Which Synology model is best for me? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old Today, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Which Synology model is best for me?

I'm replacing an 8-year-old HP MediaSmart server with a NAS and have been researching options. I believe I've settled on a Synology based on ease-of-use, iOS mobile apps, and what other, more serious NAS users say about them.

Now I have to figure out which model is best for me....I think I've narrowed it down to just a couple and am looking for some help to push me over the goal line (or to identify a problem with any of my conclusions so far).






My needs are:
  • General, low volume document storage and sharing. Mostly just at home but occasionally from elsewhere.
  • PC Backups for a couple PC's
  • Video and music streaming
    • Videos are mostly h.264 files from my DVD collection
    • Streaming to PS3's, several iOS devices, and a Smart BD/DVD player that I haven't bought yet.
    • Devices simultaneously streaming video would typically be 1 or 2 with max being 3 or 4.
  • 2-bays will provide redundancy and plenty of space for me.

So, looking at the 2-bay options, and using a process of elimination, I believe I've concluded the following:
  • DS214 offers encryption and the DS214+ adds dual NIC. I don't need either of these features.
  • Models ending with "air" can act as wireless routers or access points. I don't need this either.
  • Models ending in "play" have transcoding capabilities. I don't think I'm interested in that because my viewing devices can play the format of the actual files.
    • The only caveat I'll make to that conclusion is that if transcoding to MPEG-2 was possible, I'd be interested because my DirecTV DVR's might be able to play my movies. But I haven't found any NAS in my budget range that will transcode to MPEG-2.
So anyway, I think I'm down to a couple models...







The DS214se appears to have everything I need but the Synology website also has a DS215j which appears to add a few things for not much price increase. Problem is, I don't know what (if any) benefit I'd get from them:
  • USB 3.0: I assume this is just the external connection so any interaction with an external disk would be faster if it was also USB 3.0.
  • Dual Core CPU: Sounds cool but what value will it provide for me?
  • 512 RAM (vs. 256 on the 214se). More's normally better but will I actually benefit from this?
One last point of confusion is that the DS215j on Synology's website I haven't been able to find on any of the retailer sites except for Amazon which says "Usually ships in 1 to 2 months". But, the retailers all have a DS213j which appears to be similar....has the 512 RAM but no USB 3.0 and I'm not sure abou the dual-core.




So, I think that's it....any info that might help me come to a decision is appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old Today, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzas View Post
So, I think that's it....any info that might help me come to a decision is appreciated.
My only take/suggestion is at the low-end models Synology is often over priced and under featured. Their once unique interface (which brought them such high esteem) has pretty much been duplicated by the other vendors. Now I'm not saying they aren't often a good solution rather in this case it's just far less often.

  • For nothing but file serving I'd look at the ReadyNAS RN series (2-bay as low as $70 / 4-bay $160 both at Fry's recently).
  • Stepping up to transcoding, HDMI, virtualization, etc perhaps a QNAP TS-251 or TS-451 (2 or 4 bays at a $250-$300 or so premium over the above).

Most vendors are just now introducing Dual Core Cortex A15 models which will be one step up from the bottom and should offer a good bang for the buck.
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post #3 of 5 Old Today, 07:35 PM
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I've progressed from a Buffalo --> Qnap --> Synology for my NAS over the years and Synology will absolutely be my choice next time I buy. The device is stable, performance is good, and they have supported the NAS with multiple OS releases and expanded functionality way beyond what it had out of the box. I am running a DS411J with the Synology RAID and it has worked well with both Macs and Windows.

I think the way to approach it is to decide how much redundancy you want, how much storage you need+growth, and how important is ultimate performance. That will narrow down the choices to a few from which you can figure out price vs features.
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post #4 of 5 Old Today, 09:35 PM
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I own two Qnap's and two Synology's and I like them both. I would suggest you consider a four bay rather then limiting yourself to only two bays. The idea of a NAS is to fill it up with data, if you get a two bay model and configure it in RAID 1, once the drives are full I don't believe you can swap in larger drives and maintain your RAID. With a four bay model you can start of with only two drives and expand to three or four drives once you fill the two up. I think its better to have the ability to grow and expand rather then being stuck with two full drives and no options. I realize the four bay models are a lot more money, but as I said, better to have options.
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post #5 of 5 Old Today, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ash_man View Post
The idea of a NAS is to fill it up with data, if you get a two bay model and configure it in RAID 1, once the drives are full I don't believe you can swap in larger drives and maintain your RAID.
Typically you can but you won't see the increased storage space until you have swapped both.
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