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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.  

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.  

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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Synology DSM 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

 

Synology DSM 7.0 – How Well Does It Run?

18 juin 2021 à 01:10

How Well Does Synology DSM 7.0 Run on Different NAS Drives

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

How DSM 7.0 was Tested for Each Synology NAS

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

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

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

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS120j – Should You Upgrade?

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

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

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

Synology DSM 7.0 on the DS220j – Should You Upgrade?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Choosing A Synology NAS – Need More Help?

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

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


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

 

 

 

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

16 juin 2021 à 16:00

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

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

QNAP QMiro-201W Mesh Router+NAS Quick Conclusion

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

 

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

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

 

 

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Internal Hardware

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Software

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

WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6

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

 

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

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

QuWAN Orchestrator

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

QuWAN Agent

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

QVPN Client

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

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

And the rest:

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

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

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

QNAP File Management Highlights

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Conclusion

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Plex Media Server vs Synology Video Station for NAS

4 juin 2021 à 15:00

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

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

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

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

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Installation and First Time Setup

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Meta Data Scraping

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

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

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

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Playback and Transcoding

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

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

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

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

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Client Support

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

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

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

Plex VS Synology Video Station – Conclusion

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

PLEX MEDIA SERVER

Synology Video Station

Best for Mixed Media

Best for Ease of Access on Client Hardware

Best for Transcoding Control

Best for Add On Services

Best for Metadata Sources

Best for Price

Best Performance for Transcoding

Best for Ease of Use

Best for Ease Setup

Best for Updates & Firmware Revs

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

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QNAP NAS Plex Performance Guide – 2021 Edition

2 juin 2021 à 16:00

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

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

What is Software Transcoding on a QNAP Plex Media Server?

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

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

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

Choosing the Right QNAP NAS for a Plex Media Server

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guide for the Chart Below

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

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

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

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

 

Latest 2021 QNAP NAS Releases:

 

Software Transcoding

 

 

Hardware – Accelerated Transcoding

 

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

Previous 2020 and Older QNAP NAS Releases:

   
Software Transcoding


Hardware – Accelerated Transcoding

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

What is Accelerated Transcoding with Plex on my NAS?

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

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

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

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


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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.  

 

Hard Drive Noise – Seagate vs WD vs Synology and Toshiba

28 mai 2021 à 16:00

How Noisy Are Seagate, WD and Synology Hard Drives?

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

Hard Drive Noise – Why Should You Care?

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

My Hard Drive Sounds Broken, But Is It?

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

 

and HERE is an UNHEALTHY WD 3.5″ Hard Drive:

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

Video & Photo Editors Care About Hard Drive Noise

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ Affordable Price Tag

+ Low Noise and Power Consumption in 24×7 Use

+ Good base level of Capacities Available

– Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR)

– Performance is fairly average in the smaller capacities

 

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

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

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

+ Excellent Price Point

+ Rescue Data Recovery Services

+ Seagate Ironwolf Health Management

+ ONLY CMR/PMR Drives in their NAS Range

– Max Drive Capacity is 12TB

 

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

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

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

+ Affordable Price Tag

+ All WD Red Plus are CMR/PMR

+ Low Noise and Power Consumption in 24×7 Use

+ Good base level of Capacities Available

– Noise is Higher in Larger Capacities

 

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

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

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

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

+ Rescue Data Recovery Services

+ Seagate Ironwolf Health Management

+ ONLY CMR/PMR Drives in their NAS Range

– Smallest Drive Capacity is 4TB

– Noticable Boot Up Noise

 

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

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

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

+ Top Tier NAS Drive Performance

+ 300TB/Y Workload

+ Build for up to 24-Bay Servers

– Certainly Noiser than non-Pro equivalents

– More Expensive than the Seagate Pro Option

 

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

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

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

+ Enterprise Drives at a PRO class Price

+ 550TBW on ALL Capacities

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

– Using them in not Synology NAS Hardware is not Supported

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

 

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

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

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

+ Consistently High Performance

+ Well Establish HDD Drive and Brand

+ Numerous Interfaces, in-Drive Encryption Systems and Choices

– DEFINITELY one of the most confusing product ranges

– Noticeably Noisy at boot

 

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

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

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

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

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

+ Comparatively Lower in Price vs Ultrastar

– Range Can Be Confusing

– Noisy!

 

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


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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.  

 

QNAP QLocker Recovery Walkthrough with QRescue Software

27 mai 2021 à 02:00

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

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

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

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

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

  • Overview
  • Requirements

Steps

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

Let’s begin.

Overview:

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

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

Requirements:

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

Steps:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Part 2. Download and Manually Install the QRescue App

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

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

    Part 3. Run PhotoRec

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

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

    Part 4. Run QRescue

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

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

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

Part 5. Move the recovery data to your NAS.

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


 

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

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

 


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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.  

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

26 mai 2021 à 15:00

Be Regularly Updated on Security Concerns with Synology & QNAP NAS

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

 

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

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

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

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QNAP NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

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

 

SYNOLOGY NAS Current Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]

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

 

ASUSTOR NAS Vulnerabilities and Exploits [OPEN 🔗]


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

 

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

 

 

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

14 mai 2021 à 01:03

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Installation

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

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – User interface

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

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

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Client Applications

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Playback

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Metadata Scraping & Plugins

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

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Free Vs Paid

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

VS

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

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

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

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

The 2021/2022 Price of a Plex Pass Subscription

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

The 2021/2022 Price of a Emby Premiere Subscription

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Conclusion

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

 

Choosing A NAS – Need More Help?

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

 


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