Deciding Between Synology vs. QNAP

Discussion in 'NAS Article Discussions' started by GregN, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. GregN

    GregN Senior Member

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    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-features/31592-deciding-between-synology-vs-qnap

    Nice piece, Tim. Thanks.

    I really wanted to call this thread "ReadyNAS or Thecus?"

    The most interesting part of the article for me, was the list of market leaders.

    There was an article not to long ago, that talked about viewpoint re-enforcement. The idea is that is that our political slant, our view of the world is re-enforced, validated by the media we read. Watch PBS equals Liberal, watch Fox conservative. Same with WSJ, and NYT.

    We get the message we are looking for, thank you McLuhan.

    If you google "Synology vs QNap" the second choice on is SNB forums (MacRumors is #1?!?), but if you google ReadyNAS vs Thecus there is an equal camp arguing it out.

    So the net/search engines make it easier to find our audience, which we in turn feed into (see the title of this thread...), making the engines send more folks here.

    This is why I was surprised by the market leaders, I would of sworn that QNap and Synology would be near the top, largely based on the number of posts in the NAS section on those particular products.

    I know that the product finder is not slanted, and they are competitive products - but is it possible we are biased? When I initially started hanging out here, Thecus was my fav, bought an earlier one, did all the research back then, nothing but good things to say about it until it became out-dated. But I'm heavy tech, and as an engineer, endorse the whole form follows function idea. Fancy GUIs, and overloading of functionality with apps isn't the way I want the world. Mine is, can I easily set it in the corner and have it do its thing? Kind of square that way.

    But now I reviewed enough posts, researched them to trying to help folks, if I was to buy a NAS now it would be QNap (with Thecus a close second). I just wonder if I'd be so inclined if I didn't hang out here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2014
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  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    You raise a good point, Greg. The web can definitely be an echo chamber. But let me address the point of "bias" that you raised.

    There is no intentional bias on SmallNetBuilder toward any manufacturer, positive or negative. And anyone reading the reviews knows there is no favoritism given to companies that advertise on the site and no penalty either.

    The primary filtering I do is to accept only products that are available in the U.S., which is SNB's primary audience. I also tend to not accept "me too" products from third-tier manufacturers and products in categories that have historically shown little reader interest.

    Manufacturers differ in their rate of product submission. NETGEAR, Cisco, Thecus and Iomega usually proactively reach out. Actually the ReadyNAS guys don't actively seek NAS reviews and recently declined to send a product I requested for review.

    QNAP is mixed; sometimes they ask me, other times I ask them. Synology is not that aggressive in pursuing reviews at all, but will submit product when I ask. D-Link has become very passive in pursuing reviews. I usually have to ask and then wait a long time for review product to be sent.

    There is definitely a bias in the SmallNetBuilder audience toward QNAP, Synology and NETGEAR NASes. This comes from the general SNB audience profile, which skews toward tech-savvy readers. But you can get a view of the overall market by looking at the Popular NAS page Pricegrabber and Amazon Popular product sections.
     
  4. travisco_nabisco

    travisco_nabisco Regular Contributor

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    That was a very informative article. If only we could get all the manufactures to argue why a home user should use their NAS.

    I would say that SNB definitely has change my view of NAS products. Before stumbling across SNB a couple years ago, I only had experience with some low end ReadyNAS products that were such a pain that they were shelved and ignored within 6 months of purchase.

    From my research for a NAS, I did not find a particular bias towards or against any manufacturer on SNB. It was the benchmark charts that led me to recommend a Synology NAS for a 15 person company, and a two bay Iomega NAS for my home use. Since both purchase my bias has definitely leaned towards Synology for home and business, however when I need to replace/expand my Iomega I will most likely buy a Thecus or a QNAP simply so that I can form a better opinion of them.

    Once again, keep up the fantastic reviews and articles, I'm a daily visitor to the forums and the site.
     
  5. GregN

    GregN Senior Member

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    I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to imply that there is a bias with the reviews, or with charts, product selector. I definitely don't think that. I think you try to remain vendor neutral.

    Here in the forums, I'm not so sure. But it is a different medium - and is the nature of the audience. I know I'm biased towards DIY for NASes and routers. But when answering folks questions, I try to stay focused on their requirements, and the process of selection.

    I do think we all have a picture of who the audience is, and best try to serve that audience ( this is a "popular" medium ), and that is where I'm going.

    I was addressing my surprise at who the market leaders are, and had to ask myself why did I think that? A good question to ask, no?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  6. dichael

    dichael New Around Here

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    nice article tim. thanks for taking the time and effort to lay out the germane issues in your typical logical and straight forward approach.
     
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Transcoding QNAP and Synology

    Hello,

    Your article was a great attempt at differentiating between the two brands, but there is one point I want to bring up. You say that neither company supports transcoding... yet I have found a number of pages on the web that state the contrary. First here is some random, uncofirmed blog entry about synology:

    http://blog.ergatides.com/2011/09/0...oding-support-for-ps3-with-firmware-3-2-1922/

    On top of it, many users have worked around by either tweaking TwonkyMedia or installing another service like PMS or Serviio:

    http://pcloadletter.co.uk/2011/09/23/serviio-synology-package/

    http://wiki.qnap.com/wiki/PS3_Media_Server

    So what's the real story?

    Romych M
     
  8. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    For transcoding, I'm referring to capability built into the base NAS and not add-ins. You are correct that other media servers are supported. I tried the Twonky server QPKG on the QNAP and still found no transcode controls.

    I'm checking with Synology about MKV. But they wrote to correct my original post and did not mention MKV and I don't see an enable for it in the Media Server settings.

    Update: I checked with Synology and they do not support MKV transcoding.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  9. maxwell

    maxwell Occasional Visitor

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    Hi Thiggins:
    Actually DSM 3.2 has a feature called mkv remuxing that can stream mkv on PS3 and Sony TV on-the-fly. The difference to real transcoding is this conversion doesn't convert codecs used in original mkv, and require much less computing power.
     
  10. danthecan

    danthecan Occasional Visitor

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    Some things I observed between the two

    Application development, QNAP hands down the winner, lots of apps are created even if they are not on the official list.

    By contrast nothing changes with Synology it's been the same old stuff for years, practically no-one ever makes an app for Synology it's very rare for someone to do so. The application request thread is a black hole that people keep posting into on their forums.


    Forum activity & community, QNAP hands down the winner again, QNAP employees will respond to questions and there is a very active user community.

    Synology's forum is completely dead in places, many topics go unanswered, there isnt much of a community and getting info from Synology employee's is like pulling teeth.

    Synology have also taken a dark path towards respecting the GPL, I'm not sure if the thread is still on their forums but they havent been releasing the full source code which they are supposed to do and drag their feet on releasing the source for the latest DSM.
     
  11. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    interesting thread as some of us contemplate Synology vs. QNAP (arguably better choices than the mass-market products like Netgear).

    To the previous post, it is worth contrasting that Synology has USB3 in their new products, along with 1.6GHz CPUs in the modest priced units. The applications suite in both vendors' products look very comparable. Perhaps many (most?) customers rate support for user-written apps as low priority, in preference for a highly stable NAS.
     
  12. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I will never touch another QNAP

    Just stumbled across this thread so I'll say my piece and carry on. I bought a QNAP TS-201 a few years ago and it caused me nothing but trouble. So much so that I will NEVER buy another QNAP product. It used to hang whenever it felt like, usually when transferring large files. It may have been faulty but was returned to the supplier who tested it, found it ok and returned it.

    I've since bought a Synology ds211j and it's fantastic. A well-presented, functional interface and it... just works. Once bitten...

    J
     
  13. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Since my earlier post here, I purchased and have many weeks' use on a Synology DS212. Very pleased. Did one painless upgrade of the OS release. Well designed and tested.
     
  14. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Over the past 6 or so years I have tried all of them - NetGear, QNAP, Synology, Thecus, Drobo, Iomega, SansDigital.

    I've seen them react to drive failures, fan failures, dust, dirt, overheating, filling up, and running for long times without restarts.

    Bottom line: The best overall in my opinion is QNAP - blazing fast, rock solid, and prompt, cheerful, helpful responses to users on their forums.

    A very close second is NetGear. Nearly as reliable as QNAP, not quite so fast, still responsive in the forums, but not quite as cheerful or quick. And NONE of the other NAS makers even come close to NetGear in the variety of options available for backup and recovery. Trust me, when you're starting to have problems and you need to get that 3 TB of data off your NAS efficiently, NetGear's backup menu is a true lifesaver. Push AND Pull Rsync, NFS, FTP, SMB - no one else comes close. I've used NetGear NASes several times to pull data from dying Thecus, Drobo, and Synology NASes because the other ones are so limited in their sync/backup options that I just couldn't use them in time to save my (or my friends') data.

    After the smoke has all cleared and I tried all of these options, I settled on the following Dual-NAS scenario to best protect my data:

    1. New, Fast, Big QNAP for main user access to my files
    2. Slightly older NetGear as a secondary, backup NAS, synchronizing all data from the QNAP every night.

    <sigh> all good. Now I can worry about other stuff instead, like testing 802.11ac. My data is safe.
     
  15. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    I suspect that most SOHO NAS threads have some sort of grumbly DIY naysayer, so I'll play that role in this thread.

    I looked at both QNAP and Synology products recently, and ended up going an elegant DIY route instead. For less than half the price of the equivalent QNAP/Synology boxes, I ended up with shoebox-sized HP Microserver. This can expand to 6 drives, 16GB RAM and has a processor far more powerful processor than the QNAP/Synology offerings. Basically, I can run this as a straight NAS (OpenNAS, Nexenta) or something much more sophisticated and flexible (ESXi running NAS + other guests) if I want to run Windows/Linux based apps in addition to storage.

    I know that a standard argument against DIY is that DIY is complicated, but this is the first time I've tacked virtualisation or NAS software, and it was dead simple. It took me an afternoon to set up.

    For less money, I have a box that is vastly more powerful, more flexible, has better data integrity mechanisms whilst having the same size and power draw as most of these off-the-shelf NAS boxes.
     
  16. GregN

    GregN Senior Member

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    Wait a minute, just one minute!

    I'm the designated grumbly DIY naysayer around here, that's my job.

    Who let this guy in here? er, I might of said the same thing....


    :)
     
  17. chronik

    chronik New Around Here

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    I am also stuck between these 2 and have considered a DIY solution. The problem I keep hitting is that does a DIY solution like freenas, etc have all of the features that Qnap/Synology provide (eg Iphone apps for remote access, web viewer/players, vast array of backup options, too many options etc etc)? If its a matter of installing/configuring all of these things seperately and they are beta, temperamental, etc then I am not sure I could be bothered. The qnap/synology has it all there, quick setup, well supported, set and forget...
     
  18. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    I tried three or so DIY NAS software packages. For my home use, they were not comparable at all to the feature set and ease of use in Synology or QNAP.
     
  19. wchpitt

    wchpitt Occasional Visitor

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    Time for an article update?

    Tim,
    It would be nice to see this article updated with your current thoughts. A lot has changed in the last few years.
     
  20. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    There have been some changes. I'll see what I can do.
     
  21. jalyst

    jalyst Senior Member

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    Which article...
    The OP & no other posts in this thread (that I can see) reference it.
     

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