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

27 septembre 2021 à 01:48

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

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

 

Synology DS118

Synology DS120j

QNAP TS-131K

QNAP TS-130

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

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

 

Best 1-Bay Synology/QNAP NAS – Performance

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

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

Realtek RTD1296 4-Core 1.4Ghz CPU

1GB DDR4 Memory

QNAP TS-130 NAS

Realtek RTD1295 4-Core 1.4Ghz CPU

1GB DDR4 Memory

QNAP TS-131K NAS

Annapurna Labs, AL214, 4-core, 1.7GHz

1GB DDR4 Memory

Great CPU and Slick GUI =

Best Performance!


Good Internal Hardware =

Good Value Speed Option


Great internal and External Hardware =

Good Performance!

 

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

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

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

QNAP TS-131K NAS

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

QNAP TS-130 NAS

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

Synology DS118 NAS

1Gbe & USB 3.1 – Good Software Connectivity

Good Selection of Connectivity =

Most Adaptive 1-Bay!

Good, petite and connectible =

Good all rounder!


More Focused on Software Connectivity =

Beginner Choice


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

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

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

QNAP TS-131K NAS

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

QNAP TS-130 NAS

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

Synology DS118 NAS

No Official Expandability but uses USB Storage as external drive Storage

Can be upgraded and expanded

in a number of ways =

Most Future Proof!

Lightly Expandability =

Good Affordable Pick

Functional and Can have Storage bolt ons =

Good Value


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

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

1ST 2ND 3RD

QNAP TS-130 NAS

7.06 W (Live Access)
2.9 W (Hibernation)

15.7 dB(A) Noise Level

 

Synology DS120j NAS

9.81 W (Live Access)
4.68 W (Hibernation)

16.9 dB(A) Noise Level

Synology DS118 NAS

9.4 W (Live Access)
4.22 W (Hibernation)

16.7 dB(A) Noise Level

Lowest Power Used and Noise Generated=

Best Choice in this area!

Very Low Environmental Impact=

Good Performance

Good Power at a Low Impact, higher price =

Best Performance Choice


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

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

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

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

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

QNAP TS-131K NAS

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

QNAP TS-130 NAS

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

Great Apps and Fluid GUI =

Best Option for Mac/New NAS Users!


Good Selection of Apps, Great GUI=

Best for Android/Windows Users

Good Budget choice of Apps =

Affordable NAS App Entry Point

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

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

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

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

1080p Transcoding Natively

4K Transcoding Natively

Plex Media Server NO TRANSCODING

QNAP TS-131K NAS

1080p Playback Natively

4K Playback Natively

Plex Media Server NO TRANSCODING

QNAP TS-130 NAS

1080p Playback Natively

Plex Media Server NO TRANSCODING

1080P and 4K Playback =

Best 1-Bay for Basic Plex and Native Transcoding!


Basic Plex Playback and DLNA Streaming =

Best for Budget NAS Streaming

Low end Multimedia Use =

Value choice for Multimedia Streaming

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

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

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

 

1ST 2ND 3RD

Synology DS118 NAS

Surveillance Station

Upto 15 Cameras

2 Licenses

QNAP TS-130 NAS

Surveillance Station/QVR Elite

Upto 10 Cameras

2 Licenses

Synology DS120j NAS

Surveillance Station

Upto 5 Cameras

2 Licenses

Good all round low-end CCTV Support =

Best 1-Bay for Surveillance Overall!


Suitable for a Small Office =

Discreet NVR Option for an Office

Small and Very Low Impact=

Best choice for a shop, home environment

 

 


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


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

26 juillet 2021 à 01:57

Choosing Between Buying a 2-Bay or 4 Bay NAS

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

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

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

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

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Price and Value

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Conclusion

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

Synology DS720+ 2-Bay – $399+

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay – $559+

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

 

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

 

QNAP TS-253D 2-Bay – $389+

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay – $549+

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

 

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

 

Asustor Lockerstor 2 2-Bay – $379+

Asustor Lockerstor 4 4-Bay – $499+

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

 

 


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


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

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

5 juillet 2021 à 15:35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS Drive

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

*TBC because of 251+ vs 453DX

Intel N5105 or J6412 CPU (TBC – see below)

DDR4 Memory (because of CPU)

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

HDMI Out 4K 60FPS

USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Because of Image)

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

Expandable

Intel N5105 or J6412 CPU (TBC – see below)

DDR4 Memory (because of CPU)

Fanless (due to HS title)

HDMI Out 4K 60FPS

2.5Gbe

Expandable

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay NAS

QNAP HS-453DX 2/4-Bay NAS

Intel J4125 CPU

4/8GB DDR4 Memory

2.5Gbe x2

PCIe Gen 2×2

USB 3.2 Gen 1

HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS

Intel J4115 CPU

2/8GB DDR4 Memory

1x 10Gbe

1Gbe x2

USB 3.2 Gen 1

HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS

 


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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

QNAP NAS QTS 5.0 Beta Now Available

4 juillet 2021 à 23:00

Beta Now Available for QNAP QTS 5.0 Released

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

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

Increase your security level

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

Predict drive failure and minimize downtime with the help of AI

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

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

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

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

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

Supports WireGuard VPN for secured internet connection

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

Boosted NVMe SSD cache performance

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

QuFTP fulfills personal and business file transfer needs

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

FTP Server

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

FTP Client

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

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

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

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

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

Which QNAP NAS Drives Support the QTS 5 Beta?

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

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

 


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Best NAS and Drives For £500 in 2021

2 juillet 2021 à 02:00

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

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

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

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

— Short Version —

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

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

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

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

Synology DS220+ NAS

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

= £472 TOTAL

QNAP TS-251D NAS

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

= £495 TOTAL

Nimbustor 2 NAS

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

= £465 TOTAL

 

— Long Version —

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

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

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

 

 

NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Synology DSM Software

QNAP QTS Software

ASUSTOR ADM Software

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS

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

 


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

6 Things You Can Do With Your NAS Other Than Backup Storage

23 juin 2021 à 16:00

Cool Things You Can Do With Your NAS other Than Backup Storage

The main motivation for most users who purchase a new network-attached (NAS) storage device is often a means to create an alternative to Cloud services, backup several devices safely and really just to make sure that there is a mean to keep their data safe and sound, but also within reach when needed. The majority of NAS brands perform this function well and if you are looking for a NAS just to do these functions, then you will always be successful, regardless of the unit you choose. However, there is actually a huge number of things that a NAS can do and with the evolution of modern NAS hardware from brands like Synology and QNAP, most users do not even realise the cool things they can do with their system to maximize their investment or simply to have a little fun. So today I want to go through some of the best things you can do with a NAS drive that are more than just using it as a simple backup storage system. Let’s go!

Important – All of the things below that I recommend for your NAS drive are available on the majority of NAS systems from Synology, QNAP, Asustor, WD My Cloud or Terramaster. However, the extent to which they can be done and the overall performance that you will achieve will be based on the power of the NAS drive that you own and the number of simultaneous processes that you run. So if you are already using more than 90% of the existing hardware to run a large-scale simultaneous backup operation, that will not leave a vast amount of resources to run anything else. So just bear in mind that the extent to which the below fun things you can do with your NAS also depend on the hardware resources at your disposal.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own NetFlix

Probably the most well-known thing about NAS that is popular for home users is that you can use the system to watch media over DLNA in your home. However, a lot of users do not realise the extent to which you can enjoy movies and box sets on your NAS. It’s one thing to have a big pile of files that you can access in a breadcrumb file/folder level over the network. It is another thing entirely to create a complete slick and well-designed user interface, with all of your decades of TV shows and movies displayed in a form similar to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, this is exactly what you can do if you take advantage of PLEX media server or Synology Video Station. These applications allow you to index (ie scan and catalogue) your existing collections of media, then they search online databases for box art, reviews, cast lists, trailers and more, which then allows you to automatically present this information on your smart TV, tablet, console or phone in beautifully designed and intuitive software menus. Indeed, Plex Media Server and Synology Video Station are available on the majority of everyday internet-connected media devices and both of these applications are free or included in the cost of your NAS. Find out more about Plex media server on your NAS using the media you own, as well as connecting online multimedia services, in the video below.

It is also worth highlighting that your own personal Netflix on your NAS experience is not limited to just been connected to by you, as you can allow family and friends to access your NAS with this sleek and intuitive user interface anywhere on the network or remotely via the internet too.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own Google Drive Shared Cloud

Most users think of a NAS as a giant hard drive that they connect to their devices remotely in order to back up their data. In most cases, a home user who purchased the NAS did so to move away from Cloud services like Dropbox and Google. However, some users are still blissfully unaware that you can use a NAS to host your very own version of Dropbox or Google drive for hundreds or thousands of users if you choose. Taking advantage of the file and space management services of a NAS in conjunction with online browser-based access and you can present areas of storage on your NAS to users with their very own login information, area of space that can be changed on the fly, controlled file types/sizes and the whole thing presented as an easy web browser-based cloud platform. Although this is available on the majority of NAS brands using their own software and client, Synology Drive provides this in the best way and is by far the most similar in design, ability and execution to DropBox and Google Drive. Find out more about Synology drive below:

The number of simultaneous or concurrent user that you can provide individual private cloud space to is only really limited by the NAS and the total available capacity, but even very very modest NAS systems at a few £100 can support hundreds of users at once. 

Use Your NAS to Setup a Enterprise-Grade Surveillance System at Home or Work

Most people who are even vaguely aware of modern NAS will hear the word surveillance thrown around quite a lot. They sort of know that they can have some cameras about the place that can send recordings to their NAS drive, but above and beyond that, they don’t really know much about it, don’t know how easy it is and ultimately decide not to really look into it. However in the most modern examples of network-attached storage, not only do the big brands all include surveillance software that is genuinely on par with the best and most premium grade NVR and CCTV software (Milestone and Axis Nvr), but also the cost of IP cameras that connect to your home or office network cost way, WAY less than you think. Even the compatible range of cameras that you can use that are supported arrive in the thousands of models and as long as the camera supports ONVIF, it will work. Many affordable Wi-Fi cameras and even solar-powered cameras that connect to your NAS over the network internet can be purchased for as little as £30 and once connected to the NAS surveillance software, with its remote access architecture and easy-to-use graphical user interface, you can set up a surveillance and protective security system in your home/business for very little money than you already spent on the NAS. Here is how Synology Surveillance station and QNAP’s QVR Pro software compare. Just remember that both of these programs are included with the cost of your NAS, which brings any expense on your NVR setup even lower:

The maximum number of cameras you can run at any one time, the total picture quality and the size of recordings generated will depend on the power and size of your NAS, but even affordable one day NAS solutions can be quite effective as a surveillance network video recorder.

Use Your NAS to Create a Virtual Machine for Work, Rest and Play

The use of virtual machines (VMs) used to be something that was only deployed and understood by big business. However, in 2021/2022, they are now being used to a highly productive and effective degree by even small home users as remote connecting systems. In essence, a virtual machine is a digital image of a physical computer. It needs to live within the confines of another computer, in this case a NAS, but its hardware specifications are represented as digital equivalents and this virtual version of a computer can be accessed remotely via the network or internet. Many users who purchased network-attached storage devices simply for backups will one day find out that they are using a mere fraction of the total available hardware inside their NAS. A great way to take advantage of this hardware available and put it to better use while your NAS is on 24×7 is to create a virtual machine within the NAS and then use it for business use, for personal centralised computer use or even or numerous fun tasks. These can include testing an operating system that you’ve never used before, running a legacy operating system like Windows 98 or XP in order to play old games or software, or even create light Linux VMs to deploy bespoke custom applications and retro games via emulation software like Retroarch and LaunchBox. Virtual machines are now painfully easy to deploy and all of the current modern NAS brands include their own first past the VM software. Take a look below at how Synology and QNAP compare in virtual machine support on their mass.

A particular stand out of this is QNAP with three separate virtual machine tools (Virtualization Station, Linux Station and Container Station) and within each of them, the ability to simply download numerous virtual machine images (from within the software GUI) for near-instant deployment in around 2 clicks of the mouse. Taking care of the entire setup and allowing you to just start having fun or doing business with your new virtual machine.

Use Your NAS to Farm and Plot Chia Coin Cryptocurrency

Although many people would agree that the latest change in the cryptocurrency market towards more environmentally friendly methods is a good thing, there are plenty who would argue that the Chia cryptocurrency wave that is massively affecting the storage market right now is pretty dreadful. The appeal of taking advantage of high-performance SSD and high durability hard drives in order to plot and farm potential Chia coin is constantly growing in popularity and for those users that want to jump on this potentially lucrative bandwagon, many are not even aware that they already have the hardware to do so. As long as you have a NAS that supports multiple hard drives in a RAID storage array and allow the installation of containers, then your NAS can be used in the Chia crypto processes. Executing it is by no means straightforward and although it is easier on some NAS browns than others, it still does require you to have a decent amount of available storage space and a fairly decent array of default resources in the NAS at your disposal. Nevertheless, once you overcome over the initial steeper learning curve, afterwards your NAS is largely self-governed and you don’t have to interfere with the system in the running of Chai based processes. Take a look below at how to set up your chia machine on a QNAP NAS (QNAP UK have a great video on this):

It is also worth highlighting that QNAP even has a third-party app that you can install on your system to marginally make this process even easier. It is available in the unofficial app center, but worth a look:

Use your NAS for Medical Science and Human Innovation

Sometimes users can tend to feel a little guilty that the NAS they use simply for storage and backups is left on for days, weeks or months at a time. There is of course the matter of when your electricity bill arrives, which is arguably quite a small some thanks to modern efficient design, but there is nevertheless the feeling of the environmental impact and the fact that you are leaving a system to run idle between the sporadic times that you need access to its resources. NAS drives are not alone in this (though there is arguably more wasteful resource computer hardware out there) but to combat this there are actually several more altruistic ways in which you can use your NAS to help others and maybe the betterment of society. Currently, there are several different installable apps or deployable containers that you can install and run on your NAS system that (although modest in their power consumption) will allow the idle time that your NAS is left on to be used for a better purpose. From research into deciphering genetic and DNA coding to algorithms breaking and medical research, there are numerous different charitable and positive organisations out there that are able to take advantage of the aggregated extra hardware of hundreds and thousands of different machines remotely in efforts to achieve their goals.

If the idea of donating the unused resources of your NAS for more human benefiting methods interests you, use the links below to find out more (Click Below):

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Confirmed QNAP NAS Deals this Prime Day 2021

21 juin 2021 à 09:30

QNAP NAS Bargains and Deals this Prime Day 2021

Yes, it is that time of year again when those of you who have an Amazon Prime subscription have the chance to score some sweet tech deals during their Prime Day 2021 event. Many users will take this opportunity to finally make the jump from their subscription-based cloud serviced and onto something a little bit more robust and secure, with numerous diverse QNAP NAS systems appearing in the annual sale. Of all the brands that I talked about in network-attached storage, few are quite as diverse as QNAP and with a portfolio that covers everything from NAS and DAS, to network switches and routers now, there is plenty of hardware to choose from and a good few pieces were likely to appear in the Amazon Prime Day sale. Below I have detailed a number of recommended QNAP solutions to watch out for during Prime Day 2021 which will be on sale and this post will be regularly updated with new deals as they appear in the orange box below. So what are you waiting for, go ahead and see if there is anything from QNAP worth your data this Prime Day.


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


 

QNAP TS-230 NAS Amazon Prime Day Deal #1

One deal that appeared quite early on Amazon Prime day 2021 was the cost-effective but rather capable TS-230 NAS that arrived on the scene a little over a year ago. This rather compact and modern designed NAS server arrives with a quad-core Realtek processor and DDR4 memory. Also, though the processor is an ARM-based chip, it is still quite capable and allows for support of the bulk of QNAP NAS applications in QTS. Likewise, the DDR4 memory that this system arrives with cannot be upgraded but is 2GB in size, which is spectacularly generous for a NAS at this price point (especially when compared to the recently released Asustor Drivestor 2 and Synology DS220j) even without the Prime Day price drop. If you are looking for a RAID enabled NAS system that is good for backing up your photos, streaming your media, sharing your files and creating a multi-tiered backup strategy – the QNAP TS-230 is by far one of the most affordable solutions available from the brand to provide all of this and an absolute bargain this Prime Day 2021.

QNAP TS-230 NAS Drive – Find Deal

Realtek RTD1296 Quad-core 1. 4GHz

Fixed 2GB DDR4 RAM

2 x 3. 5-inch SATA 6Gb/s

1x RJ45 LAN

2x USB

2 Yr Warranty

 

QNAP TS-451D2 NAS Amazon Prime Day Deal #2

This 4-bay NAS solution arrived halfway through 2020 and despite its arguably more modest specification, it does manage to tick a lot of boxes for the modern NAS buyer. Arriving with a dual-core Intel Celeron processor with embedded graphics for transcoding everything from 1080p to 4K, it also arrives with upgradable DDR4 memory and twin gigabit LAN for increasing ethernet connectivity down the line. Alongside this, the system also features KVM support in the form of an available HDMI connection, and USB ports that can be used for external storage, expansions, peripheral devices and network adaptors to increase external bandwidths even further. By far the most affordable RAID 5 enabled NAS from QNAP for the likes of Plex and fully-featured surveillance, the TS-451D2 allows access to the entire range of QNAP applications and services in 2021. Equally, for those looking to experiment with virtualisation, this is by far the most affordable QNAP NAS to allow the VMs in a more modest form, with three separate applications that all allow virtual images to be downloaded directly within just three clicks of an app. It does not try to be the most powerful 4-Bay NAS in QNAP’s portfolio, but it does try to be the best value and if you are still making your first tentative steps into the world of network-attached storage this Amazon Prime Day, the TS-451D2 might well be the NAS for you:

QNAP TS-451D2 NAS Drive – Find Deal

Intel Celeron J4025 dual-core 2.0 GHz (burst up to 2.9 GHz)

Intel HD Graphics 600

4GB SO-DIMM DDR4 RAM (Max 8GB)

4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s

2 x Gigabit Ethernet Port (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1

1 x HDMI 2.0

 

QNAP TS-130 NAS Amazon Prime Day Deal #3 (TBC)

Easily one of the best value QNAP NAS drives I have seen in years, when I heard that the TS-130 was going to be available as a deal this Prime day 2021, I had to let users know as soon as I could. Let’s be honest, one-bay solutions have always been something of an anomaly. Brands rarely invest much R&D in the technology of a 1-Bay solution, as the single SATA storage bay will ultimately be a bottleneck to whatever the system can do. However modern generations of 1 HDD servers have arrived on the scene that thanks to intelligent caching internally and improvements in SATA storage media by Seagate and WD, are able to produce much better internal and external performance and the QNAP TS-130 is a great example of this. Much like the Prime Day deal on the QNAP TS-230 NAS mentioned earlier, the TS-130 is an incredibly good value NAS even without a deal on it and although it’s not exactly going to break the speed limit with the hardware it has, it certainly provides an impressive level of support to home users and is one of the best first NAS choices for tentative buyers I have seen in recent years. The QNAP TS-130 plus and a 4TB hard drive will cost you about the same as 100GB of storage on Google drive for 2 years, with the obvious benefits of being considerably larger incapacity and the fact that you own the storage. Add to that the wide range of software that arrives in QTS with your QNAP TS-130 and what you have is a fantastically good value solution and one that I would say is worth more than a glance on Prime day 2021, but also serious consideration to existing NAS users who want to add a layer to the existing backup strategy.

 

QNAP TS-130 NAS Drive – Find Deal

Realtek RTD1296 Quad-core 1. 4GHz

Fixed 2GB DDR4 RAM

2 x 3. 5-inch SATA 6Gb/s

1x RJ45 LAN

2x USB

2 Yr Warranty

 

 

 


Hot Tips when you Buy a NAS this Prime Day 2021

In order for you to get the very best NAS deals this Prime day, here are some hot tips that I have personally used for the last few years to get the very best deals.

Amazon Warehouse Deals are 20% lower

For those that aren’t aware, Amazon has a whole section of their website that is dedicated to pre-owned and opened items. This includes both NAS, hard drives, SSD and more for your storage. During Amazon Prime day 2021, the discount on these broken-seal items will be increased by an additional 20% and for those looking for an insane bargain, this will be irresistible.

Another tip when buying NAS or Hard Drives from Amazon Warehouse is that although (as they are broken seal/used/returned items) they have a shorter warranty from Amazon, you will almost certainly be able to claim the FULL warranty coverage from Synology, QNAP, WD or Seagate. They just want your serial number and a receipt of purchase – this will not state the amazon reduced warranty.

Amazon Warehouse for different countries can be found below:

 

Amazon Warehouse USA

Amazon Warehouse UK

Amazon Warehouse Germany

Latest Deals Update and Notifications

If you want to make sure you see the LATEST Prime day deals for NAS (as new ones are added every hour) then I would recommend checking the official Amazon Prime page regularly. It will also include the very latest Lightning Deals too

US Amazon Amazon Prime Day Page

UK Amazon Amazon Prime Day Page

Amazon Prime for FREE

The prices listed on Amazon for NAS during the Prime Day event are only available to Prime members. If you are not a member, don’t worry, as you can use the 30-Day free trial to sign up for a Prime, or just pay for 1 month of Prime as a student and get it at 50% off. Then after you finish your purchase, you can cancel your subscription. The other bonus of this is that you will qualify for fast, next day delivery for free. I would recommend however that you do not cancel your subscription until you have received your order and tested your item.

As then you will still be able to take advantage of the fast and free return policy extended to Prime members. This is especially useful when buying NAS Hard Drives and you are worried about broken drives!

Improved Delivery on your NAS Prime Day Deal

It is a well-known fact that Amazon Prime membership includes free next day delivery and Amazon has even upped the stakes by stating that they will be providing the fastest-ever Prime Day delivery of just 14 minutes between the cart and the courier, last year we saw and heard numerous examples of delivery issues with Prime day deals, adding 2-3 days on supposed next-day shipping.

If any of your Amazon Prime delivery dates are not the 24 hours turn around that they promise, then definitely complain to Amazon after you receive your goods (not before) as they will almost certainly have a deluge of customer enquiries after Prime day 2021 and  in an effort to conclude the matter, you might get an additional discount, a gift vouchers or more. Currently, the trending ‘gesture of goodwill’ gift is a free month of Prime membership.


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

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

16 juin 2021 à 16:00

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

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

QNAP QMiro-201W Mesh Router+NAS Quick Conclusion

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

 

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

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

 

 

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro Mesh Router+NAS – Connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Internal Hardware

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Software

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

WiFi 5 vs WiFi 6

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

 

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

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

QuWAN Orchestrator

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

QuWAN Agent

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

QVPN Client

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

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

And the rest:

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

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

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

QNAP File Management Highlights

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

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

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

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

QNAP QMiro 201W Mesh Router+NAS – Conclusion

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

11 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

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

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

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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Backup Tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Surveillance

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

PROS of Synology Surveillance

PROS of QNAP Surveillance

Considerably Better Browser Access & Controls

Beter 3rd Party Software integration with the Surveillance station API

Better Camera Feed Accessibility in the Browser & Clients

Fast Search Runs remarkably Smoothly

LiveCam converts a Mobile to Live NVR IP Camera Feed

Share Live Feeds to YouTube for Fast/Easy Sharing

 More Camera Licences (8x in QVR Pro)

Technically 3 Surveillance Platforms to Choose that vary in complexity

Better Client App Control and Analytics

Local KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) Support

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

USB Web Camera Support

CONS of Synology Surveillance

Only 2 Camera Licenses included

AI Surveillance Services are ONLY available on the DVA3221 NAS

Practically no KVM setup on Diskstaiton NAS systems

CONS of QNAP Surveillance

QVR Elite for QuTS Hero Only has 2x Licenses

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

Bulk of AI Supported Services are Annual Subscription Fee-Based

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

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

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

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

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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Virtual Machines

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

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

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

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

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

Synology VMM

(Free)

Synology VMM Pro

(License Required)

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

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

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

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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Conclusion

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

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

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

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

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

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

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

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

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

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

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

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

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


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

9 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Synology Chat – Synology Chat Service App

OceanTV Client – Karaoke Mobile Client

QContacts – Contacts and Connections Database

QRemote – HDMI enabled NAS Remote Control

DJ2 Client – Livestream NAS Manager

QMiix – Alternative to IFTTT client

KoiCast & Koi Talk – Video and Internet Call Client

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

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS File Management

NAS File Management

Photography

Photography

Video Media

Video Media

Music Media

Music Media

Surveillance and Camera Access

Surveillance and Camera Access

 

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

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Intuative and Streamlined UI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Apps and Greater Control

 

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

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

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

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

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

Synology NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

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

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

QNAP NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

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

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

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

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

 

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Multimedia

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

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

Synology Advantages

Support of Live Photos/Gifs in the Browser/Apps

Excellent Cross-App Support with Drive

Synology Photos (beta) merges Photo Station & Moments

Very Attractive and Easy to Control GUI

Better Geo Location Recognition/Map View

Better Multi Face Tag Searching

QNAP Advantages

Album+File/Folder Browsing in QuMagie

Better AI Recognition in QuMagie

Allows Custom Photo Directories

Multimedia Console Allows Better Indexing/Thumbnail Generation

Better Cross-Software Tag Support

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

Synology Advantages

Support of DS Audio Skill on Amazon Alexa Voice Recognition

GUI Very Appealing

Better Config Options

Better Album Thumbnail Utilization (especially Mobile)

QNAP Advantages

Album/File+Folder Browsing

Better DLNA Streaming

Support of Local Speaker Connections

More 3rd Party Audio Applications

Support of more Formats, codecs and Compressions

 

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

Synology Advantages

Video Station/DS Video have VERY easy to use GUI

DS Video App available on FireTV / Amazon Firestick

Comparable to Plex and Emby

Intuative Setup for Libraries and Metadata resource connections

QNAP Advantages

Supports HDMI Out

More Media Server Players available

Better offline Transcoding Options

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

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

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

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

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

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

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

 

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

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


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

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

7 juin 2021 à 16:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

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

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

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

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

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Priorities

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

Synology NAS Brand and DSM Focus

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

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

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

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

QNAP NAS Brand and QTS Focus

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Easy to Use and Intuative

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Better Analytics and Control

 

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

 

 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software

More Intuative and User-Friendly Design

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

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

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

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

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

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

 

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

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


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

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

21 mai 2021 à 16:00

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

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

Is WD My Cloud NAS Still Ok to Use?

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

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Software – Synology

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

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

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Performance – QNAP

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

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

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud NAS for Connectivity – QNAP

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

Rear of the WD My Cloud Pro PR4100

Rear of the QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay

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

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud for Plex – Synology

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

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

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

Better Alternative to WD My Cloud for Business – Synology

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

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

Should I Choose Synology or QNAP NAS?

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

 

Choosing A NAS – Need More Help?

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

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

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

14 mai 2021 à 01:03

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Installation

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

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – User interface

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

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

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Client Applications

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Playback

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Metadata Scraping & Plugins

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

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

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

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

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Free Vs Paid

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

VS

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

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

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

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

The 2021/2022 Price of a Plex Pass Subscription

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

The 2021/2022 Price of a Emby Premiere Subscription

Plex vs Emby Media Server – Conclusion

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

 

Choosing A NAS – Need More Help?

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

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

 

 

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