NAS - qnap vs synology?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JDoggery, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. JDoggery macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009
    Looking to purchase a reliable NAS system and have narrowed it down to qnap or synology. Below are two solutions that stand out. With the synology there is also the add on of the expansion as storage needs grow.

    Synology 5-Bay Plug-n-Use Expansion Unit to DS1010+ and DS710+ Network Attached Storage DX510 (Black)

    I would like to start with 8-10TB and have the ability to centralize all my media across multiple machines. Anyone have any thoughts or advice?

    QNAP Pro 6-Bay Desktop Network Attached Server TS-659

    Synology DiskStation 5-Bay (Diskless) Scalable Network Attached Storage DS1010+ (Black)
  2. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK

    As for which company - I am a synology fan and have been using their NAS boxes for many years without any issues.

    You need to look at the DS509 or DS1010 for 5bay units of theirs. (I still have a DS508 with 5x1TB WD RE3 drives (better for RAID5 as they have TLER).
  3. = bluntman = macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have an older QNap NAS (TS-401 Pro Turbo) holding all of my media files and photos and I love it. It has been very reliable and tech support is quite good. Its bit torrent client and printer networking capability are very convenient.
  4. JDoggery thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009
    How fast are the transfer rates? How long does a 1gb file take? Seems like the synology is a little less expensive. How are the interfaces? I know they have mobile apps, are they any good? Still undecided though, looking for one to sway me over the other.
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...not to hijack the thread but I'm trying to decide between Synology, Qnap NAS units and a winHome server unit and the lines between NAS and WHS seem so blurry...

    I was looking at the Synology 209, the Qnap 210 and the HP data vault 310... nothing along that price range really stands out for price/performance to feature ration... really confusing...
  6. G42X500macguy macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2008
    In the same situation...

    I'm in the same situation as the other posters. I'm considering an NAS Server to replace my daisy change of drives. Time Machine Backup and media server/storage are key concerns. I have too many drives to backup through Time Machine to a 2TB disk, and I'm starting to eat-up too much disk space with redundant information. I recently suffered two disc failures within a day, and lost some semi-important photos. It's a fair statement that nothing motivates you more to review backup and storage than losing important things.

    I know a clever unix guy or gal can write a script to backup time machine on multiple disks. I'm not that guy (although I wish I were.)

    I'm glad to see my research is inline with what people are finding here: QNAP and Synology. Theacus has also caught my attention (for its power backup.)

    I would really appreciate any guidance on offer for features to look at, advantages of 2.5 vs 3.5 disks, practical experience and just random thoughts of other's hierarchy of needs as i try to sort this out.

    The last poster asked about the HP Home Media Server. Their website is quite slick, and I was tempted (although they're an HP imitation of Raid 5.) A lot of reviews I saw noted a failure. It just didn't inspire confidence.
  7. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...anything will fail these days, its all dependent on how easy it is to retrieve the info from the failed disks... I like the Synology 209 NAS and the HP EX490 WHS (since its easily upgradable to a e5400 or better CPU) but the new WHS "vail" software is due out soon also and most of the hardware that runs on the current gen WHS program probably won't run "vail" WHS OS according to many of the beta reviews I've seen...

    If the 209 was the price of the 210j I'd have already purchased it...
  8. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2009
    I would take it on a case by case basis . Vail is basically a cut down variant of Windows 2008 R2. I have a Tranquil box (Atom 330 dual core, 2GB RAM) that is designed to run WHS and I put Windows 2008R2 server OS on it. It runs just fine.

    As to the question posed by the thread starter, of those choices, I would go with the QNAP.
  9. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...why would you chose the Qnap, and what models are you comparing them against each other?
  10. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2009
    They are all quite fast, beyond the level that you would really every notice performance differences. I have found the QNAP units in general to be quieter and better spec'ed physically with metal body, nice pullout frames for the drives etc. Good interface as well.

    The expansion I dont see so much a factor as 5 or 6 bays is already a lot of storage at 2TB per bay - and as the future goes on you'll get drives available with even more storage per drive, which for me is better than adding more drives in a 2nd expansion unit.

    There isnt really a bad choice there IMO, but based on my experience the QNAP would be slightly better.
  11. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...thanks for the info, I'm looking at 2 bay Snyology or QNap units or HP WHS...

    I thought I had decided on the Synology 209 but now I'm not sure...
  12. Renderz macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2004
    I recently purchased a Synology DS1010+. I have every intention of writing a review about it; I'll let this thread know when I get it. Below is a quick summary of why I chose the DS1010 over anything else like the Drobo.

    • Has to be NAS
    • LAN speed needed to be quick as there will be multiple computers connected
    • A central storage device that holds my backups and media
    • Redundency, in this case Raid 5
    • Time Machine compatible
    • Scalable, with an add-on it can support up to 20TB!
  13. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I got a Qnap with 4 slots and have all my media files stored on it. The Ethernet is fast enough for that, my iTunes Media folder has a symbolic link to the NAS while the library remain on the Mac.

    The only downside I recently experienced was that the build-in backup was not working as expected. Somehow there are some error messages avoiding a proper backup via eSATA or USB. Actually I used rsync via network as fallback. Need to check with QNap on that issue.
    Beside that I'm happy, the front end is easy, I like the Linux base and remote shell plus the solid build of the whole device.

    I don't use TimeMachine against the NAS, for that I still have a TC.
  14. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    That is a SERIOUS piece of kit, and like their family/budget and small business offers incredible features/quality for the money.

    At work we have a QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS for our storage and backups.
    This machine is a good machine, yet for some odd reason using Acronis I cannot, reliably, backup windows xp machines to it - two at a time. Oddly enough the machine doesn't crash per se but using windows explorer to see progress of backups seems to crash. Acronis uses a similar windows explorer to map the drives on the network (same subnet and same location/room/hub). Although accessing the NAS via browser continues to work - I have to resort to rebooting the system (powering off & pulling power). I'm unsure if there is a function/feature set incorrectly though. Originally I was looking towards QNAP products but I'm now looking towards Synology as I've heard/read incredible reviews throughout their product range.
  15. Renderz macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2004
    DS1010+ quick update

    After spending three weeks with the Synology device, I think it's great but with a flaw I hope the 3.0 can fix.

    Essentially, when I'm accessing the 1010+ from any Apple Mac (including a fresh install just in to be sure), there is a huge amount of disk activity which slows the transfers rate down to a crawl, and I mean down to 10kb/s yawn speeds. If I am transferring files (even small 1GB transfers) I have to start the transfer with the usual drag and drop, then shut down the Finder window that has the DS1010+ folder open.

    This issue does not appear on any of my Windows XP or 7 machines.
  16. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Washington, D.C.
    Well that is terrible. I've been reading that this is a common problem with all NAS' and it's ridiculous that as mac users we don't have decent NAS option of any sort.
  17. Osamede macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2009
    Why hasnt Apple made one? They seem to have enough time to make mice and trackpads and battery chargers.....
  18. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Leaning toward Synology

    I've been looking into this for the past few weeks, ever since I concluded the Metal Gear $60 NAS was worth exactly what I paid... what a POS!

    Anyway, I've been looking at the Synology 710+, QNAP 239, and the Netgear ReadyNAS NVX (only because it's got a $100 rebate until 9/30).

    I prefer the QNAP's hardware over Synology and was about to buy it. However, I started reading about their completely pathetic and non-existent support. One poster at mentioned QNAP took over a month to fix his company's NAS (no response to inqueries). Check out their support forums, and you'll see that the majority of questions remain unanswered even months later!

    It comes down to the following for me:

    QNAP Pros
    - Excellent hardware quality (all metal, disks are hot-swappable, plenty of esata, USB, and Ethernet ports)
    - Good software, including iPhone apps.
    - Fastest backup to NTFS formated drives (although I'll be using EXT3 for the best performance - there's a free ext reader for OSX).

    QNAP Cons
    - Non-existent support.
    - Only 1 year warranty.

    Synology Pro
    - Absolutely the best interface, hands down. Very easy to use and gorgeous. Looks like a clone of OSX, actually.
    - Very good support.
    - 710+ is one of the fastest 2 drive NAS solutions available as of today.
    - 3 year warranty.

    Synology Cons
    - Most models do not allow hot-swapping of drives. Not a huge deal for home use, but having to crack open the case to replace a drive is a pain. For the money I'm spending, I expect hot swapping.
    - Metal frame with plastic covering. Not as solid as QNAP.
    - For some reason, the faster and more expensive 710+ doesn't have hardware encryption that the 210+ has. Not planning to use much, but it just doesn't make sense.

    Netgear Pros
    - Very fast.
    - Good support.
    - Currently has $100 rebate on ReadyNAS NVX, bringing cost of this 4-bay NAS to less than $100 more than the Synology 710+ and about equal to the QNAP 239.
    - Either 3 or 5 year warranty, depending on the version of the NVX you buy.

    Netgear Cons
    - Louder than QNAP or Synology.
    - No esata connection for backing up NAS.
    - The 2-bay models are using older processors and thus not very fast.

    I suppose another option is to build my own, but I just don't have the free time for that. I'd prefer the QNAP, if it wasn't for their absolutely pathetic support. I'm going to think it over this weekend, but right now, it's looking like there's a Synology in my future.
  19. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I suspect this has more to do with a problem with the Finder than anything else.

    Synology and QNAP both make excellent NAS solutions, and there are many Mac users that are very happy with these options.
  20. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Washington, D.C.
    But why would the Finder cause problems for some users, but not others?

    It's an honest question. I want the Synology 1010+ to replace my drobo, but for the money im "investing", I need it to work as advertised (whether the fault lies with Synology or Apple).
  21. yoak macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    We run a qnap 809 at work. 3 macs connected. We use it as a scratch disk, even this is not recomended. We have 2 macs that are editing and one that loggs material at the same time.
    We have 8 wd caviar black 2TB in raid 6
    When we were setting it up we got respons from their support by email within hours.
    Some things run vert slow, opening a project in final cut takes up to 10min. The project is 4TB so this could be it, but still.
    It performs better than we feared as a optical network was too expensive for us
  22. DeepIn2U macrumors 603


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Quite a few Synology NAS solutions allow you to swap the HDD (not the single bay solutions of course); just make sure you're using compatible HDD's. There is a large forum with a huge DB that shows which HDD are compatible (isolating the models and the FW that originally ships) - VERY valuable information!

    Not sure why you're doing drag & drop ... have you tried the copy & paste alternative (lame I know but curious if this has the same result)?
    - still waiting for your completed review :D
  23. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Yup, I've read through a lot of what's on their forums.

    I really just want the 210+ with hot swappable drives, but as far as I could tell, the only 2010 2-bay model with hot swap ability seems to be the 710+. It's fast, but it has many cons: plastic, no hardware encryption like the less expensive 210+, drives come out the back (it's as if they want it to be as much of a hassle as possible to hot swap), and if you buy the 5-bay expansion module (way overpriced, btw), you lose the ability to backup over esata! Sorry, but from a hardware standpoint, Synology just doesn't impress and is far behind QNAP.

    Still, I'm probably going with Synology anyway, due to much better support, warranty, and software.

    I read in another forum (possibly smallnetbuilder) that it's mainly people running Snow Leopard that have the problem. Also, if you access the files using a Finder alternative, it's much faster.

    I suspect the Finder is refreshing the directory info more then necessary, and to be honest, all Finder activity has always been much slower than Windows. Ever try deleting a few thousand files over the network? By the time the finder has figured out how many files it needs to delete (WTF does it need to do this anyway???), Windows would have already deleted everything!

    Pretty damn embarrassing when you're trying to show people how much "better" OS X is.
  24. veshman macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2005
    Anyone have any thoughts on the Addonics Raid Rack?

    I've got a Time Capsule and a MacMini already hanging out in my equipment rack. I'm wondering if the easiest and most Mac Friendly solution is to just run one of these as a RAID 5 and plug it into the back of my Time Capsule or Mac Mini and share the disks to the rest of my machines.

    The device holds 20 drives as 4 sets of 5 drives. At $1220, that's not too bad. The Synology 1010+ plus the 510 expander would be almost $1350 or so at current Amazon prices. I'd still have room for 10 more drives.

    I do understand that I wouldn't have all the cool features of the Synology and other NAS's, like iTunes servers, etc, but I'm not sure how much I need those. I always my MacPro on, running iTunes and Squeezbox server, etc.

    The other thing I'd be missing is the opportunity to expand the system slowly using the mix and match approach...e.g. a synology NAS filled with 2TB drives, swap one of the 2TB drives out for a 3TB, then another, etc....

    But as prices drop, I'd have the option to just add another set of 5 2TBs than try to upgrade to 3TB.

    And it seems like since there are essentially 4 separate drive setups, I could mirror two of them for backup (knowing that if the whole unit got fried, I'd still be out of data, but I'm just thinking from the perspective of RAID failure).

    Curious to any thoughts people have with some experience in this area.

  25. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm researching NAS units and came across something I'm trying to get an answer one. Since this seems like a good thread where some general information on Synology and QNAP (amongst others) is discussed I'm hoping you all can answer.

    I noticed for Synology that some of the models offer expansion units, but I can't really tell how that works for QNAP. Apparently you can expand through virtual network drives with iSCSI. However, I don't know if that works with a RAID 1 or 5 setup. My main concern would be with running out of room. Some of the manufacturers are looking to allowing 3TB drives with firmware updates, but if you have a RAID 1 setup you'd currently be limited to ~4TB (with a 4 bay setup using 4x2TB drives). Does anybody have any comments on ease of expansion if one were to run out of room in a few years?

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