Choosing the Right UPS for your Synology or QNAP NAS Drive – Get it Right FIRST TIME!

An Easy Guide to Buying the Right UPS for your NAS System

The popularity of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) has risen significantly in recent years. Not just for businesses, but for home users as well, who often have limited power setups such as houseboats, pop-up offices, and mobile homes. The value of having a safety net for your power-consuming devices is undeniable. Additionally, for those whose data is critical and whose business or personal life relies on constant access and read/write operations, a UPS can provide peace of mind. In the past, power failure solutions were only accessible to large enterprises and high-level businesses, with prices starting in the five figures. However, with the rise of network-attached storage (NAS) in homes and the increased efficiency of mass production techniques, owning a UPS device to protect data in both homes and businesses has become more affordable. However, choosing the right UPS for your NAS device, such as a QNAP or Synology, and finding one that fits within your budget can be challenging. In this guide, we will address the three commonly asked questions by users considering a UPS but unsure of which device to choose: 1) How does a UPS work and how will I benefit? 2) How do I determine the right Watts, Volts, and Amps to choose the best UPS? 3) How much will a UPS cost? We hope this guide is helpful for NAS buyers looking at brands such as Synology, QNAP, Asustor, Terramaster, and others, and also for anyone looking to choose the right UPS for other devices.

Click HERE to Skip ahead to the Recommended UPS for different NAS drives

What Are the Factors I need to consider when buying a UPS for my NAS?

Choosing the right UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for your Synology or QNAP NAS (network-attached storage) can be a complex task, as there are many factors to consider. However, by following a few key guidelines, you can ensure that your NAS is protected against power outages and other issues that could cause data loss or corruption. The first thing to consider when choosing a UPS for your NAS is the amount of power that your NAS requires. Desktop NAS devices with external PSUs typically have a power consumption of around 60-120 watts and rackmounts generally 250W and above, although this can vary depending on the specific model and the number of hard drives that are installed. It is important to choose a UPS that can provide at least this much power, as well as a bit extra to account for any other devices that may be connected to the NAS. Another important factor to consider is the runtime of the UPS. This is the amount of time that the UPS can keep your NAS running in the event of a power outage. The runtime of a UPS is typically measured in minutes, and you should choose a UPS that has a runtime that is long enough to allow you to properly shut down your NAS in the event of a power outage.

Another important feature to look for when choosing a UPS is the ability to communicate with the NAS. Some UPS’ have built-in USB or serial ports that allow them to communicate with the NAS and provide status information. This can be very useful in case of power outage, as it can allow you to monitor the status of the UPS and take appropriate action. Finally, you should also consider the size and weight of the UPS, as well as its overall design. A UPS that is smaller and lighter may be more convenient to deploy, but you should also make sure that it is well-designed and built to last. When choosing a UPS for your NAS, it is important to consider the amount of power that your NAS requires, the runtime of the UPS, the ability to communicate with the NAS, compatibility and the size and weight of the UPS. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your NAS is protected against power outages and other issues that could cause data loss or corruption.

What is a UPS and Why Should I Buy One for my NAS?

The most frequently asked question about UPS is typically “What exactly is a UPS and what does it do?” UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply and many users believe that purchasing a UPS means they can run their devices and access data from their NAS, DAS, or SAN for hours after a power failure. While this is technically true, it would require a significant financial investment in the form of a 5-figure sum. In reality, most users do not require hours of protection for their read/write data operations on HDD media. Instead, what is often needed is enough time to safely shut down the server or RAID storage. This can be achieved by spending only hundreds of pounds, not thousands, as it depends on the number of devices drawing power, their specific needs, and the efficiency of the chosen UPS. For more information on UPS and how to choose one, please watch the video below.

How Does a UPS Draw Power and How Do I Connect My Devices?

This topic can be challenging for some, so we will break it down and explain it in a simple way. Before delving into technical terms like Watts, Volts, and Power, let’s use an analogy that’s easy to understand. Imagine receiving electricity to your device as drawing water from a tap.

To understand this concept, we can use an analogy of a tap and water. Just like a tap needs water and pressure to deliver it through the pipe, an electrical circuit needs electrons and voltage to deliver electricity to a device. The water represents the electrons that carry electricity from the power source to the destination device, like a NAS, DAS, or PC. The tap represents the destination device and the water/electrons are going around in a circuit back to the water/power source, which is mostly unseen in the cables.

The pressure in the analogy represents the VOLTAGE, which is the strength of the electricity being pushed by the electrons in the circuit. It’s important to measure this as some devices are designed to only accept a specific amount of voltage. If the voltage is too high or too low, the device will not function correctly.

AMPS represent the amount of electrical charge that passes a given point in a second, similar to how much water passes through the pipe per second.

So, now we need to know the WATTS of the device. This is compiled with the following equation:

 

AMPS x VOLTS = WATTS

or

Water Volume x Water Pressure = Water Power

How a UPS works with your NAS smartIf you’ve ever experienced weak water pressure in a shower while living in an apartment on a higher floor, this is likely due to the water pressure not being strong enough to deliver the water to the destination device. Similarly, a smaller battery pack is often measured in milliampere-hours (mAh), which represents the amount of charge available, rather than time. Using the analogy of water, this would be like a large drum of water. The amount of water and how fast it travels from the drum is not as important as the available water that can be carried over to the tap. The output and result is heavily affected by the AMPS and VOLTS, similar to the pressure of water and the maximum or minimum amount of water the tap can receive.

Choosing the right UPS Battery for your Home or Office

The majority of UPS devices have a similar setup. You connect one end to your main power outlet (3 Pin, 2 Pin, etc) and the UPS has multiple ports for connecting your destination devices (PC, NAS, etc). Inside the UPS chassis, there is one or more batteries that are charged from the wall plug, while your devices are powered directly from the wall and not drawing from the batteries unless there is a power failure. In the event of a power failure in your home or business, the destination devices will switch to drawing power from the batteries, giving you time to save your data and shut down your devices safely, protecting your digital storage from corruption or loss. It’s worth noting that when buying a UPS, there are many figures to consider, but the power drawn by computing equipment is typically measured in Watts or Volt-Amps(VA).

How a UPS works with your NAS diagram

BUT

The power in Watts is the real power drawn by the equipment.Volt-Amps are called the “apparent power” and are the product of the voltage applied to the equipment times the current drawn by the equipment.

Inexpensive UPS devices typically have a shorter running time because they don’t provide as much charge. Mid-range UPS devices, on the other hand, offer longer charge times, more features, and additional functionality such as network alerts, internet alerts via SMS or email, an LCD display, USB connectivity for maintenance, and the ability to automatically save or shut down certain NAS or PC machines in the event of a power failure, eliminating the need for manual intervention.

There is more to choosing the right UPS than matching the WATTS of your destination device and that of the UPS

UPS capacities are giving in VOLT-AMPS , not WATTS

Remember again,

VAULTS x AMPS = WATTS

Well, Resistance present in electrical load means that the WATTS cannot be matched Like for Like. So:

How long does a UPS lastHow do I Choose the Correct VA for the Watts on my NAS, PC and more?

You will need to consider a UPS with a VOLT-AMP 50-70% higher than the WATTS present on your destination device. Don’t forget to factor into your consumption any other devices that are drawing from the UPS, as this consumption is not per device, but TOTAL.

What is Line Interaction on a UPS?

Some UPS devices have a “Line Interactive” feature that can strengthen a weak or inconsistent power supply, particularly useful for those in remote areas where maintenance may be less frequent. When it comes to sizing a UPS, it’s important to note that equipment nameplate ratings are often in VA which can make it difficult to determine the Watt rating. To avoid oversizing the UPS, it’s recommended to configure the system such that the VA rating of the load is no greater than 60% of the UPS VA rating. This will prevent exceeding the Watt rating of the UPS. However, this approach may result in an oversized UPS and a longer run time than expected.

– Battery Packs, Listed in VOLTS and can be added to an existing UPS

– Replacement Battery Cartridges, an Internal Upgrade, RANGE specific

– Available in Desktop or Rack mount

What Are the most popular brands in the UPS Market?

There are many brands that provide UPS (uninterruptible power supply) devices in the market, but some of the most popular ones include:

  1. APC (American Power Conversion) – APC is a well-known brand that has been providing UPS devices for many years. They offer a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  2. Tripp Lite – Tripp Lite is another well-known brand that provides UPS devices. They offer a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  3. Eaton – Eaton is a well-established brand that provides UPS devices. They offer a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  4. CyberPower – CyberPower is a brand that provides a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  5. Schneider Electric – Schneider Electric is a brand that provides a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.
  6. Liebert – Liebert is a brand that provides a wide range of UPS devices, including standalone units, rack-mount units, and network-grade units. They also offer a variety of software and accessories to help manage and monitor their UPS devices.

These are just a few examples of the many brands that provide UPS devices in the market. There are many other brands available, each with their own set of features, specifications, and pricing options, so it is worth researching different options to find the one that best suits your needs.

How Do Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster NAS work with a UPS?

Almost all NAS drive brands support the use of a smart UPS, connected via USB for monitoring or via the network. That said, how each NAS system reacts to a power cut and switching to the UPS battery does differ. I recently tested the CyberPower 1500 system with a selection of 4-Bay UPS systems to see how each NAS brand’s hardware and software react. Below is the video for each brand. Just click the video, or you can open them up in a separate tab by clicking the title.

Synology NAS UPS Test

 

QNAP NAS UPS Test

 

Asustor NAS UPS Test

 

Terramaster NAS UPS Test

Recommended UPS for Different NAS Drives from Synology, QNAP, Asustor or Terramaster

Below are a number of tiered UPS systems for your individual power needs and budget. These are based on the Watts you need to cover and based on a single NAS  of different size each. This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg and for more precise advice based on a whole office or server room of hardware, we recommend getting in touch with us directly using the Free Advice section (no commitment and the advice is totally impartial) so we can save you money as well as provide you with a solution that will help you sleep at night! All solutions that I recommend below have to arrive with at least 2 Years of Manufacturers’ Warranty, 2 Years of Battery Warranty/Replacement Coverage, USB and/or Network Support, NAS compatibility, provides at least 10-20mins of continued client operation in a power-cut, support of line interaction and AT LEAST 6x mains power points for devices

Budget/Basic UPS (No Frills!) for Value and/or ARM-Based NAS

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 1-4 HDD NAS Drive with 90-120w PSU
  • 1x Desktop PC with 250W PSU and Laptops/tablets
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (50W avg)
  • Floor or Tower Versions
  • No LCD available

Option – The Amazon Basics UPS, Available in different versions that cover 400VA to 1500VA,  6-8 Ports – Starts at $49

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for a 1-2-Bay NAS Drive for Home or Home Office Use

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 1-2 HDD NAS Drive with 60-90w PSU
  • 1x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (50W avg)

Option – The APC BE600M1 , Available in different versions that cover 550VA to 850VA, 7 Ports – Starts at $99

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for a 1-2-Bay NAS Drive for Business

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 1-2 HDD NAS Drive with 60-90w PSU
  • 1x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (50W avg)

Option – The APC BE650G2, Available in different versions that cover 185W to 520W, 8 Ports – Starts at $169

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for a 4-8-Bay NAS Drive for Prosumers

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 4-8 HDD NAS Drive with 100-250W PSU
  • 2x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU + Switch with 25W PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (100W avg)
  • Battery/Coverage Insurance ($500,000 Connected Equipment Guarantee)
  • Tower Style

Option – The CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS System, Available in different versions that cover 850-1500VA (1000W), 10-12 Ports – Starts at $389

Find it on Amazon HERE


 

Best UPS for an 8-12-Bay NAS Drive for Medium Large Business and Video/Photo Editors

For much more modest Synology or QNAP NAS setups, as well as factoring in additional home/office equipment I would recommend the following UPS Device.

  • 8-12 HDD NAS Drive with 250-350W PSU
  • Rackmount entry point (factor in dual/Redundant PSUs)
  • 3x Desktop PC with 250W PSU
  • 1x Router 30W internal PSU + 10GbE Switch with 90W PSU
  • + Misc Other Office Equipment (400W avg)
  • Rackmount Style (Desktop alternatives available, but cap at 2000VA)

Option – The Tripp Lite SU3000RTXL3U Sinewave UPS System, Available in different versions that cover 750-3000VA (2400W), 7-9 Ports – Starts at $799

Find it on Amazon HERE


How Long do UPS Batteries Last?

The lifespan of a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) battery can vary depending on several factors, including the type of battery, the quality of the battery, the usage, and the environment in which the UPS is used. However, on average, a UPS battery should last between 3-5 years with proper usage and maintenance. Lead-acid batteries, which are commonly used in UPS systems, have a typical lifespan of 3-5 years. However, this lifespan can be shortened or extended depending on the usage and maintenance of the battery. For example, if the battery is frequently discharged to a low level, this can shorten its lifespan, whereas proper charging and maintenance can prolong it.

It’s important to note that the lifespan of UPS batteries can also be affected by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and the amount of use. High temperatures and humidity can shorten the battery life, while keeping the UPS in a cool and dry environment can extend it. It’s also worth noting that most of the UPS batteries have an end-of-life indicator, which will alert you when the battery is no longer performing as well as it should. This will give you an idea of when the battery needs to be replaced.

In conclusion, the lifespan of a UPS battery can vary depending on several factors, including the type of battery, the quality of the battery, the usage, and the environment in which the UPS is used. On average, a UPS battery should last between 3-5 years with proper usage and maintenance. Keeping an eye on the end-of-life indicator and maintaining the battery in a cool and dry environment can help to extend the battery’s lifespan.

 

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    43 thoughts on “Choosing the Right UPS for your Synology or QNAP NAS Drive – Get it Right FIRST TIME!

    1. Good guide. I’ve recently installed a UPS for my Synology and I was shocked how many times it kicked in over just 1 month! Quick question, will it be better to use the UPS to turn on/off the NAS or use WOL? Could you make a tutorial on how to set these two options up?
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    2. Good one ????I’ve got 1 upright 600VA/360W Riello UPS covering 3 light weight servers and network gear (wifi using PoE). One is primary and if there’s a power cut, it’ll tell 2 of the servers to turn off, before turning itself off. Smart! Most of the time it’s running at 30% usage (1 server+network gear), when everything is on it runs at 80%, but that’s rare (once every 2 weeks perhaps).
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    3. Just wondering, for a bigger setup, wouldn’t it be better off getting one of those high capacity portable power unit. Like Bluetti and Ecoflow? Not sure if they have a passthrough option. Just wondering.
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    4. Hey, YouTube advice here: if you want your video to get watched, then an “Easy Guide” should be under 5 minutes long. Perhaps make a second channel for the short Easy videos and keep the long form stuff separate.
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    5. Wouldn’t trust cyberpower to protect my equipment. Unless you are on a tight budget or dont connect critical hardware, I would stick to real power equipment companies.
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    6. I run a Eaton Ellipse ECO 800 USB on my DS1621+ (3x MG08ACA16TE HDDs +1x Crucial 240gb ssd for 12 dockers)
      Aswell as TL-SG1008P poe+ switch, TL-EAP 245 Access point aswell as my Router PCEngines APU3 OpnSense.

      All last around 20-25 minutes on full power backup.
      More than enough of time for em all to auto shut down.

      It is what it is.
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    7. Hi… well… your recommendations at the end are a bit confusing, because you mix the clients with the NAS when considering the Wattage… i have a Synology DS1821+ and i bought a Eaton 1600VA for it and my network hardware (Ubiquiti USG and Switch and also the internet provider router)…. NO PCs connected there…
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    8. A minor point if I can.
      Sometimes the transitions / dissolves are too quick to read the point before you start talking to it.
      I found myself a couple of times rewinding the video or pausing it, so I had the context for your comments.
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    9. You did another video about 6 months to a year ago that I saw shortly after I bought a ups only to find out it wasn’t on the Synology tested and list. I appreciate the work you do and if I had looked for videos first I wouldn’t have an incompatibility issue. I only looked for videos afterwards because I was having issues with my Synology recognizing how much battery remains. I don’t have the option to let it run till the battery is low and shut down cuz it thinks the battery is low after like an hour when I have over half left according to the display on the ups. So I just set it to shut down after 30 mins and then restart after power comes back online. Thankfully that part works well. After all there’s no reason I really need to run my nas for an extended period on battery. The primary reason I bought a ups was to protect it from data loss in a power outage. So as long as I have enough power to shutdown properly I’m happy.
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    10. I run 3 APC 1500’s. One for the NAS, An ext drive for NAS backup, Modem, Router & Switch. One for the PC while supporting external drives & fans. One for my Desktop employing the monitor, desklamps, and ,minor accessories such as phone chargers. All are managed and monitored via software. This balances a Net result of about 3 hours of total high power usage. Smaller items can be taken offline, such as desklamps, external drives, etc. thereby increasing the time. One time I had a power failure and didn’t even know it until I went to the fridge. All 3 switched with absolutely no delay or hiccups. Lovin’ it !
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    11. One consideration with a UPS is cable management… because it makes cable management a massive pain in the ass.

      With a standing desk that can lift up and down, you would normally just clip a surge protector power strip to the back of the desk and plug everything into that, easy peasy. But with a UPS on the floor, you can’t really do that. Your only real options are to find exactly the right length power cables so you can run them neatly to the UPS but with enough slack for the desk to go up and down, or just never take the desk up.

      I went with the latter option out of laziness, so my desk is a rat’s nest of cables underneath. Most devices having wall warts, external power supplies, etc instead of internal power supplies and ATX power cables REALLY doesn’t help.

      The dream is to have the house wired for ethernet with a network rack and a server rack, so then you can just use rack mounted UPSes for most things and only need a floor UPS for big ticket items like desktop PCs, but that’s a lot of expense.
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    12. Nice video, very informative again!
      PS: I would recommend to put the text in-between segments a wee bit longer please, I often have to rewind and pause to read..
      I noticed that indeed often only the VA-value is provided and I think/believe because those UPS have a selectable(!) output-voltage? (irrespective from the input line-voltage) Plus you will need the V and A values for your wiring, circuit-breakers and such. And not forgetting power factor/reactive loads etc.
      BTW., if you do not have enough plug-points, some UPS manufacturers do have “special” UPS Power Strips. Of course always do pay attention to the ratings!
      Very, very important note: If you go for a UPS, pay attention if it supports SNMP out of the box or you need a (smart) optional network-controller. (= additional costs) Nowadays many UPS do have an ethernet-connection out of the box but that is often cloud-based only (yeah, go figure) and not for your local network integration unless you use their own App.
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    13. This was very helpful to me. I did not knew I could do this. I plugged in the USB cable my 251 to my Eaton UPS and it just worked like you showed us. Thank you and nice socks by the way!
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    14. What would happen to an expansion unit that’s attached to the synology? Would it go in to safe mode along with the main unit when power dropped, or do you have to configure it separately?
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    15. Thank you for this video! I also bought a QNAP TS-251D, and i’m looking to buy a CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD, which I feel is kind of a must/insurance for a NAS, right?
      My power tends to blink, or go out for 2-8 hours, randomly every other month. Old trees falling, new homes being built, and maintenance or wires being hit…
      Would a full shut down be best? Or think that I could get away with just standby?
      Basically, which is healthier for the NAS? I only plan to have the NAS connected.
      I only use the NAS for media backup, and eventually playing backed up DVD’s. Only two 8Tb drives in raid 1.
      But if power is out, I don’t need the NAS to be on…
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    16. Great video thank you. I have my NAS’ electrical already connected to a UPS, but not the USB. Should I power NAS down to connect USB, or does that not matter?
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    17. Thank you CyberPower for making this video possible and to NASCompairs for being awesome as usual. I now understand how important having a UPS attached to my NAS is and waisted no time in getting one and getting it configured. Thank you
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    18. So what happens if your power is out for extended period of time in that standby mode you selected and battery runs out. Is the data safe on reboot? When the power comes back on will it still reboot itself or will you need a manual reboot?
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