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A Guide to 1-Bay NAS Drives – Get it Right First Time

27 septembre 2021 à 01:48

Choosing the Best 1-Bay NAS Drive from Synology & QNAP

Choosing the best NAS drive for your needs can often be a difficult or imposing job. Network Attached Storage has evolved a lot over the years to a point now where they are less like basic storage devices and more like fully functioning computers, with operating systems, applications and a complete graphical user interface. Two of the biggest brands in their field are Synology and QNAP NAS, who have been in the business of producing NAS solutions for a number of years and in the field of desktop 1 drive (hard drive or solid-state drive) NAS systems, that are pretty well established as a reliable, user-friendly and fully featured brand provider. With an impressive selection of NAS solutions currently available in their 2021/2022 range of devices, it can often be difficult to choose the best 1-Bay NAS for your needs. Never fear, below is a quick and easy guide to the best NAS for Plex Media Server, Backups, Media Streaming, Surveillance, Office work or all of them together! Before you go ahead, below are what BOTH brands and their 1-HDD NAS provide:

 

Synology DS118

Synology DS120j

QNAP TS-131K

QNAP TS-130

Price/Buy HERE – $199 / £179 / AU$299 HERE – $99 / £89 / AU$199 HERE – $220 / £190 / AU$320 HERE – $140 / £130 / AU$250
CPU Model Realtek RTD1296 Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720 AnnapurnaLabs AL214 Realtek RTD1295
CPU Quantity 1 1 1
CPU Architecture 64-bit ARM 64-bit ARM 32bit ARM 64-bit ARM
CPU Frequency 4-core 1.4 GHz 2-core 800 MHz 4-core 1.7 GHz 4-core 1.4 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine Yes Yes Yes Yes
System Memory 1 GB DDR4 non-ECC 512 MB DDR3L non-ECC 1GB DDR3 1 GB DDR4, not expandable
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 1 1 1 1
USB 2.0 Port 0 2 0 1 GB DDR4, not expandable
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port* 2 0 2 1
Noise Level* 16.7 dB(A) 16.9 dB(A) 15.8 db(A) 15.2 db(A)
Power Consumption* 9.4 W (Access)
4.22 W (HDD Hibernation)
9.81 W (Access)
4.68 W (HDD Hibernation)
11.62 W (Access)
7.29 W (HDD Hibernation)
7.29 W (Access)
3.45 W (HDD Hibernation)
Warranty 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years 2 Years
  • Support of over 100 Applications that can be installed on the Synology DSM and QNAP QTS user interface
  • Access from over the network or anywhere in the world (with encryption) via Windows, Mac, Android and iOS systems
  • Many client applications for Mobile and Desktop Computer systems for tailored access
  • DLNA Media streaming support to Smart TVs, Consoles, Audio to Amazon Alexa, FireStick Streaming and more (some third-party apps might be needed, such as ‘MyMedia’)
  • Plex Media Server Support (in some cases)
  • Although lacking RAID, many 1-Bay NAS support Storage Snapshots, as well as numerous backup systems
  • AI-Powered Photo Recognition (extent of support is very dependant on the model/CPU)
  • Apple Time Machine Supported services
  • Supporting multiple users and multiple security credentials at once
  • Business-class Surveillance software (Surveillance Station) and 2 cameras licences with every NAS 1-Bay
  • Backup Software for USB, Cloud, NAS-to-NAS and general file servers with Hyper Backup/HBS 3
  • Cloud and Remote server Synchronization Services (to connect your existing cloud account as an available storage area
  • iTunes Media Server and support of most DLNA streaming hardware

So, there is ALOT that you can do with any of the desktop 1-Bay solutions in today’s article that I want to discuss today, however, some of them are better at some tasks than others and with limitations ranging from the amount of memory they have, the proficiency of the CPU and design choices along the way, let’s take a look at the currently available 2 Bay NAS you can buy from.

 

Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Performance

Most 1-bay NAS devices will provide a pretty low level of performance if compared with bigger and more established NAS drives. There are lots of reasons for this and one of the common is simply that a 1 HDD/SSD solution is classed as a cost-effective solution, all too often used as a network backup (due to its lack of a RAID system for failover), or as a home media server for use in Plex Media Server or over DLNA to home consoles, smart TVs, Amazon firesticks and more. Of the 1-Bay NAS that Synology and QNAP NAS have available, the DS118 from Synology is still the most powerful in terms of hardware+software (despite being released quote some time ago), whereas QNAP offers the TS-130 which has very similar hardware (though a fractionally less able CPU), but better port options on day 1 and later in the systems life via supported ethernet adapters. Whereas, at the budget end of the scale, the QNAP TS-131K easily outperforms the Synology DS120j, which twice the memory available and over double the power and cores in terms of CPU. The rest are either too low in power to make an impact (providing a poor user experience of what DSM and QTS have to offer) or are too close in price to the recommended 1 bay previously mentioned to make them a viable alternative at this price point.

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

Realtek RTD1296 4-Core 1.4Ghz CPU

1GB DDR4 Memory

QNAP TS-130 NAS

Realtek RTD1295 4-Core 1.4Ghz CPU

1GB DDR4 Memory

QNAP TS-131K NAS

Annapurna Labs, AL214, 4-core, 1.7GHz

1GB DDR4 Memory

Great CPU and Slick GUI =

Best Performance!


Good Internal Hardware =

Good Value Speed Option


Great internal and External Hardware =

Good Performance!

 

Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Ports and Connections

Unsurprisingly, when a NAS is designed to hold just a single Hard Drive or Solid State Drive, the manufacturer will often not go overboard on the connectivity. This is because the media inside will already be at a severe bottleneck of jsut being a single drive that is being read/written to at any time. Bigger NAS units that feature RAID will be able to use multiple drives being accessed at once to channel great speeds, so manufacturers will add more connectivity. Sadly for the 1-Bay NAS, this is just not profitable or useful. So, you will see that ALL 1-Bay NAS will have a single RJ45 LAN port. However, after that, there are a few differences between NAS drive makers and how they approach connectivity on this micro-scale.  For a start, the more expensive 1-Bay NAS devices, like the Synology DS118 and TS-131K arrive with USB 3.0 Ports and even 1-touch copy buttons in the case of the QNAP NAS. Although the USB 3.0 on these more expensive devices may seem like a bit of a ‘meh’ factor compared with the USB 2.0 on the cheaper DS120j and TS-230, as these 1-Bays do not have RAID, they will only have 2 ways to backup. Either using a 3rd party clouds (discussing later in the software and features section) or only a connected USB Drive. If you choose the latter, you will DEFINITELY see a difference in backup times when using a USB 3.0 Drive in a USB 3.0 Port, compared with that of USB 2.0.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

QNAP TS-131K NAS

3x USB 3.1, SD Card, 1 Touch Copy, 1Gbe, Lockable Tray

QNAP TS-130 NAS

1x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0, 1Gbe

Synology DS118 NAS

1Gbe & USB 3.1 – Good Software Connectivity

Good Selection of Connectivity =

Most Adaptive 1-Bay!

Good, petite and connectible =

Good all rounder!


More Focused on Software Connectivity =

Beginner Choice


Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Upgrades and Expansions

Sadly, even though this is a single Bay NAS system, very few of them can actually be expanded. This is normally because connecting a NAS expansion is more than just connecting a USB drive and in most cases, the user will want to expand the storage pool of the NAS to include the extra drives in an expansion into a RAID pool. The issue is that the CPU found in most 1-Bay NAS is just not strong enough to do this (or more likely low memory amounts). There is also the slight suspicion that some brands do this to ensure buyers go for a 2/4 Bay device instead, but that is never certain. Currently, none of the Synology 1-Bays can be expanded (DS119j, DS120j and DS118), but the QNAP TS-130 and TS-131K can have their storage increased by connecting the 2-Bay TR-002 and 4-Bay TR-004 NAS Expansions devices. This is because these devices are HARDWARE RAID enclosures and the handling of the RAID is done by the expansion, not the NAS. However, as you would expect, these cannot really be used the expand an existing storage pool/volume and merely bolt on additional storage areas for use inside the QNAP NAS system.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

QNAP TS-131K NAS

3x USB forTR-002/TR-004 Expansion, Supports the QNAP 5Gbe to USB Adapter

QNAP TS-130 NAS

Can connect the TR-002 and TR-004 Expansion, but cannot spread the RAID pool/volume

Synology DS118 NAS

No Official Expandability but uses USB Storage as external drive Storage

Can be upgraded and expanded

in a number of ways =

Most Future Proof!

Lightly Expandability =

Good Affordable Pick

Functional and Can have Storage bolt ons =

Good Value


Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Noise and Power Use

Of course, one of the reasons people buy 1-Bay NAS drives is because they consume considerably less power than the majority of NAS devices (down to the single SATA bay and more value series internal hardware), as well as being a great deal quieter than most other NAS drives and having a considerably smaller hardware footprint on your environment. Pretty much all of 1 Bay NAS servers from QNAP and Synology have low power consumption in both access and in standby, as well as having alow noise levels. However, it will not surprise you to know that as you scale up through the prices, the power consumed and the noise generated also go up, as the hardware inside and out is going to be a little more rugged and a little more capable, so this results in a growth in heat, noise and power consumption – all of which are still incredibly low compared with bigger 2/4/6/8 Bay devices, but still do scale appropriately, with the DS119j and DS120j at the bottom end, and the DS118, TS-130 and TS-131K at the top.

1ST 2ND 3RD

QNAP TS-130 NAS

7.06 W (Live Access)
2.9 W (Hibernation)

15.7 dB(A) Noise Level

 

Synology DS120j NAS

9.81 W (Live Access)
4.68 W (Hibernation)

16.9 dB(A) Noise Level

Synology DS118 NAS

9.4 W (Live Access)
4.22 W (Hibernation)

16.7 dB(A) Noise Level

Lowest Power Used and Noise Generated=

Best Choice in this area!

Very Low Environmental Impact=

Good Performance

Good Power at a Low Impact, higher price =

Best Performance Choice


Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Features and Software

Because of the hardware being rather modest inside the single media bay NAS drives, you will expect them to arrive with a more streamlined version of the DSM and QTS software on board. That said, although the DS119j, DS120j, TS-230 and TS-112P all arrive with more scaled-down versions of the hardware, they can still support backups, 3rd party cloud sync, media tools like Photo Station, Music Station and File Station, as well as a few of the Surveillance tools in Surveillance Station and QVR Elite. However, in the more powerful(and expensive) DS118 and TS-131K, you find that over 70% of the software and functionality from Synology and QNAP is available in DSM and QTS respectively. That means that you can use more cameras, use the storage snapshots, have more active users and can even install PLEX Media Server – though without transcoding and it will consume the bulk of the hardware available whilst in operation.

The speed of the 1-Bay NAS selection from QNAP and Synology is a difficult one. For a start, they ALL have 1Gbe LAN ports, so none of them can exceed 100-110MB/s upload and download speeds. However, the amount of system resources that are consumed by the device whilst read and write actions take place makes ALOT of difference, with the DS118 and TS-131K maxing out that 1Gbe connection at even busy file use, whilst the lesser NAS devices will either only hit as high as 70MB/s or so, OR can only hit 100MB/s if they use practically ALL their resources, or have perfect file environments to test with and SSDs inside – which is rare/unlikely. Finally, you can see that the range of 1-Bay devices all supports different numbers of maximum users ad folders. This is because then differing hardware will support a different depth of file and index structure, so the more powerful the NAS, the more files and folders it can support. Likewise, the number of active users (so, users connected at once) and created users (so, users total) will be lower if you have a smaller amount of memory or a less powerful CPU for multi-tasking. The DS118 arrives with a Realtek 64bit ARM 4 Core Processor and 1GB of DDR4 memory, so it is pretty much the strongest NAS here in this area.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

Synology Drive, Moments, Mail, Calendar, Hyper Backup, Chat, Office, Plex Media Server and more

QNAP TS-131K NAS

Photo, Video and Music Station, QuMagie, Hybrid BackupSync 3, Plex Media Server, Streaming Apps, Hybrid Mount and Cloud Apps

QNAP TS-130 NAS

Photo, Video and Music Station, Hybrid BackupSync 3, Streaming Apps and Cloud Apps

Great Apps and Fluid GUI =

Best Option for Mac/New NAS Users!


Good Selection of Apps, Great GUI=

Best for Android/Windows Users

Good Budget choice of Apps =

Affordable NAS App Entry Point

Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Plex and Media Streaming

In terms of multimedia playback, any of these 1-Bay NAS drives from Synology or QNAP will support you as a DLNA media server device to share locally to your Smart TV, Amazon Firestick, Media Box, Home console and network sound system. However, after the initial confirmation, I am afraid things get a little murky. For a start, even without transcoding or Plex Media Server, all of these devices are designed with smaller streaming groups in mind, with the DS120j and DS119j supporting only 1 or 2 simultaneous streams with it’s low hardware. In fact, all of these one bays should not be considered if you are going to access media from more than about 3 devices at once, and especially if one or more of them are accessing the data over the internet. In terms of NATIVE transcoding (so when you are accessing media on the Synology/QNAP NAS using a client app for the viewing device from Synology/QNAP, only the DS118 and TS-230 will provide transcoding.

However, in terms of Plex Media Server, only the DS118, TS-230 and TS-131K will actually let you install Plex comfortably and run – even then WITHOUT transcoding and using a large % of the system memory and CPU whilst in operation. In short, none of the Synology or QNAP 1-Bay range should be considered for a stable Plex Media server, but if you are looking at native transcoding and network/internet streaming to several devices, then you should fix your sights on the QNAP TS-230, TS-131K and Synology DS118 only.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

1080p Transcoding Natively

4K Transcoding Natively

Plex Media Server NO TRANSCODING

QNAP TS-131K NAS

1080p Playback Natively

4K Playback Natively

Plex Media Server NO TRANSCODING

QNAP TS-130 NAS

1080p Playback Natively

Plex Media Server NO TRANSCODING

1080P and 4K Playback =

Best 1-Bay for Basic Plex and Native Transcoding!


Basic Plex Playback and DLNA Streaming =

Best for Budget NAS Streaming

Low end Multimedia Use =

Value choice for Multimedia Streaming

Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Surveillance, NVR and CCTV

I am pleased to confirm that all of the 1-Bay NAS drives from Synology and QNAP arrive with support of their Surveillance Station platforms within DSM and QTS Respectively. However, the extent to which you can use this surveillance application will differ wildly. None of them can really be considered ideal solutions to show of the surveillance software that each brand provides with their operating systems, with the QNAP solution only supporting Surveillance Station and not QVR Pro, due to hardware limitations. All of these solutions arrive with 2 camera licences and often users will include considerations of CCTV and NVR use of a NAS to maximize the investment they have made in a NAS (alongside backups, media streaming, etc). You can generally consider a 1-Bay NAS to be used for upto 5 cameras comfortably. Although the Synology DS118 and QNAP TS-230 both state you can have 10+ cameras, you would need to be using pretty low resolution/FPS settings in order for the NAS to cope – ESPECIALLY if you plan on using the NAS Drive for other things whilst it is still working. This is both because of the modest CPUs in use, and MAINLY because of the maximum 1GB of memory available (with as little as 512MB in the DS120j and 256MB in the DS119j).

In short, if you are going to use the Synology or QNAP 1-Bay NAS for ONLY Surveillance/NVR use, then you can get away with the budget class DS120j and TS-230, but if you want a smoother surveillance experience, or plan on using this 1-Bay NAS for Surveillance AND other tasks, then you should look a little higher at the Synology DS118 and QNAP TS-230 NAS.

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

Surveillance Station

Upto 15 Cameras

2 Licenses

QNAP TS-130 NAS

Surveillance Station/QVR Elite

Upto 10 Cameras

2 Licenses

Synology DS120j NAS

Surveillance Station

Upto 5 Cameras

2 Licenses

Good all round low-end CCTV Support =

Best 1-Bay for Surveillance Overall!


Suitable for a Small Office =

Discreet NVR Option for an Office

Small and Very Low Impact=

Best choice for a shop, home environment

 

 


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

 

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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.  

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Seagate Ironwolf 525 NAS NVMe SSD Revealed

20 septembre 2021 à 15:25

Seagate PCIe Gen 4 NVMe for NAS on its Way – The Ironwolf 525 SSD

Continuing their reputation for bringing new media releases to the market before everyone else, Seagate seemingly has a PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD in the pipeline for NAS/SAN server use in their Ironwolf series, known as the Seagate Ironwolf 525. Although little is publically know about this new SSD, the Ironwolf 525 has already begun to appear on numerous stock management and distribution sites in Europe, so this seems to indicate a likely release before the end of 2021. Seagate was one of the first brands in storage media to introduce a server dedicated class of SSDs for home and prosumer users (with a U.2/SAS series already in place for enterprise in their Nytro series of course) in both SATA and NVMe m.2, however even in this early leak of information, a few unique or interesting details have already emerged. So, let’s go through everything that we know so far and whether the Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD will deserve your cache* later in 2021/2022

Seagate Firecuda 530 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD Review Here https://nascompares.com/2021/08/09/seagate-firecuda-530-ssd-review-the-score-to-beat

*I’ll get my coat…..

Click to view slideshow.

The Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD – What Do We Know?

As mentioned, details on specifications of the Seagate Ironwolf 525 NVMe SSD are remarkably thin on the ground. Clearly, release and a formal reveal should not be too far ahead, as even a casual search online reveals that a number of European sites are listing the drive:

As it stands, there are no official datasheets for the Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD available, but a lot of the specifications that ARE available (across all listing sites), as well as going by the Seagate model ID naming convention used in the Ironwolf 510 and Firecuda seemingly indicate the following:

  • Seagate Ironwolf 525 NVMe SSD
  • Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB Capacity
  • PCIe Gen 4.0 x4 Architecture
  • NVMe 1.3 (TBC)
  • 2280 M.2
  • 3D TLC NAND (96L or 176L TBC)
  • 0.98/1.0 DWPD (TBC)
  • 850/1800/3600 TBW (TBC)
  • 1.8M Hours MTBF (TBC)
  • 5 years Warranty
  • Rescue Data Recovery Services (2/3yrs TBC)

Of course, these should be taken with a huge grain of salt until a formal release is made, but even tentatively, compared against the Seagate Ironwolf 510 Gen 3 SSD, the Ironwolf 525 is much more comparable to the Firecuda 520 in architecture and almost certainly will feature the Pison E16 controller. A VERY important factor to keep in mind right now is that in Autumn 2021, there are very, VERY few PCIe Gen 4.0 equipped servers (and practically zero M.2 PCIe 4×4 equipped systems). PCIe Gen 4 upgrade cards are very gradually appearing, but this seemingly looks like it will be a much later winter 2021/2022 hardware change from the big names in NAS, SAN and custom servers. Therefore, as appealing as the Seagate Ironwolf 525 PCIe Gen 4×4 SSD sounds right now, it is worth remembering that very few server systems will be able to fully unlock its potential and if you are considering the Ironwolf 525 for a NAS/Server released before Summer 2021, then you would likely be better off opting for the current Seagate Ironwolf 510 NAS SSD which is PCIe Gen 3×4 and has incredibly high durability taken into account.

The Seagate Ironwolf 525 SSD – Price & Availability

Details regarding when this drive will be available to buy are incredibly thin on the ground. As mentioned, the low number of PCIe Gen 4.0 server systems, the continued high suitability of the Ironwolf 510 and the storage media market that is only starting to bounce back from over a year of shortages (at least!) all add up to the Seagate Ironwolf 525 not being a drive that needs to arrive in a hurry! The current PCIe Gen 4.0 favourite SSD, the Seagate Firecuda 530 and 520 still continue to support the existing PCIe4 client market in desktop and laptop forms, but for NAS (and indeed all server types) this switch is still very much ‘in progress’. Prices however seem to be a little clearer, with individual distributions sites appearing to agree on the pricing for each capacity at the moment of 500GB being €104 (€125 inc.TAX) 1TB at €173 (€208 inc.TAX) and 2TB arriving at €359 (€430 inc.TAX). Of course, these prices are subject to change, but do serve as an early guide on the pricing of the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and how that price sits with the Ironwolf 510 and Firecuda 520 that are currently available. We will keep an eye on this and update you on the Ironwolf 525 as we learn more, so stay subscribed! If you want to learn more about Seagate NVMe SSDs and how each drive in their current portfolio compares, have a look at the guide below:

Guide to Seagate SSDs HERE – 

 

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 use links to Amazon 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.  

 

SSD Caching On A NAS? What Is It and Should You Use It?

17 septembre 2021 à 01:17

Should you bother with SSD cache in on a NAS?

Most modern generation network attached storage NAS drives include the option of utilising SSD cache, which promises to improve file access and general system performance in a number of ways. Is by no means a new concept and has existed in one shape or form for more than a decade in modern server utilisation. However, in order to take advantage of SSD caching on your NAS, there are a number of hurdles that will often increase the price point of your ideal solution and potentially lower the capacity that you can take advantage of long-term. This leads many users into wondering whether SSD caching is anywhere near as beneficial as brands like Synology and QNAP would have you believe. So today I want to discuss what SSD caching is, who can benefit from it, who definitely won’t and hopefully help you decide whether you should consider SSD caching on your NAS.

What is SSD caching on a NAS?

The majority of NAS systems are comprised of multiple hard drives supported in a single enclosure that are combined together in efforts to increase capacity, performance and redundancy in a configuration commonly known as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). The more hard drives you have, the larger and more advantageous the RAID configurations you can create. However, these only marginally increase the performance available to you, multiplying performance on hard drives by a factor of the total number of hard drives. Ultimately, you are still using hard drives for your file system which will always pale in comparison to the performance available via solid-state drives SSD but this group of HDDs will result in higher throughput than any single hard drive. The obvious alternative of course is to replace all of the hard drives in your NAS with SSD and therefore reap the benefit of both SSD performance and RAID combination advantages. However, in practice, the main reason that no one does this is that the price point of SSD is significantly higher than hard drives and although the performance benefits would be greatly increased, the price would rise 5-10x times higher at least and the total available capacity would be significantly reduced – as general commercial and SMB SSDs currently max out at 4TB capacity, rather than the 18/20TB available in modern hard drives. NAS/Servers being fully populated with SSDs is still done though on less common setups which are highly enterprise and more commonly known as flash servers – fast but fantastically expensive!

RECOMMENDED SSDs FOR SSD Caching
SATA SSD HOME NVMe SSD BUSINESS SATA SSD BUSINESS
WD RED SA500

Available in SATA 2.5″ and mSATA

Affordable and Large Capacity Options

NAS Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 510

VERY High Durability of 1.0 DWPD

Data Recovery Services Included

Read Caching Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 110

Very High Durability

SSD Over Provisioning Ready

Data Recovery Services Included

SSD caching was designed as a hybrid storage media solution to this dilemma and involves pairing a small percentage of SSD storage space together with a larger area of hard drive storage space. Typically recommended at around 10% SSD to 90% hard drive, the NAS system will gradually learn over time which files on the total storage system are the ones being accessed most frequently. These files can range from tiny system files, indexes, thumbnails, directories and minor background data, all the way through to larger files that are in shared drives between multiple users, OS-related files that live on a central server and website files that are constantly being referenced for your domain (depending on the I/O configuration of your SSD cache). As the system constantly learns which files are the ones being constantly accessed, copies of these files are made on the area of SSD cache and in future when these files are requested by connected hardware clients, these faster-accessing copies will be targeted instead. Although this is a large oversimplification of the process, it is generally accurate. Not to be confused with tiered storage, which moves commonly accessed files to areas of SSD (not making a copy in 2 locations), SSD cache has numerous advantages and disadvantages that many users would do well to learn before embracing this storage media process. Let’s discuss this a little further, as there are multiple types of SSD cache options available from most modern brands.

Image Credit: techtarget.com

What is Read SSD Caching on a NAS?

The easiest but least beneficial type of SSD cache for a mass is read-only cache. This can be implemented with even a single SSD and much like the description above, involves the system moving copies of the most frequently accessed data onto the SSD. Read-only SSD cache on a NAS prevents editing or modifying of files that are being accessed on the area of the cache. Read-only cache is only of benefit to users who are accessing larger databases of preset data that is not often modified and although improves access to these more common files, limits the overall benefits of SSD caching in most NAS systems long term. Also known/referred to as Write-around SSD caching, this too writes data to the primary storage first instead of to the cache. This gives the SSD cache time to analyze data requests and identify the most frequently and recently used data. The SSD cache efficiently caches high priority data requests without flooding the cache with infrequently accessed data

What is Write Caching on a NAS?

Write Caching on a NAS can actually be broken down into two types. The first, Write-through SSD caching, writes simultaneously to the SSD cache area and to primary storage. The cache enables faster data retrieval, while the primary storage writes safely retains the data even if a system interruption affects the cache (eg a power failure). Write-through SSD caching does not require additional data protection for the cached data (so you can use one or more SSD in a Single/RAID 0 Config), but does increase write latency (i.e write time). The alternative is Write-back SSD caching, which writes ONLY to the SSD area first, then confirms that a block is written to the SSD cache, and the data is available for usage before writing the block to the main storage RAID array of HDDs afterwards. The method has lower latency than write-through, but if the cache loses data (i.e. critical system failure, power loss, etc) before the data writes to primary storage, that data is lost. Typical data protection solutions for write-back SSD caching are redundant SSDs or mirroring (i.e. MASSIVELY recommended or enforced that SSDs in a Write Through config are in a RAID 1/5 at the very least).

The application and customization of SSD caching in modern NAS software are incredibly diverse and in most cases, you can create a very bespoke SSD caching config for your system that integrates one or more caching read/write methods taht are best suited to your system setup, data types and access routines. So, now you know what SSD caching is and the types that most commonly exist, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Guide to Seagate SSDs Guide to WD SSDs

What Are The Advantages of SSD Caching on a NAS?

The benefits of SSD caching on a NAS are often tough to measure, as the resulting improvements are the culmination of multiple smaller improvements at once. So the benefits are more often FELT than actually seen, as latency will be reduced throughout the overall access of the data on your NAS. Compressed data like thumbnails, indexing information and system reference files that a NAS will refer to in a given process will be turned around much quicker in the background and therefore will reduce wait times on instructions given by you to the NAS. Typically larger databases in scale rather than individual file volume will reap the most benefits, and therefore the advantages of SSD caching on a NAS are:

  • Faster Access to Larger databases made up for many smaller files
  • More cost-effective than an all-SSD system
  • Write-Cache/Write-Through Caching benefits more traditional one-way activity
  • Cache is largely self-managed, so once set up, will choose/drop important cached data on its own
  • The bulk of Porsume/SMB and higher NAS hardware arrive with dedicated SSD Cache bays, so no loss of traditional storage bays
  • SSD caching is becoming increasingly available on ARM-powered devices

What Are The Disadvantages of SSD Caching on a NAS?

It is very important to understand that SSD caching is not some kind of magic wand that will suddenly make your NAS significantly faster. Indeed, SSD caching will be of little to no use to the majority of home and prosumer users on a smaller scale, as larger files will rarely be moved to areas of cache and most home users will use a NAS predominantly for multimedia use, large-scale backups and surveillance in home or office environments. Not only do these processes use significantly less frequently accessed data (more likely resulting in the CREATION of new data) but as they are often more ad-hoc in nature, aside from some early write-caching, the benefits of SSD caching will be all but useless to you. Then there is the added cost, added system overhead resource use and more. Here are the main disadvantages of SSD caching on a NAS:

  • Increases Costs of your Storage Setup
  • Not all NAS M.2 NVMe SSD bays are the same bandwidth, some are capped to 1000-2000MB/s, bottlenecking some SSDs
  • Cache Data benefits are HEAVILY dependant on storage user type/files
  • Some Cache methods (i.e Write-Back) store data in the cache, THEN move to the system as it is written and susceptible to loss in the event of a power failure

M.2 SSD Vs SATA SSD Caching on a NAS?

As mentioned in the introduction to today’s article on SSD caching, the majority of NAS drives in the market right now support SSD caching. However, though many have adopted NVMe M2 SSD bays to allow users dedicated ports to do this, many other more affordable or smaller scale NAS hardware systems (2-Bays, ARM CPU devices, etc) still require the end-user to occupy existing traditional hard drive media bays for SSD media for caching instead. Obviously, this can be a significant disadvantage to your overall total maximum capacity when losing main storage bays to smaller capacity SSD for caching. But is there any difference in performance benefits by opting for significantly faster M2 NVMe PCIe SSDs for caching over traditional SATA SSD? Well yes and no. The data stored on the SSD cache has the potential to be delivered to the NAS physical interfaces at whatever maximum speed the SSD can output, so NVMe SSD will always technically push that data faster. Likewise, as the library of cached data and metadata is compiled in the system’s usage, its creation will be markedly faster on the NVMes than SATA SSD which is going to be advantageous to numerous types of write-caching. However, if you are only utilising one or more gigabit ethernet connections, then the difference felt by the end-users when read-write caching is applied between either SSD media type will be practically unnoticeable. Therefore the noticeable differences between SATA SSD and M2 NVMe SSD caching only really apply to use us who take advantage of a larger external network interface or are running larger database operations inside the NAS architecture, containers and virtual machines. 

RECOMMENDED SSDs FOR SSD Caching
SATA SSD HOME NVMe SSD BUSINESS SATA SSD BUSINESS
WD RED SA500

Available in SATA 2.5″ and mSATA

Affordable and Large Capacity Options

NAS Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 510

VERY High Durability of 1.0 DWPD

Data Recovery Services Included

Read Caching Optimized

SEAGATE IRONWOLF 110

Very High Durability

SSD Over Provisioning Ready

Data Recovery Services Included

It is also worth remembering that despite many NAS systems releasing with NVMe SSD bays, their architecture might not have sufficient PCIe lanes on the CPU and assigned chipset to allow maximum NVMe SSD performance. In short, not all NVMe slots are created equal and although you may purchase a 3000-4000MB per second SSD for your NAS and its caching, don’t be surprised if that PCIe m.2 physical revision caps your performance much lower (I strip-down of the hardware inside most home/prosumer NAS systems like the DS920+, TS-473A or Lockerstor 4 will show that the M.2 NVMe slots inside can only reach 1000-2000MB/s at most as they are PCIe 2×2, PCIe 2×4 or PCIe 3×2. In short, NVMe SSD slots for caching are a good thing and can certainly provide better performance over SATA SSD in a number of ways, just be aware that sometimes the way you use it or the hardware of the NAS itself will potentially limit this.

 

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 use links to Amazon 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.  

 

OpenSSL Vulnerabilities in Synology & QNAP NAS – What Is Going On?

9 septembre 2021 à 15:06

The Current Synology & QNAP NAS and OpenSSL Security Issues Explained

As many of you may have heard, in recent weeks there were two vulnerabilities identified in the OpenSSL encryption platform, a popular SSL option for many sites and servers, that provided an opening for particularly industrious interlopers to access a site via a weakness in the platform. Although not a service that is developed by Synology or QNAP NAS, it is used in several smaller areas/applications in their respective DSM and QTS software platforms. This is not uncommon for a brand to use a third-party provider and OpenSSL is one of the most popular open-source SSL platforms in the world. This vulnerability in OpenSSL was identified in late August and although alot has happened in that time, though the vulnerability is beginning to be resolved, it is still not fully resolved on the Synology or QNAP NAS affected software and services. So, today I wanted to go through what an SSL is, what OpenSSL is, the nature of the vulnerabilities, what has been resolved, what hasn’t and ultimately explain where things are right now. Let’s get started!

What is an SSL certificate?

You know when you browse the internet and there is that little padlock next to the www.website bit? That symbol indicates that communication between your web browser and the website/server you are communicating with is encrypted. This padlock identifies the SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer and in recent years it has become heavily encouraged that any website you visit has a valid and secure SSL in place (with google warning you if you go to an ‘unsecure’ site and openly recommending SSL engaged sites higher on page 1 of Google. If you are choosing to access your NAS via the internet, then then it is recommended (and set as a default on the NAS platforms in many ways) to access your server via an SSL equipped connection, as this adds a valuable security protocol and creates an encrypted link between a web accessed server and a web browser.

What is OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is a open-source encryption tool/library – released in 1998 and REGULARLY updated, it is regularly used by both Synology and QNAP in a number of their software and services that feature a remote access component. It is not just them and many, MANY others use OpenSSL in PARTS/ALL of the architecture of their remote connections for encrypted data transfers. The use of OpenSSL is by no means a negative mark on any brand, as it has been developed over an exceedingly long time and is regularly updated.

What was the Vulnerability with OpenSSL?

In August, two vulnerabilities in the OpenSSL platform were identified and OpenSSL themselves were contacted immediately. The “CVE-2021-3711” and “CVE-2021-3712” security holes were in the as-then-latest release of OpenSSL and in their own security updates and advisory, were listed as Moderate and Severe in importance. Likewise, OpenSSL (among others no doubt) contacted Synology and QNAP to highlight this vulnerability and each brand added entries into their security advisory and posted on their own platforms about this, adding that they were working on a resolution (almost certainly to be based on the resolution formed and executed by OpenSSL themselves). The two vulnerabilities were still remarkably small and required a rigid-set scenario and knowledge in order to be in any way usable. However, they did open the door to the following negative actions and allowing attackers to:

  • Carry out DoS attacks on the server
  • Execute malicious code into the server
  • Gain remote access to the Server through a buffer overflow.

In the case of Network Attached Storage (NAS) from the likes of Synology and QNAP, it was highlighted very early on that it could only effect NAS systems with internet connectivity. On August 24th 2021, OpenSSL was able to resolve these vulnerabilities, closing the matter and issuing a patched update to OpenSSL that removed them both. However, at the time of writing, both vulnerabilities are listed as ongoing on both the Synology and QNAP Security Advisory page (where they highlight any/all security issues on their platforms that have been resolved/worked on).

What Is Synology NAS Doing About the OpenSSL Vulnerability?

Both Synology and QNAP have been updating their users on the resolution of these OpenSSL vulnerabilities, though both brands have yet to implement a full fix at this time for all vulnerabilities across their software platforms. Given that both brands use a unique/modified version of Linux to create their software and services, a simple application of the OpenSSL fix issued on the 24th August is likely incredibly difficult and modification, application and testing of any resolution needs to be conducted by both internally before a widespread software update is issued. While Synology or QNAP does not provide an estimated timeline for these incoming updates being fully concluded, last month Synology told BleepingComputer that it generally patches affected software within 90 days after publishing advisories. Fairplay to Synology publishing information on this immediately.

Product Severity Fixed Release Availability
DSM 7.0 Important Ongoing
DSM 6.2 Moderate Ongoing
DSM UC Moderate Ongoing
SkyNAS Moderate Pending
VS960HD Moderate Pending
SRM 1.2 Moderate Ongoing
VPN Plus Server Important Ongoing
VPN Server Moderate Ongoing

Indeed, below is a statement issued online from Synology to be.hardware.info responding these vulnerabilities and why the brand is handling them internally this way (translated from German to English):

Synology-SA-21:24 OpenSSL includes two vulnerabilities, CVE-2021-3711 and CVE-2021-3712.

CVE-2021-3711 does not affect most Synology devices as they do not use SM2 encryption by default. Although our NAS devices are currently sold with an affected version of OpenSSL, there can only be said to be a security risk if administrators use third-party software with SM2 encryption.

CVE-2021-3712 addresses specific functionality related to the creation of x509 certificates (used for security protocols such as https) that may cause denial-of-service on the affected device. It is difficult to abuse this as it requires administrator privileges.

Furthermore, the manufacturer emphasizes that the priority of updates is based on the frequency of the affected configurations, the complexity of exploiting the vulnerability and the extent of the potential damage that can be caused. In its own words, it should be sufficient to remedy the aforementioned risks within the usual 90-day period.

What Is QNAP NAS Doing About the OpenSSL Vulnerability?

QNAP stated on their own security advisory last month the following two potential consequences of these vulnerabilities if pushed to their fullest extent:

An out-of-bounds read vulnerability in OpenSSL has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud. If exploited, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to disclose memory data or execute a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. Additionally, an additional out-of-bounds vulnerability in OpenSSL has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync). If exploited, the vulnerabilities allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code with the permissions of the user running the application.. QNAP is thoroughly investigating the case. We will release security updates and provide further information as soon as possible.

How To Stay Informed on Synology & QNAP NAS Vulnerabilities?

At NASCompare we provide a regularly updated list of current vulnerabilities and security issues as they are published on the respective QNAP and Synology Security advisors.

QNAP NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

Command Injection Vulnerabilities in QVR Mon, 27 Sep Link
Command Injection Vulnerabilities in QVR Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Fri, 10 Sep Link
Stack Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Stack Buffer Overflow in QUSBCam2 Fri, 10 Sep Link
Stack Buffer Overflow in QUSBCam2 Stack-Based Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in NVR Storage Expansion Fri, 10 Sep Link
Stack-Based Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities in NVR Storage Expansion Insufficiently Protected Credentials in QSW-M2116P-2T2S and QuNetSwitch Fri, 10 Sep Link
Insufficiently Protected Credentials in QSW-M2116P-2T2S and QuNetSwitch Insufficient HTTP Security Headers in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Fri, 10 Sep Link
Insufficient HTTP Security Headers in QTS, QuTS hero, and QuTScloud Out-of-Bounds Read in OpenSSL Mon, 30 Aug Link
Out-of-Bounds Read in OpenSSL Out-of-Bounds Vulnerabilities in OpenSSL Mon, 30 Aug Link
Out-of-Bounds Vulnerabilities in OpenSSL Improper Access Control in Legacy HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync) Tue, 06 Jul Link
Improper Access Control in Legacy HBS 3 (Hybrid Backup Sync) Multiple Command Injection Vulnerabilities in QTS Thu, 01 Jul Link
Multiple Command Injection Vulnerabilities in QTS Stored XSS in QuLog Center Thu, 01 Jul Link
Stored XSS in QuLog Center Stored XSS in Qcenter Thu, 01 Jul +0800 XSS in QTS Thu, 01 Jul Link
XSS in QTS DNSpooq Vulnerabilities in QTS Thu, 01 Jul Link
DNSpooq Vulnerabilities in QTS 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

 

SYNOLOGY NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

Synology-SA-21:26 Photo Station Important Resolved 2021-09-07 10:03:01 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:25 DSM Moderate Ongoing 2021-09-01 14:04:01 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:24 OpenSSL Important Ongoing 2021-09-14 11:57:06 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:23 ISC BIND Not affected Resolved 2021-08-20 10:43:23 UTC+8
Synology-SA-21:22 DSM Important Ongoing 2021-09-01 14:08:26 UTC+8
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 Resolved 2021-07-08 17:14:55 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

 

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;

 

And Lastly, please, please, please:

 

 

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 use links to Amazon 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.  

DriveStor 2 Pro NAS Review – Best Budget Buy

18 août 2021 à 01:15

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Cost-Effective Cloud?

The affordable tier of home NAS solutions is one that has grown quite saturated in recent years. With the majority of NAS (Network Attached Storage) brands producing a wide range of low, medium and high-end solutions, the result has been that the value of hardware at the bottom of the list has become wildly inconsistent! At this home/entry-level point, brands could be accused of cutting a few corners in their solutions, leave out the features they deem ‘prosumer’ or ‘premium’ and ultimately leave the budget boxes to be a tad restrictive. It’s a fine line and hard to balance – however Asustor’s latest value series release, the Drivestor 2 Pro, is seemingly offering a few things that other brands have neglected to include at a similar price point. This new Realtek ARM 64bit NAS that arrives with 2.5GbE, expandability, 2GB memory and new software updates in ADM 4.0 seems to talk a big game, but is that going to be enough? Can this stand up against the QNAP TS-230 and Synology DS220J? Ultimately, does the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro deserve your data? Let’s take a look.

Other Asustor Reviews You Might Be Interested In:

Asustor AS6604T LockerStor 4 NAS Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/17/asustor-as6604t-lockerstor-4-nas-hardware-review

Asustor AS6510T Lockerstor 10 NAS Reviewhttps://nascompares.com/2020/01/23/asustor-as6510t-lockerstor-10-nas-review

Asustor AS5304T Nimbustor 4 NAS Review – https://NAScompares.com/2019/06/27/asustor-nimbustor-NAS-hardware-review

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Quick Conclusion

The Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 2 Pro device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

PROs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro CONs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

Going to Buy on Amazon? Use the button Below – Thank You!

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Retail Packaging

When I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the Drivestor 2, I was pleasantly surprised by the retail packaging. I shouldn’t be – Asustor has always been very graphical in their packaging, going to good lengths to detail what the units can do, the hardware specs, the software specs and generally creating a very appealing and engaging retail design. I often comment warmly on the attention many companies make on retail packaging, despite the fact that these devices are almost always purchased from online stores (so by the time you see the packaging, you have already purchased it), it would be a dull, dull world indeed if everything arrived in default brown box packaging (do you hear me Synology?).

No, my surprise was the size of the retail box. Considering this contains a 2-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 2 bays of HDD storage, it seemed remarkably condensed. As minor a point as this is, I thought it would be remiss not to highlight this, as, alongside speed and capacity, factors such as noise, chassis and heat are pretty important concerns. If we open up the box, we find the following contents:

  • 1x Asustor Drivestor 2 AS3302T NAS Drive
  • 1x 65W External Power Supplier, 100V to 240VAC
  • 1x Mains Power Cable
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable(Cat 5e)
  • Packed of Flat Head Screw (for 2.5″ HDD)
  • Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual

These accessories seem all standard (perhaps I would expect Cat 6e, but at 2.5Gbe, this makes no difference), but with a very efficient PSU (especially for a 2 bay NAS) I still very much a fan of external Power suppliers, as in the event fails (and this applies to all brands, not just in NAS) the power supplier is still the most failure-prone part of any hardware (it is technically ALWAYS working) and in the 2-3 times in my working history that a PSU failed, in the case of an internal power supplier, it has been difficult and time-consuming to repair. External power bricks are jsut easier for desktop devices, plus this 65W PSU means that the Drivestor 2 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T NAS Review – Design

Next, we need to move onto the Drivestor 2 Pro Chassis design. I have a bit of a disclaimer to add here that I should mention, I have always been a fan of this chassis since its first reveal back in 2018/2019 in the Nimbustor 2 and AS40 Series. In recent years, as NAS drives have moved ever more into home and small office environments, the old and ugly design of servers has changed into something much sleeker and appealing. The DriveStor AS3302T NAS is one of the best looking 2-Bay NAS devices I have ever seen in my opinion, so you will have to factor this personal view into the hardware review. Other releases in the meantime in the Lockerstor series have erred towards the more industrial and classic metal design.

As is a growing trend, the front panel of the Asustor DriveStor is not hinged or fixed, but can be removed easily. This means that when the device is doing its day-to-day tasks and not being physical used, it is a contained and covered unit, that looks very neat in most office environments. This removable front panel is even slightly raised and ventilated on all sides, to ensure the rear fan’s active airflow is not interrupted.

Like the modern edged design of the front panel, the sides of the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T NAS Drive have that angular edge to their surface. The chassis is only available in black and is plastic outside, surrounding a metal internal frame. Additionally, looking at the screw layout, this is a fixed frame that is not intended to be opened for upgrades/maintenance. You cannot even remove this chassis/panel to access the memory upgrade slots as this system does not allow expanding beyond the default 2GB memory sadly.

The base of the device features rubberized feet and a large ventilation slot that covers the base of the device to further assist passive airflow through the Hard Drive/SSD installed inside the Drivestor 2 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS3302T NAS of note.

Removing the front panel completely and taking a closer look at the front of the Drivestor 2 reveals the media bays, LED indicators and a USB Copy Button. Although these are fairly standard across all NAS drives in 2021/2022, it is worth highlighting that many popular NAS brands have removed/simplified some/all of these in a way that has not pleased many users. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is still very much a staple of many techies.

The front displayed LED lights and power button pretty much cover every active/passive factor you will need in the running of this NAS. The LEDs indicate the following:

  • Power/Standby
  • Network Access/Activity (one for each port)

  • System Activity (Read/Write Actions in progress)
  • Drive Activity (one for each drive, regardless of RAID)

I know LEDs are fairly standard, but the number of brands that are simplifying this for no real reason is growing and those who care about this kind of thing will notice!

Another often simple, yet overlooked hardware feature is the USB copy button. I know this seems a bit ‘meh’, but the number of users who use a NAS drive store all their files from phones, PCs, iPads, etc, then delete them from those devices to make room, thinking they have a backup (WRONG!) is pretty high. Storing all your files on a NAS is only good if you have those files somewhere else too, else what you have is the ONLY version of that file – THAT is not a backup. The easiest and most straightforward means to backup all/some files on a NAS in a portable offsite way is by connecting a USB 3.0 device and using the Asustor backup tools to make a backup. A one-touch USB copy button means that you do not even need to interact with the NAS software after the first time and after it is set up to back up the files you care the most about, you can jsut connect the USB device each time (daily, weekly, etc) and then just press the button to action a backup. Again, a simple idea that is not exactly new, but I am pleased they have kept this feature when other brands are making it button-less and fully reliant on the software. What’s wrong with having both?!

Of course, the main focus when removing the front panel is the HDD/SSD media bays of the DriveStor4 Pro AS3302T NAS. These two Bays support the very latest SATA based Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (18TB Seagate Ironwolfs/WD Red and 4TB commercially available grade respectively). The Asustor AS3302T can function with a single drive if you wish, as well as gradually/fully populated and features its own RAID handling of RAID 0 and RAID 1. Additionally, you can install a combination of Hard Drives and SSDs in individual bays, which can then be used to create separate RAID-enabled storage pools for fast/regular accessing data volumes. Alternatively, it is becoming common for small office and shop owners to use a 2-Bay with HDD and SSD installed for a large volume of storage space, supported with a portion of SSD caching. This results in an increased performance internally (and indeed externally thanks to that 2.5Gbe) when working from traditionally slower mechanical hard drives.

The trays themselves are plastic in design and (in the case of installing Hard Drives) do not require a screwdriver, featuring click and lock brackets. I tried installing larger 14TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Drives, to see if there were any issues with their exceptionally large/enterprise frame in these bays (not uncommon) and they went in smoothly! All in all, this compact little two-bay gives you a decent scope of storage potential so far and the Drivestor 2 manages to do this with minimal space being used. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the hardware.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro, connections on the rear of the device are similarly few. Though I will highlight that it still manages to arrive with hardware a pinch better than a number of similarly affordable price points.

The rear of the device is largely dominated by that single active cooling fan that can have its RPM adjusted automatically or manually as the system internals require. Unless you utilise particularly enterprise or large capacity media, this NAS is not going to be particularly noisy. Additionally, the fact it has an external PSU further allows the system to do a better job of maintaining improved internal temperatures and keeping that fan at the best possible level of use.

The system also supports the connection of 2 additional USB devices, although the DriveStor lacks the KVM support (as found in the likes of the Lockerstor and Nimbustor series). Alongside the attachment of USB external storage, Wi-Fi dongles, improved network interface adaptors and network-attached office hardware like printers, scanners and UPS’, the Drivestor 2 Pro also supports the 4-bay Asustor expansion chassis that allows you to expand this system by an additional 12 bays of storage across 3 connected expansions. These ports are all USB 3.2 Gen1 however and limited to 5Gb performance, though this may well be limited by the processor rather than the brand opting towards lesser connections.

Another interesting if slightly brand predictable inclusion on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T is that it arrives with 2.5Gbe connectivity at a price point where other brands like Synology and QNAP have opted for standard gigabit ethernet. Given that both of the 4 bay and 2-days Drivestor systems have the potential to push out 350-700MB per second internally, it is a welcome addition that externally you have a potential 270MB/s per second throughput possible with supported network hardware. Even this rather modest CPU, compared with that of the Intel and AMD in other systems, will still be able to fully saturate this external connection and it is a rare treat for the budget end of the NAS buyers market to enjoy 2.5Gbe.

For those that are concerned that the benefits of this larger bandwidth ethernet connection will be lost on them, Asustor also provides an optional USB to 2.5 GB adaptor that supports numerous operating systems and even connection to the NAS itself for further network connections (i.e add another connection in the network manager). It’s an additional purchase but at just £25+, it will hardly break the bank.

And that is really it for external connectivity on this box. The lack of a GPU embedded CPU means that HDMI support is totally absent and (sorry to repeat myself – but!) with it a lot of the KVM applications that many buyers still opt for Asustor solutions for absent here. Still, you are still getting a better than average selection of ports and connections is this modestly priced solution. Let’s discuss that internal hardware and the benefits of brings to the system software and services as a whole

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro is a surprisingly good value, but rather restricted level of components. There is practically no means of upgrading the internal systems and it should be highlighted that this NAS will likely consume around 25% of the available resources in just general operation. The advent of newly developed 64-bit CRM processors is something we have seen hugely benefit the private server market in recent years but it has to be said that it arrives with plenty of limitations early doors.

The Realtek RTD1296 inside the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS provides quite a good deal of the standard and first-party software+services available on the platform. Multimedia streaming, multi-tiered backups, background storage sync, security services, container installation and surveillance among many. Additionally, the system features enough hardware in that CPU architecture to make lovely transcode 4H H.265 media (HEVC) which at this price and power level is pretty impressive. Still, this is a processor that does not feature embedded graphics and because of that, some services are not supported by this CPU, such as virtual machine deployment, hardware transcoding in Plex media server, AI-assisted services and generally results in significantly more power usage to do anything with even a hint of graphical object handling. Nevertheless, with a 1.4 GHz frequency per core, the efficiency it brings allows it to do a great deal more than a 32-bit counterpart with fewer resources consumed. Additionally, it is quad-core so you do have a fairly robust processor getting the job done.

The system also includes 2GB of memory that, alongside this CPU, is actually quite good value and is enough to get a handful of decent applications running simultaneously very well. Also, this memory is DDR4 in architecture, at 2400Mhz, a noticeable upgrade over the 1GB and 512MB DDR3 at 1600Mhz in its predecessors. As good as this all sounds, the system generally will be utilising 20% of this to keep the system running in the background and the fact that you cannot upgrade this memory beyond this point does result in the system having a slight glass ceiling in terms of simultaneous users and services. Still, 2 Gigabytes a good level of base memory to be getting on with on this affordable solution.

The throughput reported by Asustor on the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS drive externally easily saturates the available to 2.5Gbe connection in regular file transmission, which isn’t a huge surprise for this RAID equipped box. Obviously, this bandwidth is shared between upload and download, so do bear that in mind when looking at these performance benchmarks. Internally the system and its software performed surprisingly well for the rather modest hardware inside and there is even a dedicated media mode that allows you to reserve 512MB of memory for dedicated use when streaming multimedia. The system does not feature dedicated SSD caching bays (e.g M.2 NVMe slots as found in the LockerStor) s and the lack of an integrated graphics CPU also means that the system will use considerably more power when handling visual tasks. But for a single user or light business backup server, the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Software & Services

We have discussed the latest or drive management software in previous Asustor reviews and although it features the same services and software platform, these new systems arrived with support of the latest version of this software ADM 4.0. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the DriveStor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. We have touched on a number of the features in our Drivestor 2 and ADM 4.0 NAS software review (below) and it highlights already, but here are the highlights:

Plex – This system DOES support plex, but only as high as 1080p and without hardware transcoding (video below too)

Storage Management – Sadly there is no BTRFS Support, but there is EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the capable CPU in the DriveStor NAS, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by the Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with their own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

LooksGood Media App –Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Numerous channels in 720p/1080p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Snapshots

Lastly, for those who are curious, here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Conclusion

The Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 2 Pro device.

The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

UNIT
PROs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro CONs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro NAS Review

28 juillet 2021 à 02:00

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Cost-Effective Cloud?

In recent years we have seen a wide array of more affordable network-attached storage NAS solutions arrive on the market and this is thanks in no small part to the incredible research and development that has gone into modern CPUs. This new generation of lower-priced but still fully-featured NAS solutions take advantage of improved network connections, enhanced abilities of ARM processors and the improvements in storage media technologies. One brand that has gained a committed audience in this arena is Asustor and alongside a slowly evolving range of home and business solutions, their own software management and services have started to tread on the toes of bigger brands like Synology and QNAP. Their latest release, the Drivestor 4 Pro is a RAID 5 equipped system, with 4K native transcoding, container support, multi-tier backup supported and multimedia ready NAS that arrives at just $350-399. With similar systems arriving noticeably more expensive, does the Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro NAS deserve your data in 2021/2022? Let’s find out.

Other Asustor Reviews You Might Be Interested In:

Asustor AS6604T LockerStor 4 NAS Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/17/asustor-as6604t-lockerstor-4-nas-hardware-review

Asustor AS6510T Lockerstor 10 NAS Reviewhttps://nascompares.com/2020/01/23/asustor-as6510t-lockerstor-10-nas-review

Asustor AS5304T Nimbustor 4 NAS Review – https://NAScompares.com/2019/06/27/asustor-nimbustor-NAS-hardware-review

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Quick Conclusion

The Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro does manage to deliver a large number of modern network storage software and services that are comparable to bigger brands. It does have to be taken into perspective, given its more cost-effective build but although it arrives a fraction dwarfed by more aggressive Intel and AMD based NAS solutions from their more market-dominating competitors, the is still a lot to see here in the DriveStor 4 Pro 4. The system could certainly benefit from more memory as even in general operation, utilisation rarely dipped below 40%. On the whole though, and when more modest requirements are needed, the Drivestor4 Pro managers to deliver on its promises.

PROs of the AS3304T DriveStor 4 Pro CONs of the AS3304T Drivestor 4 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Retail Packaging

When I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the DriveStor 4, I was pleasantly surprised by the retail packaging. I shouldn’t be – Asustor has always been very graphical in their packaging, going to good lengths to detail what the units can do, the hardware specs, the software specs and generally creating a very appealing and engaging retail design. I often comment warmly on the attention many companies make on retail packaging, despite the fact that these devices are almost always purchased from online stores (so by the time you see the packaging, you have already purchased it), it would be a dull, dull world indeed if everything arrived in default brown box packaging (do you hear me Synology?).

No, my surprise was the size of the retail box. Considering this contains a 4-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small, at 23.7 (H) x21.4 (W) x32.3 (D) cm. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 4 bays of HDD storage, it seemed remarkably condensed. As minor a point as this is, I thought it would be remiss not to highlight this, as, alongside speed and capacity, factors such as noise, chassis and heat are pretty important concerns. If we open up the box, we find the following contents:

  • 1x Asustor DriveStor 4 AS3304T NAS Drive, measuring just 17cm (H) x 17.4cm (W) x 23cm (D)
  • 1x 90W External Power Supplier, 100V to 240VAC
  • 1x Mains Power Cable
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable(Cat 5e)
  • Packed of Flat Head Screw (for 2.5″ HDD)
  • Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual

These accessories seem all standard (perhaps I would expect Cat 6e, but at 2.5Gbe, this makes no difference), but with a very efficient PSU (especially for a 4 bay NAS) I still very much a fan of external Power suppliers, as in event fails (and this applies to all brands, not just in NAS) the power supplier is still the most failure-prone part of any hardware (it is technically ALWAYS working) and in the 2-3 times in my working history that a PSU failed, in the case of an internal power supplier, it has been difficult and time-consuming to repair. External power bricks are jsut easier for desktop devices, plus this 90W PSU means that the DriveStor 4 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T NAS Review – Design

Next, we need to move onto the DriveStor 4 Pro Chassis design. I have a bit of a disclaimer to add here that I should mention, I have always been a fan of this chassis since its first reveal back in 2018/2019 in the Nimbustor4 and AS40 Series. In recent years, as NAS drives have moved ever more into home and small office environments, the old and ugly design of servers has changed into something much sleeker and appealing. The DriveStor AS3304T NAS is one of the best looking 4-Bay NAS devices I have ever seen in my opinion, so you will have to factor this personal view into the hardware review. Other releases in the meantime in the Lockerstor series have erred towards the more industrial and classic metal design.

As is a growing trend, the front panel of the Asustor DriveStor is not hinged or fixed, but can be removed easily. This means that when the device is doing its day-to-day tasks and not being physical used, it is a contained and covered unit, that looks very neat in most office environments. This removable front panel is even slightly raised and ventilated on all sides, to ensure the rear fan’s active airflow is not interrupted.

Like the modern edged design of the front panel, the sides of the Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T NAS Drive have that angular edge to their surface. The chassis is only available in black and is plastic outside, surrounding a metal internal frame. Additionally, looking at the screw layout, this is a fixed frame that is not intended to be opened for upgrades/maintenance. You cannot even remove this chassis/panel to access the memory upgrade slots as this system does not allow expanding beyond the default 2GB memory sadly.

The base of the device features rubberized feet and a large ventilation slot that covers the base of the device to further assist passive airflow through the Hard Drive/SSD installed inside the DriveStor 4 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS3304T NAS of note.

Removing the front panel completely and taking a closer look at the front of the DriveStor 4 reveals the media bays, LED indicators and a USB Copy Button. Although these are fairly standard across all NAS drives in 2021/2022, it is worth highlighting that many popular NAS brands have removed/simplified some/all of these in a way that has not pleased many users. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is still very much a staple of many techies.

The front displayed LED lights and power button pretty much cover every active/passive factor you will need in the running of this NAS. The LEDs indicate the following:

  • Power/Standby
  • Network Access/Activity (one for each port)
  • System Activity (Read/Write Actions in progress)
  • Drive Activity (one for each drive, regardless of RAID)

I know LEDs are fairly standard, but the number of brands that are simplifying this for no real reason is growing and those who care about this kind of thing will notice!

Another often simple, yet overlooked hardware feature is the USB copy button. I know this seems a bit ‘meh’, but the number of users who use a NAS drive store all their files from phones, PCs, iPads, etc, then delete them from those devices to make room, thinking they have a backup (WRONG!) is pretty high. Storing all your files on a NAS is only good if you have those files somewhere else too, else what you have is the ONLY version of that file – THAT is not a backup. The easiest and most straightforward means to backup all/some files on a NAS in a portable offsite way is by connecting a USB 3.0 device and using the Asustor backup tools to make a backup. A one-touch USB copy button means that you do not even need to interact with the NAS software after the first time and after it is set up to back up the files you care the most about, you can jsut connect the USB device each time (daily, weekly, etc) and then just press the button to action a backup. Again, a simple idea that is not exactly new, but I am pleased they have kept this feature when other brands are making it button-less and fully reliant on the software. What’s wrong with having both?!

Of course, the main focus when removing the front panel is the HDD/SSD media bays of the DriveStor4 Pro AS3304T NAS. These 4 Bays support the very latest SATA based Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (18TB Seagate Ironwolfs/WD Red and 4TB commercially available grade respectively). The Asustor AS3304T can function with a single drive if you wish, as well as gradually/fully populated and features its own RAID handling of RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and more. Additionally, you can install a combination of Hard Drives and SSDs in individual bays, which can then be used to create separate RAID-enabled storage pools for fast/regular accessing data volumes. Alternatively, it is becoming common for small office and business users to use a 4-Bay with HDD and SSD installed for a large volume of storage space, supported with a portion of SSD caching. This results in an increased performance internally (and indeed externally thanks to that 2.5Gbe) when working from traditionally slower mechanical hard drives.

The trays themselves are plastic in design and (in the case of installing Hard Drives) do not require a screwdriver, featuring click and lock brackets. I tried installing larger 14TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Drives, to see if there were any issues with their exceptionally large/enterprise frame in these bays (not uncommon) and they went in smoothly!

Alternatively, you can always use 1 or more Solid State drives for raw storage or caching (as discussed above), however, it is worth highlighting that these will require a screwdriver and use of the included screws. Not a massive surprise. Just remember that in order to take advantage of Read/Write caching, you need to have 2 drives installed (as it will create an SSD RAID 1 mirror for separate Read/Write actions), though 1 SSD will let you enable Read-Only cache.

All in all, this 4-Bay gives you a decent scope of storage potential so far and the DriveStor 4 manages to do this with minimal space being used. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the hardware.

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro, connections on the rear of the device are similarly few. Though I will highlight that it still manages to arrive with hardware a pinch better than a number of similarly affordable price points.

The rear of the device is largely dominated by that single active cooling fan that can have its RPM adjusted automatically or manually as the system internals require. Unless you utilise particularly enterprise or large capacity media, this NAS is not going to be particularly noisy. Additionally, the fact it has an external PSU further allows the system to do a better job of maintaining improved internal temperatures and keeping that fan at the best possible level of use.

The system also supports the connection of 2 additional USB devices, although the DriveStor lacks the KVM support (as found in the likes of the Lockerstor and Nimbustor series). Alongside the attachment of USB external storage, Wi-Fi dongles, improved network interface adaptors and network-attached office hardware like printers, scanners and UPS’, the DriveStor 4 Pro also supports the 4-bay Asustor expansion chassis that allows you to expand this system by an additional 12 bays of storage across 3 connected expansions. These ports are all USB 3.2 Gen1 however and limited to 5Gb performance, though this may well be limited by the processor rather than the brand opting towards lesser connections.

Another interesting if slightly brand predictable inclusion on the DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T is that it arrives with 2.5Gbe connectivity at a price point where other brands like Synology and QNAP have opted for standard gigabit ethernet. Given that both of the 4 bay and 2-days Drivestor systems have the potential to push out 350-700MB per second internally, it is a welcome addition that externally you have a potential 270MB/s per second throughput possible with supported network hardware. Even this rather modest CPU, compared with that of the Intel and AMD in other systems, will still be able to fully saturate this external connection and it is a rare treat for the budget end of the NAS buyers market to enjoy 2.5Gbe.

For those that are concerned that the benefits of this larger bandwidth ethernet connection will be lost on them, Asustor also provides an optional USB to 2.5 GB adaptor that supports numerous operating systems and even connection to the NAS itself for further network connections (i.e add another connection in the network manager). It’s an additional purchase but at just £25+, it will hardly break the bank.

And that is really it for external connectivity on this box. The lack of a GPU embedded CPU means that HDMI support is totally absent and (sorry to repeat myself – but!) with it a lot of the KVM applications that many buyers still opt for Asustor solutions for absent here. Still, you are still getting a better than average selection of ports and connections is this modestly priced solution. Let’s discuss that internal hardware and the benefits of brings to the system software and services as a whole

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro is a surprisingly good value, but rather restricted level of components. There is practically no means of upgrading the internal systems and it should be highlighted that this NAS will likely consume around 25% of the available resources in just general operation. The advent of newly developed 64-bit CRM processors is something we have seen hugely benefit the private server market in recent years but it has to be said that it arrives with plenty of limitations early doors.

The Realtek RTD1296 inside the DriveStor 4 Pro NAS provides quite a good deal of the standard and first-party software+services available on the platform. Multimedia streaming, multi-tiered backups, background storage sync, security services, container installation and surveillance among many. Additionally, the system features enough hardware in that CPU architecture to make lovely transcode 4H H.265 media (HEVC) which at this price and power level is pretty impressive. Still, this is a processor that does not feature embedded graphics and because of that, some services are not supported by this CPU, such as virtual machine deployment, hardware transcoding in Plex media server, AI-assisted services and generally results in significantly more power usage to do anything with even a hint of graphical object handling. Nevertheless, with a 1.4 GHz frequency per core, the efficiency it brings allows it to do a great deal more than a 32-bit counterpart with fewer resources consumed. Additionally, it is quad-core so you do have a fairly robust processor getting the job done.

The system also includes 2GB of memory that, alongside this CPU, is actually quite good value and is enough to get a handful of decent applications running simultaneously very well. Also, this memory is DDR4 in architecture, at 2400Mhz, a noticeable upgrade over the 1GB and 512MB DDR3 at 1600Mhz in its predecessors. As good as this all sounds, the system generally will be utilising 20% of this to keep the system running in the background and the fact that you cannot upgrade this memory beyond this point does result in the system having a slight glass ceiling in terms of simultaneous users and services. Still, 2 Gigabytes a good level of base memory to be getting on with on this affordable solution.

The throughput reported by Asustor on the DriveStor 4 Pro NAS drive externally easily saturates the available to 2.5Gbe connection in regular file transmission, which isn’t a huge surprise for this RAID equipped box. Obviously, this bandwidth is shared between upload and download, so do bear that in mind when looking at these performance benchmarks. Internally the system and its software performed surprisingly well for the rather modest hardware inside and there is even a dedicated media mode that allows you to reserve 512MB of memory for dedicated use when streaming multimedia. The system does not feature dedicated SSD caching bays (e.g M.2 NVMe slots as found in the LockerStor) s and the lack of an integrated graphics CPU also means that the system will use considerably more power when handling visual tasks. But for a single user or light business backup server, the DriveStor 4 Pro NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Software & Services

We have discussed the latest or drive management software in previous Asustor reviews and although it features the same services and software platform, these new systems arrived with support of the latest version of this software ADM 4.0. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the DriveStor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. We have touched on a number of the features in our DriveStor 4 and ADM 4.0 NAS software review (below) and it highlights already, but here are the highlights:

Plex – This system DOES support plex, but only as high as 1080p and without hardware transcoding (video below too)

Storage Management – Sadly there is no BTRFS Support, but there is EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the capable CPU in the DriveStor NAS, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by the Asustor DriveStor 4 NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with their own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

LooksGood Media App –Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Numerous channels in 720p/1080p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Snapshots

Lastly, for those who are curious, here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Conclusion

The Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the DriveStor 4 Pro device. The software and services available via ADM on the DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

UNIT
PROs of the AS3304T DriveStor 4 Pro CONs of the AS3304T Drivestor 4 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Should You Buy a 2-Bay or 4-Bay NAS Drive in 2021?

26 juillet 2021 à 01:57

Choosing Between Buying a 2-Bay or 4 Bay NAS

For many users who decided to make the switch from subscription-based Cloud services and to their own private NAS server, it can be tricky to understand exactly what they need in terms of storage and power. Network-attached storage NAS has evolved rapidly over the years and now there is a tremendous range of solutions that vary in size and ability to choose from, often resulting in the most expensive servers not always being the most capable. One of the first hurdles that many users encounter when choosing their first NAS drive is choosing between a 2-bay NAS and 4-Bay. With the majority of NAS brands out there offering most standard solutions and across different hard drive scales, choosing between these different sized NAS is not as straightforward as one might think. So today I’m going to talk to you about the differences between each, which one is the best value, their advantages and hopefully help you decide which one best suits your storage needs. Let’s start.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Storage, Expandability and Capacity

On the face of it, it seems pretty obvious that a 4-Bay NAS model with its increased storage bays will be the better storage option overall. How on earth can a NAS device that is 50% less in media bays possibly compete?!? Well, in recent years the largest available capacity in hard drives has massively increased and therefore the total potential terabytes available for each media bay has grown drastically. Yes, you could fully populate a four-Bay NAS with 4TB hard drives, but you could always just use a single 12TB hard drive at a lower price per TB in 2021 and regardless of whether you use RAID 0 or RAID1 with two disks, still have a huge capacity in a 2 Bay NAS. Additionally, these days a number of brands provide the same level of external enclosure expandability on both the 2-Bay and 4 Bay NAS systems (eg DS920+ / DS720+ and TS-253D / TS-453D), therefore 2-Bay NAS does not have the lower metaphorical glass ceiling that it once had in terms of additional storage down the line. Indeed, you can even expand a RAID 1 to a RAID 5 on a 2-bay but spreading it over both the NAS and expansion enclosure at once, to provide an excellent way to still increase the storage on your 2-Bay later on and not feel trapped within its dual media design architecture.

However, this is not quite as cut and dry as it appears. Despite the improvements in 2-Bay NAS architecture in recent years, there is always going to be one big day 1 advantage in the flexibility of 4 Bay NAS that 2-Bays cannot really match. That is that you do not necessarily need to fully populate a 4-bay on day one and many users go ahead with just putting two hard drives inside a 4-Bay NAS in a RAID 1 at the start. Not only does this give you exactly the same level of storage and performance that you would find in 2 Bay NAS, but it also allows you to add drives to this partially populated NAS and expand its storage pool from a RAID 1 to a RAID 5, increasing the total storage gradually throughout the lifespan of the system, WITHOUT buying a whole expansion chassis. This allows flexibility in how much storage you use now and how much you need to graduate to later at a minimal cost at the start. In summary, although 4 Bay NAS is still technically the better storage, flexibility and capacity option, a 2-Bay is not necessarily as inferior as it once was.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Price and Value

This is an often underestimated factor in choosing between a 2-bay or 4-bay NAS system. Many people assume that a 4-Bay NAS costs more money to buy and even more money to populate. Although this is still technically true, it is hardly any more expensive to operate a 4-bay NAS 24×7 than a 2-bay. As far as actual day 1 costs go, notwithstanding the flexible storage installation mentioned in the previous subject, 4-Bay NAS systems allow you to use smaller capacity hard drives in order to match the same storage on larger hard drives. What this means is that a 4-ay NAS allows you to install four 4TB drives inside in a RAID5 and arrived at a lower price per terabyte than 2x 12TB drives. Depending on how you scale your storage and the number of drives you use, 2-Bay shares and 4-Bay NAS can retail at a similar price point and will differ only depending on the drive you choose and the RAID configuration you opt for.

Likewise, returning to the point of the cost of 4-bays as being more expensive than 2-bays, the newest generation NAS drives will often barely be more than $100-150 difference in their prices between 2 and 4 bays and are largely identical in CPU, Memory and ports in every other way. 4-Bays may seem like a bigger chunk of money (especially for those already feeling stretched on a prosumer 2-Bay) but if you are prepared to perhaps drop the capacity you have in mind 1-2TB  (i.e purchase 4TBs, not 6TBs)  to compensate this price difference, the result will be that your 4 Bay NAS can achieve much higher read and write speeds with more drives being accessed simultaneously, whilst also opening the door to dual-drive redundancy configurations (i.e RAID 6) and will ultimately provide a more responsive, higher performing and data safe NAS for all of your needs.

In summary, the savings available in choosing a two-bay over a four-bay can easily be countered in the grand scheme of things by scaling the capacity or architecture of the HDD you choose to put inside. The money saved in a 2 bay might well be money you need to spend a year or two down the line.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Power, Performance and Speed

As mentioned, using 4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will likely provide better performance than two drives in a RAID 1 environment. This performance can be measured by traditional direct read and write activity between your client hardware and your NAS, or it can be measured by the performance of individual applications and services from within the network-attached storage drive itself (i.e the NAS software and services). When looking at buying your first NAS, many will overlook 2-Bay’s simply because of this performance boost available in the 4-Bay alternative models. However, enterprise-grade/Pro hard drives Seagate ironwolf Pro or EXOs) will often provide performance benefits in a RAID 1 environment that can surpass the use of standard hard drives in a RAID 5. Of course, Pro series drives cost $40-50 more per drive, but also have longer warranties, data recovery services, more onboard cache and faster rpm to increase that read and write speed, so you get more for your money ultimately. Additionally, if you plan on taking advantage of 10Gbe, either with a port already on your NAS or as an upgrade down the line via PCIe, then you are much, MUCH better off with a 4-Bay NAS, as a 2-Bay (even if populated with the latest generation SATA SSDs) cannot fully saturate 1,000MB/s.

Finally, it is worth discussing that a large number of modern 4-Bay NAS systems in 2021/2022 arrived with dedicated SSD caching bays. These bays do not replace the existing SATA hard drives and are parallel media bays that allow you to install M2 NVMe SSD to improve the internal performance of your NAS by copying more frequently accessed files partially or fully onto the SSD to reduced access time to these more popular pieces of data. Although a handful of 2 Bay NAS systems have arrived on the market with support of dedicated SSD caching bays (Lockerstor 2 and DS720+), the feature is still more available on foUr Bay solutions and for many users that want to graduate the utility of their NAS from home to prosumer and inevitably into business use, the ability to upgrade internal performance in this way can often sway buyers to opt for a 4-bay NAS.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Power Use, Noise and Deployment

Unsurprisingly, the bigger the NAS drive, the more power it will consume. When comparing like-for-like deployments in similar architecture on 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS, the latter will always use a little bit more. This is the reason that you will generally find that the PSU on a 4-Bay NAS is always of a higher what rating. However overall, unless you are pushing the system particularly hard, the simple act of adding two more SATA hard drives will generally make a minuscule difference and is hardly a reason to compare these two overall – A PSU power rating is the MAXIMUM draw it can make, not the amount it will be using constantly! However, in terms of vibration generated when the system is in operation and the rise in assisted fan operation as usage increases, generates more heat which makes a noticeable impact on the ambient noise generated when you are running a 2-Bay vs a 4-Bay.

The power difference will still remain rather small as these are still quite small components but if you are especially sensitive to noise then the increased drive and fan-based sound will annoy you. Additionally, this increase in ambient noise generation scales accordingly if you use larger capacity drives or more enterprise-level hard drive builds. So therefore if you are looking at a 2-Bay NAS with bigger capacity hard drives, it will still generate a comparable level of ambient noise that a 4-Bay would when populated with standard class NAS media or smaller capacities. Now that brands like Seagate and WD have reshaped their respective portfolios for NAS hard drive media in a way that ALL large capacity hard drive (eg 10TB and above) are Pro class (i.e noisier), it makes the lines increasingly blurry between 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS noise levels. Below is an example of the noise difference between a standard class and pro class drive noise generation in just a single drive. It may seem a tad irrelevant, but it’s important if you are a user looking to go for a smaller NAS with BIGGER drives:

WD Red NAS Hard Drive Noise Test WD Red PRO NAS Hard Drive Noise Test

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Conclusion

So as you can see, the difference between a 2-Bay and a 4-Bay NAS is a great deal more than the number of available hard drives you can use. Each kind of NAS system can have its performance, capacity, ambient noise and power consumption scaled in a multitude of ways in order to facilitate the best possible network attached storage solution for you. Users on a tight budget might all too soon end up purchasing a 2 Bay NAS without realising that a 4-Bay has scalability that can save you money down the line. Likewise, users who like to invest a little bit more long term or prefer their NAS investment to be a little bit more spread over the lifespan of their product will tend to err towards a 4-Bay solution, without realising that a 2-Bay is still quite viable in the short term and modern scalability of NAS means taht a 2-Bay NAS is not quite the dead-end it once was! Below I have detailed some of the BEST examples of 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS Synology, QNAP and Asustor that are great examples of margins between each tier has become spectacularly narrow.  If you are still unsure on how to proceed, be sure to take advantage of the free advice service here on NASComapres using the boxes at the bottom. We (me and Eddie the web guy!) answer every email and do it without profit in mind (i.e it’s absolutely free), so though it might take an extra day for us to reply, we will get back to you with recommendations on the best solution for you.

Synology DS720+ 2-Bay – $399+

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay – $559+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 2/6GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2x1Gbe

 

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2x1Gbe

 

QNAP TS-253D 2-Bay – $389+

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay – $549+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – PCIe Slot – HDMI – 2×2.5Gbe

 

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – PCIe Slot – HDMI – 2×2.5Gbe

 

Asustor Lockerstor 2 2-Bay – $379+

Asustor Lockerstor 4 4-Bay – $499+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2×2.5Gbe J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2×2.5Gbe

 

 


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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.  

Best Plex NAS to Buy for over £2000 in 2021

23 juillet 2021 à 01:07

Top 3 NAS Drives for Plex Media Server for £2000

How many of us have decades of media in our homes? Somewhere between hard drives and USB that are full of cinematic enjoyment, collections of boxsets, music cluttering up CDs and hundreds of DVDs all over the place has led to most users sitting on hundreds or thousands of their favourite bits of media. Nevertheless, the convenience of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime video has led many users to abandon this hardware media in favour of watching the same multimedia streamed online. However subscription-based streaming services are far from perfect, with available media rotating and the availability of TV shows changing from month to month, results in a multimedia experience that can be at best diverse and at worst rigidly controlled. This is one of the main reasons that many users have made the switch from paying monthly for the likes of Netflix and switching over to their own Plex media server on a NAS. Aside from the ability to enjoy the media that they already own and grow that collection organically, Plex media server also provides the slick and attractive graphical user interface (GUI) found on those streaming services. Rather than traditional file folder access, a Plex media server NAS will scrape online databases for information such as thumbnails, cast information, trailers, reviews from reputable websites, extra behind the scenes footage and does this using the media that you own! The one barrier that stands between you and your perfect Plex media server is the amount you are prepared to pay for the hardware that the server utilizes and, in short, the scale of the NAS drive you purchase. NAS Drives have fast become one of the most popular ways in which people create their own ‘set-up and forget’ Plex media server and previously we have discussed the best Plex Nas for £500-1000. However in order to truly have a uncompromising Plex media server that will comfortably stream 1080p and 4K media to multiple client devices at once (at a variety of scalable quality levels) requires a noticeably larger investment and today I want to discuss my top 3 NAS drives for £2000 THAT will provide the very best Plex media server for you, your family and friends in 2021. Let’s take a look.

Note – it is worth bearing in mind that a NAS drive will still require you to purchase hard drives and although all NAS drive servers for Plex can run with as little as a single hard drive (and then add more later) this still means that you have to factor this into your budget.

 

QUICK CONCLUSION

NASCompares Top 3 Plex NAS for £2000 and Above

QNAP TVS-672X

Intel i3 8100T
8-64GB DDR4

Synology DS1621xs+

Intel Xeon D-1527

8-32GB DDR4 ECC

= $1600+

QNAP TVS-h1288X

Intel Xeon W 6-Core

16-128GB DDR4

= £2500+

What should I be looking for in a Plex NAS?

Any NAS that is going to be used as a Plex media server needs to have certain hardware and software options as standard, to skip even one of these will severely bottleneck your performance from Day 1. Although most of these are available in more affordable NAS drives, the extent to which they are supported will make all the difference between a good Plex media server and a great Plex media server on a tight budget. (as well as still having money for hard drives). These factors are:
  • An Intel or AMD based CPU that is 64-bit x86 in architecture
  • Support of at least 1080p and 4K regular playback, as well as the support of 1080p transcoding to Plex client devices
  • Embedded graphics or transcoding support (hence that CPU range)
  • At least two Bays of storage (for greater storage and redundancy, AKA – Disk Failure Protection)
  • A frequently updated and stable graphical user interface (such as Synology DSM or QNAP QTS)
  • Support and compatibility for the plex media server application (not all NAS support it, weaker ARM CPU and Unbranded NAS might not)

Rest assured that all three of the NAS drives for Plex that I have recommended below will provide excellent support for these features. It’s no huge secret that any old budget PC, unused Mac  mini or old laptop can run as a Plex media server, but the reason people are purchasing NAS drives from companies like Synology and QNAP for use in Plex is because these devices, even in a budget form, provide the following advantages:
  • Quiet and stable storage
  • RAID functionality for hard drive failure or combined storage
  • 24/7 reliability and efficiency
  • Software and Graphical user interface (GUI) that is easily accessible from a desktop or mobile device
  • Network and Internet access for hundreds of simultaneous users
ALL of these factors are what will ensure your Plex Media Server NAS, (even on a tight budget) will be fantastically capable and stable. So, let’s get on to my top 3 devices for PLEX servers.

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Price vs Performance – QNAP TVS-672X NAS

QNAP TVS-672X, Intel i3 8100T, 8-64GB DDR4, 1x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, NVMe Slots, PCIe Gen 3×4, EXT4/ZFS, 2yr Warranty = $1700+

What Said in the TVS-872X Review on 05/2021 – The TVS-672X is a revamp of the older TVS-672XT, which was amongst our top 10 NAS of the last few years. 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.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Expandability and Scalability – Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

Synology DS1621xs+, Intel Xeon D-1527, 8-32GB DDR4 ECC, 1x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 1, NVMe Slots for Cache, PCIe Gen 3×8, EXT4/BTRFS, 5yr Warranty = $1600+
It is fair to say that the Synology DS1621xs+ NAS makes a bold statement in what it is bringing to the table. Synology has been a brand that up until a few years ago traded significantly more on its software than it does on its hardware. Devices like the DS1621xs+ go a long way to dispel this myth in 2020/2021 and what we find here is an exceptionally well-equipped desktop NAS system. Obviously, at this price tag, you would expect it to deliver a lot and as a combined hardware and software package, the DS1621xs+ certainly achieved this. What issues you can make with the hardware are of the DS1621xs+ are more a question of the brands own decisions on what users want in storage right now. Small factors such as the NVMe bays not being accessible for RAW storage, the lack of Synology hybrid RAID and the use of CPU seen in 2017 and 2018 release hardware might put some potential buyers on the fence. But ultimately if you’ve committed to a desktop Synology solution because of DSM, the brand’s high reputation and that spec sheet – you will genuinely struggle to find a more powerful and equipped desktop NAS from this company right now.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for EVERYTHING 4K and 1080p – QNAP TVS-h1288X NAS

QNAP TVS-h1288X, Intel Xeon W Series 6-Core, 16-128GB DDR4, 1x10GbE, 2x 10GbE, 4x 2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, SATA HDD+SATA SSD+NVMe SSD, 3x PCIe Gen 3×4 Slots, EXT4/ZFS, 3yr Warranty = £2500+
What we Said in our TVS-h1288X Review on 11/2020 This is, hands down, the most impressive desktop NAS drive I have ever handled – and I do not say that lightly! QNAP has been working overtime these last 2 years to not only introduce their ZFS series to the SMB and Enterprise marketing, with gradual but compelling results – but it is only now in the TVS-h1288X system that they have successfully merged it into another core area of their business – content creators. Whether you are on board with the ‘optional thunderbolt card’ nature behind this device, you cannot fault the sheer weight of hardware on offer here and how it is perfectly tuned and appropriate for the storage, performance and safety benefits of ZFS in QuTS Hero included with this device. Yes, it is a hungry beast of a device in terms of power, but right now THIS is the NAS system to beat in the market right now in desktop form. There are still the odd hurdle for surveillance users to jump and the fact this range starts at 8/12-Bay is an odd choice – but with a 6-core Xeon processor that features high grade embedded graphics, upto 128GB of DR4 ECC memory, 3 storage tiers of scaling speeds, a combined external bandwidth of 30 Gigabits per second (so 3,000MB/s) and that is without even the inclusion of a Thunderbolt update that can allow upto 4 more Thunderbolt users to enjoy simultaneous access for photo/video editing – You simply cannot fault the ambition behind the TVS-h1288X and it leaves most of its 8-Bay competitors in its dust – just maybe raid the piggy bank before you buy it though


It is worth highlighting that regardless of which NAS drive you buy, all three of these devices can do so much more than that, providing you with the following additional software and support options to you, your family and colleagues:
– Multi-tiered backup options for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux devices.
– Synchronisation and migration options for NAS to NAS, cloud to NAS, USB to NAS and Apple time machine.
– DLNA media support for enjoying all your media across all your devices
– Multiple user support that allows simultaneous file access and control over the network and internet.
– Privilege, time limit, password and remote share options for sending files to those that need them
– A wide range of third-party apps support from dedicated app centres via the NAS GUI
– Multiple mobile apps available from iOS and Android, that are free and tailored to different file requirements
– Dedicated surveillance software that allows you to connect access and control multiple pan tilt zoom IP cameras in your network environment and record footage, Taylor alerts and set recording rules
– all arrived with two to three years of manufacturer’s warranty worldwide.
So there you go, those are the best NAS drives for use as a Plex media server for you right now. Still unsure? Not quite ready to spend the money? Never fear, you can always contact me directly for free advice using the form below. This is a free service and only manned by myself and Eddie, so our reply might take an extra day or two, but my advice will be impartial and with your best interests at heart! If you want to support, you can always donate (on the right) or you can click an ad banner and that goes straight to supporting the site!

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.


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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

ZFS vs EXT4 for NAS – What is the Difference in your File System?

21 juillet 2021 à 16:00

Choosing Between ZFS and EXT4 for your NAS Drive in 2020

If you have purchased or are thinking of buying a new NAS drive, it is becoming clear that setting it up in the perfect way is a little more complex than it used to be. You can go for the ‘recommended’ settings, but chances are that those ‘defaults’ won’t fit your storage needs. One of the first decisions you will need to make if you NAS is Intel/AMD powered is choosing your file system. This is non-reversible (without re-formatting all your storage) and therefore is a bit questionable. In 2020, the main file systems of choice in NAS are EXT4, ZFS and BTRFS. We will ignore BTRFS in this article today, as we have covered this alot here on the blog and YouTube (video 1 of 4 below), comparing it with EXT4 many times on the Synology NAS platform. However today with the growth of brands like QSAN and the release of the new QNAP QTS Hero ZFS powered platform, we want to help you make the choice between ZFS and EXT4 when setting up your NAS drive the first time.

ZFS may be the best-known enterprise-grade transactional file system to use storage pools to manage physical storage space. It is not the only one on the market, however. ZFS competes with ext4 for market share in the data management system world.  While both ZFS and ext4 can retain massive amounts of data in a secure, non-cloud storage pool system, the two products are not equal in capacity, management, or usability. Looking at ZFS vs. ext4, we see two distinct transactional file systems. ZFS supports advanced file systems and can manage data long term whereas ext4 cannot. 

ZFS and EXT4 for NAS – Advantages and Disadvantages

While ext4 comes embedded on Linux, it may not be the right choice for managing your data. Consider the strengths of each system in light of your needs.  On the face of it, ZFS seems better but arrives with much higher hardware requirements to run smoothly. Whereas EXT4 has much lower hardware running requirements but has it’s own limitations elsewhere. Let’s shine the spotlight on them both.

What is EXT4 and Why Should I use it on my NAS?

Linux created its original extended file system (ext) as early as 1992. It was the first to use a virtual file system (VFS) switch, which allowed Linux to support many file systems at the same time on the same system. Linux has released three updates since – ext2, ext3, and ext4. Today, ext4 – dating back to 2001 – is the default on the Linux System. EXT4 is also backwards compatible, meaning you can mount it on an ext3, ext2, or ext2 system. Since all these products were created before 2002, compatibility will not be important to most users, however. Ext4 also reduces file fragmentation, improves memory flash memory life through delayed allocation, and can handle larger volumes and files than its evolutionary predecessors. Since the beginning, it has used journaling, a system of logging changes, to the file to reduce file corruption. 

While these components of ext4 constitute an improvement over older extension file systems, the program remains limited in both capacity and engineering quality.  Because ext4 is a refurbishment of technology developed in the early 1990s, it has limited capacity to manage modern loads of data. Its once-helpful journaling system now slows down its processes as it stores more data. Plus, ext4 can support a file size no larger than 18 terabytes, making it a modest storage space for a contemporary data-driven, the digital company moving forward into 2020 (with commercial NAS hard drives from Seagate and WD now arriving at 16TB and growing).

EXT 4 and/or BTRFS NAS Drives
Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options

What is the ZFS and Why Should I use it on my NAS?

Many people have heard of ZFS, but are unsure what it actually is. So, what is ZFS? The Zeta File System (ZOL on Linux) is an enterprise-grade transactional file system that uses the concept of storage pools to manage physical storage space. Sun Microsystems began work on the product in 2001 and released it in 2005 as part of OpenSolaris. Even after OpenSolaris was discontinued, ZFS gained popularity since it is a user-friendly, scalable, and powerful data management system. Its strength lies in its simple administration model.  As an enterprise-grade file system, ZFS allows users to create and manage file systems with ease since by eradicating the need to edit configuration files or issue multiple commands. Users can set a quota to limit the amount of disk space used or reserve disk space for a specific file system. 

ZFS uses a hierarchical system layout defined by location- and- conductor-specific sub-module ports each of which is restricted in the locality. Basically, it manages the physical storage of data through storage pools, which allow file systems to share disk space within the pool. When users need a larger storage pool, they add disks similar to adding memory to a computer. As users add storage space, the file systems automatically use the additional memory without the user needing to configure that memory or assign individual processes. This system limits human touch, making it not only easy to use but also highly reliable. 

Most users select ZFS because it offers a simple administration model. Creating and managing file systems becomes easy with no separate volume manager commands to learn. Plus, the system manages mount points automatically. The file system’s low costs let companies create new ones for each project and user, enabling finer data management. ZFS maintains a consistent state for the file system on the disk. Instead of overwriting data, which leaves the file system in an inconsistent state, ZFS manages data with a copy-on-write mechanism. This approach means that neither power losses nor system crashes can corrupt the file system.  A checksum algorithm can verify ZFS’ data and metadata in order to protect file integrity. Rather than performing checksum verification on a per-block basis, ZFS checksums work at a file systems level. The storage pools can self-heal data by detecting bad data blocks and replacing them with a redundant copy. Essentially, ZFS can silently check data and make repairs without user involvement. 

ZFS also offers a built-in snapshot, which can grab a picture of stored data at a precise instant. Users find snapshots quick and easy. Snapshots take up no extra disk space in the pool at first, but as data evolves, they reference old data and thus consume some space. These snapshots prevent old data from slipping back into the current storage pool. ZFS can also send and receive file system snapshots, a process which allows users to optimize their disk space. 

In Summary, ZFS, by contrast with EXT4, offers nearly unlimited capacity for data and metadata storage. It can hold up to 1 billion terabytes of data. To organize that data, ZFS uses a flexible tree in which each new system is a child file of a previous system. ZFS allows users to move these files anywhere and even to attach them to the ZFS on points outside the main point. Users can separate children from parent systems, manage disk space hierarchically, and view the entire tree with a single command.  Basically, ZFS lets data managers organize and control massive amounts of information effortlessly. With one command, users can relocate a sub-tree, backup or mirror a sub-tree, or snapshot a ZFS file system and all its children together. ZFS’ auto-mount feature means files get mounted as soon as they enter the system although users can override this command. Furthermore, it automatically tracks used file space, speeding up the system’s operations and giving users a near-instant update on what’s happening with stored data. 

ZFS NAS Drives
Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options Click to NAS Options

EXT4 vs ZFS for NAS – Conclusion

Users who store massive amounts of data and those who prefer network-attached storage systems (NAS) need an enterprise-grade transactional file system . While ext4 can get the job done, it remains a re-engineered version of a long-outdated system. Ext4 is convenient because it’s the default on Linux, but it lacks the user-friendly, up-to-date approach of ZFS.  Additionally, ZFS has higher hardware requirements for operation and many devices will not have sufficient CPU and Memory available to run ZFS with it’s compression and deduplication advantages. QNAP and their newly revealed QTS Hero file system are combatting this and drastically reducing the amount of hardware needed for their new ZFS based file system platform (making some features like deduplication optional or streamlining other services as needed). However, for many users, you will have to stick with EXT4 and it’s lower hardware requirements.

However, for users with the choice between EXT4 and ZFS, by employing ZFS, users can get a system that automatically reconstructs data after detecting an error , seamlessly combines several physical media devices into one logical volume, has snapshot and mirror capabilities, and can quickly compress data. When considering ZFS vs. ext4, users choose ZFS to enjoy a user-friendly, high-volume storage system that doesn’t need an IT technician to hold its hand. 


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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

 

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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

 

Recommended NAS for Plex for £1000 in 2021

16 juillet 2021 à 01:10

Top 3 NAS Drives for Plex Media Server for £1000

Buying a NAS for a Plex media server can be a very intimidating purchase. The technology behind network-attached storage has evolved dramatically in recent years and has far surpassed the simple ‘file and folder hard drive over the internet’ image that many associate it with. Modern NAS drives have a huge array of software applications, services, customisable fully featured graphical user interfaces, numerous applications to access your data in the best possible way and, of course, full integration with the popular private multimedia server software plex. That said, not all NAS servers are created equal and much like any piece of hardware, the amount of money you spend on a solution will result in better hardware and performance overall – and a NAS for Plex is no different. Previously I have discussed the best NAS drives for plex for under £500, which all provided an excellent base level of multimedia support but when it came to the handling of particularly dense media, HEVC and in particular 4K, would either reach full resource utilization OR just fail on playback entirely. So today I want to look at the NAS drives for Plex that, although up to twice the price of those mentioned previously, will give you a significant increase in your multimedia playback! Let’s take a look at the best Plex NAS you can buy in 2021.

Note – it is worth bearing in mind that a NAS drive will still require you to purchase hard drives and although all NAS drive servers for Plex can run with as little as a single hard drive (and then add more later) this still means that you have to factor this into your budget.

 

QUICK CONCLUSION

NASCompares Top 3 Plex NAS for £1000

QNAP TS-473A

AMD Ryzen V1500B

8-64GB DDR4

= $800

Synology DS1621+

AMD Ryzen V1500B

4-32GB DDR4 ECC

= $900+

QNAP TS-h973AX

AMD Ryzen V1500B
8-64GB DDR4

What should I be looking for in a Plex NAS?

Any NAS that is going to be used as a Plex media server needs to have certain hardware and software options as standard, to skip even one of these will severely bottleneck your performance from Day 1. Although most of these are available in more affordable NAS drives, the extent to which they are supported will make all the difference between a good Plex media server and a great Plex media server on a tight budget. (as well as still having money for hard drives). These factors are:
  • An Intel or AMD based CPU that is 64-bit x86 in architecture
  • Support of at least 1080p and 4K regular playback, as well as the support of 1080p transcoding to Plex client devices
  • Embedded graphics or transcoding support (hence that CPU range)
  • At least two Bays of storage (for greater storage and redundancy, AKA – Disk Failure Protection)
  • A frequently updated and stable graphical user interface (such as Synology DSM or QNAP QTS)
  • Support and compatibility for the plex media server application (not all NAS support it, weaker ARM CPU and Unbranded NAS might not)

Rest assured that all three of the NAS drives for Plex that I have recommended below will provide excellent support for these features. It’s no huge secret that any old budget PC, unused Mac  mini or old laptop can run as a Plex media server, but the reason people are purchasing NAS drives from companies like Synology and QNAP for use in Plex is because these devices, even in a budget form, provide the following advantages:
  • Quiet and stable storage
  • RAID functionality for hard drive failure or combined storage
  • 24/7 reliability and efficiency
  • Software and Graphical user interface (GUI) that is easily accessible from a desktop or mobile device
  • Network and Internet access for hundreds of simultaneous users
ALL of these factors are what will ensure your Plex Media Server NAS, (even on a tight budget) will be fantastically capable and stable. So, let’s get on to my top 3 devices for PLEX servers.

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Affordability – QNAP TS-473A NAS

QNAP TS-473A, AMD Ryzen V1500B, 8-64GB DDR4, 2x 2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, NVMe Slots, PCIe Gen 3×4, EXT4/ZFS, 3yr Warranty = $800
What We Said about the QNAP TS-73A Review on 03/21I know I have said this like 10x in the review, but I genuinely respect how mature and focused the TS-473A is, especially when compared with a number of more ‘throw as much hardware as possible at it’ based 8-Bay devices are available from QNAP in their portfolio. A much better balance of internal and external hardware result in a system that feels significantly more capable of business that most devices that the brand have produced in the last 12 months. Add to this that the TS-873A arrives with the QNAP QuTS Hero ZFS platform and you have a system that will tick ALOT of boxes for both novice NAS buyers and more worldly data storage experts. Seemingly taking a leaf out of the books of Synology and their DS1821+ in terms of keeping it straight forward, this solutions sits very well in the portfolio. It would have been easy for the brand to try to squeeze more in, make at the risk of eliminating consumer flexibility down the line and ramping the price up at day 1, but it would seem like QNAP has learned from the odd bit of overstretching in systems like the TVS-872N and TS-1635AX, this time producing a solution that gives the business buyer what they need in 2021, but then allowing them to scale the solution in line with the storage of 2022 and beyond. This is by no means a sexy or exciting solution, for you, I would recommend the TVS-872XT or TVS-1288X. But what you have here is just business, nothing personal.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Expandability and Scalability – Synology DS1621+ NAS

Synology DS1621+, AMD Ryzen V1500B, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC, 1x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 1, NVMe Slots for Cache, PCIe Gen 3×8, EXT4/BTRFS, SHR, 3yr Warranty = $900+
What We Said in Our DS1621+ Review on 10/2020 – Whether you’re looking at buying the Synology DS1621+ as your first footsteps into the world of NAS, or as an upgrade to your existing smaller network-attached storage system, the DS1621+ ticks practically every box. Although some might argue that the hardware might seem almost a little too mid-range, they are missing the point of this device entirely. The DS1621+ is a prime example of everything that Synology is about and frankly, if you love the brand you will love this NAS device. Finding a fair middle ground internally and externally at this price point, the DS1621+ represents Synology doubling down on hardware R&D over the last 2 years and is largely successful in every way. It would have been nice to see a more graphically equipped processor, or something a tad closer in architecture to that of the comparatively powerhouse DS1621xs +, but right now this is the best Synology 6 bay you are going to find and without breaking the bank. The Synology ‘Plus’ series of devices has long held a reputation for providing mid-range hardware to mid-range business customers. Because of this, the DS1621+ needs to balance a fine line between providing fast and reliable hardware, whilst still maintaining a price point that won’t intimidate the average small-medium business user. In this regard, I think the Synology DS1621+ NAS gets it right, finding an impressive halfway point between these two factors. However, it is important for buyers to understand what they are buying and where the budget for the Synology DS1621+ is being aimed. Although it seemingly lacks some of the multimedia and prosumer features of ‘cheaper’ NAS devices in the Synology portfolio, it doubles down on more business and enterprise-level features in efforts to support that core audience. It’s about getting the right tool for the job and in that area, Synology almost completely succeed. The lack of +gigabit connectivity afforded to a NAS unit at this price point, compared with their competitors, may put some users off, but on the whole, you are getting good performance and excellent value on this combined hardware and software solution with some excellent scalability.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for All-Purpose Use – QNAP TS-h973AX

QNAP TS-h973AX, AMD Ryzen V1500B, 8-64GB DDR4, 1x10GbE, 2x 2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, 5x SATA+2xSATA SSD+2x U.2 NVMe, EXT4/ZFS, 3yr Warranty = $990+
What We Said in Our TS-h973AX Review on 11/2020 – I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solution from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others. Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straightforward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one!


It is worth highlighting that regardless of which NAS drive you buy, all three of these devices can do so much more than that, providing you with the following additional software and support options to you, your family and colleagues:
– Multi-tiered backup options for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux devices.
– Synchronisation and migration options for NAS to NAS, cloud to NAS, USB to NAS and Apple time machine.
– DLNA media support for enjoying all your media across all your devices
– Multiple user support that allows simultaneous file access and control over the network and internet.
– Privilege, time limit, password and remote share options for sending files to those that need them
– A wide range of third-party apps support from dedicated app centres via the NAS GUI
– Multiple mobile apps available from iOS and Android, that are free and tailored to different file requirements
– Dedicated surveillance software that allows you to connect access and control multiple pan tilt zoom IP cameras in your network environment and record footage, Taylor alerts and set recording rules
– all arrived with two to three years of manufacturer’s warranty worldwide.
So there you go, those are the best NAS drives for use as a Plex media server for you right now. Still unsure? Not quite ready to spend the money? Never fear, you can always contact me directly for free advice using the form below. This is a free service and only manned by myself and Eddie, so our reply might take an extra day or two, but my advice will be impartial and with your best interests at heart! If you want to support, you can always donate (on the right) or you can click an ad banner and that goes straight to supporting the site!

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.


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

New Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives Released

14 juillet 2021 à 14:00

The HAS5300 Hard Drives – New SAS Media from Synology Revealed

Yes, that’s right. Synology has now released a range of SAS (12Gb) hard drives in the HAS5300 series. Last year, when Synology first revealed that they were going to start producing their own range of SATA hard drives for their Diskstation and Rackstation NAS servers, many were a little dubious. Fast forward to 2021 and the HAT5300 8TB, 12TB and 16TB drives are quite well established and aside from some early concerns about hardware locked compatibility and global hard drive shortages caused by Chia (GAH!), Synology’s move towards producing complete 1st part equipped solutions for business is progressing quite smoothly. However, the HAS5300 SAS series of hard drives has clearly been developed to address a glaring inconsistency in their series of devices released in 2020/2021 that featured BOTH SAS and SATA compatibility, but in some cases might have had more streamlined compatibility listings! The HAS5300 is a 7200RPM, SAS interface connected and 256/512MB cache equipped range of hard drives that, although rather similar to the HAT5300 range in terms of performance, durability and operational environment, still allow users looking at the XS and SA systems that are SAS ready to remain truly first-party in their components. So, what do these SAS hard drives have to offer? Are they much different to their SATA alternatives (as we are still talking HDD, not SSD) and should you consider them in your next Synology Solution in 2021/2022? Let’s take a look.

What Are The Specifications of the Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives?

When looking at the specifications of the Synology HAS5300, it needs to be highlighted that much like the HAT5300 series that came before, Synology is not manufacturing/constructing these drives in-house. The Synology HAS5300 drive is built on top of the Toshiba MG08 series. They have added their own Synology DSM specific firmware to keep the system media tailored to the enclosure they are inside, as well as allow supporting internal Firmware update functionality within the Synology Storage manager of DSM 6.2/7.0. Synology has worked with Toshiba on the HAT5300 series before, because of the high endurance workload rating (550TB per Year) on this series and the impressive 230-262MB/s performance benchmark they provide. That said, many users will leap onto the work SAS and think these are going to massively outperform SATA. However, we are still discussing mechanical hard drives here and though the interface allows an impressive 12 Gigabits per second, these drives are still going to comparable to mechanical enterprise hard drives. Why Synology didn’t focus more on SAS SSDs (or hurry up on a U.2 SSD Flashstation solution already) over these HDDs is a little puzzling. Nevertheless, they arrive in three capacities and each can be compared against the Toshiba model ID below:

HAS5300-8T = MG06SCA800E

HAS5300-12T = MG07SCA12TE

HAS5300-16T =MG08SCA16TE

Here is a full breakdown of the specifications of each Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drive:

Hardware Specifications HAS5300-8T

HAS5300-12T

HAS5300-16T

Where to Buy
General Capacity 8 TB 12 TB 16 TB
Form Factor 3.5″ 3.5″ 3.5″
Interface SAS 12 Gb/s SAS 12 Gb/s SAS 12 Gb/s
Sector Size 512e 512e 512e
Performance Rotational Speed 7,200 rpm 7,200 rpm 7,200 rpm
Interface Speed 12.0 Gb/s, 6.0 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s 12.0 Gb/s, 6.0 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s 12.0 Gb/s, 6.0 Gb/s, 3.0 Gb/s, 1.5 Gb/s
Buffer Size 256 MiB 256 MiB 512 MiB
Maximum Sustained Data Transfer Speed (Typ.) 230 MiB/s 242 MiB/s 262 MiB/s
Reliability Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) 2.5 million hours 2.5 million hours 2.5 million hours
Workload Rating 550 TB Transferred per Year 550 TB Transferred per Year 550 TB Transferred per Year
Warranty 5 Years 5 Years 5 Years
Power Consumption Supply Voltage 12 V (± 10%) / 5 V (+10/-7%) 12 V (± 10%) / 5 V (+10/-7%) 12 V (± 10%) / 5 V (+10/-7%)
Active Idle (Typ.) 6.62 W 4.36 W 4.46 W
Random Read / Write (4KB Q1) (Typ.) 9.87 W 7.80 W 8.12 W
Temperature Operating 5°C to 60°C (41°F to 140°F) 5°C to 60°C (41°F to 140°F) 5°C to 60°C (41°F to 140°F)
Non-operating -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F) -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F) -40°C to 70°C (-40°F to 158°F)
Shock Operating 686 m/s2 {70 G} (2 ms duration) 686 m/s2 {70 G} (2 ms duration) 686 m/s2 {70 G} (2 ms duration)
Non-operating 2,450 m/s2 {250 G} (2 ms duration) 2,450 m/s2 {250 G} (2 ms duration) 2,450 m/s2 {250 G} (2 ms duration)
Vibration Operating 7.35 m/s2 {0.75 G} (5 to 300Hz), 2.45 m/s2 {0.25 G} (300 to 500 Hz) 7.35 m/s2 {0.75 G} (5 to 300Hz), 2.45 m/s2 {0.25 G} (300 to 500 Hz) 7.35 m/s2 {0.75 G} (5 to 300Hz), 2.45 m/s2 {0.25 G} (300 to 500 Hz)
Non-operating 29.4 m/s2 {3.0 G} (5 to 500 Hz) 29.4 m/s2 {3.0 G} (5 to 500 Hz) 29.4 m/s2 {3.0 G} (5 to 500 Hz)

 

What Are The Benefits Of The Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives?

A heavy focus from Synology when you even casually glance at the specifications pages on the HAS5300 NAS HDDs is on sustained performance and durability. This is completely understandable, given that these drives are for their more enterprise-led systems that will likely be working hard 24×7 for their whole system life – so you would only want to install hard drive media that can maintain any promised performance highs CONSISTENTLY as they are accessed – regardless fo the NAS server hardware or RAID configuration. In their pages, Synology state that their HAS5300 drives run on firmware optimized for critical workloads that matter. They allow Synology systems to repair degraded RAID arrays up to 27% faster than similar-class and capacity drives

Another thing that Synology are keen to highlight in the HAS5300 series is that along with that enhanced durability of these data centre-class drives over similarly priced Pro series drives from WD/Seagate (550TB vs 180/300TB annual workload rating), these drives utilize Synology specific firmware onboard, which can only be a good thing. Not only does this mean that drives can be updated in their internal firmware CONSIDERABLY easier than other drives, thanks to be manageable in the DSM software GUI – but also that rather than the drive featuring NAS/Server parameters that need to be a fraction broader for different Windows and Linux server architecture, the HAS5300 are geared SPECIFICALLY for Synology NAS systems.

I am still not completely in love with the idea that some of Synology’s latest systems have tighter compatibility/support options and the HAT5300, HAS5300 and SAT5200 are the only available drives (for the most part – 3-4 exceptions), but given Synology’s move in the last 2+ years to produce first-party options for any/all upgrades/accessories on their systems, this is still not a massive surprise! The only other question about the HAS5300 series I have is if/when Synology will introduce an SED (self Encrypted drive) or SIE (Sanitize Instant Erase – i.e. complete, fast and utter format) model of their own-brand drives, as these are available on the original Toshiba models that this series is built upon and given the grown demand for encryption on business class SAN/NAS systems, this seems to be a little slow coming.

When Will The Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard Drives Be Released?

The Synology HAS5300 Hard drives for NAS are now officially released, but I can imagine that stock will not be fully available in any kind of bulk available quantity for a week to two. Regarding pricing, it does seem rather different depending on where you look, with the Synology HAS5300-8T being listed in some stores at around £298 ex.VAT and the HAS5300-16T being listed at around £556 ex.VAT. How this will translate into dollars and euros, as well as their availability will become clearer in the next few days.

 


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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.  

 

 

How To Create A Windows 11 VM on Your Synology NAS

12 juillet 2021 à 01:10

How to Setup a Windows 11 VM on Your Synology NAS

As Many of you may have heard, Microsoft has formally announced that Windows 11 is coming and after several high-profile presentations and numerous published references online, you are now able to begin the formal process of testing this new operating system to see if it brings any impressive improvements to your existing Windows 10 machine. When it is fully released later this year, you will be able to purchase Windows 11 for your new PC build or upgrade from your existing copy of Windows and onto this new software revision. Many of us have horror stories of bench testing a new OS either in beta or alpha release form, as it can often result in our working processes and workflow to suddenly wobble and fall over. When it comes to testing an entire operating system, not just an individual application or service, it is highly recommended that instead of upgrading your existing system blind, that you choose to run this operating system as a virtual machine. Also more commonly referred to as a ‘VM’, it is a virtual equivalent of a regular PC. Although you still need a physical bare-metal computer to host this VM and software for it to live within, known as a hypervisor, a virtual machine is an incredibly small alternative to a standard computer with all of its hardware specifications merely being a fractional and digital version of the physical computer that it lives within. A virtual machine can exist as a duplicated virtual version of your physical computer or as an entirely new computer that allows you to bench test Windows updates and whole system versions like Windows 11 without putting your existing setup at risk.

Why use a Synology NAS to host a Windows 11 VM?

In the last few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people that are using a Synology NAS to host one or more virtual machines. Not only because a NAS can be remotely accessed locally via the network or anywhere in the world via the internet, but it features a dedicated virtual machine hypervisor software that allows the system to efficiently host multiple VM and allow users to simply connect via a single portal tunnel and deploy the VM for use. Additionally, NAS VM software such as Synology Virtual Machine Manager allows you to take snapshots to revert a VM to a previous version, configure hardware assets and resources on the system up/down to improve your VM/bare-metal server as needed and also allows you to duplicate virtual machines very quickly and turn one successful VM deployment into many. Therefore if you have a Synology NAS with available resources to spare, it makes a lot of sense to test out windows 11 on your NAS with its free and inclusive software.

What You Will Need to Run Windows 11 on Your Synology NAS as a VM

In order to deploy a Windows 11 virtual machine on your Synology NAS, you are going to need a few things. These include:

  • I Synology NAS, obviously. But a Synology NAS with at least a 4 core Intel or AMD 64-bit x86 processor and at least 4GB of memory
  • A Windows VM beta image. There are numerous methods online to get the windows 10 ISO image file that I will discuss in this guide, that there is also the option to get a Windows 11 licence code directly from their website as long as you have an existing and authenticated copy of Windows 10 available.
  • It is recommended that you have at least 50GB of storage available for the test and likely more if you want to give Windows 11 an extensive preview experience.
  • Ideally, a desktop or laptop computer in order to conduct the steps in setting up the VM as it is a little bit more tricky (the UI) to perform with just a mobile device like a phone or tablet.

That is about it, everything you need to deploy a Windows 11 VM on your Synology NAS will likely already be in your possession if you are reading this guide. I recommend at minimum that you should have a mass such as DS920+ or DS1621+ in order to install this VM and still have sufficient system resources to run the NAS simultaneously.

Setting Up the VM software on Your Synology NAS Drive

The first thing we need to do is set up the virtual machine manager software on your Synology NAS. If you already have Synology VMM (Synology Virtual Machine Manager) on your NAS, you can skip this step and head to the next one. Otherwise, head into the DSM GUI on the NAS and onto the app centre.

From here, scroll down and find or use the search box, for the Synology virtual machine manager tool. It should allow you to click within a single button and it may ask you to install further applications such as the replication tool and system tools, go ahead and allow these as these will help you run the virtual machine fluidly.

After the application is installed you need to open it from the available list of apps and before you can proceed with the tool you will be asked to quickly check that you have sufficient resources available on your NAS in CPU and memory, as well as the system asking if it can create a new virtual network switch configuration. Click ok and allow it to do this as it ensures that the windows 11 VM can access by the network and the internet after it is deployed. If successful, you will be greeted with the Synology virtual machine manager user interface with a list of options on the left-hand side of the screen and a few hints and tips displayed in the middle of the screen. Next, you will need to get a copy of Windows 11 beta which can arrive in numerous forms.

Setting Up the Windows 11 ISO Image

As mentioned earlier, Windows 11 is currently available from numerous sources across the internet (for example) and alongside the ability to download the digital image of the software, more commonly produced as an ISO (which can be mounted vertically or burnt to a physical DVD if you want to install Windows 11 on a physical computer instead). Alongside this, you can use your existing copy of Windows 10 to connect with the Windows beta program (shown above, by searching for ‘Windows Insider Programme‘ in the settings menu) and it will provide you with a Windows 11 licence and means with which to test Windows 11 on your existing system. There are numerous other methods online and a quick Google search will provide you with numerous download sites where you can get hold of Windows 11 beta. For this guide, I have downloaded Windows 11 beta as an ISO at 4.54GB. it downloads as a single file and this is the file that you will need to transfer over to the NAS.

Once you have downloaded your Windows 11 ISO, simply access your NAS file manager as you normally would and then drag and drop the windows 11 ISO file into a NAS directory that you have access to. Depending on your upload speed this can take from seconds to minutes, As soon as that is done, make your way back into the Synology virtual machine manager tool and continue with the installation of Windows 11 on your soon to be created brand new virtual machine.

Creating Your Synology Virtual Machine for Windows 11

Once you have made your way back into the Synology virtual machine manager application. Select the side bar option called ‘Image‘. 

At the top, you will find an option that allows you to add a new image. Select option and when prompted, select the option Synology NAS.

The list of available options on screen will be the ones that you have on your NAS and you just need to browse through the folders to find the one where you uploaded the windows 11 virtual machine ISO earlier. Click this ISO and then go-ahead to the next step.

Now head up to the top of the menu at ‘virtual machine’ and click create.

Then select the option for Microsoft Windows as the Virtual Machine Type

Then select the storage volume on your Synology NAS that you want the Windows 11 Virtual Machine to live/run-in

Next, You need to assign how much storage in GB/TB that you want the windows 11 Virtual Machine to use

Next, you need to assign the Windows 11 Virtual machine to a network. Synology Virtual Machine Creates a new virtual network when the software is installed, so you can use this or create a new one if you choose.

At this point, the virtual machine creation window will appear. You will need to assign CPU cores and Memory amounts to this VM. It is recommended that you dedicate at least 2 cores of your x86 64bit CPU and 2GB of memory, however, Windows 11 will run much, MUCH better if you can assign more hardware to this VM. Just remember that in order for the NAS to run smoothly (and there for the Virtual Machine Manager Hypervisor software to run well), you should leave sufficient CPU/Memory to the NAS.

From here you will need to connect the Windows 11 ISO/image you added earlier (should appear in a drop-down) and it is recommended that you use the Synology Windows Guest Driver ISO into the 2nd mounted drive too (as shown). You can also assign USB ports to the VM to allow you to connect devices physically to the NAS and then they will be accessible/visible to the Windows 11 VM.

Next you will need to let the Synology NAS know which users can access the Windows 11 VM. A list of the current NAS users/groups will appear and you can put a tick next to the users whose login credentials will allow access to this VM.

Then you need to confirm that the settings are correct, then you can confirm and the Synology Virtual Machine Manager will create the VM with the Windows 11 ISO/Image mounted for the first time setup.

When the Synology Virtual Machine manager displays the VM as available/powered off, you can power it on from the options at the top and connect to it in the web browser

When you connect to the VM at start up, much like a physical PC, the system will read from the mounted ISO/Image (as a normal PC would boot from the DVD drive to check from media) and you will boot straight into the Windows 11 installation screen.

If you are using the Windows 11 ISO/Image and do not have a product key, but still want to test out the Windows 11 system, you can click the option at the bottom to install without a licence.

Then just select the version of windows you want to install:

Then the area of storage you created in the VM setup on the Synology NAS will appear and you can select it to install the Windows 11 operating system on to.

From there installation will begin and it will be a relatively fast process, depending on the power of the VM resources you gave it and the speed of the storage media in your Synology NAS

After this, the VM will reboot and then go straight into the Windows 11 Setup tutorial

If you do not want to supply your Microsoft associated account details to this VM and Windows 11, you can do it without entering them by clicking the option to sign in another way

Then clicking the offline option:

Then just entering local/offline security information. However, do remember that this will limit some features of Windows 11 that require a Microsoft account.

Then you can proceed with the setup and the system will apply the settings you created:

The Windows 11 desktop will then be displayed and you can go ahead and have fun with your new VM

By default, Windows 11 will display via the web browser in a lower resolution (in case it cannot be displayed to users with older tech. But you can change this quickly by right-clicking and selecting display options

Then you can increase the resolution, which will make the screen bigger in your browser VM access too:

Additionally, if you want to access the VM OUTSIDE of the browser, the best way to do it is with the Remote Connection tool on a local PC:

And remember to keep an eye on memory and CPU use on your Synology NAS whilst the Windows 11 Virtual Machine is running

And there you have it. You now have a windows 11 VM on your Synology NAS hypervisor software:

 

If you have already installed Windows on a brand new computer before, then all of the steps necessary to install Windows are very familiar to you. Even then, you may need a refresher, so use the video below for my guide on how to set up Windows 101on a NAS after the virtual machine and ISO have been created. Although this guide is for Windows 11 on a Synology NAS, the steps for setting up a VM are are remarkably similar to other brands.

And there you have it, you can now test out Windows 11 as a virtual machine on your NAS without fear of it leading to problems on your existing Windows 10 PC. It is worth remembering that this is still a beta of Microsoft’s brand new operating system and therefore you can expect there to be a few hiccups along the way. Additionally, bear in mind that the performance of the VM will also be hinged in a big way on the hardware resources of your NAS and depending on the amount of resources you assigned to the VM ,and therefore the amount of resources you left to your NAS to run in the background will dictate how well Windows 11 will run. So do bear that in mind

 


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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

 

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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 Photos VS Photo Station and Moments – ALL the Differences

8 juillet 2021 à 14:22

Synology Photos Upgrade from Moments & Photo Station – Should You Upgrade?

When Synology first announced the development of DSM 7 (almost 3 years ago now), one of the biggest changes that was noticed was the move by Synology to consolidate their existing Synology Photo Station and Moments applications into a single, all-purpose tool – Synology Photos. Throughout the previews and reveals of development on DSM 7.0, Synology photos would be continued to be highlighted, with each update showing improvements in GUI, shared space management and filtering through your decades of photos being made much easier. Now DSM 7 is officially here, many users who have made the switch from DSM 6.2 (and therefore migrating from Photo Station and Moments and into Synology Photos automatically) have raised queries about how some processes are handled by the newer photo software, what it improves upon in the older apps and some areas where it appears to have taken a few steps back – at least in this DSM 7 release build. So today I want to talk about the difference between these three applications, what parts of your existing DSM 6.2 Photo Station & Moments data will be migrated and what features of Synology Photos have yet to arrive. Hopefully, this will help you decide whether to make the jump from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, as right now the upgrade is not mandatory and you do not need to switch over if you do not want to.

What Are the Differences Between Synology Photos, Moments and Photo Station?

So, first and foremost, it is worth remembering that Synology Photos is not a completely new application in terms of what Synology has been providing in Photo Station and Moments previously. Indeed, Synology Photos is designed to centralize all the photo and image management of the NAS Drive in a single portal. The design of Synology Photos is certainly more heavily influenced by Moments in its GUI and layout, but with an important difference. The management of shared photos and albums is now switchable in the interface and allows you to manage your private/home collections parallel to your professional photography albums, shares and catalogues of images. THIS kind of design in the UX is much more equivalent to what Synology Photo provides. Below is a chart detailing the features of Synology Photos, along with from which predecessor application each design/element were incorporated:

Synology Photos

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

Target users Professional photographers,
Home users
Professional photographers Home users
DSM 7.0 Supported Not supported Not supported
Display style Folder view,
Timeline view
Folder view Folder view (view only),
Timeline view
Search features Keyword search,
Quick filters
General search,
Advanced search
Keyword search,
Advanced search
Virtual albums Supported Available in Shared Albums and Smart Albums Supported
Conditional albums Supported Supported (equivalent to Smart Albums) Not supported
Collaboration method Shared Space,
Shared albums
Album permissions Shared Photo Library
Detailed metadata information display Supported Supported Not supported
Auto-created albums Supported Not supported Supported
TV cast AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app) DS photo for Android/Apple TV,
AirPlay & Chromecast (via the mobile app)
Not supported

So, on the face of it, Synology Photos seemingly does a very good job of consolidating the existing features of Moments and Photo Station 6. But let’s talk about what happens to your data when you migrate over, what parts of your existing NAS photography collections are migrated over.

Which Parts of Photo Station & Moments Can Be Migrated Over to Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Like any big firmware update on your photo, computer or console, upgrading the firmware on your Synology NAS from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0 can be slightly unnerving, as it can often lead to some applications no longer functioning the same or (very much in the case of switching from Photo Station and Moments to Synology Photos) the collections of albums, tags, shares and more being lost in the migration. Synology maintains that the majority of Moments and Photo Station metadata, shares and structured folders/albums in each application will be successfully maintained in the switch to Synology Photos in DSM 7. In cases where it is not possible, this can be down to file extension support changes in DSM 7, changes in supported AI services in the Synology Photos launch version or imply that a feature has been discontinued. Below is a breakdown of the data that will be migrated between Synology Photo Station and Moments into Synology Photos:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Folder structures in Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Manually created albums (will be transformed into folders)
  • Shared albums and smart albums (will be transformed into conditional albums)
  • Album permissions (will be transformed into folder permissions)
  • General tags
  • Location tags (will be transformed into general tags)
  • Settings to exclude certain file formats from indexing and conversion
  • Metadata of photos and videos
  • Manually created and shared albums in My Photo Library and Shared Photo Library
  • General tags
  • Edited facial recognition results and groupings

Additionally, Synology highlight that the contents of the migrated shared albums and smart albums might be changed slightly due to changes in package design. Additionally, there may be an interruption of some shared albums/collections from your NAS drive as the share links of albums will be regenerated during the migration. The original URLs will no longer be available. As smooth as the bulk of all this sounds, it is worth mentioning that the launch version of Synology Photos does have some features missing from Photo Station 6 and Moments that, although might appear in a further update to the applications soon, are DEFINITELY worth knowing about before migrating from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 – as a couple of these might be dealbreakers for you when upgrading.

Which Features of Photo Station & Moments are NOT Currently Supported on Synology Photos in DSM 7?

Despite the beta phase of DSM 7.0 and Synology Photos back in December, the Release Candidate last month and the now full release of the firmware update and app, it has to be said that there are still a few features of Photo Station 6 and Moments that are NOT available in Synology Photos at launch. It has to be highlighted that it seems that Photo Station features are the ones that seemingly have had their wings clipped more. This appears to be largely as some features have been amalgamated into the wider DSM 7 system, but there are certainly a bunch of missing features in Synology Photos that many users are scratching their heads over. There are tiny features like the Photo Auto recolour in Moments and Slideshow control, that are arguable quick old skool and forgivable in the update. However, some remarkably cool/useful features of Moments and Photo Station that are missing in Synology Photos, such as the world map view of your collection and AI-powered subject recognition (though facial recognition is still available and enabled in a settings menu) being absent are actually rather annoying! Below is a full breakdown of the features that WERE in Moments and Photo Station, but NOT in Synology Photos right now in Summer 2021:

Photo Station 6

Synology Moments

  • Account system of Photo Station and Personal Photo Station
  • Personal Photo Station (its photos and videos will be migrated)
  • Descriptions hit counts, and watermarks of albums
  • Comments, color labels, and area highlight tools in Shared Albums
  • Map view!!!!!
  • Results of facial recognition (people tags) and ratings of photos
  • Portfolio
  • Theme
  • Log
  • Blog
  • iFrame embedment
  • Settings to restrict users from public sharing
  • Photo sharing via social networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)
  • Speed, music, and transition effects of slideshows
  • Subject recognition!!!!!
  • Integration with Synology Drive Server and the direct viewing of files under “/home/Drive”
  • Moments Select and Similar Photos
  • Auto Color and Rotate

That said, Synology has been keen to highlight that some of the removed features from Synology Moments and Photo Station 6 may be redesigned and relaunched along with future updates of Synology Photos, so we hope that the bulk of the features above make it eventually.

If You want to learn more about what Synology DSM 7.0 bring to your NAS (not just how it will impact for good/bad on your existing Photo Station and Moments setup into Synology Moments), why not read my FULL video review of the Diskstation Manager 7.0 below:

Synology DSM 7.0 Review on NASCompares

Alternatively, you can Read the full DSM 7 review below:

Synology DSM 7 Review – The Quick Conclusion

Let’s not mince words, the Synology DSM 7 software is easily the best experience you are ever going to have when accessing your decades of data! From huge upgrades in the graphical user interface, the layout of options and even managing to improve the already exceptionally user-friendly design, DSM 7 is unquestionably the king of network software right now. Aside from a few areas of design conflict between DSM 6.2 services and DSM 7 UI, questionable changes on USB compatibility and contention over migration between in photo station and Synology photos, DSM 7.0 still very much rules the roost when it comes to the best you can get in network-attached storage software in 2021/2022.

PROs of DSM 7.0 CONs of DSM 7.0
Genuinely Impressive Latency

Very Appealing GUI

Unbeatable First Party App Support

Near Perfect Single EcoSystem

Makes DSM 6.2 Look Dated

Fast RAID Repair and RAID6 Improvements

Surveillance, VMs, Backups and Media Handling all still 10/10

Feels JUST as Secure & Safe as Ever

Hyper Backup & Cloud Sync Still Support MANY Clouds

Active Insight, Active Backup, C2 & HybridShare = Business Win

Reduced USB Support Currently

Some 3rd Party Applications have not migrated well

Synology Photos Still Lacks some Photo Station Services

Hybrid Share ONLY Supports Synology C2 (Paid Sub)

Occasional Conflict of DSM 6.2 to DSM 7 Designs at times

Synology Drive File Pining & Active Backup Still not Available for Mac

 

 


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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

New QNAP TS-464 and HS-264 Silent NAS Uncovered

5 juillet 2021 à 15:35

Early Sighting of the QNAP TS-464 and HS-264 NAS Drive for 2022

Good news for anyone who is looking to purchase a new NAS and we wondering if/when there will be a new generation of solutions on the market, as QNAP might have accidentally (or at the very least inadvertently) revealed two new NAS solutions coming much, much later in 2021 or (more likely) 2022, with the newly uncovered TS-464 4-Bay NAS and HS-264 2-Bay Silent NAS. These two solutions also seemingly indicate the naming convention for future releases in the Intel Celeron/SMB/Prosumer tier to be X64 and seem to indicate the use of M.2 upgrades, USB 3.2 Gen 2 and more. Practically little else is know about these solutions since their respective uncovering in an official QNAP Livestream for the QTS 5.0 beta on their youtube channel and firmware update notes, but it all looks perfectly genuine. So, let’s dig a little deeper.

What Do We Know About the TS-464 and HS-264 NAS from QNAP?

As mentioned, very little is known about these solutions at this stage and what little we do know comes from 2 key sources online. The QNAP HS-264 appeared on a list of firmware kernel updates on the official pages (see below) and seemingly features the naming convention of the older Silent NAS series (HS-251+ and HS-453DX).

The last real update to the Silent NAS series was back in 2018 and it has always been a popular device, given the silent running and discreet build of this product family. The QNAP TS-464 on the other hand was more publically released on the official QNAP Youtube channel to discuss the ongoing QTS 5.0 beta that is running till the end of July. During the course of this presentation, the subject of how QNAP allow the use of the new Google TPU (Coral) in their systems and how this can be implemented via USB or m.2. Further highlighting that a new NAS coming in the future (the TS-464) will support this feature (see below). It is very unusual for QNA to be so open on new releases like this, whilst the clear unit current-gen device (the TS-453D) is available on sale.

As it stands, these are the few bits of information that have landed, that point at these units. Though there is still information that we can largely be sure of AND a lot we can surmise from these images and the product families. Let’s discuss.

What Should We Expect From the QNAP HS-264 and TS-464 NAS?

Although no hardware specifications of these two NAS systems have been revealed, there is a lot of info we can make educational guesses at. Below is a breakdown of what I think we will see in these two NAS releases:

IMPORTANT – These ARE NOT confirmed specifications and are just based on comparing against other devices in a similar product family OR based on dialogue/images from the QNAP Livestream

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS Drive

QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS Drive 2/4-Bay*

*TBC because of 251+ vs 453DX

Intel N5105 or J6412 CPU (TBC – see below)

DDR4 Memory (because of CPU)

PCIe Gen 3 (x?) Expansion Slot (because of CPU)

HDMI Out 4K 60FPS

USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Because of Image)

2.5Gbe x2 (Due to TS-453D & CPU)

Expandable

Intel N5105 or J6412 CPU (TBC – see below)

DDR4 Memory (because of CPU)

Fanless (due to HS title)

HDMI Out 4K 60FPS

2.5Gbe

Expandable

Although there is ZERO indication of what the CPU featured in the TS-464, HS-264 or X64 Series actually is, it is moderately well known that the Intel CPU refresh has largely pointed at the Intel N5105 (or much newer) J6412 as the new newer and suitable upgrade. I am much more inclined to believe it is the N5105 however (as indicated below) due to the ease with which QNAP could move their existing setup and manufacture over (As well as the J6412 perhaps being a little TOO new). Likewise, the N5105 has HDMI support and similar memory values and has already started to appear in other desktop servers in the market due for release.

When Should We Expect the QNAP TS-464 and HS-264 NAS to Arrive?

This is a tough one, as 1) this is NOT a lot of information to go on right now and 2) the current generation of the TS-x53D series is still very current and popular. I would be inclined to believe that the TS-464 (and perhaps TS-264 and TS-664 NAS) will arrive more formally and officially in 2022, as the TS-X53D is not get hit by any sharp hardware shortages (aside from the aforementioned CPU refresh hurdle along the way) and performs everything in QTS 4.5/5.0 well. The HS-264 however (I believe) will arrive potentially sooner, as the previous generation silent NAS (HS-453DX) was first unveiled way back in Summer 2018 at CeBit and although has sold well, uses a Intel Celeron chip was already refreshed in that time (J4115 > J4125), Possibly before the end of the year. However, as always, these are estimations and stay subscribed to the blog or here on YouTube to stay in the loop.

Should I still Consider the TS-453D and HS-453DX NAS in 2021?

In short, yes absolutely. If you have been considering the TS-453D or HS-453DX NAS, then do not let the small reveal of the TS-464 or HS-264 NAS systems change your mind. Aside from the lack of any formal release being provided, the TS-453D is still one of the best solutions that QNAP have ever released and its price change since launch, the upgrades that are possible and its performance with the latest QTS software (Surveillance, VMs, Plex, Backups, etc) make it an excellent choice at that price. The HS-453DX may seem a little older, but it is still an unbeatably quiet system, features 10Gbe connectivity, 2 HDD slots and 2 M.2 SSD slots, is still one of the best looking NAS on the market and ultimately deserves the attention it gets.

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay NAS

QNAP HS-453DX 2/4-Bay NAS

Intel J4125 CPU

4/8GB DDR4 Memory

2.5Gbe x2

PCIe Gen 2×2

USB 3.2 Gen 1

HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS

Intel J4115 CPU

2/8GB DDR4 Memory

1x 10Gbe

1Gbe x2

USB 3.2 Gen 1

HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS

 


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QNAP NAS QTS 5.0 Beta Now Available

4 juillet 2021 à 23:00

Beta Now Available for QNAP QTS 5.0 Released

Most people who own a NAS drive, for business or for pleasure, will realise very early on that the software that these systems arrive with is more than just simple file/folder storage access. In particular, the QNAP QTS system software and services is one that has evolved a great deal over the years and has now found a good balance between providing a user-friendly experience and providing a good degree of system/storage information when needed. Add to this that QNAP has generally been the first to market when it comes to innovation in the NAS industry (sometimes a little sooner than some might like!) and this has led to them introducing a number of key applications in the past before their competitors in NAS (HybridMount, vJBOD, Container Station, Linux Station and Multimedia Console to name a few) in their previous versions of QTS. At the same time that Synology now launching their new DSM 7 platform (after nearly 3 years in development), QNAP is now going to let users have a test and provide feedback on QTS 5.0. The Beta of QTS 5.0 is now available to download from QNAP HERE and along with numerous background improvements, there are several new applications, new services (that include AI-assisted analysis improvements with the google TPU upgrades) and improved SSD cache handling, security tightening measures. The Beta Test period ends at 23:59 (UTC+8) on July 31, 2021.

What QNAP have said about the QTS 5.0 Beta – QNAP released the QTS 5.0 Beta, the latest version of the NAS operating system. QTS 5.0 has upgraded with Linux Kernel 5.10, improved security, WireGuard VPN support, and enhanced NVMe SSD cache performance. The DA Drive Analyzer, powered by a cloud AI engine, helps predict the expected life of drives. The new QuFTP app helps fulfil personal and business file transfer needs. QNAP now welcomes users to join the Beta Program and provide their feedback so QNAP can further improve QTS and provide a more comprehensive and secure user experience. QTS 5.0 builds upon its solid foundations with an updated system kernel and optimized user interface – followed by enhanced security measures to protect your digital assets, improved system performance to streamline your applications, and integrated AI machine learning to strengthen image recognition and drive failure prediction. Providing cutting-edge features to meet the challenge of rapid technological changes, QTS 5.0 brings you data security, power, and intelligence.

Increase your security level

QTS 5.0 supports TLS 1.3 to improve security and performance, with automatic updates of QTS and apps to ensure your NAS operates under optimal conditions. You can also use SSH keys for authentication to secure access to your NAS, preventing password breaches or similar potential attacks. Previous revisions, TLS 1.2, initializes the connection with a dialogue to agree on a certain encryption type. Once the client and server agree, they begin sharing encryption keys. The reason for TLS 1.3 being faster is because this communication never takes place. Instead, the initial connection is information from the client saying what it plans to access along with supported cypher, key agreements and other information. The server responds with the chosen cypher suite and also a key share. Since the server provides the key right away, the client cannot demand the use of older forms of encryption, hence making the connection more secure. Technically, the client sends all the necessary information to establish a secure connection in the initial ‘Hello message’. It even calculates multiple pre-shared keys based on offered cypher suites. Once the server receives the initial ‘Hello message’, it provides a key to the client based on the chosen cypher suite.

Predict drive failure and minimize downtime with the help of AI

Now you have an exciting solution that can protect you from drive failure and data loss. The DA Drive Analyzer – developed in partnership with QNAP and ULINK Technology – is an AI engine that predicts the expected life of drives, allowing you to take preemptive steps to prevent data loss from predicted drive failure.

Check both the life prediction score and drive health status with a user-friendly interface.

Check the status of all drives in your NAS and expansion units. (TR series expansion units are not supported)

Check each drive’s status on Drive Life Prediction Score. The lower the score, the lower the drive’s health.

Check which day DA Drive Analyzer alerts you on the Alert History tab.

Supports WireGuard VPN for secured internet connection

Your internet and public Wi-Fi connection may put your personal data and privacy at risk. VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides a safe and recommended way to protect your online activity while browsing the internet or remotely accessing your NAS. The new QVPN 2.0 (coming soon!) integrates the popular, lightweight, and reliable WireGuard VPN, providing you with an easy-to-use interface for setting up a secure connection – an especially great tool for home and remote working.

Boosted NVMe SSD cache performance

The new kernel improves PCIe performance, which enables QTS 5.0 to enhance NVMe SSD performance and utilization. When cache acceleration is activated, SSD storage can be utilized more efficiently while also offloading memory resources. It maintains high performance even when multiple concurrent users access the same shared folders, and transferring large-size files via SMB/NFS becomes faster.

QuFTP fulfills personal and business file transfer needs

QuFTP consolidates all FTP related activities into a single app with a user-friendly interface and permission settings for efficiently and securely transferring large amounts of data.

FTP Server

The encrypted SSL/TLS connection provides higher security and protects your FTP transfers. QoS bandwidth allows for setting FTP transfer limitations or speed limitations for users and groups. QuFTP’s rule engine allows more detailed configuration, including access hours, limiting access to only the FTP root folder, adding watermarks to images and videos, and more.

FTP Client

Before activating the FTP client, make sure that your firewall allows connections to the FTP server. You can also create remote mounts of shared folders to make them accessible on the NAS.

The FULL List of Changes in QTS 5.0 Compared to QTS 4.5

Along with the bigger changes listed above, there are numerous other smaller changes in QNAP QTS 5.0 compared with QTS 4.5 for NAS that are worth noting. Some are improvements in compatibility within certain applications and are more noticeable changes in the default lineup of applications are services at launch. Here are the rest of the change notes from QNAP on this new NAS software:

  • QTS now supports Desktop Notice Board, which provides notifications for various events and announcements.
  • QTS now supports TLS 1.3 for HTTPS secure connection.
  • Users can now import custom root certificates to certify the SSL certificate of a server that the NAS needs to access.
  • Updated OpenSSL to 1.1.1.
  • Improved SSD cache design to enhance storage performance. Existing SSD cache will be automatically converted to the new design after QTS update to 5.0.0.
  • File Station now supports displaying thumbnail previews for PDF files.
  • Network & Virtual Switch now supports the DDNS service “DDNS Now”.
  • Added the option to enable or disable strong cipher suites.
  • Added an option to choose whether to redirect users to the NAS login screen when connecting to the NAS IP address without the system port. To enhance device security, this option is disabled by default.
  • To enhance device security, UPnP Discovery Service is now disabled by default.
  • Added support for Content Security Policy HTTP header.
  • QTS now enables the default “admin” account and resets its password when users press the Reset button on the NAS for three seconds. Nevertheless, to ensure device security, we recommend disabling the “admin” account and using a new administrator account after you finish resetting the system.
  • Users in the administrator group now have read/write access permissions for default shared folders, except the “homes” shared folder.
  • Users can now manually specify the time interval and the maximum number of failed login attempts in Control Panel to further enhance NAS security.
  • Qsync Central is not pre-installed in QTS. Users can install this application in the App Center
  • Improved the user interface of Advanced Search in QuLog Center.
  • Added support for displaying the total connection time of online users.
  • QuLog Center now displays computer names and accessed resources in System Access Log and Online Users.
  • To ensure device security, QTS now displays a message to remind users to disable the default “admin” account and to create another administrator account.
  • QTS now displays a message to remind users to enable 2-step verification to ensure account security.
  • QTS Smart Installation Guide now requires users to create a new administrator account. The default “admin” account is disabled after initialization.
  • QTS no longer pre-installs SSD Profiling Tool by default. Users can install this tool in the App Center.
  • To ensure system security, QTS now automatically disables applications that are not updated and that do not meet the minimum version requirements.
  • Removed support for USB printers.
  • Qboost is no longer a built-in application of QTS. Users can choose to install Qboost in App Center.
  • To ensure system security, QTS now automatically disables applications that are not updated and that do not meet the minimum version requirements.
  • Starting from QTS 5.0.0, QVR Pro Client is no longer supported. You can now install QVR Smart Client as the client software for your QVR Pro or QVR Elite surveillance servers.
  • Users need to manually remove and then re-create SSD cache after updating QTS to 5.0.0 beta.
  • QTS 5.0.0 beta temporarily does not support certain file systems on external storage devices. To work around this issue, users can use HBS3 to back up files to external storage devices. Note that this workaround may require more CPU resources and increase backup task duration. We will soon fix this issue in an upcoming release.
  • QTS 5.0.0 beta temporarily does not support the following applications, utilities, or services:

* vSphere Web Client Plug-in
* QNAP SMI-S Provider
* QNAP Snapshot Agent
* KoiMeeter
* Marvell 88SE1475 driver
* Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT) Driver
* Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) Driver
* NVIDIA GPU Driver
* Advanced Network Driver
* Other miscellaneous third-party applications

Which QNAP NAS Drives Support the QTS 5 Beta?

The full range of QNAP NAS systems that support the QTS 5.0 Beta is largely limited to systems that have been released in the 2019-2021 release period, however, they are not limited to the high-end releases, with several ARM-based and Entry-level NAS systems being included. Also, remember that this is a whole system software upgrade and it’s not entirely clear how easy/possible it is to downgrade your system to QTS 4.5 afterwards. I am in the process of deploying this QTS 5.0 beta over on YouTube and comparing it with QTS 4.5 to show you guys how they have changed things up. Stay tuned for that, otherwise, if you want to go ahead and test the QTS 5.0 beta on your QNAP NAS today, you can use the link HERE and check below to make sure you are on the compatibility list.

QTS 5.0.0 Beta Supported NAS
TS-328, TS-428, TS-230, D2 Rev-B
TS-231+, TS-431+, TS-131P, TS-231P, TS-431P, TS-131K, TS-231K, TS431K, D2, D4, D4 Rev-B
TS-251B
TS-251D, TS-451D, TS-451D2
TS-253D, TS-453D, TS-653D, TS-453Dmini, HS-453DX, TBS-453DX,
TS-453Bmini, TS-253B, TS-453B, TS-653B, TS-453BT3, TS-253Be, TS453Be
TVS-472XT, TVS-672XT, TVS-872XT
TVS-872X, TVS-672X
TVS-672N, TVS-872N
TS-473, TS-673, TS-873
TS-473A, TS-673A, TS-873A, TS-h973AX
TS-h2490FU

 


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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

Best NAS and Drives For £500 in 2021

2 juillet 2021 à 02:00

The Best NAS and Hard Drives for the Home on a Budget of £500

If you are looking at buying a NAS drive (whether it is to move away from the likes of Google Drive or Dropbox, or to just have all of your data in a single controllable location), then it can be a rather intimidating task. For many users, the very, VERY first hurdle they encounter is the price tag! NAS systems, although not massively expensive, do always seem a little more expensive than you think – especially given the modest internal hardware used inside sometimes when compared again DIY PCs. Add to this the fact that these devices ALSO need to be populated with storage media and you can be looking at a price tag that can easily spiral out of control. Add to this that a lot of users simply do not want/need all the enterprise features and just want a system that can be used as a backup for all of their desktop and mobile devices, is as secure as possible, can support a good level of 4K/1080p media over DLNA/Remotely (e.g Plex), feature a little bit of camera connectivity for security, Provide a intuative and user-friendly photo album access and all the while having a system that runs smoothly and quietly in the background! Although most NAS systems support all these features to a small/large degree, you will all too often find that the price point and scale of these NAS systems are wildly different! So, today I wanted to highlight the BEST three NAS drives in 2021 that not only provide ALL of the features mentioned (and can run them all at once with ease), but also allow you to purchase the NAS and Hard drives for less than £500. Each solution has its own particular advantages and although each one might better suit a different kind of user, all three are by far the best that each brand can provide (including Seagate Ironwolf NAS hard drives) for this modest price point.

IMPORTANT – Most home users who look at buying a NAS and Hard Drive media at this price point are usually quite focused on Plex Media Server support, as although they will use the myriad of other features and software that these devices arrive with, the lion share of its use will be for a Plex Media Server NAS for their friends and family to connect and enjoy movies, boxsets, albums and their photos. So I have focused a little more on these system’s multimedia abilities than most other services.

If you just want to skip to the end, all three NAS are below, otherwise, scroll through my top 3 NAS for the buyers on a budget! I would recommend you purchase one of the following Three NAS drives:

— Short Version —

Synology DS220+, NAS – Designed to be network/internet-only access, VERY user-friendly, most expensive of the 3, good for Mac users and excellent first Party Software

QNAP TS-251D NAS – Designed to be Network/Internet/HDMI, pretty user-friendly, PCIe upgrade option for a later date, Good for Windows/Android users

Asustor Nimbustor 2 NAS – Quite user-friendly, Best CPU, Best Memory, Network/Internet/HDMI 4K, 2.5Gbe connection (the rest have 1Gbe), Good for Android/Windows users

NASCompares Top 3 Budget NAS for £500 (including Drives and Tax)

Synology DS220+ NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB)

= £472 TOTAL

QNAP TS-251D NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 4TB)

= £495 TOTAL

Nimbustor 2 NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB)

= £465 TOTAL

 

— Long Version —

All three have their own dedicated browser software access, dedicated mobile applications, backup applications and surveillance software. Below is alot more information about each device.

Best £500 Synology NAS for Beginners – DS220+ and Seagate 4TB Seagate Ironwolf

Synology DS220+, Intel J4025 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/6GB DDR4 2666Mhz Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 2yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB) = £472 TOTAL
The DS220+ NAS is one that budget buyers have been using as a Plex media server for a lot of 2020/2021. Although the device might look a little modest compared with the more powerful DS920+ or even DS720+, even at this price point it features multiple ports and connections. It is the surprisingly powerful and efficient Synology software that the DS220+ arrives with that means that you are getting a number of key plex options covered by this NAS drive. Arriving with the popular Intel Celeron J4025, the DS220+ from Synology is one of the most popular NAS drives that they have released in a very long time. If you want to stay within the £500 budget, including hard drives and tax, you will be able to find this device for just over £300 tops and that gives you another £200 that you should be able to get a couple of 2TB or 3TB Seagate Ironwolf hard drives for your NAS.
What makes the DS220+ such an impressive device is that it gives you everything you need in a modern device for plex, at a remarkably affordable price. Featuring a transcoding engine (embedded graphics) on that CPU, that Plex pass users will be able to utilise, the performance of media on the DS220+ is pretty impressive for such an affordable NAS drive. Add to that the fact that it is a two-bay device with support of BTRFS as its file system for stability, SHR for a more fluid RAID system that allows you to mix and match drives to increase storage later down the line and an overall sense of stability and user-friendliness in this device. Sure, there are more powerful Synology NAS drives out there for use as a larger scale backup or powerful Plex media server, but at this price level, it is not only the most affordable fully-featured NAS you can buy, but also one of the best examples of what Synology is all about – all for under £500 that includes storage and tax.

 

 

NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

Best £500 QNAP NAS for Ultimate Access – TS-251D and Seagate 8TB Seagate Ironwolf

QNAP TS-251D, Intel J4055 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/8GB DDR4 2400hz Memory, HDMI 2.0 4K, PCIe Slot 2×2, 2yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 4TB)= £495 TOTAL

As soon as you mention any kind of NAS drive for home or business and Synology, you will of course then mention QNAP. These two brands have been producing great NAS drives for use as local/remote backup servers for years now and the most cost-effective QNAP drive that allows you to get both the device and a good amount of storage space for under £500 is the TS-251D device. The QNAP TS-251D has exactly the same internal CPU+RAM hardware as the previously mentioned DS220+ NAS, with the added benefits that it is a pinch lower in price and features several hardware advantages that, even a budget Plex NAS user, may factor into their media server now or later that are damn near irresistible.  Featuring such advantages as an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port to connect your TV directly to your NAS (for media, surveillance, VM use and more) and enjoy media at almost 0-second latency speeds (which is especially useful for 4K playback), the QNAP TS-251D NAS even features a PCIe upgrade slot that will allow you to increase your network speeds at a later date. These kinds of hardware options, as well as the transcoding support at 1080p and 4K at less than £500 including tax and storage, is genuinely impressive. At this price point, you are able to get this and maybe a couple of 2 or 3 Terabyte Seagate Ironwolf NAS hard drives, still leaving you with around £10-20 leftover!
As mentioned, the internal hardware is identical in traditional spec to that of the DS220+, with the same Intel Celeron J4025 CPU and 2GB of DDR4 memory, though in the TS-251D you can expand all the way up to 8GB of memory (the Synology oddly limiting you to 6GB at 2+4GB), further highlighting the upgradability of this NAS and allowing you to buy a budget NAS drive today that can become a much more powerful and useful NAS later. On a software level, QNAP has the QTS platform that is much more catering to Windows and Android users in its design. Whereas Synology try to keep things to Network/internet-only access, the QNAP gives you far more customization in and out of their core system, and the TS-251D gives a much greater balance of access for local, access and internet/network connectivity.
NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

Best £500 Asustor NAS for Performance – Nimbustor 2 and Seagate 6TB Seagate Ironwolf

Asustor AS5202T, Intel J4005 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/8GB DD4 2400Mhz Memory, HDMI 2.0a, BTRFS. 2.5G, 3yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 3TB)= £465 TOTAL
One NAS brand that has REALLY accelerated it’s customer awareness this year is Asustor. The release of the Nimbustor series really shook up the NAS world with its incredibly affordable price point, despite featuring some of the very best hardware available on this list. At our £500 price point for a Plex NAS, you can buy the Nimbustor 2 and 4TB of storage (including TAX) with £30-40 leftover, which really does make this tough to beat. from a hardware point. Arriving with an Intel Celeron dual-core processor, the J4005 at 1.5-2.7Ghz per core and 2GB of DDR4 memory, in PLEX that translates to some fantastic performance, supporting 1080p and 4K playback, along with a good chunk of 1080p transcoding and lower-end 4K.
What makes the Nimbustor 2 so much better than the TS-251D or DS220+ for Plex power buyers is that despite me including it in my budget Plex NAS list, it actually provides a great many features that even £1000+ NAS drives do not. That powerful Gemini lake dual-core processor promises that you will get great plex performance (though less than a modern Pentium Gold or higher i3/i5/i7). Alongside this, all of the file system or hardware features from the TS-251D and DS220+ are here in one form or greater. Such as BTRFS support and that HDMI 2.0 output, that lets you playback 4K Plex media locally to your connected TV at 60FPS. However, it is in terms of future connectivity that the Nimbustor 2 really succeeds. Although it is the most affordable NAS on the list today, this device arrives with two 2.5Gbe ports. These ports are completely backwards compatible with regular 1Gbe RJ45 connectivity (found in all homes and offices), but allow your Plex media server NAS to take advantage of greater network speeds in your network environment as your surrounding network and internet equipment evolved over the years. With file sizes getting bigger and bigger, yet our demand for data getting faster and faster, options like 2.5Gbe in the Nimbustor 2 and PCIe upgraded NICs (network interface cards) on the TS-251D are definitely worth consideration. The Nimbustor 2 NAS, despite its low price point, even arrives with a fully-featured and gamer inspired graphical user interface and operating system, ADM. So notwithstanding some great performance as a Plex media server, it also arrives with a myriad of backup and file streaming options available to you.
NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review
I go into alot more detail if you watch the video below, In short, I focus on this primarily because of their affordability (including hard drives and tac), as a Plex Media Server, but also because they will do EVERYTHING else on your too list. They may seem a pinch higher $ than you might have wanted to spend, but in terms of future-proofing, smooth access and ease of use, these are pretty much as good as it gets right now at this price point.

If you interested in how each NAS system and its software perform/present themselves, take a look below at my video review of the Synology DSM 7, QNAP QTS and Asustor ADM NAS GUI and system software:

Synology DSM Software

QNAP QTS Software

ASUSTOR ADM Software

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS

I hope this helps you with choosing the right NAS for your home and family. Thanks for reading!

 


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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

 

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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 7 is RELEASED! 5 Reasons You Should Upgrade Your NAS

29 juin 2021 à 18:00

Synology DSM 7.0 Now Available – 7 Reasons to Upgrade from DSM 6.2

As many of you might well have heard, after several long years of waiting, Synology DSM 7.0 (the NAS software, GUI and storage services platform from the brand) has finally been officially released. It’s been a long road and one that I have been following on and off for almost 3 years since its initial reveal, with DSM 6.2 receiving several key updates in the meantime and many users are pondering whether to upgrade their existing Synology NAS server to the latest version. Synology will continue to maintain DSM 6.2 (as some systems are not able to use DSM 7 yet), though obviously, this will decrease over time as DSM 7.0 becomes the Synology’s focus. so, today I wanted to discuss 5 reasons why you should upgrade to DSM 7.0 on your Synology NAS today. If you are still on the fence about it, worried about how some applications or services will deal with the migration, below is the latest videos and articles on DSM7 from NAS Compares that will convince you whether to proceed or play it safe.


Recommended DSM 7.0 Articles:

The Synology DSM 7.0 FULL REVIEW – https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-0-full-review/

How Well Does DSM 7.0 Run on Different Synology NAS – https://nascompares.com/2021/06/18/synology-dsm-7-0-how-well-does-it-run

Synology 2021 – Focus on DSM 7.0 – https://nascompares.com/2020/12/07/synology-2021-focus-on-dsm-7

DSM 7.0 Early Impressions – https://nascompares.com/2020/12/17/synology-dsm-7-0-beta-early-impressions


 

Synology DSM 7.0 – The Responsiveness and Fast Login Speed

Synology DSM and their NAS platform, in general, has always been praised for its responsiveness. Whether accessing your NAS through a web browser, mobile application or general network device, DSM has always managed to give you a tremendously confident sense of ‘local’ when accessing the system GUI. It can be all too easy to forget that when you are interacting with a Synology NAS and DSM through the web browser, that you are not accessing anything connected directly – it is all being conducted via the network, local WiFi or Remotely via the Internet. Synology DSM 7 was always very responsive and (unless you are connecting on a weaker network or using a particularly weak system heavily) it only ever seems to have the slightly larger latency than the PC I would be using to access it on. However, DSM 7 has really managed to find some extra hears in there and one of the first things you will notice when you make the upgrade to DSM 7 on your NAS is that the system is even more responsive.

As mentioned, DSM 6.2 was no slouch, but DSM 7 manages to tweak a number of back end settings and responsive input points (such as the login screen verification, sub/context menus when in use, moving between multiple windows) to make general navigation significantly higher in feedback/reaction. Although this is clearly at its most noticeable when you first log into the system (and this was featured at its initial preview back in 2018), it is a speed of access that persists pretty consistently and only really starts to dip when the system is under particular stress. Also, DSM 7 has a recommended memory minimum of 1GB, however, it can still be downloaded officially from Synology for systems like the DS115j and DS220J that feature 256MB and 512MB respectively – with comparable performance still maintained. So, although it feels less important than the rest of the reasons here, a good reason to upgrade to DSM 7 is to enjoy a much more responsive and reactive Synology NAS GUI!

Synology DSM 7.0 – Much Clearer and Intuative Storage Manager

For many users, the intimidation of managing their storage system on day 1 or day 1000 never really goes away. As robust as a Synology NAS system might appear, the fragility of your storage, once it is displayed as ‘all your data spread across many hard drives’, can be rather disconcerting – especially when your data is mission-critical! Over the years, many brands have gone one of two ways about their storage management GUI – either they have gone SUPER technical, in order to make sure the end-user has all (too much?) information at their fingertips. Otherwise, many brands and their software (including Synology DSM 6.2) provide a more generalized display of the information of their storage architecture. This will include largely text-based displays, but presented as tabs and blocks of information that relate to individual disks, storage pools and volumes (with context menus for maintenance). Synology DSM 6.2 has always had a little bit of an identity crisis when it comes to the storage manager and this si something that DSM7 has resolved by providing a much better selection of graphical representations of the NAS, Drives, SSDs and makes the whole display about 10x more intuitive to the data storage novice.

This way of displaying storage information more graphically is something that Synology had already begin to integrate with the SSD caching bays, displaying how the cache was being utilized, displaying hit rates and utilization – but in a much more visually understandable form and it is good that this has been implemented across the system in a much broader way. If you have been using your NAS for a few years already, then chances are that the benefits of this newly designed storage manager will be a little lost on you, but for those setting up a brand new Synology NAS or are still a little green on the subject of RAID, storage pools and volumes – it will be massively useful.

Synology DSM 7.0 – Improved Cloud Connectivity and Storage Mounting

There was a time when users would have to make a choice between NAS or cloud services (such as Google Drive and Dropbox) for where their data would live, with one inevitably being more suitable than the other. However, in more recent times, the benefits of having BOTH in place has been heavily emphasised, with the ease of access globally of a cloud combined with a centralized local server to ensure constant connectivity and security where it matters most. Although cloud connectivity existed in Synology DSM 6.2, it has to be noted that it has been substantially improved in DSM 7.0. A great deal of these improvements are focused on the use of Synology’s C2 platform, as well as how this storage appears to a local NAS user.

Click to view slideshow.

One that we already knew about but is nice to see a move from beta to full release is the Hybrid Share application. Hybrid Share, which combines C2 storage flexibility and synchronization capabilities with on-premises bare metal (NAS) solutions, and C2 Identity, a hybrid cloud directory as a service to simplify cross-site domain management. Together with platform improvements such as supporting up to 1 Petabyte volumes for super-large tasks, DSM 7.0 also introduces security improvements in the form of Secure SignIn. A 2 step verification tool similar to Google Authenticator, but dedicated to Synology NAS solutions. Other new additions to the C2 cloud platform (that can be used within DSM 7.0) are C2 Password, C2 Transfer, and C2 Backup are standalone solutions that address modern needs to protect passwords, share sensitive files, and back up any endpoints and common SaaS cloud services – which were already well supported in DSM 6.2 in Active Backup 365/Google Workspace.

Although a few of these features are still accessible in DSM 6.2, the full complement of services is only available on DSM 7.0 and rolling out one by one between now and mid-July. So, if you already factor Synology C2 into your storage setup, you will be improving the access and security of your storage environment by upgrading. Though do remember that at the time of writing, several of the enterprise-grade XS, SA and FS systems are still awaiting the DSM 7.0 upgrade choice, so you may be forced to wait.

Synology DSM 7.0 – Much, MUCH Better RAID 6 Handling & Fast Repair

Anyone that has ever lost data from a NAS will have learnt two very important things, 1 – RAID is not the same as a Backup and 2 – Sometimes 1 disk of failure protection is not enough! Synology has always provided RAID 6 support to any NAS system with more than 4 Bays (even the more modest J series), but even if you are prepared to overlook the capacity drop of switching from RAID 5 to RAID 6, there is the added negative of the performance drop that you can endure. RAID 6 requires the system to create double parity architecture in the configuration/storage pool, which can result in the CPU having to work a little harder to write data, reducing the performance AND increasing resource use. Likewise in the event of a single drive (or even two) drives failing, this results in much slower system performance as the RAID configuration need rebuilding with new drive media. Synology DSM 7.0 however not only provides a much more rapid RAID rebuild system but also promises vast improvements on performance on a RAID 6 during its degraded state whilst you await rebuilding too!

Although the improvements to degraded RAID performance are good (especially appealing to integral business data users), the faster rebuild option is a much more universally appealing addition in DSM 7 to considering upgrading now. Unlike normal RAID rebuilding in DSM 6.2 (which incidentally also can have its priority scaled up as needed to marginally increase build time) which rebuilds the data block by block, regardless of whether there is data in that area of the array, the new Synology Fast Repair will only need to rebuild the areas of the storage pool where the data actually resided. So if you have a 4 Disk RAID, that is only 20% full/used, the fast repair option will only need to build that area and not the empty area of space. Although no one likes to dwell too much on RAID failure and it’s an odd reason to consider upgrading from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, it’s still a very interesting feature that will significantly reduce the lesser performance associated with RAID rebuilding.

Synology DSM 7.0 – It is Much More Secure

Although I have already partially touched on this, Synology has really ramped up the security settings and default parameters of DSM 7.0 noticeable. That is not to say that DSM 6.2 isn’t safe but given the increased cloud connectivity and improvements in control that is present in DSM 7 (as well as the improvements made with their C2 platform), you definitely get the feeling that the ways and means of accessing your system have been tightened considerably. These include:

  • Enhanced the password policy. Passwords must exclude username and description, include both upper-case and lower-case letters as well as numerical digits. The minimum password length is eight characters.
  • Added the ability to delegate predefined administrator roles to non-administrator user accounts and allow them to manage certain services and system settings, offering more flexible permission management.
  • Added the ability to require imported users to change their passwords after their initial DSM logins.
  • Enhanced LDAP client authentication performance by reducing the number of queries sent with a caching mechanism.
  • DSM 7.0 also introduces security improvements in the form of Secure SignIn. This brand-new authentication system makes two-factor effortless and straightforward to use (FAST FORWARD IN THE VIDEO BELOW TO 01:40)

  • The following services and packages now support UPN logins: Synology Assistant, Hyper Backup, Synology Mail Server, Synology Calendar, and Shared Folder Sync.
  • Enhanced domain database synchronization performance by syncing only altered data.
  • Added the ability to block USB and console ports.
  • Enhanced QuickConnect connection process to strengthen security.
  • Provides only TLS 1.3 support for the Modern Compatibility option for TLS/SSL profile level.
  • Added the ability to set 2-factor authentication is mandatory for specific users or groups.

So, as you can see, it’s a good combination of making existing working practices with your NAS much stronger AND introducing more system security defaults. With an increased concern in 2021 about ransomware and intrusions on public/private clouds becoming ever more lucrative to hackers – this impressive pile of security improvements on your NAS might tip you over the edge from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0

BONUS Reason to Upgrade – DSM 7.0 is Widley Supported!

Although this one doesn’t really count, I DO think it is worth highlighting. Namey that the support of DSM 7.0 as an upgrade from DSM 6.2 is very, VERY widely available. It came as no surprise that it would be supported on Plus series devices, such as the DS918+, DS218+ or DS1821+. However, the fact that much, MUCH older J series devices (with 32bit ARM processors and 256MB memory are also eligible for the upgrade is massively impressive! Below is the current range of Synolgoy NAS that can now be upgraded to the fully released DSM 7.0 official upgrade:

21-series: RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, and DS1621+.
20-series: RS820RP+, RS820+, DS1520+, DS920+, DS720+, DS620slim, DS420+, DS420j, DS220+, DS220j, and DS120j.
19-series: RS1219+, RS819, DS2419+II, DS2419+, DS1819+, DS1019+, DS419slim, and DS119j.
18-series: RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS1618+, DS918+, DS718+, DS418, DS418play, DS418j, DS218+, DS218, DS218play, DS218j, and DS118.
17-series: RS217, DS1817+, DS1817, DS1517+, and DS1517.
16-series: RS2416RP+, RS2416+, RS816, DS916+, DS716+II, DS716+, DS416, DS416play, DS416slim, DS416j, DS216+II, DS216+, DS216, DS216play, DS216j, DS216se, and DS116.
15-series: RS815RP+, RS815+, RS815, DS2415+, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS1515, DS715, DS415+, DS415play, DS215+, DS215j, DS115, and DS115j.
14-series: RS2414RP+, RS2414+, RS814RP+, RS814+, RS814, RS214, DS414, DS414slim, DS414j, DS214+, DS214, DS214play, DS214se, and DS114.
13-series: DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, and DS213j.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of the enterprise-level hardware will have DSM 7.0 upgrades rolled out in Q3/Q4 of 2021, but if you are curious about upgrading your 2020/2021 Series PLUS NAS to DSM 7.0, below are four videos showing how the DS220+, DS920+, DS220j, DS1821+ and DS1621+ handle DSM 7.0:

 


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

 

WD My Book Live NAS – Remote Format Attack Reported

25 juin 2021 à 21:58

WD My Book NAS Devices Being Remotely Formatted

If you are reading this and you own a WD My Book or WD My Book Live Duo, then you might want to go check on it and maybe disconnect it from the internet for now. In the last 24+ hours, multiple users have reported that whilst trying to access their WD My Book NAS drive, they were barred entry with an ‘invalid password’ and mobile applications have ceased connectivity. Upon further investigation, they then find that their system has been completely formatted (ranging from directories, volumes and pools to in some cases everything) and all their data is now lost. This was originally raised over on the official WD Support blog here and not long after, multiple users at the same time have reported similar issues. Further examination of logs (once access to the system was possible) showed that remote access had been established to the system and a command to reset the system and storage be delivered. So what has happened? How did it happen and can the WD My Book Live data that people have lost be recovered?

How Did WD My Book Live NAS Drives Get Accessed Remotely

The WD My Book Live and My Book Live Duo are designed for access via the network and internet and were amoung some of WD’s first products for traditional NAS use, not just a HDD-on-the-internet, but have a GUI and dedicated CPU handling RAID, backups tasks and general system management. Remote access is conducted by accessing the NAS, through a firewall and via the official WD My Cloud Live servers (included with the cost of the device). However this remote access is what was used to push a command to the WD My Book Live system, executing the system reset with the following showing in the logs of the system )(from user Sunpeak on the WD Forums here)

Jun 23 15:14:05 MyBookLive factoryRestore.sh: begin script:
Jun 23 15:14:05 MyBookLive shutdown[24582]: shutting down for system reboot
Jun 23 16:02:26 MyBookLive S15mountDataVolume.sh: begin script: start
Jun 23 16:02:29 MyBookLive _: pkg: wd-nas
Jun 23 16:02:30 MyBookLive _: pkg: networking-general
Jun 23 16:02:30 MyBookLive _: pkg: apache-php-webdav
Jun 23 16:02:31 MyBookLive _: pkg: date-time
Jun 23 16:02:31 MyBookLive _: pkg: alerts
Jun 23 16:02:31 MyBookLive logger: hostname=MyBookLive
Jun 23 16:02:32 MyBookLive _: pkg: admin-rest-api

Since this was originally raised yesterday, lots of users have followed reporting the same, clearly showing this is an orchestrated attack of WD My Book Live systems, with the additional sad note that there has been no ransom.txt or other ransomware style communication left – meaning this has been done with the pure intention to destroy people’s data! Pretty lousy stuff! Since then this has gained considerably traction on multiple websites and the details on the National Vulnerability database (click below) has been updated serval times:

 

How Has Western Digital Responded to the WD My Book Live Attack

The response from WD on this NAS attack has been remarkably swift, considerably faster than I have personally seen from other brands suffering similar circumstances in previous years, with official instruction and widespread notification on their platforms in considerably less than a day. WD Have stated on their Security Advisory pages:

WDC Tracking Number: WDC-21008
Product Line: WD My Book Live and WD My Book Live Duo
Published: June 24, 2021

Western Digital has determined that some My Book Live and My Book Live Duo devices are being compromised through exploitation of a remote command execution vulnerability. In some cases, this compromise has led to a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device. The My Book Live and My Book Live Duo devices received its final firmware update in 2015. We understand that our customers’ data is very important. We are actively investigating the issue and will provide an updated advisory when we have more information.

Advisory Summary – At this time, we recommend you disconnect your My Book Live and My Book Live Duo from the Internet to protect your data on the device.
CVE Number:CVE-2018-18472

So, in short, WD believes this has been caused by the use of a remote command push to the WD My Book Live and WD My Book Duo Live NAS systems via an unpatched exploit on the system. They maintain that the issue is not caused from within their server-side, but are working on this right now to get to the bottom of it.

How Can A Vulnerability of the WD My Book Live Not Be Patching in a Firmware Update?

As previously mentioned, the WD My Book Live and My Book Live Duo were some of their earliest real NAS releases, as far back as 2010. Although these systems received numerous updates, the final update for this system was officially issued in 2015(see below)

Given the predicted life of hard drives, the lifespan of products and their broader commitment to customers, it is not unheard of that they would cease firmware updates on a product line after a given period of time (the same can be said of the majority of software-enabled hardware in our homes and business environment). However, this comes as little comfort to those data that has been deleted. Additionally, this is a vulnerability that was raised back in 2018 by ‘Wizcase’ and found on numerous ‘first generation’ NAS systems that were released in this period. At that time, WD responded to this officially with:

“The vulnerability report CVE-2018-18472 affects My Book Live devices originally introduced to the market between 2010 and 2012. These products have been discontinued since 2014 and are no longer covered under our device software support lifecycle. We encourage users who wish to continue operating these legacy products to configure their firewall to prevent remote access to these devices, and to take measures to ensure that only trusted devices on the local network have access to the device.”

Once again, there is a balance here that users need to keep in mind between reliance on the hardware purchased and the rigidity of a solution a considerable length of time since release, as well as the maintenance of backups in a robust data storage strategy. It will be interesting to see how WD respond to this situation as it unfolds.

Can The Lost Data on the WD My Book Live and My Book Live Duo Be Recovered?

As this has been a format conducted on the system as a whole, it makes the recovery of data on a Factory Reset/Wipred WD My Book Live very difficult! In previous cases of malware encryption or malicious data destruction, many users have taken advantage of the tremendously useful PhotoRec tool (previously featured in the QNAP Qlocker Recovery guides). PhotoRec is a file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks (as well as legacy storage media like CD-ROMs) and memory cards. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted. However, this is by no means full proof and does require a little more technical knowledge than many might have (with interfacing with the NAS in a software-accessible way being the first major hurdle). Here is an example of a PhotoRec recovery guide, but we are hoping quite soon for a more WD My Book Live specific guide with surface shortly.

Is My WD My Cloud or Regular WD My Book Direct Attach Storage Device Affected?

At this time there are no reports of this affecting the current generations of WD My Cloud, WD My Cloud Pro, WD My Cloud EX2 or WD My Cloud Sentinel Systems (which have far more recent firmware updates). Likewise, this will not affect WD My Book systems lack network/ethernet connectivity, as this lack both the means of communication and the software interface to inject the malicious command remotely.

 


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

Top 3 NAS for Plex under £500 in 2021

25 juin 2021 à 01:10

Recommended 3 NAS Drives for Plex Media Server Under £500

The growth in popularity that Plex media server has enjoyed these last few years is genuinely outstanding. Multimedia has gone through several phases as the common household media technology in our homes has evolved, from local media boxes, to popular subscription-based streaming services and now onto the re-emergence of owning your own media server. Privately owned media servers are not exactly new, but the way that this multimedia that you own on a NAS or spare computer system is presented to the end-user is where the real difference lies. Plex media server allows you to turn your decades of multimedia from a rather unappealing array of files and folders and turning into a beautifully presented graphical user interface, that scrapes metadata from numerous online resources for free in order to present you with your very own personal Netflix. With streaming services often costing users £100 a year (not including multi-device licences), lacking the choice of playing content in your own multimedia collection and little or no control over the shows you have available month to month, you can see why a lot of users are taking that money that they would spend on a subscription service and plough it into a NAS drive for Plex media server. That said, a privately owned NAS is going to cost you a few hundred $/£/€ at day one and you want to make sure that you are spending wisely. So today I am going to talk about the top 3 NAS drives for Plex media server that you can buy for less than 500. Each one is guaranteed to playback and transcode 1080p standard media and even some mid to high 4K media too. So what are we waiting for, let’s take a look at my recommended NAS in 2021 for Plex.

Note – it is worth bearing in mind that a NAS drive will still require you to purchase hard drives and although all NAS drive servers for Plex can run with as little as a single hard drive (and then add more later) this still means that you have to factor this into your budget.

 

QUICK CONCLUSION

NASCompares Top 3 Plex NAS for £500

Synology DS220+

Intel J4025 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU
2/6GB Memory

QNAP TS-453D

Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU

4/8GB Memory

 = £500+

Synology DS920+

Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU

4/8GB Memory

= £475

What should I be looking for in a Plex NAS?

Any NAS that is going to be used as a Plex media server needs to have certain hardware and software options as standard, to skip even one of these will severely bottleneck your performance from Day 1. Although most of these are available in more affordable NAS drives, the extent to which they are supported will make all the difference between a good Plex media server and a great Plex media server on a tight budget. (as well as still having money for hard drives). These factors are:
  • An Intel or AMD based CPU that is 64-bit x86 in architecture
  • Support of at least 1080p and 4K regular playback, as well as the support of 1080p transcoding to Plex client devices
  • Embedded graphics or transcoding support (hence that CPU range)
  • At least two Bays of storage (for greater storage and redundancy, AKA – Disk Failure Protection)
  • A frequently updated and stable graphical user interface (such as Synology DSM or QNAP QTS)
  • Support and compatibility for the plex media server application (not all NAS support it, weaker ARM CPU and Unbranded NAS might not)

Rest assured that all three of the NAS drives for Plex that I have recommended below will provide excellent support for these features. It’s no huge secret that any old budget PC, unused Mac  mini or old laptop can run as a Plex media server, but the reason people are purchasing NAS drives from companies like Synology and QNAP for use in Plex is because these devices, even in a budget form, provide the following advantages:
  • Quiet and stable storage
  • RAID functionality for hard drive failure or combined storage
  • 24/7 reliability and efficiency
  • Software and Graphical user interface (GUI) that is easily accessible from a desktop or mobile device
  • Network and Internet access for hundreds of simultaneous users
ALL of these factors are what will ensure your Plex Media Server NAS, (even on a tight budget) will be fantastically capable and stable. So, let’s get on to my top 3 devices for PLEX servers.

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Budget Buyers – Synology DS220+ NAS

Synology DS220+, Intel J4025 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU, 2/6GB Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 2yr Warranty, 2x 1GbE = $330

What we said in our DS220+ Review 06/2020 – The Synology DS220+ affordable NAS does not make overly bold promises, leaving those to more expensive and more powerful devices in the product portfolio (DS920+, DS1621xs, etc). Whether you are a new or old NAS user, Synology has made a clear distinction in the DS220+, showing the difference between buying what you want and buying what you need. That may sound like pointless and annoying rhetoric, but comparing the DS220+ with other diskstation plus series NAS shows you that by removing a lot of the bells and whistles of the bigger and boulder devices (i.e NVMe SSD caching, expandability of storage down the line, longer warranties and higher-end processors) it provides you with a setup that will serve a smaller and less intense user exceptionally well, at a price point that makes the first investment in a Synology NAS considerably easier to make. Ultimately, why buy a Ferrari if you just need something to do the weekly grocery shopping? The Synology DS220+, much like its predecessors in this product line, is still a great and solid NAS purchase in 2020/2021 and something that Synology can continue to be proud of, just don’t expect that Ferrari and you’ll be fine.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Upgrades and Scalability – QNAP TS-453D NAS

QNAP TS-453D, Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB Memory, EXT4, HDMI, PCIe Upgrades, 2.5GbE, 3yr Warranty = £500+
What we Said in our TS-453D Review on 06/2020 – To put it bluntly – the QNAP TS-453D is a heck of a piece of kit! The hardware available at this price point, along with the software that is bundled with your purchase is possible some of the best ‘price vs return’ I have yet to see in a NAS drive. This combined with a very open-door policy on upgrades and future-proofing, as well as maintaining a very good first/third-party software support ratio, make the QNAP TS-453D one of the best units the company has produced in the history of the brand and an excellent unit to begin a new decade. Is it perfect? No. With a few of the shiny slick branding touches of their biggest rival Synology, as well as a design that is not for everyone, the QNAP TS-453D is a NAS that gives you alot of tools, alot of ways to use them – then lets you choose to how and where you want to interact with it, rather than ask you to do it ‘it’s way’ for the most part. As is often the case, whereas the Synology platform and the closest rival to the TS-453D (the DS920+) will provide a very ‘Apple’ design, fluidity and ease of design to a % of the market, the QNAP TS-453D caters to many more users and although sometimes that versatility can lead to early confusion (a teeny pinch of tech knowledge will help) it is an enormous jump forward for this big brand in NAS storage.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Beginners – Synology DS920+ NAS

Synology DS920+, Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 3yr Warranty, SSD Caching Option = £475
What we Said in our DS920+ Review on 05/2020 – The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for. There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020/2021


It is worth highlighting that regardless of which NAS drive you buy, all three of these devices can do so much more than that, providing you with the following additional software and support options to you, your family and colleagues:
– Multi-tiered backup options for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux devices.
– Synchronisation and migration options for NAS to NAS, cloud to NAS, USB to NAS and Apple time machine.
– DLNA media support for enjoying all your media across all your devices
– Multiple user support that allows simultaneous file access and control over the network and internet.
– Privilege, time limit, password and remote share options for sending files to those that need them
– A wide range of third-party apps support from dedicated app centres via the NAS GUI
– Multiple mobile apps available from iOS and Android, that are free and tailored to different file requirements
– Dedicated surveillance software that allows you to connect access and control multiple pan tilt zoom IP cameras in your network environment and record footage, Taylor alerts and set recording rules
– all arrived with two to three years of manufacturer’s warranty worldwide.
So there you go, those are the best NAS drives for use as a Plex media server for you right now. Still unsure? Not quite ready to spend the money? Never fear, you can always contact me directly for free advice using the form below. This is a free service and only manned by myself and Eddie, so our reply might take an extra day or two, but my advice will be impartial and with your best interests at heart! If you want to support, you can always donate (on the right) or you can click an ad banner and that goes straight to supporting the site!

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.


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