A battle as old as Windows v Mac
Two NAS vendors that have been in the business almost from the beginning. Synology and QNAP NAS devices from early on became NAS comparisons of choice by me and many technology users worldwide a number of years back. Early on the distinction between them was a great deal easier spending more time appealing to home users and the other to enterprise and business. But as the years have gone by, the Home NAS market and the large business market have slowly merged together creating a large amount of NAS cross-over. With this, both vendors are widening their market appeal to capture both parties.
Apples and Oranges, Synology and QNAP
Both the QNAP TS-251+ and the Synology DS216+ NAS compare against each other in a number of common areas from ability and functionality to performance with a great many shared tasks and abilities. Such as:
- When DSM 6.0 for Synology is out of Beta, both will set-up and run multiple VMs, supporting multiple Operating systems and enhanced by the Docker app, Container Station. – However at the Mo, QNAP Leads and has had this supported for Years.
- Both can serve as a cross platform service – bridging connections and transfers of files between Mac and Windows systems over the network
- Both heavily support Syncronisation and comprehensive snapshot technology meaning you will have an equal amount of backup options whichever you go for. As well as migration, connection and interaction with existing cloud services like dropbox, Google Drive ElephantDrive, etc
- Both are comprehensive Surveillance solutions, supporting multiple IP cameras and even arriving with some licences included.
- Exactly the same NAS OS that is updated regularly and has a huge app store to really customise your setup and make it your own
Spots or Stripes?
However, you didn’t come here to find out what is the same – you want to know what is different about the TS-251+-2G and the DS216+. Below is a video comparison I made detailing how these units weigh up against one another. So, if you want the answer in the time it takes for you to eat your fruit and fibre, just click play! If however you want to read your way to the answer, just scroll a little further down the page!
The Vital Statisics –
|NAS Server Device|
|CPU Model||Intel Celeron||Intel Celeron N3050|
|CPU Frequency||2.0GHz Quad Core (up to 2.42GHz) ( 64bit x86)||Dual-Core 1.6GHz, burst up to 2.16GHz|
|System Memory||2GB DDR3 RAM
Can be expanded upto 8GB
|1GB DDR3 RAM
Cannot be Expanded
|Expandable||Yes – Via the QNAP UX-500P and QNAP UX-800P||Technically Yes – Via the Synology DX513, but only as an independent volume|
|USB 2.0 Port||2||1|
|USB 3.0 Port||2||2|
|Scheduled Power On/Off||YES||YES|
|Power Consumption*||HDD standby: 10.56W
In operation 18.09W
|HDD standby: 7.52W
In operation 17.57W
|Read and Write Speeds||Read and Write – RAID 0, 2 LAN, 2X Seagate 1TB
Read – 223MB/s
Write – 225MB/s
AES hardware encryption engine
205 MB/s Read
178 MB/s Write
|Read and Write – RAID 0, 1 LAN, 2X Seagate 1TB
Read – 111MB/s
Write – 109MB/s
AES-NI hardware encryption engine
103 MB/s Read
109 MB/s Write
|Surveillance Limits||Surveillance (includes 2 licences)
Includes 2 free camera licenses, up to 40 camera channels
|Surveillance (includes 2 licences)
Includes 2 free camera licenses, up to 25 camera channels
|Internal File System||EXT 4 File System||BTRFS or EXT 4 File System
Built-in data integrity check
Flexible Shared Folder/User Quota System
Advanced snapshot technology
File or folder level data restoration
Cloud Station with file versioning
|Warranty||2 YEARS||2 YEARS|
|Additional Notes||HDMI give you the ability to access your NAS via a HD Monitor or TV and access everything from your media via the player, PLex or Kodi through to a web browser, Youtube and a stand alone PC setup with a Keyboard and Mouse.
HD Transcoding – Native
However for PLEX – This chip is better as it is a more recognized and support PMS NAS CPU.
|4K Ultra & HD video transcoding – Native|
Conclusion – Which is the best NAS?
Of the two, I would recommend the QNAP TS-251+-2G NAS
The QNAP Software is more expandable and more can be done. Big leaps are being made with DSM 6.0 but it’s still in Beta and QNAP QTS software is a more dominant force for those with a little experience in NAS or IT in general.
The CPU on the QNAP is a better CPU and if both were QUAD core’s, then it wouldn’t be so bad, but given the tasks that these units are required to perform are so similar and the prices are neck and neck, I put my weight behind that true and tested Intel QUAD at a bursted 2.4GHZ as it will go the extra mile.
Another reason was future proofing as, although the DS216+ half way supports an expansion, the QNAP fully supports them with spreading RAIDs, syncing and cloning. This along with twice the RAM at the start and the ability to upgrade upto 8GB – whilst the Synology maxes at 1GB – means that you will have less room to grow outwards with the DS216 years down the line.
Alongside this there are numerous extra advantages for the home user… better Plex Support, that HDMI port enabling everything from home media use with free remote control to a standalone surveillance station or use as a PC. This really isn’t a case of a cheap brand trying to win you over with trinkets to force its way into your home – we are talking about two NAS devices for the leading two brands in Network Attached Storage.
That said, the DS216+ is definitely the more user friendly unit particularly those from the Apple community will vibe with it more. The Jump to BTRFS for its operations is a great move, as well as it’s enhanced AES-NI encryption and it’s resulting drop in power consumption… however these advantages are mostly WITHIN the NAS itself and you will only see perhaps a quarter of these outside of the unit in your home or office environment – therefore I cannot vouch that they are suitable recompense for the Hardware advantages of the TS-251+ it’s long term scalability.
So, what do you think? Do you think the DS216+ is the Synology NAS for you media users, as well as the allure of 4K and lower power consumption? Or does HDMI access to your NAS media with remote control support tickle your fancy? Why not let me know below. Thank for reading.