NAS Showdown: QNAP v. Synology! There will be blood!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ItsAShaunParty, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. ItsAShaunParty macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2013
    Hey All!

    Not sure if this has been covered but, well, let's pretend "no."

    I am an ex-Apple employee who has been out of the circle for a while. I need a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. I use a Macbook11,3.

    Most of my needs for the extra space/cloud is back-up. But it would be nice to do stuff like edit music from it (though I may still keep a USB external for that). I'd like two bays and maybe 2 x 2 GB to start. Well... maybe I'll mirror and do 2 x 4 gb to start? Not sure.

    Synology and QNAP seem to be the big players in the market. What do you guys prefer and why? Also, I think I've decided regular HD's are completely sufficient for my uses (not the enhanced NAS ones). Any suggestions for those?

  2. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I'd stick with the NAS HDD's as you get a better warranty with them and they have been tested to run 24/7, but I guess it depends how much you value your data, or how much free time you have to restore the stuff you've lost off your NAS. Remember if you are using that as the primary copy of some of your data, then you should back this up else where.

    As for sizing look at how much data you have and how much you want to allocate for TM Backups for your laptop. You might get by with a couple of big disks in a mirrored pair, but it might work out cheaper to put 4 smaller disks in as a RAID 5 set.

    As for brand, QNAP and Synology are good, but I found Synology had very poor support. Had a PSU go wrong and tried to get it replaced under warranty. Synology didn't even respond to the support call. QNAP seem better in this respect and some of their models have a good internal PSU rather than a fragile little power block. I would also consider ASUSTOR too. Basically ASUS make a range of 2 and 4 bay NAS that seem to have good features and are considerably cheaper than QNAP or Synology.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I would not consider editing music that resides on a NAS. Though iSCSI is great on paper, it is a touch lacking in this venue (as one of the NAS options possibly). If you copy over the file to your computer and edit and then store on the NAS that is not a bad solution.

    Drives - you didn't quite say what size drives you were interested in using or the total volume required for your NAS. This make a big difference on any type of recommendation.

    Is DAS an option that would work for you either USB3 or Tbolt? You may want to contrast and compare speed of those with respect to NAS via Ethernet or Nas- Ethernet-router-wifi-your laptop etc.

    Brands - yes lots of great options out there. I have been using QNAP for years but also have used a few others and find for my friends they love Synology. I do believe if you are set on 2-drive NAS, then a quick visit to smallnetbuilder is in order. You'll see quite a few offerings that include tests and a mild comparison to other models and makes.

    Brands of drives that are "regular" - go to storage review and you'll get a run down there. Also, each maker of major NAS units have their own forums and that would be a great place to go for that kind of info plus they may tell you which drives are not compatible.

    Unless you need to "wifi" all over the place, a good DAS would be a great fit for storage and speed as well as your laptop would control it (one less thing to go wrong if you are not savvy with typical linux based NAS etc.) External storage attached to your laptop might be simply attached to a docking station along with other devices .. not a bad way to go.
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Qnap 110% if it were me.

    Try to push for a 4 bay. Put your 2x 4gb in and use a bay for a cheap ssd it'll speed things up ;)

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