chassis. Whether you are doing this for maintenance, for PCIe upgrades or simply for reviewing the thing like me, this is a pretty straightforward way to get to the nuts and bolts of the Synology RS2821RP+ system. Efficient operation and low impact cooling are observed in great quantities inside the RS2821RP+ chassis and all components are sufficiently spaced out to ensure that airflow is consistently passed over the key processors.

The contents are remarkably similar to that of the half-sized RS1221RP+, however, the RS2821RP+ takes advantage of improved memory modules and the systems greater height facilitates taller network cards too. The CPU does not need active cooling/fan coverage and is kept at a good operational temperature with a comparatively large heatsink on top. There are numerous smaller heatsinks for individual controllers handling lesser processes, but the main CPU of the RS2821RP+ is where it all happens!

The CPU, as mentioned, is the AMD Ryzen V1500B processor. This is an SMB server-grade SoC version of the Ryzen series that is quad-core in architecture, with 2.2Ghz available per core. Although this CPU is not graphically embedded (as you might find on a Celeron or Pentium) it is exceptionally proficient at file handling and in previous tests with single and dual-port 10Gbe cards on the DS1821+, we were able to comfortably exceed 1,000MB/s and can easily see it reaching the RS2821RP+ reported 2,220MB/s top-end speed (note – that was with 16 SSDs in a RAID 0, so could be larger with an increased number of bays at our disposal in an expansion).

The above speed was achieved using the RS2821RP+ fully loaded with Synology SAT5200-960G SATA SSDs (2x 10GbE network environment), but the write speed was a little less impressive at just under 1,200MB/s. The V1500B processor has an excellent floating-point, AES-NI encryption (a more efficient and higher speed upgrade on traditional AES 256bit) and also allows higher quality memory to be used in the RS2821RP+ than in the RS2818+ NAS that came before it.

The RS2821+ NAS arrives with some excellent memory options (both in comparison to the RS2818rp+ and just generally) at 4GB of DDR4 ECC that can be upgraded over two slots up to an impressive 32GB of memory. Let’s break that down a bit. First off, the default memory available is the same as the 4GB that its predecessor arrived with – so not massively impressive, but worth noting. Next, there is the fact it is a maximum 32GB DDR4 memory in the RS2821+ (whereas the RS2818RP+ had DDR4 upto 32GB too but it was non-ECC). DDR4 consumes less power and faster in comparison with DDR3 with the clock speed of DDR3, in this case, being 1600MHz, while the clock speed of DDR4 is 2400MHz on this device. As positive as all this sounds, 4GB of memory on the RS2821RP+ does seem a little low for a 16-Bay system that could comfortably accommodate a 2x 10Gbe NIC or 1x 25Gbe SFP+ NIC upgrade. In those setups, 4GB will potentially be an early bottleneck. Additionally, the RS2821RP+ uses UDIMM memory (not the SODIMM found in the RS820+ or RS1221+) which is a fraction more expensive but allows higher performance.

Finally, there is the use of ECC (error-code correction) memory in the RS2821RP+. For most businesses, it’s mission-critical to eliminate data corruption, which is the purpose of ECC memory. ECC is a type of computer memory that detects and corrects the most common kinds of memory data corruption. Memory errors occur as a result of electrical or magnetic interference inside the computer. This interference can cause a single bit of DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) to spontaneously change to the opposite state. Electrical and magnetic interference is present as background radiation and is largely unavoidable the longer your system is operational. Generally, ECC memory is more expensive and there can be a slight slowdown when compared to non-ECC memory. The other components in the system, such as the CPU and motherboard, must also support ECC memory. Though most modern ECC memory is considerably better and the reported difference in performance is as low as 2-3%. In industries such as the financial sector and the scientific community, ECC memory is essential to maintain data integrity. Most server memory is ECC memory, as well. ECC memory further reduces the number of crashes, which is very important in multi-user server applications. So, kudo to Synology including this is a mid-range solution for SMB. This combined with the performance increase between the Ryzen SoC in the new RS2821+ over the Intel Atom C2538 in the previous RS1219+ (see comparison below) make the newer device a noticeable jump up in terms of internal hardware and performance.

Overall, the available hardware in this compact rackmount is ticking alot of positive boxes for me and, although the lack of the now VERY brand associated NVMe bays is annoying (forcing you to invest another £250+ on the E10M20-T1 combo card or £200+ M2D20 m.2 NVMe SSD card), it has to be stated that the RS2821RP+ still brings a good degree of performance to a genre of storage (affordable SMB large scale storage) that has largely only arrived with weak hardware in the past to maintain a half-decent price vs return. How does that translate to software though? What does Synology provide in DSM for the RS2821RP+ NAS?

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Software

Although the hardware featured in the Synology RS2821RP+ is arguably less impressive than the Xeons and SAS based storage connectivity found in the Synology FS, UC, SA and XS ranges, this system arrives with support of the entire Synology diskstation manager range of applications and services. Although this system software supports numerous third-party platforms and popular business integrated platforms, Synology is at its best when you purchase their solutions to utilise both the hardware and the software. SMB solutions like the RS2821RP+ aren’t designed to simply be brainless areas of storage and the heavier price tag is because they promise a range of software to replace paid subscription or outdated service programmes that exist in your business environment for handling files, communicating with clients and colleagues, managing multi-site backups and forming the basis of a surveillance system too. Alongside this, recent releases in the Synology portfolio have championed their support in the field of virtual machine deployment, both utilising and hosting virtual environments in existing third-party tools such as VMware and Hyper-V, as well as primarily using Synology own Virtual Machine Manager application. Below is a breakdown of recommended apps for small and large business users considering the RS2821RP+ as their next big business purchase:

First-Party Applications included with your NAS system
Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

The DSM platform has evolved a great deal over the last few years and has become practically an entire reason to buy a Synology NAS on its own. You can, of course, try out the Synology DSM software platform before investing in a NAS, by visiting the link below and trying DSM 6.2 for yourself:

Alternatively, you can test Synology DSM 7.0 Beta in an online demo by visiting below (Officially Releasing in Summer 2021):

As always, a full software review of the DSM 6.2 platform on the RS2821+ NAS is currently in process and I hope to have this to you here on the blog very soon or on the YouTube channel in due course. Stay tuned.

Synology RS2821RP+ Rackmount NAS Review – Conclusion

If you came to this review hoping that you would read that the Synology RS2821RP+ NAS is the best thing since sliced bread, then you may be disappointed. It is not that it is a bad NAS, it really is a good NAS and a solid release from the brand in 2021. Indeed, this system sits at a fine place in their portfolio, allowing buyers to spend their budget towards storage and away from unnecessary power. What’s the issue then? It is simply that it is not a particularly groundbreaking system off the back of their previous rackmount releases in the last 6-months and although it still stands as a notable upgrade over its predecessor, the RS2818RP+, the continued use of 1Gbe, the default inclusion of just 4GB memory and a slight whiff of Synology playing safe all add to this solution being good but not great.

If you want a server to wrap the popular Synology diskstation manager software around to improve your business and create the perfect in-house data eco structure, I have no hesitation in recommending the Synology RS2821RP+ NAS. But for this system to fulfil its potential, expect a few upgrades early on in the memory, network interface ports and connectivity in general within the first 2 years of ownership. Another solid, if overly safe solution from Synology NAS.


Synology RS2821RP+ PROS Synology RS2821RP+ CONS
  • Ryzen Powered Solution
  • Massive Scale Synology System at £3k
  • PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
  • Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB (UDIMM, not SODIMM too)
  • Numerous Backup Software Options
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • 3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
  • 1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
  • 4GB Memory seems a little low
  • Synology Hard Drive Exclusivity is still an Opinion Splitter!
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike desktop alternatives and requires a PCIe Upgrade Card

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Choosing A NAS Server – Need More Help?

So, those were the key considerations for those looking to buy a new NAS or looking to upgrade/migrate from an older NAS Drive. However, there is still so much that you may need to know to range from operating system compatibility, how to connect the NAS in the best way, ideal software and the best backup methods. If you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Replacing your WD My Cloud NAS – Synology or QNAP NAS?

21 mai 2021 à 16:00

WD My Cloud NAS or Synology/QNAP?  Which Brand Should You Buy?

For many users, the first NAS they ever owned was the affordable and sturdy WD My Cloud NAS drive. From students and teachers to console gamers and small business, the WD My Cloud range of NAS devices was one of the earliest attempts by hardware manufacturers to bring the arguably tricky subject of home server ownership in an affordable and easy to use way. Indeed, in previous years I have recommended the WD My Cloud Pro P2100 and PR4100 NAS systems for use in Plex, low-level surveillance and prosumer home network storage. However, in the last few years brands like Synology and QNAP have absolutely dominated the home and small business NAS market with a large portfolio of solutions that effectively surpass the majority of WD NAS’ in every possible way. So, we sadly face the fact that given WD has not released a new generation of their My Cloud series for a number of years and desirability has begun to fall, many users are deciding on where to go with their data, whether it’s in a new NAS or upgrading on an older WD My Cloud system. Today I’m going to discuss which NAS brand you should choose when upgrading from a WD NAS and which manufacturer deserves your data.

Is WD My Cloud NAS Still Ok to Use?

It is important to highlight that this article is not about me saying the WD My Cloud range is bad, because it really isn’t and it is still one of the best bang for your buck NAS solutions you can buy right now in 2021 – as well as being remarkably user friendly for the first time NAS user! Additionally, with the majority of WD solutions arriving with bundled hard drives, a simple streamlined user interface and considerably better high street availability than any other brand, they are still a good solution. However, like most technology, the evolution and expectations in what it can do in the eyes of buyers change rapidly and although most other brands have pushed software and hardware innovation to some incredible lengths, the WD My Cloud NAS range has remained quite steadfast in its refusal to adapt. Although WD My Cloud is sturdy, safe, robust and makes no promises it cannot fulfil, in terms of what you can do with it and how you can evolve the system in its lifespan is tremendously limited. This along with some third party app brands not updating their applications for the WD NAS OS system has led to an increasing lack of support of these popular software platforms. Ultimately, the majority of people reading this are owners of a WD My Cloud NAS that are now looking to upgrade to something with a little more future-proofing and modern innovation. However, don’t overlook the fact that you can still use your WD My Cloud NAS as another tier of your backup strategy, by synchronising over the network or internet with numerous application methods available from WD themselves and others brands. 

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Software – Synology

Unsurprisingly, if you have been researching the subject of NAS and thinking of upgrading from a WD My Cloud NAS, then the name ‘Synology’ and its incredible software will almost certainly have appeared on your radar. Although the brand is not as establish or steeped in years as Western Digital, Synology is still over 20-years old and has produced hundreds of NAS solutions in their portfolio. The main difference between Synology and WD when it comes to NAS software is twofold. The first major difference is the first party software on offer. WD and it’s NAS OS have surprisingly thin software add-ons available, with most of the system abilities being classed more as day-to-day services – RAID functionality, USB backups, synchronised backups and low-level account control. WD-OS is very functional but it has not changed much in the last 5-6 years in terms of innovation and most of its key abilities are considered rather rudimentary in 2021/2022. Synology on the other hand includes its DSM (Diskstation Manager) software platform with every NAS, which is is the equivalent of an entire operating system comparable to a desktop OS that can be accessed via the web browser and numerous mobile apps. The Synology supports all of the services that the WD My Cloud does, but has also evolved every one of them into a central data ecosystem. The range of first-party services, applications and add-ons that Synology provide are extensive and cover surveillance, virtual machine deployment, intelligent multi-tier backups, bespoke email server deployment and more. Alongside this, DSM also provides applications that attempt to wrestle the user away from third-party desktop client apps for business. Examples include Synology Chat that serves as an alternative to Skype, Synology Office which serves as an alternative to Google Docs/Office 365, Synology Video Station is a popular alternative to Plex Media Server as well as an alternative to the slick and easy UI of Google Drive and Dropbox with Synology Drive. The evolution of Synology software where is genuinely unparallel and although QNAP is always getting closer, it is still going to be very impressive for the end-user when switching away from WD My Cloud NAS OS to DSM.

The second reason that the Synology NAS software platform is significantly superior to the WD NAS software is the support of third-party applications. WD NAS OS does have access to a small apps centre that includes easy installation of a few third-party applications. Although the majority of these have been all but abandoned in terms of updates and utility in recent years, one popular 3rd party application that most users a few years ago purchased the WD My Cloud NAS for was Plex media server. However updates on the Plex media server application on the WD NAS platform have slowed down and because this is a third-party application, you are heavily reliant on the manufacturer to develop updates for the WD NAS platform – something that has become increasingly less frequent from 2020 onwards. Synology NAS on the other hand supports significantly more third-party applications in it’s app center, as well as numerous custom apps that can be installed manually. There is certainly a few bits of bloatware in this application centre that can be overlooked, but nevertheless, there is still a good 30-40x third-party applications here that are worth your time and updated with more frequency than those found on the WD NAS platform. Equally, as the popularity of Synology NAS has increased, so has the amount of time that developers have spent on both the first and third-party applications for this platform and this combined with the improvements in mobile applications has led to the Synology NAS range being wildly superior to that of WD NAS My Cloud in software. Add to this that Synology also provides the option of BTRFS as a filesystem choice option with its file self-healing and lower resource-consuming snapshot creation, as well as the Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration for allowing mixed hard drive capacities, and the Synology NAS software is easily the preferred upgrade choice for those moving away from the WD My Cloud NAS platform for apps and services.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Performance – QNAP

The performance of a NAS drive will often be dictated by both the internal and external hardware available. The quantity and number of hard drives you install inside will always provide something of a performance boost, but overall the performance will always be dictated by the primary components that the brand chooses to use and the external connectivity that a system features by default. Each one of the WD My Cloud range of devices are very efficient, make the most of the hardware inside and are designed for smooth running with little or no intervention by the end-user at any point. However, it has to be said that the hardware featured inside pales in comparison to that of QNAP alternatives in the last few years. With the WD My Cloud series largely concentrating on an Intel Pentium processor from 2015/16, alongside several ARM processors in 32-bit and 64-bit, they are certainly comparable to a number of QNAP NAS systems in the TS-X31K, TS-51D and TS-53D Series. Unfortunately, they soon get surpassed in comparison to the wide array of more modern processors available in QNAP desktop systems that can range from Pentium Gold, Newer Gen Celeron and Ryzen, to Intel Core i5, i7 and Xeon. This disparity also extends to the memory available, with most WD My Cloud systems arriving with between 1-2GB of memory that cannot be upgraded – where has QNAP arrive with vast memory upgrade options and many models arriving with 4GB and 8GB by default.

The difference between QNAP and WD My Cloud is made even more clear when you learn that the majority of QNAP NAS systems also include M2 storage upgrade slots internally that allow you to install SSD in SATA or NVMe that can be used for an area of superfast storage, tiered storage for data to be scanned and moved to the most appropriate media source or for caching to allow frequently access data to be copied over to the SSD for improved performance in the files that need it most. Although the use of SSDs for intelligent caching is by no means a new feature of NAS, it is still something that WD My Cloud NAS has yet to integrate and something that QNAP NAS has applied to the majority of their hardware portfolio. So, with both the baseline level of hardware AND the upgradability of the internal hardware found in a QNAP NAS to be better than that found in WD My Cloud NAS, it’s a great upgrade for those that are interesting in improved internal performance in their next NAS purchase.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Connectivity – QNAP

The connectivity between the network-attached storage device and your local network hardware environment will massively dictate the speed at which your client devices can access your data for home or business use. Although there are a handful of more enterprise-level WD NAS solutions available, all of the WD My Cloud Feature 1Gbe with no means with which to upgrade that connectivity. Some NAS in the My Cloud range are a little better with dual 1Gbe RJ45 connections, but even then this is a small all edition that in 2021/2022 is less desirable than it once was. However if you are looking for the best possible external connectivity in a modern NAS when choosing from or upgrading from a WD My Cloud NAS, then QNAP have easily the best selection of external connectivity on even their modest hardware solutions available.

Rear of the WD My Cloud Pro PR4100

Rear of the QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay

Even on the 1/2-bay NAS solutions, you can find 2.5Gbe connectivity on a number of QNAP solution, which then scales progressively throughout their portfolio to multiple 2.5Gbe connections, 5Gbe connections and 10Gbe very easily while still maintaining a price point that remains compatible with that of even the biggest WD My Cloud solution. Then you have the fact that a number of QNAP solutions can be upgraded via PCIe or USB upgrade adaptors for more numerous external connectivity or at the enterprise level with larger bandwidth connections such as 25Gbe and 40Gbe of PCIe Gen 3 NICs for just a few £100s. Finally, there is the growing collection of Thunderbolt 3 equipped NAS systems from QNAP that allow a marginally more plug-and-play connection between the NAS and a thunderbolt 3 USB-C equipped client device. Ultimately QNAP NAS wildly outpaces the WD My Cloud range in terms of external connectivity and is arguably better for its external bandwidth than most NAS brands on the market today.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud for Plex – Synology

As mentioned at the start of this article, many users purchased the WD My Cloud Pro NAS system as it was remarkably proficient at Plex Media Server, thanks to its choice of Pentium Processor and hardware transcoding in Plex as standard utilization. However, due to Plexnot frequently updating the WD NAS Media Server application in line with how the platform has evolved over time, the WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 and PR4100 have grown increasingly less proficient at Plex Media Server, leading to guides and support walkthroughs being needed to bridge the gap more informally and this has been one of the largest driving force for users wishing to trade away from a WD NAS and onto something a little more modern. When it comes to buying a NAS that is primarily used for Plex media server, for the sheer simplicity and Performance it is hard to argue with a Synology NAS as a better Plex media server. Although many would argue that a QNAP NAS would serve as a better Plex media server due to a higher class of CPU, the Synology NAS platform tends to get more out of the hardware at any given time in terms of efficiency which for most users and Plex media server is highly desirable for a stress-free, set up and forget architecture.

Here is my FULL Guide on Synology NAS for Plex in 2021 (Click Below):

The performance of Plex media server on a Synology NAS when compared with that of a WD My Cloud NAS though is not quite as clear-cut as you might like though. For a start, in order to take advantage of hardware transcoding on the Synology, you are going to need a paid Plex Pass, which may come as a real disappointment given that earlier revisions of Plex media server on the WD My Cloud allow Plex to use this CPU and hardware transcoding for free by default. However, the performance of this older Pentium in hardware transcoding is of a similar level to the software transcoding of the much newer Celeron found in the Synology recent diskstation releases – so this advantage can be largely negated. One final point that, although not applicable to everyone is still worth considering when looking at a NAS for Plex media server, is how the system utilises the hardware resources available between both the Plex application, other software services and the system in general. Plex media server in its recent 1.23 version consumes the majority of the hardware available on the WD My Cloud Pro system with even modest playback of 1080p media and is all but consumed by 4K files, leaving little or no resources for the rest of the NAS and it’s applications. The majority of Synology Plus Series Diskstation NAS systems, by comparison, thanks to using more modern hardware architecture and upgradeability in their design result in a smaller percentage of resource consumption buy Plex media server and therefore more fuel in the tank for other services too.

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud for Business – Synology

When network-attached storage was in its infancy, it was presented as a means for prosumers and small-medium business users to have an alternative to subscription-based Cloud services (DropBox, Google Drive, etc) with improved customizable security and larger capacities. Due to the nature of data and how it is the centre of all kinds of business in the last few decades, the idea of a business having its own server is hardly a new thing, given the importance of data retention and GDPR. However, the expectations from a business in what a server can do at even the most modest level have grown rapidly and a simple hard drive connected to the internet will simply not do! As mentioned earlier, the software available on the WD NAS OS platform is starting to look a little underwhelming in 2021, whereas Synology has invested heavily in software development for the NAS systems likely more than any other brand. This extends to more than the brand trying to ape popular business software and extends to numerous business class advantages and functions in even the comparatively small hardware options by comparison.

A business user already knows that a Synology NAS will be able to store the data in a centralised manner. However, Synology DSM also features business class surveillance with the Surveillance Station 8 platform that can easily rival that of enterprise-class NVR/CCTV utilities like Milestone. There is also the Active Backup Suite software that is included with every Synology NAS that is a licence free multi-platform backup and synchronisation tool that extends from NAS and server utilisation to Office 365 and Google workspace platforms. Moving forward there is also the Synology Virtual Machine Manager platform that not only allows you to deploy VM (virtual machine) images directly from your NAS, but also allows synchronisation and third party software OS migration from the likes of VMware and Hyper-V in just a handful of clicks. Thanks to services like these used in conjunction with the first party communication tools such as Synology Chat and Synology Mail, spreadsheet and document editing with Synology Office and even data pinning and on-the-fly streaming locally with Synology Drive for Mac and Windows – Synology provide an extensive range of business tools in their NAS software that is still a few steps ahead of practically any other brand.

Should I Choose Synology or QNAP NAS?

So, if you have reached this far in the article, you are likely wondering whether you should switch from a WD My Cloud NAS towards either a Synology or QNAP NAS? It’s a valid question, as both brands (especially in recent years) managed to carve their own very distinct design, the priority of build and available utilities for different end-users. Synology will always be the software optimized choice over hardware (60/40) and manages to get the very most possible out of comparatively less hardware in their own first-party applications. QNAP NAS on the other hand has more of a hardware focus (again 60/40) which means that they have a better 1t and 3rd party hardware balance when it comes to using their system in your environment. Synology is a solution that wants you to do things its way and in return gives you a smooth if safe and predictable outcome. QNAP NAS manages to be exceedingly customizable and adaptable and for those who take the time to tweak it, setup it up from scratch or adapt it to their 3rd party environment, can achieve much better results overall. Below is two videos that focus on each brand and key consideration on QNAP and Synology before you buy. Take a look:

 

Choosing A NAS – Need More Help?

So, those were the key considerations for those looking to buy a new NAS or looking to upgrade/migrate from an older NAS Drive. However, there is still so much that you may need to know to range from operating system compatibility, how to connect the NAS in the best way, ideal software and the best backup methods. If you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review – 10G and ZFS, But No Thunderbolt

24 mai 2021 à 16:30

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review

In the last few years, we have seen the evolution of network-attached storage from being a simple hard drive that you can access remotely, to something far more evolved and capable. Innovations in everything from the hardware available, to what the software can do has resulted in even modest budget home users jumping on board with more and more capable solutions. One of the latest releases from QNAP to arrive on the market is a slight change on an existing system that although is tough to call something new, can certainly be called popular in the hardware it brings to the table. The brand new QNAP TVS-872X system is a non-thunderbolt alternative to the 2018 generation TVS-872XT, arriving at a lower price point, including ZFS support and still featuring 10G. This overwhelmingly popular Intel i3 -bay has been in our top-5 lists in its thunderbolt form for many years, but does this reimagining of the formula make the QNAP TVS-872X still worth your money and your data in 2021? Let’s take a look.

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review – Quick Conclusion

The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

What the QNAP TVS-872X can do (PROS):

  • One of the few Intel Core NAS Systems Released in 2020/2021
  • High Virtualisation Use
  • 10Gbe Enabled and still has 2x 1Gbe
  • SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
  • Very Expandable (File System & config dependant)
  • Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
  • Can be upgraded to 10/25/40Gbe
  • 10G alternative to the TVS-872XT for those that didn’t want TB3
  • Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
  • Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
  • CMS and CRM systems included
  • Media Center support across numerous apps

What the QNAP TVS-872X cannot do (CONS):

  • GPU Card Support is not clear
  • 8G Default Module is a little restrictive for ZFS
  • PCIe Card Installation is a lot more complicated than you expect

 

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review – Packaging

The retail box for this 8 bay NAS is pretty large and in its defence, certainly needs to be. Aside from the large metallic 8 bay chassis inside, QNAP has not scrimped on the protective packaging that the TVS-872X arrives in. The box is fairly nondescript and is largely the same 8 bay desktop carton that we have seen in other hardware releases, with a addition of the specific model label of course, but all the information you’re going to need is visible and they have certainly made sure that this unit will be well protected from motion and shock damage whilst in transit.

Opening up the retail box shows us the chassis contained in rigid foam from all angles. Sure, it isn’t going to protect the unit from any kind of aggressive ‘warehouse-forklift-based-mishap’, but it is more than enough to withstand worldwide traditional transit bumps and knocks.

Inside we also find a box of accessories for setting the device up for the first time. The TVS-872X is sold unpopulated, so hard drives and SSD will need to be purchased separately. However, practically every other component needed to set this device up for the first time, as well as a few small extras, is available in this accessories pack and it is surprisingly diverse.

Although the obvious things like setup guides, screws for hard drives and SSD and power cables are clearly present, the fact that this system arrived with individual heat sinks for the internal M2 SSD batteries is a nice little extra (small, but appreciated). There is information on the warranty and details on extending that warranty (2years by default – something I will discuss later on) if you wish, as well as ethernet cables. Also a tiny thing, but I am pleased to confirm that the unit arrives with Cat6 Ethernet cable. A very, VERY small thing to highlight but you would be amazed at the number of 10Gbe solutions that arrived with less appropriate cat5e cables.

It’s easy to argue that the cost is tiny and the end-user can easily buy the Cat6 themselves – but then, if the cost is so low, then why not inc them? So yes, I like this.

All in all, a familiar and fairly reliable range of accessories included with the system. Again, most of what we see today will bear remarkable similarity to our TVS-872XT reviews a few years ago.

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review – Design

The chassis that the QNAP TVS-872X utilizes is one that originally premiered in the thunderbolt model several years ago and has had little change in the intervening years. This is not strictly a bad thing and along with provisions for more sophisticated cooling internally, it is a remarkably compact casing for 8 hard drives, 2 SSDs and two PCIe upgrade cards with one at PCIex16. It is a fairly stocky build but certainly exudes ruggedness.

The front of the chassis is subtly ventilated and is mostly grey, black and blue in colour. Despite the rather impressive NAS hardware included in this system (that we will touch on later), the external chassis is a mix of rugged metal, with occasional economic choices subtly hidden in between. Of course, the immediate thing that gets your attention is those 8 SATA storage bays. Each bay supports a traditional 3.5″ hard drive (I recommend Pro class NAS or Data Center hard drives such as Ironwolf Pro, WD Red Pro, Western digital Ultrastar and Seagate EXOS, currently available in up to 18 TB) or 2.5″ SATA SSD.

It is worth noting that the QNAP TVS-872X does not need to be fully populated at initialisation and you can run the system with as little as a single hard drive, then add further storage media later. This is of course not recommended and at least two drives should be used to benefit from RAID support. It is also worth noting that the system allows you to utilise all three kinds (if you use the m.2 slots) of media internally with systems such as SSD caching, individual Storage Pools and Qtier, to vastly improve the internal operations speed of the NAS and ensure that more frequently accessed data is living on the most beneficial storage area. This system arrives with both ext4 and ZFS as a choice of the file system, with numerous performance benefits accessible in ZFS, but note that currently QTier is still not supported (at time of writing) on the QuTS Hero ZFS based system software.

Removing all of the drives inside reveals a sleek and well-ventilated internal chassis that is clear of loose cables, taking advantage of combined data and power SATA connectors. The QNAP TVS-872X is deceivingly good at passive airflow and a lot of this is to do with strategically placed vents throughout the chassis, around the storage bays and with lots of surrounding airflow. This is is pretty necessary when dealing with a compact system like this and is arguably a tad more aggressive in its hardware than most typical desktop solutions in the market. The media trays themselves are plastic, click and load in design, which is almost a little disappointing after the aggressive metallic chassis and rugged design. Some users are less keen on plastic trays, as early generations of trays like these would be prone to cracking as they gave in to heat and vibration over the years. I’m pleased to confirm that more modern plastic trays are a great deal more rugged and enduring, with the added benefit that they also reduce ambient vibration by a small degree. It is still a contentious point of course and many would highlight that plastic trays in a system that is almost exclusively metal in every other way are a little late to the party when it comes to ambient noise.

Another cool feature of the TVS-872X and one that is present in the majority of QNAP NAS is an LCD panel to provide real-time information about the system whilst in operation. This display allows you to check system health, details on alerts, a breakdown of the currently used IPs and just generally gives you more information about the health and status of your system at a glance. QNAP is one of the last brands to still continue to include LCD panels on their NAS  systems, with many others switching towards utilising LEDs only (which QNAP does too), and along with the utilisation of HDMI, is one of those things that the brand still garners a certain keen and dependable audience with.

The LEDs and the system features on the front of the chassis can be broken down into two varieties. There are the usual individual LEDs for denoting the initialization, activity and health of individual SATA storage bays, and there are also three LEDs at the top left of the system display that the network activity system status and activity on the individual M2 PCIe NVMe SSD slots. Of course, all of these LED lights can be dimmed or completely turned off if you choose. I personally quite like the LCD panel on my solutions, as it is considerably quicker than logging in via a client device to check any alerts on the fly.

Another rather long-standing staple of NAS systems, especially QANP it should be said, is the inclusion of a USB Copy button on the front of the system. To allow on-the-fly backups to and from the system onto an external HDD at the physical touch of a button. Of course, this can be completely automated if you choose when a drive is connected utilising the hybrid backup sync software, with numerous methods of backup. These range from whole drive clone, to incremental and time managed – again, in either direction whether you want to backup a regular USB drive or you want regular backups of the NAS on a removable drive to keep off-site. The appealing thing here though is that it has both a physical button to provide you with that peace of mind that the job has been actioned, but also there is the fact it is USB 3.2 Gen 2. That means that this system supports the 10 gigabit per second more modern USB connection and for those looking at faster backups, this will be a godsend. It genuinely annoys me in 2021 that we are still seeing hardware arriving in the thousands of pounds with USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0 5Gb/s) and I am pleased this is avoided here.

Ventilation on the external chassis of the TVS-872X is fairly well placed, with vents on either side, 2x on the rear of the device, tons surrounding the internal storage media and slotted ventilation underneath the base of the system to assist air passage on the storage drives. With a reported 24.2db(A) by QNAP when the unit is in operation, this is going to be even higher when using the recommended enterprise-grade drives. So do bear in mind that this system is not going to be especially quiet in typical operation. For those thinking of utilising the TVS-872X for video editing over 10Gbe, you may want to put some distance between you and it.

You can’t really question the passive cooling vent on the TVS-872X, as they are on practically every side, also take advantage of a metal chassis to assist heat dissipation and the system boasts technically five active internal cooling fans, two on the rear, two on a dedicated CPU cooling fan and of course the one on the PSU. Let’s have a look at what port and connections the TVS-872X has to offer.

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review – Ports and Connections

The differences between the TVS-872X and TVS-872XT NAS come down to one simple difference, that of thunderbolt on the more expensive device. When the TVS-872XT was first released at the start of 2018, it was highly praised for being a remarkably future-proof desktop NAS system, with its use of high-performance PCIe bandwidth options, onboard 10GbE, 10G USB throughput, HDMI 4K 60FPS and NVMe storage pool options. Fast forward to 2021 with the TVS-872X and what we have is still a very good NAS, but those same hardware factors from before are now arguably more mainstream. That said, the system still boasts some hardware highlights that are unique to the TVS-X72 series.

The rear of the system is dominated by those two large active cooling fans. There is lots of passive ventilation around the rear of the chassis, but those big fans will keep the internal chips, heatsinks and media at a very good operational temp. You can lower the RPM manually, to reduce any ambient noise, but this system will work at its best if you leave this at automatic and allow the system to raise/lower RPM as the sensors dictate.

The system also features an internal PSU, rated at 250W, which is going to come in pretty handy if you are looking to max out the potential 1,000MB/s on the 10G, or want to install some hefty PCIe cards inside. That said, the system is a little more power-hungry than recent releases like the TS-873A or TS-653D, with a reported 65.03W whilst in operation and 41.47W whilst in standby.

The dedicated 10Gbe port featured on the TVS-872X does not arrive on a dedicated PCIe card (as seen in the likes of the TVS-1282T3 etc). However, a quick check internally shows that it has its own dedicated Aquantia controller located underneath the main heatsink alongside the CPU. The 8 Bays of storage found inside this system alongside the impressive i3-8100T CPU, will mean that fully saturating a 10G connection will be incredibly easy. However, this external 10Gbe connection may ironically come across as a bottleneck once you consider utilising a full 8 enterprise drive setup, as well as the NVMe drives as tiered storage or separate storage pool. At this price point, 10Gbe would be fully expected but given its similarity to the thunderbolt 2018 alternative that also had 10Gbe on board, it might have been nice to see a 2 port 10Gbe setup.

Alongside the 10-gigabit ethernet connection, we find two standard gigabit ports. These are fairly normal, even if other QNAPs in 2020/2021 feature 2.5G in the (e.g the TS-453D and TVS-872X), these are still perfectly acceptable alongside the existing 10G port. My complaints of improving the bandwidths externally on this system may seem a tad churlish and perhaps limitations have resulted in QNAP presenting these connections as the most efficient way to share up those PCIe lanes, I still think it would have been nice to see a little more evolution between the TVS-872X and TVS-872XT given the 3-year difference and only a modest £300 price difference.

One connection that the TVS-872X features that I will always approve of are the inclusion of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. The system arrives with four of these much faster 10Gb USB ports in type A and type C connectivity which support everything from external storage drives, peripheral control devices, 5Gbe network adaptors, office hardware and more. For a faster local backup drive in a wider backup strategy, these port are ideal for keeping this process as quick as possible across multiple drives. Equally, these ports can be used for high-end web cameras for surveillance and assigned individually to virtual machines.

Then there is the range of RAID enabled expansions from QNAP in their TR and TL series. Utilising those 1000Mb/s local connections with an expansion will ensure that the bottlenecks occasionally associated with equipping expansions are largely avoided.

Another area of NAS that QNAP is one of the largest supporters of is the utilisation of HDMI on devices for creating a visual and parallel GUI to enjoy your visual data on a locally connected monitor. Support of KVM environments and a wide range of official (and custom/unofficial applications over on QNAPClub) mean that your NAS can be utilised as a stand-alone computer, standalone surveillance system, stand-alone entertainment system and all the while still supporting the network and remote shares of your network-attached storage system simultaneously. Much like the older unit, the TVS-872X features 4K 60hz HDMI 2.0 output and particularly for standalone surveillance uses and multimedia buyers, this will be very appealing. It is worth highlighting though that HDMI enabled applications on NAS have grown a little thinner on the ground in recent years, but the bulk of the core services and applications still support this visual out option, receiving regular updates, even going as far as to support connecting a virtual machine to the HDMI via QVM and connecting any USB keyboard and mouse.

A staple of 8-bay desktop solutions, the TVS-872X also has PCIe upgradability and much like the previous thunderbolt release, it has two PCIe slots. The first is a PCIe 3×4 slot that comfortably provides support for the majority of modern network interface cards, Wi-Fi 6 cards, SSD Media upgrades and even accelerator cards from QNAP themselves and third-party cards like Google’s TPU AI acceleration card.

The second slot however is particularly interesting as it is a PCIe gen 3×16 slot. This really opens the door to more aggressive cards and substantially bigger upgrades to the system, with dual-port greatly increased fibre network interface cards in 25-100Gbe SFP and a small but effective range of graphics cards supported. The TVS-872X already features quite an impressive CPU and 10-gigabit ethernet by default, but the bandwidth available to this upgrade slot means that the upgradeability of this system down the line is pretty fantastic. In its thunderbolt variation, a 2 port thunderbolt card occupied one of these slots but now this new version allows greater upgrade options, even if the physical installation of cards in this system is a little tighter than some might like.

As mentioned, the TVS-872X bears a near-identical comparison with the TVS-872XT, with only that dual-port thunderbolt card serving as any difference in ports and connections. Even 3 years since they similar systems debut, this is still an impressive arrangement of physical local connections on offer and aside from perhaps swerving the opportunity to upgrade those 1Gbe ports into something attached more exciting, there is little to critique in this system connectivity. Let’s take grab a screwdriver and see what is going on under the bonnet.

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Drive Review – Internal Hardware

The metal external casing is easily removed with 3 screws and slides off to reveal a surprisingly spacious chassis. The passive ventilation throughout this system that is pushed by those active fans has plenty of room to work with and although perhaps the level of space available will be less in smaller models in this family, there is plenty of airflow available here. This is not the first QNAP system to also feature the enhanced cooling deck internally, which comprises an additional dual-fan array that lives above the controller board and feeds into a phenomenally sized heatsink. 

As mentioned earlier, the system features two dedicated NVMe M2 slots that allow the installation of much faster modern SSD. Now it should be highlighted that these M.2 slots are PCIe gen 3×2 in bandwidths, so media will not be able to exceed 2000 Megabytes per second on either slot (most PCIe Gen 3 NVMe are advertised at speeds of 3000-4000MB/s Read Max). This is still a remarkably large amount of potential throughput however and once you factor in RAID support and using them as a storage pool, they provide a substantially faster area of space for editing. As well as the aforementioned support of caching and QNAP’s QTier system. These slots also arrived on the other side of the main controller board, not in line with the two fan active cooling system that the CPU and 10G controller benefit from. However, they are directly in line with the two massive rear fans and metal heat sinks are included in the accessory box mentioned earlier, so heat should not be a worry.

The memory slots on this system are located on the inside of the core storage bays and the TVS-872X arrives with 8GB of memory by default. This memory is DDR4 SODIMM in architecture, across two slots and the default memory arrived in a single module. Thanks to the Intel Core CPU, this system can support up to an impressive 64GB of memory which is hugely beneficial to virtualisation and network surveillance deployment. QNAPs main rival, Synology, have opted for ECC memory in their comparative system (the Synology DS1621xs+ – Read my comparison HERE) and although it is absent on the TVS-872X, it does arrive with significantly higher maximum memory potential instead (64GB rather than 32GB). One important factor that should be mentioned on the memory that the QNAP TVS-872X arrives with is that although the system features the choice of ZFS as a filesystem at the start, some of the features of ZFS such as inline deduplication are not available without a minimum 16GB of memory. This is especially galling for some who see the thunderbolt model arriving with 16GB of memory and an i5-8100T processor at just over £300+ more. Still, 8GB of memory is a good base level for this system and it is still a respectable i3 8th Gen CPU.

The CPU inside the TVS-872X is an Intel i3-8100T. Rated at over 5000 on CPU benchmark currently, it is a quad-core 3.1GHz processor that also features UHD 630 embedded graphics. QNAP is one of the last NAS brands and server makers in the market to still utilise Intel core processors, ranging from Pentiums to i5 and i7’s. The majority of NAS released for business and enterprise storage in the last 3-years have almost exclusively arrived with Xeon based processors. This is thanks to Xeon’s exceptional file handling and consistent performance (pretty much series-wide), as well as arriving in significantly more core configurations and efficient power vs performance design. However, many uses prefer Intel core processors with NAS systems because alongside aggressively high-performance they also arrive with embedded graphics, which is hugely beneficial in Virtualisation, 4K Multimedia, widespread camera surveillance and are especially adept in thunderbolt NAS solutions (even the latest TB3 NAS, the TVS-h1288X is a graphically embedded Xeon). There was a time when simply featuring an Intel core CPU would increase a NAS’s price by 20-30% over Xeon systems, but in these times of widespread use and increased investment by Intel in xeon development, the result is that intel core powered NAS are a pinch more affordable, if a touch less available.

Adjacent to the main processor of this device, we also find the dedicated 10Gbe network processor. In the last few years, this brand has managed to make 10-gigabit ethernet performance considerably more affordable and the majority of NAS brands and network manufacturers owe a large debt of thanks to them for ultimately making 10Gbe notably more accessible for home and prosumer users worldwide. Although this particular Aquantia is the same processor debuted in the thunderbolt model over 3 years ago, it is still an excellent 10Gbe handling chip and this combined with the throughput of the i3 and 8-bays of storage will present you with an impressive system to edit with. Both the CPU and 10G network controller are covered by an especially large (by the standards of NAS certainly) heat sink that ensures that these two key components are being kept at an ideal operating temperature. Heat sinks in NAS’ are not new and largely are used to minimise power consumption when compared with dedicated CPU fans, furthering the lifespan of the product. Unusually though, this heat sink is also being directly cooled by a unique slim twin fan box located immediately next to it.

This two-piece low noise fan kit utilises two main vents to push and draw air around the system and predominantly throughout that large heatsink. This is one of few qnap NAS systems to do this and it is no coincidence that this compact desktop NAS chassis with its arguably more aggressive components would feature it. Despite their low noise and low impact design, these twin fans add to the general ambient noise of the system when in operation and only further highlight why this system, although ideal in power for those video editors looking to switch to NAS, is going to be less fun to work in close proximity to.

Noise criticisms aside, this is still a remarkably well-engineered NAS device even by 2021 standards and although the majority of the hardware architecture we are seeing here has changed very little since the TVS-872XT release back in 2018, it still holds up remarkably well. Next, we’ll talk about how this device delivers in the software department, as well as what this device brings to the table that may have been absent in previous versions.

QNAP TVS-872X ZFS NAS Review – Software

The software found with the QNAP TVS-872X NAS can be broken down into 2 sections. namely those of the advantages that QNAP QTS already bring to a business user, and then the widespread system and storage advantages that QuTS Hero and ZFS bring as well. For those unfamiliar with the QNAP operating system, it arrives with hundreds of free applications, can be accessed from a web browser or desktop client, arrives with many, many apps for mobile on IOS and Android and is definitely in the top two operating systems you can get for network-attached storage devices. Often compared with their biggest rival Synology NAS and DSM, QNAP QTS GUI is designed in a way that will definitely appeal more to Android and Windows users, giving you everything you will need from a network-attached storage device in 2021 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security.

QNAP File Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNAP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD vs HDD use, moving files to the appropriate storage media (not currently supported on QuTS Hero, just QTS)

  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rdparty devices and create a completely customizable and scaled back up network between your devices
  • QuDeDupe / Deduplication tools – Allowing you to conduct backups between multiple devices and directories, but allows same-data in numerous locations to be only held once (but recorded in all locations) to allow smaller backups and lesser bandwidth consumption. Once again, remember that you will need to upgrade to 16GB of memory in order to take advantage of these more advanced ZFS utilities in practice.

Then you have KEY applications that are used on the QNAP NAS system that moves into tailored data access and use, such as:

  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Above are a few of my software overviews that cover the general GUI and system of QuTS Hero on the TS-h886, as well as RAID rebuild and storage management overviews of the system to give you some idea of what the TVS-872XT  can and cannot do:

Space Saving Efficiency – Inline data deduplication, compression, and compaction reduce file size to conserve storage capacity and optimize performance.

Intelligent Memory Cache – Main memory read cache (L1 ARC), SSD second-level read cache (L2 ARC), and ZFS Intent Log (ZIL) for synchronous transactions with power fail protection are simultaneously supported to boost performance and security

RAID Z – Multiple RAID levels allow flexible capacity utilization. RAID Triple Parity and Triple Mirror deliver higher levels of data protection.

App Center – Apps for backup/sync, virtual machines/containers, content management, productivity, and more features can be used to expand the application potential of the TS-h972AX.

All in all, the fact that the QNAP TVS-872X arrives with the option of the ZFS or EXT4 versions of the QNAP Software and GUI is a large part of what makes these NAS appealing.

QNAP TVS-872X NAS Review – Conclusion

If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots.

The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

What the QNAP TVS-872X can do (PROS):

  • One of the few Intel Core NAS Systems Released in 2020/2021
  • High Virtualisation Use
  • 10Gbe Enabled and still has 2x 1Gbe
  • SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
  • Very Expandable (File System & config dependant)
  • Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
  • Can be upgraded to 10/25/40Gbe
  • 10G alternative to the TVS-872XT for those that didn’t want TB3
  • Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
  • Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
  • CMS and CRM systems included
  • Media Center support across numerous apps

What the QNAP TVS-872X cannot do (CONS):

  • GPU Card Support is not clear
  • 8G Default Module is a little restrictive for ZFS
  • PCIe Card Installation is a lot more complicated than you expect

 

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Vulnerabilities and Exploits on Synology & QNAP NAS – Stay Updated!

26 mai 2021 à 15:00

Be Regularly Updated on Security Concerns with Synology & QNAP NAS

Recently there has been a spotlight on some NAS brands and their security and protection from attacks by hackers and online intruders. In some cases, this has been down to holes being found in the system software or system protocol over time that, if left unpatched can lead to Ransomware like the QNAP QLocker of 2021, the Synology Synolocker of 2014. Typically, these can stem from many methods but ultimately revolve around hackers boarding the latest firmware and finding loopholes/backdoors within the system software each time it has an official update. This is not unusual and practically ALL the computer software-related services and hardware in your home/business environment go through this – most updates to the firmware in everything from your phone to your TV, router, console and more are specifically designed to close these newly found chinks in the armour. It is a constant game of cat and mouse, however, in almost all cases the vulnerability in software (that led to your system being penetrated) will be down to the fact your device has not been updated in firmware/software in a considerable length of time.

Why Do People Not Update Their QNAP or Synology NAS System Software Immediately?

Of course, updating the firmware on your NAS every single time a new system software version is released is not quite as simple as that. Sure, the actually ACT of updating is super easy and the NAS system will constantly remind you of updates in your system firmware or individual app software – but many still do not immediately action this update. This is by no means exclusive to NAS either, with many, MANY users choosing to ignore the windows update icon at the bottom right of the screen right now, or the recommended system update restart/remind option at the top right on a Mac. There are several reasons that people do not immediately update their firmware, such as:

  • The system is currently in use and there is no time right now to allow a restart, as well as having current projects/tabs/services operational
  • You once/twice experienced an update on a NAS (or really any device that has regular updates) that made the system unable to perform to the previous standard (software feature changed/removed), so you had to perform a complicated firmware roll-back/downgrade and it left you less keen on immediately firmware actions
  • It is a major firmware update that changes the system GUI and system options notable, so you do not wish to action a software update that will increase the learning curve
  • (less common but certainly happens) Your NAS system is part of a wider network of systems (part of a CMS) that either cannot or is not recommended to be individually updated without updating every other system at the same time

So, it is all fair and well for me to say ‘you should always update’, but the truth is that many have rather valid/understandable reasons for not actioning these straight away. Of course, the alternative would be for brands to automatically FORCE system updates through, or restrict an app/system able to connect with online services until the update is installed (as found with gaming services like Playstation Network and XBox Live) – but in a NAS, or even desktop/computer/phone-based systems these options would be INCREDIBLY UNPOPULAR! So, that is how we reached the current state of affairs between the NAS Brands, their system updates, individual app updates and how/when users choose to action them. So, how do we resolve this?

 

How to Remove QSnatch from your QNAP NAS Protecting Your Synology NAS from Ransomware
What is QNAP QLocker? How to Remove QLocker from your QNAP NAS

How Can You Stay On Top Of NAS Updates and Be Aware of Vulnerabilities on your NAS?

Many users might not be aware, but the majority of NAS brands (and indeed this extends to enterprise service providers like NetApp, cloud storage like Google Drive and large blob type storage like AWS and Azure) have an online portal that, known as the Security Advisory, that details the latest vulnerabilities, issues, faults and issues that are raised on their respective platforms. These are then available for public view (as they are submitted) and their effect, danger, current investigated status, date of the resolution and recommended action are then displayed. See Below:

Click to view slideshow.

 

These pages are almost certainly a legal requirement as part of their term of service and due diligence, not just a kind and wholesome gesture. However, it can be INCREDIBLY INTIMIDATING to read through them – even a 5-minute glance will make you question how on earth you have not been hacked yet! However, many of these vulnerabilities are exceptionally small and are built on exceptionally outdated firmware (perhaps 2-3 years overdue), require exceptionally weak security settings in place, DMZ network settings or simply are specific to a particular tool being used in a certain way. Nevertheless, many users will see these listings of issues and go one of two ways. One, they IMMEDIATELY UPDATE EVERYTHING and regularly update as soon as updates appear (regardless of the reasons against it listed earlier). Two, they look at the vulnerabilities, scroll through, see that none of them appear to be applicable to their own network hardware/storage setup and then continue to not-update until something more specific to their setup appears. There are pros and cons to either action of course, but better to have all the facts and listed vulnerabilities at your disposal than to proceed on just hunches and guesses!

How to Automatically Get Updated When Synology and QNAP NAS Vulnerabilities are Reported

Pretty much ALL of the brands in NAS, Data Storage and Cloud services have these security advisory pages, but the idea of checking these pages manually (i.e. bookmark etc) every day, week or month is too much of a hassle for many. On the other hand, they all arrive with an RSS feed link that allows users to subscribe to updates BUT many users are not even aware of how to apply an RSS feed (it’s a complex XML feed of text that needs to be injected into an appropriate RSS feed client/agent – so yeah, hardly noob friendly). So, in order to make this 1000x easier, I have (and by me, I mean Eddie the Web Guy spent time on it and I made this article!) made this page that will be constantly updated with the latest vulnerabilities reported on the popular NAS brands and storage-related manufacturers. It is still being built (so more brands are being added) but it will allow you to just chuck your email address below (will not be used for profit or spamming etc) and then you will get an alter EVERY TIME a new security vulnerability is updated by the brands (this is automated, so it will appear here as soon as it appears on the respective security advisory page). Additionally, there will be links back to the brand/manufacturer site so you can find out more about individual exploits and vulnerabilities, how they work, what they do and (most importantly) give you a better idea of whether you should update your NAS/Storage system or not. I hope you find it helpful and if you have any recommendations or idea of what we should add to this page/service to make it even better – let us know in the comments or directing here – https://nascompares.com/contact-us

Sign Up Below to Get Updates as New Vulnerabilities Are Reported


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


 

QNAP NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

Command Injection in QTS Thu, 24 Jun Link
Command Injection in QTS Insecure Storage of Sensitive Information in myQNAPcloud Link Wed, 16 Jun Link
Insecure Storage of Sensitive Information in myQNAPcloud Link SMB Out-of-Bounds Read in QTS Wed, 16 Jun Link
SMB Out-of-Bounds Read in QTS Out-of-Bounds Read in QSS Fri, 11 Jun Link
Out-of-Bounds Read in QSS Inclusion of Sensitive Information in QSS Fri, 11 Jun Link
Inclusion of Sensitive Information in QSS Improper Access Control in Helpdesk Fri, 11 Jun Link
Improper Access Control in Helpdesk Post-Authentication Reflected XSS in Qcenter Thu, 03 Jun Link
Post-Authentication Reflected XSS in Qcenter Command Injection in Video Station Thu, 03 Jun Link
Command Injection in Video Station DOM-Based XSS in QTS Thu, 03 Jun Link
DOM-Based XSS in QTS Relative Path Traversal in QTS Fri, 21 May Link
Relative Path Traversal in QTS Qlocker Ransomware Fri, 21 May Link
Qlocker Ransomware in Roon Server Fri, 14 May Link
in Roon Server eCh0raix Ransomware Fri, 14 May Link
eCh0raix Ransomware Command Injection in Malware Remover Thu, 13 May Link
Command Injection in Malware Remover Improper Access Control in Music Station Thu, 06 May Link
Improper Access Control in Music Station AgeLocker Ransomware Thu, 29 Apr Link
AgeLocker Ransomware Improper Authorization in HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync) Thu, 22 Apr Link
Improper Authorization in HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync) SQL Injection in Multimedia Console and the Fri, 16 Apr Link
SQL Injection in Multimedia Console and the Command Injection in QTS Fri, 16 Apr Link
Command Injection in QTS Cross-site Scripting in File Station Fri, 16 Apr Link
Cross-site Scripting in File Station

 

SYNOLOGY NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

Synology-SA-21:21 Audio Station Important Resolved 2021-06-16 16:05:29 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:20 FragAttacks Moderate Ongoing 2021-05-12 18:26:08 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:19 SRM Important Resolved 2021-05-11 14:23:32 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:18 Hyper Backup Moderate Resolved 2021-05-04 13:37:52 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:17 Samba Moderate Ongoing 2021-05-06 11:28:17 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:16 ISC BIND Moderate Ongoing 2021-05-03 10:34:51 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:15 Antivirus Essential Important Resolved 2021-04-28 08:12:48 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:14 OpenSSL Not affected Resolved 2021-03-29 08:56:36 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:13 Samba AD DC Important Ongoing 2021-05-13 17:31:08 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:12 Synology Calendar Moderate Resolved 2021-06-19 10:53:03 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:11 Download Station Important Resolved 2021-06-19 11:15:17 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:10 Media Server Moderate Resolved 2021-06-19 10:55:28 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:09 WebDAV Server Moderate Resolved 2021-02-23 11:18:19 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:08 Docker Low Resolved 2021-06-13 11:21:28 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:07 Synology Directory Server Moderate Resolved 2021-02-23 11:17:51 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:06 CardDAV Server Important Resolved 2021-02-23 11:17:26 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:05 Audio Station Important Resolved 2021-02-23 09:52:31 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:04 Video Station Moderate Resolved 2021-06-10 16:25:07 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:03 DSM Important Pending 2021-06-11 09:45:46 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:02 Sudo Low Ongoing 2021-06-02 17:00:07 UTC+8

 

ASUSTOR NAS Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]


05 24 2021 Security advisory for FragAttack
03 29 2021 ASUS ASMB8-iKVM and ASMB9-iKVM Firmware Security Update for ASUS Server Products
03 24 2021 ASUS SMM Privilege Security Update (CVE-2021-26943) for ASUS SKL Notebook PCs
03 09 2021 Security advisory for DNSpooq
07 10 2020 ASUS ScreenPad 2 Upgrade Tool Security Update (CVE-2020-15009) for ASUS PCs with ScreenPad 1.0 (UX450FDX, UX550GDX and UX550GEX)
04 14 2020 ASUS Update Regarding Mitigation for Known Intel CPU Vulnerabilities
04 09 2020 ASUS Device Activation Security Update (CVE-2020-10649) for ASUS Notebook PCs
03 18 2020 Security Advisory for CVE-2019-15126 (Kr00k)
03 09 2020 Security Notice for CVE-2018-18287
02 14 2020 ROG Gaming Center Package Security Update
11 26 2019 New firmware update for wireless router RT-AC1750_B1 RT-AC1900 RT-AC1900P RT-AC1900U RT-AC86U RT-AC2900 RT-AC3100 RT-AC3200 RT-AC51U RT-AC51U+ RT-AC52U B1 RT-AC66U RT-AC66U B1 RT-AC66U_WHITE RT-AC67U RT-AC68P RT-AC68R RT-AC68RF RT-AC68RW RT-AC68U RT-AC68U 2 Pack RT-AC68U_WHITE RT-AC68W RT-AC750 RT-AC87R RT-AC87U RT-AC87W RT-N66U RT-N66U_C1 RT-N14U
11 15 2019 Important information about ASUSWRT security:
10 21 2019 ATK Package Security Update (CVE-2019-19235) for ASUS Notebook PCs
06 14 2019 BIOS Update Announcement for ASUS Notebook PCs
05 16 2019 New firmware update for wireless router RT-AC1750_B1 RT-AC1900 RT-AC1900P RT-AC1900U RT-AC2900 RT-AC3100 RT-AC3200 RT-AC51U RT-AC5300 RT-AC56S RT-AC56U RT-AC66U RT-AC66U B1 RT-AC66U_WHITE RT-AC67U RT-AC68P RT-AC68R RT-AC68RF RT-AC68RW RT-AC68U RT-AC68U 2 Pack RT-AC68U_WHITE RT-AC68W RT-AC750 RT-AC86U RT-AC87R RT-AC87U RT-AC87W RT-AC88U RT-N18U RT-N66U RT-N66U_C1
05 02 2019 Latest software announcement for ZenFone devices
08 14 2018 Security advisory for OpenVPN server
08 07 2018 Latest software announcement for ZenFone ZenPad devices
06 08 2018 Security advisory for VPNFilter malware
04 03 2018 Security Vulnerability Notice (CVE-2018-5999, CVE-2018-6000) for ASUS routers
10 31 2017 Update on security advisory for the vulnerability of WPA2 protocol
10 18 2017 Security advisory for the vulnerabilities of WPA2 protocol
2021 & 8711;
2020 & 8711;
2019 & 8711;
2018 & 8711;
2017 & 8711;
2016 & 8711;

 

Work In Progress – More Security Advisory Updates and Reports Coming Soon for Other Brands

 

 

QNAP QLocker Recovery Walkthrough with QRescue Software

27 mai 2021 à 02:00

A Guide to Recovering Your NAS Files from the QLocker QNAP NAS Malware Attack

Good news for those of you whose QNAP NAS systems were affected by the QLocker Malware attack last month – a recoverable solution has been produced by QNAP on this (with assistance from 3rd party open source project PhotoRec) that, although a little long and technical, is a great deal more understandable than many QLocker solutions that have appeared yet. This new method does not need users to open SSH on their system and although there is a degree of command/code entry involved, it is moderately straightforward and will hopefully allow you to avoid paying the ransomware fee to recover files. This method centres around file recovery, rather than breaking the encryption, so like any data recovery practice, this is not going to be tremendously quick – i.e. it will be largely dictated by the volume of files that need recovery. It will be interesting to see how much QNAP HQ have learned from this Qlocker business, what can be done to avoid this in future and if QRescue and collaborative builds with recovery software like PhotoRec can build towards a standardized NAS tool that can be used more generally in recovery in the future. Nevertheless, below is the guide that was provided by QNAP and includes tools and links to resources that will help you get the recovery completed.

Important Note – Do not attempt this ‘casually’. This method is by no means as intrusive as other methods in the last few weeks that involved messaging with the encrypted files themselves but IS a guide you should be prepared to action from beginning to end in a single session – so make sure you have allowed a good stretch of time to do this! Additionally, you WILL need access to an external Hard Drive/SSD that is 1.5-2 times the size of the data you are trying to recover, as additional space is liked needed during the recovery of files before they are completed. Make sure the external drive is EMPTY as it WILL be formatted.

Step By Step Guide to Recovering Encryptioned QNAP NAS files from QLocker

Make sure your QNAP NAS is running normally and no firmware/restarts are scheduled during the process of running PhotoRec or QRescue on your NAS. Additionally, another reminder that the external HDD/SSD that you use for the recovered files from QLocker WILL be formatted during following these steps. This Guide covers:

  • Overview
  • Requirements

Steps

  • Part 1. Configure external HDD with the name “rescue” and create folders with the name “recup1” for recovery.
  • Part 2. Download and Manually Install the QRescue App
  • Part 3. Run PhotoRec
  • Part 4. Run QRescue
  • Part 5. Move the recovery data to your NAS.

Let’s begin.

Overview:

QRescue is the data recovery tool for Qlocker-encrypted 7z files. It contains:

  • PhotoRec (Open Source Project / GNU General Public License / Project Link):
    File recovery software designed to recover lost files from hard disks and CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from the storage medium.
  • QRescue (Powered by QNAP):
    The script to recover file structures from the encrypted 7z files and PhotoRec files.

Requirements:

  • Download the QRescue app from this link.
    https://download.qnap.com/QPKG/QRescue.zip
  • Prepare an external hard disk drive with a capacity larger than the total used storage space on your NAS.
    • Note: It’s advised to prepare an external HDD with 1.5 to 2x free space than the total used storage space on your NAS. Additional space might be required during the recovery process. If the available space is less than the suggested value, error and other issues may occur.

Steps:

Part 1. Configure external HDD with the name “rescue” and create folders with the name “recup1” for recovery.

QRescue will process the recovery process to external drive first, and we need to do some configuration for this recovery process and create the specific destination and folder name.

  1. You need to prepare an external HDD that its usable capacity is larger than the total used storage size of your NAS. This is because you will recover the files to the external device first. Please check your used volume size first by clicking More > About on the QTS desktop.
  2. Insert the external drive to your NAS. Please go to Storage Manager > External Device > Select your external device > Click “Actions” > Click “Format” to format the external drive.
  3. The File System must be “EXT4”, and the Label name must be key in “rescue”. If these configuration is ready, please click “Format

    Notice:
    The QRescue app will use “rescue” as the external drive name. If you use other names, the recovery process might fail.
  4. (Optional) If you disable the admin account or you don’t use admin to login QTS, you might not see the external drive on the File Station. Please go to Control Panel > Privilege > Shared Folder > Edit Shared Folder Permission to enable or change read / write permission for “rescue” folder and to match the account that you log in the NAS.
    • Sample:
      Grant other administrator group account (Example: “_qnap_support” is the administrator group account for read/write permission to external hard drive naming “rescue”).

  5. Using File Station to check the volume for the correct external device name.
  6. Create the new folder and name as “recup1” (format: recup+{number}). If you have more than one storage volume, you need to add more folders for recovery.

    Notice:
    The QRescue app will use “recup+{number}” as the folder name. If you use other names, the recovery process might fail.

    Part 2. Download and Manually Install the QRescue App

    This QRescue app is a special build. Therefore, you need to manually install this app from the QTS App Center.

  7. Please go to this link to download the QRescue app.
    https://download.qnap.com/QPKG/QRescue.zip
  8. Please go to App Center > Click Install Manually > Click Browse to find the QRescue app location on your computer.
  9. After selecting the app location, you can click Install. Wait until the installation completes and open the QRescue app on QTS desktop or side-bar.
  10. When you open the QRescue app, you will see the web console. It can help to run PhotoRec and QRescue to recover your files.

    Part 3. Run PhotoRec

    Running PhotoRec can help you to recover the lost files from hard disks to the external drive. Now you will recover the NAS files to the “recup1” (example: recup+{disk_number}) folder on the external drive.

  11. Type this command and press Enter on your keyboard. You will start to run PhotoRec.
    Command:
    photorec
  12. Use Up/Down arrows to choose the hard drive. And you can start to select the NAS disk for running recovery by PhotoRec.
    • Sample:
      • /dev/mapper/cachedev1 as 1st data volume
      • /dev/mapper/cachedev2 as 2nd data volume
      • /dev/mapper/cachedev20 as 20th data volume
    • Note:
      You can check the number of data volumes in Storage & Snapshots > Storage/Snapshots
  13. Select the “ext4” partition and press “Enter
  14. Select the file system as [ ext2/ext3 ] and click “Enter” key.
  15. Select the space as [ Whole ] and click the “Enter” key.
  16. Now we need to select the external device’s folder as the recovery destination.
    • Source Destination: /share/external/DEV3301_01/qpkg/QRescue   [QRescue qpkg]
    • Recovery Destination: /share/rescue/recup1 [External Device]
    • Click “..” to go back to the upper level folder
      • Sample destination: External disk on QRescue app
      • Sample: External Device (name: rescue) > Destination Folder (name: recup1)
  17. Please click “C” on the keyboard when the destination is “/share/rescue/recup1”.
  18. Start to run the recovery process by PhotoRec. Now you can see the estimated time to completion.
  19. When you finish the PhotoRec, you can press enter when you select  [Quit] or type in “ctrl-c” to exit.

    Part 4. Run QRescue

    Run QRescue can help you to recover the files retrieved by PhotoRec. Now you will recover the files from the “recup+{number}” folder to the “restore+{number}” folder which auto creates on your external drive.

  20. Type this command and click Enter on your keyboard. You will start to run QRescue.
    Command:
    qrescue.sh
  21. (Optional) If you have two or more data volumes on your NAS, the screen will let you select which data volume you will start the process. Please type the number and press “enter”. If you only have one data volume, you might not see this step.

  22. (Optional) Now you can see the progress for which files were completed in the recovery process.
  23. When all of the QRescue process is completed, the screen will show the result summary and the process for sending the system log.
  24. QRescue app also will send the event log to QuLog Center / System Log and notify you on finishing the whole recovery process. If you have opened the QNAP support ticket, don’t forget to make the feedback for your case. QNAP support team will help you to double check. Thank you very much.

Part 5. Move the recovery data to your NAS.

You can move the recovery data to your NAS by File Station


 

So, did this QLocker recovery guide work for you? How did you find the PhotoRec and QRescue applications did their job? Let me know in the comments and share with others how well/poorly this guide helped you recover your files from ransomware encryption.

Alternatively, If you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Hard Drive Noise – Seagate vs WD vs Synology and Toshiba

28 mai 2021 à 16:00

How Noisy Are Seagate, WD and Synology Hard Drives?

If you have ever been in close proximity to any modern large capacity hard drive, you will be well aware that despite their attractive high capacity, that they generate a fair amount of ambient noise. Hard drives have changed substantially over the last decade or more and in order for them to facilitate the high speeds and high consistent performance that end-users demand, a great deal of work has gone into the internal mechanics of the modern hard drive. Whenever I recommend a NAS solution to Prosumer and Business users, I always make a point to highlight that the more industrial the data storage setup, the more noise the drives will make. It isn’t just the capacity either, with some brands having dedicated in-house hardware techniques on their product lines resulting in the same capacity on different HDD brands sounding noticeably different. Over the last year, I have conducted numerous sound tests on the most popular hard drives used in NAS and below I have detailed all of them. So if you are on the verge of buying a network-attached storage device and are slightly worried about how much noise these systems will generate because of those mechanical hard drives, this is definitely the article for you.

Hard Drive Noise – Why Should You Care?

It is a valid question, as most hardware in the world seemingly makes some kind of noise, from the light electric hum of a light bulb to the internal combustion of a car. Why is noise on a hard drive any more/less important? Here are the most common concerns of a noisy hard drive:

My Hard Drive Sounds Broken, But Is It?

This is the most common reason for many to query the noise of a hard drive. Particularly in a larger capacity and therefore more expensive drives, when installed, many users hear unusually high-pitched whurs of the disc or remarkably abrupt clicks. In fact, a lot of the most recent 16TB and 18TB hard drives on the market sound not unlike a broken hard drive sometimes, as the industrial internal hardware flicks between actions internally on the fly. Many users worry that the new expensive hard drive or larger RAID array is broken on day one because of noises like these. Here is an example of a Healthy 3.5″ Seagate Hard Drive at 8TB:

 

and HERE is an UNHEALTHY WD 3.5″ Hard Drive:

As you can tell, if you know what to listen for, they suddenly become very distinct.

Video & Photo Editors Care About Hard Drive Noise

If you are editing photos and video on a NAS over the likes of thunderbolt or sometimes in a direct 10Gbe environment, then you will be all too familiar with the irritation of noisy hard drives. This extends to more than just NAS drives and RAID, as it also applies to those of you that use particularly large external DAS hard drives from the likes of LaCie (who uses Seagate HDDs) and GTech (who use WD and UltraStar). If you want to edit photo or video in this way, then you are going to be in close proximity to the data storage enclosure. Unless you are using pretty good noise-cancelling headphones to edit your work, the spins, hums, whurs and clunk noises will be a constant irritation that only amplifies as your storage enclosure grows too. 

 

A Noisy NAS and/or Hard Drives Ruining Your Media Enjoyment

Finally, there is the effect of noisy HDD populated storage enclosures like NAS or DAS whilst watching your own personal multimedia at home. Most help users have a NAS directly connected to the router at home (being far too small a network hardware environment to justify a network switch purchase). However, those same people when having the internet service provider hardware installed in their home likely have the router in the same room as their sofas and a big TV (as it will be connected to their TiVo box, media streamer, Smart TV, etc). Those same users who want to access media from their NAS and watch it on the big screen will suddenly be disturbed during the heavier plot moments of their favourite show by what sounds like a hard drive having a fit in the corner of the room. This can be especially galling as most users who buy a NAS for home media will want to ‘futureproof’ their storage capacity up and then buy even larger hard drives to make sure the system lasts as long as possible as their collection grows, therefore the noise generated will be suitably increased as well.

So, as you can see there are plenty of reasons why the noise generated from as little as a single hard drive to an entire RAID enabled configuration is worth getting worried about. So let’s talk about each of the brands, their hard drives and how much noise each one makes. Each Drive mentioned below includes a video demonstrating which includes the noise of each HDD spinning up, performing a consistent right action and performing a consistent read action. I have also included a decibel metre and include typical megabytes per second performance for each action. Tests were performed using an external Sabrent USB 3.2 Gen 1 silent dock, with a microphone at no less than 30cm. For sensitivity reasons and in order to better distinguish the drive noise from any potential ambient noise, the db(A) Meter includes a -10 dbA difference. Let’s take a look/listen at how each drive sounds and performs below:

WD Red NAS Hard Drives – Quiet but SMR & Low Capacity

1-6TB, 5400RPM, 64-128MB Cache, 180TBW, 3yr Warranty $50-180   

Almost certainly the drive that most people have used over the last few years in their NAS, the WD Red hard drive series is one of the quietest drives on the market for NAS. Aside from the concerns of SMR and CMR disparities on this more affordable series, this is advised for quieter but consistent/steady home use. However, if you are looking for a dedicated PMR/CMR drive in a larger capacity, you may wish to skip this.

+ Affordable Price Tag

+ Low Noise and Power Consumption in 24×7 Use

+ Good base level of Capacities Available

– Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)

– Performance is fairly average in the smaller capacities

 

Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drives – Little Noise, Good Capacity, Data Recovery

1-12TB, 5900-7200RPM, 64-256MB Cache, 180TBW, 3yr Warranty, Rescue Data Recovery Services Included $50-480  

The quietest hard drive for NAS in the Seagate portfolio, only fractionally noisier than WD Red (though 10-14TB are noticeably louder), these arrive in larger capacities and are all CMR/PMR. They are also the best price per terabyte of any drive in this list.

+ Excellent Price Point

+ Rescue Data Recovery Services

+ Seagate Ironwolf Health Management

+ ONLY CMR/PMR Drives in their NAS Range

– Max Drive Capacity is 12TB

 

WD Red Plus NAS Hard Drives – Quiet in Smaller Capacities, All CMR/PMR

1-14TB, 5400/7200RPM, 64-512MB Cache, 180TBW, 3yr Warranty, WD Red Plus 1-14TB (CMR) $50-400  

The WD Red plus series is is the CMR/PMR alternative to standard WD Red DM-SMR drives. Still a very quiet drive, it also arrives in larger capacities. Although it is is a fraction more expensive than the standard Seagate Ironwolf.

+ Affordable Price Tag

+ All WD Red Plus are CMR/PMR

+ Low Noise and Power Consumption in 24×7 Use

+ Good base level of Capacities Available

– Noise is Higher in Larger Capacities

 

Seagate Ironwolf Pro NAS Hard Drives – Fast But VERY Clicky When in Operation

4-18TB, 7200RPM, 256MB Cache, 300 TBW, 5yr Warranty, Rescue Data Recovery Services Included $80-560  

Seagate Ironwolf Pro hard drives are designed for larger storage arrays, are available all the way up to 18TB (and soon HAMR 20TB drives) and unfortunately, it is at this point where hard drives start to get noticeably noisier. They arrive with free Data Recovery Services much like the standard version, but due to their more industrial design and larger storage capacities, this is a noticeably noisier hard drive. This is especially noticeable at spin-up

+ Excellent Price Point vs Ironwolf NON-Pro in the Portfolio

+ Rescue Data Recovery Services

+ Seagate Ironwolf Health Management

+ ONLY CMR/PMR Drives in their NAS Range

– Smallest Drive Capacity is 4TB

– Noticable Boot Up Noise

 

WD Red Pro NAS Hard Drives – Noisiest WD Red Drive but also the Fastest and Largest

2-18TB, 7200RPM, 128-512MB Cache, 300TBW, 5yr Warranty $99-600  

Much like the Seagate NAS Pro drive, WD Red Pro is there industrial hard drive that is available in a larger storage capacity than any other WD Red drive, is a few degrees quieter in general operation than the Ironwolf Pro (still loud though), but is also noticeably more expensive as you look at greater HDD capacities in the range. Still, it’s a very good, reliable and rugged drive.

+ Top Tier NAS Drive Performance

+ 300TB/Y Workload

+ Build for up to 24-Bay Servers

– Certainly Noiser than non-Pro equivalents

– More Expensive than the Seagate Pro Option

 

Synology HAT5300 NAS Hard Drives – Loud, but a Data Center Drive at a Pro Price

8-16TB, 7200RPM, 256/512MB Cache, 550TBW, 5yr Warranty, Synology System ONLY, Firmware Control on Synology DSM $250-450  

Synology has its own range of first-party hard drives in the HAT5300 series, which although equally as noisy as most other industrial hard drives, benefits from numerous Synology brand extras like easy firmware updates and 550TBW, well as arriving with a price tag that is comparable to WD Red Pro and Seagate Ironwolf Pro drives, despite its data centre class build. A good drive but definitely at the noisier end of the spectrum.

+ Enterprise Drives at a PRO class Price

+ 550TBW on ALL Capacities

+ Drive Firmware can be Updated from within the Synology DSM GUI

– Using them in not Synology NAS Hardware is not Supported

– Performance is a pinch lower than WD Red Pro (5-15MB/s)

 

Western Digital Ultrastar Data Centre Hard Drives – Highest Performance, but Cover Your Ears!

1-18TB, 7200RPM, 256-512MB Cache, 550TBW, 5yr Warranty, FIPS and SED Options, SATA, SAS and U.2 NVMe SSD Options $70-550  

The Western Digital Ultrastar data centre class hard drive is easily the noisiest of all the drives that are mentioned today. They have the biggest capacity, the largest range of interfaces and encryption methods supported, but definitely are the noisiest drive on this list and are not advised for use in close proximity. This is truly a data center class drive and designed specifically for use in a rack cabinet, far away!

+ Consistently High Performance

+ Well Establish HDD Drive and Brand

+ Numerous Interfaces, in-Drive Encryption Systems and Choices

– DEFINITELY one of the most confusing product ranges

– Noticeably Noisy at boot

 

Seagate EXOS Data Center Hard Drives – Big, Loud but Surprisingly Affordable

1-18TB, 72000RPM, 256-512MB Cache, SAS & SATA Options, 550 TBW, 5yr Warranty, $80-460   

The EXOS series is the Seagate data centre class drive and is certainly a noisy one at that. Not really designed for close proximity, much like the Ultrastar class, it arrives with numerous interface options in SATA and SAS, as well as numerous encryption methods supported. Though not quite as noisy as the ultra star series, they are still quite high on decimals when in use but are a degree lower in price than Ultrastar and Ironwolf Pro.

+ Huge Range of Architecture Options (FIPS, Military Encryp, 4KN, SED, SAS and more)

+ Constantly Evolving (Mach 2 versions, x14, x16 & x18 etc)

+ Comparatively Lower in Price vs Ultrastar

– Range Can Be Confusing

– Noisy!

 

And there you have it, a breakdown of the current popular hard drives on the market, the noise they make and whether they provide a good noisy vs price vs capacity balance. If you need still need help choosing the right storage media, feel free to take advantage of the COMPLETELY FREE and NO REGISTRATION NEEDED advice section below. Sorry to put that last bit in capital letters and in bold, but I really do offer this service at no charge and people just like these things clear! This is a free service manned by myself (with a little help along the way) and if you can just let me know the storage requires below, your budget (no necessary, but allows me to scale it a bit to your needs and not destroy your budget) and I will get in touch as soon as you can.


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Buying a NAS for Video Editing – Get it Right First Time

31 mai 2021 à 16:00

Buying a NAS for Video Editing – A Buyers Guide

Whether you are a professional, semi-pro or hobbyist video editor, the appeal of moving your editing suite over to a NAS based environment can be quite high. Although not quite as straightforward as utilising traditional an internal SSD or external storage on USB and thunderbolt, video editing on a NAS can bring a significant number of advantages and improvements to even a low-level post-production environment focused on editing video privately or commercially. It can be frightfully intimidating to understand which components you need to buy, let alone know how to create the ideal video editing set up on a NAS for multiple connected clients on windows and mac systems. So today I wanted to take some time and talked about why you should edit video on a NAS, why you shouldn’t and the key considerations when making the move towards network-attached storage for your video editing workflow.

Ready to Edit Video on a NAS Drive? Below is my FULL GUIDE to Edit on a NAS (Click Below):

What are the Benefits of Video Editing on a NAS

Network-attached storage (NAS) has been around now commercially for more than 20-years and it has only really been in the last few years that the viability of editing dense media, such as 1080P and 4K raw, has become particularly viable. NAS brings a number of unique advantages to video editors that apply to both the process of rendering in post-production AND general good working practice with your data. Key benefits of using a NAS in your video editing workflow are:

One Area of Storage, Accessible by Many at Once – Multiple users can connect to the same storage device, internal and external backup routines can be managed by the device and connected storage

Diverse Connectivity – Multiple types of connection are available for users to interact with the device

Security Advantages – Encryption and multiple security access options are available on the storage side

Easy Distribution – Completed projects can be distributed to the network or internet without requiring an additional cloud storage platform

Mixed OS Support – Different OS and file structures can communicate with the same storage device without being incompatible

Scaled Storage Options – Storage capacity is scalable with the ability to gradually add hard drives and SSD as you need them and even attach additional enclosures – ie you are not limited on day one with a preset storage capacity

Users & Group Access Controls with Custom Privileges – Each user can have their own login with access to different areas of the system storage being allowed/denied on the fly

AJA Speed Test from 4x Synology HAT5300 Hard Drives in a RAID 5 over 10Gbe NAS Connectivity Below:

What are the downsides of Editing on a NAS?

Of course, editing on a NAS is still not perfect for everyone and although it features numerous benefits to those working in post-production, there are still several hurdles that may be too much for some users. Below are several reasons why you may not want to use a NAS for video editing:

Top Speed Potential – Like-for-like a NAS will not quite hit the same top performance of a direct-attached storage device (DAS)

Arguable More Expensive – NAS costs more than a traditional DAS

Not Strictly Plug-n-Play – NAS is not as straightforward or feature the same level of plug-and-play that a regular DAS does

Additional Equipment (e.g Switches) – In order for multiple users to access a NAS at the same time, it can sometimes require additional hardware

Steeper Learning Curve – NAS systems have a marginally higher learning curve when it comes to setting up and maintenance when it comes to external network security

Overall, a NAS is still fantastic for video editing, but all the advantages that it brings for multi-editor environments and improving your workflow are not without a little friction at the start. That said, these are small in the grand scheme of things and most can be overcome with even a small amount of IT knowledge. Below are guides on how to setup your Synology or QNAP NAS for Video Editing for the first time:

Important Considerations When Choosing a NAS for Video Editing

In order to cover every aspect of how you can adapt a NAS into your video editing workflow, I have broken the whole thing down into several key considerations. Each one was selected based on its recurrence in the enquiry section here on NASCompares and I strongly recommend that you check the suitability of each in your setup before proceeding with purchasing any NAS solution for business class post-production, low-level video editing and even just for simple one-off tasks involving video.

Video Editing on a NAS – Size, Capacity and RAID

Let’s start with something straightforward and easy to understand, namely the subject of storage space and capacity. The amount of storage you’re going to need in a NAS that you plan on using for video editing may seem simple at first. Depending on whether you plan on utilising the NAS to its fullest in terms of editing, distribution and archiving, or simply plan on using the NAS for just the editing, you will need to make sure that you have enough storage for current projects and long-term storage. Typically, it is recommended that you work out how much data you generally create per year and times it by x5. However, capacity is only a small part of the importance of storage on your video editing NAS.

Here is a Guide to Understanding Each of the Main RAID Types (Click Below to read in a new tab)

In order to improve the performance of the NAS for optimal video editing, it is recommended that you use a NAS setup that features multiple hard drives or SSD in order to take advantage of both the redundancy and multi-disc access performance benefits available in RAID (redundant array of independent disks). A single hard drive can provide around 150-260 Megabytes per second of performance on average, but with each additional hard drive you add to a NAS system, it increases the overall performance by around 70-150MB/s per drive (more so with SSD). Although hard drives are traditionally slower than more expensive SSD, this can be negated via the use of multiple hard drives in a RAID and provide a much better price per terabyte investment. This also means that the NAS is able to store more projects for editing and archiving overall.

Finally, there is the consideration for the number of bays available on the video editing NAS. If you intend to take advantage of the performance and redundancy that RAID provides, you will need to ensure that you buy a NAS system that allows enough bays for you to populate with hard drives or SSD. However, you may also need to consider adding more drives later in your NAS drives life, whether to increase capacity later or just do improve performance when you need it. So it never hurts to consider partially populating a NAS in order to give yourself a little more flexibility later with your capacity, whether it is installing four hard drives in an 8 bay NAS or choosing a NAS that has the option of expandability with an externally connected expansion chassis.

Video Editing on a NAS – Noise and Distance from the NAS

Another massively overlooked area in using a NAS for video editing, and one that when overlooked can lead to enormous irritation, is avoiding ambient noise that some enterprise NAS devices generate. One of the biggest differences between editing using an SSD inside your Mac or Windows system compared with editing on an external device like a NAS/DAS is that due to the larger array of storage media combined with external enclosure design, the clicks, hums and vibration can create a noticeable increase in ambient noise. This can obviously vary based on the NAS and drive media you choose to use, but still nonetheless the general rule of thumb is that high performance in a NAS will equal a larger volume in in operational noise. If you are running a less noise prohibitive workflow, take advantage of professional headphones or maintain a decent distance from the system, you should be perfectly fine. However many users do not realise that video editing on a NAS enclosure can be rather noisy. To give you an example, below is some examples of general ambient noise generated from just a single NAS based hard drive when in operation:

Audio/Noise Tests of FOUR Popular NAS based Hard Drives:

Seagate Ironwolf Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgXtQ1nGMI0/

WD Red Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf23exhPDXg/

Seagate EXOS Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW4FIWX1QKo/

Western Digital UltraStar Noise – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THYPA5FMiD4/

 

Video Editing on a NAS – Hard Drives, SSDs, or Both in your NAS

Most people are already well aware that although hard drives bring a tremendous amount of storage potential at an affordable level, they pale in comparison to SSD when it comes to performance. Solid-state drives provide read and write speeds that practically no modern traditional hard drive can match. That is the main reason that a lot of people rely on SSDs inside their modern computers for operating systems and general high-performance file handling. However, when it comes to network-attached storage the gap between hard drives and SSD performance can be closed significantly via the utilisation of RAID (redundant array of independent disks – mentioned earlier), which allows a user to install multiple hard drives inside I NAS and because each Drive is being read and written to at the same time, it results in something that far surpasses that of a singular hard drive in speed. In short, if you look at the price of per terabyte of an SSD as around 4-5x that of a regular hard drive, you can still achieve these speeds by simply using 4-5 hard drives instead, but actually having more capacity available to you, as well as the option of a safety net that most RAID configurations offer by default. So do not assume that video editing on a NAS will be better just because you spent more money on SSDs. If you did choose to spend significantly more money in fully populating a NAS with SSD only, this could potentially over-saturate the connection between your NAS and your editing computer, so if you are running a 10 Gigabit connection (i.e 1000MB/s), on a NAS fully populated with SSD, you cannot actually exceed 1000 megabyte per second – so you would have wasted a lot of money on SSD to start with.

Of course, there is the third option of utilising both storage media in an intelligent way. The act of using a mixed media storage configuration can be realised in either taking advantage of a tiered storage system that moves data inside to whichever storage media is the most beneficial (i.e more regularly accessed on SSD, least accessed on HDD – known on QNAP NAS as QTier), or SSD caching that moves a copy of more frequently accessed data from the hard drive RAID storage array onto a smaller but higher-performing area of SSD storage media. The benefits of SSD caching on video editing are negligible unless you are utilising many, many smaller files and need these files more frequently accessed at any given time. Ultimately, this all means that you are not locked in on utilising just one kind of storage media on your video editing setup and it is recommended that you investigate the benefits of either or both in order to maximize your investment in a NAS for video editing.

Video Editing on a NAS – Buying a NAS with 10Gbe

For those who are looking at purchasing a NAS system for video editing, the appeal of 10-gigabit ethernets is largely inarguable. One of the biggest problems when it came to editing video and even photos on a NAS until recently was that you simply could not get the bandwidth and performance through it that you would need in order to edit a big single file. This changed when 10-gigabit ethernet became available, but more so when you became affordable. You can now pick up some 10Gbe NAS systems for as little as £200-300, which might leave you feeling that a NAS for video editing can be spectacularly cheap. However, it is so much more complicated than simply having a 10Gb port on your NAS to allow video editing in any seamless form. Indeed, there are several key factors that a lot of 10G buyers either overlook or consciously cheap-out on, which inevitably leads to slower performance. These are as follows:

Choosing the Right NAS CPU

As mentioned, there are several very affordable 10Gbe NAS systems out there that highlight how competent they are at file server handling. However, not all CPUs are built the same and unless you are using an x86 64-bit CPU, you are not going to get the performance needed to edit video smoothly. Most affordable alternative systems arrived with ARM-based processors (Realtek, Marvel, Annapurna, etc), in 32-bit and 64-bit. These CPU are designed for maximum efficiency but low heavy performance handling and along with featuring lesser power frequencies, cannot handle larger instructions particularly well. Video editing is an intense operation with numerous read-write actions happening in the background that is often unknown to the editor (caching, editing multiple streams on a timeline, etc) and an ARM processor is just not up to the task. This can be marginally mitigated with improved memory, but even this is like sticking a plaster on a shotgun wound! You need to opt for 10Gbe NAS that have either an Intel or AMD based processor that is 64-bit in architecture in order to ensure smooth editing of your videos personally or professionally. I recommend at last an Intel Xeon, Intel Core, AMD Ryzen or Pentium at the very least.

Choosing the Right Amount of NAS Memory

Although nowhere near as important as selecting the right CPU in a 10Gbe NAS solution, Memory still needs to be considered when setting up the device for video editing. This is because although a chunk of memory will be used by the NAS for individual video editing instructions and operations, the NAS will also need additional reserved memory for running background system operations, backup routines and any additional apps you have installed from the brand respective app centre (surveillance, snapshots, cloud synchronisation, etc). The majority of budget 10Gbe NAS solutions arrived with 2GB of memory (sometimes non-upgradable and soldered via individual memory chips to the motherboard), though I strongly recommend that video editors use at least 8GB of memory if you have at least two editors. There are also differences in memory types and frequency, but these are less vital in video editing NAS and generally the better CPU your NAS has, the better the memory it will include.

Choosing the Right Amount of Terabytes for Storage to MAX 10Gbe

Having 10G on a NAS does not mean you INSTANTLY guarantee 1000MB/s performance. The number of hard drive SSD bays that the NAS has is actually an extremely important part of setting up a NAS for 10G editing. Individual SATA hard drive or SSD arrives with speeds ranging from 160-550MB/s, with faster drives obviously being the more expensive. But if your system has multiple drive bays, with the right RAID configuration you can read and write from multiple disks at once and this multiplies the performance possible. This also means that cheaper, larger but slower hard drives can get a great deal closer to the performance of SSD if they are used in larger configurations of 6 or 8 bays. The performance of 10Gbe does not guarantee 1000MBs, it simply opens the channel to push that much data through. Utilising a NAS with more Drive bays and drives inside will allow you to maximize this connection and fully saturate 10Gbe for video editing.

Factoring Upgrades on your Client PCs and Macs

An often-overlooked factor, just because you buying a 10Gbe equipped NAS does not guarantee you 10G performance with all of your connected devices externally. 10Gbe on a NAS arrives in an available ethernet port in copper or fibre connectivity, 10GASE-T or SFP+ respectively. However, you still need to make sure that other devices in your network involved in connectivity and video editing also have this connection. Typically that means that you either need to upgrade your network switch to include one with 10Gbe on board and/or you need to upgrade the video editing workstations in your home/business environment with 10Gbe connectivity. Typically these connections arrived as either thunderbolt external adaptors or PCIe upgrade cards (not suitable for MacBooks, Mac minis or laptops). There are lesser connections such as 2.5G and 5G that allow USB upgrades by providing 250-500MB/s, but if you want to take advantage of 10GBe, you need to look at applying upgrades to any devices involved with video editing. Below is a guide to 10Gbe Upgrades:

Just remember that regardless of the hard drives you use, the memory you install and the number of hard drives you install inside, these all primarily affect internal performance and it is only by upgrading your ethernet connectivity to greater than 1Gbe that you will see external performance improve – VITAL for video editing!

Video Editing on a NAS – Buying a NAS with Thunderbolt

Although by no means a new way to edit video on a NAS, connecting to a NAS via thunderbolt is still a comparatively recent method and one that is largely only available from QNAP. In many ways, utilising a Thunderbolt 3 equipped NAS for video editing is largely identical to 10Gbe and is heavily dictated by many of the factors detailed above (CPU, memory, connectivity, etc). However, Thunderbolt NAS eliminates a lot of the client upgrade hurdles for many users, particularly Mac users, allowing them to connect directly with the NAS over TB3/USB-C for performance speeds much greater than traditional Gigabit LAN. Many users have edited video on local thunderbolt storage for years, more commonly referred to as DAS (direct-attached storage), a thunderbolt NAS allows multiple users to connect via thunderbolt and edit video on the same storage enclosure. The reality though is that thunderbolt NAS does not provide the same level of performance and throughput as a regular thunderbolt DAS enclosure. This is because it is utilising network protocol in its connectivity (in order to ensure that multiple users can connect at once – something a DAS drive cannot do). It can still provide potentially thousands of megabytes per second depending on the media inside and CPU, but there is a notable disparity between a DAS of the same scale. Additionally, whereas the majority of thunderbolt DAS (LaCie, G-Tech, Drobo, etc) are almost completely plug-n-play and appearing as an external drive immediately upon connection, Thunderbolt NAS requires a little more work in order to appear as an available drive on your Mac or Windows system. Most of these connection hurdles only need to be configured during the first time setup and then saved for the future, but it can still be a notably intimidating move to switch to a thunderbolt NAS for video editing. Nevertheless, thunderbolt NAS is still one of the best options out there are for video editors who work in a team and need to share the same storage array for backups, live editing, distribution and managing multiple archives in house.

Choosing A NAS for Video Editing – Need More Help?

So, those were the key considerations for those looking to buy a new NAS for video editing, or looking to upgrade/migrate from an existing DAS/External drive setup. However, there is still so much that you may need to know ranging from software compatibility, how to connect the NAS in the best way, Shoadowfiles and the best backup methods. If you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

Learn More About Multiple Backup Strategies on your Synology NAS in the Guide Below:


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

QNAP NAS Plex Performance Guide – 2021 Edition

2 juin 2021 à 16:00

What is the Best QNAP NAS for a Plex Media Server?

Plex has fast become the most popular media server software for home users in 2021. With a slick user interface, smart organization, relevant media images and descriptions sourced from many online sources applied automatically and clever show recommendations and watched records, it is easy to see why Plex challenges many of the online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Instant and Hulu. Another attractive feature of Plex is that the software is available free (or a more feature-rich paid version), whereas online streaming sources have monthly subscriptions, do not let you play your own content and change/rotate available media content on a monthly basis. With Plex, you play the media that you own and it is organized in an attractive and easy way. However in order to take advantage of Plex, you need a device for your media and the Plex media server to live, and this is where the money part comes. The best means with which to host a plex media server is a Network Attached Storage device (or NAS server). One of the biggest NAS server providers in the world right now is QNAP and they have a large range of NAS devices that support Plex in many, many ways (transcoding, smooth running, 4K, etc). However which QNAP NAS should you buy for your Plex media server, what is transcoding on a QNAP Plex media server like and what is the best QNAP NAS for a Plex Media Server (PMS)?

What is Software Transcoding on a QNAP Plex Media Server?

When media lives on your QNAP NAS, often the device a that you are playing back your plex media (Smart TV, iPhone, Laptop, iPod) onto cannot support the media file type, the resolution or audio codec. In this case, the Plex Media Server on your QNAP NAS will try to change the file to a more suitable version, on the fly, to ensure you can enjoy your media in the best way. This is known as transcoding and though the Plex application is actioning this with the software, the actual work is being done by the QNAP NAS CPU. Software transcoding takes a heavy toll on the CPU and you will need a relatively powerful processor in order to support this feature. Typically the CPU will need to be:

  • In Intel or AMD Based Based CPU that is 64bit (x86) in Architecture
  • Higher than 1.6Ghz in Frequency
  • More than 2 Cores

It is important to highlight that transcoding for Plex on a QNAP NAS only really needs more power in the case of converting/changing video files. Audio and Image files will not require much support from the NAS.

Choosing the Right QNAP NAS for a Plex Media Server

When it comes to choosing the right QNAP NAS for your Plex Media Server, below I have broken down the entire currently available NAS you can buy. I have broken them down into the following areas:

Model ID – This is the Name of the QNAP NAS Device

CPU – This is the central processor of the QNAP NAS server and this will be what decides the performance of your Plex Media Server

SD 480p / 576p –Most likely the lowest point at which you will need transcoding of a video media file, 480p was used for many early Plasma televisions, whereas 576p is considered Standard Definition in many countries worldwide

HD 720p – Otherwise known as ‘HD Ready’ or ‘Standard HD’, it is generally considered the lowest starting point for watching HD media and starts at 1280×720

HD 1080p – Widely regarded at ‘Full-HD’, it arrives at 1920×1080. Most media listed at high definition in 2021 will be 1080P

4K SDR 2160p – 4K SDR is the entry point into 4K Media. An SDR 2160p supported TV has around 4,000 lines of resolution (the lines across the screen that form the rows of pixels) but is not capable of completely showing the depth and richness of colours spectrum and contrast of 4K HDR. It is by no means a compromise and still an excellent picture, but rather this is due to the physical differences in the construction of the screen and not just how the images are processed, just like the differences between and SD and HDTV.

4K UHD HDR 2160p – The current top end of 4K Media file formats in popular commercial media. A 4K HDR TV has the same 4000 lines of resolution as those that support 4K SDR 2160p, but is physically capable of rendering an image with increased contrast and richer colours\separation thanks to the physical build superiority.

Be sure to check the kind of media you own (or plan on streaming from your QNAP NAS), as well as the devices you will be playing back on for a better idea of what kind of plex media transcoding support you will need from your NAS server from QNAP. Be sure to check the supported file types (most common modern files types you find for 1080p and 4K are .MKV .MP4 .MOV and .AVI).Below is the entire current QNAP NAS range and how well they perform in the Plex Media Server Application with a single Stream.

Guide for the Chart Below

Software Transcode = Uses the NAS software and CPU Power to alter a file to a more suitable Plex Playback type

Hardware – Accelerated Transcoding – Uses Embedded Graphics that are Integrated into the CPU to Alter a file to a more suitable version for Plex Playback

RED BOX – Recommended Synology NAS for Plex Media Server. Could be based on Performance, Price or Value between both

Use the FREE ADVICE Button to contact me directly for a recommendation on the Best Plex NAS for your Setup/Budget. Please bear in mind that this is a one-man operation, so my reply might take a little bit of time, but it will be impartial, honest and have your best interests at heart.

 

Latest 2021 QNAP NAS Releases:

 

Software Transcoding

 

 

Hardware – Accelerated Transcoding

 

Model CPU Model SD
480p / 576p
HD
720p
HD
1080p
4K
SDR 2160p
HD
720p
HD
1080p
H.264
2160p
HEVC SDR
2160p
HEVC UHD
2160p
TS-131K ARMv7 (Alping AL-214) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-230 ARMv8 (RealTek 1296) 1.4Ghz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-231K ARMv7 (Alping AL-214) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-231P3 ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7 Ghz No No No No No No No No No
TS-251D x64 (Celeron J4005) 2.0Ghz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-253D x64 (Celeron J4125) 2.7Ghz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-431KX ARMv7 (Alping AL-214) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-431P3 ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-431X3 ARMv7 (Alpine AL-212) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-451D2 x64 (Celeron J4005) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-451DeU x64 (Celeron J4025) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-453DU (-RP) x64 (Celeron J4125) 2.7 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-453D x64 (Celeron J4125) 2.7 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-653D x64 (Celeron J4125) 2.7 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes SDR Only H.264 Output H.264 Output
TS-h973AX x64 (Ryzen V1500B) 2.2GHz Yes Yes Yes No Some Some No No No

Previous 2020 and Older QNAP NAS Releases:

   
Software Transcoding


Hardware – Accelerated Transcoding

Model CPU Model SD
480p / 576p
HD
720p
HD
1080p
4K
SDR 2160p
HD
720p
HD
1080p
H.264
2160p
HEVC SDR
2160p
HEVC UHD
2160p
TS-128A ARMv8 (RealTek 1293) 1.2GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-131 ARMv7 (Cortex A9) 1.2GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-131P ARMv7 (Alpine AL-212) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-228A ARMv8 (RealTek 1295) 1.2GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-230 ARMv8 (RealTek 1296) 1.4Ghz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-231 ARMv7 (Cortex A9) 1.2GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-231+ ARMv7 (Alpine AL-212) 1.4GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-231P ARMv7 (Alpine AL-212) 1.7 Ghz No No No No No No No No No
TS-231P2 ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7 Ghz No No No No Yes Yes No No No
TS-251 x64 (Celeron J1800) 2.41GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TS-251+ x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-251A x64 (Celeron N3060) 1.6GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-251D x64 (Celeron J4005) 2.0Ghz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TS-253 Pro x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-253A x64 (Celeron N3150) 1.6GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-253B x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-253Be x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-269 Pro x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-328 ARMv8 (RealTek 1296) 1.2GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-332X ARMv8 (Alpine AL-324) 1.7GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-431 ARMv7 (Cortex-A9) 1.2GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-431+ ARMv7 (Alpine AL-212) 1.4GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-431P ARMv7 (Alpine AL-212) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-431P2 ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-431U ARMv7 (Cortex-A9) 1.2GHz No No No No Yes Yes No No No
TS-451 x64 (Celeron J1800) 2.41GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-451+ x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-451A x64 (Celeron N3060) 1.6GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-451U x64 (Celeron J1800) 2.41GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-453A x64 (Celeron N3150) 1.6GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-453mini x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-453B x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-453Be x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-453BT3 x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-453Bmini x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-453BU x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-453U x64 (Celeron J1800) 2.41GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-463U x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-463XU x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-469 Pro x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-469L x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-469U-RP x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-473 x64 (AMD RX 421ND) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-531P ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.4GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-531X ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-563 x86 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-569 Pro x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-569L x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No Yes Yes No No No
TS-651 x64 (Celeron J1800) 2.41GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only No No
TS-653 Pro x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-653A x64 (Celeron N3150) 1.6GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-653B x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-669 Pro x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-669L x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-677 x64 (AMD RX 421ND) 2.1GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-677-1600 x64 (AMD Ryzen 5-1600) 3.2 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-831X ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.4GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-831XU ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-832X ARMv8 (Annapurna) 1.7GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-832XU ARMv8 (Annapurna) 1.7GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-851 x64 (Celeron J1800) 2.41GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only No No
TS-853 Pro x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TS-853A x64 (Celeron N3150) 1.6GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-853BU x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TS-853U x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-863U x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-863XU x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-869 Pro x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-869L x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No No No No No No
TS-869U-RP x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No Yes Yes No No No
TS-870 Pro x64 (Core i3-3220) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-873 x64 (AMD RX 421ND) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-873U x64 (AMD RX 421ND) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-877-1600 x64 (AMD Ryzen 5 1600) 3.2 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-877-1700 x64 (AMD Ryzen 7 1700) 3.0 GHZ Yes Yes Yes Some Some Some No No No
TS-879 Pro x64 (Core i3-2120) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Yes No Some Some No No No
TS-879U-RP x64 (Core i3-2120) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TS-932X ARMv8 (Annapurna) 1.7GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TS-951X x64 (Celeron 3865U) 1.8Ghz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-963X x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No Some Some No No No
TS-1079 Pro x64 (Core i3-2120) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TS-1231XU ARMv7 (Alpine AL-314) 1.7GHz No No No No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TS-1253BU x64 (Celeron J3455) 1.5 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TS-1253U x64 (Celeron J1900) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-1263U x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-1263XU x64 (AMD GX-420MC) 2.0GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-1269U-RP x64 (Atom D2700) 2.13GHz Yes Some No No Some Some No No No
TS-1279U-RP x64 (Core i3-2120) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TS-1635 ARMv7 (Alpine AL-514) 1.7 GHz No No No No No No No No No
TS-1635AX ARMv8 (ARMADA) 1.7GHz Yes Yes Some No No No No No No
TS-1673U x64 (AMD RX 421ND) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Some No Some Some No No No
TS-1679U-RP x64 (Core i3-2120) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TS-1277-1600 x64 (AMD Ryzen 5 1600) 3.2 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-1277-1700 x64 (AMD Ryzen 7 1700) 3.0 GHZ Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-1677X-1200 x64 (AMD Ryzen 3 1200) 3.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TS-1677X-1600 x64 (AMD Ryzen 5 1600) 3.2 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-1677X-1700 x64 (AMD Ryzen 7 1700) 3.0 GHZ Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-1685-D1521 x64 (Xeon D1521) 2.4 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-1685-D1531 x64 (Xeon D1531) 2.2 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TS-EC1080 Pro x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-EC1279U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1225) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TS-EC1280U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-EC1679U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1225) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TS-EC1680U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TS-EC2480U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TS-EC879U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1225) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TS-EC880 Pro x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TS-EC880U-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some
Yes Yes No No No
TVS-471-i3 x64 (Core i3-4150) 3.5GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Some No No No
TVS-471-PT x64 (Pentium G3250) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Some No No No
TVS-472XT x64 (Pentium G5400T) 3.1 Ghz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TVS-473 x64 (AMD RX-421BD) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
TVS-473e x64 (AMD RX-421BD) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-671-i3 x64 (Core i3-4150) 3.5GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-671-i5 x64 (Core i5-4590S) 3.0GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Some No No No
TVS-671-PT x64 (Pentium G3250) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-672XT x64 (Core i3-8100T) 3.1 Ghz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TVS-673 x64 (AMD RX-421BD) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-672N-i3-4G x64 (Core i3-8100T) 3.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TVS-673e x64 (AMD RX-421BD) 2.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-682-i3-8G x64 (Core i3-7100) 3.9 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Some No No No
TVS-682-PT-8G x64 (Pentium G4400) 3.3GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-682T-i3-8G x64 (Core i3-7100) 3.9 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-871-i3 x64 (Core i3-4150) 3.5GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-871-i5 x64 (Core i5-4590S) 3.0GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-871-i7 x64 (Core i7-4790S) 3.2GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Some No No No
TVS-871-PT x64 (Pentium G3250) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-871U-RP-i3 x64 (Core i3-4150) 3.5GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-871U-RP-i5 x64 (Core i5-4590S) 3.0GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Some No No No
TVS-871U-RP-PT x64 (Pentium G3250) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-872N-i3-4G x64 (Core i3-8100T) 3.1 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-872XT-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-8400T) 1.7 Ghz Yes Yes Yes Some No No No No No
TVS-873e x64 (AMD RX-421BD) 2.1 Ghz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-882-i3-8G x64 (Core i3-7100) 3.9 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-882-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-6500) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-882T-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-6500) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-882BRT3-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-7500) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-882BRT3-i7-32G x64 (Core i7-7700) 3.6GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-882ST3-i5 x64 (Core i5-6442EQ 1.9GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-882ST3-i7 x64 (Core i7-6700HQ) 2.6GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-951X x64 (Celeron 3865U) 1.8 GHz Yes Yes Some No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-EC1080 x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-EC880 x64 (Xeon E3-1245 v3) 3.4GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-1271U-RP-i3 x64 (Core i3-4150) 3.5GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-1271U-RP-i5 x64 (Core i5-4590S) 3.0GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
TVS-1271U-RP-i7 x64 (Core i7-4790S) 3.2GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Some No No No
TVS-1271U-RP-PT x64 (Pentium G3250) 3.1GHz Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-1282-i3-8G x64 (Core i3-6100) 3.7 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-1282-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-6500) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-1282-i7-32G x64 (Core i7-6700) 3.4 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only No
TVS-1282T-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-6500) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-1282T-i7-32G x64 (Core i7-7700) 3.4 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-1282T3-i5-16G x64 (Core i7-7500) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-1282T3-i7-32G x64 (Core i7-7700) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-1582TU-i5-16G x64 (Core i5-7500) 3.4 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes H.264 Only Decode Only Decode Only
TVS-1582TU-i7-32G x64 (Core i7-7700) 3.6 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-EC1280U-SAS-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1246 v3) 3.5 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-EC1580MU-SAS-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1246 v3) 3.5 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-EC1680U-SAS-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1246 v3) 3.5 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes Yes No No No
TVS-EC2480U-SAS-RP x64 (Xeon E3-1246 v3) 3.5 GHz Yes Yes Yes Some Yes

What is Accelerated Transcoding with Plex on my NAS?

Some QNAP NAS arrive with a CPU that has improved rendering or graphical embedding enabled. This means that is Plex can utilize this hardware for transcoding, it will require much, much less of the CPU processing power to transcode a video file. In order to take advantage of Plex hardware transcoding on your QNAP NAS, you will need to first check which NAS supports the transcoding to the extent you need by checking below. Next, you will need to upgrade your Plex Membership from the free version to the paid ‘Plex Pass’ subscription, as the option of Accelerated Transcoding with QNAP NAS hardware is not included in the plex free subscription. However, below has included all the current available QNAP NAS and to what extent they support Hardware transcoding with a Plex Pass:How to Enable Hardware Acceleration with Plex Media Server on a QNAP NAS

To use Hardware Transcoding on your QNAP NAS in a Plex Media Server, you need to enable it using the Plex Web access (head over to your Plex User interface on your browser.

  1. Open the Plex Web app.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Server > Transcoder to access the server settings.
  3. Turn on Show Advanced in the upper-right corner to expose advanced settings.
  4. Turn on Use hardware acceleration when available.
    hwaccel.png
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom.

The changes should take place straight away and there is no need to reboot your QNAP NAS. Be sure to have updated to the latest version of the Plex Media Server application on your NAS and that Hardware Transcoding is listed as supported in the list above.


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Plex Media Server vs Synology Video Station for NAS

4 juin 2021 à 15:00

Plex Vs Synology Video Station on a NAS in 2021/2022

One of the most popular reasons that users choose to buy a network-attached storage (NAS) device is for use as a media server. The appeal is pretty clear. With most users now owning decades of media (either in digital form or ripped from optical media at home), the ability to enjoy these box sets and Movies on the latest devices can be complicated. Despite this, streaming all of your multimedia from a NAS to all of your TVs, phones, tablets and other devices are growing increasingly popular and a lot of this is thanks to the increasing affordability of NAS from brands like Synology and QNAP and free software from companies like Plex and Emby. The most popular NAS for home media tends to be Synology, with its support of numerous media server applications and its own premium video service app too. This combined with the oversaturation of third-party online streaming services that ask you to pay a subscription (such as Netflix) with little control or right to ownership of the media you watch means that many users just want to enjoy their own unique media collections. So now that a lot of users are choosing to switch from the likes of Netflix and Prime Video towards an in-house media server, the next question is which piece of software they should choose. The most popular private media server app right now worldwide to counter the likes of Netflix is Plex Media Server, software available in host and client form that allows you to transform your media collection into a glossy, slick and informative UI that genuinely rivals big online streaming platforms. Synology on the other hand would likely prefer users to stick with their own fully-featured media server application, Synology Video Station, which they have invested well in and developed to an impressive standard that easily rivals that of Plex. So today I want to compare these two media server choices and help you decide which one is the ideal media server choice for you.

Important – ‘Free’ Vs Paid Media Server Services on a NAS

Before going any further, it is worth addressing the elephant in the room, namely that a number of key media server services that are included with Plex Media Server are locked behind a paid subscription service known as Plex Pass. Whereas Synology Video Station is an application that is included with your NAS on Day 1 at no additional cost. All that said, neither service can technically be called free, as both still require you to purchase a Synology NAS. Additionally, it is still worth highlighting that some more recent Innovations in Plex online services and utilisation of hardware transcoding (the ability to use the CPU’s embedded graphics or an available graphics card to adapt files on the fly to make them better suited to a client) is not available on the free tier of Plex, but ARE available by default in the Synology Video Station application. You can still utilise software transcoding on Plex for free and this will deal with a large degree of transcoding requirements, but the fact that you have to pay extra within the Plex app to utilise the hardware already available on your NAS is something a number of users find difficult to accept. Throughout this article, any feature that is only available as a paid Plex Pass feature will be highlighted as such.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Installation and First Time Setup

Installation of either the Synology Video Station or Plex Media Server application is near enough identical. Both are readily available in the Synology app centre and can be installed within two clicks. Both media server applications do not require your multimedia files to be stored in a pre-designated/directory location and the sources for TV shows, Movies and more can be scanned and indexed by each media server application after they are installed. In fact, the initial installation on both is incredibly straightforward and there is really only one main difference between them. That difference is that whereas the Synology Media application uses your original NAS login credentials, Plex will require you to set up an account with them online in order to use the software, even if you only intend to use your Plex Media Server on the local network/DLNA. As Plex is a third-party application, this is a little understandable if a tiny bit annoying for some. 

It is also worth highlighting that both media server applications will receive regular updates during their lifespan and this is treated slightly differently too. As Synology Video Station is a first-party app, as soon as an update is available, you will be notified immediately in the app centre and even have the opportunity to apply these firmware updates automatically. Plex updates on the other hand will almost always need to be installed manually, as the available default Plex application on the Synology app centre is updated considerably less frequently and as soon as you setup Plex for the first time, it will ALWAYS inform you that there is a new update available straight away. The Plex Media Server application itself will tell you when an update is available regularly at the top right and in the settings menu, but requires you to download the latest Plex server update to a connected computer and then you need to upload this update directly to the Synology NAS app centre manually. It is only a small inconvenience really, but does mean that regular updates on your media server of choice are handled more easily and with likely more frequency on Synology Video Station rather than Plex.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – GUI, Media Support and Browsing

The user interface of Synology Video Station and Plex Media Server are quite similar when viewed on a client device, such as a console, TV and Amazon Fire TV stick. With all of your available Movies and Boxsets clearly shown and the metadata collected by each media server application creating a great user interface for your connected users. 

However the back end/server view of each media server application is considerably different and where the Synology Video Station application is designed exclusively around video media options and configuration (as Synology have a wide range of applications for different Media types and general NAS server maintenance already available), Plex, on the other hand, is a far better equipped tool for a complete server, with the bulk of server maintenance and customisation options built into the single Plex GUI. If you are something of an IT novice, the wide range of options that Plex Media Server throws at you for system maintenance can be a touch intimidating and because Plex is designed around many different kinds of media support (something we will touch on later) it’s configuration needs to be noticeably broader than the video-centric options in the Synology official video application. These additional options, if you take the time to go through them, will definitely lead to a better media server user experience and a far better multimedia streaming system overall, it’s just a question of how bespoke and how elaborate you want your media server to be.

As mentioned, there is a clear difference in the multimedia types supported in Plex Media Server or Synology Video Station. In terms of handling of video Media, they are near enough identical with some exceptions with regard to specialist audio handling for certain dense Media. However, much like the back-end server control mentioned earlier, Synology Video Station only handles video media and relies on alternative applications such as Synology moments, photo station, Synology photos, audio station and download station to play and obtain other kinds of multimedia. Plex Media Server is a much more diverse multimedia tool with support of your photo collections (AI-assisted too), album collections, podcast streaming and several online video streaming services included. In both cases, it makes a lot of sense why they are designed this way, but some users may prefer their media server to be more of a Swiss army knife and others may want their video streaming, music streaming and photo streaming to be different services for different devices and clients. Neither Plex or Synology Video Station really gain any advantage here but simply show how they are different in their architecture. If you want simplicity in the user interface, go with Synology Video Station. If you want simplicity in your media server as a whole, go with Plex Media Server.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Meta Data Scraping

The scraping of metadata in a media server is precisely what separates a bog-standard selection of files and folders on your screen from a slick graphical user interface that is engaging, informative and a joy to use. When we talk about metadata, we are talking about thumbnails, box art, media descriptions, cast listings, review scores, trailers and more. When we say scraping, that is the process of the software accessing numerous online databases to retrieve and store this information locally to the NAS. The result is your years of TV and movie collection being transformed into something near identical to Netflix and Amazon Prime video in presentation. Metadata ultimately benefits connected users and their client hardware devices, with both Plex and Video Station being very similar in how they look to a client device, albeit with a few branded differences in colour and config.

However, on the server-side, both Synology Video Station and Plex have gone a different way with metadata scraping at a setup level. Of the two, Synology Video Station is definitely the less option-heavy and although this is thanks in many ways to a lot of key options being found in the general server GUI outside of the app, it is still pretty thin on the ground for configuration of your video media server. This is not an enormous surprise given how Synology have generally erred towards keeping things as user-friendly as possible and this is often done by simplifying configurations and sitting numerous settings to system default. The options for scraping metadata on the Synology are surprisingly thin on the ground and some more advanced options require you to sign up to some resource database websites to obtain a two-way key. Despite this, Synology still manages to scrape a tremendous amount of metadata without this key and resource linking. Indeed, although the number of supported databases for metadata listed on the Synology Video Station app is few and far between, it was still able to find the same level of metadata found on the Plex Media Server application and displayed all of the test media perfectly. 

Plex Media Server has access to significantly more online databases and although the system will generally ask you to select which one individually you wish to scrape for metadata in each library, it does do it with a high degree of accuracy. It also manages to scrape this metadata for more than just your Movies and applies this also to your music collection and podcast collection too within the app. Metadata scraping via Plex Media Server also does not require any kind of log-in to these individual databases and is largely automated off the bat, with users being able to switch designated databases for each Media type and folder on the fly. Of course, this all doesn’t guarantee accuracy and will still always be based on the format and layout of your Media in many cases (tv shows listed as S01E01 for season 1, episode 1, etc), but nevertheless, it has to be said that with more available resources and less configuration required for each of them, that Plex Media Server has the broader and more likely to succeed position on metadata scraping.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Playback and Transcoding

This is one of the most important parts of any media server in the grand scheme of things – multimedia playback and transcoding. This is typically the action of changing a media file into a version that is more acceptable to the client device that you are enjoying it on (TV, Phone, Console, etc). This extends to but is not limited to, changing the resolution, changing the bitrate, changing the file format and ultimately compressing a file into a smaller version in most cases. Because Plex and Synology Video Station are available on the same NAS system, it means that media variations with regard to codecs, compressions and file types will be equally supported at the default level. If a file can be played back in its original version on Plex, it can be played back on Synology Video Station. However, it is when these files need to be adapted with transcoding that we see clear distinctions between each of them. Transcoding is something that remote accessing client users will likely use without even realising it, as they might well be on a limited data connection (speed or coverage at the time) or using a smaller device (such as a phone) to playback a monster 4K 60FPS movie that is overkill on that hardware. So, transcoding is at its best when you do not notice it is being done OR it is adaptable in as many ways as possible to cover all your likely scenarios.

When the NAS needs to perform a transcode on a file on the fly (eg, so you need to convert a video file into a better-suited version for the client watching device upon request and without delay) it will typically do it with software transcoding or hardware transcoding. Software transcoding is when the system uses the raw resources of the CPU and memory inside the NAS to convert the file. Hardware transcoding is when the NAS system features a graphical component (such as embedded graphics featured on a CPU) or an available graphics card that is installed – as these are designed for handling video files and/or graphical manipulation tasks, and will therefore utilise considerably fewer resources. Plex Media Server only provides hardware transcoding in the paid subscription service Plex Pass and then needs to be enabled in the encoding section by selecting the option ‘make my CPU hurt’. Software transcoding is available for the free version of Plex Media Server but is far less efficient and will result in much higher-end Media in 4K and 1080p playback consuming the majority of hardware resources to transcode or will simply not play at all. 

Synology Video Station on the other hand, because it is a native first-party app, has full access to the hardware transcoding element of the NAS and therefore allows users to take advantage of it easily and immediately, and at no additional cost. This has been one of the driving forces behind the popularity of Synology Video Station application, as although the majority of NAS brands have their own video player, Synology is the only one that manages to merge the slick meta-data supported graphical user interface found in Plex but still manages to provide the free and unlimited limited access to the hardware resources you would expect after spending several $100s on a NAS. That said, the way that Synology handles the subject of transcoding in its user interface is a little peculiar, especially for users who are trying to balance the best possible playback vs the most appropriate transcoding level on the fly/manually. 

When you wish for the NAS system to transcode a file in the Video Station user interface, you are presented with the options for adjusting the picture quality to high, medium, low, very low, etc. This is exactly what one might expect from a brand that wants to consistently keep things as simple as possible, however, for those who want to select a specific quality level to playback the file or want a better idea of the best quality level in future should be for other files, this will be extraordinarily limiting. Plex Media Server on the other hand allows you to switch between an automatic transcode option that changes the file to the recommended quality level for the client and connection, or you can specifically switch one of numerous video quality levels that break down into both resolution and bitrate in several places. Overall, the ability for Video Station to be able to take advantage of hardware transcoding at no additional cost and with little or no intervention from the end-user is still ultimately the best thing here. I just wish they gave uses a better degree of control and choice as found in Plex Media Server.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Client Support

Having a slick and well-performing media server is always good, but if you cannot watch the media inside it on the devices you regularly use, then it’s all a bit pointless. Most people are already well aware that the multimedia collections they have on a NAS can easily be streamed over the local area network via popular methods such as DLNA and UPnP (digital living network alliance and universal plug and play). However, they are much more file and folder, breadcrumb level streaming and in order to enjoy the pretty GUI of Plex and Synology Video Station, an official client app needs to be available on the respective app centre or made unofficially and manually installed. This is an area where Plex Media Server almost completely wins over Synology Video Station, as it simply cannot compete with the variety and accessibility of the Plex client availability in popular app centres. 

Full credit to Plex, they have really taken the time to make sure their platform is available on pretty much any modern device, in what multiple client or media server application forms. They also take the time after an official update of services and then push these updates across each available downloadable client. This is largely impossible for Synology to compete with and they instead opt for a much more targeted client support regime, supporting all modern mobile phone OS’, desktop operating systems and some of the major sofa accessible app centres on TVs and streamers like Amazon fire TV. In  8 out of 10 cases, your device will support both Plex and Synology Video Station, but this is by no means total and sometimes a hardware client (such as an off-brand Android phone, tablet or media box) that you hope to support Video Station will sadly not. 

It is once again worth mentioning that Synology separates different multimedia types towards their own individual client apps, for example, DS Audio or Audio Station for music and DS Photo for photography. Indeed, some of these apps are quite advanced with practically unique connectivity to the likes of Amazon Alexa (something currently impossible on any other NAS platform without a 3rd party application like ‘my-media’ Alexa skill. But this, unfortunately, does not make up for being truly overshadowed by the wider degree of support available on Plex across numerous clients and smart Home devices – though the latter does require a Plex Pass. For sheer volume of connectivity on the clients, Plex wins by an absolute landslide.

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Conclusion

Throughout this comparison of Plex Media Server and Synology Video Station, it has become abundantly clear that one tool is designed around being a Swiss army knife of features and functions, whilst the other performs a smaller but key range of services exceptionally well. Those who have been using Plex Media Server for a number of years are highly unlikely to make the jump to Synology Video Station, as it may feel less feature-rich and perhaps a tad bare-bones. However, those users who are new to the idea of private NAS based multimedia streaming would do very well to try out Synology Video Station first, as I genuinely believe when it comes to concentrating on video streaming services, it is genuinely one of the best platforms out there – albeit clearly restricted to just Synology NAS devices. Plex Media Server attempts to do many things in its pursuit of being the go-to media server of choice for those jumping ship from Netflix and succeeds in most cases, it is just worth remembering that in recent years the platform has perhaps tried to diversify a tad too much. 

PLEX MEDIA SERVER

Synology Video Station

Best for Mixed Media

Best for Ease of Access on Client Hardware

Best for Transcoding Control

Best for Add On Services

Best for Metadata Sources

Best for Price

Best Performance for Transcoding

Best for Ease of Use

Best for Ease Setup

Best for Updates & Firmware Revs

Thanks for reading and I hope this guide helps you choose the perfect multimedia server for streaming with your friends, family and colleagues. If you are still lost on the right NAS, multimedia software or ideal backup system for your needs, then take advantage of the free advice section below. This is a completely free and unbias service to help work out their ideal data storage solution for you. It is manned by my myself and EddieTheWebGuy, so although replies may take an extra day or so, we will answer your email and have your best interests in mind! Have a great week.

If you are thinking of buying a NAS for Multimedia, Please use the links below:

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS 2021 Part I – The GUI, Control, Customization and Brand Focus

7 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

If you are looking at buying a new NAS drive (either as a first-time buyer or you can considering jumping from one brand to another), then the software that brands like Synology and QNAP include with your NAS purchase is always going to be an area of consideration. Many people just take for granted that the NAS system they buy will have ‘some kind of software’ included and that is enough to swing it for them to choose one NAS brand or the other. However, the reality is that QNAP and Synology are actually incredibly different systems in terms of the software design, priority of use, how that impacts the learning curve to the end-user and ultimately how suitable it will be for your needs. Even if you are a NAS Buyer that is going to mostly/exclusively use 3rd party software on your PC/Mac/Network Media hardware – you will still need to interact with the NAS software and graphical user interface (GUI) at the start and from time to time. So, although I have compared these two brands many, many times in the past, I rarely compare their software. This is because it evolves incredibly quickly and something set in stone today might well have changed within a month! So, let’s go through each of these popular NAS software systems and see how they compare, their strengths, their weaknesses and see if we can figure out which one is best for you!

Important – This is PART I of a three-part guide where I will compare the Synology NAS and QNAP NAS Platform on their software, their hardware and give you a better idea of how each brand tackles all the modern elements of network-attached storage in 2021/2022. This guide primarily covered Synology DSM 6.2 and QNAP QTS 4.5, however, DSM 7.0 and QuTS Hero will be referenced where appropriate. Despite the latter two platforms being available in beta at the time of writing or only higher-tier devices, I wanted to focus on the former as they are the ones that a larger number of users have used or will be using in the near future.

LINK to PART II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

LINK to PART III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Priorities

Before I go any further into this comparison of Synology DSM and QNAP QTS, it is worth just briefly talking about the company priorities of each and how this impacts their software, hardware and usability between different users. In short, Synology seemingly has three consistent core brand traits.

Synology NAS Brand and DSM Focus

First Party Priority in Hardware and Software – If they have a software/hardware tool that can do the same as a 3rd party alternative, they will always prioritize their own. In some cases (eg VMs, Cloud services, etc) they will also allow 3rd party support, but the clear emphasis on their own products in bare metal or DSM is undeniable. In other cases that will not support 3rd party alternatives, as they build their systems around their own products (eg newer rackmount releases and Synology HDDs, Memory upgrade modules, Synology C2 in HybridShare. etc)

Software Over Hardware – NAS systems are generally treated with a degree of scepticism by PC builders due to their arguable more modest specifications (CPU, Memory, etc) for the price tag. Although this is something that can be argued against with the fact that NAS are 24×7 systems that are storage prioritized, the Synology NAS systems do typically arrive with more modest specs than others (1Gbe for the most part, fewer upgrade options – especially in the 3rd party). The biggest reason for this is because the Synology NAS solutions are a much more software+hardware combined package than any other brand, with Synology investing considerably more in their software than anyone else. Later in the article, I will go through some stand out apps from them, but there is no denying that Synology PRIMARILY focuses on software and then get to work making sure the hardware in their systems can make the most of it.

Hiding/Removing Some Configuration/Customization options for Performance & Stability – This is likely the biggest area of contention for buyers of Synology NAS servers. The DSM platform is an incredibly slick system that (especially for something that you are accessing remotely over the network/internet) is fantastically responsive. Indeed, it is often easy to forget that the GUI and assets that you are managing are not local. Although a lot of credit has to be given to Synology for their R&D, it is also worth remembering that this is achieved in a number of hidden ways that people are less keen on. On the good side, they do this with intelligent memory caching and flushing all the time (with the system using more memory than strictly needed if it is available, then quickly flushing/emptying it when more current RAM demands rise), as well as (particularly in DSM 7) much better browser-based WebSocket tweaking than any other brands to increase latency and responsiveness. However, they also achieve this by forcing some (not all) applications to work from strict indexing rules (i.e files and resources you want to access for X application need to be in PRECISELY this directory and no other). So, sometimes using a certain first-party app (eg Synology Moments/Photos) mean you cannot store your data in any other location without missing out. Additionally, deeper levels of control and customization on some applications and services will be unavailable, so the high performing (if fractionally rigid) system software can operate as fast as possible. Most users will not even notice these things and unless you are a particularly adept IT enthusiast or run an especially nuanced network at work, these things can be forgiven by most.

QNAP on the other hand, although similar in a number of ways has a broader and more open platform. This typically means that a user who wants to create an especially bespoke setup, has lesser-known file formats to content with, wants to use their own software (with the NAS as a storage target) or just like to ‘have it their own way’ might prefer the QNAP QTS NAS ecosystem. Their brand priorities can be summarized as:

QNAP NAS Brand and QTS Focus

Balanced 1st Party and 3rd Party Software – You definitely get the feeling very early on when using QNAP NAS QTS software that they are trying to support as many types of user and utilities as possible – something that can come across as either incredibly versatile or a bit of a bombardment! QNAP and QTS have plenty of first-party applications included in the price of the NAS hardware (ranging from file management, smart multimedia management and backups, to business class services in VMs, Surveillance and Cloud Hybrid/Gateway tools to cover just a portion of them), but their support of 3rd party storage systems, software and being able to adapt to them is a big part of why some users choose them over Synology. The arguable rigid structure of Synology that maintains stability at the occasional cost of flexibility is absent here in favour of a much more open playing field for the end-user to shape the system towards their existing hardware/software. Just don’t expect it to be as easy in 1-2-3.

First To Release NAS Hardware – If you were to look at some of the BIGGEST innovations in the last 5 years of network-attached storage, then 95% of them were done by QNAP first! Late last year we saw  QNAP unveil the TS-2490FU All NVMe U.2 and ZFS rackmount whilst everyone else in NAS was still pushing SATA/SAS EXT4/BTRFS solutions, QNAP introduced combined 10Gbe and NVMe SSD Combo cards first in their QM2 series, and QNAP changed the editing experience for many professional in video post-production with Thunderbolt-enabled NAS – in short, QNAP has been the first to the punch for most fo the game-changer in NAS as we know if for years. However, this is not always the best foot forward and some of their ‘first to the market’ innovations have taken time to really reach their peak. By that, I mean that some solutions arrive on the market in a somewhat barebones form that gets fleshed out over time, or is released in a form that (12-18 months later when brands like Synology jump on board) look limited/rough around the edges. QNAP are STILL the most innovative brand on the market, but occasionally a few of the more groundbreaking hardware could stand to be in the oven for a little longer. Below is an excellent example of this in how each brand approached 10G+NVMe combo cards, with the QNAP QM2 card and the Synology E10M20-T1 – released almost 18months+ apart, but with very, VERY clear build differences

Software Development On the Fly – Very similar to the hardware releases from QNAP getting there before everyone else (though a touch less polished), the same can be said for the application and service. However, the main difference is that 1) the software is included in the cost of your NAS, not a paid add-on/release and 2) these software innovations can be marginally excused with the label ‘beta’. On the one hand, the fact that QNAP has one of the most open and available beta programs allows users to experiment/test these new innovations very early and therefore take advantage of the benefits super early. On the other hand, that means that you can/will introduce quite a lot of beta software into your system – something that business users will be somewhat reluctant to do. Betas and Trials in NAS software (like any other platform for that matter) ARE a good thing and this has led to QNAP having a lot of services very early. Such as QNAP HybridMount, a hybrid cloud/NAS mounting system (not connect/sync, but actual localized integrated cloud storage) that allows you to bolt-on cloud storage like Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, etc and access with your NAS app services. Likewise, vJBOD allows you to bolt your NAS storage to a bigger storage platform like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Backblaze, etc and allows a cross-platform hybrid storage solution for an enterprise user. The list can go on for ages (QVR Face AI-Powered surveillance, BoXafe Cloud service sync with Google Workspace and Office 365, ZFS equipped QuTS Hero for systems that to-date only had EXT4, DA Drive Analyzer for enhanced drive health and failure prediction and more), ALL of these tools were in Beta for an extensive length of time (or still are) and although that means earlier access, this can sometimes result in a less cohesive platform compared with the controlled smoothness of Synology and DSM, which Does use Betas and Trials, but in a much, MUCH more controlled and limited fashion (eg DSM 7.0 beta).

The idea of Synology keeping thing concise/easier to understand (if a little limited to adapt) and QNAP giving you as much information and control as possible (occasionally to its own detriment) is a theme you are going to see over and over again when comparing DSM and QTS. In the past, I would often compare them like this: Synology is more like Console Gaming platforms (Playstation, XBox, Nintendo Switch, etc) and QNAP is more like PC ‘master race’ gamers. Synology/Console is a much more fixed and stable platform, games will have FPS locked by high, little mod/customization, higher price tag typically, BUT are much more reliable, have more uniform shared experiences and ultimately result in a smoother experience. QNAP/PC gaming on the other hand can require a higher learning curve for the components, require a little more configuration and results can differ from user to user (based on their hardware environment) BUT is better value for money, can result in SIGNIFICANTLY better performance and is considerably more adaptable and flexible. There are pros and cons on either side but the end-users expectations and willingness to invest in the setup will dictate a lot of the results!

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Smooth, Accessible, Easy to Learn

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Adaptable, Capable and Wider Support Options

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Web-Based GUI

For most users, this will be the first real ways they interact with their new NAS system. The majority of users will access their NAS exclusively via mobile (with Some users evening using a mobile phone to initialize their NAS too – only available on Synology NAS) but to date, you still cannot match the configuration and control options that are available on the web-based GUI for both NAS brands. Synology DSM and QNAP QTS allow the user to access the NAS system over the network (or remotely with 1st party internet access portals in quickconnect and myqnapcloud) and over the years, these have started to resemble full operating system level control panels. Indeed, even though early versions of each looked the same with a different colour palette, now they are as distinct as Mac OS and Windows!

Something between them is always going to be consistent (as it would be foolish to reinvent the wheel and make their system unintuitive) such as the options button at the top left, desktop shortcuts, notifications at the top right, etc. But even a click look at a recent overview of DSM 7.0 in Beta and QuTS Hero will give you a good idea of how QNAP and Synology allow the user to control their system via the web browser.

 

The Synology DSM design feels very similar to that of Mac-based systems (especially in DSM 7.0), whereas the QNAP QTS design feels a little more ‘Android’ in how applications and options are presented. Of the two, I would say that Synology definitely feels a pinch more responsive and reactive to your clicks and mouse/keyboard commands, with QNAP QTS still feeling smooth for a network GUI (but when the screen gets busy, you feel a pinch of delay when flicking between apps and windows. QNAP QTS counters this by providing much more information on each screen (both graphical and analytical) that saves time selecting numerous areas of interest for the answer to your query as found in DSM from time to time. Of course, depending on your skill level or desire for clarity – this can be both a blessing and a curse. For example – the resource monitor on the Synology DSM software is concise, breaks the display into CPU+MEMORY+DISK+Bandwidth and if you want a little more information, you can dig a little deeper into each (with a lite CPU+Memory bar visible on the desktop at all times).

The QNAP QTS Resource monitor on the other hand provides a greater degree of information straight off the bat, allowing you to dig considerably deeper into the background processes (monitor/close as appropriate), but still providing more information per screen than any on the Synology DSM platform. Even the on-screen default resource monitor (clicking the speedometer dial at desktop) is more detailed than the actual DSM Resource monitor primary screen. If you are easily intimidated or just want to know how much memory ‘X’ app is using, then the QNAP offering will seem very ‘TMI’. However for those of you who use the resource monitor to see how far they can push the system, find out how much the system vs apps are using, troubleshoot or want to kill background processes – the QNAP Resource monitor will be exceptionally handy.

The logic that both Synology and QNAP provide to the end-user even in something as arguable pedestrian as a task manager will give you a decent idea of how they will be for you in practically every interaction moving forward. Below is a video on how each system compares in its graphical user interface, configuration and initial setup (users, folders, shares, etc):

In short, it comes back to that idea of control and customization. The Synology DSM Control is going to appeal more to new NAS users and those who want the system to just-shut-up-and-do-its-job! Whereas the QNAP QTS platform will throw more information (sometimes too much!) at you in the hopes that you can create a more bespoke and controllable environment.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Easy to Use and Intuative

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Better Analytics and Control

 

Click Below for PART II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

 

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS 2021 Part II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

9 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

We continue with our comparison of the two biggest brands in Network Attached Storage (NAS) and after comparing how each brand presents their platform, how they differ in releases and hardware, then finally the web-based GUI. Today we are going to cover how Synology and QNAP NAS systems storage/configure your data storage, how they can be accessed via mobile devices and how each brand handles multimedia, shares files and presents that information in their range of applications. Both brands have evolved MASSIVELY in these areas as the hardware and software demands of NAS buyers have increased, with Synology once again choosing the streamlined, user-friendly and premium feeling (if a little limiting at times) approach, whilst QNAP is taking the customizable, configurable and wider supporting (if occasionally confusing for newbies) approach. So, let’s crack on with Part 2 in this Synology DSM and QNAP QTS NAS comparison.

If you missed part I or Part III, you can find them here below:

LINK to PART I – The GUI, Control, Customization and Brand Focus

LINK to PART III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Mobile Based GUI and Apps

Both Synology and QNAP have a wide range of mobile applications for iOS and Android – this should not be at all surprising! However, we are not just talking backup tools to make sure you do not lose your photos (although both have that backup tools, sync tools and file management tools that make mobile phone-based NAS access exceptionally easy and intuative), as both Synology and QNAP have applications that allow you to have tailored access to the NAS system depending on your access needs at the time (i.e a app specifically for photos, music, video, surveillance etc. The most popular apps are:

NAS Access Type
System Management DS FInder QManager
NAS File Management DS File & Synology Drive QFile, QSirch
General Phone Backup DS Cloud QSync Pro
Photography DS Photo, Moments & Synology Photos QPhotos & QuMagie
Video Streaming DS Video QVideo
Music Streaming DS Audio QMusic
Surveillance DS CAM & Synology LiveCam QVR Pro Client,
Downloading DS Get QGet
eMail Synology MailPlus QMail Client
Notes & To-Do Lists DS Note QNotes3
NAS-VPN Manager Synology VPN Plus QVPN
NAS Router Manager App DS Router QuRouter
Other/Misc Synology Secure Sign in – Login 2 Step Authentication

Synology Chat – Synology Chat Service App

OceanTV Client – Karaoke Mobile Client

QContacts – Contacts and Connections Database

QRemote – HDMI enabled NAS Remote Control

DJ2 Client – Livestream NAS Manager

QMiix – Alternative to IFTTT client

KoiCast & Koi Talk – Video and Internet Call Client

Over the years, I have reviewed the majority of the core applications for system management, file management, backups, photos, music and video. Here are how each one faired and each video should give you a better understanding of how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS allow you to access your NAS drive o nthe go via your mobile in a much for data relevant way (click the video title to open in a new window on Youtube or watch them here in the article)

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS File Management

NAS File Management

Photography

Photography

Video Media

Video Media

Music Media

Music Media

Surveillance and Camera Access

Surveillance and Camera Access

 

Even at a casual glance, it is clear that the Synology applications are more uniform across the board and have a greater degree of similarity to 3rd party applications (eg Synology Drive and Google Drive, Synology DS Video and Plex, Synology Chat and Skype), whereas QNAP applications (more recent apps are similar) seem to have noticeable differences in GUI and layouts that then require a pinch more time to learn individually. However, the QNAP mobile applications are almost all more customizable and allow a greater degree of control and customization – both in the individual applications and how they allow the end-user to control the NAS too. Despite the pros and cons in how each NAS brand has developed and executed their mobile applications, I would say the BIGGEST deciding factor for the end-user will be which platform they will predominantly access the NAS with – Desktop users will find the QNAP platform more geared towards desktop access, whereas the Synology Platform has spent more time bringing the mobile and desktop application experiences to the same standard and an exclusively mobile-based user or even one who will access 25% vs 75% mobile vs desktop will find the Synology platform considerably more intuitive and smooth.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Intuative and Streamlined UI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Apps and Greater Control

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Storage Options and GUI

Synology and QNAP are both storage targeted platforms. Sure, they have different ways of displaying that information, different ideas on how the user can control and access it and even differ pretty wildly on the whilst storage trends they choose to support in their ecosystems BUT they are both going to give you a remarkably evolved and capable network storage system for keeping your data safe. Much like the apps, GUI and access discussed up to this point, Synology and QNAP have shaped the storage options and configurations on their system very different in recent years and now have several unique and brand-specific factors to their systems that might well make the decision between them 10x easier.

Both QNAP QTS and Synology DSM NAS Drives Provide the following Storage Features:

  • Both NAS Systems Support Snapshots
  • Both NAS Systems Support Rsync, RTRR and Multi-Platform Backup Setups (Cloud, USB, NAS, etc)
  • Both NAS Systems Support Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) on all hardware (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems Can Connect to the Cloud
  • Both NAS Systems Support USB Drives
  • Both NAS Systems have Varied Expansion Options (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems support SSD Caching (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems Support SATA Hard Drives up to 18TB and 20TB
  • Both NAS Systems SATA SSDD Storage Pools
  • Both NAS Systems Support EXT4 amoung others  (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems support RAID Hot Spare Automation, which is when a spare HDD/SSD is initialized by the system but is unavailable for storage. Then, in the event of a drive failure, the system will automatically integrate the spare drive into the RAID for rebuilding

So, regardless of whether you buy Synology or QNAP NAS, you have a great deal of storage support available. However, there are a large number of brand SPECIFIC storage services and options that ONLY one brand of the two have. Let’s start with the Synology NAS DSM exclusive options.

Synology NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • Synology Hybrid RAID – SHR is the fluid RAID system that allows you to mix the drive sizes and types in order to get the best possible capacity and storage as you upgrade the drives in the system lifespan
  • Synology systems for the most part (CPU and Memory dependant) arrive with BTRFS that is a file system that supports lower resource-consuming background snapshots, file self-healing and faster-shared folder cloning (other benefits too)
  • Synology C2 – Synology has its own first-party cloud service that can be synced with your Synology NAS with HybridShare (DSM 7.0) and allows a disaster recovery backup (subscription-based)
  • Synology Active Insight (Subscription Based) allows intelligent storage health and Synology monitoring send to admins and appropriate users with recommendations on resolution, repair or replacement
  • Synology has its own range of HDDs and SSDs in the HAT5300 (SATA 3.5″ hard drives), SAT5200 (2.5″ SATA SSDs) and SNV3400/SNV3500 (M.2 NVMe SSDs) that feature east firmware updates, high endurance. Some recent 2021 systems have compatibility largely reduced to just the Synology HDD range

So, as you can see, a large range of first-party prioritize storage that is still quite a capable list of support services, formats and hardware in terms of storage in a Synology NAS. None fo the above is currently supported/available from QNAP NAS, however, they have their own range of very unique and QNAP-ONLY available storage options. They are as follows.

QNAP NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • QNAP NAS QTS and QuTS allow users to use NVMe SSDs for storage pools and volumes
  • QNAP NAS QuTS here allows ZFS as a file system choice which includes triple parity RAID, RAID 5/6 builds that take minutes, RAID ReSilvering, inline data compression (space saver) and inline data deduplication (saves 1 copy of files that are located in multiple locations in realtime)
  • QNAP Hybrid Mount and vJBOD allows you to connect many, many cloud storage providers (Synology HybridShare only allows Synology C2 cloud at the time of  writing)
  • QNAP allows installation of HDDs/SSDs from Seagate, WD, Toshiba, etc on ALL of their NAS systems
  • QNAP has DA Drive Analyzer for real-time storage hardware health reports and automated background RAID repair with connected media drives (still in beta at the time of writing)
  • QNAP NAS QTS allows QTier, which allows the user to create a single storage pool that is comprised of HDD+SSD media and then the NAS system learns which files are accessed most and moves them to the fast storage media internally (not the same as caching with copies the files and more suitable to smaller files)
  • Much, MUCH larger degree of storage expansion chassis on QNAP, both in terms of the number of NAS hardware systems that CAN be expanded AND the range of expansions that arrive with USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB Gen 2 and a range of external SAS based connections that can go up to 5,000MBs+ externally

The QNAP Storage options unsurprisingly are a great deal more open (wider HDD/SSD support on all their hardware, wider cloud support on their cloud gateway software, expansion chassis and connections), however, Synology and its focus on the 1st party R&D results in stronger and more evolved ‘in house’ results (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, their own range of media that has unique options, btrfs integration on all apps, etc).

Why Choose Synology NAS? – BTRFS, Synology Hybrid RAID and Ease of Use

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – ZFS, Better Encryption Options, HybridMount/vJBOD and Better Expansion Options

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Multimedia

Alot of home user and Prosumer users will look at purchasing a NAS for their multimedia collection. With digital media being largely mainstream and the decline of optical media in the last 15-20years (with the ease of transferring your DVDs and Blurays being incredibly easy and affordable), the appeal of buying a NAS as your very own ‘Netflix’ is pretty appealing! Unsurprisingly both Synology and QNAP have evolved a great deal in the area of multimedia streaming and sharing in recent years and although the core business of ‘playing files on your DLNA Smart TV, Amazon firestick, phone, home cinema, etc) is technically very similar on both QNAP and Synology, each brand has definitely gone their own way with regard to presentation, 3rd party hardware support and how photos/music/video are handled internally. I will also add that both Synology and QNAP support Plex Media Server, Emby, Jellyfin, iTunes and traditional file/folder level DLNA media streaming to a largely identical degree (with a few differences simply down to the hardware in each NAS release). Below are guides on both Synolgoy and QNAP and how they compare in terms of photography, music playback in the GUI and video streaming.

First, here is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Photography:

Synology Advantages

Support of Live Photos/Gifs in the Browser/Apps

Excellent Cross-App Support with Drive

Synology Photos (beta) merges Photo Station & Moments

Very Attractive and Easy to Control GUI

Better Geo Location Recognition/Map View

Better Multi Face Tag Searching

QNAP Advantages

Album+File/Folder Browsing in QuMagie

Better AI Recognition in QuMagie

Allows Custom Photo Directories

Multimedia Console Allows Better Indexing/Thumbnail Generation

Better Cross-Software Tag Support

Next, this is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Music and the browser GUI:

Synology Advantages

Support of DS Audio Skill on Amazon Alexa Voice Recognition

GUI Very Appealing

Better Config Options

Better Album Thumbnail Utilization (especially Mobile)

QNAP Advantages

Album/File+Folder Browsing

Better DLNA Streaming

Support of Local Speaker Connections

More 3rd Party Audio Applications

Support of more Formats, codecs and Compressions

 

Finally, we have how both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Video Media in the GUI:

Synology Advantages

Video Station/DS Video have VERY easy to use GUI

DS Video App available on FireTV / Amazon Firestick

Comparable to Plex and Emby

Intuative Setup for Libraries and Metadata resource connections

QNAP Advantages

Supports HDMI Out

More Media Server Players available

Better offline Transcoding Options

Cayin player option for H.265/HEVC 10bit Support

There is no avoiding that QNAP (for the most part) have a more ‘meat and potatoes’ user interface when it comes to music and video media, which is something that Synology have really poured money into with Synolgoy Video Station and Audio Station being comparable to Freemium services like plex Media Server and Whatsapp (thanks to enhanced metadata scraping and 1st party apps on Amazon FireTV and Alexa voice support in DS Video and DS Audio). In Photography, I think QNAP overall do a better job with their QuMagie platform allowing a greater degree of control, recognition, file/folder access and keeping it as 2 separate apps – at least at the time of writing!). Likewise, the multimedia console application on QNAP QTS is an absolute winner for me as the means to completely control ALL multimedia indexing, sharing and transcoding from a single portal point. It comes down to simply what kind of media you plan on watching, what device you want to watch it on and how much customization you plan on making!

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Video Station, DS Audio Alexa Voice Support – Choose for Amazon FireTV, Alexa and ‘Netflix-level’ video streaming

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Multimedia Console control is Unparalleled, QuMagie provides better AI recognition and Custom Directories as standard. Also, H.265/HEVC 10bitplayback better with CAYIN player option

 

Click Below for PART III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

 

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS 2021 Part III – Backup Tools, Surveillance, Virtual Machines and Conclusion

11 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

Welcome back to the final part of my Synology vs QNAP NAS comparison, where I go through the main differences between the two biggest brands in the world of NAS in 2021/2022. So far we have covered the brand’s rhetoric, the hardware, the graphical user interface (GUI), how they approach storage, mobile applications, multimedia sharing/streaming and desktop clients! In this final part, I will be moving into much more business-led subjects to compare the Synology DSM NAS systems and the QNAP QTS NAS devices and then conclude with which areas either brand excelled, failed or are identical. Both brands have a fantastic range of backup tools for home users to enjoy (with Synology Hyper Backup and QNAP Hybrid Backup Sync being the too most popular of course), but we are seeing a real emergence of cloud integration on either platform, as software as a service (SaaS) grows in viability – with either brand shouting loudly how they are the perfect bare-metal system to run parallel (bare metal = hardware server that is sync’d with your cloud services, among other things). So today I want to discuss their support of SaaS services, Virtual Machine self-hosting and migration from the likes of VMware and Hyper-V and a better look at Surveillance on each platform, AI-supported services and more. It is ALOT to pack into our final part before we conclude, so let’s get started.

LINK to PART I – The GUI, Control, Customization and Brand Focus

LINK to PART II – Storage Control, Mobile Apps and Multimedia

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Backup Tools

This is an interesting area to compare the Synology DSM and QNAP QTS NAS Software and services, as although at a balance it looks like the two brands provide the same functionality, there are a few tiny differences that (if you are not aware) may annoy yours later. As touched on early, the Synology NAS platform arrives with Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite, whereas QNAP arrives with Hybrid Backup Sync and Hyper Data Protector. BOTH Synology and QNAP across their respective two apps each provide support of:

  • Multi-site backups that can be scheduled, have filters applied, utilize deduplication and support NAS-to-Cloud/NAS/USB/Folder operations
  • Can Backup VMs from VMware and Hyper V and (in the right format) restore the VM image on the brand-specific VM app on either brand NAS
  • Support Version retention on regular bare metal backups and VM backups
  • Guide you through a 3-2-1 Backup System using 1st party resources and applications only
  • Supports numerous backup protocols/methods that include RSync, RTRR, Differential backups and TCP BBR

So, that just about covers 95% of traditional and most frequently asked backup methods. However, this is where the brand’s differing ideas of what users want/need step in. The Synology Backup applications are definitely the better looking of the two, with the Hyper Backup tool being the more chewable/easy one of the two, supporting quite a few cloud platforms (which obviously giving their own C2 service a decent bit of space – can’t blame them), and active Backup Suite ramps things up a bit for business, allowing a larger degree of business targets/sources to implemented. One particularly attractive feature of Synology Active Backup Suite is the Google Workspace and Office 365 addons that are license-free (ie provisionally free) that allow you to connect and sync your cloud software services with the NAS to act as a SaaS local syncing system (besides subscription costs and security, internet downtime is the biggest Achilles heel of Office 365/Google Workspace). This is available on QNAP too (with BoXafe) but requires additional license fees for cloud connections. To counter this, although both Synology and QNAP support inline deduplication, the QNAP ZFS based QuTS Hero platform provides it to a much better degree right now, with additional QuDeDupe software and inline compression too (with saving in data being visible analytically) and even handles encrypted backups better with localized client software that you can install on your business devices.

There are lots more that could be covered here (Synology Drive and its client apps, QSync Pro and its improved mobile client-to-NAS services, etc) but these are when we move into the subject of synchronization, file streaming and are less about backups and more about remote level access and synchronicity in your storage. Although the QNAP Software is still very good for numerous backup methods, ZFS and its file transmission benefits still shine and the support of more kinds of 1st/3rd party external storage and cloud are available – the Synology Backup tools and services are a tad better divided between home and business needs with which services are included in Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite respectively.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Active Backup Suite, Hyper Backup, Licence Free Office 365/Google Workspace Sync and Synology C2

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Hybrid Backup Sync, Many More Cloud Services Supported and Hyper Data Protector has Better Retention Policies

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Surveillance

Many users who are on the verge of buying a new NAS drive for home or business will often justify the purchase (to themselves or their finance manager) by factoring in that alongside the backup software safety, the multimedia streaming potential and potential saving versus long term cloud storage by ALSO considering using it as a Surveillance system. Both Synology and QNAP provide a genuine business class surveillance software package with their respective systems that allow you to utilize numerous IP Cameras, IP Speakers, network door locks and bring it all together with a single standalone security deck/feed that can be accessed locally over the network or remotely over the internet. Although both brands have done an incredible job with their respective software, over recent years we have seen a real divergence on how each brand has proceeded in their respective software. One very, VERY clear difference is that QNAP Surveillance gets spread across browser and local client app (windows, mac, phone, etc) less evenly, with adding cameras, extensively changing camera alert functions and customizing the setup being almost exclusively done in the web browser GUI but the local client allowing full camera access, PTZ control and actioning being almost exclusively on the client apps. Whereas Synology and Surveillance Station allow ALL of this to be done on the browser client and MOST of it to be possible on the desktop client app too. The Mobile client for QVR Pro and Surveillance station is a little more limited, but in terms of full software access,  think the Synology platform keeps it a little more even. Here is a breakdown of the main benefits/PROs of each surveillance NAS software:

PROS of Synology Surveillance

PROS of QNAP Surveillance

Considerably Better Browser Access & Controls

Beter 3rd Party Software integration with the Surveillance station API

Better Camera Feed Accessibility in the Browser & Clients

Fast Search Runs remarkably Smoothly

LiveCam converts a Mobile to Live NVR IP Camera Feed

Share Live Feeds to YouTube for Fast/Easy Sharing

 More Camera Licences (8x in QVR Pro)

Technically 3 Surveillance Platforms to Choose that vary in complexity

Better Client App Control and Analytics

Local KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) Support

AI Surveillance services can be added on Integrated CPU NAS, Google TPU card or a GPU Card

USB Web Camera Support

CONS of Synology Surveillance

Only 2 Camera Licenses included

AI Surveillance Services are ONLY available on the DVA3221 NAS

Practically no KVM setup on Diskstaiton NAS systems

CONS of QNAP Surveillance

QVR Elite for QuTS Hero Only has 2x Licenses

Camera Feeds Cannot Natively be used and controlled by QVR Pro in the Browser

Bulk of AI Supported Services are Annual Subscription Fee-Based

Straight away, despite a rocky start, QNAP and QVR Pro grab a lot of the PROs back with their QTS QVR Pro version arriving with 8 Camera licenses (at the time of writing) which is massive compared with the 2x that Synology provides (bear in mind, a camera licence will cost between £30-50 depending on how big a multipack you buy). Likewise, the support of keyboard, video and mouse (thanks to QNAP NAS having HDMI on a large % of their systems) provides the means to interface with the system for surveillance if your network fails and the recordings are needed. Finally, a big, BIG appeal is that the AI-supported surveillance services that are growing in popularity in modern business class NVRs are available on QNAP NAS that has a decent enough embedded graphics CPU (i.e. an i3 and above), the google TPU M.2 Coral upgrade or a graphics card installed – whereas Synology has locked AI surveillance into ONLY two of their NAS systems that have a GPU card installed by default (and cost ALOT). These AI-supported services are pretty niche of course (facial recognition, people counting, zone management and object recognition) but still. many will find this hugely appealing. Here is my video breakdown comparing the two popular surveillance services for QNAP and Synology:

It is worth highlighting however that the AI-supported services on the QNAP QVR Platform are not technically ‘completely free’ and before you think that the Synology DVA3221 near £2K box is an overspend, it is worth highlighting that in order to use all the same AI-powered services on the QNAP NAS platform, you will need a NAS that either has a decent embedded CPU (starting at just over £1K for the QNAP TVS-472XT to start with) and/or a GPU card installed. Then you have to factor in the licences. Not just the camera licences (although both the DVA3221 and any QTS NAS have 8 camera licences for adding camera) but the license to use the AI services on the QVR Surveillance software. Somewhat annoyingly, QNAP has put each of the AI services (tracking faces, people recognition, AI recording analysis, Smart AI Door unlocking, etc) behind individual licenses that (for the most part) are all ‘annual’, so you will need to renew them (see below for current pricing and terms). This is quite a bitter pill to swallow in the long term and although the saving versus the Synology DVA system seems good at first, if you want to run a 4 Bay AI-Powered Surveillance system on the QNAP NAS system with 4-8 cameras, it ends up costing just as much (maybe even more once you factor in the annual fees) and only partially mitigated by the flexibility of the system you want to use.

Overall, it is pretty clear that QNAP gives the end-user ALOT in terms of surveillance for their money (although that licensing model structure gets a thumbs down from me), as well as allowing access to many modern AI CCTV services that Synology either choose to not pursue or only allow on a select few systems. Maybe you are reading this in the future and Synology have opened up this logic to allow ‘Synology supported GPU Cards’ to be installed, which would certainly give this comparison a different outcome, but there is no denying that the QVR Pro surveillance platform allows more flexibility in its setup. Alongside this, the QVR to software right now has a lot more camera licences included (though this drops to x2 on QVR Elite on the QuTS Hero platform – which though admittedly has higher performance on the local client integrated, is a bit of a shame) and many will end up seeing the potential savings being enough to overlook that Synology Surveillance station is the better Surveillance tool in terms of the GUI, supported service add ons and in how user-friendly it can be.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Better Surveillance Software Overall, Especially in the Web Brower GUI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Camera Licenses, QVR Pro has KVM Support, Wider AI Surveillance Support and Upgrade Options

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Virtual Machines

It wasn’t such a long time ago that the use of virtual machines (VMs) was exclusively in the business sector. The ability and utility to create a virtual and remotely accessible version of a computer (giving you need a terminal in order to utilize them in most cases) was simply not of use to the average home or even small business user. However fast forward to 2021/2022 and you find that they have accelerated in popularity, thanks to businesses requiring centralized data storage for both the convenience of duplicating computers AND to simplifying the backup/restore process. Then you have the simple appeal for prosumer or small business users to be able to create an emulated version of their own computer in order to access it anywhere in the work, run test with software/updates that they are hesitant to run on their core system OR simply to allow them to create an accessible VM of an operating system that can be run parallel to that of the core hardware (i.e. a Linux/Unbuntu VM that runs in a window, on a Windows/Mac matching). Most high-end business users in recent years have used one of two popular 3rd party client TOOLS for this, VMware vSphere and Hyper V (with other smaller tools like VirtualBox popping up). Where a NAS can be integrated into this is actually pretty cool, such as:

  • A NAS can be used as a backup target (with versioning, snapshots, etc) for the virtual machine, so you have a local restorable copy
  • A NAS can be used to run the core VM files as a remote target, whilst still using the 3rd Party Software
  • A NAS can have the 3rd Party VM data sent over to it and then the NAS can host the Virtual Machine in its very own premium VM Software
  • A NAS Can combine all three of the above to create a backup access point to a VM (in supported formats and correctly imported) that allows remote accessing VM users, in the event of disconnection or forced restoration, to switch over to the NAS based VM and continue working

Now it is worth highlighting that BOTH Synology and QNAP have excellent VM hosting applications, in Virtual Machine Manager and Virtualization Station respectively, which perform all of the above services, however, they do it in slightly different ways (involving other applications in the system that are integrated) but for VMware/HyperV, the restoration is arguably handled smoother with the Synology Virtual Machine tool and Active Backup Suite tool working together to allowing exclusive integration with Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as the temporary disaster recovery solution allows you to instantly restore services to the Synology storage server even when the production environment is down. QNAP have very similar services to this, but not the same fast, easy and integrated pass-over system. For a better understanding of the GUI of Synology Virtual Machine Manager vs QNAP Virtualization Station, take a look at the video below:

There are several very unique and arguable superior elements to the QNAP VM software that are worth highlighting. First off there is access to a VM marketplace from within the app that allows you to install Virtual Machines directly on the QNAP NAS without having to obtain the VM Image/ISO independently. These include firewall and network management virtual images such as Pfsense, RouterOS and Zabbix, but there is also a 3-click Windows VM installation option too. This allows users who just want to try out a Windows 7/8/10/Server VM before committing fully to a NAS based VM environment for business/home use and includes a 90-day trial (you can use your existing windows registered key/login if you want. Alongside this, there is also the improved VM-to-Hardware integration available on Synology Virtual Machine Manager and QNAP Virtualization station that allows you to connect USB ports to a VM and allow that virtual desktop environment to access physical local USB devices, however, QNAP takes this a noticeable degree further with the support of PCIe-to-VM connectivity that allows you to connect a Graphics card (or other suitable PCIe to that VM architecture) and allow the virtual environment to scale up considerably (perhaps for video editing or gaming, if the CPU is appropriate). Then there is the flexibility of setup on the QNAP, with Virtualization Station supporting a KVM environment and QVM (QNAP Virtual Machine) to allow a NAS with connected Keyboard, HDMI Video monitor and Mouse to have a local VM that can ALSO be accessed remotely too. Finally, QNAP has a dedicated Ubuntu application that allows you to create VMs of version 18, 19 or 20 of Ubuntu (the free Linux alternative to Windows and MacOS) in around 3-4 clicks of the mouse! This is a very rare occasion in this Synology vs QNAP comparison where I can genuinely 100% say that QNAP spent much, much more time working on 1st party support and Synology keeping it a little more openly supported with 3rd parties – though, given the maturity of the likes of VMware, this is understandable. This is also demonstrated on the subject of container image and deployment (if a VM is an entire OS, then a Container is an application or program that is running without an OS to live on to off) where the QNAP platform has its own Container Station application and download center/marketplace and Synology use the industry popular Docker tool.

Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager is a fantastic tool and definitely one that has enterprise users in its sights! With that improved integration with existing enterprise VM software providers in the market, they have made a very clear decision that their free VM software still has a business feel, whereas QNAP has shaped their VM tool to something more accessible for all tiers (though lacking the snap cloud-to-local VM deployment – which is a real shame). Much like AI surveillance on the QNAP platform, a few of the biggest features of Synology Virtual Machine Manager are license/subscription fee-based (which is a shame, but understandable given the target demographic and its scope when FULLY deployed, these include:

Synology VMM

(Free)

Synology VMM Pro

(License Required)

Supported Operating System Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM
Cluster Management Included Included
QoS Settings Included Included
CPU Overcommit Physical CPU threads x2 Physical CPU threads x4
Max Virtual Switches 4 4096
Max Snapshots per VM 32 255
VM Share Links per Host 1 16
Remote Replication Plan Not Included Included
Remote Storage Migration Not Included Included
Run VM on Remote Host Not Included Included
High Availability Not Included Included
Live Migration Not Included Included

Overall, it is going to be a case of whether you are coming into the subject of virtual machines as a completely fresh start, coming from a moderately experienced background or are looking for a system to integrate into your already well established VMware or Microsoft VM environment. QNAP and Virtualization station provides a huge array of self-hosted VM deployment options, connecting with numerous 3rd party download centers to easily pull a VM image onto their system, restore an existing VM image, convert VMs into QNAP supported images and then allows you to integrate a greater deal of hardware resources towards them (GPU card, KVM, etc). They are certainly supporting those bigger VM platforms out there and allow backups, snapshots, faster restoration and making big moves into that SaaS and reducing downtime practices that businesses want, but this is where the Synology Virtual Machine Manager tools shine. With a grander focus on those Hyper-V/VMware VSphere established systems and presenting themselves as a failure and support system, they make their integration a great deal easier for companies to choose. They still take a big advantage by allowing a VM live backup to be stitched over to Synology Virtual Machine Manager as a viable recovery and restoration option, which is likely going to be the clincher for many.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Synology Virtual Machine Manager is VERY intuative, Cloud VM-to-Local VM Migration & Restoration

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – QNAP Virtualization Station supports more OS/Formats, 3 Click VM download & Install, Dedicated VM tools for different VM Images and has Better Hardware Configuration Options Overall

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Conclusion

It’s been a very, VERY long road but we can finally look just how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS for NAS (as well as all the hardware and services in between) compare. There has been a long-running theme all the way through that where Synology has focused on FIRST-PARTY (i.e. Synology-brand) software and hardware priority, then supporting THIRD-PARTY services/hardware when they haven’t got a viable alternative in-house – to mixed degrees of popularity. Whereas QNAP has been a much more level playing field where they have released their own innovative hardware/software (occasionally a little too quickly) and singing its praises, but also tried to keep customization and flexibility for 3rd parties as open as possible and shouting loud-and-proud about that too – which can be a tad overwhelming for the less tech-savvy. Both brands have done an incredible job evolve their platforms as much as they have in 2021/2022, especially when Microsoft, Google and Amazon are pouring BILLIONS into the SaaS (and PaaS and IaaS – Platform and Infrastructure as a Service) in order to create entirely streamable ecosystems for businesses, with NAS brands like Synology and QNAP not only integrating with them but also thriving alongside them as a local/bare-metal failsafe.

These are all very lofty ideas and ones that most home or small business users will likely have little time for right now (aside from where NAS fits in with their Google/Office 365 office tools like documents, email and spreadsheets at a pinch) and for those users, who the NAS stands on its own two feet is what is going to matter most. Synology is earning its position in the market as the complete 1st party software and hardware package in 2021/2022, with a genuinely groundbreaking range of available services, but still managing to make NAS accessible for all in DSM 6.2/7.0. That said, the trends we are seeing in those sub-enterprise services that are slowly receding in support of popular 3rd party hardware, software and services, making using a Synology NAS alongside your own existing setup in a frictionless way cannot be ignored and leading some to think Synology is shifting their industry position towards something higher.

QNAP NAS on the other hand, although maybe trying to cover too many bases at once, is still trying to cover as much as it can to appear to their audience. Their support of considerably more 3rd party platforms/software/services, even when they have their own software available, is certainly admirable and aside from rather aggressive pricing on their QVR Pro surveillance platform, are still the better choice for those who want a much more adaptable and customizable platform. Its a pretty understandable fact that most people who buy a NAS will be arriving with an existing collection of software in their daily workflow (Office 365 for docs, Gmail for their email, Plex for their media, Chromebook for their commute, Skype/Whatsapp for their communication, TB3 for their editing, etc) and it has to be said that QNAP keeps a more open platform to adapt a NAS into this mix than Synology – occasionally less intuitively and not without a little setup-friction, but certainly to more customizable results.

Unsurprisingly, I am going to tell you that both Synology and QNAP NAS are good NAS brands and have earned their place at the top of the industry (whilst both making their own respective moves to integrate into the next tier – ie SaaS providers, Hyperscale environments and Boundless cloud storage), but there is no denying that no one brand has managed to do EVERYTHING to perfection. So, if in double, below is how I would recommend QNAP and Synology NAS to you, for each user case scenario and I hope this guide and my recommendations help you with your next big data storage purchase.

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

 

Synology Upgrade Cards Guide – 10G, NVMe, 25Gbe and More

14 juin 2021 à 16:00

A Guide to Synology PCIe Upgrade Cards

There comes a point in the lifespan of most Synology NAS drives, big or small, that the performance, bandwidth and general throughput that the device is capable of hit a bit of a glass ceiling. Perhaps it is those rather restrictive 1Gbe ports in 2021, hardware features like M.2 slots of more modern systems that are sadly missing from your own older release or simply that your own external network hardware environment has scaled up noticeable and your Synology NAS is now a bottleneck? Sometimes replacing the NAS with a newer model is the only answer, but sometimes the operational lifespan of your NAS can be noticeably extended by installing a PCIe Upgrade card. Synology NAS for Prosumer/SMB users and above (typically 5-Bay upwards) have included PCIe upgrade slots for many generations previously and the range of Synology Add on cards available have grown to meet demand. So today I want to go through the current range of cards, which what each type can do, what it cannot do and help you choose the right PCIe Upgrade Card for your Synology NAS Server.

Important – An upgrade card in your Synology NAS does not AUTOMATICALLY mean you will achieve the maximum reported speed/performance (i.e installing a 10Gbe PCIe Upgrade Card does not immediately make your data externally accessible at 1,000MB/s. Upgrades, ranging from network interface improvements to internal SSD performance cards, will only provide you with the BANDWIDTH the achieve that speed, you will still need high-performance media and/or multiple media drives in a RAID to fulfil this bandwidth. So, in water simple terms, the majority of cards will increase the WIDTH or the pipe, but you still need to make sure you provide enough water and pressure to go through it!

Additionally, sometimes you are best served to increase the memory on your Synology NAS in order to get better performance on key applications and services. Use my Synology NAS Memory Upgrade Guide to help choose the right Synology or Unofficial Memory for your needs.

Synology Copper 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

Likely the first Synology Upgrade card that you looked at and certainly one that is favoured by users who are scaling up from a small home/business/shop solution and into something with noticeably higher bandwidth, 10Gbe network cards are becoming increasingly affordable. There are two main versions of 10G on the market, fiber optic-based (know as SFP+ and we will touch on that later) and copper-based (typically known in tech as 10GBASE-T). Most users who are scaling up from 1Gbe for the first time will opt for copper-based 10Gbe on their Synology NAS, as it uses near-identical cables to the typical RJ45 found in all their other kit (the only small difference being that in order to use 10Gbe at longer distances, you should use a Cat 6 cable, whereas most 1Gbe devices arrive with Cat 5/5e – looks IDENTICAL and will still work regardless, it’s just a latency thing). Synology has released several versions of 10Gbe copper cards over the years, refreshing the range every few years to ensure the best controllers are used and supported by the newer NAS systems. Synology has two different dedicated 10GBASE-T PCIe upgrade cards in the E10G18-T1 and E10G18-T2, which are 1 port and 2 port respectively. Both are PCIe Gen 3 x4 and x8 respectively (but will still work on PCIe Gen 2 x2 slots and above without a bottleneck (pre-2017 series devices). Additionally, like all the cards in the Synology PCIe Upgrade Guide today, drivers for these cards are already included in the Synology DSM software.

Currently Available 10GBASE-T 10Gbe Cards

E10G18-T1 1-PORT CARD – $163 E10G18-T2 2-PORT CARD – $309

Pros & Cons of Synology 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • Supported on pretty much ALL Synology NAS with a PCIe Slot since 2010/2011 series
  • Auto-Negotiation Enabled (so will scale to 1G-2.5G-5G in line with clients
  • Dedicated onboard Aquantia Controller
  • 5 Year Warranty is first class at this level
  • Quite Expensive for 1/2 Port 10G Card in 2021/2022
  • FS series:FS6400, FS3600, FS3400, FS3017, FS2017, FS1018
  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400, SA3200D
  • UC series:UC3200
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, DS1621xs+, DS1621+
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:RS1619xs+, RS1219+, DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS3018xs, DS1618+
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, RS3617xs, DS3617xs, DS1817+, DS1517+
  • 16 series:RS18016xs+
  • 15 series:RC18015xs+, DS3615xs
  • 14 series:RS3614xs+, RS3614RPxs, RS3614xs
  • 13 series:RS3413xs+
  • 12 series:RS3412RPxs, RS3412xs, DS3612xs
  • 11 series:RS3411RPxs, RS3411xs, DS3611xs

Synology 25Gbe E25G21-F2 Upgrade Card

A relatively new add on for the Synology PCIe Upgrade range (thanks to their embracing of SAN protocols in a bigger way in DSM 7.0, even renaming iSCSI manager to SAN Manager), the new E25G21-F2 card is a fibre optic-based 25 Gigabit Ethernet, 2-Port (so potential 50Gbe) card that is designed specifically for Synology NAS systems. Clearly (and as mentioned in my introduction) this card opens the pipeline for 2500/5000MB/s speeds, but you will need some SERIOUS storage media configurations in your NAS in order to saturate it! Supporting a range of ethernet connectivity and transceiver types (including Optical SR, LR and DAC hardware), this card is clearly designed with massive 12-Bay+ Xeon equipped and large distance setups in mind. The Synology E25G21-F2 card also supports auto-negotiation (i.e backwards compatible and will automatically switch to) 10Gbe SFP+, so for those who are considering upgrading their rackmount to 10Gbe over fibre and have a decent budget to play with, might benefit to spend a little more on this 25Gbe alternative, as there is only around $120-150 between them). Unlike other PCIe cards in this list, the compatibility of the E25G21-F2 25G card is a little thinner, largely down to the forced need to have a PCIe Gen 3 x8 slot (potentially 8000MB/s card-to-board bandwidth), which only really appeared on Synology systems since 2016/2017 onwards. Additionally, you are going to need at least 12-14 Enterprise-grade (Pro/Data Center) Hard Drives or 8+ Pro class SSDs in order to make the most of this card on your fiber network. A very impressive card, but as upgrades go, arrives with a number of high price system/media caveats too.

Currently Available SFP28 E25G21-F2 Card

E25G21-F2 2-PORT 25Gbe CARD $369

Pros & Cons of Synology 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • 25Gbe and potential LAG/Trunk 50Gbe is just awesome
  • 5-year Warranty and Still Supported by older systems as far back as 2017 Series
  • Can be used as a 10Gbe x2 Port card and then scaled up as your network hardware environment grows
  • Although Supported by some SMB systems (e.g. DS1821+), they will NEVER reach the full performance this can offers
  • 25GBASE-T Copper – Never say never!
  • FS series:FS6400, FS3600, FS3400, FS3017, FS2017, FS1018
  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400, SA3200D
  • UC series:UC3200
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, DS1621xs+, DS1621+
  • 19 series:RS1619xs+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, DS3018xs
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, DS3617xs

Synology Fiber 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

Much like the previous card, the range of fibre 10Gbe cards that Synology offer are ONLY available in 2-Port builds in 2021/2022. You can use some 3rd party 1-Port SFP+ cards, but in recent years Synology has become very strict on upgrades on their systems being 1st party (highlighting that it’s difficult to support NAS users who run ‘unsupported’ configurations – make of that what you will). The two available 10Gbe cards are the 2017 series E10G17-F2 and 2021 series E10G21-F2. Both cards are PCIe Gen 3 x8, support low and full height profile installation, and both have 5 years warranty – however, the 2017 series card is around £50-60 cheaper. This is because the newer card uses a better heatsink, and seemingly supports more offload protocol/setups. In most cases, however, either card (as long as it is on the compatibility lists below) will be sufficient for a potential 2,000MB/s external throughput.

Currently Available SFP+ 10Gbe Cards

E10G17-F2 2-PORT CARD – OLD GEN – $230 E10G21-F2 2-PORT CARD – NEW GEN – $269

Pros & Cons of Synology 10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • 10G SFP+ Still has a lot of flexibility in its deployment
  • Glad to see the old card still available for a small £ saving
  • PCIe Gen 3×8 is excellent and more than this card needs
  • No inclusive DAC type cables, even as an optional purchase
  • Not Supported outside of NAS, so you will likely buy 3rd Party Cards for your client hardware – so might be easier to just buy +1 of those

Synology E10G17-F2 and E10G21-F2 Compatibility Below (Blue = Both, Red = E10G17-F2 ONLY:

  • FS series:FS6400, FS3600, FS3400, FS3017, FS2017, FS1018
  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400, SA3200D
  • UC series:UC3200
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, DS1621xs+, DS1621+
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:RS1619xs+, RS1219+, DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS3018xs, DS1618+
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, RS3617xs, DS3617xs, DS1817+, DS1517+
  • 16 series:RS18016xs+
  • 15 series:RC18015xs+, DS3615xs
  • 14 series:RS3614xs+, RS3614RPxs, RS3614xs
  • 13 series:RS3413xs+
  • 12 series:RS3412RPxs, RS3412xs, DS3612xs
  • 11 series:RS3411RPxs, RS3411xs, DS3611xs

Synology SSD Caching and Combo Upgrade Cards

In the latest desktop NAS releases from Synology, we have seen the appearance of dedicated M.2 NVMe slots that allow you to install super-fast PCIe based SSDs inside, which you can then combine with your slower (but larger capacity HDD RAID) in a system known as caching. In brief, this utilizes the much, much faster SSD access speed towards storing copies of more frequently accessed data (typically hundreds/thousands of smaller files) and thereby improve performance – both in general feedback/utility and general Read and Write. Older generation devices before around 2017/2018 (which the exception of around 2-3 devices) did NOT arrive with this feature and in efforts to allow users to have this feature, Synology has released a couple of versions of this hardware in PCIe add-on form. The latest of these is the M2D20 2xNVMe card (also supports the larger 22110 M.2 SSD too). Support and compatibility on your NAS are more centred around the CPU inside than the PCIe, but this has allowed a number of users to take advantages of the improvements in caching that are being rolled into DSM 6.2 and DSM 7.0. It is also worth highlighting that the previous generation of this card, the M2D18, is still available and is a PCIe Gen 2×8 version that is better suited to the 2016/2017 series Synology SMB systems, though only supports to 2280 length m.2 SSD. Synology NAS users could always choose to occupy their available SATA SSD bays and use SATA 2.5″ SSDs, but these do not quite provide the same level of boost and still require you to lose an available storage bay. See a little more on this in the video below:

However, in mid-2020 the next generation in this hardware arrived from Synology in the form of the new E10M20-T1 PCIe Card. This PCIe Gen 3 x8 card provided 2x 22110 M.2 NVMe SSD bays for caching AND it included a 10Gbe Copper ethernet port TOO! This card allows users to enjoy super-fast caching AND 1,000MB/s external connectivity AND only use a single PCIe slot. This is especially useful, given the bulk of SMB solutions that had neither of these features would typically have only a single PCIe upgrade slot available. If you can spare the budget, I STRONGLY recommend choosing the E10M20-T1 over the M2D20 (even after the price increase). As usual, it is worth highlighting that 1) the card only officially supports Synology’s own SNV3400 & SNV3500 SSDs and 2) you cannot use this card in a NAS system that already has m.2 slots (i.e you cannot add this and have 4x NVMe SSD slots. Still, it’s a very well made card and highlight recommended for significantly boosting an older generation SMB NAS that can get a PCIe upgrade.

Currently Available SSD Cache and Cache+10G Combo Cards

M2D18 2x NVMe 2280 Card – $169 M2D20 2x NVMe 22110 Card – $219 E10M20-T1 2x NVMe 22110 +10G – $289

Pros & Cons of Synology SSD and SSD+10Gbe Upgrade Cards

  • M2D20 & E10M20-T1 both are PCIe Gen 3×8 and support 22110 M.2 NVMe
  • 5year Warranty on both cards
  • Easy Install and No Drivers Needed for Instant Ue
  • M.2 ONLY Card is too close to the M.2 SSD+10G Card in Price to Justify
  • Lack of ability to use the NVMe M.2 Slots for Storage Pools

Synology M2D20 and E10M20-T1 Compatibility List:

  • SA series:SA3600, SA3400
  • 21 series:RS4021xs+, RS3621xs+, RS3621RPxs, RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS2818RP+, DS3018xs, DS1618+

Synology M2D18 NVMe SSD Support:

  • FS series:FS1018
  • 20 series:RS820RP+, RS820+
  • 19 series:DS2419+, DS1819+
  • 18 series:RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, DS3018xs, DS1618+

Synology M2D18 SATA SSD Support:

  • FS series:FS2017
  • 19 series:RS1219+
  • 18 series:RS3618xs, RS818RP+, RS818+
  • 17 series:RS18017xs+, RS4017xs+, RS3617xs+, RS3617RPxs, DS3617xs, DS1817+, DS1517+

So, there you have it. Those are the best available PCIe Upgrade Cards currently available and supported on Synology right now. I hope you found this guide useful. If you need more help in choosing the right card, or just want some free advice on your data storage setup, use the free advice section below. It is GENUINELY free, ran by humans (me and Eddie) and although it might take an extra day or so to respond when it gets busy, we will respond to all enquiries. Thank you and have a great week!

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

 

QNAP QMiroPlus-201W & QMiro-201W Mesh Router & NAS Review

16 juin 2021 à 16:00

QNAP QMiroPlus-201W & QMiro-201W Mesh Router+NAS System Review

Of all the devices that I talked about here and on YouTube, there is one device that I would wager is inside 99% of people’s homes these days, namely a router. For most users, the router provided by their internet service provider is more than proficient for the day-to-day handling of network and internet traffic in their home. After that, you enter the realm of prosumers, businesses and enterprise whereupon the typical low-level ISP router just will not cut it. It is at this point when premium and fully-featured routers enter the market and it is with this audience that we find QNAP launching their latest mesh router and combined NAS system. I say latest, as this is in fact the second router that QNAP has ever launched (the first being the QHora-301W – Review HERE) and the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W router systems are an impressive entry into this slowly growing product family. With the primary hub unit arriving with Intel-powered NAS architecture alongside RAID storage options and expandability, combined with the mesh connection and business class router software available in the QMiro-201W satellite pods, this is clearly something a little different to the mesh routers discussed throughout 2020/2021. QNAP has a long-established reputation in the NAS market and has expanded it noticeably with a significant range of network switches now in their portfolio. Are this new mesh router and NAS combination system a smart move by the brand or are they stretching themselves too far? Does the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W mesh system deserve your data?

QNAP QMiro-201W Mesh Router+NAS Quick Conclusion

QNAP has presented a fantastically unique router here and included hardware features that are genuinely unavailable from any other brand in the world like this right now in a single package. As mesh router systems go, it does seem a little pricey and given its lack of Wi-Fi 6 as available in the Qhora-301W, this may struggle with beating other solutions that support 802.11ax to the checkout. However, the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W mesh router system is at its best when it is purchased and deployed as a combined NAS storage system and intelligent mesh router. Indeed, an Intel quad-core 4GB memory 2-Bay NAS system will already set you back around $300-400 on its own and looking at this system in terms of purchasing it as an alternative to a NAS and router separately does makes that price tag a little bit more palatable. The QNAP QMiro-201W satellite modules on their own are perhaps a little underwhelming, but utilising them in conjunction with a QMiroPlus-201W unit, with its advantages in QTS for backups, multimedia, Plex media server, containers, surveillance and more 4K media and you’ll find that QNAP has really built something fantastically unique here. I just wish it had Wi-Fi 6…

 

PROS CONS
  • Router & NAS solution in one
  • Slick Router GUI with easy access
  • Mesh Support with Easy Connect
  • NAS has 2.5Gbe
  • FAST setup and inc wall brackets
  • Satellites are fanless/noiseless and ‘Plus’ is quiet
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports on Plus and Nodes
  • Works straight out of the box
  • Free SD-WAN software and services included
  • QTS on the PLUS is a FULL version and Intel Powered
  • Design and colour will split opinion
  • 2 Year Warranty is shorter than 53D with similar hardware
  • Nodes (non-Plus) are pretty underwhelming as standalone routers without PLUS hub

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP Solution, please use the links below

 

 

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Packaging

Understandably, QNAP has put a little bit more presentation into the retail packaging of the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W, given that this system is more likely to be sold on the shelf of your local I.T shop than many of their primary NAS solutions. Arriving with plenty of brand livery, product images and descriptions, this is all fairly standard and tells you plenty about the product’s hardware and software capabilities.

Removing the outer packaging, we find that QNAP has packed the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W in exactly the same way that most routers are packed (thin card moulded frame box) which bears stark contrast against how their NAS drives are packaged. Is this some kind of industry-standard or just the most effective way to package items like these? Who knows.

The included accessories for the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W are similar but with certain distinctions that are relevant to the scale of each device. The QMiroPlus-201W unit arrives with a cat5e 1M cable, screws for 2.5″ SATA drive installation, information on first-time setup incl, information on the inclusive 2-year warranty and an external PSU rated at 60W.

The QMiro-201W has near enough identical accessories, though understandably this unit does not feature the ability to install storage media aside from USB, the QMiro-201W simply has as the manuals, Ethernet cable and more modest external PSU at 24W.

As mentioned earlier, the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W allows you to install two hard drives or SSD inside the main chassis. This storage media needs to be purchased separately and QNAP has no plans to include the storage media in the system by default, which I think most users will be pleased with as it allows a certain degree a flexibility in its deployment. Additionally, as the QMiro-201W lacks the SATA storage bays, it is noticeably smaller in size. Let’s take a look at the design of the QNAP QMiro-201W and QMiroPlus-201W mesh router NAS combo systems.

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Design

Taking a closer look at the design and casing of each QNAP mesh router, you can see that it bears more than a striking resemblance to a number of their systems. Featuring a huge degree of ventilation to help maintain system temperature throughout the fanless QMiro-201W modules and fan-assisted QMiroPlus-201W hub, each unit is quite boxy in design and arrives at roughly the same height and width as a traditional hard drive. Though noticeably deeper. I’m still not a huge fan of the light blue colour scheme, but I know I am very much in the minority.

Taking a look at the QMiro-201W first. In all likelihood, this is the unit that will be most visible throughout your home or business if you deploy this system. There are no external antennas and the system is fanless. With a lot of mesh router providers creating much rounder and smaller mesh node points, QNAP has opted for a tall and narrow chassis design, likely because unlike a lot of other mesh node points, this has a noticeably larger degree of local connectivity over LAN and USB available.

The main QMiroPlus-201W unit however is significantly more capable and arrives in a larger chassis. This central unit features the same internal network processor and memory, but also features the parallel NAS storage system with its own dedicated CPU, memory and storage bays. Although the general design and shape on each unit are similar, the pub unit is around 3x larger in-depth and also features active calling internally.

The internal active cooling is assisted throughout the entire system by plenty of passive cooling throughout the entire external casing, with vents on almost every side. Indeed, the removable front panel only serves to cover the internal storage media days and does not cover any ventilation even when applied.

The QNAP QMiro-201W unit on the other hand relies exclusively on passive cooling due to its fanless design, with even more vents and physically large heatsinks internally. As mentioned, the individual QMiro-201W units may seem a tad larger than average mesh router points but there is a lot contained within each unit and needs appropriate heatsink coverage to maintain optimal efficiency one would assume.

The difference in scale between the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W is actually quite noticeable and the larger QMiroPlus-201W unit is as big as a regular NAS system.

Removing that front panel shows us the twin removable SATA storage bays. One main difference between this and most typical 2-Bay NAS’ is that this system utilizes more compact 2.5″ in storage media, which although more power-efficient and makes less noise, means that it does limit the available storage capacity that this system will be able to support at maximum. That said, this system does support 15mm height drives and therefore means it will support noticeably larger small form factor drives, as well as bulkier SATA SSD which marginally makes up for the total reduced capacity. 

Inside these two storage bays, we find combined SATA power connectors and no unnecessary loose wires for installation. Indeed when installing the storage media inside, the system allows utilisation of individual drives or combined drives in a RAID 0/1 set. The storage media in these bays is primarily used by the parallel QTS NAS software for hundreds of different modern NAS purposes, as well as supporting snapshots and multiple types of backup operation between this, the router and other storage platforms like cloud, USB, cloned directory, other NAS and other client devices.

Although the use of 2.5 in SATA drives is a little underwhelming, it kind of makes sense in the stature of this device and the low-level discreet build of your average router. Also, 15mm height 2.5″ drives are pretty affordable these days and available from numerous brands. Personally, I would probably install a couple of SATA SSD in this system as then you can really take better advantage of the NAS architecture internally.

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Connections

Taking a look at the rear of the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W, not only can we see plenty of ventilation but we can also see far more familiar connectivity as is found on typical QNAP systems. Even the relatively understated mesh satellite node QMiro-201W unit is a little bit more upscaled in design on the rear than a lot of other mesh router extras. Once again, I am still not a tremendous fan of the colour scheme, but I do like tonnes of passive ventilation and the good balance of functional yet compact design. It might be a little boxy for some, but I like it.

Taking a closer look at the QNAP QMiro-201W module on its own we find and that it arrives with multiple gigabit connections and the option to make local USB storage network accessible. Indeed, I like the fact that this system features twin RJ45 ethernet ports, one for WAN and another for LAN (though both can be used for typical LAN if preferred), it allows a decent depth of coverage across the three-band frequencies over Wi-Fi and these two local wired connections. Of course, giving this is Wi-Fi 5 in architecture and that this is going to be a mesh node point, it is pretty unlikely that this system could fully saturate both 100 Megabyte wire connections, but nevertheless, with the right port priority settings and the right mesh node layout in the environment, these would still prove very useful.

The system also arrives with USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectivity at 5Gb, which allows you to attach an external drive to be accessed via the QNAP QMiro-201W network. However, it is worth highlighting that when utilising just the QMiro-201W router, access to this drive is a great deal more limited than in the NAS software and hardware equipped QMiroPlus-201W system. Utilizing just QuRouter on the QNAP QMiro-201W will result in only having low-level breadcrumb style browser access to the USB drive and definitely not anything approaching the slick layout of File Station.

Switching over to the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W and things are noticeably ramped up in terms of port and connections. The system features a great combination of NAS and router style connectivity, from significantly more ethernet ports to local storage connectivity improvements. There is the active cooling fan, of course, something that is absent from the QMiro-201W unit, but this does not make much noise when in operation thanks to the system using rather modest style hard drives. The fans certainly ramped up when system was first initialising, but this soon passed.

Additionally, the main QMiroPlus-201W system arrives with two USB ports that are once again 5Gb in architecture, but this time the drives you attached can be utilised in creating a wider backup strategy, for use in virtual machines and containers on the NAS router, can be used for external storage and additional ethernet adaptors up to 2.5GbE and 5GbE. Lastly, QNAP also provides a range of USB expansion devices that allow you to add additional bays of storage to Venus and expand the storage pools and raid options available to you. Once again this is a significant jump over the available additional storage options available on most router systems and even a lot of 2 bay NAS systems in the market.

In terms of network connectivity, the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W has 5 available Ethernet ports. These can be broken down into 1 port for the NAS and 4 ports for the router, however, the router ports still allow complete access to the NAS GUI and system in general. The internet ports are all gigabit ethernet in architecture which is fairly predictable, however, the single dedicated NAS ethernet port is a 2.5GbE port, allowing connectivity of up to a potential 270MB/s per second. It is worth highlighting that both the NAS and router run parallel and both systems can be powered down or restarted for updates etc without it automatically affecting the other, something that will be hugely useful and relieve potential frustration in busier moments. 

The active cooling fan mentioned earlier can have its RPM adjusted on the fly quite easily but it is recommended to leave the system running at automatic to ensure the system maintains perfect internal working temperatures. Also, we have to be realistic here and know that this is both a router and a NAS system, the latter of which can generate an impressive amount of heat whilst on for days, weeks and months at a time. This is made infinitely more important when you consider the system utilizes an Intel Celeron processor, which works at its best when the system has a clear and well-ventilated working environment.

That’s about it for the external connectivity on this rather innovative device and now I want to take a little look at the insides, the antenna and see how well organised the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W is internally.

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Internal Hardware

Unsurprisingly, once we removed the external chassis of this rather compact NAS router combo, we find that the internals are packed together quite neatly in order to maximize available space. There are numerous smaller heatsinks around the system that cover the important dual CPU design and the storage media area, just above this large baseline heatsink for the controller board.

A closer look at the top of the device reveals the four antennas that provide full coverage across this system when in operation, not external antenna that allows a more customisable area of coverage control, which may disappoint some users. Alongside this, there is a slight concern about the heat and efficiency of a system like this in such a compact chassis with the antennas so close by. However, this is largely ignorable as even early testing of this system both in and outside of mesh setups proved very stable and in our software review, we were able to test this further with file uploads to the NAS. The lack of Wi-Fi 6 is still a bitter pill to swallow though.

The large silver heat sink that occupies the majority of the base of the system is where the bulk of the performance components are located. Considering the scale of the unit, it seems rather aggressive but given that you have the active cooling fan drawing are over this and the twin SATA storage bays, the more cooling, the better!

Both the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W use the same Qualcomm quad-core processor for handling the router operations, which also features 512MB of DDR3 memory too. As meagre as this might sound, this is pretty impressive for just handling the router side of things and along with the support of multiple SSIDs, different LANs supported and configuration options available in the QuRouter software for MAC Address/client device handling/IP tracking, that means this system can handle a decent number of simultaneously connected clients with ease and your network environment can be adjusted on the fly quite well.

The network-attached storage side of the QMiroPlus-201W on the other hand uses that Intel J4125 processor that hugely popular at the moment in a number of SMB NAS systems, with integrated graphics for 4K and 1080p video, handling of virtual machines and containers, supporting several surveillance applications and of course all of the multifaceted means with which to create a multi-tier backup strategy, there is a lot that this system can do and that this CPU supports in QTS. This CPU is further improved with the inclusion of 4GB of DDR4 memory to keep things running across multiple users and multiple services at once. Though it is worth highlighting that despite the fact that this CPU support up to 8GB of memory, the system cannot be upgraded from the standard 4GB in the baseline model. Not a huge deal breaker, but those of you that will expand the business utilities found in the NAS software may find 4GB a limiting long-term.

Overall, the internal hardware of both the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W is fairly impressive, though clearly the QMiroPlus-201W has the lion’s share of innovative internal tech. Arguably the QMiro-201W units are much less impressive when seen as stand-alone units, but the integrated hardware of the QMiroPlus-201W and then its scalability used in conjunction with one or more QMiro-201W units changes thing is dramatically for the better. However, good hardware is nothing without decent software and the new QNAP mesh router and NAS system are technically two parallel operating systems in one. So let’s take a look at both QTS and QuRouter.

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Software

The QuRouter software that is included on both the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W is functional if arguably fairly standard router control deck. There are a few features such as easy remote access, VPN integration, profile control and file management with the connected USB drive that are quite unique to the system and presented very well. But the rest of the features presented here are all quite standard for a paid router compared with that of your bog-standard ISP router. I have touched on the software side of things on the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W a little already, but to go into them in more detail, you need to look at them from two different end-user perspectives, home and business (enterprise really). Tools for both and the services are available to both, but each certainly has appeals to its own audience. The QMiroPlus-201W’s primary interface for most small-mid level users will be the new QuRouter software it arrives with. I will certainly go into more detail on the software review coming soon on the QMiro on Youtube, but even in this short stint of time using it, I am impressed by the GUI. Compared with the Netgear router management (looking remarkably 2000s even now in 2020) and my Virgin ISP router (fantastically limited UI), the QuRouter software is very clear, arriving with guides, tips and pointers – each allowing the user to create a very unique and secure setup that fits their needs. This software controls and manages all 4 of the LAN/WAN ports, allowing you to create quality of service protocols, priority assignment to ports and devices, as well as create virtual NETWORKS (vLANs) inside your main network, so you can group devices appropriately to their status in your home/business. Though the biggest question for many users looking at this system is not the LAN connectivity, but the choice to NOT include WiFi 6.

WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6

The QMiro is advertised as a AC2200 router which (as already touched on) means that you have blanket wireless coverage of a shared 220MB/s. This does not include the 400MB/s wired coverage via the 4x 1Gb LAN potential, but it is worth noting that no single band 5Ghz A/C/N connected client over wireless can get higher than 768Mb/s (76MB/s). The benefits of WiFi 6 in terms of data packet handling, both in rapidity and simultaneously are quite well noted, though the distance is not quite as broad as the older wireless protocol. Additionally, that wireless coverage in the QNAP Qhora-301W released last year is spread across multiple bands, with the system supported 3x 2.4Ghz and 3x 5Ghz bands, over MU-MIMO. It is still a tremendous achievement and still comfortably meets the WiFi 6 standard. So if QNAP could include it in the QHora, then why not the QMiro? Who knows. Another handy advantage of the QMiroPlus-201W is the ability to create 3 separate SSIDs (wireless networks) each with its own wireless connection name and security login credentials. The separate wireless networks use separate frequency/bands with 1 on the 2.4GHz band and 2 on the 5GHz band. Most routers include the ability to create a ‘guest’ SSID on the single lower 2.4GHz band, but on the QMiroPlus-201W, you can create fully featured wireless networks and give them appropriate security privileges and access to the selected wired networks and vLANs you create via QuRouter.

 

Under the traditional enterprise network architecture, multi-site connections must be connected back to the head office, which often suffers from insufficient bandwidth. In addition, the price of VPN equipment on the market is expensive, which is far from the load of ordinary SMEs. With QNAP SD-WAN technology (QuWAN), multi-point units can flexibly form a network at any point, realizing a low-cost and highly flexible network deployment architecture.

QuWAN Orchestrator provides a convenient and powerful cloud network centralized deployment and management platform. IT personnel can remotely deploy all local network equipment at each branch in the headquarters, without having to travel to various locations The network deployment of ZTP truly achieves zero-touch deployment (ZTP, Zero Touch Provisioning), and can perform multiple functions such as bandwidth monitoring, parameter setting, and traffic analysis on a single platform. Endpoint devices can directly connect to QMiroPlus-201W via wireless or wired LAN, and easily join the SD-WAN network. This is achieved with the three first-party tools:

QuWAN Orchestrator

Log in to quwan.QNAP.com , you can view the connection status of all devices that have joined the network, and apply network settings to all devices in batches. You can also set up real-time notifications for real-time remote troubleshooting and control connection problems

QuWAN Agent

You need to enable QuWAN Agent on the QNAP device and add your device to the Mesh VPN networking environment (that is, join QuWAN Orchestrator).

QVPN Client

After installing QVPN Client on mobile phones and computers, and connecting with QHora-301W, you can access multipoint intranet resources.

In addition to being built in QMiro and QHora routers, QuWAN is actually FREE and can also run on compatible devices such as QNAP NAS, QGD switches and QuCPE series servers. It also works with exclusive QVPN Client software to enable teleworkers/WFHers to pass Terminal devices such as computers, laptops, and mobile phones are connected to SSL VPN, which facilitates the formation of a micro-segmentation network architecture that is separated by different departments as large as a state or country, as small as a single site, and through the central cloud Unified management of the platform. QuWAN is now available for free in QNAP App Center, and the license fee is free of charge.

And the rest:

  • Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) channels (Auto, custom)
  • RTS/CTS (Request to Send/Clear to Send) function
  • Guest wireless options
  • Wireless scheduler
  • Protocol-based firewall (TCP, UDP, ICMP, TCP+UDP)
  • Firewall rules based on domain names and IP addresses
  • Port forwarding and Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Support FTP ALG, PPTP ALG and SIP ALG
  • Secure remote access with L2TP, OpenVPN and QBelt (QNAP proprietary) protocol
  • VPN client management
  • USB Settings: FTP Server, Device User, USB usage condition

So, the QMiroPlus-201W really is a fully-featured router for home and business. This review is primarily centred on the hardware of course, but the software review below should give you a better understanding of what the QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W can do in both router services and NAS:

The QTS NAS software included on the QMiroPlus-201W, on the other hand, is a great deal more unique and despite its rather modest stature and the fact that it shares billing with the router OS, this is not a pared-down version of the fully-featured NAS Software. The QMiroPlus-201W arrives with QTS 4.5 and access to all of the software and services that you would have in a prosumer class system. There are a few small differences such as the use of QVR elite and not QVR Pro for reasons of hardware efficiency, but all in all, this is a complete system server and cloud management user interface. For those unfamiliar with the QNAP operating system, it arrives with hundreds of free applications, can be accessed from a web browser or desktop client, arrives with many, many apps for mobile on IOS and Android and is definitely in the top two operating systems you can get for network-attached storage devices. Often compared with their biggest rival Synology NAS and DSM, QNAP QTS GUI is designed in a way that will definitely appeal more to Android and Windows users, giving you everything you will need from a network-attached storage device in 2021 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security.

QNAP File Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rdparty devices and create a completely customizable and scaled back up network between your devices

Then you have KEY applications that are used on the QNAP NAS system that moves into tailored data access and use, such as:

  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Elite and Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station and 2 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

You cannot really fault the level of software and service available in this single package solution. The fact that you only have access to QNAP QTS software platforms on the QMiroPlus-201W and not the QMiro-201W is disappointing but understandable. And the QuRouter software, despite still falling behind in a few key areas compared with Synology Router Manager, is still an excellent and functional router management software platform.

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Conclusion

It is genuinely hard to dislike or write-off the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W system, giving it wide-ranging software abilities and impressive hardware available on both the router and NAS side. The capability, design and features of the QMiroPlus-201W do somewhat overshadow the QMiro-201W module, clearly leading to this system only really reaching its potential when purchased as a multi-node kit, but it is still a capable and functional system independently. The QuRouter software, although clear, user-friendly and functional, has perhaps not evolved as much as I would like in the six months since I first saw it, but QTS for NAS runs on this system beautifully and delivers everything I expected. Much like the QNAP guardian series that combined NAS and switches to relative success, the QMiro’s attempt to merge a separate private server and router purchase into one is still yet unproven in the eyes of the public, so its effectiveness will likely vary from user to user. Clearly, the lack of Wi-Fi 6 on this system is going to be a deal-breaker for many and the choice of media drives and inability to upgrade memory is definitely an area that QNAP dropped of the ball on here but nevertheless, I do recommend the QNAP QMiroPlus-201W and QMiro-201W as certainly your next NAS and as a viable alternative to separate hardware in your home or office.

 

PROS CONS
  • Router & NAS solution in one
  • Slick Router GUI with easy access
  • Mesh Support with Easy Connect
  • NAS has 2.5Gbe
  • FAST setup and inc wall brackets
  • Satellites are fanless/noiseless and ‘Plus’ is quiet
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports on Plus and Nodes
  • Works straight out of the box
  • Free SD-WAN software and services included
  • QTS on the PLUS is a FULL version and Intel Powered
  • Design and colour will split opinion
  • 2 Year Warranty is shorter than 53D with similar hardware
  • Nodes (non-Plus) are pretty underwhelming as standalone routers without PLUS hub

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP Solution, please use the links below

 

 

 

Synology DSM 7.0 – How Well Does It Run?

18 juin 2021 à 01:10

How Well Does Synology DSM 7.0 Run on Different NAS Drives

It’s been a long road and we’ve waited close to 3 years since its initial reveal, but the release of the DSM 7 RC, the latest generation of Synology software and services, is here and Synology users new and old are getting ready to upgrade to significantly improved software platform. Unlike previous firmware updates that predominantly focused on improvements in stability, tweaks to security and adding features to existing services, this new Synology firmware update is genuinely massive by comparison (a tad like moving from Windows 8 to Windows 10). Of course, even though the software will be near enough the same for all Synology users, the extent to which it will perform, the applications available and how well DSM 7.0 runs on your NAS will depend a great deal on the NAS system you own and it’s hardware. One look at the download section from Synology reveals that the software is available across most NAS servers, big and small, released in the last 6 or 7 years, which is quite impressive given that even the lowly DS115j support it. So today I am selecting many of the latest and most popular NAS solutions from Synology and testing the extent to which they use DSM 7. From 1-bay dual-core ARM to Quad-Core 8-bay Ryzen, there is a huge degree of options to go through, so let’s get started.

How DSM 7.0 was Tested for Each Synology NAS

In order to make sure that each NAS was tested with a fair degree of comparison, each NAS tested below is using the same version of DSM 7.0 (Version: 7.0-41882). Additionally, each system used the exact same test files and were distributed throughout the system indexes identically. The following parameters for tests were measured:

  • The speed with which the user’s login was verified and access to the DSM 7 GUI was granted
  • How responsive the desktop GUI was and how quickly the system allows access & configuration via the control panel
  • How quick and responsive file management in file station was conducted
  • The performance and responsiveness of photo media in Synology photos
  • The indexing and playback speed of Synology Audio Station media
  • The playback and responsiveness of videos in the Synology Video Station Player (plus transcoding where supported)
  • Access and responsiveness of two live camera feeds in Synology Surveillance Station
  • Performance and Responsiveness from the NAS in DSM 7.0 when most/all of the above services and actions are conducted simultaneously

So, as you see, a fairly standard range of software and services to measure how different NAS systems from Synology handle and operate DSM 7. As tempting as it might be too to measure DSM using virtualisation or ISCSI benchmarks, the range of different capacity NAS, CPU choices and network connectivity in all these systems make any comparison between them largely incomparable. I consider the above services an acceptable benchmark for most home and prosumer users who want to take advantage of the DSM 7.0 and are curious about whether to upgrade or not. Let’s get started.

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS120j – Should You Upgrade?

The Synology DS120j is a remarkably modest NAS system in size, capacity and internal hardware. This is precisely why it really surprised me when I saw that it too would feature a DSM 7.0 upgrade.

CPU Model Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 2-core 800 MHz
Hardware Encryption Engine YES
System Memory 512 MB DDR3L non-ECC

It performed surprisingly well and below you can find the video detailing how well it performed:

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS220j – Should You Upgrade?

By far the most popular cost-effective entry in the Synology desktop portfolio is the DS220j 2 bay NAS box. Arriving with the popular Realtek CPU, but just 512MB of DDR4 memory, it is a fairly low powered server drive and despite the clear need for Synology to look after this popular tier of affordable solutions, even here I am surprised that it supports DSM 7.0 – but in a good way. 

CPU Model Realtek RTD1296
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 1.4 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine YES
System Memory 512 MB DDR4 non-ECC

Indeed, Synology themselves do highlight that DSM 7.0 operates at its best when using at least 1GB of memory to ensure that all of the system services operate to the best of their ability, which is double that of the default memory in the DS220j. Nevertheless, despite a few limitations in Synology Photos and the system slowing down a pinch when simultaneously using surveillance cameras, it performed surprisingly well and you can find out more below in the video.

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS220+ – Should You Upgrade?

For many users, the Synology DS220+ is the entrance point for those who are looking at multimedia use or who were looking to migrate away from Cloud services like Google Drive, Google Photos and Dropbox, in favour of their own private cloud that is still rather capable. The DS220+ is also the most affordable solution in the brand’s current modern releases to feature an Intel Celeron processor and DSM 7.0 is definitely able to take advantage of this.

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4025
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 2-core 2.0 (base) / 2.9 (burst) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
System Memory 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Total Memory Slots 1
Maximum Memory Capacity 6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB)

Although there are numerous individual apps and services built into Synology DSM 7 that are available on pretty much any NAS, there are several more SMB (Small-Medium Business) products on the platform that require an x86 64-bit processor minimum. Services and features such as Virtualisation and more enterprise level backups from Active Backup Suite immediately become available at this tier of Synology NAS hardware. Unsurprisingly, DSM 7 ran well on the DS220+, multitasking beautifully even with the default 2GB memory. Likewise, the Synology Photos application performed very well, even when it was live recording from two IP cameras in surveillance, transcoding a 1080p video file, playing back an audio file and duplicating 50GB of data – all at the same time. For more information on how the DS220+ performed with DSM 7, watch the video below.

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS920+ – Should You Upgrade?

The Synology DS920+ 4 bay NAS system is BY FAR the most popular desktop NAS in the brand’s portfolio. This NAS is also considered the last genuinely prosumer grade solution in the portfolio, before things get a little bit more business and enterprise at the higher tiers. The system hardware on offer in the DS920+ give you access to the entire range of Synology software and services available in DSM 7.0 that you find in all other NAS systems in this article so far, but also so provides additional information, settings and functionality in the storage manager. 

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4125
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.0 (base) / 2.7 (burst) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
System Memory 4 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Total Memory Slots 1
Maximum Memory Capacity 8 GB (4 GB + 4 GB)

DSM 7 alongside general improvements in access time and responsiveness of the system compared with DSM 6.2, also makes vast improvements in caching in a number of ways. From the general intelligent memory utilisation of the system and in the case of the DS920+, its 4GB of memory and how DSM 7.0 takes advantage of the NVMe slots. DSM 7 should run perfectly on a Synology DS920+ and in our comparison testing, this was well established with the system performing all tasks incredibly quickly and simultaneously with little to no aggressive increase in hardware resource consumption. As before, I recommend you check out the video below for more information on just how the DS920+ performed with DSM 7.0:

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS1621+ & DS1821+ – Should You Upgrade?

Synology introduced the AMD embedded Ryzen processor to their range of SMB solutions in late 2020 and despite the development cycle of DSM 7.0 taking several years prior to this, it is completely supported on these newer gen CPU devices. The V1500B processor is found on the DS1621+ and DS1821+, among many others in the last year or so and given the business class services and and office collaboration tools included in DSM 7.0, its performance on these new small-medium business class servers is remarkably important for Synology’s continued growth into pre-existing SaaS integrated environments (whether to replace or exist in parallel as bare-metal)

CPU Model AMD Ryzen V1500B
CPU Quantity 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.2 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
System Memory 4 GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Memory Module Pre-installed 4 GB (4 GB x 1)
Total Memory Slots 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 32 GB (16 GB x 2)

Although only the 6 bay NAS was tested in the video below, it shares a near identical hardware architecture to the 8-bay desktop alternative and several rackmount Ryzen powered rackstation solutions. This was the best example of DSM 7 that I tested in the videos and it was easily the least resource impacted NAS of all. Although CPU utilisation spiked briefly during video playback, this was largely due to the non-embedded graphics CPU of this system than anything to do with a DSM7. Below is the video of how how this NAS handled DSM 7.

 

Choosing A Synology NAS – Need More Help?

So, there you – DSM 7.0 is currently in Release Candidate with a full and stable release coming VERY soon. Stay tuned for more extensive content on Synology DSM 7.0 when the full official release lands and if you need any further assistance on whether to upgrade, or if you still need help choosing the NAS solution for your needs, use the NASCompares free advice section below. It is completely free, is not a subscription service and is manned by real humans (two humans actually, me and Eddie). We promise impartial advice, recommendations based on your hardware and budget, and although it might take an extra day or two to answer your question, we will get back to you.

Learn More About Multiple Backup Strategies on your Synology NAS in the Guide Below:


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

 

 

 

 

Synology NAS Drives to Buy this Prime Day 2021

20 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology NAS Bargains and Deals this Prime Day 2021

Yes, it’s back again. Amazon Prime Day has come around again and for those of us with that Amazon Prime Subscription making it a little dent in our bank account each month, this seems reason enough for us to take the plunge and investing in some new IT hardware. A Synology NAS was once a rather niche item, however, in 2021 the ability to have your very own cloud storage for home and business storage has fast become something that can be very affordable, very useful and very appealing. Buying a NAS has many advantages to those of you who want to ensure the pictures of their friends and family are safe from accidental loss, that their records are backed up, that their boxsets are accessible and that their IP cameras are protecting their home from burglars. The growing use of NAS drives by families, students, small offices, shops and professional industries are now at a point that you can really find some great bargains if you shop around. If you are looking for a Synology NAS deal this Amazon Prime day 2021, I recommend that you check out the bargains below. I have even separated them into different uses, so you can be sure to get the right NAS drive for your needs. Be quick though, as Amazon Prime deals can be fantastically brief, often have limited stock or are on strict time limits.

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


 

Amazon Prime Day 2021 – Lowest Priced Synology NAS Drives

If you are new to Synology NAS and don’t want to spend much this Amazon Prime Day, then that’s ok. Synology has a great selection of fantastically low price NAS available to buy this Prime Day in 1 hard drive, 2 hard drive and 4 hard drive sizes. Below is the best 3 Budget NAS that Synology features this Prime Day 2021:

Synology DS120J 1-Bay NAS

With the release of the new DS120j NAS, when it comes to buying your first network-attached storage device there are several reasons why the Synology range appeals to many. With a diverse range of hardware and storage options across a wide series of uses, as well as an impressive range of first-party applications, Synology has fast become one of the biggest names in the NAS. However, so many users have one tiny problem with most Synology devices, namely the price tag. In terms of overall price, you will find that a Synology NAS typically is around 15 to 20% more expensive than most other brands with the same hardware (we will leave software out of the equation for a bit). Added to this is the fact that most buyers looking to buy their first unit are nervous in spending large sums of money on a largely unexplored area of technology. Luckily Synology has already addressed this problem before with the inclusion of a budget range of devices that serves as a fantastic introduction point to network-attached storage and the Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM) system software.