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Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS – Which NAS Software is Best for You?

30 janvier 2023 à 18:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

When buying a NAS drive, it’s important to consider the software included with the purchase. Brands like Synology and QNAP offer different software designs, user priorities, and learning curves. Even if you plan to mostly use third-party software, you will still need to interact with the NAS software and GUI. The software for these brands is constantly evolving, so it’s difficult to compare them in a definitive way. However, we can examine their strengths and weaknesses to determine which one is best for you.


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Brand Priorities

Before delving into a comparison of Synology DSM and QNAP QTS, it’s important to understand the company’s priorities and how they impact the software, hardware, and usability for different users. Synology generally has three key brand characteristics.

Synology NAS Brand and DSM Focus

First-Party Priority in Hardware and Software – Synology prioritizes its own software and hardware tools over third-party alternatives. In some instances, such as VMs and cloud services, they may also support third-party options, but their focus on their own products is evident. In other cases, they do not support third-party options as they design their systems around their own products, such as newer rackmount releases, Synology HDDs, memory upgrade modules, and Synology C2 in HybridShare.

Software Over Hardware – NAS systems is often viewed with scepticism by PC builders due to their relatively modest specifications and price tags. While it can be argued that NAS are 24×7 systems that prioritize storage, Synology NAS systems typically have more modest specs than other brands, with 1Gbe as the standard and limited upgrade options, especially for third-party options. This is primarily because Synology NAS solutions are a much more software-and-hardware combined package than other brands. Synology invests heavily in its software, and then ensures that its hardware can make the most of it. I will later discuss some standout apps from Synology, but it’s clear that their primary focus is on software.

Hiding/Removing Some Configuration/Customization options for Performance & Stability – The DSM platform of Synology NAS servers is highly regarded for its smoothness and responsiveness when accessed remotely. The system utilizes intelligent memory caching and flushing techniques to ensure fast performance, but this is achieved in certain ways that may not be preferred by all users. For example, certain applications may only work with data stored in specific directories, and some customization options may not be available to maintain the high performance of the system software. While some users may be bothered by these limitations, most users are unlikely to be affected.

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

QNAP NAS Brand and QTS Focus

Balanced 1st Party and 3rd Party Software – When using QNAP NAS QTS software, it quickly becomes apparent that they aim to support a wide range of users and utilities, which can be seen as either very versatile or overwhelming. QNAP and QTS include a variety of first-party applications with the NAS hardware, such as file management, multimedia management, backups, and business-class services like VMs, Surveillance, and Cloud Hybrid/Gateway tools. One of the reasons some users choose QNAP over Synology is their support for third-party storage systems and software, and the ability to adapt to them. Unlike Synology, which prioritizes stability over flexibility, QNAP offers a more open platform for the end-user to customize the system to their existing hardware and software. However, it should be noted that this may not be as straightforward as with Synology.

First To Release NAS Hardware – The last five years have seen QNAP at the forefront of many significant innovations in network-attached storage. They were the first to introduce the TS-2490FU All NVMe U.2 and ZFS rackmount (as well as new PCIe Gen 4 flash systems in 2022), combined 10Gbe and NVMe SSD Combo cards in their QM2 series, and changed the editing experience for many professionals in video post-production with Thunderbolt-enabled NAS. QNAP is widely considered the most innovative brand in the market, but some of their groundbreaking hardware could benefit from more development time before being released. This can be seen in the comparison between the QNAP QM2 card and the Synology E10M20-T1, which were released almost 18 months apart, but with significant differences in design and functionality.

Software Development On the Fly – The QNAP NAS QTS software is designed to support a wide range of users and utilities, which can be seen as both versatile and overwhelming. QNAP and QTS include many first-party applications with the NAS hardware, such as file management, multimedia management, and business-class services. They also have the ability to adapt to 3rd party storage systems and software, which is a major reason why some users prefer QNAP over Synology. However, the open structure of QNAP’s software can make it less cohesive compared to Synology’s more controlled approach. Additionally, QNAP’s software innovations, though early to market, may not always be fully polished and may require beta testing. This allows for early access to new features, but can also introduce beta software into the system, which some business users may not be comfortable with.

When comparing QNAP’s QTS and Synology’s DSM, a recurring theme is that QNAP offers more control and information, while Synology prioritizes ease of use. In the past, this has been compared to the difference between PC gaming and console gaming. Synology, like console gaming, offers a more stable and consistent platform with limited customization options but at a higher cost. On the other hand, QNAP, like PC gaming, may require a steeper learning curve but offers better value for money, greater adaptability and flexibility, and the potential for better performance. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the user’s needs and willingness to invest in the setup.

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

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


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

For most users, the initial interaction with their new NAS system will be through the mobile app, with some users even using their mobile phone to set up the NAS. However, the web-based graphical user interface (GUI) still offers the most configuration and control options for both Synology and QNAP NAS systems. The GUI, which can be accessed over the network or remotely through 1st party internet access portals, has evolved over time to resemble a full operating system control panel. The interface of both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS have become distinct from one another, much like Mac OS and Windows.

The web-based interface for both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS have similarities in their layout and functionality, such as the options button at the top left, desktop shortcuts, and notifications at the top right. However, a comparison of the latest versions of DSM 7.1 and QTS shows that the two systems have distinct differences in how they allow users to control and manage their NAS systems through a web browser.

 

The design of Synology’s DSM is similar to that of Mac systems, whereas QNAP’s QTS design is more similar to Android in terms of how applications and options are presented. Synology’s DSM feels more responsive and reactive to user input, while QNAP’s QTS is smooth for a network GUI, but may have a slight delay when switching between apps and windows. However, QNAP’s QTS provides more detailed information and analysis on each screen, which can save time when searching for specific information. The resource monitor on Synology’s DSM software is clear and simple, displaying CPU, memory, disk, and bandwidth usage, and allowing users to delve deeper into each category if needed.

The design of the Synology DSM interface is similar to Mac systems, while the QNAP QTS design is more like Android in its presentation of apps and options. Synology DSM is more responsive and reactive to user input, while QNAP QTS may have a slight delay when switching between apps and windows, but it offers more information on each screen. The resource monitor on QNAP QTS provides more detailed information about background processes, compared to the Synology DSM resource monitor. For users who want a more in-depth understanding of their system’s performance, the QNAP resource monitor will be useful, but for those who find it overwhelming, it may be considered too much information.

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

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

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Easy to Use and Intuitive

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Better Analytics and Control


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

It’s not surprising that Synology and QNAP both offer a variety of mobile apps for iOS and Android. These apps include not just backup tools to protect your photos, but also sync tools, file management tools, and others that make accessing your NAS from your mobile phone easy and intuitive. Additionally, both companies offer apps that allow you to customize your access to the NAS system based on your specific needs. Popular apps include those for photos, music, video, and surveillance.

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

Synology Chat – Synology Chat Service App

OceanTV Client – Karaoke Mobile Client

QContacts – Contacts and Connections Database

QRemote – HDMI-enabled NAS Remote Control

DJ2 Client – Livestream NAS Manager

QMiix – Alternative to IFTTT client

KoiCast & Koi Talk – Video and Internet Call Client

Throughout my time, I have evaluated a majority of the key apps for system management, file management, backups, photos, music and video. Here, I will present my findings and provide videos that will give you a better understanding of how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS enable you to access your NAS drive on-the-go through your mobile device in a more data-specific manner. (You can click on the video title to open it in a new window on Youtube or watch them within the article)

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS File Management

NAS File Management

Photography

Photography

Video Media

Video Media

Music Media

Music Media

Surveillance and Camera Access

Surveillance and Camera Access

At first glance, it’s apparent that Synology’s applications have more consistency and similarity to third-party applications (e.g. Synology Drive and Google Drive, Synology DS Video and Plex, Synology Chat and Skype), while QNAP’s applications, even the newer ones, tend to have more distinct differences in GUI and layout, which can take more time to learn. However, QNAP’s mobile applications are generally more customizable and offer greater control and customization, both within the individual apps and in how they allow the user to control the NAS. Both NAS brands have their own strengths and weaknesses in how they have developed and implemented their mobile applications. Ultimately, the biggest deciding factor for the end-user will likely be the platform they primarily use to access the NAS. Desktop users may find QNAP’s platform more suitable for desktop access, while Synology’s platform has focused more on bringing mobile and desktop application experiences to the same level. Users who primarily access the NAS via mobile or have a balance of mobile and desktop access will likely find Synology’s platform more intuitive and smooth.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Intuitive and Streamlined UI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Apps and Greater Control


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

While Synology and QNAP are both focused on storage, they have distinct approaches to displaying and managing data. They also have varying storage trends they support within their ecosystems. However, both offer highly evolved and reliable network storage options for safeguarding your data. Similar to the apps, user interfaces, and access discussed earlier, Synology and QNAP have each evolved their storage options and configurations differently in recent years, providing unique and specific features that can make the choice between them much simpler.

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

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

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

Synology NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • Synology Hybrid RAID – SHR is the fluid RAID system that allows you to mix the drive sizes and types in order to get the best possible capacity and storage as you upgrade the drives in the system lifespan
  • Synology systems for the most part (CPU and Memory dependant) arrive with BTRFS that is a file system that supports lower resource-consuming background snapshots, file self-healing and faster-shared folder cloning (other benefits too)
  • Synology C2 – Synology has its own first-party cloud service that can be synced with your Synology NAS with HybridShare (DSM 7.0) and allows a disaster recovery backup (subscription-based)
  • Synology Active Insight (Subscription Based) allows intelligent storage health and Synology monitoring send to admins and appropriate users with recommendations on resolution, repair or replacement
  • Synology has its own range of HDDs and SSDs in the HAT5300 (SATA 3.5″ hard drives), SAT5200 (2.5″ SATA SSDs) and SNV3400/SNV3500 (M.2 NVMe SSDs) that feature east firmware updates, high endurance. Some recent 2023 systems have compatibility largely reduced to just the Synology HDD range

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

QNAP NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

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

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

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

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


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Multimedia

Many home users and prosumer customers consider purchasing a NAS for their multimedia collection. With digital media becoming increasingly popular and the decline of physical media in recent years, the appeal of having your own personal “Netflix” with a NAS is attractive. As expected, both Synology and QNAP have made significant advancements in multimedia streaming and sharing in recent years. Although the core function of streaming media to devices such as DLNA Smart TVs, Amazon Firesticks, phones, and home theaters is similar on both brands, they have each developed their own unique features in terms of presentation, third-party hardware support, and how photos, music, and videos are handled internally. Additionally, both Synology and QNAP support Plex Media Server, Emby, Jellyfin, iTunes, and traditional file/folder level DLNA media streaming to a similar degree, with some differences depending on the hardware of each NAS release. The following guides compare Synology and QNAP in terms of photography, music playback in the GUI, and video streaming. First, here is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Photography:

Synology Advantages

Support of Live Photos/Gifs in the Browser/Apps

Excellent Cross-App Support with Drive

Synology Photos in DSM 7 merges Photo Station & Moments

Very Attractive and Easy to Control GUI

Better Geo Location Recognition/Map View

Better Multi Face Tag Searching

QNAP Advantages

Album+File/Folder Browsing in QuMagie

Better AI Recognition in QuMagie (inc ‘Things’)

AI Photo Recognition can be improved with a $25-30 Goolg eTPU M.2 Card

Allows Custom Photo Directories

Multimedia Console Allows Better Indexing/Thumbnail Generation

Better Cross-Software Tag Support

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

Synology Advantages

Support of DS Audio Skill on Amazon Alexa Voice Recognition

GUI Very Appealing

Better Config Options

Better Album Thumbnail Utilization (especially Mobile)

QNAP Advantages

Album/File+Folder Browsing

Better DLNA Streaming

Support of Local Speaker Connections

More 3rd Party Audio Applications

Support of more Formats, codecs and Compressions

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

Synology Advantages

Video Station/DS Video have VERY easy-to-use GUI

DS Video App available on FireTV / Amazon Firestick

Comparable to Plex and Emby

Intuitive Setup for Libraries and Metadata resource connections

QNAP Advantages

Supports HDMI Out

More Media Server Players are available

Better offline Transcoding Options

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

It’s undeniable that QNAP generally has a more open/customizable multimedia user interface when it comes to music and video media, while Synology has invested heavily in developing their Video Station and Audio Station to rival Freemium services like Plex Media Server and WhatsApp, with advanced metadata scraping and 1st party apps on Amazon FireTV and Alexa voice support in DS Video and DS Audio. In terms of photography, QNAP’s QuMagie platform offers more control, recognition, file/folder access and keeps it as two separate apps. Similarly, the multimedia console application on QNAP QTS is a standout feature, allowing complete control over all multimedia indexing, sharing, and transcoding from a single portal. Ultimately, it depends on the type of media you plan to watch, the device you want to watch it on, and how much customization you plan to make.

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

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


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Backup Tools

It’s worth taking a closer look at the similarities and differences between the Synology DSM and QNAP QTS NAS software and services. While both brands offer similar functionality, there are some subtle distinctions that could cause frustration if you’re not aware of them. For example, Synology’s NAS platform comes with Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite, while QNAP has Hybrid Backup Sync and Hyper Data Protector. BOTH Synology and QNAP across their respective two apps each provide support of:

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

The Synology and QNAP NAS software and services both provide similar functionality, but there are a few small differences that may affect your experience. Both brands offer backup solutions, but the Synology’s Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite have a more user-friendly interface and support for multiple cloud platforms. On the other hand, QNAP’s Hybrid Backup Sync and Hyper Data Protector have additional features such as inline deduplication and compression provided by the ZFS-based QuTS Hero platform, which also handles encrypted backups better. Additionally, while both brands support cloud connections, QNAP requires additional license fees while Synology’s Active Backup Suite offers it for free with Google Workspace and Office 365 add-ons.

There is more to discuss regarding Synology Drive and its client applications, QSync Pro and its enhanced mobile client-to-NAS services, etc, but these topics pertain more to synchronization, file streaming, and remote access rather than backups. While QNAP software is still exceptional for various backup methods, and ZFS and its file transmission advantages stand out, it offers more options for external storage and cloud support. On the other hand, Synology Backup tools and services are more tailored to specific needs, with different services included in Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite for home and business use respectively.

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

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


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Surveillance

When considering buying a new NAS drive, many users take into account not just the backup software and multimedia streaming capabilities, but also the potential use as a surveillance system. Both Synology and QNAP offer business-class surveillance software packages that allow the use of multiple IP cameras, speakers, and network door locks, all accessible through a single interface. However, in recent years, the two brands have taken different approaches to their surveillance software. QNAP’s Surveillance software is more spread out across a web browser and local client apps, with adding cameras and customizing the setup primarily done through the web browser GUI, and camera access and control mainly on the client apps. On the other hand, Synology’s Surveillance Station allows for all camera setup and customization through the browser and most functions through the desktop client app. While the mobile client for QVR Pro and Surveillance Station is somewhat limited, Synology’s platform generally offers more even access to the software’s full capabilities. Here is a breakdown of the main benefits/PROs of each surveillance NAS software:

PROS of Synology Surveillance

PROS of QNAP Surveillance

Considerably Better Browser Access & Controls

Beter 3rd Party Software integration with the Surveillance station API

Better Camera Feed Accessibility in the Browser & Clients

Fast Search Runs remarkably Smoothly

LiveCam converts a Mobile to Live NVR IP Camera Feed

Share Live Feeds to YouTube for Fast/Easy Sharing

Synology have 1st Party IP Cameras, TC500 and BC500 (More coming later in 2023)

 More Camera Licences (8x in QVR Pro)

Technically 3 Surveillance Platforms to Choose that vary in complexity

Better Client App Control and Analytics

Local KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) Support

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

USB Web Camera Support

AI Services can be improved with the support of an m.2 Google TPU Coral NU Upgrade ($25-30)

CONS of Synology Surveillance

Only 2 Camera Licenses included in most NAS’ systems

AI Surveillance Services are ONLY available on the DVA3221 and DVA1622 NAS (at the time of writing)

Practically no KVM setup on Diskstaiton NAS systems

CONS of QNAP Surveillance

QVR Elite for QuTS Hero Only has 2x Licenses and is subscription licence based

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

The bulk of AI Supported Services are Annual Subscription Fee-Based

Upon initial examination, the QNAP QTS QVR Pro software has an advantage over Synology’s Surveillance Station with the inclusion of 8 camera licenses, compared to the 2 offered by Synology. Additionally, the support for keyboard, video, and mouse on QNAP NAS systems with an HDMI port allows for direct interface with the system in case of network failure. A significant advantage of QNAP is the availability of AI-supported surveillance services on systems with a sufficient embedded graphics CPU, a TPU M.2 Coral upgrade, or a graphics card installed. Synology, on the other hand, has restricted AI surveillance to only two of their NAS systems with a GPU card pre-installed and at a higher cost. While these AI-supported services may be niche, they are certainly appealing to some users. Here is my video breakdown comparing the two popular surveillance services for QNAP and Synology:

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

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

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

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


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Virtual Machines

It wasn’t such a long time ago that the use of virtual machines (VMs) was exclusively in the business sector. The ability and utility to create a virtual and remotely accessible version of a computer (giving you need a terminal in order to utilize them in most cases) was simply not of use to the average home or even small business user. However fast forward to 2023/2024 and you find that they have accelerated in popularity, thanks to businesses requiring centralized data storage for both the convenience of duplicating computers AND to simplifying the backup/restore process. Then you have the simple appeal for prosumer or small business users to be able to create an emulated version of their own computer in order to access it anywhere in the work, run test with software/updates that they are hesitant to run on their core system OR simply to allow them to create an accessible VM of an operating system that can be run parallel to that of the core hardware (i.e. a Linux/Unbuntu VM that runs in a window, on a Windows/Mac matching). Most high-end business users in recent years have used one of two popular 3rd party client TOOLS for this, VMware vSphere and Hyper V (with other smaller tools like VirtualBox popping up). Where a NAS can be integrated into this is actually pretty cool, such as:

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

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

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

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

Synology VMM

(Free)

Synology VMM Pro

(License Required)

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

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

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

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


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Conclusion

It’s been a very, VERY long road but we can finally look at just how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS for NAS (as well as all the hardware and services in between) compare. There has been a long-running theme all the way through that where Synology has focused on FIRST-PARTY (i.e. Synology-brand) software and hardware priority, then supporting THIRD-PARTY services/hardware when they haven’t got a viable alternative in-house – to mixed degrees of popularity. Whereas QNAP has been a much more level playing field where they have released their own innovative hardware/software (occasionally a little too quickly) and sung its praises, but also tried to keep customization and flexibility for 3rd parties as open as possible and shouting loud-and-proud about that too – which can be a tad overwhelming for the less tech-savvy. Both brands have done an incredible job evolving their platforms as much as they have in 2023/2024, especially when Microsoft, Google and Amazon are pouring BILLIONS into the SaaS (and PaaS and IaaS – Platform and Infrastructure as a Service) in order to create entirely streamable ecosystems for businesses, with NAS brands like Synology and QNAP not only integrating with them but also thriving alongside them as a local/bare-metal failsafe.

These are all very lofty ideas and ones that most home or small business users will likely have little time for right now (aside from where NAS fits in with their Google/Office 365 office tools like documents, email and spreadsheets at a pinch) and for those users, who the NAS stands on its own two feet is what is going to matter most. Synology is earning its position in the market as the complete 1st party software and hardware package in 2023/2024, with a genuinely groundbreaking range of available services, but still managing to make NAS accessible for all in DSM. That said, the trends we are seeing in those sub-enterprise services that are slowly receding in support of popular 3rd party hardware, software and services, making using a Synology NAS alongside your own existing setup in a frictionless way cannot be ignored and leading some to think Synology is shifting their industry position towards something higher.

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

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


 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software in ‘Surveillance Station’

Whole NAS System Backup (apps, paths, accounts, everything)

Synology Drive supports file pinning/Streaming on both Mac and Windows

More Intuitive and User-Friendly Design

Better Security History (PSIRT, PWN2OWN participation, Bountry Program for years)

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

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

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First-Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below. It costs you nothing extra and results in a small return fee to Eddie and me here at NASComapres, which goes 100% into making more content – Thank you!

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Significantly more flexible in encryption of folders, volumes, targets, etc

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes in all supported QNAP NAS

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

AI Module Upgrade option with Google Coral / TPU / NPU Upgrade

PCIe Gen 4 Systems (both M.2 NVMe and PCIe Upgrades in the QM2 Series)

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below. It costs you nothing extra and results in a small return fee to Eddie and me here at NASComapres, which goes 100% into making more content – Thank you!

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

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

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QNAP TS-264 NAS Review

25 janvier 2023 à 18:00

The QNAP TS-264 NAS Drive Review

For those looking to transition from cloud-based platforms to a more compact private server, the QNAP TS-264 NAS is a highly desirable option for many. The latest release in QNAP’s flagship series of Prosumer/SMB hardware, the TS-264 represents the most advanced iteration of this product line to date. This is to be expected, as advancements in hardware technology continually drive improvements in power, performance, and efficiency. The TS-264 stands out in particular for its evolutionary design and mature approach to hardware engineering, making it a noteworthy NAS to consider. Historically, QNAP has been a pioneer in the NAS hardware market, offering cutting-edge technology at a competitive value. The TS-264 series is notable for its exceptional scalability, with architecture that is unmatched in the industry. Despite the comprehensive OS-level platform, services, and applications offered through QTS, QNAP faced challenges in Jan 2022 when they were targeted by ransomware attacks via discovered linux vulnerabilities, causing some concerns regarding platform security. However, with the latest release of QTS 5 and a large range of security improvements, safeguards, changes in system defaults and a more locked-down approach to platform management, QNAP aims to regain trust and move forward.

Highlights of the QNAP TS-264 NAS

  • Intel N5105/N5095 Quad Core Celeron, 2021 Q2 Released Processor
  • 8GB DDR4 Memory (Base model arrives with 8GB of DDR4 Memory, due to memory module shortages in production globally, which is soldered/fixed)
  • 2.5GbE Network Ready (2x Ports)
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) Equipped
  • SATA HDD/SSD Bays and RAID Support
  • m.2 NVMe SSD Bays
  • PCIe Upgrade Slot for Network/Storage Upgrades
  • HDMI 2.1 (Updated since the HDMI 2.0 featured in the TS-464/TS-664 at their launch in Spring ’22)

Today, I’ll be reviewing the new TS-264 2-Bay NAS, analyzing the brand’s updated approach to hardware design and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of its software platform. Let’s dive in!

IMPORTANT NOTE – Currently the QNAP TS-264 NAS is at a very compelling offer on Amazon compared with the 4-Bay model. So, if you were considering the TS-464 NAS, then it might even be worth giving the TS-264 2-Bay a look. At over $130 lower in price, despite arriving with twice the memory and HDMI 2.1 rather than HDMI 2.0, its quite a nice little deal. See/cick below:

QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

The TS-264 boasts exceptional hardware for its tier in the NAS market, a strength that QNAP has consistently demonstrated. Even when looking back just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability offered by the TS-264 is impressive and remains largely unmatched in 2023. The 2-Bay NAS is a logical choice for those looking to move away from the limitations of subscription-based cloud services like Google, OneDrive, and Dropbox, and instead, opt for a more flexible and fully-featured private server. The TS-264 offers unbeatable value for the money in terms of hardware. In terms of software, the situation is less clear-cut. QTS 5 is a feature-rich operating system that can be accessed via a web browser, with multiple mobile and desktop clients, and hundreds of apps that can be easily installed. However, it can be a steep learning curve for some users, and its interface can be overwhelming. For those who desire a highly customizable system that can present data in various ways, and offers a wide range of third-party support, QNAP and QTS 5 offer unique services that are not available elsewhere. Keep in mind that setting up and customizing the system will require some time and effort.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻Very compact chassis design, despite large storage potential
👍🏻A BIG jump in hardware and scale from the TS-253Be and TS-253D
👍🏻Easily one of the most hardware-packed SMB/Mid-range 2-Bay on the market
👍🏻8GB Memory in the base model will certainly appeal to some users looking at pimping this system out fully in terms of hardware upgrades and storage
👍🏻m.2 NVMe SSD Bays AND a PCIe Upgrade Slot (no need to choose one upgrade path)
👍🏻8x Included Camera Licenses
👍🏻Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
👍🏻3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
👍🏻10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
👍🏻Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
👍🏻HDMI 2.1 Support in the 2-Bay, whereas the 4/6-Bay still runs HDMI 2.0 (released in Spring \'22)
CONS
👎🏻The PCIe Slot is PCIe 3x2 and the M.2 SSD Bays are PCIe 3x1 (likely limitations of all this H/W on a Celeron+chipset
👎🏻Default 8GB of memory (again, down to global memory shortages) does increase the base price and is non-upgradable too
👎🏻The software can be a little inconsistent under excessive use and features a steeper learning curve than Synology

Where to Buy a Product
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QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES

The packaging for the QNAP TS-264 NAS is typical for this type of product. The box is brown with a QNAP product label, and as with most NAS systems, it is primarily purchased online. As a result, the focus of the packaging is on practicality rather than aesthetics, as the first time it will be seen is after it has been purchased. However, it is worth noting that the box is slightly smaller than the TS-253D retail box, this is due to the more compact foam material used for packaging inside.

When it comes to foam and packaging, I always appreciate when a system has been well-protected during transit. It may seem like a small detail, but it’s important to consider that these systems are often shipped from Taiwan to other parts of the world, which means they may experience a significant amount of motion and shock during transport. Even though the systems are delivered without HDDs or SSDs, silent damage to controller boards and onboard components is more prevalent than one may think. For that reason, I commend any system under $1000 that arrives well-protected. I have reviewed numerous systems that have arrived in flimsy cardboard packaging and appear to have been through a rough journey during freight.

The accessories that the TS-264 NAS comes with are fairly standard, with the exception of one area that left me slightly disappointed. The NAS includes a setup manual, details on the 3-year hardware warranty, information about the warranty extension to 5 years, screws for 2.5/3.5″ drives, an ethernet cable (1x Cat 5e, which is suitable for this model as it lacks 10GbE), and an external PSU. All of these items are well packaged and standard for this type of device.

The 65W external PSU that comes with this 2-Bay NAS is a positive aspect of the system. Even though it’s not uncommon for a 2 HDD device to feature an internal PSU, I appreciate that QNAP has chosen to use an external model. This makes it easier to replace when needed, as it’s covered by the warranty and supported by numerous third-party alternatives. Additionally, it allows you to keep a spare on hand. QNAP reports power usage at 18.28W in standby mode and 29.08W in active use when the system is fully populated.

On the downside, I am disappointed by the lack of adhesive m.2 heatsink panels that come with larger QNAP NAS models such as the TS-473A and TVS-h674, as shown in the image below. The reason for this is that the TS-264 features 2x M.2 NVMe SSD slots, which are faster than traditional SATA SSDs in the main storage bays and can get quite hot under sustained use. Given that the expandability and scalability of the TS-264 is a major selling point, and as NVMe SSD prices are becoming increasingly affordable, I am disappointed that QNAP has not included these additional heatsink modules for this system, as it does with other m.2-equipped systems in their portfolio. Although it’s a minor point, it did bother me a bit.

Overall the accessories that the QNAP TS-264 NAS includes are all fairly standard and certainly enough to get the system up and running (not including your HDD/SSD media of course). Let’s discuss the design of this NAS and what changes have been made on the TS-264 vs the TS-253D from 2.5yrs before.

QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – Design

The chassis of the QNAP TS-264 NAS is similar to that of the TS-253D and TS-253Be, featuring a plastic material that covers an internal aluminum metal framework. The arrangement of ports is largely unchanged, but the quality and number of ports have increased. The system uses a removable tray design, and it also features a lockable and slidable front panel. I like the choice of a copper/rose-gold and black colour scheme, which is an improvement over the metallic blue of its predecessor. The chassis is compact and appears smaller than other 2-bay NAS on the market, but this is because the TS-264 uses a longer and deeper chassis, relying more on horizontal airflow, resulting in a more oblong shape.

In terms of cooling, the TS-264 has smaller vent spaces on the sides of the chassis than most other NAS, but it compensates for this by having more of them on the sides and base under each of the storage bays. These vents are designed to allow users to operate the system 24×7 with the front panel on, but still allow the larger rear fan to have enough active airflow through the passive vents. Despite its plastic chassis, the result is that the TS-264 is slightly noisier in operation than the Synology DS723+ 2-bay, despite the latter system having 2 fans, but much larger front and side ventilation by comparison.

The front of the TS-264 lacks the LCD panel of larger business/enterprise NAS systems in the QNAP portfolio, relying on multiple LEDs that denote system activity, network status, copy/backup activity, and individual LED indicators for the HDD storage media bays. The internal M.2 SSD bays have their own LEDs, but they are only visible inside the chassis.

One nice addition to the design of the QNAP TS-264 NAS is that along with the continued inclusion of a front-mounted USB and one-touch-copy button (allowing manual backups to/from a connected USB storage drive without logging into the GUI or relying on an automated schedule), the port here is USB 3.2 Gen 2, which supports 10Gb/s (denoted in red). This means that rather than the potential backup speed of around 500MB/s, you can have up to 1,000MB/s. For those backing up a substantial amount of data from the internal system RAID array or backing up daily photoshoots of high volume/capacity, you can get it done considerably faster. You still need to use USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB drives/enclosures to get that 10Gb/s speed (otherwise it will revert back to 5Gb/s) but with affordable M.2 NVMe SSD populated USB drives entering the market from WD, Seagate, Gtech and LaCie that can hit 1,000MB/s easily, the inclusion of this port will be of great benefit to photo/video editors with daily backups on fresh projects.

The TS-264 has a removable front panel that covers the storage bays and can be easily locked and unlocked. Although it would have been nice if the panel was key locked for added security, it is primarily intended to prevent accidental removal. Additionally, it would be nice if QNAP offered the panel in different colors since many users like to decorate it. When the front panel is removed, you will find two SATA storage bays. The device can be deployed with a single drive, but it’s recommended to use multiple drives in a RAID configuration for redundancy, performance and capacity. The device also features an internal flash storage module that stores the QTS 5 operating system, applications and services, but it is only used to facilitate the installation of QTS onto a primary partition of the main storage bays. Therefore, the better the base level storage on day 1, the better QNAP QTS will run.

The trays inside the TS-264 NAS are designed for easy, screwless installation while also providing screw holes and screws for 2.5″ media. These plastic trays have improved significantly in recent years and are now more robust and able to handle heat, vibration, and pressure without cracking. They also help to reduce noise generated by spinning or accessing drives due to strategically placed rubber washers at the screw points.

Upon inspection of the TS-264’s storage area, it becomes clear that the drives are connected with dual power/data connectors, ensuring a clean and organized internal framework. The internal framework is also heavily ventilated to provide maximum airflow during 24×7 operation. Inside the storage area, you can access the M.2 NVMe SSD bays, which will be covered in more detail later. Despite the busy appearance of the interior, it is designed to allow for optimal airflow and cooling.

In general, the TS-264 has a similar design to its predecessor, the TS-253D, but it presents a well-crafted chassis. However, QNAP has made significant upgrades in terms of ports, connections and internal hardware configuration, particularly with the inclusion of USB 3.2 Gen 2 on the front. These improvements set the TS-264 apart from its predecessor.

QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – Ports & Connections

The rear of the TS-264 is similar to that of the TS-253D at a glance, but there have been a few subtle changes that you might not spot without a visit to the specs sheet. Most of these changes are made possible thanks to an upgraded CPU in this new model. The majority of the connections are standard for this product series, but it is in their frequency and bandwidth that the TS-264 stands out. The single rear fan, at 120mm/12cm remains largely unchanged, able to adjust its operation automatically, increasing/decreasing the RPM as the system gets hotter/cooler in extended operation. This fan can also be adjusted manually if required, but it is recommended to leave it on ‘automatic’ as the system is quite reliant on this fan drawing air over a significant number of internal components.

Much like its predecessor, the TS-264 arrives with 2x 2.5GbE ports. The implementation of 2.5GbE on client hardware is still not as common as 1GbE, but it is starting to appear more frequently in 2022/2023 hardware, and often at the same cost as 1GbE. The idea of a remote cloud over the internet having the potential to be accessed at greater than 100MB/s on an ISP router means that it would be almost criminal that your local router/switch-connected NAS should arrive with a 1GbE bottleneck in 2023. Additionally, the two ports can be link aggregated or load balanced for queued bandwidth, meaning that your 250-270MB/s bandwidth has the potential to be scaled to 500-540MB/s. You can also connect USB to 2.5GbE adaptors or the QNAP QNA-UC5G1T USB-to-5GbE adapter in order to add further network ports and substantially increase your bandwidth.

The TS-264 also boasts an HDMI output, which is an HDMI 2.1 port too (newly added to the 2-Bay TS-x64 series, though first-generation TS-464/TS-664 NAS devices might still feature HDMI 2.0), which allows you to connect a monitor or TV and access a parallel GUI, as well as a range of first-party and third-party applications through the QNAP HD Station application and QNAPClub.eu. Although the HD Station application is impressive, it has not seen as many updates and improvements as other areas of the QTS/QuTS platform, remaining largely unchanged for a few years. Despite this, it is still a powerful tool that enables you to enjoy multimedia from your couch, deploy graphic-based applications locally, set up a standalone surveillance system, deploy a virtual machine locally, and more. Additionally, the HDMI port also allows you to use the NAS as a media player, streaming content to your TV or monitor without the need for additional devices. The HDMI port also allows you to connect a keyboard and mouse to the NAS, making it easy to navigate and use the system. The HDMI port is also designed to be compatible with a wide range of monitors and TVs, making it easy to connect to your existing setup.

HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 are the latest versions of the HDMI standard, which is used to transmit audio and video signals between devices. The main difference between the two is the maximum resolution and refresh rate they support. HDMI 2.0 supports up to 4K resolution at 60Hz, while HDMI 2.1 supports up to 8-10K resolution at 120Hz (Theoretically! As there is not much need/use for this kind of bandwidth and at this hardware level, near impossible to play smoothly), making it better suited for high-resolution and high-refresh-rate displays. Additionally, HDMI 2.1 also supports Dynamic HDR, eARC and VRR. Another difference is the bandwidth they support, HDMI 2.0 has a bandwidth of 18 Gbps, while HDMI 2.1 has 48 Gbps, allowing for more data transmission at once. In summary, HDMI 2.1 offers higher resolution, refresh rates, and advanced features for a more immersive audio and visual experience, while HDMI 2.0 is still a great choice for most people and is compatible with most devices.

The applications and services over HDMI can be controlled in various ways, including an optional IR remote control, WiFi remote from your phone using the QNAP QRemote app, and even standard KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) over USB. Additionally, the device supports many other USB peripherals, including speakers, controllers and webcams, making HD Station and HDMI-supported software quite diverse on the TS-264. It would be great to see QNAP do more with this software/service in 2022/2023.

Back in early 2020, we made a guide on HD Station on what it can do on the QNAP NAS platform. We will be revisiting this subject later in 2023, but the general features, services and abilities of HDStation in QTS 5 remain largely the same at the time of writing. To find out more about it and what you can/cannot do with the HDMI port on the TS-264, watch the video below:

In addition to the front-mounted USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, the QNAP TS-264 features additional ports on the rear, including another 10Gb/s USB and two USB 2.0 ports. Usually, having USB 2.0 ports in 2023 would be a disappointment, but in the case of the TS-264, it makes sense given the inclusion of the two 10Gb/s USBs and the HDMI. These USB 2.0 ports can be used for the KVM setup, which is a logical choice. However, it’s worth noting that some users may have preferred more USB 3.2 ports overall, especially given that the TS-264 NAS can be expanded by 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 drives using the QNAP TR and TL series of NAS expansions.

The TS-264 also includes a PCIe upgrade slot that allows you to add a variety of upgrades throughout its lifespan, including network bandwidth, SSD storage space, wireless connectivity and more. The TS-253D before this model also featured a PCIe slot, but it was a PCIe Gen 2×4 slot which translated to 2,000MB/s internally. This was a limitation, especially with multi-port network cards, SSD storage cards, and combo cards. The TS-264, on the other hand, with its newer generation Celeron CPU, is able to stretch itself further in some key areas and one of those is the PCIe slot being PCIe 3×2, which translates to 2,000MB/s bandwidth. It still may bottleneck modern-generation NVMe SSD storage and combo cards, but it’s still twice the possible communication between the system and an upgrade card in the TS-264 than there was in the TS-253D. QNAP is still the only brand at this price point for a 2-bay NAS to provide a PCIe upgrade slot and those considering upgrading to 10Gbe over one or two ports will appreciate this feature.

Overall, you really cannot fault the ports and connections available on the QNAP TS-264 NAS, when the price has changed very little between this and the TS-253D 3 years before it and TS-253Be 5 years ago. Maintaining that tier of pricing, whilst effectively doubling down on the connectivity, expandability and upgradability in this 2-Bay in most areas is genuinely impressive. Lets discuss the internal hardware of the TS-264 and see how things have changed for better or worse in this system over its predecessors.

QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The release of new hardware by QNAP, such as the TS-264, is often driven by changes in the wider tech industry, including changes in consumer demands and advancements in manufacturing. In the case of the TS-264, QNAP typically refreshes this series every 2 years, often coinciding with updates to the Celeron series of processors from Intel. The TS-264 features the Intel N5105/N5095 processors, which are a slight upgrade from the Intel J4125 used in the TS-253D.

To access the inside of the TS-264, one must remove the three rear screws and slide off the side panel. Inside, we find the larger SATA HDD storage bay cage and the key components of the TS-264. The Intel N5105/N5095 processor is located under a large, black heatsink and does not require an active cooling fan, as is common in desktop NAS systems of this scale. The CPU fan is in line with the rear active cooling fan.

The N5105 CPU in this system is slightly more powerful in terms of encoding/decoding when compared to the N5095 processor, but they are otherwise nearly identical. This Intel Celeron CPU is quad-core, has a 2.0GHz clock speed per core that can be boosted up to 2.9GHz, features embedded graphics capable of handling/transcoding 4K and 1080p media, and has an onboard 256-bit encryption engine. CPU benchmarks rate this processor at 4161, which is more than 1000 higher than the J4125 in the TS-253D. It is a solid choice for this system in terms of managing storage, network ports, and memory over many of the TS-264’s predecessors from QNAP.

The TS-264 features one surprising difference in memory compared with the TS-46 and TS-664, in that it features 8GB by default – already a solid base of memory to start using the system with, however, this memory is soldered to the main board and cannot be upgraded to 16GB, like the larger devices in the TS-x64 range. This is a odd move, likely motivated by memory shortages in the industry right now and is still a decent starting amount. That said, it is not going to suit everyone and some users may slightly resent having to pay extra for this 8GB when they would have been happy ith 4GB. Alternatively, if you are going to manage hundreds of file shares at once, a surveillance user looking to use the TS-264 as your primary CCTV and NVR center, or maybe you are a VM/Container user looking to create multiple systems – the lack option to easily upgrade to 16GB of memory is possibly going to annoy you. Equally, if you plan on using high-frequency storage management methods such as deduplication, large-scale small file but high number databases or even 10GbE in a sustained manner, that 8GB as a base amount is going to be tremendously beneficial massively beneficial.

That N5105 CPU inside the TS-264 has also allowed QNAP sufficient available PCIe bandwidth to also include two M.2 NVMe SSD slots on the NAS too. This is something that QNAP has only tended to provide on their rackmount systems and much higher-end desktop solutions, despite their biggest rival Synology providing this for almost 5 years now at the same hardware tier. Now as good as this sounds (i.e to have a PCIe upgrade slot AND the m.2 NVMe SSD slots) there is good and bad news. The good news is that unlike Synology and its inclusion of M.2 NVMe SSD slots, the 2280 slots inside the QNAP can be used for more than just read/write caching. The use of SSD caching to provide performance benefits to a slower, but larger and more affordable Hard Drive RAID away are quite well established in the NAS industry, using the SSD space to either write files to the system faster (acting as the primary write area, before moving the data) or increase the speed of accessing commonly requested files on the NAS (making copies of those files onto the SSDs, though largely tiny files are optimized and do not really affect larger block/sequential data). However, though the QNAP TS-264 supports SSD caching on these bays, it also supports their use in QTier. This is similar to caching but in QTier the available HDD and SSDs are combined into a single storage area and it intelligently moves files periodically to the appropriate storage media as it analyzes their access and requests. Finally, if you wish, you can use the NVMe SSD bays for just a fast accessing and performing storage pool and volumes of it’s own. These two bays, plus the 2 HDD bays, plus adding a PCIe SSD storage card in the available bay mean that the TS-264 has enormous storage potential. These m.2 bays can also be used for system upgrades, but these are still quite few in reality and it is only the google TPU m.2 upgrade that increases AI system processes that is recommended in 2023 so far.

However, as good as all that sounds about the NVMe SSD bays, it is worth also factoring that (much like the PCIe Upgrade slot) in order to provide these bays and still provide the rest of the system hardware from a relatively simple Intel Celeron processor, QNAP has had to narrow down the architecture of these bays for reasons of physical profile and available PCI lanes+chipset. The result is that the m.2 Bays are PCIe 3×1 in architecture, or 1,000MB/s in bandwidth each between the installed m.2 and the system. That means that if you are buying PCIe 3×4 SSDs for your  NAS, such as the Seagate Ironwolf 510 or WD Red SN700, they will be somewhat bottlenecked to 1GB throughout each (though they can be RAID’d). It is still better to have these bays in this somewhat streamlined fashion than to not have them at all, but it is worth keeping this in mind when considering the future upgradability of the QNAP TS-264 NAS.

The internal hardware of the TS-264 is by FAR one of the best example of a prosumer/SMB 2-Bay NAS in this price tier from both QNAP and any other brand. Yes, they have had to make a balancing choice between providing a multitude of upgrade and scaling paths in the hardware architecture vs the CPU available, but overall I really cannot challenge them on the range of ports, connections and internal hardware that is available here. I am a little surprised by how much hardware is inside the TS-264 and so close together (leading me to imagine that this system with a fully populated 2-bay storage RAID, 2x NVMe SSD, 8GB memory and a PCIe card would get really hot, i.e. fans going NUTS!) but you cannot really argue with the wide range of options available to the end useR in terms of the day 1 level of hardware on offer, as well as the many ways and means you can change this system in it’s lifespan to best suit your storage and network requirements. Let’s discuss the software included with your TS-264 NAS.

QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – Software & Services

Alongside the hardware of the TS-264 NAS, you also receive the complete software and services package of QNAP QTS (currently in version 5.0). This is a complete operating system. similar in design and presentation to Android OS, it runs hundreds of applications, services and functions, as well as arriving with many mobile and desktop client applications that allow you to interact with the data on your NAS in a much more tailored way. Alongside this, the QNAP QTS software on the TS-264 also includes a few extra SSD tools for anti-wearing on SSDs, better SSD profiling and even options to separate the media into storage, caching or tiered storage where appropriate. The performance and services of QTS have been covered many times on this channel, so reviewing it’s individual performance on the TS-264 NAS is a difficult task, as we have to look at two key things. Is QTS a good software platform and is it safe

On the first score, I can comfortably say that QNAP NAS software and services have truly come into their own and the balancing act of supplying the end-user with the flexibility to use the system ‘their way’, whilst still keeping it user-friendly is the best it has ever been. Is it perfect, no. In its efforts to make itself customizable in every way possible, QTS develops an inadvertent learning curve that may catch some novice users unaware. Likewise, although QTS 5 has done a lot of work on its presentation of information and notifications, there is still the odd moment of ‘TMI’ when switching between services on the fly. QNAP’s NAS software is still easily one of the most adaptable in the market right now and allows users to have a truly unique storage environment if they choose and although not quite as user-friendly as Synology DSM, it counters this by being fantastically flexibly by comparison (from file/folder structure to 3rd party services support and connectivity). That said, 2020-2021 were a bumpy road for the brand and a series of ransomware attacks were targetted at the brand that was caused by a combination of vulnerabilities in Linux (which practically all NAS and Android software is built upon) but also in how applications in the QNAP platform were allowed to have external access. In previous revisions of QTS, customization and guidance for changing settings on the system was made very easy and open but lacked a lot of the gravitas and significance that these changes add to the system being highlighted to less experienced users (such as allowing the QNAP to adapt remote ports on your router over UPnP and how the HBS3 program allowed remote access. These omissions, vulnerabilities and communication issues in QTS have seemingly been resolved and QTS 5 seems to be a much tighter system on the whole (as much as anything can be once you open it to the internet). But many users still feel that the brand needs to do more and therefore until QNAP can remove the lingering stories of ransomware and malware over time, this si always going to be an existing sensitive issue for buyers. In order to see the extent of the latest version of QNAP TS 5.0 use the links below to the written review and video below released in late 2021:

FULL Written QNAP QTS 5 Review FULL Video Review of QNAP QTS 5

Although the full review of QNAP QTS is available in the article and video linked above, let’s discuss the highlights of the platform. First off there are the software and services for managing files and folders on the fly. QTS includes several tools for managing files in your web browser (with full copy, paste, archive, extract, sharing, etc options built-in), as well as smart system/file search functionality.

Click to view slideshow.

Then security when using your TS-264 NAS (again, a continued area of contention and criticism for QNAP in the past) in customization and alerts have been noticeably improved and upgraded in both their deployment and presentation in QTS. These range from a multi-layered security advisor to control anti-malware scans, anti-virus schedules, firewall monitoring and more. There is also a range of access and security credential tools that are quite far-reaching all built-in. With QNAP having to prove their platform is safe more than most, there is a bit shift positively in this direction in the latest versions of QTS.

Click to view slideshow.

Overall storage management, access, mounting and how this factors into backups have also been massively diversified in QTS and along with numerous means to create a very unique storage system (factoring RAID, multi-stage 1-2-3 backups, connecting with cloud drive/objects and how this is presented to the end-users are incredibly deep. It can lead to a situation in which the end-user is a pinch overwhelmed, but you cannot say that QNAP is not providing the tools – they are just almost TOO numerous in their presentation.

Click to view slideshow.

The same goes for multimedia handling on the QNAP TS-264, with a wide range of tools for handing photos, music and video in a tailored GUI to each media type. This is made considerably easier with QNAP’s multimedia console tool that provides a single GUI that can be used to handle all the backend setup of all your individual media apps. QNAP also provides AI photo recognition to allow decades of photos to be searched intelligently for people and subjects to quite an impressively deep degree (not needing internet access to do so, with the AI onboard the system). Then you have support for a wide range of 3rd party multimedia tools such as Plex media server, Emby, Twinky and Kodi (unofficially).

Click to view slideshow.

Then you have business tools (small, medium or even enterprise) included that can range from the deployment of multiple virtual machines across many platforms and a dedicated 1st party container deployment tool. One very unique feature of QNAP QTS compared with other NAS brands in their deployment of VMs is that they include 2-3 click download options in their respective applications that allow you to download ready to use VM in Windows 7,8 and 10, as well as a VM market place for more enterprise virtual clients and even a Ubuntu 18/19/20 VM deployment tool that allows you to quickly set up a VM and then access remotely OR use the HDMI+KVM set up locally. The container station tool also has its own pre-built tool repository too.

Click to view slideshow.

Finally, for surveillance use, the TS-264 arrives with QVR Pro which allows you to have a business class surveillance platform hosted on your NAS. This platform has its very own GUI that supports thousands of IP Camera brands, as well as the software arriving with 8 camera licenses with the TS-264, a multi-camera feed display, intelligent alerts, AI services (hardware appropriate), multiple client tools for mobile/desktop clients, integration of 3rd party system management tools and you can even attach USB cameras to your QNAP NAS and have local cameras fed into the NAS too.

Click to view slideshow.

So, software on the QNAP TS-264 is pretty diverse and although the brand has seen its fair share of security complaints in the past, I think that it would be hard for me to ignore the range of NAS hardware configuration, services and tools that are included.  Tests of the QNAP TS-264 on how it performs as a Plex Media Server, host for Virtual Machines and more will be conducted shortly over on NASCompares YouTube channel. I recommend visiting there to learn more. Below is the video review for the QNAP TS-264 NAS

QNAP TS-264 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

The TS-264 boasts exceptional hardware for its tier in the NAS market, a strength that QNAP has consistently demonstrated. Even when looking back just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability offered by the TS-264 is impressive and remains largely unmatched in 2023. The 2-Bay NAS is a logical choice for those looking to move away from the limitations of subscription-based cloud services like Google, OneDrive, and Dropbox, and instead, opt for a more flexible and fully-featured private server. The TS-264 offers unbeatable value for the money in terms of hardware. In terms of software, the situation is less clear-cut. QTS 5 is a feature-rich operating system that can be accessed via a web browser, with multiple mobile and desktop clients, and hundreds of apps that can be easily installed. However, it can be a steep learning curve for some users, and its interface can be overwhelming. For those who desire a highly customizable system that can present data in various ways, and offers a wide range of third-party support, QNAP and QTS 5 offer unique services that are not available elsewhere. Keep in mind that setting up and customizing the system will require some time and effort.

PROs of the QNAP TS-264 NAS CONs of the QNAP TS-264 NAS
  • Very compact chassis design, despite large storage potential
  • A BIG jump in hardware and scale from the TS-253Be and TS-253D
  • Easily one of the most hardware-packed SMB/Mid-range 2-Bay on the market
  • 8GB Memory in the base model will certainly appeal to some users looking at pimping this system out fully in terms of hardware upgrades and storage
  • m.2 NVMe SSD Bays AND a PCIe Upgrade Slot (no need to choose one upgrade path)
  • 8x Included Camera Licenses
  • Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
  • 3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
  • 10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
  • Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
  • HDMI 2.1 Support in the 2-Bay, whereas the 4/6-Bay still runs HDMI 2.0 (released in Spring ’22)
  • The PCIe Slot is PCIe 3×2 and the M.2 SSD Bays are PCIe 3×1 (likely limitations of all this H/W on a Celeron+chipset
  • Default 8GB of memory (again, down to global memory shortages) does increase the base price and is non-upgradable too
  • The software can be a little inconsistent under excessive use and features a steeper learning curve than Synology

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Choosing the Right UPS for your Synology or QNAP NAS Drive – Get it Right FIRST TIME!

23 janvier 2023 à 18:00

An Easy Guide to Buying the Right UPS for your NAS System

The popularity of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) has risen significantly in recent years. Not just for businesses, but for home users as well, who often have limited power setups such as houseboats, pop-up offices, and mobile homes. The value of having a safety net for your power-consuming devices is undeniable. Additionally, for those whose data is critical and whose business or personal life relies on constant access and read/write operations, a UPS can provide peace of mind. In the past, power failure solutions were only accessible to large enterprises and high-level businesses, with prices starting in the five figures. However, with the rise of network-attached storage (NAS) in homes and the increased efficiency of mass production techniques, owning a UPS device to protect data in both homes and businesses has become more affordable. However, choosing the right UPS for your NAS device, such as a QNAP or Synology, and finding one that fits within your budget can be challenging. In this guide, we will address the three commonly asked questions by users considering a UPS but unsure of which device to choose: 1) How does a UPS work and how will I benefit? 2) How do I determine the right Watts, Volts, and Amps to choose the best UPS? 3) How much will a UPS cost? We hope this guide is helpful for NAS buyers looking at brands such as Synology, QNAP, Asustor, Terramaster, and others, and also for anyone looking to choose the right UPS for other devices.

Click HERE to Skip ahead to the Recommended UPS for different NAS drives

What Are the Factors I need to consider when buying a UPS for my NAS?

Choosing the right UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for your Synology or QNAP NAS (network-attached storage) can be a complex task, as there are many factors to consider. However, by following a few key guidelines, you can ensure that your NAS is protected against power outages and other issues that could cause data loss or corruption. The first thing to consider when choosing a UPS for your NAS is the amount of power that your NAS requires. Desktop NAS devices with external PSUs typically have a power consumption of around 60-120 watts and rackmounts generally 250W and above, although this can vary depending on the specific model and the number of hard drives that are installed. It is important to choose a UPS that can provide at least this much power, as well as a bit extra to account for any other devices that may be connected to the NAS. Another important factor to consider is the runtime of the UPS. This is the amount of time that the UPS can keep your NAS running in the event of a power outage. The runtime of a UPS is typically measured in minutes, and you should choose a UPS that has a runtime that is long enough to allow you to properly shut down your NAS in the event of a power outage.

Another important feature to look for when choosing a UPS is the ability to communicate with the NAS. Some UPS’ have built-in USB or serial ports that allow them to communicate with the NAS and provide status information. This can be very useful in case of power outage, as it can allow you to monitor the status of the UPS and take appropriate action. Finally, you should also consider the size and weight of the UPS, as well as its overall design. A UPS that is smaller and lighter may be more convenient to deploy, but you should also make sure that it is well-designed and built to last. When choosing a UPS for your NAS, it is important to consider the amount of power that your NAS requires, the runtime of the UPS, the ability to communicate with the NAS, compatibility and the size and weight of the UPS. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your NAS is protected against power outages and other issues that could cause data loss or corruption.

What is a UPS and Why Should I Buy One for my NAS?

The most frequently asked question about UPS is typically “What exactly is a UPS and what does it do?” UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply and many users believe that purchasing a UPS means they can run their devices and access data from their NAS, DAS, or SAN for hours after a power failure. While this is technically true, it would require a significant financial investment in the form of a 5-figure sum. In reality, most users do not require hours of protection for their read/write data operations on HDD media. Instead, what is often needed is enough time to safely shut down the server or RAID storage. This can be achieved by spending only hundreds of pounds, not thousands, as it depends on the number of devices drawing power, their specific needs, and the efficiency of the chosen UPS. For more information on UPS and how to choose one, please watch the video below.

How Does a UPS Draw Power and How Do I Connect My Devices?

This topic can be challenging for some, so we will break it down and explain it in a simple way. Before delving into technical terms like Watts, Volts, and Power, let’s use an analogy that’s easy to understand. Imagine receiving electricity to your device as drawing water from a tap.

To understand this concept, we can use an analogy of a tap and water. Just like a tap needs water and pressure to deliver it through the pipe, an electrical circuit needs electrons and voltage to deliver electricity to a device. The water represents the electrons that carry electricity from the power source to the destination device, like a NAS, DAS, or PC. The tap represents the destination device and the water/electrons are going around in a circuit back to the water/power source, which is mostly unseen in the cables.

The pressure in the analogy represents the VOLTAGE, which is the strength of the electricity being pushed by the electrons in the circuit. It’s important to measure this as some devices are designed to only accept a specific amount of voltage. If the voltage is too high or too low, the device will not function correctly.

AMPS represent the amount of electrical charge that passes a given point in a second, similar to how much water passes through the pipe per second.

So, now we need to know the WATTS of the device. This is compiled with the following equation:

 

AMPS x VOLTS = WATTS

or

Water Volume x Water Pressure = Water Power

How a UPS works with your NAS smartIf you’ve ever experienced weak water pressure in a shower while living in an apartment on a higher floor, this is likely due to the water pressure not being strong enough to deliver the water to the destination device. Similarly, a smaller battery pack is often measured in milliampere-hours (mAh), which represents the amount of charge available, rather than time. Using the analogy of water, this would be like a large drum of water. The amount of water and how fast it travels from the drum is not as important as the available water that can be carried over to the tap. The output and result is heavily affected by the AMPS and VOLTS, similar to the pressure of water and the maximum or minimum amount of water the tap can receive.

Choosing the right UPS Battery for your Home or Office

The majority of UPS devices have a similar setup. You connect one end to your main power outlet (3 Pin, 2 Pin, etc) and the UPS has multiple ports for connecting your destination devices (PC, NAS, etc). Inside the UPS chassis, there is one or more batteries that are charged from the wall plug, while your devices are powered directly from the wall and not drawing from the batteries unless there is a power failure. In the event of a power failure in your home or business, the destination devices will switch to drawing power from the batteries, giving you time to save your data and shut down your devices safely, protecting your digital storage from corruption or loss. It’s worth noting that when buying a UPS, there are many figures to consider, but the power drawn by computing equipment is typically measured in Watts or Volt-Amps(VA).

How a UPS works with your NAS diagram

BUT

The power in Watts is the real power drawn by the equipment.Volt-Amps are called the “apparent power” and are the product of the voltage applied to the equipment times the current drawn by the equipment.

Inexpensive UPS devices typically have a shorter running time because they don’t provide as much charge. Mid-range UPS devices, on the other hand, offer longer charge times, more features, and additional functionality such as network alerts, internet alerts via SMS or email, an LCD display, USB connectivity for maintenance, and the ability to automatically save or shut down certain NAS or PC machines in the event of a power failure, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

There is more to choosing the right UPS than matching the WATTS of your destination device and that of the UPS

UPS capacities are giving in VOLT-AMPS , not WATTS

Remember again,

VAULTS x AMPS = WATTS

Well, Resistance present in electrical load means that the WATTS cannot be matched Like for Like. So:

How long does a UPS lastHow do I Choose the Correct VA for the Watts on my NAS, PC and more?

You will need to consider a UPS with a VOLT-AMP 50-70% higher than the WATTS present on your destination device. Don’t forget to factor into your consumption any other devices that are drawing from the UPS, as this consumption is not per device, but TOTAL.

What is Line Interaction on a UPS?

Some UPS devices have a “Line Interactive” feature that can strengthen a weak or inconsistent power supply, particularly useful for those in remote areas where maintenance may be less frequent. When it comes to sizing a UPS, it’s important to note that equipment nameplate ratings are often in VA which can make it difficult to determine the Watt rating. To avoid oversizing the UPS, it’s recommended to configure the system such that the VA rating of the load is no greater than 60% of the UPS VA rating. This will prevent exceeding the Watt rating of the UPS. However, this approach may result in an oversized UPS and a longer run time than expected.

– Battery Packs, Listed in VOLTS and can be added to an existing UPS

– Replacement Battery Cartridges, an Internal Upgrade, RANGE specific

– Available in Desktop or Rack mount

What Are the most popular brands in the UPS Market?

There are many brands that provide UPS (uninterruptible power supply) devices in the market, but some of the most popular ones include:

  1. APC (American Power Conversion) – APC is a well-known brand that has been providing UPS devices for many years. They offer a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  2. Tripp Lite – Tripp Lite is another well-known brand that provides UPS devices. They offer a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  3. Eaton – Eaton is a well-established brand that provides UPS devices. They offer a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  4. CyberPower – CyberPower is a brand that provides a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  5. Schneider Electric – Schneider Electric is a brand that provides a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  6. Liebert – Liebert is a brand that provides a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.

These are just a few examples of the many brands that provide UPS devices in the market. There are many other brands available, each with their own set of features, specifications, and pricing options, so it is worth researching different options to find the one that best suits your needs.

How Do Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster NAS work with a UPS?

Almost all NAS drive brands support the use of a smart UPS, connected via USB for monitoring or via the network. That said, how each NAS system reacts to a power cut and switching to the UPS battery does differ. I recently tested the CyberPower 1500 system with a selection of 4-Bay UPS systems to see how each NAS brand’s hardware and software react. Below is the video for each brand. Just click the video, or you can open them up in a separate tab by clicking the title.

Synology NAS UPS Test

 

QNAP NAS UPS Test

 

Asustor NAS UPS Test

 

Terramaster NAS UPS Test

Recommended UPS for Different NAS Drives from Synology, QNAP, Asustor or Terramaster

Below are a number of tiered UPS systems for your individual power needs and budget. These are based on the Watts you need to cover and based on a single NAS  of different size each. This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg and for more precise advice based on a whole office or server room of hardware, we recommend getting in touch with us directly using the Free Advice section (no commitment and the advice is totally impartial) so we can save you money as well as provide you with a solution that will help you sleep at night! All solutions that I recommend below have to arrive with at least 2 Years of Manufacturers’ Warranty, 2 Years of Battery Warranty/Replacement Coverage, USB and/or Network Support, NAS compatibility, provides at least 10-20mins of continued client operation in a power-cut, support of line interaction and AT LEAST 6x mains power points for devices

Budget/Basic UPS (No Frills!) for Value and/or ARM-Based NAS

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 1-4 HDD NAS Drive with 90-120w PSU
  • 1x Desktop PC with 250W PSU and Laptops/tablets
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (50W avg)
  • Floor or Tower Versions
  • No LCD available

Option – The Amazon Basics UPS, Available in different versions that cover 400VA to 1500VA,  6-8 Ports – Starts at $49

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for a 1-2-Bay NAS Drive for Home or Home Office Use

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 1-2 HDD NAS Drive with 60-90w PSU
  • 1x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (50W avg)

Option – The APC BE600M1 , Available in different versions that cover 550VA to 850VA, 7 Ports – Starts at $99

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for a 1-2-Bay NAS Drive for Business

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 1-2 HDD NAS Drive with 60-90w PSU
  • 1x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (50W avg)

Option – The APC BE650G2, Available in different versions that cover 185W to 520W, 8 Ports – Starts at $169

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for a 4-8-Bay NAS Drive for Prosumers

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 4-8 HDD NAS Drive with 100-250W PSU
  • 2x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU + Switch with 25W PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (100W avg)
  • Battery/Coverage Insurance ($500,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee)
  • Tower Style

Option – The CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS System, Available in different versions that cover 850-1500VA (1000W), 10-12 Ports – Starts at $389

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for an 8-12-Bay NAS Drive for Medium Large Business and Video/Photo Editors

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 8-12 HDD NAS Drive with 250-350W PSU
  • Rackmount entry point (factor in dual/Redundant PSUs)
  • 3x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU + 10GbE Switch with 90W PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (400W avg)
  • Rackmount Style (Desktop alternatives available, but cap at 2000VA)

Option – The Tripp Lite SU3000RTXL3U Sinewave UPS System, Available in different versions that cover 750-3000VA (2400W), 7-9 Ports – Starts at $799

Find it on Amazon HERE


How Long do UPS Batteries Last?

The lifespan of a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) battery can vary depending on several factors, including the type of battery, the quality of the battery, the usage, and the environment in which the UPS is used. However, on average, a UPS battery should last between 3-5 years with proper usage and maintenance. Lead-acid batteries, which are commonly used in UPS systems, have a typical lifespan of 3-5 years. However, this lifespan can be shortened or extended depending on the usage and maintenance of the battery. For example, if the battery is frequently discharged to a low level, this can shorten its lifespan, whereas proper charging and maintenance can prolong it.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of UPS batteries can also be affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and the amount of use. High temperatures and humidity can shorten the battery life, while keeping the UPS in a cool and dry environment can extend it. It’s also worth noting that most of the UPS batteries have an end-of-life indicator, which will alert you when the battery is no longer performing as well as it should. This will give you an idea of when the battery needs to be replaced.

In conclusion, the lifespan of a UPS battery can vary depending on several factors, including the type of battery, the quality of the battery, the usage, and the environment in which the UPS is used. On average, a UPS battery should last between 3-5 years with proper usage and maintenance. Keeping an eye on the end-of-life indicator and maintaining the battery in a cool and dry environment can help to extend the battery’s lifespan.

 

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Synology DSM 7.2 Beta Update – Coming Soon!

18 janvier 2023 à 15:50

Synology NAS DSM 7.2-63134 Beta Coming Soon

Good news for anyone that is waiting to see (and test) the latest improvements in Synology’s Diskstation Manager software, as there are strong indications that we will be seeing a DSM 7.2 Beta launched soon. Thanks to updates on the brand’s official download pages, we can see that developer tools have been made available. These toolkits are supplied in order for devs to adapt and update their existing tools to remain compatible with any changes in the synology DSM software. Full details on when the beta will be launched (though Synology did state in their Synology 2023 and Beyond event that they were looking at the end of Q4 2022 to Q1 2023 for the DSM 7.2 beta) is still yet to be confirmed, but they would not make toolkits for developers unless the rollout for the platform is going to be relatively soon. Currently, there are entries in the Synology download section in two areas (at the time of writing) for DSM 7.2-63134 tools:

Synology has often rolled out the latest significant updates to their premium software platform in beta long before full release, in order to identify any weaknesses or improvements that can be made to it – something that only massive ‘in the field, real-world testing’ can provide. So, given the likelihood that we will see DSM 7.2 arriving very soon, let’s discuss whether you should wait for a full release or go ahead and install the beta to test it out (and what is the process and risks of doing so?).

Should You Test the Synology DSM 7.2 Beta or wait till a Full Official Release and/or Release Candidate?

Testing a beta of ANY software is going to be for everyone and in the case of DSM, we are talking about installing an incomplete and comparatively untested software platform on your data storage! Needless to say, this is NOT recommended unless one/all of the following applies to you and your setup:

  • Your NAS does not have at least 1 backup of all data that it contains in another location (ideally 2 backups!)
  • Your NAS is being used for regular/constant backups that cannot withstand potential interruption
  • You are regularly using 3rd party applications on your NAS that will risk being incompatible with a significant update to DSM on your NAS
  • Your NAS has even the slightest business use

Those points are quite broad, but ultimately cover that if you are using your Synology NAS in a way whereby losing access to your system, data or applications is a dealbreaker (and your workflow cannot take on board a drop in service), then you should NOT install a Beta of DSM. Instead, you should await the release of a complete/final version – often referred to as the ‘Release Candidate’ (the version intended by the brand to be a full release of the software). There is still no confirmation when a virtual version of DSM 7.2 (using a license for vDSM on your NAS) will be available at the same time as the full download, but unless you are happy to accept the possibility of needing to re-initialize your NAS (unlikely, but possible), do not install the beta. Additionally, it is often the case that a significant DSM update CANNOT BE REVERSED. This is technically not true, but the process of reverting to a previous version of DSM is NOT easy and requires time/effort spent in SSH and inputting commands that, if done wrong, could brick your NAS. So, in summary, make sure you only install the DSM 7.2 Beta when it arrives if you have nothing to lose or have your data/configs all neatly backed up!

What New Features will be included in the Synology DSM 7.2 Beta?

When the Synology DSM 7.2 Beta does arrive, we are still unsure which features Synology detailed in their 2023 event last year will be available at launch. We detailed the improvements and new services in this article, but do not be surprised if these roll out more granularly as the beta rolls on. Most of these features and updates were discussed in a YouTube video featuring myself and Luka over on BlackVOID towards the end of last year HERE, otherwise here is the list of features you can expect in DSM 7.2 within the beta or when the RC version arrives:

Volume Encryption Coming to DSM 7.2

A long-term request by Synology NAS users for a few years, the ability to encrypt your NAS beyond the current ‘folder’ level in DSM. It is a little odd that Synology has not provided Disk, Volume or Pool level encryption in the system storage manager. The ability to encrypt the full volume means that you can be a great deal broader in your protection from your storage getting intercepted outside of your own authorized use. Prior to this, encrypted upto the folder/shared-folder level meant that you would likely need to maintain multiple key files/codes, as well as result in more work as your structured your system. Volume-level encryption hugely simplifies this, as well as allowing a larger container of storage to encrypt within.

Mac OS Active Backup Client Support

Another HUGELY requested feature is parity in the Mac OS Support in Synology Active Backup that is currently available for the Windows Client. Up until now, Mac users that wanted to create a system-wide (OS level) backup relied on Apple Time Machine. This is still a solid and user-friendly option, but not hugely storage efficient, is tougher to browse through images than Synology AB and also does not play as nice with remote backups as it does with local backups (ie it supports network backups, but even then quite regimentally and does not correlate/manage those particular backups as well as using a Synology client and Synology NAS running Active Backup). Equally, Synology AB and Mac OS client app should allow viable and easier remote Mac image recovery options in a way currently not available.

Improved Active Backup NAS to NAS Remote Backup

NAS to NAS backups are NOT a new thing, but are more often than not either on a file/folder level (i.e using Hyper Backup) or, in the case of 3rd party general/linux servers, a big block of data that cannot effectively be viewed or managed natively. Improved Active Backup NAS to NAS support means that the same level of system/OS level backup image backup that is afforded to Windows PCs, VMs and More in Active Backup Suite can now be made with another Synology NAS server. Till now, the best options you had for NAS-to-NAS backups were Hyper Backup Folder level backups, Snapshot replication to send snapshot images on a schedule/sync/retention configuration, Backup your NAS image to Synology C2 Cloud (which can be synced elsewhere) and a few different file level sync/backup tools between servers. As Active Backup grows in popularity with Synology NAS users, including it in your 3-2-1 system-wide backup strategy makes alot of sense and for those that are already running a periodic/scheduled NAS to NAS backup, this makes even more sense than current file/folder level backups.

Synology Drive to Support Active Directory (AD)

Synology already has a very competent Active Directory management tool in ‘Synology Directory Server’, which turns your Synology NAS into a domain controller (DC) to manage users, devices, groups, and domain policies in a breeze. However, support of Microsoft AD is coming to Synology Drive. For the unaware, Active Directory (AD) is a directory service that runs on Microsoft Windows systems (i.e Windows Server). The main function of Active Directory from the client side is to enable administrators to manage permissions and control access to network resources. In Active Directory, data is stored as objects, which include users, groups, applications, and devices, and these objects are categorized according to their name and attributes. Then you have AD DS (Active Directory Domain Services) are a core component of Active Directory and provide the primary mechanism for authenticating users and determining which network resources they can access. AD DS also provides additional features such as Single Sign-On (SSO), security certificates, LDAP, and access rights management.

WORM Support Addition

Write Once, Read Many (WORM) has been around in the world of data storage for a considerable length of time and allows a file to be accessed by many, many users without the original file being in any way changed or corrupted – a real issue if a file/database is being accessed by many users and changes inadvertently occur which overwrite the file or changes being made by others (file/media editors tackle this in other means, such as via using shadow editing or non-linear editing). WORM (Write Once, Read Many) is used to avoid modification of saved data.  With increasingly stringent regulations on how information is stored, many countries require government agencies, financial institutions, and healthcare providers to comply with strict data archiving regulations. Many of these require storage systems to not tamper with archived data. This has led to WORM becoming increasingly common in commercial setups. Good examples are photos, contracts, financial reports, emails, employee information, and other important documents. They should not be modified once stored. In some professional fields, massive data needs to be analyzed, and huge amounts of real-time data need to be recorded and tracked. WORM technology is ideal for protecting these records so that they will not be overwritten and can be saved as a reference for future use.

The support of WORM in the Synology storage infrastructure will allow loving for files for a predetermined time, as well as configuration into two separate types – Compliance and Enterprise. Compliance issues ZERO write/edit/change, even by IT admins for the pre-defined period of time. Enterprise is similar, however, it DOES allow IT admin(s) to make changes and/or adapt the WORM access. Also, grace periods can be set in for files going into WORM configurations, which allow a period of time to pass before locks are engaged. This change along with several others that are to be implemented in DSM 7.2 are slated for Q1 of 2023 (Jan-March). In short, in WORM enabled folders data is protected from manipulation by not being able to change or delete it for a specified period of time. Immutable data backups can also be carried out via Hyper Backup for further protection and retention down the line too.

SMB Multi-Channel – Better Port Utilization and Improved Drive Integration

SMB is not new, but updates to Drive and SMB support also see changes with Synology DSM 7.2, with cross-protocol file locking between SMB shares and Drive, ensuring that files in use cannot be edited or overwritten across them. In addition, with SMB multichannel transfer, all network connections available between servers and clients can be used to increase the performance of SMB file transfer, regardless of traditional conflicts that would prevent them being bound/crossed together conventionally

Improvements to Synology Office Services and Features

Synology has provided their Office application in the DSM application list for quite a long time, serving as an in-house alternative to using 3rd party office doc tools such as Google Docs and Microsoft office. This combined with the Synology Drive application results in you being able to open all of your office format docs (text, spreadsheets, PDFs, etc) from within the Synology ecosystem, where your data lives. However, there is always room for improvement and we are told that new features such as document watermarks, improved revision recognition on docs exported over and an increase in support of file format/layouts from Microsoft Word etc.

 

Scale-Out Clusters and ‘Synology Backup Cloud’

Synology highlighted their massive HD6500 and then discussed HUGE scale out cluster storage. The new scale-out clusters are also scheduled to appear in 2023 and provide faster file and object storage. This should allow server combinations of HD6500s servers that scale upto that of 12 petabytes to operate with a write speed of up to 60 GB/s (60,000MB/s).

Additionally, Synology is improving the management of large-scale backups from a single portal point, via a new platform/service they are calling ‘Synology Backup Cloud’ (name almost certainly will change!) that will cover the operations of Active Backup, Hyper Backup and C2 Backup operations. Synology is aiming for this tool to provide the IT admin with a single easy window to manage, remote control and monitoring of all aspects of data backup.

Not a lot was said on this feature, but expect its development to be a little slower than most as, much like Active Insight, this is very much an enterprise site tool and likely at a premium.

Improvements in Synology C2 Identity

The Synology C2 Identity application that was introduced with Synology DSM 7 at launch is also going to see updates in its supported authentication methods and client tech. These will include Windows Hello and Apple Face ID/Touch ID, as well as in connection with the upcoming C2 identity user portal, employees using managed devices can be automatically signed in with SAML.

Synology Drive – Remote Erase

The benefits of Synology Drive when it comes to larger teams of users being able to access the same folder(s) of data in order to collaborate on projects are already well documented. However, what if a client system that has access to a synced drive folder gets hijacked? Or at a moment’s notice, you need to suspend access to the share from a specific client machine AND want to ensure that no locally sync’d/download copy is still there? Well, soon Synology Drive will be receiving an update to allow exactly that includes the ability to delete data remotely and is intended to minimize security risks by removing synchronized folders from stolen Windows and macOS systems.

That just about covers it. There were further improvements that were featured in Synology Secure sign-in and C2 Password services to improve the range of supported authentication methods, as well as improvements to their Synology C2 cloud platform access and implementation. However, as these are more to do with the individual services/applications, I will save this for the inevitable Synology DSM 7.2 Beta preview and included services. So, what do you think of the planned improvements coming to DSM 7.2? Would you have liked to have seen further updates to the more ‘everyman’ services, i.e upgrades to Synology Photos AI recognition to match that of Synology Moments? Or a little more parity between Windows and Mac OS compatibility? Let’s discuss it below. We pool the comments on this article and the videos that are featured in it to keep all the relevant comments in one place, so take a look and see if your POV is the same as everyone else’s.

 

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

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology DS723+ NAS – Should You Buy?

16 janvier 2023 à 15:40

Synology DS723+ NAS Drive – Does It Deserve Your Data?

The Synology DS723+ NAS is one of the most capable 2-Bay systems that the brand has ever released, featuring a number of series-firsts in terms, yet still maintaining largely the same price point as the other two bays in the plus series to date. However, there is no avoiding that this is not going to be a system that suits everyone and although I waxed lyrical and was largely positive about its features in my Synology DS723+ NAS Review, there are definitely going to be some elements of the DS723+ NAS that will convince you to opt for a different solution. So, today I want to discuss the five things about the Synology DS723+ that make it a must-have NAS in 2023 and five things that will possibly convince you that your money and data should go elsewhere. Let’s begin.

Note – You can find my full ‘Before You Buy’ video on the Synology DS723+ NAS here. It covers mostly the same points, but also touches on a few more.

Reasons You SHOULD Buy the Synology DS723+ NAS

So, first things first! Here are five reasons why the Synology DS723+ NAS might well be exactly the private desktop server that you have been waiting for.

The 10GbE Upgrade on the DS723+

It may seem especially unusual for Synology to provide the option of 10GbE on a 2-Bay NAS (as the brand has been oddly reluctant to provide greater than gigabit connectivity on their smaller devices till now) but this was a feature in one form or another that users who have been looking at the expandable 2-Bay and 4-Bay diskstation series (DS716+, DS718+ and DS720+) have been requesting for YEARS! The Synology DS723+ NAS arrives with an upgrade slot on the rear of the chassis (PCIe Gen 3 x2) that allows the installation of a 10GbE (10GBASE-T) network upgrade module that allows the system to upgrade towards a 1,000MB/s network connection! With the DS723+ NAS running on a very competent and fast-file-service internal architecture AND supporting 2 drives in a RAID environment to increase internal performance, the option to scale up the external connectivity to 10x that of traditional gigabit is fantastic. Although there is a question of whether it is possible to fully saturate a 10GbE/1,000MB/s connection with a 2x SATA drive NAS, you also need to factor in the option to expand the system by 5 more bays with the DX517, or by running a storage pool on one or more of the M.2 NVMe SSD bays. Either of these options will allow that 10 Gigabit connection to be fully saturated with ease.

The network upgrade choice on the DS723+ is delivered via an optional purchase of the Synology E10G22-T1-mini (find the Synology E10G22-T1-MINI here on Amazon), and it is a 1x Port 10G card, with its own onboard controller and heatsink attached. The module is also by far the easiest 10GbE/Network upgrade I have ever installed in a NAS, as it can be installed by popping it in the available slot on the back – as opposed to needing the chassis be partially dismantled in order to access a PCIe slot). The PCIe Gen 3×2 bandwidth that is afforded to it is more than enough for the 10G connection. Currently, the E10G22-T1-mini is the only upgrade option that is supported by the network upgrade slot on the DS723+ NAS (as well as the DS923+, RS422+ and DS1522+), but I would not be surprised if Synology roll out an SFP+/Fibre option in due course, though the jury is still out if they were to also add a 2.5G/5GBe option.

ECC Memory Type and Maximum Scalability of the DS723+

Another one of the expectations of the expandable 2-Bay diskstation hardware that the DS723+ goes ahead and smashes is in the area of Memory. Previous generations of this series have arrived with 2GB of Memory which can be upgraded to 6GB of memory (in some cases, with the initial 2GB of memory being soldered to the main controller board). The DS723+ NAS makes a couple of significant changes by providing the same amount of memory at 2GB (which is a little disappointing), BUT it can support upto 32GB of memory across two SODIMM slots! that is more than FIVE TIMES the maximum of any other system in the series’ history and that is going to allow ALOT of apps to stretch their muscles a bit with that much RAM to share out!

This memory in the DS723+ improves further on its predecessors by virtue of being ECC memory (Error Correcting Code), something that you would never ordinarily find on a 2 Bay system. ECC memory arrives with an extra memory chip per module on board that (in caveman terms) allows the system to have a blueprint of the data that is passing through the memory on the way to being written/sent to the disks and then, at the end of the memory processes, it is compared against the blueprint and if errors/inconsistencies are observed, the memory repairs the data. ECC has always been proven invaluable at the business level as it ensures data that has been stored on the NAS for warm or cold storage has no silent inconsistencies that down the line could result in invalid/corrupt data (e.g bitrot). Synology has been championing the use of ECC memory in their systems and slowly but surely, all of their product ranges in PLUS and above (i.e XS, SA, etc) are arriving with this enterprise-class memory by default.

The DS723+ NAS featuring ECC memory DOES mean that official Synology memory upgrades are going to be more expensive, but the RRP of the DS723+ NAS (with the original 2GB of ECC Memory) already arrives at a very, very similar price point to its predecessor’s RRP when they were released, so any extra cost down the line is optional.

Low Noise, Small Power Use and Compact Design

This is a point that will appeal to a very specific % of NAS buyers, but the D723+ NAS arrives in the same 2-Bay Diskstation chassis as the DS720+ and DS718+ before it (with tweaks here or there), which was very low impact in it’s design. What I mean by that is that it is quite a compact casing that is very easy to deploy, very well-ventilated on almost all sides (even the official logos on either side are ventilation panels) and is surprisingly low noise when in operation. The DS723+ has a single rear active fan and is a low-noise fan too. The huge amount of ventilation that passes over the internal heatsinks (no internal CPU fans or a PSU fan, as that is external) is assisted by the copious ventilation and the result is a NAS that has had alot of time in R&D to balance between internal system temps in 24×7 operation AND having low ambient noise/space impact to the end user. HERE is my noise testing of the Synology DS920+ NAS (using a similar chassis, but in 2 bays) using different kinds of HDD and SSD media to show the noise levels that were hit.

All that said, do keep in mind that the Hard Drives that you choose to use will make an impact on noise. Any NAS HDDs (WD Red or Seagate Ironwolf) of 8TB or lower capacity will be lovely and quiet (only really making noticeable noise in periods of high access frequency), but larger capacity HDDs or enterprise class/industrial built Hard Disks will make more ambient noise (vibration hum, clicks of the internal arm/actuator and spinning disk platters) and these will be easily noisier than the DS723+ noise when in operation.

FULL DSM 7.1 and DSM 7.2 Support

At Launch, the DS723+ NAS arrives with the latest version of Synology software, DSM 7.1. However, this does not stop evolving as soon as you get your Synology NAS. DSM has been in continues to be the dominant force in the world of NAS software, providing a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third-party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, Windows, macOS and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS723+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS723+, it supports EVERYTHING that is offered by Synology’s platform. DSM is currently in version 7.1, but soon we will see the DSM 7.2 software update, which will be adding WORM (write Once Read Many) support, Volume scale encryption and numerous improvements to individual applications. If you want to learn about it, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE.

As mentioned, the DS723+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7.1 applications and services (DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 are still in circulation and still receive regular service and security updates, though the DS723+ will arrive with DSM 7.1 by default and cannot be rolled back). If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Then there is the increasing development of their 1st party cloud platform, Synology C2, which is slowly integrating into all the applications that are available on your bare metal NAS (allowing you to add a cloud layer of backup, synchronization and access to your data storage setup). This is a subscription platform, which can only be used with your Synology NAS system (as well as connected with some 3rd party SaaS services, but for those that are moving away from Google/Microsoft/AWS for security reasons, but still want a Cloud+Metal storage network in place, C2 covers pretty much everything. Indeed, although below I have highlighted a number of the key/best applications that are included in your DS723+ Service with DSM, most of them can be immediately integrated with Synology C2  (with even more being added in 2023 with DSM 7.2). Key business and consumer applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

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

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees. Drive has become one of the premier applications of DSM and allows uses to create intelligent shared team folders that support versioning, file streaming+pinning, encryption, Windows AD support (soon) and native file system support with Windows and macOS.

Synology Photos – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places. Designed after the merger of Synology Photo Station and Moments, it also includes tailored folder, sharing and categorization features to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

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

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – license-free. This software also arrives as a specialised Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace platform to sync with those platforms and allow a bare metal tier to your cloud office services

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

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools. With improved AI services being accessible thanks to Synology BC500 and TC500 Cameras arriving in 2023. Additionally, you can connect this platform with Synology’s cloud platform to use ‘C2 Surveillance’ and bolster the odds of recordings being maintained in the event of accidental/malicious damage to your surveillance system.

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

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

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

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

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

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices. This tool allows complete file management and contains all the features and services of your own native file management platform (archiving, extracting, Copy, Cut, Paste, Sharing, native file format opening, integration with the rest of the Synology applications, property/metadata access, etc)

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS723+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone. That said, Synology in recent years has been increasing its priorities towards first-party software and services. This does make sense, as they want to promote their systems and software as a complete ecosystem for your home or business data storage needs (going on in the last few years to release even more Synology alternatives to popular software AND releasing non-NAS hardware accessories such as Routers, Network Adapters, HDDs, SSDs and now IP Cameras). This can occasionally lead to the compatibility lists of hardware or software that you wish to use in conjunction with the DS723+ NAS being a little smaller/restricted than you might like. A specific 3rd party software/service or physical accessory (HDD, Memory module, Network Upgrade) might not appear on the Synology compatibility pages, but that does not mean it will not function with the DS723+ NAS. It is more a case of Synology choosing not to test/evaluate a particular setup (in their defence, there are ALOT) and therefore until stated otherwise is therefore listed as incompatible and is therefore being used without their full, guaranteed support long term. In short, you can DEFINITELY feel that DSM 7/7.1 is a fantastic NAS platform, but it comes with a certain degree of rigidity by Synology on the DS723+ NAS. A little more relaxed than entries in the Enterprise XS or SA systems, but it is definitely still there.

PCIe Gen 3 M.2 SSD Support and the Future of Synology Storage

Another development from Synology very recently that the DS723+ NAS benefits from is the support of M.2 NVMe SSDs as Storage Pools – something that has been demanded by new/old Synology NAS users alike for YEARS! Synology was one of the first (if not, THE first) to introduce M.2 NVMe SSD bays on to desktop 2/4-Bay NAS systems way back in 2017/18, but restricted their use for caching only (read/write). It has only been now with the release of the Synology DS923+ and DS723+ that the brand has become a little more flexible and allowed users the choice to use these much, MUCH faster (and so much, MUCH more expensive) types of storage media to be used as storage pools and volumes. With M.2 NVMe SSDs arriving with thousands of MBs of throughput (compared with the rather limiting 250-270MB/s maximum of modern high-end HDDs), this feature also effectively turns the DS723+ 2-Bay into a 4-Bay NAS system.

It is also worthing keeping in mind that you technically do not need to actually make a choice between these M.2 NVMe SSD Bays as storage pools. This is because the system has two 2280 M.2 NVMe bays and you can opt to use one SSD for a storage pool (for your higher performance needs in databases, VMs, etc) and the other can still be assigned as a read cache drive in it’s own group, which can be assigned to the HDD or SSD storage pools if you choose. Currently, Synology DSM 7.1 does not support ‘write only cache pools’, but I can definitely see this as a feature in future DSM updates, as it is an often requested feature.

Once you have made a storage pool using 1 or 2 M.2 NVMes, this area of storage can be used just the same as the HDD equivalent in DSM. It can be used as the target storage for individual applications, as the primary storage area for VM or Container deployment, as the location of multiple iSCSI LUNS and Shared Folders and just pretty much anything. For those users looking to take advantage of the external 10GbE network upgrade option for Photo/Video editing, the use of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools for this is going to be substantially better than the performance that the two SATA HDD/SSD bays could have ever reached.

 

Nevertheless, it is still great to finally have the support of M.2 NVMe SSDs as storage pools in a Synology NAS, especially when you roll in that optional support of 10GbE. It’s worth highlighting though that, as this feature has only JUST been added to DSM on the DS723+/DS923+ NAS, it arrives with a few limitations at this time (ones we assume/hope will change in future DSM 7.2 and above updates). For a start, you cannot initialize the DS723+ and install DSM on the M.2 NVMes as a boot drive. If you try to boot the DS723+ first time without any HDDs installed, but with the 2x M.2 NVMe Bays populated, the system will not recognize them as suitable for initializing DSM on the NAS. See below:

Reasons You SHOULD NOT Buy the Synology DS723+ NAS

Of course, though, the Synology DS723+ NAS is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It is fair to say that there are some elements in this follow-up to the 2.5yr old DS720+ that have rubbed a few users up the wrong way. Let’s discuss the five reasons why the DS723+ NAS (and indeed a Synology system in some cases) might not be the ideal private server solution for you.

The CPU in the DS723+ is a little divisive

The CPU inside the DS723+ is the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 processor, an x86 64bit Dual core, four-thread processor with an impressive base level clock speed of 2.6Ghz that can be scaled up to 3.1Ghz when needed. Now, the DS7xx+ series has always arrived with a Quad Core Intel Celeron (or Pentium) processor in the past and when it was revealed that the DS723+ was arriving with a dual-core embedded ryzen, many users were a little unhappy. This was largely down to two factors. The first was that the R1600 is a dual-core, not the four-core that everyone expected. Now the R1600’s four-thread architecture does allow the CPU to spread out quite alot across tasks and services (as well as virtual CPUs in VM deployment), as well as having a higher power in both base and burst mode available, which means it isn’t a bad CPU! But the bigger area of contention from some buyers is that the R1600 lacks integrated graphics. This means that for some tasks and services that are more graphical in nature, the result will be a higher typical CPU Uages % than a processor that has a more specialized graphics management component onboard.

How the Synology DS720+ Intel Celeron J4125 and DS723+ AMD Emb.Ryzen R1600 Compare:

The traditional data handling of the R1600 is very good, as seen in our DS1522+ testing earlier in 2022. As far as DSM (the Synology software) is concerned it will be able to run EVERYTHING! Additionally, the general file handling and throughput internally are going to be great too, so all good news. Then you have the advantage of the newer gen CPU in the DS723+ over the DS720+ supporting PCIe3 lanes, affording greater bandwidth to the rest of the hardware (i.e those M.2 slots being higher bandwidth and enabling that network upgrade slot), all the while with the CPU having the potential to hit 3.1Ghz of power when needed. It is genuinely a good CPU and there are lots of reasons why Synology have opted for this CPU, but it is by no means perfect and some specific user setups and their concerns do have merit.

For a start, the AMD R1600 has a higher typical usage (unsurprising for the spec and generally identified as TDP, as a maximum) compared with the avg Intel Celeron being used in other NAS systems released in 2022 (such as the Intel N5105 or J6412) and in a system that will be in operation 24×7, this is going to a question mark for those affected by erratically rising energy prices right now, The difference might only be pence on the day, but those pence add up! Then there is the dual cores. Although having the four threads IS handy and will be useful, Cores will always beat threads when it comes to capabilities.

The DS723+ arrives with 1GbE By Default

Those ethernet ports. The default model of the DS723+ NAS arrives with two one gigabit ethernet ports (the same as the DS720+DS718+ and DS716+ before it), despite almost other commercial NAS brands producing solutions at this consumer-tier/scale arriving with at least 2.5GbE. Now, the adoption of greater than gigabit connectivity in client hardware (laptops, PCs, routers, switches, docking stations, etc) is by no means as ubiquitous as 1GbE (which has been around for decades at this point), BUT it is growing. ISPs are providing fiber internet connections globally that exceed gigabit speeds, along with 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 routers. We are seeing more prosumer switches, routers and PCs with default 2.5Gb network ports (at the same/similar cost as 1GbE), $20 USB-to-2.5G adapters and even the affordability of 10GbE on some client devices has allowed users to gradually scale up their hardware environment. The fact the DS723+ arrives at the tail end of 2023 and does not feature greater than 1GbE ports by default is quite damning. Even if you have no plans for 2.5G right now in your setup and think it something of a fad (favouring 10GbE), in terms of future-proofing and the general standard or networking hardware right now, gigabit ethernet is a surprising weakness here.

Only One USB Port and It’s Functionality and Support on the DS723+ is Underwhelming

This is going to sound fantastically churlish, however when looking at a smaller scale NAS system, the importance of external connectivity (backups, migration of data, etc) grows in importance. The DS723+ arrives with just one USB Port and it is USB 3.2 Gen 1, so 5Gb/s (500-500MB/s max bandwidth). Much like the 2.5G vs 1Gb complaints I made earlier, most other NAS brands at this hardware tier have rolled in USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G / 1,000+ MB) ports, as well as USB-C in some cases, with minimum 2-3 ports (often 4). With the ease with which a user can add a USB tier to their 3-2-1 backup strategy (allowing them to be a little more financially creative with a network/remote/cloud backup tier as well), the slightly old skool single USB port here is a little underwhelming. With significantly more affordable RAID-enabled USB solutions in the market and/or M.2 NVMe external USB drives arriving affordable to comfortably provide faster external storage for backups, this seems like a bit of a misstep by Synology to ignore. in such a small scale system.

Also, DSM 7 and DSM 7.1 (with DSM 7.2 coming soon enough) have reduced the range of use of the USB ports of Synology NAS systems (removing many network adapters, DTV tuners, wireless dongles, office accessories such as printers, scanners and optical drives), and limiting them largely to storage, UPS’ and assigning them to VMs. I am sure Synology has done the market research and observed reduced utilization of USB on their systems to dictate this decision, but it seems to be another move by the brand to prioritize network/remote access only with their systems.

M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pools ONLY Support Synology SSDs and are Currently Limited to Gen 3×1

Now, I have listed this as a ‘con’ and/or ‘reason to not buy the DS723+ NAS’, but really this could well be a positive for many business NAS buyers or those that want a much easier system to manage, upgrade – especially those who do not have much technical knowledge and/or an in-house IT admin. Over the last 4-5 years we have seen Synology become increasingly focused on it’s own first-party hardware and services. This is not uncommon (it would be weird if they didn’t invest heavily in developing their platform!), but many have highlighted that this has been to the detriment of it’s support of popular/common 3rd party hardware and software. Synology is increasingly becoming a ‘one-ecosystem’ platform (again, not necessarily a bad thing) that wants to provide a COMPLETE solution for a users network and data storage needs. DSM still supports a large number of 3rd party business services and platforms (SaaS and PaaS once, such as Office 365, Google Workspace, Hyper-V + VMware to name just a few) AND home/homelab ones like Plex, Docker, Emby etc. This first party priority also applied to their M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool support, as (see gif below) at the time of writing, you can only use Synology’s own first-party M.2 NVMes for storage pools. If you choose to install alternative drives in this bay from the likes of WD, Kingston or Seagate, the result is that the system will state that it cannot proceed, highlighting that the drive is not tested by Synology for this purpose. You can still use the SSDs for M.2 NVMe SSD caching, but right now the storage pool feature appears to only be for Synology SNV3400 and SNV3410 Drives.

Another thing that was observed (first in the DS923+) was that although these are physically PCIe Gen 3×4 Bays (checked using Putty over SSH), they have been throttled to PCIe Gen 3×1. Now, there are several reasons for this move (appearing online from 1st/3rd party sources, as well as in communication with the brand previously) with the most recurring reason being to do with increased heat from these bays needing to be avoided. Now, though this may have merit and Synology will have little reason to do this otherwise, other NAS brands offering m.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools on their systems have not included this downgrade in PCIe speed for similar reasoning (though many use processors that lack the PCI Lane coverage afforded to the DS723+ and the Ryzen, meaning fixed 3×2 or 3×1 speeds for reasons of architecture, not heat). Its a slightly odd move and one that is also further baffling when it was confirmed that the support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools on previous Synology Diskstation releases with support of these 2280 slots (DS920+DS1621+xs+, DS1821+ etc just to name a few) is not coming any time soon.  It is still better to have support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools rather than not, but this has been a slightly odd way of approaching the feature and hopefully one that will see revision and improvement in further software/hardware updates in 2023/2024.

Server Side HEVC/H.265 Support and Conversions on the DS723+ are Weak

Finally, there is a lack of integrated graphics. Most users will not notice this as an issue in day-to-day use, but multimedia users and especially a large % of Plex users will notice, if they are a little more reliant on the server-side processing than on the client. For example, if your media collection contains alot of dense/complex audio media (RAW, MP4a, etc) OR alot of higher-end HEVC/H.265 Media BUT you do not have client hardware that supports these types (or allows local client conversions/transcoding), then the NAS will have to use raw horsepower to get the job done – much less efficient than embedded graphics doing the job. Again, you might not be impacted by this (your client hardware might have enough power and privileges, or you own a local HEVC-licensed device), but it IS a concern if you are running a Plex Media Server on the DS723+ and need the NAS to convert files on the fly. Earlier in 2022, I compared the DS920+ (with a Celeron) vs the DS1522+ (with this same AMD R1600) in a detailed YouTube video testing 4K Media in Plex. Here are the results:


Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

(FULL Review from 11/01/22 Can Be Found HERE) – There is no denying that the Synology DS723+ NAS is the most powerful, capable and upgradable 2-Bay that Synology has EVER released. Although the AMD Ryzen dual core Ryzen CPU is going to be a sticking point for those who wish a quad-core and/or integrated graphics CPU had been used (eg video conversions server side in Plex and the like) – the capabilities of the DS723+ NAS in it’s traditional performance, handling and throughput are better than they have ever been on ANY other Synology 2-Bay before. The 10GbE optional upgrade on this system is a very welcome but surprisingly option on this device (given Synology’s past reluctance to prove this on a system that may well struggle to saturate it with just two bays). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools, making the DS723+ NAS just the 2nd every Synology NAS to support this function (alongside SSD cache support of course) – though odd decisions on Gen 3×4>3×1 handling are still a touch puzzling. Support of DSM 7.1 (DSM 7.2 beta soon, at time of writing) runs beautifully on the  DS723+ NAS and is still clearly what the primary selling point of this system is, with Synology offering the system as a solution and entry point into their ecosystem, rather than a hardware/nuts-and-bolts purchase. The full range of 1st party tools (Active backup, VMM, Photos, Drive, Collaboration Suite, Hyper Backup, Surveillance Station and more) still continue to impress and to have full and (mostly) licence-free access to these from such a compact server system is genuinely fantastic. Likewise, the support of 3rd party client applications and SaaS/PaaS services (Google WorkSpace, Office 365, VMware, Hyper-V, etc) still maintains a high standard of integration with the Synology tools, though with a clear growing movement by the brand to prioritize it’s own services.

Still, there is a lingering feeling that the DS723+ NAS in it’s default state is crying for a defacto day one upgrade. The 2GB of base memory seems rather penny-pinching, despite the support of ECC. The 10GbE upgrade option is welcome, but largely inevitable when the default connection are 1GBe – IN 2023! I return to my point at the intro, where there DS723+ arrives (at least in terms of hardware) as practically half of the DS923+ (half the bays, half the memory, half the USBs, etc), but with a pricepoint that is certainly not half. Therefore in many ways, the DS723+ NAS serves as a compelling argument to just skip it entirely and go for the DS923+ for about £200 more and enjoy those extras and partially populate. The support and compatibility of 3rd party hardware on the DS723+ NAS is a fraction more streamlined than some might like (eg 22TB and 20TB HDDs still remain absent on the compatibility list, yet Synology branded 18TB drives are clearly available and we absent upto that point despite WD and Seagate NAS alternatives in the market), but overall the DS723+ is still a great NAS and easily cements itself as the best 2 bay offering by the brand in their 20+ year history.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
👍🏻Most Affordable 10GbE upgradable Synology NAS in the market!
👍🏻ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
👍🏻The design of the DS723+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
👍🏻The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
👍🏻Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
👍🏻Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
👍🏻Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
👍🏻Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
CONS
👎🏻The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
👎🏻The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
👎🏻The USB port on the system (only x1?!) is older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
👎🏻The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
👎🏻Plex Support on the Synology DS723+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed - this system will struggle in comparison with the DS720+ before it


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Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review

13 janvier 2023 à 18:00

Review of the Terramaster F2-423 NAS Drive

The Network Attached Storage industry (NAS) unlike many areas of the tech world is actually surprisingly small in terms of the companies that fight for market dominance. With less than 10 big players and less than 5 of those being real marketing recognized, choosing a NAS solution is actually quite restricted. In that small paddock of NAS brands, the one that is by FAR the best hardware value (as in, getting the most for your money in terms of hardware) is Terramaster. A brand that has evolved incredibly rapidly in the personal home/office server market in the last 7-8 years. Although not as well established as bigger brands with decades in the server industry (such as Synology and QNAP), in the short time they have been in the NAS market, they have produced a range of solutions that sneak up remarkably close in hardware/software to those bigger brands, whilst sometimes arriving close to half the price for the same architecture. Their latest series is the x23 series (arriving in 2, 4, 9 and 12-Bay desktop solutions so far, at the time of writing) and today I want to review their F2-423 2-Bay NAS. Going up against the likes of the Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 and QNAP TS-464 NAS (released around a month on either side of the F2-423), as well as competing with Synology’s DS920+ right now, the F2-423 has some steep competition.  Nevertheless, with its pricetag already £100-180 less (depending on where you shop) the F2-423 already seemingly has the high ground in terms of affordability, but what about software, quality and overall performance? Let’s review this new Terramaster NAS and see if it deserves your data.

Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F2-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F2-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F2-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F2-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻TRAID Flexible RAID is great stuff!
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻Supports Current 22TB HDDs from WD and Seagate
👍🏻VERY easy TrueNAS installation is possible
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB - TBC)
👍🏻Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
CONS
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻Although TOS 5 has seen some big improvements and more AAA+ apps and services added, it is still not as polished as DSM or QTS from their competitors

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Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Unboxing, Packaging & Presentation

The initial impressions of the presentation Terramaster F2-423 NAS were a little meh! As this is a more affordable solution, it is understandable that some areas of the retail package are going to be a little understated. Additionally, NAS systems like the F2-423 NAS are going to 99% of the time be purchased online (not in your local I.T shop or generally in line of sight at the point of sale), so the need for flashy packaging is less important. That said, many brands still put a little effort into this and present their solutions as a means to promote a brand, lifestyle or general vibe or excellence in their product (i.e. “the first bite is with the eye” etc). The Terramaster F2-423 arrives in a very plain brown box and just has the model ID with a sticker and the brand logos.

Remarks of presentation aside, the packaging of the Terramaster F2-423 is pretty good in terms of protection. The unit is well held in foam (a little softer in density than I would like maybe) and the accessories are neatly and securely contained. There is practically no room for the system to move in transit and ultimately, that is all that matters (silent shock/motion damage to the components).

The accessories box contains lots of accessories and although most are pretty standard (setup instructions, power supplier, warranty information, screws, etc), there are a couple of unusual additional that I have never received in other brand’s products, namely the inclusion of additional HDD tray clip/screw washers and additional rubber feet for the NAS. This isn’t really a good/bad thing and for those that need them, it’s a handy addition. Just seemed an unusual addition.

One small but positive area of note is the LAN cable included. As mentioned earlier, in more affordable NAS solutions (like more tech), the way savings can be made is by cutting corners. Therefore I was surprised that the Terramaster F2-423 arrived with a surprisingly high-quality LAN cable. Thick, Cat 6 and very high quality at the connector. Again, this is a small point, but companies such as QNAP and Terramaster HAVE provided Cat 5e cables of a shorter length, thinner material and nowhere near the quality of this one with their 1/2.5GbE solutions. It’s a VERY minor point, but this is the sort of area I would have assumed Terramster would have saved a few £/$ on and I am impressed.

The Terramaster F2-423 arrives with an external PSU (quite standard in 2-bay desktop systems) and it’s quite non-descript and not too much to write home about. It’s a 2-pin connector 60W PSU.

Overall, there is quite a good range of accessories included with the Terramaster F2-423. Nothing spectacular, but pretty much everything you are going to need (aside from storage media) to set up your NAS quickly and easily. Let’s discuss the design of the F2-423.

Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Design

Terrasmaster NAS drives are pretty distinctive. The brand has been using largely the same chassis in its 2 and 4 Bay systems for about 5 years. There HAVE been improvements (port placement, removal of the odd handle on the top and the tray quality is massively improved) but in the desktop 2/4-Bay systems, things have changed very little. The design is looking a little dated now in 2022, but it is still very functional and whereas brand like QNAP has 8-10 different design chassis in their portfolio, it is nice that Terramster have at least kept a consistent look/shape to the solutions in their portfolio for brand recognition.

The Terramaster F2-423 NAS chassis is a combination of Metal and plastic (with the front, rear and media trays all arriving in plastic, but the 1 piece surrounding the middle area is metal). Indeed, at a glance you might assume the whole thing is metal, with the brushed silver colour scheme, but no. The system’s passive cooling (vents) are located between each of the media bays, and at the base of the machine. The system seemingly takes advantage of horizontal airflow through the chassis (with the rear fans facilitating this) and the metal middle section providing dissipation for the internal mechanisms getting warm.

The ventilation on the base of the Terramaster F2-423 is pretty much the entire system and the rubber feet of this NAS are noticeably taller than other NAS 2-Bay systems. Although these are chiefly under the drive media bays, they are pretty much over the entire controller board too, to create an angled air circulation through the bays/board and via the fans on the rear.

The Terramaster F2-423 chassis lacks any LCD panel (these days only QNAP and Asustor seemingly include these on a few of their systems) and system information is provided by multiple LEDs on the front. These cover the activity, status and health of the media bays, the network connection and the power of the system.

The main storage bays of the Terramaster F2-423 NAS are SATA-connected plastic trays that support 2.5″ and 3.5″ media (i.e HDDs and SSDs). The system can operate with a single drive if you choose, allowing you to gradually add more storage over time. However, the Terramaster F2-423 (like most NAS) works at it’s best with multiple drives in a RAID configuration for the safety net of redundancy and/or a performance increase of multiple drives being read/written to at the same time.

The trays inside the Terramaster F2-423 support the toolless installation of 3.5″ HDDs (i.e no screwdriver needed and drives click in securely) and 2.5″ SSD/HDDs need the included screws. The SATA connections inside are combined data/power, so no loose cables or tricksy installation. Lastly, the Terramaster F2-423 supports hot swapping, so drives can be inserted/removed without powering down the system, just BE AWARE that removing a drive that is in a RAID is not recommended (by ANY NAS brand).

And that is about it for the design of the Terramaster F2-423 chassis. They have used this same design in the bulk of the desktop 2/4 systems, so there are few surprises here. But nonetheless, it seemingly does the job and aside from the design perhaps looking a little old these days compared with Synology’s more expensive Diskstation series, it’s a solid enough build. Let’s discuss the ports and connections of the F2-423 NAS.

Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connections available on the Terramaster F2-423 NAS, although few in number, are all pretty good for what the devices are costing right now. Only three connections to discuss (and one of them is a bit negligible) but given the device’s price point, the available external bandwidth here is impressive. The rear chunky fan module that is located on the rear of the F2-423 (much like previous Terramaster NAS systems) is a little unsightly, but as it is on the rear of the unit, you are never going to see it much.

The twin fans are thicker than many other fans in the market and although that results in a greater draw of air into the system when it is operational, it does also mean that when in operation, the Terramaster F2-423 is a pinch louder. These fans can be adjusted in rotations per minute (RPM) in the TOS software of course, but it is not recommended and it’s best to leave the system fans on automatic so they can dynamically adjust to the internal temperature for efficiency.

Of course, the first big improvement of the Terramaster F2-423 over its predecessors (F2-422 and F2-421) is the inclusion of 2.5-gigabit ethernet (2.5GbE). The NAS arrives with two ethernet ports that can provide around 250-279MB/s throughout each, as well as allowing link aggregation (aka Port Trunking) to combine their bandwidth and provide 5GbE (around 500-550MB/s throughput) with the use of a smart switch. In the last few years, we have seen several brands provide 2.5GbE connections at the same cost as 1GbE ports and with internet service providers and affordable switch manufacturers providing 2.5GbE solutions, it was only natural that NAS brands would make the jump towards it. Hypothetically, if you had a faster than Gb internet connection (fiber etc) and a google drive account, that means that you would be able to connect with your cloud drive FASTER than a NAS system in your home if you only have 1GbE. This is why NAS systems need to arrive with 2.5/5/10GbE in 2022, for the sake of futureproofing and to keep up with the growing demands for data access. Additionally, 2 SATA storage bays (as well as the use of those internal SSD bays that I will touch on later) will easily saturate a 2.5GbE and even LAG supported 5GbE connection, so these ports allow you to maximize your storage potential and share that bandwidth with multiple connected users.

One slight letdown is that the Terramaster F2-423arrives with an HDMI port BUT they do not have any kind of HDMI/Visual GUI that can be accessed (unlike QNAP’s HD Station and Asustor’s Portal applications) The HDMI out DOES allow you to access SSH/Telnet level/stylized backend controls with a USB keyboard, but with this CPU and hardware architecture supporting embedded graphics, 4K media and multimedia services, it is a real shame that you cannot do anything more home/SMB friendly than command line. Maybe one-day Terramaster will update TOS to take advantage of this feature in a more graphical/KVM way, but it has been 2 years of these systems having HDMI and we have yet to see any change on this.

The USB ports of the Terramaster F2-423 are a subtle upgrade over previous/older NAS systems from the brand, with this NAS featuring 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. These allow connections of up to 10Gb/s (1,000MB/s – double that of the USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gb/s in older systems) and that means much, MUCH faster local backups to external storage drives, as well as the support of USB JBOD storage expansions. The real benefits of USB 3.2 Gen 2 in expansions are only really felt when using larger SSD arrays or 5-8 bay expansions. Nevertheless, these ports are a nice extra for the system. Additionally, Terramaster recently released an affordable USB-to-2.5GbE adapter for £25+ that allows you to connect ANOTHER 2.5GbE port on this system. Add a 2-4 Bay storage expansion to the other USB port and you have a great deal of storage and network bandwidth for this system to graduate towards, all thanks to those newer gen USB ports.

The ports and connections of the Terramaster F2-423 are few in number but still nonetheless good upgrades over it’s predecessor. Terramaster could have EASILY cut a few corners here (i.e USB 3.2 Gen 1 or just a single 2.5GbE port) and most users would not have batted an eye (as it is noticeably lower in price than the similar USB 3.2/2.5G QNAP TS-464). Let’s get our screwdriver and take a look inside this NAS to see how Terramster have approached the internal specifications of the F2-423.

Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the Terramaster F2-423 NAS is a mix of current-generation hardware choices and quirky applications. The internal boards comprise two PCBs (one for the SATA storage and another for… well… everything else). In most cases, a user will almost never completely dismantle a NAS drive in its lifespan. However, in the case of the F2-423, you are going to need to take it apart quite considerably in order to access a number of the upgrade options. In order to access these, you will need to remove the six rear screws of the chassis and then remove the rear panel. This rear panel contains the active cooling fans and either awkwardly hangs from the chassis or you will need to disconnect the fan (something only fractionally less ideal). From here you will need to slide the entire internal framework out and that allows you to access/upgrade a couple of the internal hardware components as needed.

Once the full internal board is disconnected, you are able to see a wide variety of heatsinks, ports and modules. This is a slightly unconventional means of accessing these bits but something that most PC builders will be ok with. The board is double-sided with the m.2 SSD slots and a single SODIMM memory slot on one side, and the Internal CPU and another populated SODIMM slot on the other side – which is significantly harder to access and requires removal of even more of the internal framework to access.

The CPU featured in the Terramaster F2-423 NAS is a quad-core Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, a processor that has been very much the ‘CPU of choice’ among the 2022/2023 generation of NAS hardware from most of the brands (except Synology). This is a quad-core x86 64bit processor that is 2.0Ghz in clock speed, that can be burst up to 2.9Ghz when needed. It features an onboard AES-NI encryption engine, as well as Intel embedded graphics for visual data tasks such as native multimedia playback, transcoding, photo management and improved services in TOS 5 (still in beta) towards AI photo recognition and surveillance with IP Cameras. As mentioned, although this is never going to challenge the likes of an Intel Pentium or Intel Core in 2022, it is still a very good CPU and in the context of NAS and this price point, very competent indeed.

Alongside that CPU, the Terramaster F2-423 NAS also arrives with 4GB of DDR4 Memory. However, closer inspection of the F2-423 architecture does raise a couple of small questions. Firstly, the 4GB of memory the system arrives with is a single 2133Mhz SODIMM module. Most other NAS systems with this architecture arrive with 2400-2666Mhz memory. It’s a small point, but this is the first NAS I have seen with DDR4 memory at 2133Mhz. Additionally, the 4GB module is located in an incredibly difficult place under the main cage array, so installing larger/faster memory is not going to be possible without much more dismantling. Talking of ‘adding more memory’, Terramaster state that the F2-423 NAS supports up to 32GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory across its two slots. However, Intel state that this CPU only supports a maximum 16GB across two channels – so although I am sure the system would definitely see 32GB of memory if you have 2x 16GB installed, I do wonder if you will definitely be able to actually USE all 32 correctly.

The Terramaster F2-423 also features two M.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install significantly faster SSDs into the system alongside SATA HDDs, meaning that you have another option for your storage. Now, there is good and bad news here regarding these ports. On the plus side, they can be used for either caching alongside the larger HDD RAID configuration (to allow read/write caching and significantly improve their performance in key areas) or as it’s own storage pool. This is something that popular NAS competitor Synology has never implemented to their NVMe bays, despite it being a highly requested feature. On a slight downside, as the Intel N5105 CPU inside the Terramaster F2-423 is already being stretched a little thing in it’s architecture, these M.2 NVMe SSD bays are PCIe Gen 3 x1 speed. This means that NVMe SSDs such as the Seagate Ironwolf 510/525 or WD Red SN700 at PCIe Gen 3/4 x4 will be limited down to a maximum 1,000MB/s per bay. This is still something you can incorporate into a solid RAID for improved performance and its better to have them, than not at all though.

The internal hardware inside the Terramaster F2-423 is still good for the money and certainly gives you a solid base level of hardware to work with. The means to access and upgrade the system hardware is less smooth than most/all other commercial NAS brands, but once you have jumped these odd hurdles, you have some great kit here to use in conjunction with 1st and 3rd party applications. So, let’s move into the subject of software and TOS on the F2-423.

Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Software

If you are an existing Terramaster NAS owner, or are someone that has been considering their NAS brand for your private server purchase, then you might have heard that they recently released their latest BIG software update. Upgrading from TOS 4 to TOS 5, this new update brings a huge range of improvements in the GUI, available applications, supported services, security and user controls to their NAS systems.  It is important to note that even though TOS 5 is now fully released and in its non-beater version, some applications are still in beta within this software platform and although I will touch on them throughout this review, I will make a point of highlighting when some applications in full release or are still in Beta. These include Terra Photos, Terrasync tools, Centralized Backup, and elements of Terra Search and Surveillance Manager. Although all of these applications are still available in the app center, the experiences I had with them still demonstrate that they are not in their final form and suffered weak resource sharing with the rest of TOS5. Otherwise, all other elements discussed in this review are in their full release candidate form. Additionally, at the time of writing, TOS5 is not available for ARM processor NAS devices. I made a MASSIVE review of TOS 5 in it’s own dedicated article below, which I recommend you read if you want to know the FULL scope of what TOS 5 can and cannot do:

 

What I liked in TOS 5

  • The GUI is considerably clearer and much more vibrant.
  • The options and icons in the GUI are much more responsive and clear against other background activities.
  • There are considerably more backup and synchronization tools in TOS5.
  • There are a vastly improved number of storage configurations and services available at your disposal.
  • The mixed drive TRAID Is going to win serious points with ex-synology owners.
  • The system includes direct tech support and remote access terminal for official support and difficulties
  • The network isolation mode in TOS5 is both unique to the brand and particularly helpful.
  • The resource monitor is 10 times better than in previous versions of TOS 5 and genuinely useful.
Click to view slideshow.

What I did not like in TOS 5

  • The upgrade path between TOS4 and TOS5 is not as smooth as it should be. And will confuse some and concern others.
  • Multimedia tools are a little lacking and although there is a general DLNA media server application and the photo app in beta, there is no dedicated video or music tool available.

Terramaster F2-423 NAS Review – Conclusion

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F2-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F2-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F2-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F2-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

PROS of the Terramaster F2-423 CONS of the Terramaster F2-423
  • 2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
  • TRAID Flexible RAID is great stuff!
  • Good CPU for the Price Point
  • Supports Current 22TB HDDs from WD and Seagate
  • VERY easy TrueNAS installation is possible
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
  • Great RAID Options
  • Snapshot Replication
  • BTRFS Support if preferred
  • Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
  • 4K Video transcoding natively
  • A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
  • Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
  • HDMI Currently Unsupported
  • Although TOS 5 has seen some big improvements and more AAA+ apps and services added, it is still not as polished as DSM or QTS from their competitors

Click the link below to take you to your local Amazon store and where to buy the terramaster F2-423 NAS.

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Synology DS223 NAS Drive Released

11 janvier 2023 à 13:57

Brand New Synology DS223 Value Series NAS Released

Hot on the heels of their recent releases in the Synology Plus range, Synology has now revealed a new Value Series 2-Bay NAS – The Synology DS223 NAS. Powered by a newer generation Realtek ARM v8 processor, this is the first entry into a no doubt soon to expand value range of diskstation devices to replace the (frankly) long overdue refresh of the DS218, DS118, DS418, DS120j and DS220j devices in their portfolio. Arriving with a similar level of hardware across the rest of the device to the 2018-2020 released value/budget devices in most other regards, the most notable change here is the scale up in processor from the RTD1296 to the RTD1619B. Let’s discuss the hardware that we know, how that will impact DSM and where it improves upon the older gen.

What Are the Hardware Specifications of the Synology DS223 NAS

So, as mentioned above, the actual hardware across the bulk of the DS223 is largely identical to the DS218 NAS. Synology have pretty much kept everything (the chassis, USB standard, network connection, memory capacity and scalability) identical. That CPU is the only meaninglful change. Then again, they did see huge success with the Realtek product family up to this point and it would make sense for them to continue using this fantastically efficient but capable series. So, let’s dig into those specifications a little:

Synology DS223 NAS Drive
Processor
Processor model Realtek RTD1619B
Number of CPUs 1
processor architecture 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 1.7 GHz
hardware encryption engine Yes
Memory
system memory 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Remark Synology reserves the right to replace memory components with the same or higher frequency depending on the supplier’s product availability. Its compatibility and stability have undergone the same rigorous testing and inspection, please feel free to use it.
storage device
Number of slots 2
Compatible Disk Type
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
Disk hot-plug support* Yes
external port
RJ-45 1GbE LAN port* 1
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 3
USB / SD Copy No
Remark
  • The maximum MTU value of the 1GbE network port of this product is 1500.
  • The USB-IF renamed the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 as USB 3.2 Gen 1 in 2019.
file system
internal disk
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
external disk
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
Exterior
Size (HXWXD) 165mm x 108mm x 232.7mm
weight 1.28 kg
other projects
system fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 1 pcs
fan mode
  • full speed mode
  • low temperature mode
  • silent mode
Front panel LED indicators with adjustable brightness Yes
Power Auto Reply Yes
Noise value* 14.6 dB(A)
Timer switch Yes
wake on lan Yes
Power Supply / Transformer 60W
AC input voltage 100V to 240V AC
current frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
power consumption 17.343 W (access)
4.08 W (disk hibernation)
BTU 59.19 BTU/hr (access)
13.92 BTU/hr (disk hibernation)
Remark
  • For more information on how to measure the power consumed by a power supply, please refer to this article .
  • Noise level test environment: The Synology system is fully loaded with Synology SATA SSD hard drives in standby mode, and two GRAS Type 40AE microphones are set up at a distance of 1 meter from the front and back of the device. Background noise value: 16.49-17.51 ​​dB(A); temperature: 24.25-25.75˚C; humidity: 58.2-61.8%.
warranty
2-year hardware warranty, you can purchase Extended Warranty Plus to enjoy up to 4-year product warranty service.
environment
RoHS Compliant
package contents
  • Host X 1
  • Accessory bag X 1
  • Transformer X 1
  • Power cord X 1
  • RJ-45 network cable X 1
  • Quick Installation Guide X 1

So, this CPU. Synology are not the first brand to start utilizing this processor (Terramaster were the first, with their own Value series that was unveiled at the end of 2022). In the coming weeks, we will be investigating further into the capabilities of this CPU, but there is no doubt that Synology will have thoroughly explored the running and efficiency of DSM 7.1 (7.2 Beta arriving soon) on this processor. The system arrives with 2GB of DDR4 Memory (non-ECC) that cannot be upgraded. This is not a huge surprise (this has been the case for this product family, plus the play and Value series running on ARM processors pretty much since day dot!) and we will almost certainly see scaling in memory in the 1-Bay, 4-Bay and J series alternatives to this NAS as they arrive to popular Synology’s Value tier for 2023/2024. 2GB is more than enough for DSM 7.1. PLUS series features like the inclusion of M.2 NVMe SSD bays are absent, but that is not something I would have expected on this series anyway. Another question some users might have is regarding hard drive and SSD compatibility. Synology in 2022 made some rather strong moves towards prioritizing their own storage media and upgrades in their Plus and above series’, still supporting the use of 3rd party hardware in a bunch of areas (relenting at one point and adding WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf on the compatibility lists, where previously they seemed absent).

I am pleased to confirm that the Synology DS223 NAS will definitely arrive with compatibility and support of the 3rd Party HDD/SSD manufacturers (as well as their own HDDs and SSDs of course). The maximum supported capacity is still at 18TB (again, likely in line with their own HAT5300 capping at 18TB at the time of writing), but at least users of this value tier device will not have to be concerned with opting for media outside of their usual brand of choice. Let’s discuss DSM’s supported features and services on the Synology DS223 NAS.

What Are the Software Specifications of the Synology DS223 NAS

The Synology DS223 NAS will arrive with the latest version of DSM 7 available, as well as the support of Synology Hybrid RAID too. As this is an ARM v8 processor, there is going to be the odd compromise here o there (although 4K handling is possible, 4K transcoding and general video encoding/conversion to a meaningful degree is going to be something of a pipe dream! Synology has managed to include the bulk of DSM 7’s features and serives with the DS223 hardware here, though the depth of support of 3rd party applications and services is still TBC till I have one in the office for review. Things like Virtual Machines are DEFINITELY NOT going to be possible here and the performance/scale of surveillance on this NAS with Synology’s Surveillance Station application re ging to be a little lighter than on a PLUS model, but again that is something we would expect for a value series device. Let’s go through those services and features of DSM that are supported, as well as the extent to which they run:

DSM Product Specifications
storage space management
Maximum single volume capacity* 108TB
Maximum number of storage spaces 64
SSD TRIM Yes
Support RAID disk array type
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • Basic
  • JBOD
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 1
RAID Configuration Migration Basic to RAID 1
Larger hard drives can be used to expand storage space
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • RAID 1
Add new hard disk to expand storage space Synology Hybrid RAID
Remark
  • The usable capacity of each volume is lower than the size of the maximum volume, and actually depends on the file system and the amount of system metadata stored.
  • The actual maximum storage pool and storage space size depends on the hard disk capacity used, the number of available disk slots and the RAID type.
file service
file agreement SMB/AFP/NFS/FTP/WebDAV
Maximum simultaneous SMB/AFP/FTP connections 200
Windows Access Control List (ACL) Integration Yes
NFS Kerberos authentication Yes
Remark The test standard is based on the maximum number of simultaneous connections supported by this model. During testing, 25% of the connections were concurrently transferring files. The transmission process only ensures that the connection is not interrupted, and cannot guarantee the minimum transmission speed.
Accounts and Shared Folders
Maximum number of local user accounts 1,024
Maximum number of local groups 256
Maximum number of shared folders 256
Maximum Shared Folder Sync Tasks 4
Hybrid Share
Maximum number of Hybrid Share folders 5
log center
Number of logs received per second 400
General Specifications
Internet protocol SMB1 (CIFS), SMB2, SMB3, NFSv3, NFSv4, NFSv4.1, NFS Kerberized sessions, iSCSI, HTTP, HTTPs, FTP, SNMP, LDAP, CalDAV
Supported browsers
  • Google Chrome
  • firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
supported language English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Dansk, Norsk, Svenska, Nederlands, Русский, Polski, Magyar, Português do Brasil, Português Europeu, Türkçe, Český, ภษษไทย, Traditional Chinese, Simplified
Remark For details of supported browser versions, please refer to DSM Technical Specifications .
Additional Kits View Full Kit List
Synology Chat
download station
Maximum number of download tasks 80
SAN Manager
Maximum number of iSCSI Targets 10
Maximum number of LUNs 10
LUN Clone/Snapshot, Windows Offload Data Transfer (ODX)
Media Server
DLNA compatible
Synology Photos
face recognition
Snapshot Replication
The maximum number of snapshots supported by a single shared folder 256
Maximum number of system snapshots 4,096
Surveillance Station
The maximum number of cameras supported (camera authorization is required) 20 (including 2 sets of free licenses) (see compatible IP cameras)
Frames per second (FPS) (H.264) 600 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
460 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
300 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
150 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
110 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Frames per second (FPS) (H.265) 600 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
500 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
400 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
350 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
250 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Remark
  • Maximum number of IP cameras and FPS figures are the result of a test unit recording continuously with a full hard drive.
  • Actual system capacity will vary based on system configuration, hard drive performance, number of features enabled, and presence of other workloads.
Synology Drive
Recommended number of clients that can sync simultaneously 200 (the number of devices that can be connected at the same time when the recommended number of stored files is reached)
Recommended number of files to store 500,000 (applicable to files indexed or belonging to Synology Drive , files accessed through other protocols, please refer to the file service in the above field)
Remark
  • Exceeding the recommended amounts above will not cause the kit to stop functioning, it will just cause longer response times.
  • The Btrfs file system and unencrypted shared folders were used in the above tests.
Synology Office
Maximum number of users 200
Remark
  • The test opens multiple files, and each file is edited by 30 users at the same time.
  • Client performance may affect the maximum number of simultaneous editing users. Client test computer specifications: Intel Core i3-3220 / 8GB memory
Video Station
VPN Server
Maximum number of connections 20

If you are interested in the full range of services and applications (of which the Synology DS223 will likely run around 80% or so of which, just not the higher-end process/graphically demanding ones), you can watch my full Synology DSM 7.1 Review below. It covers pretty much everything and you can use the chapters at the bottom to fast-forward to the appropriate app/service/function that you are most interested in.

Next, let’s discuss how much improvement/difference we have in the DS223 against the DS218 NAS that it is seemingly refreshing for 2023.

How Does the Synology DS223 compare with the DS218 NAS?

The Synology DS223 NAS is not going to be an enormous jump in terms of ability over the DS218. Yes, this new CPU will bring improvements in power (aka clock speed) which means more ‘umpf’ under the bonnet to get things done, but also it will be more efficient, as it will benefit from the further developments by Realtek in getting the most out of these more economical of processors. The RTD1619b and RTD1296 are both quad-core, but the newer gen DS223 CPU is 1.7Gh in clock speed, so that means more resources to get your tasks done and (thanks to that R&D) less being used per task – so win-win. Below is a breakdown of how the DS223 and DS218 compare:

Hardware

Synology DS218 NAS (2018/2019)

Synology DS223 NAS (2023)

Processor model Realtek RTD1296 Realtek RTD1619B
Number of CPUs 1 1
processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 1.4 GHz 4-core 1.7 GHz
Memory
system memory 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Remark Synology reserves the right to replace memory components with the same or higher frequency depending on the supplier’s product availability. Its compatibility and stability have undergone the same rigorous testing and inspection, please feel free to use it. Synology reserves the right to replace memory components with the same or higher frequency depending on the supplier’s product availability. Its compatibility and stability have undergone the same rigorous testing and inspection, please feel free to use it.
storage device
Number of slots 2 2
Compatible Disk Type* (see all supported disks)
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
Ports
external port
RJ-45 1GbE LAN port 1 1
USB 2.0 port 1 0
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2 3
The only other notable difference (and that is stretching it a bit, I know) is that the DS223 is USB 3.2 Gen 1 throughout (3 ports), whereas the DS218 has 3 USB ports but one is a USB 2.0 (annoyingly, the front one that you would most likely use for regular LOCAL BACKUPS!). I am also pleased that they have kept the front-mounted copy button, which is used more in this value tier than most.

When Will the Synology DS223 NAS Drive Be Released and what is the Price?

Right now, Synology is taking its time on rolling the information out on this device globally, but we will likely see the full release of the Synology DS223 NAS globally before the end of Jan 2023. Regarding pricing, Synology will be keen to maintain the price point of their other value series NAS devices, so expect to see the DS223 arriving at around $270 / £230 / €260 (be sure to factor in your local tax and shipping of course). We can almost certainly expect the arrival of a 4-Bay DS423 and DS223j and/or DS423j NAS too soon.

Check Amazon and other retailers to see if the Synology DS223 NAS is available now using the links to them below (it supports us, costs you nothing extra and me and Eddie who run NASCompares will get a commission that goes directly back into the YouTube channel and blog):


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Synology DS723+ NAS Review

11 janvier 2023 à 01:01

The Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Tremendous 2-Bay?

Synology has always maintained a remarkably envious position in the NAS industry over the last decade or so. Although they didn’t ‘invent’ the idea of a private server in the home/office, they were the first to give the concept a fantastically consumer and accessible presentation. Over that time we have seen their popular Diskstation series go from strength to strength, with this new DS723+ NAS 2-Bay being the latest to join their growing lineup. All this said, the landscape has changed somewhat and with a vastly more informed and hardware-aware audience is not quite as optionless as it once was. Despite Synology’s top-tier platform ‘DSM’ still setting the standard for NAS software, the brand has come under growing criticism for their hardware choices. The DS723+ is the latest offering from the brand that hopes to challenge this reputation of software over hardware, providing a number of key improvements to the modest 2-Bay tier, such as ECC memory and optional network upgradability. Arranging as effectively HALF of the DS923+ NAS in most ways (but crucially, not half the price due to DSM being the main selling point), will the DS723+ NAS simply serve to upto the 4-Bay, or does it present itself as the perfect high powered and high-speed compact solution for those larger HDD capacities arriving in 2022 (20TB, 22TB and 26TB by the end of the year)? Let’s find out in my review of the Synology DS723+ NAS.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

There is no denying that the Synology DS723+ NAS is the most powerful, capable and upgradable 2-Bay that Synology has EVER released. Although the AMD Ryzen dual core Ryzen CPU is going to be a sticking point for those who wish a quad-core and/or integrated graphics CPU had been used (eg video conversions server side in Plex and the like) – the capabilities of the DS723+ NAS in it’s traditional performance, handling and throughput are better than they have ever been on ANY other Synology 2-Bay before. The 10GbE optional upgrade on this system is a very welcome but surprisingly option on this device (given Synology’s past reluctance to prove this on a system that may well struggle to saturate it with just two bays). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools, making the DS723+ NAS just the 2nd every Synology NAS to support this function (alongside SSD cache support of course) – though odd decisions on Gen 3×4>3×1 handling are still a touch puzzling. Support of DSM 7.1 (DSM 7.2 beta soon, at time of writing) runs beautifully on the  DS723+ NAS and is still clearly what the primary selling point of this system is, with Synology offering the system as a solution and entry point into their ecosystem, rather than a hardware/nuts-and-bolts purchase. The full range of 1st party tools (Active backup, VMM, Photos, Drive, Collaboration Suite, Hyper Backup, Surveillance Station and more) still continue to impress and to have full and (mostly) licence-free access to these from such a compact server system is genuinely fantastic. Likewise, the support of 3rd party client applications and SaaS/PaaS services (Google WorkSpace, Office 365, VMware, Hyper-V, etc) still maintains a high standard of integration with the Synology tools, though with a clear growing movement by the brand to prioritize it’s own services.

Still, there is a lingering feeling that the DS723+ NAS in it’s default state is crying for a defacto day one upgrade. The 2GB of base memory seems rather penny-pinching, despite the support of ECC. The 10GbE upgrade option is welcome, but largely inevitable when the default connection are 1GBe – IN 2023! I return to my point at the intro, where there DS723+ arrives (at least in terms of hardware) as practically half of the DS923+ (half the bays, half the memory, half the USBs, etc), but with a pricepoint that is certainly not half. Therefore in many ways, the DS723+ NAS serves as a compelling argument to just skip it entirely and go for the DS923+ for about £200 more and enjoy those extras and partially populate. The support and compatibility of 3rd party hardware on the DS723+ NAS is a fraction more streamlined than some might like (eg 22TB and 20TB HDDs still remain absent on the compatibility list, yet Synology branded 18TB drives are clearly available and we absent upto that point despite WD and Seagate NAS alternatives in the market), but overall the DS723+ is still a great NAS and easily cements itself as the best 2 bay offering by the brand in their 20+ year history.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
👍🏻Most Affordable 10GbE upgradable Synology NAS in the market!
👍🏻ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
👍🏻The design of the DS723+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
👍🏻The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
👍🏻Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
👍🏻Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
👍🏻Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
👍🏻Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
CONS
👎🏻The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
👎🏻The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
👎🏻The USB port on the system (only x1?!) is older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
👎🏻The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
👎🏻Plex Support on the Synology DS723+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed - this system will struggle in comparison with the DS720+ before it


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Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Presentation & Packaging

I won’t spend too long talking about the external packaging of the Synology DS723+ NAS, as it is remarkably similar to that of other Diskstation devices at this scale. The presentation of the retail box does have more attention to detail than you might expect though (given this is a 99% online purchased device and therefore any kind of glossy/detailed livery is almost a vanity addition!), as alongside the expected Synology logo and sticker for the model ID, the box is printed with tonnes of devices specific details. Synology has always been very, VERY aware of the power of branding with their solutions, as its little details like these (as well as embossed handles and favouring solution/every-man related terminology over cold specifications on the packaging) go a long way to set them apart from the sea of brown-box-rinse-repeat found in most online IT solutions you buy online and not at retail.

Despite the fact the DS723+ NAS is shipped unpopulated from Synology, we still need to grade/review them on the protection this unit is afforded in transit. As solid as a lot of IT kit looks, you cannot ignore the effects of shock or motion damage on them in long-distance travel from their point of manufacture (Taiwan in this case), so I will always give a brand extra points if they have gone the extra mile to spend a little more on protecting their system. In the case of the Synology DS723+ NAS, it’s mostly ok. I wish they used more hard foam/surrounding as you find in their 6-Bays and higher solutions (DS1621+, DS1821+, etc), as the DS723+ NAS arrives in a mostly cardboard structure that I think will be fine for the most part, but wouldn’t stand up to physical pressure tremendously well. Everything is separated very well and the structure/framework is there, it is just mostly cardboard! But I am being a bit petty here… let’s move on!

The DS723+ arrives with the accessories you would expect. The NAS unit itself, an external 65W PSU, Screws for 2.5″ media (3.5″ media installation is toolless), RJ45 Cat 5e ethernet cable, keys for the storage bays, first-time setup document and information on your warranty. All fairly standard stuff, though I am always surprised by the fact that Synology never include heatsinks for the M.2 NVMe SSD bays, given the high priority of the brand towards caching on these storage bays – something that can get those M.2 SSDs pretty hot. This is especially true in the case of this system being one of only two in the Synology hardware lineup to support M.2 NVMe SSD bays for caching AND storage Pools! This might well be the reason for the brand’s throttling of these bays in a few ways, but more on that later.

The external PSU is Synology branded, always a nice touch, and although there is a contingent of users that prefer an internal PSU (less fuss, tidier) I will always prefer an external power supplier, as it is hugely easier to replace, reduces the size of the NAS chassis itself and keeps those internal temps a little lower too. Luckily this NAS is such a low-impact model in terms of power use that a modest external power brick is completely possible.

The retail kit for the Synology DS723+ NAS is all fairly standard stuff in contents, but still a very branded package and completely what we would have expected from this very brand-aware company! Let’s discuss the design of the DS723+.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Chassis Design & Features

The chassis design of the DS723+ NAS is largely the same as the DS720+ and DS718+ that came before it. This is a particularly well-designed device, both in terms of aesthetic design AND it’s efficient system operation 24×7, with tonnes of ventilation throughout and very structured component distribution. Also, the chassis is a largely plastic external casing in matt black, that contains a much smaller structure on aluminium internally. The result is a NAS that is pretty low noise when in operation (unless you use HDDs larger than around 10TB and/or enterprise-grade 7200RPM disks), something that alot of users who plan on taking advantage of the potential increased external bandwidth that DS723+ for photo/video editing will hugely appreciate. That said, one consistent vibe you get in the design of the DS723+ is that direct/physical interaction with the device is kept to a minimum, preferring almost entirely network/internet-based interactivity. Not a huge surprise for a ‘NAS’ of course, but there are a handful of physical attributes that are intentionally absent here. The front of the chassis lacks any kind of LCD display, instead favouring LED indicators. The bulk of the front panel is occupied by the main storage bays and these have alining of ventilation all around them to act as passive airflow.

Passive airflow is definitely a big focus on the design of this chassis, with almost every side of the case featuring ventilation of one sort of around, with the Synology logo being vented. As this system will be in operation 24×7, it is heavily reliant on the rear fans to push air effectively through the system and over the assortment of internal heatsinks as effectively as possible and this chassis does that very well indeed. The Diskstation series at the 2/4 Bay level has always done a great job of melding modern design with necessary system temperature management and the DS723+ is no exception.

The LEDs on the front of the system use the usual three-colour system to denote drive activity and system status (network activity is absent, but the usual LEDs on the RJ45/Ethernet ports themselves are still present). These can have their brightness adjusted (or deactivated entirely) and although lack alot of the more information abilities of an LCD panel (IP addresses, system temp, alert description), they still serve ok as an initial indicator of system activity.

The main two storage bays of the DS723+ NAS are SATA interfaces and can be fully or partially populated with 2.5″ or 3.5″ media. The HDD/SSD compatibility of the DS723+ is still thinner than that of the DS720+, but Synology softened its stance a pinch on this subject after DSM 7.1 and the negative feedback on stricter HDD compatibility (i.e Synology media only). Although the full compatibility list is not as broad as that of the DS720+, we expect more drives to be added after launch (much as we saw with the DS1522+ and RS422+), though drives above 18TB are still absent (at the time of writing) despite 20TB and 22TB hard drives being tested on the DS723+ and working immediately. These two bays also allow you to use a large range of RAID configurations (redundant array of independent disks – a system of combining multiple drives to benefit storage scale, performance and/or data redundancy/safety-net). The usual configurations are here, RAID 0 and RAID 1 but the system also supports Synology’s Hybrid RAID (SHR) which allows you to mix different HDD/SSD capacities. It’s pretty unlikely that you will mix drive media on day 1, but if you partially populate or want to upgrade your drives gradually a few years down the line, SHR is SIGNIFICANTLY easier to expand and absorb newer/larger drives into an existing RAID. That said, the performance of SHR is a pinch lower than RAID 5 and RAID 1 conventionally, so for those hoping to take advantage of the 10GbE connectivity might do well to think about their Day 1 RAID and it’s impact down the line.

The trays themselves are plastic click-n-load tracks that feature a locking mechanism. It’s worth highlighting that this lock is by no means ‘industrial’ and removing a drive is going to be easy for particularly nefarious individuals, but this lock is more to prevent accidental removal than it is as a meaningful security barrier. The trays have screw holes for 2.5″ media to be installed with screws, but 3.5″ media is installed in seconds with the use of side clips that hold the drive in place via it’s own fixtures. The plastic tray is pretty sturdy and heat/cracking is not going to be any concern here. Also, the plastic trays will lower the ambient noise level when in operation more than metal trays would do, but (sorry to be repetitious) if you use bigger than 10TB HDDs, it is simply not possible to reduce the clicks, hums and whurs of these more industrial drives.

The front of the DS723+ NAS also features a USB port that can be used for connecting an external drive for backups in either direction (i. backup the drive contents to the NAS, or present files and folders to the NAS to the drive). Now, the DS723+ does not feature a front-mounted copy button (bit annoying) but DSM does include a USB copy tool that allows drives to automatically trigger a pre-set USB-to-NAS or NAS-to-USB operation when a drive is connected, which is pretty detailed in its setup (pre-set directories, age of files, exclusions, schedules, versioning, etc). The USB port is a USB 3.2 Gen 1, so 5Gb/s (500-500MB/s max bandwidth). Much like the 2.5G vs 1Gb complaints I made earlier, most other NAS brands at this hardware tier have rolled in USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G / 1,000+ MB)  ports, as well as USB-C in some cases. With the ease with which a user can add a USB tier to their 3-2-1 backup strategy (allowing them to be a little more financially creative with a network/remote/cloud backup tier as well), the slightly old skool USB port here are a little underwhelming. With significantly more affordable RAID-enabled USB solutions in the market and/or M.2 NVMe external USB drives arriving affordable to comfortably provide faster external storage for backups, this seems like a bit of a misstep by Synology to ignore. Also, DSM 7 and DSM 7.1 (with DSM 7.2 coming soon enough) have reduced the range of use of the USB port of Synology NAS systems (removing many network adapters, DTV tuners, wireless dongles, office accessories such as printers, scanners and optical drives), and limiting them largely to storage, UPS’ and assigning them to VMs. I am sure Synology has done the market research and observed reduced utilization of USB on their systems to dictate this decision, but it seems to be another move by the brand to prioritize network/remote access only with their systems.

The base of the system is where you will find those two M.2 NVMe SSD slots (again, tonnes of passive ventilation) that support SSD caching in conjunction with the larger HDD array, or use as an independent storage pool. At the time of writing, you cannot initialize the DS723+ and DSM to run directly from these faster drives, though you CAN choose to install individual applications on the NVMe SSD Storage pool after initialization. You can even go a little off-piste and use one bay for Read caching and the other for a storage pool if you choose – quite nice for a 2-Bay SATA NAS to technically have 4 usable storage bays total. Space is a little tight, but there is certainly room for a couple of M.2 $8-10 heatsinks (I successfully tested the Eluteng Dual Design M.2 Heatsinks found HERE on Amazon) and definitely recommend heatsinks for drives in these bays, regardless of their use for caching and/or pools.

Performance on these bays will comfortably saturate an external 10GbE connection (see gif below using two M.2 NVMes below tested with AJA externally over 10GbE). This is going to be useful for those that were concerned that 2x SATA HDDs or SSDs would struggle to saturate the 1,000MB/s bandwidth offered by the 10G upgrade. However, the full bandwidth afforded by the use of these bays in a storage pool is a little less clear than many would like.

First and foremost, although these are physically PCIe Gen 3×4 Bays (checked using Putty over SSH), they have been throttled to PCIe Gen 3×1. Now, there are several reasons for this move (appearing online from 1st/3rd party sources, as well as in communication with the brand previously) with the most recurring reason being to do with increased heat from these bays needing to be avoided. Now, though this may have merit and Synology will have little reason to do this otherwise, other NAS brands offering m.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools on their systems have not included this downgrade in PCIe speed for similar reasoning (though many use processors that lack the PCI Lane coverage afforded to the DS723+ and the Ryzen, meaning fixed 3×2 or 3×1 speeds for reasons of architecture, not heat). Its a slightly odd move and one that is also further baffling when it was confirmed that the support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools on previous Synology Diskstation releases with support of these 2280 slots (DS920+, DS1621+xs+, DS1821+ etc just to name a few) is not coming any time soon.  It is still better to have support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools rather than not, but this has been a slightly odd way of approaching the feature and hopefully one that will see revision and improvement in further software/hardware updates in 2023/2024.

I have always been a big fan of the Synology Diskstation chassis for it’s minimalistic, yet attractive and efficient design. The absence of a USB copy button still irks me a little and the largely plastic design is not going to be to everyone’s taste, but you cannot fault the amount of R&D that has gone into the construction here. Let’s discuss the ports and connectivity of the DS723+ NAS.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The ports and connections that the DS723+ NAS arrives with are something of a mixed bag and compared with the 2020 released DS720+ only real include on different (but it IS a BIG difference). The system has a single active 92mm cooling fan that will automatically adjust its RPM as the system’s ambient temperature requires. You can adjust it manually if you are especially noise-sensitive, but I would really recommend it (a low system temp = better system efficiency). The fan is not immediately removable (built into the back panel of the system), so cleaning and maintenance are a little fiddly and involve removal of the bulk of the chassis, but thanks to the large amount of ventilation afforded to the system, this is not really an issue long-term.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way early doors! Those ethernet ports. The default model of the DS723+ NAS arrives with two-gigabit ethernet ports (the same as the DS720+, DS718+ and DS716+ before it), despite almost other commercial NAS brand producing solutions at this consumer-tier/scale arriving with at least 2.5GbE. Now, the adoption of greater than gigabit connectivity in client hardware (laptops, PCs, routers, switches, docking stations, etc) is by no means as ubiquitous as 1GbE (which has been around for decades at this point), BUT it is growing. ISPs are providing fiber internet connections globally that exceed gigabit speeds, along with 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 routers. We are seeing more prosumer switches, routers and PCs with default 2.5Gb network ports (at the same/similar cost as 1GbE), $20 USB-to-2.5G adapters and even the affordability of 10GbE on some client devices has allowed users to gradually scale up their hardware environment. The fact the DS723+ arrives at the tail end of 2023 and does not feature greater than 1GbE ports by default is quite damning. Even if you have no plans for 2.5G right now in your setup and think it something of a fad (favouring 10GbE), in terms of future-proofing and the general standard or networking hardware right now, gigabit ethernet is a surprising weakness here.

HOWEVER, we do need to acknowledge the bit change that the DS723+ brings over it’s 2.5yr older predecessor – the ability to upgrade your network connectivity to 10GbE. The DS723+ is now the 4th Synology NAS to arrive (after the DS923+, DS1522+ and RS422+) with support of the Synology E10G22-T1-mini, a proprietary network upgrade module that is one of the easiest and quickest upgrades that I have ever seen to 10G to install! This module fits neatly (by design of course) into the PCIe Gen 3 x2 network upgrade slot, though powering down the device is necessary during installation. At first, I was a little sceptical about Synology providing a 10GbE upgrade to the DS723+ via a custom-made and largely proprietary designed upgrade module (thereby limiting you to ONLY the Synology PCIe upgrade, but not any other traditional PCIe Card 10G upgrades), but over time I have come round a little on this one.

I like how easy this is to install (zero case deconstruction) and it is a very well-designed component (not just a rebadged card with a logo). The 10G upgrade is only available in copper (RJ45/10GBASE-T) currently, but I would not be surprised if Synology roll out an SFP/SFP+ version down the line. As much as I would like to see this port and it’s utility get expanded (2.5G/5G, Dual port?), realistically this is still a PCIe 3×2 slot (so maximum 2,000MB/s to play with and that’s without network/hardware friction) and the physical space here is pretty small.

PERFORMANCE TESTING IN PROGRESS! IMAGES VERY SOON

The next question many will have about the DS723+ and this optional 10GbE upgrade is, can you even saturate a 10G (1,00MB/s+) connection with 2 bays of SATA storage? It’s a good point, as generally, domestic-class NAS HDDs will give you about 180-220MB/s max, with enterprise-class (or Pro) drives giving you 250-275MB/s. RAID configuration will add to this by increasing performance per drive bay. On Synology’s own pages, they rate the device to hit 471MB/s Sequential Read and 225MB/s Write – arguably quite slow numbers in the grand scheme of things. Of course, using SATA SSDs and/or M.2 NVMes in flash based storage pools will tell a very different story (with the latter EASILY maxing a 1,000MB/s connection, as seen in the previous gif above). That said, this port bing proprietary and unique to this product family/generation mean that there are a number of other Synology NAS PCIe upgrades that are unsupported. Although the NAS chassis size is an obvious and unavoidable factor (as is the saturation on offer), but hopefully that SFP+ support and perhaps compact dual port options might come on day…

Another thing I wanted to touch on was USB and… well… the lack of a rear port! I was rather surprised by this as, although the support of USB peripherals has dropped in DSM 7/7.1 (discussed earlier), the lack of a 2nd USB port on the DS723+ NAS is an odd move. Moving aside from additional storage add ons for backups and simply storage carry-over, smart UPS’ that still use USB connectivity and/or assigning a USB device to a VM in Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is going to now become a bit of a swap fest! Lastly, there is the expansion port that allows you to attach the official 5-Bay DX517 expansion device. This £350-400 5x SATA Bay JBOD enclosure is connected via a screw-in eSATA connection and allows you to either expand an existing RAID to increase the drive quantity and capacity overall (though not recommended to spread RAIDs over NAS+Expansion). Alternatively, you can use the expansion as a means to create an additional separate RAID configuration (which can also be gradually populated) that is treated exactly the same as the internal storage of the DS723+. The fact this expansion is JBOD only means that the RAID is managed by the main DS723+ device (which given the expansion cost, is a little annoying), but having this expandability is very useful. You cannot use third-party eSATA JBOD enclosures (unsurprisingly) and you can not get smaller/larger expansion chassis that are compatible with the DS723+, but the support of an expansion does mean that your storage options years down the line have this official option.

Overall the ports and connectivity of the DS723+ are technically no differences in the base model than the 2.5yrs older DS720+, it is only the option to add improved network connectivity towards 10GbE (and paying £129-139 extra for that) that makes this any way improved upon as a refresh of the older device. This upgrade is certainly welcomed, but there is still the hanging question of why they could not just roll this into the DS723+ as a default port on day 1 and just increase the price £100 – as I think there is a good % of NAS users who would have preferred this (especially with 10GbE largely supporting auto-negotiation with 5G, 2.5G and 1G, therefore allowing backwards compatibility). The expandability remains exactly the same too, which is useful but with only supporting the single expansion type and the lack of rear USB port, things are a little ‘blah’. Let’s take a closer look at the internal hardware and discuss the other big changes that the DS723+ brings over its predecessor.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

This is likely to be one of the biggest areas of contention for many users who have been waiting for the release of the DS723+, as the hardware choices that Synology has made for this system are quite a change of architecture that many expected. The internal framework of the DS723+ is an aluminium storage cage for the main SATA bays, with its own multi-port backboard. The same goes for the M.2 NVMe SSD bays, with both of these boards connecting to the controller board that has CPU and Memory storage. As mentioned earlier, the DS723+ does not take advantage of any active cooling systems (beyond the rear fans) and is heavily reliant on heatsinks internally to dissipate the heat from key components like the CPU and disperse that heat into the air. The CPU inside the DS723+ is the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 processor, an x86 64bit Dual core, four-thread processor with an impressive base level clock speed of 2.6Ghz that can be scaled up to 3.1Ghz when needed. Now, the DS7xx+ series has always arrived with a Quad Core Intel Celeron (or Pentium) processor in the past and when it was revealed that the DS723+ was arriving with a dual-core embedded ryzen, many users were a little unhappy. This was largely down to two factors. The first was that the R1600 is a dual-core, not the four-core that everyone expected. Now the R1600’s four-thread architecture does allow the CPU to spread out quite alot across tasks and services (as well as virtual CPUs in VM deployment), as well as having a higher power in both base and burst mode available, which means it isn’t a bad CPU! But the bigger area of contention from some buyers is that the R1600 lacks integrated graphics. This means that for some tasks and services that are more graphical in nature, the result will be a higher typical CPU Uages % than a processor that has a more specialized graphics management component onboard.

How the Synology DS720+ Intel Celeron J4125 and DS723+ AMD Emb.Ryzen R1600 Compare:

The traditional data handling of the R1600 is very good, as seen in our DS1522+ testing earlier in 2022. As far as DSM (the Synology software) is concerned it will be able to run EVERYTHING! Additionally, the general file handling and throughput internally are going to be great too, so all good news. Then you have the advantage of the newer gen CPU in the DS723+ over the DS720+ supporting PCIe3 lanes, affording greater bandwidth to the rest of the hardware (i.e those M.2 slots being higher bandwidth and enabling that network upgrade slot), all the while with the CPU having the potential to hit 3.1Ghz of power when needed. It is genuinely a good CPU and there are lots of reasons why Synology have opted for this CPU, but it is by no means perfect and some specific user setups and their concerns do have merit.

For a start, the AMD R1600 has a higher typical usage (unsurprising for the spec and generally identified as TDP, as a maximum) compared with the avg Intel Celeron being used in other NAS systems released in 2022 (such as the Intel N5105 or J6412) and in a system that will be in operation 24×7, this is going to a question mark for those affected by erratically rising energy prices right now, The difference might only be pence on the day, but those pence add up! Then there is the dual cores. Although having the four threads IS handy and will be useful, Cores will always beat threads when it comes to capabilities. Finally, there is that lack of integrated graphics. Most users will not notice this as an issue in day-to-day use, but multimedia users and especially a large % of Plex users will notice, if they are a little more reliant on the server-side processing than on the client. For example, if your media collection contains alot of dense/complex audio media (RAW, MP4a, etc) OR alot of higher-end HEVC/H.265 Media BUT you do not have client hardware that supports these types (or allows local client conversions/transcoding), then the NAS will have to use raw horsepower to get the job done – much less efficient than embedded graphics doing the job. Again, you might not be impacted by this (your client hardware might have enough power and privileges, or you own a local HEVC-licensed device), but it IS a concern if you are running a Plex Media Server on the DS723+ and need the NAS to convert files on the fly. Earlier in 2022, I compared the DS720+ (with a Celeron) vs the DS1522+ (with this same AMD R1600) in a detailed YouTube video testing 4K Media in Plex. Here are the results:

Next, we can move on to the other big internal change that the DS723+ NAS has arrived with over the DS720+ before it, the Memory. The DS723+ arrives with 2GB of DDR4 Memory like it’s predecessor, which is half the memory of the 4-Bay DS923+, but after that it is all change! This memory is ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory that is more often found in enterprise NAS setups, due to its higher pricetag, but also its huge benefits towards avoiding bitrot and silent data inconsistency that are not going to be spotted till years down the line when accessing old data. As data passes through the memory, the memory has an additional onboard module that is designed to be constantly making a blueprint/snapshot/parity bit of the data at the start. This is then used to check the data on the exit path and if there are any inconsistencies, the data is remapped/repaired to its original form.

ECC Memory has appeared on lots of Synology NAS’ over the years (with pretty much ALL devices higher than ‘mid-high business having it as standard now), so it is great to see it here on this 2-bay diskstation model. In other good news, whereas the DS720+ had 2GB of memory that was soldered to the main controller board and could be upgraded to 6GB with 1 free slot, the Synology DS723+ has two slots available (one prepopulated with the initial module) and can be upgraded to a massive 32GB. This again is thanks to that R1600 CPU being used. Although Synology still maintains quite a tight compatibility/whitelist on supported memory modules (stating that you can/should ONLY use their own first-party modules), I cannot fault the choice of memory and its upgradability here!

In summary, in terms of the internal hardware, I am mostly happy. The lack of an integrated graphics processor (especially when the same AMD Embedded Ryzen R1000 CPU family has a graphics-equipped model, which was passed over here for the R1600) is a real pain for alot of users, but by no means does it mean this NAS is a write-off! That CPU has alot of capabilities, has opened up the hardware on the system to greater bandwidths, is capable of great internal+external performance and outside of conversion-based activities in multimedia, and still plays 4K and 1080p media very well. There are a few other details regarding AMD Emb.Ryzen vs Intel Celeron that you can learn more bout by reading this article HERE, but let’s move on to the Software side of the Synology DS723+ NAS and DSM 7.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Software and Services

At Launch, the DS723+ NAS arrives with the latest version of Synology software, DSM 7.1. However, this does not stop evolving as soon as you get your Synology NAS. DSM has been in continues to be the dominant force in the world of NAS software, providing a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third-party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, Windows, macOS and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS723+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS723+, it supports EVERYTHING that is offered by Synology’s platform. DSM is currently in version 7.1, but it looks like we will be seeing beta/full release of DSM 7.2 at the start of 2023, which will be adding WORM (write Once Read Many) support, Volume scale encryption and numerous improvements to individual applications. If you want to learn about the DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS723+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS723+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7.1 applications and services (DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 are still in circulation and still receive regular service and security updates, though the DS723+ will arrive with DSM 7.1 by default and cannot be rolled back). If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Then there is the increasing development of their 1st party cloud platform, Synology C2, which is slowly integrating into all the applications that are available on your bare metal NAS (allowing you to add a cloud layer of backup, synchronization and access to your data storage setup). This is a subscription platform, which can only be used with your Synology NAS system (as well as connected with some 3rd party SaaS services, but for those that are moving away from Google/Microsoft/AWS for security reasons, but still want a Cloud+Metal storage network in place, C2 covers pretty much everything. Indeed, although below I have highlighted a number of the key/best applications that are included in your DS723+ Service with DSM, most of them can be immediately integrated with Synology C2  (with even more being added in 2023 with DSM 7.2). Key business and consumer applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

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

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees. Drive has become one of the premier applications of DSM and allows uses to create intelligent shared team folders that support versioning, file streaming+pinning, encryption, Windows AD support (soon) and native file system support with Windows and macOS.

Synology Photos – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places. Designed after the merger of Synology Photo Station and Moments, it also includes tailored folder, sharing and categorization features to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

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

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – license-free. This software also arrives as a specialised Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace platform to sync with those platforms and allow a bare metal tier to your cloud office services

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

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools. With improved AI services being accessible thanks to Synology BC500 and TC500 Cameras arriving in 2023. Additionally, you can connect this platform with Synology’s cloud platform to use ‘C2 Surveillance’ and bolster the odds of recordings being maintained in the event of accidental/malicious damage to your surveillance system.

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

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

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

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

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

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices. This tool allows complete file management and contains all the features and services of your own native file management platform (archiving, extracting, Copy, Cut, Paste, Sharing, native file format opening, integration with the rest of the Synology applications, property/metadata access, etc)

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS723+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone. That said, Synology in recent years has been increasing its priorities towards first-party software and services. This does make sense, as they want to promote their systems and software as a complete ecosystem for your home or business data storage needs (going on in the last few years to release even more Synology alternatives to popular software AND releasing non-NAS hardware accessories such as Routers, Network Adapters, HDDs, SSDs and now IP Cameras). This can occasionally lead to the compatibility lists of hardware or software that you wish to use in conjunction with the DS723+ NAS being a little smaller/restricted than you might like. A specific 3rd party software/service or physical accessory (HDD, Memory module, Network Upgrade) might not appear on the Synology compatibility pages, but that does not mean it will not function with the DS723+ NAS. It is more a case of Synology choosing not to test/evaluate a particular setup (in their defence, there are ALOT) and therefore until stated otherwise is therefore listed as incompatible and is therefore being used without their full, guaranteed support long term. In short, you can DEFINITELY feel that DSM 7/7.1 is a fantastic NAS platform, but it comes with a certain degree of rigidity by Synology on the DS723+ NAS. A little more relaxed than entries in the Enterprise XS or SA systems, but it is definitely still there.

NOTE – Video Review is ‘In Progress’ and will include the 10GbE and DSM 7.1 Testing, which will also be added to this review shortly afterwards. Apologies for the delay.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

There is no denying that the Synology DS723+ NAS is the most powerful, capable and upgradable 2-Bay that Synology has EVER released. Although the AMD Ryzen dual core Ryzen CPU is going to be a sticking point for those who wish a quad-core and/or integrated graphics CPU had been used (eg video conversions server side in Plex and the like) – the capabilities of the DS723+ NAS in it’s traditional performance, handling and throughput are better than they have ever been on ANY other Synology 2-Bay before. The 10GbE optional upgrade on this system is a very welcome but surprising option on this device (given Synology’s past reluctance to prove this on a system that may well struggle to saturate it with just two bays). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools, making the DS723+ NAS just the 2nd every Synology NAS to support this function (alongside SSD cache support of course) – though odd decisions on Gen 3×4>3×1 handling are still a touch puzzling. Support of DSM 7.1 (DSM 7.2 beta soon, at time of writing) runs beautifully on the  DS723+ NAS and is still clearly what is the primary selling point of this system is, with Synology offering the system as a solution and entry poit into their ecosystem, rather than a hardware/nuts-and-bolts purchase. The full range of 1st party tools (Active backup, VMM, Photos, Drive, Collaboration Suite, Hyper Backup, Surveillance Station and more) still continue to impress and to have full and (mostly) licence free access to these from such a compact server system is genuinely fantastic. Likewise, the support of 3rd party client applications and SaaS/PaaS services (Google WorkSpace, Office 365, VMware, Hyper-V, etc) still maintains a high standard of integration with the synology tools, though with a clear growing movement by the brand to prioritize it’s own services.

Still, there is a lingering feeling that the DS723+ NAS in it’s default state is crying for a defacto day one upgrade. The 2GB of base memory seems rather penny-pinching, despite the support of ECC. The 10GbE upgrade option is welcome, but largely inevitable when the default connection are 1GBe – IN 2023! I return to my point at the intro, where there DS723+ arrives (at least in terms of hardware) as practically half of the DS923+ (half the bays, half the memory, half the USBs, etc), but with a pricepoint that is certainly not half. Therefore in many ways, the DS723+ NAS serves as a compelling argument to just skip it entirely and go for the DS923+ for about £200 more and enjoy those extras and partially populate. The support and compatibility of 3rd party hardware on the DS723+ NAS is a fraction more streamlined than some might like (eg 22TB and 20TB HDDs still remain absent on the compatibility list, yet Synology branded 18TB drives are clearly available and we absent upto that point despite WD and Seagate NAS alternatives in the market), but overall the DS723+ is still a great NAS and easily cements itself as the best 2 bay offering by the brand in their 20+ year history.

PRODUCT IMAGE
Synology DS723+ PROS Synology DS723+ CONS
  • DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
  • Most Affordable 10GbE upgradable Synology NAS in the market!
  • ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
  • The design of the DS723+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
  • The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
  • Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
  • Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
  • Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
  • PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
  • Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
  • The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
  • The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
  • The USB port on the system (only x1?!) is older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
  • The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
  • Plex Support on the Synology DS723+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed – this system will struggle in comparison with the DS720+ before it
If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below as it results in us at NASCompares receiving an affiliate fee from Amazon:

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

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

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

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]  

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    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 TS-AI642 6-Bay and TBS-574X M.2 NVMe SSD NAS Revealed at CES 2023

9 janvier 2023 à 18:06

QNAP TS-AI642 and TBS-574X With 6 TOPS NPU For AI-Accelerated Image Recognition Announced On CES 2023

QNAP has unveiled two new products at CES 2023: the TS-AI642 and the TBS-574X. The TS-AI642 is a 6-bay high-capacity storage device designed for AI image recognition and intelligent surveillance applications, equipped with a Rockchip RK3588 processor and an NPU with a speed of up to 6 TOPS. The TBS-574X is a All-Flash NAS that is suitable for intensive video processing workloads, equipped with a 12th generation Intel Core i3-1220P processor and 16GB of memory. It is the first QNAP NAS to support E1.S hot-plug NVMe drives, which can expand its capacity up to 30TB. Both the TS-AI642 and TBS-574X have 2.5GbE/10GbE interfaces and 4K HDMI output, and the availability of these products will be announced separately.

QNAP TS-AI642 6-Bay AI Powered NAS Drive

QNAP has recently released the TS-AI642 NAS, designed specifically for AI image recognition and intelligent surveillance applications. It is equipped with a Rockchip RK3588 processor, which has a total of eight cores – four Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.2 GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores running at 1.8 GHz. The TS-AI642 also includes an NPU (neuroprocessor unit) with a speed of up to 6 TOPS, making it one of the most powerful ARM-based NAS devices in QNAP’s product portfolio. The TS-AI642 is a 6-bay high-capacity storage device with a standard 2.5GbE interface and a PCIe Gen 3 slot for 10GbE expansion. This allows for fast data transfer speeds and the ability to add additional connectivity options as needed. It also has a 4K HDMI interface for displaying surveillance footage, making it an ideal device for video surveillance deployment.

In terms of AI applications, the TS-AI642 is well-suited for tasks such as facial recognition and AI-powered surveillance event search. It is also compatible with QNAP’s “QuMagie” AI photo albums. In addition to these AI capabilities, the TS-AI642 also has a number of other features that make it a versatile storage solution. These include cloud storage integration, comprehensive backup options, and the ability to run containerized applications. The TS-AI642 is based on the Rockchip RK3588 processor, which is fabricated using Samsung’s 8LPP process. This ensures high performance and power efficiency, making it an affordable option for businesses looking to incorporate AI technology into their surveillance and image recognition systems. The availability of the TS-AI642 will be announced at a later date.

QNAP TBS-574X 5-Bay M.2 NVMe NAS

The TBS-574X is a new NAS device from QNAP that is designed for a wide range of applications, including real-time 4K video production and business IT. It is equipped with a 12th generation Intel Core i3-1220P processor, which has 10 cores and 12 threads, with a frequency of up to 4.40 GHz. The processor is made up of 2 P cores and 8 E cores, making it suitable for handling intensive workloads. In terms of storage, the TBS-574X is capable of expanding to a capacity of 30 TB with the help of E1.S SSDs. It has five drive bays, each of which can hold a 7.68 TB E1.S SSD, giving a total capacity of over 30 TB when configured in a RAID 5 setup. The TBS-574X is also equipped with 2.5GbE/10GbE connectivity, two USB4 ports, a 4K HDMI output interface, and built-in GPU support for video transcoding.

One of the unique features of the TBS-574X is that it is the first QNAP All-Flash NAS to support E1.S hot-plug NVMe drives. These drives are designed to be replaced easily, making it easy to upgrade the storage capacity of the TBS-574X as needed. Each of the drive bays also comes with an E1.S to M.2 2280 adapter, giving users the flexibility to choose which type of SSD they use. The TBS-574X is well-suited for intensive video processing workloads, thanks to its powerful processor and high-capacity storage. It is also a good choice for teams with multiple workstations and performance-demanding tasks, as it has built-in GPU support for video transcoding and 2.5GbE/10GbE connectivity for fast data transfer speeds. Overall, the TBS-574X is a feature-rich NAS device that offers excellent performance and flexibility for a wide range of applications.

 

What Are E1.S SSDs?

E1.S SSDs are a type of NVMe PCIe solid state drive (SSD) that are designed for use in NAS devices. They are known for their high performance, with high IOPS (input/output operations per second) and low latency, making them well-suited for applications that require fast data access and processing. E1.S SSDs are also designed to be hot-swappable, meaning that they can be easily replaced without the need to power down the NAS device. This makes them a convenient option for users who want to upgrade their storage capacity or replace failed drives without interrupting their work. Additionally, E1.S SSDs are known for their good heat dissipation, making them a good choice for use in devices that may be subjected to high workloads.

More information on new QNAP NAS Releases Coming Soon!

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

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]  

Support What We Do


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    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.  

TrueNAS SCALE on a QNAP NAS – Installation Guide

6 janvier 2023 à 18:00

How to Install TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS Drive – Step-By-Step Guide

If you are reading this guide on making the switch inside your QNAP NAS from QTS/QuTS to TrueNAS Scale, then chances are that you are well aware of what exactly this impressive piece of open-source software is capable of! TrueNAS Scale is the newest version of TrueNAS (based on FreeBSD and OpenZFS developed by iXsystems, formally known as FreeNAS). Managing to maintain the ZFS and structure that Core has (Jails, layered security and inline/on-the-fly deduplication & compression) BUT running on Linux. This means a much wider degree of application support and integration with other linux built client software/services. QNAP NAS devices arrive with their own included software, QTS (EXT4) and/or QuTS Hero (ZFS) that also allows you to make the most of your NAS hardware and data, whilst managing to keep things tremendously user friendly. Nevertheless, some ex-TrueNAS users or owners of older QNAP NAS devices that are long-outside of warranty do wonder about running TrueNAS Core on their ‘turn-key’ QNAP hardware – is it possible? Does it work well? Should they bother? Luckily, the answer to all three of those questions is YES. You can install TrueNAS Scale very easily on a QNAP NAS in as little as 15-20mins, the process is reversible and aside from perhaps considering new storage media (as you might want to keep your QNAP QTS/QuTS Installation and Storage), it’s largely free. So, let’s go through the steps to setup your TrueNAS Scale QNAP NAS!

Note – a FULL 38-Minute Installation Guide for TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS is available HERE on the NASCompares YouTube Channel

Important – It’s important to note that TrueNAS Scale is NOWHERE NEAR as user-friendly as QNAP QTS/QuTS and before making any switch to a new NAS OS, it is important that you understand the process, risks and differences in the platforms. I made a HUGE QNAP QTS vs TrueNAS Scale comparison video HERE that you can use to see how each software compares before making any changes to your NAS. This guide is designed to help you use your QNAP NAS to run TrueNAS Scale as it’s primary OS. If you go ahead with this and use the same HDD/SSDs in the system that you are currently using in the QNAP QTS/QuTS Setup, it will likely format them, so IF you want to reverse your QNAP NAS back to its QTS/QuTS set up with all your data/drives the same, you will need to remove them before using the TrueNAS setup, put them to one side safely and use new HDD/SSDs for your TrueNAS installation. Lastly, although this whole process is reversible, you are technically using the QNAP in a means that the brand does not state as ‘intended use’ and this MIGHT lead to support/warranty problems down the line if a fault appears in the QNAP or the software installation that was the result of the TrueNAS Scale installation (the bios records everything!). This is HIGHLY UNLIKELY but not impossible (eg you work a TrueNAS Scale server so hard and/or push the CPU to breaking point running particularly aggressive TrueNAS jails and/or use the inline compression/deduplication expensively in TrueNAS and it burns out the CPU – this would not be covered by your QNAP NAS support, as they did not certify that the system can handle this.

TrueNAS Scale Software on QNAP NAS Hardware – What You Need?

It is worth highlighting that having just a QNAP NAS is not quite enough and in order to get TrueNAS Scale up and running on a QNAP NAS requires a few extra checks and use of a few items you might have already in the home/office, or a quick $10 shop online at most. In order to upgrade your system to TrueNAS Scale, you will need to consider/have the following:

  • A QNAP NAS Drive with (minimum) an Intel 64bit x86 CPU and a minimum 4GB of Memory (recommended 8GB+)
  • Download the latest stable release of TrueNAS Scale here as a system image (you will be converting this to USB later on) – DOWNLOAD
  • Any Data that is currently on the QNAP NAS RAID that is mission critical to be backed up or moved (as it will be completely formatted)
  • A USB drive to use as the TrueNAS installation drive ( I recommend THIS ONE here from Sandisk, as it is low price and incredibly small, even at 32GB)

 

  • I recommend not using a USB larger than 32GB, due to the constraints of 1st party software to format larger than this in FAT32. Don’t be tempted to spend like $2 more for a 64GB, as the TrueNAS Scale installation will occupy the full USB space (as you will create a system-image-USB) and space is utterly irrelevant when the TrueNAS Scale installation is so small
  • A Disk Image to USB conversion too. I recommend ‘Rufus’, currently in ver 3.19 and can be run in a portable .exe form that doesn’t require installation – DOWNLOAD
  • A basic USB Keyboard (example HERE but really, any will do) and an HDMI Monitor (or simply any device that has an HDMI input – NOT output) such as a TV or Capture card
  • Hard Drive and/or SSD media (you should already have these, but just in case) for your storage Pool / RAID
  • Optional M.2 NVMe SSD of at least 120GB, but highly recommended – Installing TrueNAS Scale is not unlike installing a Windows OS on a new PC, as you are connecting a USB to run the installer, but you need to target a drive in the QNAP NAS to install TrueNAS onto. Whichever drive you use, it will make that drive largely inaccessible for anything but the TrueNAS operating system. Therefore IF you are running a QNAP NAS that has internal m.2 NVMe SSD bays OR one with dedicated 2.5″ SSD bays, I highly recommend getting a low-capacity drive of between 60-120GB (these will be very cheap compared with larger HDDs that start in the Terabyte scales) and then use this for the TrueNAS software. This means that ALL of the main SATA storage bays of the QNAP are then used for your storage pool(s) (aka the RAID). Do NOT install TrueNAS on another USB drive during installation, as this is less stable.
  • OptionalDownload Advanced IP Scanner HERE, as it is a really useful tool for analyzing your network and finding your new TrueNAS Scale NAS for remote access

That is about it. Most of these are devices are that you will almost certainly already have to hand.

Can I Reverse the TrueNAS Scale Installation and go back to QNAP QTS?

Almost certainly YES! I say ‘almost certainly’, as there is one small caveat. When you make the change from QNAP QTS to TrueNAS Scale on the NAS hardware, the drives (HDD and/or SSD) inside used in TrueNAS pools used in the new system software architecture. This works both ways if you want to revert back to QTS on the NAS too. You CANNOT use the Storage Pool, Volume structure, Folders etc of drives from a QNAP NAS in a TrueNAS setup (you will need to format these in TrueNAS). So, although the act of reinitializing the NAS to its original software is very easy (you just need to go into the BIOS of the QNAP using the same method in the guide below, then change the boot drive order BACK to the QNAP OS internal SSD), it will mean that any data that resides on the disks inside will be formatted. So, if you are choosing to make a change from one NAS OS to another, make sure you have your data appropriately backed up elsewhere OR move the drives that were in your QNAP (with their QTS/QuTS Storage structure) to one side safely and install new 3.5″ storage media for the TrueNAS pools etc. So, let’s begin the installation of TrueNAS Scale on the QNAP NAS.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 1, Download TrueNAS Scale

Head to the TrueNAS Scale website HERE and download the latest stable release of the software to your local PC, Linux or Mac system. Make sure to remember where you downloaded it.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 2, Download Rufus USB Image Tool

Head to the Rufus website and download the latest version of that tool – I recommend downloading the standalone executable file here, as then it will immediately run when you double-click the file, without installation etc. It may redirect you to Github, but it will be the same executable file. Once again, remember where you downloaded it.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 3, Preparing the USB

Connect the small form factor USB Drive to your system (again, this is the one I used from Sandisk) and after a few seconds, it should appear as an available USB Drive. The drive MAY need formatting (you will be prompted to do so), if that is the case, then you can format it via the system prompts and by default, it will format it to FAT32 (as long as your USB is less than 32GB). If you are not presented with a system prompt to format your USB, then you can head into My PC, or My Computer via a windows computer and right-click the drive, select ‘format’ and format it that way.

If you have used the USB for other things previously, there is a chance that the drive has existing partitions in place. For that, the quickest way to completely remove any partitions is to open up the bottom-left windows system menu as normal, and then just type diskpart and open the command-line GUI tool. From there, use the command list disk to show the available drives that are connected, you will see your USB (normally disk 1 or 2, but can differ depending on your system layout and can be spotted by the storage amount). From there, type select disk # (where # is the drive number that your USB is shown as) and then type clean, which will then remove any index structure for the drive (i.e the partitions and existing format) and then you can go back to the My Computer/My PC page and format the drive to FAT 32 as normal.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 4, Creating a USB Installer Image of TrueNAS Scale

Open the Rufus application and from there you will see the USB Drive (listed as NO NAME, or ‘UNTITLED’, ETC) at the top. From there, look to the select image/find image option (depending on the ver. of Rufus or your USB Image Creator tool of choice) and find the TrueNAS Scale disk image you downloaded earlier). If the drive is not listed, it may have downloaded as a compressed/archive file. If that is the case, head to the location of where you downloaded TrueNAS Scale (in your file explorer, not in Rufus) and right-click the file you downloaded. If the option to ‘extract‘ is visible, then you can extract it (i.e unpack it to the original form) in that same download directory. From there, head back into RUFUS and then the TrueNAS Scale system image should be visible. Select it, then run the Rufus System image creator tool and create your USB bootable TrueNAS Scale disk image.

REMEMBER! This will completely format your USB drive and any files that are on that USB will be destroyed. The system image creator tool will turn the USB into a pure boot image tool – the USB will not be usable for traditional storage again unless you completely format it again.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 5, REMOVE THE USB FROM YOUR PC!!!!!!!!!

Really, really important and sometimes overlooked. Once the USB creation is completed, you need to remove the USB (using the eject hardware safely option at the bottom right of your windows machine taskbar as normal). DO NOT accidentally leave the USB in your USB Ports for any longer than necessary. If you leave it in and your system reboots at any point (eg in a normal ‘end of day shut down, go home, reboot tomorrow’ scenario), then the system might boot directly into the TrueNAS Scale installation and although it is easy to exit from, it can change your system default boot preferences, maybe even remove your primary boot drive as the OS drive – requiring a little messing with a windows installation disk to change it back. The odds of this are very small, but not zero, so make sure to safely remove your USB drive when the TrueNAS Scale system image creator tool is completed.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 6, (OPTIONAL) – Install an NVMe SSD

This is an optional step, but one I would certainly recommend for newer-generation QNAP NAS devices. TrueNAS is a lot like a traditional computer operating system (eg Windows or macOS) in it’s architecture and will run at its best when the necessary boot files are located on a seperate, smaller and faster area of SSD/flash storage away from the general bulk storage. So, if possible/available in your QNAP NAS, I would recommend installing a smaller m.2 NVMe SSD drive and then using that as the target/location for your TrueNAS Scale installation. This is not compulsory and you can also use a single HDD or SSD in one of the main storage bays of your QNAP, however, it means that this drive will unusable for general storage (i.e in any RAID configuration or storage pool). This CAN be negated with some creative portion creation, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Additionally, do NOT try to install TrueNAS Scale on another USB drive that is connected to the system – this isn’t particularly stable and tends to result in a poorer TrueNAS Scale experience. M.2 NVMe bays and their location in the QNAP NAS changes depending on the system. Some allow you to access these bays via the main HDD 3.5″ bays (eg the TS-464), whilst others (the majority) require you to remove the external chassis casing to access these bays (eg the TS-453E, TVS-872X, TS-873A, etc).

Reminder – TrueNAS is NOT a big program and you can use an SSD as small as 32GB and still have a tonne of provision for future storage space. However, M.2 NVMe SSDs are not available in smaller sizes than 120GB. Lower size than this and you will generally only find 2240 SSDs and/or SATA M.2 SSDs. These are still perfectly fine to use, but the performance difference between SATA and NVMe (PCIe) is HUGE! You can find many SSD options here on amazon for as little as $30  – Find Low Capacitiy and Low Price M.2 NVMe SSDs HERE on Amazon (already filtered the results)

NOTE – If you plan on upgrading the memory of your NAS to 4GB-8GB-16GB or higher (in order to use ALL of the features of TrueNAS Scale to their fullest extent), I would recommend doing so at this point before rebuilding the physical chassis again, as many QNAP NAS have the 2nd SODIMM memory slot in really tight locations.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 7, Connecting the USB, Keyboard and HDMI Monitor

Next, we need to connect the external means to install TrueNAS Scale on the QNAP NAS. Unlike when you set up your QNAP NAS for the first time, TrueNAS cannot typically be installed via the network like QTS. TrueNAS requires you to use a KVM (keyboard, Video Mouse – though you won’t need a mouse!) and go through the installation using a low-res graphical user interface. Now you will ONLY need this setup/items for the installation and initialization of your TrueNAS Scale server and after that, you will be able to use the server over the network/internet as normal. You are going to need a basic USB Keyboard (not a Bluetooth or wireless one, as these may need drivers to run and you cannot install drivers at this point) and an HDMI Monitor/TV. You CAN use a mouse, but it is not hugely necessary and 99% of the choices in the setup of TrueNAS Scale can/will be via keyboard input. Also, I would also recommend connecting the NAS to the network during setup as this will allow the system to assume certain network values during setup that will save a tonne of time later. Once that is all connected, do NOT turn the NAS on yet – there is one small and slightly time-sensitive thing to do.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 8, Accessing the BIOS Menu of your QNAP NAS

Now that your QNAP NAS is all connected and you are ready at your keyboard/Monitor, turn the NAS on and wait till you hear a beep (should take between 5-15secs depending on the QNAP NAS). As soon as your hear that noise (and likely see a flashing character or undersScale on the monitor screen), you need to continuously hit the F12 and/or DEL keys (not at the same time, just back and forth). One of these will result in the system displaying the blue BIOS menu (it changes between motherboards and QNAP uses a mixture of mobos in their Intel and AMD-powered systems). You need to be quick, as you only have about 3 seconds to do this before the QNAP will automatically boot from the small internal 5GB flash OS module that boots into QNAP.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 9, Booting from the New TrueNAS Installer USB

Next you need to tap ‘RIGHT‘ on the keyboard and head to the ‘Save & Exit’ option. At the bottom, you should see, under the ‘boot override‘ option, your USB Drive. Tap ‘DOWN‘ until you are highlighting the USB and then tap ‘Enter‘ or ‘Return‘ on your keyboard, as this will push the QNAP to boot from that USB and begin the TrueNAS Scale installation. Later on I will show you how to force the system to ALWAYS boot into TrueNAS Scale, but for now, we just need it to read from this USB this one time.

TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 10, Rebooting and Starting the TrueNAS Installer

This next step is a bit of a quick one. Around 5-15 seconds after you selected the USB Drive in BIOS, the screen will display the TrueNAS Installer option page. Tap ‘Enter’ as soon as you see it, as the page is on a countdown and when it reaches zero it will (possibly, depending on the version) reboot and then you will have to repeat the last few steps again!), So, in order to avoid this, tap ‘ENTER‘ as soon as this page appears.

After a few minutes, the TrueNAS Scale GUI/Command will appear on your monitor and all you need to do is navigate the config choices to set up your TrueNAS Scale NAS the first time.

Important – TrueNAS Scale runs at its best when it is run on a separate drive from your storage. Much like an Operating System, you can install TrueNAS Scale on an available SSD in a SATA or NVMe SSD slot in the QNAP NAS, then (after initialization) you can go into the TrueNAS Scale > Storage area and create a pool of storage using the available storage media bays,

It is NOT recommended that you install it on a USB drive, for reasons of speed and power-connections.

After you have completed the setup and are back at the initial TrueNAS Scale boot menu, select the ‘SHUTDOWN‘ option (not reboot/restart, for reasons I will explain in a moment).


TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 8, Remove the Boot USB Drive AND CHANGE BIOS!!!

Once your QNAP NAS has fully powered down, you need to disconnect the USB drive you installed earlier with TrueNAS Scale boot loader on it. You need to do this otherwise, when you reboot the QNAP NAS, it can potentially reboot into the bootloader again. You can skip past this and/or it will not action a reinitialization without your input, but better to remove the USB and therefore allow the system to always immediately boot into the TrueNAS Scale system you just created.

Next, you need to head back into the BIOS from earlier. Keep the Keyboard and HDMI Monitor connected and use the same method you used earlier during the initial boot of the QNAP (pressing F12 and/or Delete repeatedly when you hear the first QNAP beep after about 10-15 secs) and as soon as you are greeted with the familiar blue BIOS screen. From here, tap right a few times to highlight the ‘Boot’ option and change the option for Boot Priority #1. The default is QNAP OS, you need to change it to the drive you installed TrueNAS on (whether that is a SATA/NVMe SSD or one of the main storage bays).

This will change the boot order to allow the system when it is first powered on to always boot into TrueNAS. After this, you can click right again in the BIOS menu to select the option to Save and restart. The system will then boot into the TrueNAS initialization (first time setup).


TrueNAS Scale on a QNAP NAS – Step 9, Reboot the NAS

Upon rebooting the QNAP into TrueNAS Scale (can take up to 5 mins, but usually much quicker). You have two options with how to access the configuration and controls. You can use the HDMI+Keyboard if you choose for console/command level access (shown below), but it is not really recommended long term:

Alternatively (much more recommended), use a program such as Advanced IP Scanner, which is free and VERY useful anyway, or even network command prompt) to scan your local area network and find where the QNAP with TrueNAS Scale is located (i.e it’s IP). This IP (eg 192.168.1.111) is what you put into the URL bar ofay web browser and it will load into the login GUI for TrueNAS Scale. From here you will need to use the username ‘root’ in combination with the password that you created during initialization.

And that is about it. You now have TrueNAS Scale installed as the default OS of your QNAP NAS. From here you can do anything and everything that his highly regarded ZFS powered server software offers. Head into the Storage area and start creating pools, as well as areas for caching and lots more features.

TrueNAS was recently updated to ver.13 in a stable release of the FreeBSD format, as well as new improvements in the Linux-based version ‘TrueNAS Scale’. The first thing you are going to need to do when setting up your TrueNAS Scale > QNAP NAS server is set up your storage. Do this by heading into the storage tab and following the handy steps on screen. After that, you can pretty much do anything on your new ZFS NAS!


EXTRA – How to Reverse Your QNAP NAS from TrueNAS Scale to QNAP QTS / QuTS Software Again

Now, it is worth remembering that switching your QNAP NAS to run TrueNAS Scale instead of QTS/QuTS is not a one-way street and you can reverse this relatively easily. Do remember first though that:

  • Any data on the HDD/SSDs inside the QNAP that were used in TrueNAS Scale server setup will not be accessible/usable with the QNAP NAS system and will likely be flashed/formatted during the QNAP QTS reinitialization
  • You will need your Keyboard and HDMI Monitor again in order to get back into BIOS
  • If you kept your original QNAP RAID Pool on HDDs etc to one side (i.e you removed the already configured storage media in their RAID from the QNAP when you changed to TrueNAS and put these drives safely to one side), you should be able to migrate this data back into the QNAP NAS during re-initialization with ease. That said, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP FOR THIS DATA REGARDLESS

In order to reverse the QNAP NAS from TrueNAS Scale back to QNAP QTS/QuTS Software, you need to (from a cold boot) access the BIOS menu again (so, at boot, with your Keyboard and monitor connected, press the DEL and/or F12 key over and over when the QNAP beeps, like before) and when you reach the BIOS menu, tap RIGHT until you reach the ‘Boot page. Then change the ‘Boot Option #1’ option from the TrueNAS installation drive back to the QNAP OS (internal flash 5GB module). Once that is done, head into the ‘Save & Exit‘ and then select ‘Save Changes and Restart‘. Doing this will restart the QNAP NAS and it will automatically boot into the QNAP QTS/QuTS boot sequence. From here your NAS will either automatically boot into the QNAP Setup page OR (if you have your original QNAP NAS RAID drives, with their Pools, Volumes, etc) it will just boot into the QNAP NAS software as normal.

You can find out more about TrueNAS in my full review below that covers everything I like and dislike about the platform:

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful and that it really helped you to make the most of your storage. Want to help me continue to make more guides, reviews and tutorials on the subject of NAS? Then you can do so in a few different ways (any of which I will be eternally grateful for if you choose to!). You can visit the ‘Support NAS Passion’ page HERE and see a few different ways that you can help us keep the lights on. Alternatively, you can use one of the links below to shop for your hardware today or in future (visiting those sites via the link below ensures that we get a mall commission on absolutely anything you purchase – and doesn’t cost you anything extra). Finally, if you want to support us in spirit rather than financially, recommend our blog to a friend or professional colleague or share a link on your social media site of choice. Thank you for reading and have a fantastic week!


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Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Choose?

4 janvier 2023 à 16:59

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS Comparison

Synology Diskstation NAS in the 2022/2023 generation saw a surprising overhaul in the traditional hardware specifications of the brand’s 4-Bay and 5-Bay series, ditching Intel Celeron processors and deciding to make the switch to AMD’s Embedded Ryzen series of CPUs. This change, along with it’s effect on the rest of the hardware architecture available and the performance of Synology DSM services, has resulted in a considerable amount of debate by users on the right NAS for their needs. Despite the near half a year release difference between them, the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay and DS923+ 4-Bay NAS have drawn particular comparison, as the price difference between them is surprisingly small – especially when you factor in the difference in hardware provided by both devices. The DS1522+ is certainly the more expensive of the two, but once you start crunching the numbers of what you get for the money – Does it end up being better value than the DS923+ NAS? That is the aim of today’s article, to figure out which NAS is best for you and your data from 2023 onwards. Let’s begin.

Just $126.28 Price Difference (click below for the latest price)


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The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Internal Hardware

I already touched on this, but these two relatively new NAS systems (at the time of writing) are both built using the AMD Embedded Ryzen family of processors. More precisely, they both arrive with the dual-core, four-thread R1600 x86 64bit CPU, which arrives with a 2.6Ghz clock speed that can burst up to 3.1Ghz when needed. Many users were a little disappointed by a lack of integrated graphics (both because these product families from Synology had always arrived with either an Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, but also because there is an integrated graphics chip in the AMD R1000 family). Although the SMB tier of the 5-Bay generations from Synology (DS1517+, DS1515+, etc) had featured more traditional server-grade file system processors around 5 years ago from Intel, this tier was re-addressed after success in the 6-Bay market by the brand. Although this CPU lacks integrated graphics and is a dual-core, as opposed to a quad-core, it DOES make up for it a much higher base clock speed than previous diskstations in this family, support of ECC memory (error correcting code, checking write actions for inconsistencies and repairing where appropriate) upto 32GB and an increase from PCIe Gen 2 lanes to PCIe Gen 3 Lanes (effectively doubling the internal bandwidth) and this in term allowing a network upgrade option that was sorely absent in the previous generation. Aside from ths, the bulk of the hardware architecture and design remained largely unchanged compared to the last gen, with the advantages being more in how well they ran of how much bandwidth was afforded to them (eg PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD Bays, as opposed to PCIe Gen 2). Let’s see how the DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS directly compared in the internal hardware:

How do the Synology DS1522+ and DS923+ NAS Compare in Internal Hardware?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
Front Design
CPU Model AMD Ryzen R1600 AMD Ryzen R1600
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency 2-core 2.6 (base) / 3.1 (turbo) GHz 2-core 2.6 (base) / 3.1 (turbo) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) Yes Yes
Vents
Memory
System Memory 4GB DDR4 ECC 8GB DDR4 ECC
Memory Module Pre-installed 4GB x1 Module 8GB x1 Module
Total Memory Slots 2 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 32GB (16GB+16GB) 32GB (16GB+16GB)

Moving slightly away from the subject of storage (which we will cover in the next section), there is really only ONE difference between the DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS in terms of internal hardware – that extra 4GB of memory. It’s a small, but (in context) quite important difference. 4GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory would normally set you back around $25-35. However, Synology is pretty strict in terms of their compatibility and support lists for their systems and insist on use of their own branded memory models (with specific ECC and NON-ECC modules for different Diskstation/Rackstation system. The DS1522+ and DS923+ are no exception to this and, when looking at how much it would cost to buy 4GB of ECC DDR4 SODIMM Synology memory, the price point jumps up to $80-100 a module! See Below:

Click to view slideshow.

Now, there IS the argument that Synology is in charge of the price difference between these devices, the cost of their own memory and therefore technically the ones who are quantifying the difference here. But still, nonetheless – give the $100-120 current price difference between these two NAS devices (and we have ALOT more than memory differences to cover). this 4GB ECC default memory increase in the DS1522+ is already a very compelling reason to pick it over the DS923+. Let’s discuss the storage differences between these two NAS systems (don’t worry, there is alot more to it than an extra drive bay).

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Storage Options

Both the DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS support SATA hard drives and SSDs in the main storage bays, as well as supporting the traditional RAID configurations (RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, etc) and even Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) for fluid storage pools. They also both have PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD bays that can be used for SSD caching (with one difference on this coming up in a bit) and can also both have their storage pools expanded with the official JBOD expansion enclosure – the DX517. DSM has a wide range of storage services and features that can be used by home and business users to really make the most of their server (you can find out more on all the services and tools of the platform in my massive Synology DSM 7.1 NAS Software Video Review here), but from this point onwards, there is DEFINITELY some core advantages in storage that are exclusive to either system over the other. Here are the storage specifications:

How do the Synology DS1522+ and DS923+ NAS Compare in their Storage Options?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
M.2 NVMe SSD Bays
Drive Bays 4 5
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 9 (DX517 x 1) 15 (DX517 x 2)
M.2 Drive Slots 2 (NVMe) 2 (NVMe)
M.2 NVMe Services
SSD Caching and Storage Pool Use SSD Caching Only

So, the most straight forward advantage clearly goes to the DS1522+ NAS, with its additional SATA storage bay allowing you to either add an additional drive to your total potential storage pool, increase your redundancy from 1 drive to 2 in a RAID 6/SHR-2 configuration or been have the additional drive bay for a hot spare 24×7. Yes, you are paying extra for the privilege and will have to add the cost of a drive in order to use it (though there ARE some savings to be made on large # of drives in a smaller capacity vs fewer drives of larger capacity with the right RAID config) but that extra bay will can be useful both on day 1 and day 1000!

Talking of Day 1000 and the future, there is the question of expandability. As mentioned, they both support the DX517 JBOD expansion from Synology, but the DS923+ can support 1x expansion and the DS1522+ supports 2x. That means that alongside that extra SATA bay on day 1, the DS1522+ can scale upto 15 bays of SATA storage, whereas the DS923+ caps at 9 Bays. Focusing on the latest generation (at the time of writing) 22TB Hard drives from WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf, that means a total potential capacity of 198TB storage on the DS923+ and 330TB on the DS1522+! Again, all of this is going to cost you more to occupy/populate this additional storage potential, but better to have that option than not at all! So, what on earth can the DS923+ NAS throw up in its defence against the high-level storage potential of the DS1522? Well…

Three Words (technically)… NVMe Storage Pools! The Synology DS923+ NAS is the FIRST Synology NAS to allow its M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools to be used for either caching OR M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools! This is a big, BIG deal and kinda shocking that it is NOT available on the DS1522+ NAS (given the incredible similarity in their hardware internally). M.2 NVMe SSDs are around 4-5x more expensive than traditional SATA HDDs (and around 2-3x more expensive than SATA HDDs), as well as NVMe SSDs not being quite as durable as mechanical HDDs – so why is this such a big deal in favour of the DS923+? Well because of PERFORMANCE! Whereas SATA HDDs tend to cap at 200-250MB/s top performance on average and SATA SSDs can hit close to 500MB/s (factoring consistent and sustained performance), M.2 NVMes can hit THOUSANDS of MB/s. Having drives of such high performance restricted to JUST caching use has always been something of a pain for Synology users and they have been the tiniest bit jealous of brands such as QNAP, Asustor and even the value brand Terramaster, which all allow M.2 NVME SSD bays for use in caching or storage pools. This feature ONLY being available on the DS923+ NAS does give it a significant draw in the eyes of users who want to run larger databases, edit photo/video on the NAS or want to host higher-performing VMs. However, it is also worth highlighting that the use of M.2 NVMe SSDs as storage pools on the DS923+ does arrive with a catch! The first catch is that the M.2 NVMe SSD bays on the DS923+ NAS have been capped at PCIe Gen 3 x1 (despite their architecture being PCIe 3×4). This drops their potential bandwidth from 4,000MB/s to 1,000MB/s (remember, bandwidth is the size of the pipe, it’s still up to the SSD t pump the ‘water’ fast enough). There are several theories/official-statements that are floating around online regarding the reason for this, with the most repeated one being that Synology are concerned about the heat generated by the SSD at full speed in this rather compact chassis, so have throttled it to avoid this – but regardless of the reason and it’s validity, it still means that SSDs in this slot cannot really exceed 1,000MB/s (despite many PCIe Gen 3 NVMes hitting 3,000MB/s+ quite easily).

Next up, at the time of writing, ONLY Synology SNV3400 and SNV3410 NVMe SSDs can be used with this feature. If you use non-Synology branded SSDs in the DS923+ NAS, the system will only allow you to use them for SSD caching (listing the non-synology drives as un-verified by the brand and unsupported). Much like Synology memory (discussed earlier), Synology branded SSDs are noticeably more expensive than similarly designed SSDs of the same controller+NAND+Capacity. Synology state this is because these drive’s firmware are designed in parallel with Synology systems, as well as also allowing particular features (firmware updates, more responsive and efficient running, etc) to be possible inside DSM. Regardless of how you look at it, it still means that although this feature of NVMe SSD storage pools on the DS923+ NAS is tremendously appealing, it is being delivered with a degree of compromise.

Overall, although the NVMe SSD Storage pool feature of the DS923+ NAS is really appealing, the DS1522+ just provides a greater degree of storage scalability with its extra bay and two the expandability (remember, just $100-120 difference, which also has the 4GB extra memory). It is looking increasingly slim that the DS1522+ NAS will have an update to allow M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools (though never say never! Plus it can also be done unofficially), but overall I would still heavily recommend the DS1522+ over the DS923+ NAS in terms of storage. Next up, let’s discuss external connectivity.

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Ports and Connections

The DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS are extremely similar in terms of external connectivity. Both systems are still sporting 1GbE network ports (though the DS923+ has 2x and the DS1522+ has 4x – so twice the potential network bandwidth with LAG/Port-Trunking/Multi-Channel), but they also now both arrive with the option to upgrade the external network connectivity to 10GbE, thanks to that increased bandwidth/lanes of the AMD CPU over the Intel Celeron in the 2020 generation. Both systems also have USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) connectivity, which can be used for USB storage, UPS’ and a handful of peripheral devices in DSM 7/7.1/7.2, both systems use an external PSU and of course, there are the eSATA expansion ports on either NAS that we have already covered. Let’s see how they compare:

How do the Synology DS1522+ and DS923+ NAS Compare in their Ports and Connections?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
Rear Ports
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) 2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port 2 2
eSATA Port 1 2
PCIe Expansion 1 x Gen3 x2 network upgrade slot 1 x Gen3 x2 network upgrade slot
System Fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 100 W 120 W

The network upgrade slot can be populated with the optional E10G22-T1-mini 10GbE adapter (Copper), which costs around $139-149 currently. It is a little expensive for a 1 port upgrade and does mean that a traditional half/full-height PCIe card cannot be installed, but on the plus side, it is a VERY easy installation (slots right in) and the drivers are inside DSM – so no need to download anything extra upon rebooting. At this time, there are no other modules/upgrades supported by this slot, though Synology might look into an SFP+/Fiber alternative or even alternative network ports (its a PCIe 3×2 slot) down the line. Of course, the real question when upgrading these NAS’ is whether a 4-Bay or a 5-Bay can actually saturate (fill) a 1,000MB/s connection – especially when you factor in the RAID configuration?

Short answer, absolutely YES. I have already performed 10GbE testing on the DS1522+ NAS HERE and further 10GbE testing on the Synology DS923+ NAS HERE. In both cases, in full population and with select file sizes, you could hit 1,000MB/s. However, the extra drive bay in the DS1522+ NAS clearly means that you can hit it easier (as well as increase your capacity and/or RAID redundancy level). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD Caching on the DS923+ NAS. With two M.2 NVMe SSD storage bays, SURELY you can max out a 10GbE connection. Well, yes! However, the fact that these two bays are still capped at PCIe Gen 3×1 does mean that even if you DID have a greater than 10GbE external connection available, you would only really see performance benefits of the drives from a RAID R/W bonus, than from the drive’s own performance levels.

Once again, it will not come as a huge surprise to know that, overall, I think the DS1522+ NAS is the better choice in terms of external connectivity. The additional 2x 1GbE network ports (still kinda bummed that they are 1GbE and not 2.5GbE like most other brands in 2023) and it’s resulting increased Performance vs Capacity vs Redundancy that it brings is just going to be more useful. M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools and therefore largely guaranteeing 1,000MB/s for a storage pool and volume on them WILL be useful to those planning on working on the NAS for post-production or raw editing over 10GbE will be desirable for many users, but even then the limits to only Syn SSDs right now will undermine any savings you might make rather than just putting in 4-5x Pro/Ent HDDs and editing on those!

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Software Performance

Threre is very little to say in terms of DSM Software differences between the Synology DS923+ NAS and DS1522+. Aside from the advantages that the extra storage bay and memory of the DS152+ will bring in terms of ‘max active users/processes’ and storage pool/volumes sizes, Diskstation Manager 7.1/7.2 will run practically the same on either system unless you REALLY push it! Even the added M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pool support of the DS923+ will only add 2-3 more choices in the storage manager, but not effect the rest of the system. You cannot install DSM on the M.2 NVMes (at the time of writing) and although you can create a volume and then install Synology apps on that particular volume, that will only change their running marginally (unless yo really have heavy use). Synology DSM 7.1 on with NAS still runs great and if you want to learn more about it, you can watch my HUGE review of DSM 7.1 in 4K in the video below from late 2022:

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Plex Media Server

For those of you looking at the Synology DS923+ or DS1522+ NAS as a plex media service, they perform near enough IDENTICALLY! Previously, I have compared both them with the 2020 released DS920+ NAS (which featured that Intel Celeron CPU with integrated graphics). You can watch my DS920+ vs DS923+ Comparison HERE or my DS1522+ vs DS920+ 4K Plex Comparison HERE. Either way, the results are largely the same, as these two 2022/2023 generation devices have the same Ryzen R1600 CPU. You can watch the videos below to see how each NAS independently handled 10 different 4K Files in HEVC/H.264 in numerous formats.

4K PLEX PERFORMANCE DS923+ NAS

4K PLEX PERFORMANCE DS1522+ NAS

Overall, as long as you are not planning on using server-side conversions/transcoding (i.e the NAS needs to change complex files, dense/large media files or convert HEVC to H.264 for licencing reasons), either NAS work pretty much identically. The additional 4GB of memory in the DS1522+ NAS did not really provide any kind of advantage, as Plex Media Server runs perfectly well on a NAS with just 4GB. If you plan on running multiple apps that are a little memory hungry at the same time as plex (a bunch of IP cameras in surveillance station, a VM, containers, etc), then the DS1522+ NAS is probably the better choice. Though, if you are planning on scaling towards this later down the line, the DS923+ NAS is still fine and will just need a memory upgrade later on. Let’s conclude.

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Conclusion

It will likely come as no shock that, overall, the DS1522+ NAS is just the better Synology NAS choice when compared with the DS923+ NAS. If the price difference is/was more vast, then it might not be such a clean sweep – however the DS923+ only being $100-120 cheaper than the DS1522+ just highlights how much better value the 5-Bay is! With an extra storage bay on day 1, twice the expandability, twice the network connectivity and all this in a similarly sized package means that the DS923+ ends up looking much less desirable. The support of M.2 NVMe SSDs for storage pools on the DS923+ DOES go a little way towards making it more justifiable over the DS1522+ NAS, but given the BIG demand there has been for this feature from their user-base and how it has been presented (oddly capped and drive limited at the moment), it just isn’t a compelling enough case to fight against the scalability, value and future-proofing that is evident in the DS1522+ NAS.

Shoud You Buy the Synology DS1522+ or DS923+ NAS?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
Front Design

$599

$749

Reasons to Choose
  • M2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools
  • More Affordable
  • Lower Power Consumption
  • Lower Potential Noise when in Operation
  • Extra Bay of Storage and 2x Expansion Add-ons Supported
  • 8GB Memory by Default
  • 4 default 1GbE LAN Ports
  • Better Value for Money in terms of hardware

asasa

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Best Surveillance NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

31 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best Surveillance NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

When you consider investing in a NAS drive in your home or business environment, you always want to maximize your investment in this new kind of technology. Systems are designed to do many different things at once and each top-tier NAS brand includes a complete software and application environment with their hardware, allowing you to support multiple different services at any given time. The most popular services that new buyers tend to choose are that of multi-tiered backups, multimedia playback, shared drives for collaboration and, of course, surveillance. Utilising a NAS system as a bespoke and highly proficient NVR (network video recorder) system is growing in popularity all the time and allows home to small business users to ensure the safety and security of family and employees alike. It is for this reason that the majority of brands have their own surveillance software included with the purchase of your NAS, allowing you to add multiple IP cameras in your network environment that can be accessed and recorded from 24/7, with customised alerts and an enterprise-level dashboard with which to control them. Because all of the NAS brands tend to include surveillance software with their hardware, it can be hard to choose the right NAS for your own particular surveillance setup. Factors such as the maximum number of cameras you can use, compatibility with IP Camera brands and available camera licenses will always play a part. So today I am showing you the top 3 NAS for surveillance to buy in 2022/2023. Each one has been selected based on their own individual highlights, with one being the best value surveillance solution, one being the most robust surveillance NAS and finally one is the best business class enterprise NAS surveillance solution where power and performance are key. Let’s take a look.

Best Surveillance NAS – What Qualifies?

As mentioned, almost all NAS drives have an element of surveillance included to a greater or lesser extent, so how can I break down thousands of NAS solutions down to just three? Well, first off all NAS that are considered need to confirm against the following qualifications for a NVR use NAS system:

  • Only Desktop/Tower systems are being considered, Rackmount servers are generally harder to compare and are more tailored to data center and/or general server file storage
  • Each solution must be a combined Hardware+Software solution – Include a Surveillance Management utility
  • Must have at least 2 years of manufacturers warranty
  • MUST include at least 4 Camera Licenses (a large part of the cost ultimately)
  • Must be at least a 4-Bay NAS, as you need to provision for storage AND redundancy in the event of a failed drive
  • Must have the ability to export footage without interrupting live feeds
  • Must support accepted camera brands (AXIS, Hikvision, Edimax, Reolink, Annke, etc) as well as ONVIF protocol and client applications

The above rules certainly narrow down the available NAS drives in the market down a little, but it still means that a lot of NAS drives are suitable, but not PERFECT. So, below is my top three recommended NAS to buy for surveillance in 2022/2023.

What Have All the Best Surveillance NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Surveillance NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best Surveillance solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Surveillance NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand-supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwolf 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above as these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best Surveillance NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round Surveillance NAS Drive – QNAP TS-453E NAS

0-88TB, 8 Surveillance Camera Licenses, 40x Camera Max, M.2 Google TPU Support for AI Services, USB Camera Support,KVM Support, 2x M.2 Gen 3 NVMe 2280, Intel J6412 Celeron CPU, 8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $599

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Aug ’22:

The QNAP TS-453E NAS is a device that really grew on me! With these home/business server companies releasing refreshes of their ranges every 2-2.5yrs or so, it is easy to see them fall into repetitive patterns when it comes to how the hardware is picked at each tier/price-point. The TS-453E NAS on the other hand manages to carve a new tier into the brand’s portfolio right now in 2022, managing to give you some really solid internal/external hardware that most would have assumed would be half of what it is at this level of QNAP’s 4-bay portfolio (i.e Quad-Core, 8GB, NVMe M.2s, 2.5GbE, 10G USB, 3yr warranty, etc) and it will certainly make some buyers wonder about whether the current Prosumer/flagship TS-464 is as necessary to their home or office as they once thought.

Click to view slideshow.

The fixed memory, even at 8GB default, is rather annoying and a lack of PCIe slot means that 10GbE will remain out of reach – but look at this NAS sandwiched between the TS-451D2 & TS-464 and it makes alot of sense. This is for those not really looking at expandability years from now and although that plastic case still looks a little dated/cheap, this is not a device designed to be noticed day-to-day. For those looking to make their first tentative entry into the world of NAS a decent one or looking to upgrade cautiously from an ARM system, the QNAP TS-453E is an excellent shout!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Exceptional CPU choice for the Scale/Tier
👍🏻8GB of DDR4 Memory
👍🏻2.5GbE (x2) Ports on Day 1
👍🏻Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) Ports!
👍🏻2x M.2 NVMe Slots alongside those 4x SATA Bays for Storage (Caching, Tiered Storage or standalone Pools)
👍🏻Includes VM, Surveillance (8 licenses and upto 32 Cams), Backup, Sync, Multimedia, SaaS sync/migration and office tools (some with added AI services)
👍🏻3-Year Warranty (Can be extended)
👍🏻VERY Compact, low-impact design
👍🏻Supports 1-2x Expansions
👍🏻20TB and 22TB Confirmed Compatibility
CONS
👎🏻Memory Cannot be Upgraded
👎🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Slots are Gen 3 x2
👎🏻Chassis is still a little dated looking

 


Most Powerful Surveillance NAS System – Synology DVA3221 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, Intel C3538 4-Core CPU,  4-32GB ECC Memory, 4x 1Gb Ports, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 3yr Warranty, 8 Camera License included, 

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Nov ’20:

The Synology DVA3221 is a NAS that when I heard it could be used as a surveillance station NAS and a Diskstation NAS made me very happy indeed. However, now with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that this compromise in dedicated surveillance use has led to some choices (the CPU and lack of HDMI/DVI + KVM output) that in many ways limit its complete potential. I have no hesitation in saying this is the very best and most capable surveillance NAS that Synology has ever produced, and once you take into account the inclusion of that graphics card and 8 camera licences for surveillance station, the price can even be justified for the most part. What it comes down to is whether you desperately need these features and don’t mind paying more now to save lots later. A year from now Synology might allow users to install their own graphics cards or will find a way to introduce some deep video analysis features onto non-GPU NAS – of this there is no guarantee, but if you need these features in 2020/2021, this is the best NAS you can get right now. The DVA3221 NVR NAS features familiar internal hardware in terms of CPU and available memory. Arriving with the Intel C3538 Atom CPU, this quad-core processor with a 2.1 GHz clock speed has already proven on several occasions to be a highly capable processor for everything from surveillance to virtual machines and multimedia use in the likes of the DS1819+ and DS1618+. I know it is not the most popular processor in the market right now since Synology has moved their SMB devices towards the Ryzen-embedded V1500B, but Synology has spent quite a few years working with this CPU family and has optimised the hell out of it for the DSM platform. Though it’s the support of 4K is less than other Celeron and Pentium processors right now, it is still a CPU with a tremendous amount of potential still left in it.

Once again, they could have opened the door to a more capable processor such as the Intel Xeon found in the DS1621xs+, but this would have only served to increase the base price point of the DVA3221 again. This CPU is further supported with 8GB of DDR4 memory, that can be upgraded all the way to an impressive 32GB of memory. Additionally, this memory is Error Code Correction (ECC) memory, which is especially attractive to business users and (in the case of an NVR solution) is another layer of protection from data failure to have. If you intend to use the DVA3221 to its full potential, it is recommended that you increase the base memory of this device to at least 16GB, as although the memory on the graphics card provides great real-time analytics and analysis of captured footage, the standard memory of the NAS is still going to be tremendously important for the typical running of this device.
SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable Alternative to the DVA3221
👍🏻Real-Time AI Camera recording saves hundreds of man-hours
👍🏻Uses CPU Integrated Gfx, using less power than a separate Graphics Card
👍🏻8 Camera Licenses included (worth around £300)
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR Support
👍🏻Great Surveillance Person/Thing tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Motion Tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Counting and Border Control
👍🏻Additional Deep Video Analysis Options
👍🏻KVM Support over a 4K 60FPS HDMI
👍🏻Synology Recently released first-party cameras!
CONS
👎🏻ONLY 6GB Max Memory
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay NAS and not expandable
👎🏻The CPU is a little disappointing for 2022
👎🏻No m.2 slots and only 1 LAN

Surveillance Station DVA1622 DVA3221
Video Analysis Deep Video Analytics Features
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition)
  • People counting
  • Vehicle counting
  • Intrusion detection
  • Face recognition
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition)
  • People counting
  • Vehicle counting
  • Intrusion detection
  • Face recognition
Deep Video Analytics Tasks
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition): up to 2 tasks
  • People counting: up to 2 tasks
  • Vehicle counting: up to 2 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting specific objects): up to 2 tasks
  • Face recognition: up to 1 task
  • People and vehicle detection (without license plate recognition): up to 12 tasks
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition): up to 6 tasks
  • People counting: up to 12 tasks
  • Vehicle counting: up to 12 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting specific objects): up to 12 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting all objects): up to 6 tasks
  • Face recognition: up to 6 tasks

Best Affordable AI Surveillance System NAS  – Synology DVA1622 NAS

0-44TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4125 4-Core CPU, 4-32GB ECC Memory, 1x 1Gb Ports, Uses Integrated Graphics for AI Processes, 3yr Warranty, 8 Camera License included, 16 CAMS Max

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $599

Hardware Review – (Coming Soon)

YouTube Video Review – (Coming Soon, Hardware Overview HERE)

Synology NVR DVA1622 is a 2-bay desktop recording server that gives home and small business users access to fast, smart, and accurate video surveillance powered by deep learning-based algorithms. Built-in automated event detection helps safeguard properties by detecting people, vehicles, or objects and alerting staff when self-configured rules or thresholds are breached

Click to view slideshow.

Complete Surveillance Solution With Built-in AI Capabilities
The DVA1622 makes powerful AI-enabled surveillance available for everyone in a compact solution that includes everything you need to create an efficient surveillance system.

  • Cover all angles: Record and manage up to 16 IP camera feeds
  • Leverage deep learning: Run 2 simultaneous real-time video analysis processes or 1 facial recognition task
  • Licenses included: Add up to 8 IP cameras without purchasing additional licenses
  • Direct video output: Simply plug a monitor into the built-in HDMI port to watch surveillance feeds without a separate PC or mobile device
  • Local management: Set up, manage, and control your deployment locally by attaching a keyboard and mouse
SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable Alternative to the DVA3221
👍🏻Real-Time AI Camera recording saves hundreds of man-hours
👍🏻Uses CPU Integrated Gfx, using less power than a separate Graphics Card
👍🏻8 Camera Licenses included (worth around £300)
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR Support
👍🏻Great Surveillance Person/Thing tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Motion Tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Counting and Border Control
👍🏻Additional Deep Video Analysis Options
👍🏻KVM Support over a 4K 60FPS HDMI
👍🏻Synology Recently released first-party cameras!
CONS
👎🏻ONLY 6GB Max Memory
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay NAS and not expandable
👎🏻The CPU is a little disappointing for 2022
👎🏻No m.2 slots and only 1 LAN

 


 


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Best 4K Plex NAS of 2023

29 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best 4K Plex NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

If you have been looking at buying a Synology or QNAP NAS drive in 2023 for use as a Plex Media Server, then chances are you are doing this because you are sick of paying for a bunch of online streaming services OR you have an enormous physical library of discs that you own in your home that you want to watch conveniently on an Amazon FireTV, Roku Box or home Console, disc free! It’s not a big ask, is it! Do you remember when watching movies and boxsets from your sofa was easy? You owned a few hundred DVDs or Blurays, you popped in the disc for what you wanted to watch, then you watched it. It had a few extra steps that Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney+, BUT you owned what you watched and you were in control of what you wanted to see. The dominance of subscription streaming services was unquestionable and for a while, it genuinely felt like it was the best option for ease of access to a huge library of multimedia that you only really wanted to watch once or twice anyway – all for just $5-10 per service. However, it got complicated. We went from 3-5 media streaming services, to suddenly HUNDREDS, with Films/Boxsets appairing on exclusive platforms (in some cases actual tv seasons being divided across different services too). This also led to TV shows being available/featured on a streaming service considerably shorter, due to the show-owner realising that timed exclusivity and switching streamingly platforms is much more lucrative in the long run. So, the streaming services STOPPED being so convenient, stopped being such good value – with most households now having/needing 3-4 different subscription services (so, in most cases Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and the cable TV/Sky provider service) and spending $400-500 a year, and not owning a single piece of media or having control of when things are not available. Add to that the rather bias search abilities of these platforms pushing ‘suggested’ content and you cannot help but pine for those simple days of sitting on the sofa and watching that DVD. It is for this reason that many have made the jump over to Plex Media Server. To find out more about what Plex, a Plex Media Server NAS are and what they do, watch the video below:

A free service that allows you to stream the media YOU own, but still features slick graphics, user-friendly GUI, descriptions, trailers, thumbnails, reviews and more. Today I want to discuss the best three NAS drives for use as a Plex Media Server. There are literally thousands of different NAS devices on the market that can be used for Plex (it is a fairly low resource demanding tool in its smallest form) but the extent to how much you will use it, the number of users you want to share with, the volume of media and the quality of the content (e.g 4K, 1080p, etc) make a HUGE difference to which NAS you should choose for your Plex Media server. So my five PLEX NAS recommendations for 2023 are based on the best Budget 1080p Plex NAS, the best 4K Plex NAS and finally, the Best EVERYTHING Plex NAS for 2023. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best Plex NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Plex NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best Plex solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Plex NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best Plex NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round 4K PLEX NAS Drive – QNAP TS-464 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 2x PCIe Gen 3×1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, 4-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 1x PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot, 1 HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $550

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review April ’22:

The TS-464 comfortably arrives with the best hardware in its tier of the NAS market and that is something that QNAP has always been quite good at. Even if you rewind just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability that the TS-464 provides is frankly incredible and, fast forward to 2022, is still pretty unmatched. A Desktop 4-Bay NAS (eg Prosumer RAID 5 storage) has always been the next confident step for users who are tired of their hands being tied by subscription cloud services from Google, OneDrive and DropBox, who are looking for their own competent, flexible and fully-featured private server. In the TS-464 NAS, you find a system that is unquestionable the best hardware for your money you can possibly get right now. In software, things are a little less straightforward. QTS 5, although massively software and service-rich, arrives as a complete operating system in your web browser with multiple mobile/desktop clients and hundreds of applications and apps that can be installed at the touch of a button – which can all too often be something of a steep learning curve for many.

Lacking the slightly chewable, user-friendly nature of many of their rivals, QNAP and its software/service still have a tendency to be a bit of an information overload that can quickly intimidate the novice. However, for those that are looking for a system that is completely customizable in how/when/where you want data presented to you, as well as a wide degree of 3rd party support, QNAP and QTS 5 still manages to provide a huge degree of brand-unique service that are simply not available elsewhere. Just be prepared to invest your time wisely in its setup and more time ensuring the system is perfect for your needs.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Very compact chassis design, despite large storage potential
👍🏻A BIG jump in hardware and scale from the TS-453Be and TS-453D, but with a largely identical RRP at launch
👍🏻Easily one of the most hardware packed SMB/Mid-range 4-Bay on the market
👍🏻Up to 16GB of Memory is fantastic
👍🏻m.2 NVMe SSD Bays AND a PCIe Upgrade Slot (no need to choose one upgrade path)
👍🏻8x Included Camera Licenses
👍🏻Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
👍🏻3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
👍🏻10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
👍🏻Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
CONS
👎🏻The PCIe Slot is PCIe 3×2 and the M.2 SSD Bays are PCIe 3×1 (likely limitations of all this H/W on a Celeron+chipset
👎🏻QNAP Has had 3 ransomware hits in 2019-2021 (Qlocker, Qsnatch and Deadbolt). Lots of Security app/changes since, but people remember and QNAP needs to win back that trust in 2022/2023

Best Low Noise 4K PLEX NAS Drive – QNAP HS-264 NAS

0-48TB, 2-Bays, Fanless Design, Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, 8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 2x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, KVM Support, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $549

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review April ’22:

I think it would be fair to say that QNAP has quite a few different NAS ranges in their portfolio. From hefty enterprise rackmounts and thunderbolt machines, to compact prosumer desktops and modest entry-level systems, the majority of their solutions all seemingly share the same physically architecture – a desktop or rackmount enclosure that has changed really only aesthetically in the last 10-15 years. However, QNAP’s Silent NAS series (started back in 2014/2015) has always been a very different beast and even in its earliest iterations was breaking the rules of what we thought a NAS is supposed to look like and (more importantly) sound like. The QNAP HS-264 is the latest release in the HS NAS series of devices (previously HS-251+ and HS-453DX) that has the bold claim to be ‘silent’! Now, of course, that is not strictly true. It IS a fanless NAS that is designed in a horizontal profile to promote increased heat dissipation into a unit heatsink system (that is how the use of a fan is avoided) along with the physical spreading of the system also dispersing vibration much better. This results in a reported active noise level with traditional NAS hard drives under 8TB to produce a lower rating than other 2-Bay systems in idle/standby (can’t switch off HDD spin and actuator noise). Plus, QNAP state that using SSDs results in the system being genuinely silent. Now for those that want their own NAS service for multimedia, plan on working in close proximity with the system or have a small office where this system will be working hard 24×7 in – the thought of a silent NAS is dream come true. However, hold your horse, just because the HS-264 is going to be quieter than the average NAS/bear, doesn’t mean it is automatically a ‘good NAS’.

Overall you cannot say that QNAP has not been a pinch more mature and sensible (perhaps to a fault) in the design and architecture of the HS-264 NAS. Living slightly in the shadow of the more bandwidth equipped but more expensive HS-453DX, the HS-264 is still a solid entry in the QNAP x64 series and if you are looking for a truly silent NAS that includes all the tools and services that a modern NAS system should feature, the HS-264 is unquestionably a great NAS system. As long as you factor in the noise of HDDs in 2022 (an often overlooked detail I would add), the HS-264 NAS is a system that focuses it’s abilities and power internally, which being by far the most ‘power and heat’ aware system that the brand has ever released in this series. Concerns about QNAP and recent ransomware attacks are always going to dog the brand for a while yet, but nevertheless, that does not undercut the achievement in hardware and design that this system provides. Perhaps if QNAP could have released a modernized version of the HS-453DX, buyers would be fully satisfied, but in it’s absence, the HS-264 and what it brings to the table ticks most of the important hardware boxes for me.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻The Silent NAS series has always been impressive and unique
👍🏻
👍🏻Very unique and discreet at just 4.1cm in height
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻8x Included Camera Licenses
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
CONS
👎🏻Comes across as a less impressive package than the HS-453DX (though the HS-264 is $200 less)
👎🏻
👎🏻Sustained high power use makes the top panel noticeably hot
👎🏻
👎🏻
👎🏻8GB of Memory Max, despite the CPU and other 64 series QNAP’s supporting upto 16GB

Best Value 4K PLEX NAS Drive – Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 4x PCIe Gen 3×1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 CPU 4-Core Integrated Gfx, 4-16GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 1x HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Upgrade Slot, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $579

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Nov’22:

The Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the devices hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc).

That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than it’s software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point
👍🏻Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 4-Bay NAS into an 8-Bay
👍🏻2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB
👍🏻The option to scale up the network connectivity to 10GbE down the line (4 and 6 Bay only)
👍🏻$60 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)
👍🏻Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS
👍🏻Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal
👍🏻ADM is better tha nit has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive
👍🏻Several different setup and initialization options
👍🏻One of very few 4-Bay NAS drives that still feature a fully functional and controllable LCD Panel
👍🏻Full Support of the traditional RAID levels for this scale (RAID 0-1-5-6)
👍🏻Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay
CONS
👎🏻Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time
👎🏻Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems
👎🏻Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services
👎🏻ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now
👎🏻They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers

Lowest Priced 4K Plex NAS Drive – Terramaster F4-423 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 2x Gen 3 x1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 Celeron CPU Quad-Core Integrated Gfx CPU, 4-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $500

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review May’22:

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation.

In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

SOFTWARE - 5/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 10/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.8
PROS
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
👍🏻Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
CONS
👎🏻Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻Until TOS5 is Fully Released, TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps (AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc)

ULTIMATE 4k and 8K Plex NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-h874 NAS

0-176TB, 8-Bays, 2x PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe 2280, PCIe Gen 4×16 Upgrade Slot, Intel Core 12th Gen i5/i7/i9 CPU, 16-64GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe Port, 10Gb x2 Prots (Intel i9 Version), KVM, ZFS or EXT4 Setup, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000-2500-3000

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Dec ’22:

The QNAP TVS-h874 NAS is easily one of the most hardware-capable desktop NAS systems that I have ever seen (as you would expect for £2500+) and has clearly been designed with phenomenal future proofing in mind! If you are concerned about the longevity of this NAS, this hardware architecture will still be top tier 5 years from now, with the added support of PCIe 4 meaning that high capacity and performing micro upgrades throughout its life also ensuring it remains relevant long after. It’s price tag clearly moves this purchase out of the home and squarely into the business market (though likely those that take their media seriously will add it to the cart) and the TVS-h874 will function as a solid solution for Video editing (even at 8K), high frequency and performing VMs, large scale AI powered Surveillance setup, hybrid cloud/on-prem alternative to Office 365/Google Workspace services and as the center point for all your data storage operations. Crucially though, it is that the hardware on offer here will be able to do ALL of these at the same time, therefore maximising the investment for most businesses that want to move aware from their cloud dependant ops. In terms of software,t things are a little less absolute, with QTS and QuTS still getting a little busy at times, with a steeper learning curve than its big rival DSM from Synology. That said, die-hard fans of ZFS (Zettabyte File System) will adore the inclusion of benefits in RAID handling, management and recovery that are exclusive to that platform, whilst enjoying the wide range of applications and service benefits in QuTS that are often restricted to Linux platforms.

8K PLEX TESTS – QNAP TVS-h874 4K PLEX TESTS – QNAP TVS-h874

The slightly conveluded approach to release hardware that does complicate the selection process (different CPUs in the Intel 12th Gen family changing the rest of the system architecture) is something that I hoped this brand would graduate from (for the sake of simplicity), but for many, this level of choice in hardware and budget will be welcome. As is QNAP’s position on the support of 3rd party hardware (drives, PCIe upgrades, etc) and software, something that we have seen a worrying trend in the last few years against elsewhere in the industry but some other brands, to err towards 1st party/proprietary compatibility more and more. There are still lingering doubts by some on the security of NAS, with ransomware attacks on the rise and ALL brands and ALL platforms being targetted (NAS, Cloud ,etc), finding a middle ground between ease of use and depth of security being a tricky tie rope walk indeed. The TVS-h874 arrives with a wide range of Day 1 tools, further rigid defaults in QTS/QuTS in 2022/2023, considerable security settings to configure and multiple system scan tools for recommendations & preventative measures available. The QNAP TVS-h874 is probably the most powerful desktop/tower NAS drive I have ever reviewed and if you are looking for a system that can legitimately do anything server-side, but you are also willing to put in the time to configure it correctly – you will genuinely be hard pushed to find a better system in 2022, 2023 and likely 2024 at this price point and scale.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


9.0
PROS
👍🏻First Commercial Intel Core 12th Gen i5, i7 and i9 NAS Drive
👍🏻Upto 20 Cores, 24 Threads and High End Integrated Graphics
👍🏻PCIe Gen 4 x16 Upgrade Slot for 10/25/100GbE Cards and 2x PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 NVMe Slots for 7GB SSDs
👍🏻No Obstinant 3rd Party Hardware Limitations on Support or Compatibility
👍🏻Much larger support of 3rd Party Software Services than most other NAS Brands
👍🏻10Gb/s USB Connectivity, in Type A and Type C
👍🏻Upto 64GB of Memory and Potential for 128GB
👍🏻ZFS or EXT 4 File System Choice
👍🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Storage or Caching
👍🏻Volume Encryption, SED SSD Support and WORM
👍🏻Enhanced AI Surveillance Services, with opt to upgrade with $30 Google TPU
👍🏻AI Photo Management Tool (QuMagie) Includes Thing Recognition and works offline
👍🏻ALL the ZFS Benefits, whilst also the GUI and App benefits of a Linux Software Platform in one
CONS
👎🏻Available Versions/Configs of the 4/6/8-Bay are confusing
👎🏻QVR Elite (not QVR Pro) only has 2 Cam Licences
👎🏻HDMI Output is 1.4b
👎🏻10Gbe is ONLY included with the most expensive Intel i9 Model
👎🏻Noisy when in operation when fully populated
👎🏻Too Many licenses on Enterprise Tools (Drive Analyzer, Face Tiger, etc) with too few free licenses

And there you have it. Those are the three best Plex NAS drives available right now at the end of 2022 and going into 2023. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great Plex NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative Plex’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a Plex solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    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.  

 

Thank You for Supporting NASCompares in 2022

24 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Sincere THANK YOU from NASCompares!

As 2022 draws to a close and many of us prepare to spend some long overdue time with our families and friends, myself* and Eddie the web guy wanted to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our I.T enthused hearts for taking the time to watch, read or just simply share our content in 2022!

A HUGE reason that we were able to do as much as we could this year was thanks to those ‘go the extra mile’ users who chose to donate and support NASCompares (Unsubtle plug, I know). I need to stress, this is NOT an email intended to drum up more donations or an effort to promote our channel or services further (especially if you have already donated, as it would be rather ‘preaching to the choir’ a bit). No, this email is to sincerely thank you for supporting us by taking the time to donate and support our YouTube and Website – whether it was via donating, or simply choosing not to skip an ad on YouTube or visiting the site with your Ad-Blocker off/low. This year we have published 335 videos, produced 195 Articles & Guides, created 381 Comparisons and News Pages and helped 3,580 users in our free advice section & forum, and it simply would not have been possible without heroes like you! Your donations or Ad revenue went into purchasing new equipment for our studio for better sound, better video production quality, and better testing equipment leading to us slowly but surely revisiting all of our older-gen videos to update them to the latest setup.

Thanks to your donations and support, we were able to fully explore the following new subjects on NASCompares this year:

  • TrueNAS Core and TrueNAS Scale
  • UnRaid Installations and how-to guides coming in 2023
  • Deeper coverage of 4K Multimedia on NAS
  • Expand into the topic of NAS Security and Safety
  • Coverage and Testing of Mammoth 20TB and 22TB Hard Drives
  • Start our ‘Data News of the Week’ weekly news round-up (returning in 2023 after a pause during a slew of new releases this Autumn/Winter)
  • Exploration of the subject of the Energy Cost of NAS and the TCO you need to know
  • Extensive PCIe Gen 4 SSD Coverage and Testing
  • Deeper and Meetier Software Reviews (spanning hours in length)
  • Thunderbolt 4 and USB 4 Hardware and Performance Testing (Big series on this coming in Jan)
  • Deeper focus into Routers, as well as exploring WiFi 6E and the 5.9Ghz Band
  • Purchase of a toy seagull for when the anger builds up
  • Updating our buyers guides, as well as introducing whole new brands and subjects for new ones
  • Improving the quality and quantity of our content on Surveillance cameras
  • A wide range of web tools developed by Eddie to assist users in finding the best Price per TB drive for their needs, the most efficient Energy Cost and Performance Scaling

Let me reiterate, we do not receive any financial subsidy from the brands we cover to facilitate the content we make (with the exception of a recent WD campaign to promote 10yrs of WD Red, which went towards a server upgrade) as this allows us to be independent of outside influence. Sadly, this does mean that the majority of hardware that is unable to be provided by the brand for hands-off-review collaboration, we have to purchase ourselves. This is why we are so fantastically grateful that you took the time to support us and further support our passion for this subject. So, thank you for being incredible and we look forward to keeping you informed, assisted and entertained (ok, that one might be pushing it) in 2023!

Of course, it would be remiss not to thank everyone who went that extra step and donated to NASCompares. You could have watched the videos, let the ad at the start do its thing, leave an ad playing on the blog whilst you read – just trust the ads to support the content. You could have done that and that’s fine and dandy. But you went the extra mile! You donated to us (whether through the advice section or just point-to-point on Paypal) and that money went directly into making content. An ENORMOUS thank you to the following people who supported us this year (whether it was just a $1 or those of you that actually spent time calculating the value of the advice/support you received and donated much more – John in Sweden!). Below is the roll call of NASCompares supporting heroes!

THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE FOR SUPPORTING US WITH YOUR DONATIONS here on KoFi or via YouTube!

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*one for the objective pronoun fans…

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

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]  

Support What We Do


support what we do
    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Best 8-Bay NAS Drive – 2022/2023

23 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best 8-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

If you have been looking at getting a NAS for your business, then I think it is safe to say that 8-Bay is where things get SERIOUS. Up until this point, most NAS system can typically fall into home use, budget use, small business and effective storage for a small group of users and their data. However, 8 drive (hard drive or SSD) NAS systems are where you start to see the NAS brands flex their muscles a bit. 8-Bays have typically been the jumping-off point from Desktop to Rackmount servers (slightly less so in recent years admittedly), thanks to the larger degree of storage on offer allowing greater performance, capacity and redundancy – So you start to see hardware appearing inside/outside that can greatly enhance the system’s utility. Features such as 10-gigabit ethernet, Xeon processors, considerably more memory and ultimately a system that can support a much wider number of users and processes than the systems that came before it. NAS brands very early on championed the inclusion of 8-Bay desktop servers in their portfolios, recognizing the need for a desktop server for compact deployment that could challenge the traditionally high power of rackmount solutions, so there are ALOT of different 8-Bay NAS systems on the market to choose from – all with their own distinct hardware and software capabilities, yet all at comparable pricing. Today I want to highlight to you the best three 8-Bay NAS to buy in 2022 and 2023 out of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) that are currently available on the market. These are systems that I choose, based on their value, scalability and overall power. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best 8-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 8-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 8-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 8-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand-supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwolf 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above as these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 8-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round 8-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS1821+ NAS

0-176TB, 8-Bays, 2x NVMe Cache Bays, Quad-Core Ryzen V1500B 2.2Ghz CPU, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 4x 1Gbe Port, 1x PCIe 3×8 Upgrade Slot, 5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1099

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Dec ’20:

What you have here is a solid piece of hardware that very much lives up to everything Synology promises, even if some of those promises aren’t to everyone’s taste. With a hardware architecture that we have already tested to notable success in the DS1621+ previously, we already knew that this NAS would be able to do everything it promised. Many users looking to spend their annual business budgets on an improved or extended data storage solution will find the balanced position of hardware vs software found by the Synology DS1821+ to be quite desirable, as well as the scaled potential to upgrade external performance via PCIe and storage via eSATA. However, there is no ignoring that despite the fact this 2020 release excels in many things, it also arrives with a little bottlenecking in a number of others. The continued default utilisation of 1Gbe on the newest generation by Synology is somewhat perplexing and although I have continued admiration for Synology’s engagement with intelligent M2 NVMe cache utilisation and providing a solution that allows more flexible upgrade paths, I know that there are still users who just wish they could use that super fast NAND for raw storage pools and have better than gigabit connections out by default.

Click to view slideshow.

It has never been a secret that buying a Synology NAS solution was always a largely ‘software over hardware’ purchase, and the DS1821+ is still a fine example of that balance. However, with other brands closing the gap in what they can offer the SMB (Small/Medium Business) user, while still providing superior hardware and similar warranty coverage, there is the tiniest feeling that the DS1821+ is a NAS that sits on its laurels a bit. Hugely upgradable and still with that award-winning and fantastically intuative DSM software, the DS1821+ is about buying a solution you can adapt within its lifespan and not one that will knock your socks off on day one. A solid and dependable data storage solution, if a little safe, at the end of 2020.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Desktop Ryzen Powered Solution
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
👍🏻Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB
👍🏻Numerous Backup Software Options
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
CONS
👎🏻1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
👎🏻Shame it does not support 1/2 x DX1215
👎🏻NVMe SSDs cannot be used for RAW storage

 


Most Powerful 8-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-h874 NAS

0-176TB, 8-Bays, 2x PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe 2280, PCIe Gen 4×16 Upgrade Slot, Intel Core 12th Gen i5/i7/i9 CPU, 16-64GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe Port, 10Gb x2 Prots (Intel i9 Version), KVM, ZFS or EXT4 Setup, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000-2500-3000

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Dec ’22:

The QNAP TVS-h874 NAS is easily one of the most hardware-capable desktop NAS systems that I have ever seen (as you would expect for £2500+) and has clearly been designed with phenomenal future proofing in mind! If you are concerned about the longevity of this NAS, this hardware architecture will still be top tier 5 years from now, with the added support of PCIe 4 meaning that high capacity and performing micro upgrades throughout its life also ensuring it remains relevant long after. It’s price tag clearly moves this purchase out of the home and squarely into the business market (though likely those that take their media seriously will add it to the cart) and the TVS-h874 will function as a solid solution for Video editing (even at 8K), high frequency and performing VMs, large scale AI powered Surveillance setup, hybrid cloud/on-prem alternative to Office 365/Google Workspace services and as the center point for all your data storage operations. Crucially though, it is that the hardware on offer here will be able to do ALL of these at the same time, therefore maximising the investment for most businesses that want to move aware from their cloud dependant ops. In terms of software,t things are a little less absolute, with QTS and QuTS still getting a little busy at times, with a steeper learning curve than its big rival DSM from Synology. That said, die-hard fans of ZFS (Zettabyte File System) will adore the inclusion of benefits in RAID handling, management and recovery that are exclusive to that platform, whilst enjoying the wide range of applications and service benefits in QuTS that are often restricted to Linux platforms.

Click to view slideshow.

The slightly conveluded approach to release hardware that does complicate the selection process (different CPUs in the Intel 12th Gen family changing the rest of the system architecture) is something that I hoped this brand would graduate from (for the sake of simplicity), but for many, this level of choice in hardware and budget will be welcome. As is QNAP’s position on the support of 3rd party hardware (drives, PCIe upgrades, etc) and software, something that we have seen a worrying trend in the last few years against elsewhere in the industry but some other brands, to err towards 1st party/proprietary compatibility more and more. There are still lingering doubts by some on the security of NAS, with ransomware attacks on the rise and ALL brands and ALL platforms being targetted (NAS, Cloud ,etc), finding a middle ground between ease of use and depth of security being a tricky tie rope walk indeed. The TVS-h874 arrives with a wide range of Day 1 tools, further rigid defaults in QTS/QuTS in 2022/2023, considerable security settings to configure and multiple system scan tools for recommendations & preventative measures available. The QNAP TVS-h874 is probably the most powerful desktop/tower NAS drive I have ever reviewed and if you are looking for a system that can legitimately do anything server-side, but you are also willing to put in the time to configure it correctly – you will genuinely be hard pushed to find a better system in 2022, 2023 and likely 2024 at this price point and scale.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


9.0
PROS
👍🏻First Commercial Intel Core 12th Gen i5, i7 and i9 NAS Drive
👍🏻Upto 20 Cores, 24 Threads and High End Integrated Graphics
👍🏻PCIe Gen 4 x16 Upgrade Slot for 10/25/100GbE Cards and 2x PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 NVMe Slots for 7GB SSDs
👍🏻No Obstinant 3rd Party Hardware Limitations on Support or Compatibility
👍🏻Much larger support of 3rd Party Software Services than most other NAS Brands
👍🏻10Gb/s USB Connectivity, in Type A and Type C
👍🏻Upto 64GB of Memory and Potential for 128GB
👍🏻ZFS or EXT 4 File System Choice
👍🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Storage or Caching
👍🏻Volume Encryption, SED SSD Support and WORM
👍🏻Enhanced AI Surveillance Services, with opt to upgrade with $30 Google TPU
👍🏻AI Photo Management Tool (QuMagie) Includes Thing Recognition and works offline
👍🏻ALL the ZFS Benefits, whilst also the GUI and App benefits of a Linux Software Platform in one
CONS
👎🏻Available Versions/Configs of the 4/6/8-Bay are confusing
👎🏻QVR Elite (not QVR Pro) only has 2 Cam Licences
👎🏻HDMI Output is 1.4b
👎🏻10Gbe is ONLY included with the most expensive Intel i9 Model
👎🏻Noisy when in operation when fully populated
👎🏻Too Many licenses on Enterprise Tools (Drive Analyzer, Face Tiger, etc) with too few free licenses

 


Best Value Hardware 8-Bay NAS Drive – Terramaster T9-423 NAS

0-198TB, 9-Bays, 1x PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel Celeron N5105 Quad Core CPU, 8-32GB Memory, 2x 2.5GbE Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review April ’22:

I like the terramaster T9-423 NAS a lot more than I thought I was going to! Over the years I have seen several quirky NAS designs appear from brands looking to find gaps in the existing market between the traditional 2-bay, 4-bay, 8-bay and rackmount systems. In most cases, these brands tend to never really hit the ground running with these systems and a lot of that is because they are either priced poorly, have bad internal hardware choices for the sake of offsetting the overall cost of a new design or simply do not read the room in knowing what people want. I’m pleased to say that the Terramaster T9-423 does not seem to suffer any of these things. This 9-Bay arrives in a chassis that is a smaller and more convenient frame than many eight-bay desktops, arrives at a price point that for the scale is reasonable and has the same or better hardware than most other mid-range desktop NAS in 2022. Alongside this, Terramaster’s innovations in TOS5 to improve their platform to include many more storage services, backup methods and a few premium apps in the works means that the brand still manages to be competitive in spite of its more cost-effective reputation and hardware focus.

Click to view slideshow.

First-party app development still pales in comparison to bigger NAS brands (though popular third-party tools that already exist in the market are supported and available to download) and in terms of software, this system is still a little underwhelming, if very functional. Then you have the build quality. The construction of this chassis is particularly higher than I anticipated and unlike many of the brand’s rather dated or plastic-looking cases in 2 and 4 bays, The T9-423 is remarkably well constructed with excellent considerations being made to ventilation and keeping the device compact despite its large storage potential. As long as you keep in mind that you are buying a more cost-effective or value alternative to top-tier brands, as well as having perhaps a little more patience with the software than you might like, the Terramaster T9-423 is a great NAS and an exceedingly positive move by the brand to further evolve.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Surprisingly compact for 9 Bays of Storage
👍🏻Good Middle ground between a Rackmount and Desktop System
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
👍🏻M.2 SSD Bay inside for caching/storage at PCIe Gen 3×2
CONS
👎🏻Only 1x M.2 NVMe SSD Bay
👎🏻Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps at the moment (as the AI photo recognition, Surveillance, Centralized Backup tools, etc are still in Beta)


Where to Buy a Product
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤ 
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still just message us for free advice anyway!

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Best 2-Bay NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

6 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best 2-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

When you are looking for a new data storage solution, chances are that in terms of cost vs storage, a 2 drive solution is pretty much a solid choice – especially for tech novices or those dipping their toes into owning their own server for the first time. If you can overcome the initial downfall of losing 50% of your storage space (RAID 1 over two hard drives), you can get some genuinely incredible 2 bay solutions in 2022, as well as many 2023 releases having already appeared. 2 Disk storage systems always held a rather wimpy reputation till about 2017/18, as it was assumed that because the system had limited capacity and throughput to work with, it would be a waste to make it powerful. Fast forward to now and the general standard of hardware that is equipped on some of the 2-Bay NAS released in the last year or so has escalated hugely, 10GbE support has appeared and add to that the fact that NAS hard drives (such as Seagate Ironwolf and WD Red) are now available in 20-22TB sizes, a 2 HDD NAS server is compact, powerful and hugely capacity enabled! So today I want to talk about the best 2-Bay NAS drives of the year and help you choose the right one for your home or business needs, covering the best for software, the best for hardware and the best for both. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best 2-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 2-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 2-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 2-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand-supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity (higher in some cases)
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 2-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.

NoteORIGINALLY I would have put the QNAP TS-264 in this category, regretfully though, it is still unavailable at the time of writing, so it cannot be included. However, it would DEFINITELY deserve to be here and might even be the real ‘best all-round 2-Bay NAS.


Best All Round 2-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TS-253E NAS

0-44TB, 2-Bays, 2x PCIe Gen 3×2 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel Celeron J6412 CPU, 8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G), 1x HDMI 1.4b 4K 30FPS, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $509

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Aug ’22 Review of the TS-453E (4-Bay Alternative):

The QNAP TS-453E NAS is a device that really grew on me! With these home/business server companies releasing refreshes of their ranges every 2-2.5yrs or so, it is easy to see them fall into repetitive patterns when it comes to how the hardware is picked at each tier/price-point. The TS-453E NAS on the other hand manages to carve a new tier into the brand’s portfolio right now in 2022, managing to give you some really solid internal/external hardware that most would have assumed would be half of what it is at this level of QNAP’s 4-bay portfolio (i.e Quad-Core, 8GB, NVMe M.2s, 2.5GbE, 10G USB, 3yr warranty, etc) and it will certainly make some buyers wonder about whether the current Prosumer/flagship TS-464 is as necessary to their home or office as they once thought.

Click to view slideshow.

The fixed memory, even at 8GB default, is rather annoying and a lack of PCIe slot means that 10GbE will remain out of reach – but look at this NAS sandwiched between the TS-451D2 & TS-464 and it makes alot of sense. This is for those not really looking at expandability years from now and although that plastic case still looks a little dated/cheap, this is not a device designed to be noticed day-to-day. For those looking to make their first tentative entry into the world of NAS a decent one or looking to upgrade cautiously from an ARM system, the QNAP TS-453E is an excellent shout!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Exceptional CPU choice for the Scale/Tier
👍🏻8GB of DDR4 Memory
👍🏻2.5GbE (x2) Ports on Day 1
👍🏻Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) Ports!
👍🏻2x M.2 NVMe Slots alongside those 4x SATA Bays for Storage (Caching, Tiered Storage or standalone Pools)
👍🏻Includes VM, Surveillance (8 licenses and upto 32 Cams), Backup, Sync, Multimedia, SaaS sync/migration and office tools (some with added AI services)
👍🏻3-Year Warranty (Can be extended)
👍🏻VERY Compact, low-impact design
👍🏻Supports 1-2x Expansions
👍🏻20TB and 22TB Confirmed Compatibility
CONS
👎🏻
👎🏻Memory Cannot be Upgraded
👎🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Slots are Gen 3 x2
👎🏻Chassis is still a little dated looking

 


Best Software 2-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS720+ NAS

(Note – The Synology DS723+ NAS was first revealed unofficially in October ’22. This is the refresh to the Synology DS720+ NAS, but with a Ryzen Processor, ECC Memory and optional 10GbE upgrade. However, launch of that device looks like it will be Jan ’23)

0-44TB, 2-Bays, 2x PCIe Gen 2×4 M.2 NVMe 2280, Quad Core Intel Celeron J4125 CPU, 2-6GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $399

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review June ’20:

The Synology NAS brand is one that we have long associated with software as the KEY selling point. However, users these days know alot more about this kind of technology than ever before and Synology has clearly responded some ways better than others. The inclusion of NVMe SSD caching is absolutely something that I can get behind in a positive way! The standard of 1Gbe (x2 technically) is still a bit of a sore one and something many would have assumed would serve as a pricing/buying tier between the DS220+ vs DS720+ (also the DS420+ vs DS920+) but though 2.5Gbe is still in its infancy, it is growing trend that Synology will not ignore for much longer and perhaps something that will give more experienced users pause before clicking the ‘buy now’ button.

Click to view slideshow.

In practically EVERY OTHER WAY the DS720+ is a worthy successor to the DS718+, as well as easily earning the title of the best 2-Bay the biggest brand in modern NAS has ever put out. From its strengths in supporting DSM as one of the best software GUIs and platforms in the area of storage to its mould-breaking utilization of SSD caching in DSM 6.2 (with promised improves even more in DSM 7.0), the Synology DS720+ is a NAS drive that gives you ALOT of power and potential under the hood to help you enjoy your data, just know that it arrives with the tiniest bit of a network ‘glass-ceiling’ down the line.

SOFTWARE - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache add-on
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No PCIe slots
👎🏻2GB Memory is a little low in the long term
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 


Best Value Hardware 2-Bay NAS Drive – Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 NAS

0-44TB, 2-Bays, 4x PCIe Gen 3×2 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 CPU 4-Core Integrated Gfx, 4-16GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 1x HDMI 2.0b, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $399

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Dec’22:

The Lockerstor 2 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the devices hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc).

Click to view slideshow.

That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of a choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 2 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than it’s software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point
👍🏻Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 2-Bay NAS into an 6-Bay
👍🏻2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB
👍🏻$45 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)
👍🏻Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS
👍🏻Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal
👍🏻ADM is better than it has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive
👍🏻Several different setup and initialization options
👍🏻Full Support of the traditional RAID levels
👍🏻Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay
CONS
👎🏻Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time
👎🏻Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems
👎🏻Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services
👎🏻ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now
👎🏻They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers

Lowest Priced Plex 2-Bay NAS Drive – Terramaster F2-423 NAS

0-44TB, 2-Bays, 2x Gen 3 x1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 Celeron CPU Quad-Core Integrated Gfx CPU, 4-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 10G, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $389

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review (4-Bay Review, but F2-423 Coming Very Soon) – Watch

What I said in my review May’22:

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F2-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation.

Click to view slideshow.

In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F2-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F2-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F2-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻TRAID Flexible RAID is great stuff!
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻Supports Current 22TB HDDs from WD and Seagate
👍🏻VERY easy TrueNAS installation is possible
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB - TBC)
👍🏻Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
CONS
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻Although TOS 5 has seen some big improvements and more AAA+ apps and services added, it is still not as polished as DSM or QTS from their competitors

 


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