Synology DS119j NAS Vs QNAP TS-128A NAS Comparison

Synology DS119j vs QNAP TS-128A Budget NAS Comparison

When it comes to buying your first NAS Drive, you would be forgiven for wanting to save a few quid. Alongside big and expensive NAS that promises insanely high performance, hidden there in the background are a number of much more, admittedly lower powered, budget-friendly NAS servers that manage to give you access to an array of the popular features and functionality of modern NAS storage. For many users, the need for multiple hard drives, fast rendering power and luxury features are by no means necessary and what they want is a simple network storage drive that can be accessed by devices on your home/office network, as well as the internet. Today I want to compare two of the lowest priced NAS drives from Synology and QNAP and find out which one is best for you. Although the Synology DS119j and QNAP TS-128A are similarly priced, there is no ignoring taht both brands are very different in what they give you for your money. With Synology favouring software and QNAP favouring hardware, this may be a killer decision maker for you on which NAS you buy. But, let’s take a closer look at these NAS’ hardware and software.

Synology DS119j vs QNAP TS-128A – Who Buys a 1-Bay NAS?

Both the DS119j and TS-128A are 1 Hard Drive (HDD) or Solid State Drive (SSD) NAS servers. This means that options like RAID protection and hot-swapping/adding media at a later date are not available. However, what makes a 1 bay appealing to many buyers are features such as very, very low noise, lower energy consumption (even in 24×7 use), compact chassis, high portability and discretion. In the last few years, popular ways I have seen 1-Bay QNAP and Synology NAS be used are:

  • On house-boats where power consumption is monitored considerably
  • As network backup’s to another NAS system in confined locations (cupboards, sheds, etc)
  • In surveillance setup’s where storage needs to be discreet and hidden
  • For low-end DLNA streaming in nthe home for the family to Smart TVs and Home Consoles

There are many other uses, but these situations are the ones I am seeing more commonly featuring a 1-Bay NAS, such as the DS119j and TS-128A.

Synology DS119j vs QNAP TS-128A – Specifications

One look below will show how the Synology DS119j has lesser hardware, compared with the QNAP TS-128A NAS. This is a common occurrence when comparing likewise QNAP and Synology NAS, largely the result of Synology investing HEAVILY in their DiskStation Manager Software included with the NAS, producing more universally used applications than those on the QNAP QTS Software. That said, both platforms have great software, with many first-party apps, as well as the support of 3rd party client apps on your Windows, Mac, iOS or Android systems.

Model Synology DS119j NAS

QNAP  TS-128A NAS

Price £80+ ex.VAT £100+ ex.VAT
Where to Buy
Model Synology  DS119j NAS QNAP  TS-128A NAS
Design
Where to Buy
CPU
Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720
Dual Core 800MHz
Realtek RTD1295
Quad Core 1.4 GHz
Memory 256MB Memory 1GB Memory
LAN

1x LAN

1x LAN

USB 2x USB 2.0  2x USB 2.0
Expandable No No
Chassis Plastic, No Trays Plastic, No Trays
PSU (Watts) 36W 36W
CCTV Cameras 5 Cameras 10 Cameras
Warranty 2 Years 2 Years

If you are prioritizing hardware over software (i.e you plan on using software from your existing home/office hardware and less of the ones that arrive with the NAS), then the QNAP TS-128A will clearly take the lead for you. However, you cannot discount the Synology DS119j out of this yet – as that DSM 6.2 software has great utility for those who are completely new to NAS and manages to get a hell of alot out of that modest hardware.

Why Should You Buy the Synology DS119j NAS?

The Synology DS119j is a device that does not try to hide how low powered it is. Yet it is still by FAR the lowest price you pay to experience Synology DSM 6.2. Despite the low end 32bit 800Mhz CPU and rather poultry 256bit memory, you can still access many of the applications on the app store, such as 3rd party cloud backups, file management, surveillance station, local backups to USB devices and DLNA media streaming to TV’s, PS4s, Xbox, Amazon firestick and Chromecast.

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The DS119j also supports many of the client PC/Mac applications and the many, many mobile applications for tailored file access on Android and iOS. In short, you need to look a little past the hardware and see how they have developed the software on this device to get much, much more out of it. That said, with such a painful amount of memory, you will have ALOT of difficulty multi-tasking – both with other users and on your own if you want to run more than 2 apps at once. As soon as you run even 1 stream of media over DLNA, the CPU use will leap upto 40-5-% and the Memory utilization will hit 60-70%.

Why Should You Buy the QNAP TS-128A NAS?

As you would expect from QNAP’s reputation, the hardware in the TS-128A is just much more innovative and modern than that found in the DS119j. That quad-core ARM CPU is not only almost twice as powerful as the clock speed of the DS119j, but in twice as many cores AND it is 64bit. This means it is far, FAR more proficient to do typical tasks. Opening the doors to more complex computations. So, although you do not have the software of the Synology, the QNAP QTS software and applications (which are already pretty good too) run much, MUCH smoother – as well as letting you use more cameras in surveillance, more backups, more streams of media at once, snapshot backups, more users, more volumes and just a better overall experience of NAS and data management.

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The only thing that counts against it, is that the QNAP will typically use a little more CPU/Memory to do the average task that other devices – but this is massively negated by the fact you get so, so much more hardware in the QNAP TS-128A NAS than the DS119j.

What Robbie Would Choose to Buy? DS119j or TS-128A NAS?

For me, this is a no-brainer. The Synology DS119j IS a good NAS and does give you access to the generally smoother and more user-friendly Synology DSM user interface – it just has really, REALLY poor hardware and it will all too often lag, slow down and feel too close to crashing, to actually give you a decent idea of the software. Whereas the QNAP NAS just gives you much, MUCH more hardware for your money and this enables the TS-128A to give you much faster and more diverse ways to use your data. For me the TS-128A is a SIGNIFICANTLY better NAS Drive to buy in 2019 and I recommend it over the DS119j for everyone, even those very new to NAS.

In short, if you prefer:

  • Have alot of Apple Products
  • Use Amazon Alexa Reguarly
  • Are a Mac User
  • Are an iOS user
  • Are a Console Gamer
  • Have an Android Mobile
  • Use Google Home
  • Are a Windows PC/Laptop User
  • Use a Chromebook
  • Are a PC Gamer
You Should Buy the

Synology DS119j NAS

You Should Buy the

QNAP TS-128A NAS

Model Synology DS119j NAS

QNAP  TS-128A NAS

Price £80+ ex.VAT £100+ ex.VAT
Where to Buy

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Synology DS119j NAS Vs QNAP TS-128A NAS Comparison
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