Synology vs UGREEN NAS – Which Should You Buy?

Synology vs UGREEN NAS – Which Should You Buy?

Whether you are reading this article because you’re looking to upgrade your existing Synology network attached storage system and are exploring your current options, or you’ve heard about the remarkably successful UGREEN Kickstarter and are considering it for your data, today I want to discuss which of these two brands is best suited for your long-term personal cloud storage needs. Now that the UGREEN portfolio of NAS solutions is arriving at traditional retail, it is an opportune time to compare these two NAS options in terms of price, value, hardware, software, and support. UGREEN may have been in the market for over a decade, but their experience in the NAS industry is considerably shorter. Synology, on the other hand, has nearly 25 years of experience in this industry, which will certainly reflect in their software. So let’s compare Synology and UGREEN, what they bring to the table, how they differ, and ultimately help you

NAS Solutions

NAS Solutions

+ Better Software (In almost every respect!)

+ Much Better Global Support Presence

+ More More business desirable

+ Larger Range of solutions

– Compatibility restrictions

– Underwhelming hardware (comparatively)

+ Better Hardware for Price

+ Flexibility to Install 3rd Party OS’

+ Excellent Mobile Application

+ Wide accessory compatibility

– Software still has beta elements

– The company has a much shorter NAS Market Experience

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Synology vs UGREEN NAS – Price and Value

It will almost certainly come as no surprise to the majority of you that the Synology portfolio of NAS solutions is more expensive at practically every tier. A significant part of this is due to Synology arguably having one of the best NAS software offerings in the industry. We will delve into this later in the software section, but when you buy a Synology NAS solution, a large percentage of the cost goes directly towards the software rather than the hardware. This often leads to a perception among traditional PC buyers that the value for money in a Synology product, in terms of hardware, ends up being a bit underwhelming. Synology does provide a wide array of solutions that range from the cost-efficient to the enterprise and expensive, but even when you compare individual Synology NAS solutions against similarly profiled solutions from UGREEN, you will always end up spending more on the Synology product.

SPECIFICATION DXP2800

DXP4800

DXP4800 PLUS

DXP6800 PRO

DXP8800 PLUS

DXP480T PLUS

Kickstarter Launch $239.99 $359.99 $419.99 $599.99 $899.99 $479.99
MSRP $399 $559 $699 $999 $1499 $779
Operating System UGOS Pro UGOS Pro UGOS Pro UGOS Pro UGOS Pro UGOS Pro
CPU Model N100 N100 8505 1235u 1235u 1235u
CPU Brand Intel Intel Intel Intel Intel Intel
CPU Architecture X86 12th Gen N Series X86 12th Gen N Series X86 12th Gen Intel Pentium Gold X86 12th Gen Intel Core i5 X86 12th Gen Intel Core i5 X86 12th Gen Intel Core i5
Cores/Threads 4/4 4/4 5/6 10/12 10/12 10/12
Memory (RAM) 8GB DDR5 8GB DDR5 8GB DDR5 8GB DDR5 8GB DDR5 8GB DDR5
ODECC Support Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported
Expandable RAM (max) 16GB 16GB 64GB 64GB 64GB 64GB
Flash Memory (System Disk) eMMC 32GB eMMC 32GB SSD 128GB SSD 128GB SSD 128GB SSD 128GB
SATA Drive Bays 2 4 4 6 8 0
M.2 SSD Drive Slots 2 2 2 2 2 4

UGREEN, on the other hand, is definitely more affordable in terms of price and value, but this comes with a caveat. During the crowdfunding campaign when UGREEN first launched their NAS series to the public, they marketed it with a substantial 40% discount, making their solutions unbeatable in terms of price—not only compared to other NAS brands in the market but also versus DIY NAS solutions. In some cases, it was impossible to buy the components to build a NAS solution cheaper than buying the UGREEN NAS directly. However, Kickstarter is crowdfunding, and many users are not comfortable engaging in this model anymore due to the lack of traditional retail assurances. Now that UGREEN NAS devices are arriving at traditional retail, they should provide these assurances, but it also means that it’s not possible to get the same level of discount that was available during the crowdfunding campaign.

That said, the proposed pricing that UGREEN has in mind for their NAS systems at traditional retail still manages to be lower than that of comparable Synology solutions of the same profile. A significant part of this is because UGREEN is clearly prioritizing the hardware. The software is still robust, and they are working on further software feature updates and services, but a larger percentage of the money you spend on a UGREEN system goes to the hardware compared to that of a Synology.

UGREEN is definitely winning in terms of cost, but what you get for your money is where things get a little more complicated.

UGREEN vs Synology NAS – Hardware

As mentioned earlier, each of these brands has a different approach towards hardware and the features their systems offer. Since UGREEN has only launched around six solutions in the first stage of their NAS rollout, there is less diversity in the types of solutions available. Their systems come in 2, 4, 6, and 8-bay SATA desktop profiles (as well as a smaller 4-bay M.2 NVMe flash system).

UGREEN 8-Bay NAS Rear Ports and Connections

These come with a choice of three CPUs: the Intel N100, 12th Gen Pentium, and 10-core i5. The systems offer a variety of connections, ranging from 2.5G and 10G networking to USB 4, Thunderbolt connectivity, and PCIe upgradability with third-party cards. They even include an SD card slot, which has become increasingly rare in recent years. Overall, for such a modest selection of solutions, you can’t fault the scale and caliber of the hardware UGREEN has rolled out across their initial range.

Synology DS1823xs+ Rear Ports and Connections

Synology, however, is a different story. Having been in the market for as long as they have, they have had plenty of time to expand their portfolio and analyze the market to understand users’ data storage requirements for both home and business use. Synology has released hundreds of NAS solutions over the 25 years they’ve been operating, many of which have been refreshed every 2 to 3 years. Currently, the brand has around 35 different active solutions in their portfolio, while simultaneously supporting a few hundred others with legacy features and firmware updates.

They have around 15 different CPU configurations spread across their range, as well as numerous accessory upgrades and expansion boxes to enhance your storage system over its lifetime. Most solutions come with either 1G Ethernet or 10G Ethernet, the latter of which costs notably more than other 10G solutions in the market. Lastly, Synology has a massive range of rackmount devices (something currently absent from UGREEN). These can be further broken down into dual-controller, redundant PSU, and highly scalable storage solutions. In recent years, Synology has shifted its focus more towards large business and enterprise solutions than home and prosumer-class devices.

This leads to some inconsistency when comparing UGREEN and Synology in terms of hardware. If you are looking for a prosumer solution in the $300 to $1,500 range in desktop form, UGREEN offers much better hardware solutions for your needs. However, if you are looking for a more modest, low-powered solution for under $300, or if you are a business-class user that needs to scale up your storage from day one to day 1000, Synology provides a wider array of solutions and better scalability through accessories and upgrades. We should also consider the subject of compatibility and support, which has been a criticism of Synology recently as they have reduced the range of officially verified storage media and PCIe upgrades compatible with their systems. This doesn’t mean you can’t use drives or PCIe upgrades not on their compatibility list, but it can often lead to using the systems in ways that don’t fully conform to how Synology advertises their product use. UGREEN, with its smaller range of accessories, doesn’t have the same level of limited support and compatibility on its verified optional add-ons for their systems.

UGREEN ACTIVE NAS SOLUTIONS SYNOLOGY ACTIVE NAS SOLUTIONS
6 x Desktop Solutions 17 x Desktop Solutions
Zero Rackmount Solutions 25 x Rackmount Solutions

In terms of hardware for home, prosumer, and very small businesses, the UGREEN NAS gives you a lot of hardware power in a compact and well-designed chassis. However, you can’t fault Synology’s massive range of configurations, system scalability, and options for spending your budget on the perfect hardware solution.

Synology vs UGREEN NAS – Software

This is the big one! If you are going to buy your NAS server solution and intend to be fully reliant on the software it includes, you simply cannot fault the Synology platform and DSM. DSM, or DiskStation Manager, is arguably the best NAS software on the market in 2024. With an enormous range of first-party applications and services for the system software itself, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and bespoke Linux tools, Synology prioritizes their software options on their solutions. Stylizing themselves much like the Mac, UX, and GUI, the massive range of apps and services included with your Synology NAS would take ten times the length of this article to describe.

Review of the UGREEN UGOS NAS Software

UGREEN’s software, by comparison, feels significantly leaner. They have nailed down some good fundamentals, and the UGOS NAS software that UGREEN NAS devices come with feels robust, responsive, and fluid. However, with only around 20 applications currently available in its app center, many of which are still running individual beta features yet to be completed, there is really no comparison between UGOS and DSM right now. UGREEN has been constantly updating this software since the Kickstarter campaign, and they clearly have plans to add more features. In the last two months, they have integrated Docker, a first-party virtual machine tool, media streaming tools including metadata scraping, backup and synchronization tools, and system scanning tools for monitoring protection against malware and viruses. However, there are still notable gaps in their software for a modern NAS, such as the lack of two-factor authentication, write-once-read-many protection to prevent data loss from ransomware attacks, encrypted volumes, and native multi-site 3-2-1 backup options. I am confident these will be added to UGOS in the coming months and years, but for now, their absence only strengthens the argument for choosing a Synology NAS in terms of software.

Review of the Synology DSM NAS Software

The same goes for client tools for your mobile and desktop devices. UGREEN provides a single app for each platform to manage everything, while Synology offers both multi-purpose tools and individually tailored tools for each type of user and access need (such as Synology Drive, Surveillance Station applications, Synology Active Backup, and more). There are occasional wins for UGREEN over Synology, such as the UGREEN photo application, which offers a more diverse selection of AI tools and a broader range of identifying elements. However, on the whole, everything UGREEN provides in UGOS is done better and more smoothly on the Synology platform.

We also need to discuss third-party operating systems. Many users look at UGREEN NAS systems with the intent of using operating systems like Unraid and TrueNAS. UGREEN has made it clear that they will continue to support the hardware warranty of any user who chooses to use their systems with third-party operating systems, as long as these do not harm the NAS hardware (e.g., the software massively overclocks the CPU and causes damage). Synology, on the other hand, has been clear that they will not support their systems if third-party NAS software is installed, which will likely result in them being unable to support users moving forward. For many, this is a deal-breaker and is one reason why many users are drawn to UGREEN and their NAS solutions. So, bottom line: if you are buying a NAS for both its hardware and software, the Synology platform gives you much more. However, if you are purchasing a NAS solution for its hardware and plan to use third-party software, UGREEN offers considerable flexibility.

UGREEN vs Synology NAS – Support & Availability

Assessing the support provided by the manufacturer of the NAS you buy is difficult. It’s easy to find both positive and negative reviews for any brand, but these do not necessarily represent the average user experience. Comparing the support of Synology and UGREEN is also challenging because, although both companies have decent histories, this history differs significantly in relation to NAS.

At a glance, Synology is the clear favorite here. They have a proven history in the network-attached storage industry, managing security updates, supporting countless applications, and maintaining physical locations for their technical support teams across different continents. Synology has a deservedly widespread and positive reputation for their support. The same goes for purchasing a Synology solution or accessory; it is much easier to find the hardware available in your region.

UGREEN, on the other hand, is harder to pin down. Although they have been in the market for around 12 to 14 years, their focus has been largely on accessories and power supplies. It’s only in the last six months that they have made significant moves in the NAS world. They did have a range of NAS solutions before this new iteration, but these were mainly available in the East and are not comparable to a globally available solution. At the launch of the crowdfunding campaign, UGREEN only supported purchases in the US and Germany to gauge interest in their solutions and determine if there was a market for their products. This suggests a more limited level of support for their user base. They have plenty of staff and offices worldwide, but very little of this is focused solely on NAS solutions, which raises questions about the speed of their support and the global availability of their solutions compared to an established name like Synology. Looking at the comments on the UGREEN Kickstarter page, the feedback has been broadly positive, with UGREEN addressing technical concerns and questions. However, managing a Kickstarter campaign is different from supplying support and managing RMAs on a global level via traditional retail. Ultimately, I have no reason to doubt UGREEN’s commitment to their NAS solutions. Everything so far indicates they are taking this new part of their business seriously and making sensible long-term moves. But as of 2024, Synology has a larger global coverage and a longer established history of support, which is a significant advantage.

Synology vs UGREEN NAS – Conclusion

Bottom line, choosing between a UGREEN and Synology NAS solution will come down to your priorities in terms of hardware and software. Most business users will prioritize the software and services included with their NAS purchase, as well as closely observe the level of support and availability the brand offers. With its long and well-established pedigree in the field of network-attached storage, Synology is clearly the favorite for business users, who will almost certainly opt for a Synology NAS over a UGREEN one. However, the level of hardware that UGREEN offers in this first phase of their NAS portfolio is genuinely unbeatable value compared to practically every other player in the NAS market. UGREEN has been methodical in launching this product series, and everything indicates that they will continue to expand. They also support the use of third-party NAS software like Unraid and TrueNAS, which have strong reputations in the NAS software community, allowing you to use well-established software with UGREEN’s hardware.

I recommend the UGREEN NAS solution portfolio for DIY server users, home users, prosumers, and those who don’t mind a system that is a work in progress. On the other hand, I highly recommend the Synology NAS portfolio to those who want a more polished and established NAS solution, particularly for business and enterprise needs, or for those seeking a user-friendly system with reliable long-term support. Thank you for reading today’s article. More comparisons like this are available all over the site here at nascompares.com. If you want to support the work we do here and plan on purchasing a Synology or UGREEN NAS solution, please use the links below. If you intend to visit the shops listed, it really helps us out and keeps the site running! Have a fantastic week.

NAS Solutions

NAS Solutions

+ Better Software (In almost every respect!)

+ Much Better Global Support Presence

+ More More business desirable

+ Larger Range of solutions

– Compatibility restrictions

– Underwhelming hardware (comparatively)

+ Better Hardware for Price

+ Flexibility to Install 3rd Party OS’

+ Excellent Mobile Application

+ Wide accessory compatibility

– Software still has beta elements

– The company has a much shorter NAS Market Experience

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      67 thoughts on “Synology vs UGREEN NAS – Which Should You Buy?

      1. hi thanks for clearing up if the mobile app will automatically upload your photos to the Nas or you will have to do it manually… thanks for clearing that up again. thanks for all your reviews. keeping us up to date on the UGreen Nas, it’s very informal. thanks again.
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      2. Great stuff, Robbie. Do you know whether they will offer something like DSM’s surveillance station and automatic sync of selected folders on PC like via Synology Drive? If they promise these two, I’m on board. Tired of waiting for Synology to catch up with more modern CPUs
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      3. With the photos backup from the phone, does it allow you to move the photos from your phone to the nas and then allow you to remove the photo from your phone without removing it from the nas ? I can’t recall if the terminology for this is a backup or a sync or something else.
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      4. Hi! Does anyone know if UGOS (and the NAS box) will support “surveillance cameras” – and if so, does it come with perpetual camera licenses and if yes on licenses, how many? Thanks much … love the NASCOMPARES channel! 🙂
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      5. Fuck it. I just backed the 8 bay model. I bought my DS918+ for $547.99 in 2019, so hardware wise, the 8 bay is an absolute steal for $899. I will probably just throw TrueNAS Scale / Unraid on it anyway. Hopefully these issues you’ve had doing that are ironed out by the actual release.
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      6. How does the mobile app work for multi user? For example, I want to backup my photos, but also allow my household members to do so as well from mobile app. If they are not admins, will they be seeing everything I’m seeing in the app as well?
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      7. *Update on the use of 3rd Party OS’ on UGREEN NAS with hardware, with regard to warranty*: “The Ugreen team confirms that whatever is promised in their warranty policy will not change, which only covers the hardware. They also mention that there is a risk of damage if you install a third-party OS, including data loss and compatibility issues, etc.” – Ugreen Representative, 26/3/24
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      8. 0 seconds ago
        Just wanted to say “thank you” for all of your videos. They were very helpful in my latest NAS upgrade, which I documented and gave you a reference for: https://youtu.be/_hoyGx9zVxE?feature=shared
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      9. Would love for them to reach out to you for consultation on their software – of course, with applicable consulting fees! – so they can make this in to a great competitor in the marketspace. Thanks for the rundown!!
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      10. Does anyone know if the ones sold during the kickstarter early bird pricing are prototype version or will they be the retail finished version? I emailed them but they don’t seem to want to respond.
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      11. This UI looks almost 1:1 for Synology DSM. I’d love to get my hands on an OS package and compare it to a DSM update package to see if it is the same, or if they’ve simply tried to clone DSM’s look and feel for their OS. If it’s the former, and there’s no licensing agreement between UGreen and Synology, I imagine this product may be dead before arrival.
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      12. Is this NAS generally suitable for first time users? Or will it just be a major pain due to e.g. lack of configuration tutorials and generally the not fully developed OS? The early bird price is of course very compelling, but I am not really sure how much hardware is required for it to run smoothly.
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      13. Thanks for this insanely in-depht review! I’m also planning to buy one of these NAS systems (probably the SSD only system).
        Do you have any information on compatibility with MacOS Time Machine Backups?
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      14. You couldn’t find any way to sideload Plex for a prelim test…. I’m sure it’s running on some basic Linux distro and you can find Plex compatible for all of them.
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      15. Can you do a guide to HDDs? E.g there are currently several 22TB or 20TB HDDs that have basically the exact same specs on paper, using the same technology yet arte vastly differently priced.
        E.g. the Toshiba MG10 is where I live consistently a lot cheaper than preatty much the exact same models from WD or Seagate. (320 USD vs 400USD)
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      16. To be on the safe side, the hardware is absolutely top for the price, but I would install Unraid as software. I know that other operating systems are not supported out of the box, it will void the warranty (however they want to determine that when using a different systemdrive) and also needs a change in the bios. But Unraid should be able to run on it without any problems, right?
        Could you maybe even test it? I’m sure some people would be interested. But if you can’t, for example for partnership reasons, that’s fine too.
        Best regards! 😀
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      17. 0:27: ???? Exploring the beta version of UGreen NAS software with its features, improvements, and limitations.
        3:59: ⚙️ User-friendly NAS software interface with familiar layout and intuitive controls.
        7:56: ???? Overview of UGREEN NAS UGOS Software Beta features and controls.
        11:38: ???? Efficient file management and performance testing capabilities on UGREEN NAS UGOS Software.
        15:33: ???? Review of multimedia features including playing video files and viewing photos within the web browser.
        19:57: ⚙️ AI models in the photo app are comprehensive and beneficial, despite being limited to one default directory.
        23:45: ???? Importance of security measures in preventing ransomware attacks and unauthorized access.
        28:03: ???? UGREEN NAS UGOS Software offers various support options, including remote access and offline access point.
        32:12: ???? Evaluation of UGREEN NAS UGOS software beta version, including mobile application functionality.
        36:05: ⚙️ Efficient photo browsing, sharing, and facial recognition on mobile application.
        40:03: ⚙️ Review of UGREEN NAS software beta version highlights need for security enhancements and ongoing SMB performance optimization.

        Timestamps by Tammy AI
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      18. After seeing this, I’ll definitely not use this OS. It would be really interesting to see how unraid or TrueNAS runs on these machines. Also a point would be power consumption on different OS, c states and stuff…
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      19. This thing looks like an investment thats has the potential to grow with the demands of the average user thats looking for basic backup & storage features. For more sophisticated users this won’t do. Packed with this hardware this thing neds a docker ui and some hypervisor.
        At least now you have a way to generate more content as udates for this OS hit the device.
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      20. You have now done 5 videos on this Chinese spyware/vaporware/malware product …..give it up until its released. I don’t trust Ugreen with either the way they have launched this or the security of the product against CCP interference. All they have done with Kickstarter is make themselves look dodgy as F*ck….they look like they are hiding things …. then we can talk about how they wheeled out their employees to shrill for them on YouTube …..
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      21. So many CPU power and RAM only for sharing files and Photo manager?? No VM Manager or Docker is only disappointing.
        Yes, its a beta, but if you want play in a big market you must bring more as a really nice phone app.
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      22. I think they will offer Plex and Emby, BUT let’s stick to the current reality where these doesn’t exist. Do you think it would be possible to install and run Plex server through the console shell ?
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      23. When I look at this as a whole I see an unfinished copy of DSM. Except DSM has had 15 years of refinement and hardening. If they don’t get SSH enablement, 2FA, immutable snapshots, and a useful security scanner sorted I can almost guarantee they will be hit with a malware attack shortly after release. I had very high hopes for this device, even gave them my five bucks, but I’m becoming less sure as time goes on.
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      24. The font type is not consistent in the interface, times new Roman is very dated. The menus do look like my dated DS214, and my old Asustor AS-202TE – now you may understand why I’m looking for a new NAS. The hardware is a real turn on, but the software does seem unfinished, but remember when I bought my Asustor they had only just entered the market, it was a leap of faith, and at times it showed, iSCSI on Synology was reliable, the same on Asustor, initially, was not. Ah, as I’m watching inconsistent fonts was just mentioned, thanks.
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      25. Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anything on the use of containers. Without virtualization and containers, to run servers and keep them separate and secure, I would give it a hard no. Not that I don’t think Qnap Container Station doesn’t need work too.
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      26. Lack of immutable snapshots is a dealbreaker for me. It’s too bad we don’t know whether they’re going to add it because I won’t buy one on the kickstarter if I don’t know if that feature is going to be there at release. It’s really your final backstop against crypto attacks. If I have to choose between a Synology with an old processor and a 12th gen i5 without immutable snapshots, I’ll take the Synology every time
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      27. Great video. I am looking to replace my 5 year old Netgear ReadyNAS 204 with a new Synology 923+ or 1522+. I am primarily using it as a file server but in the future I would probably also use at for automatic backup of our 3 desktop PC’s and 2 laptops.

        hould I consider anything other than these 2?

        It will be connected to a 10 BGit network.
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      28. I understand why they would limit the HDD’s/SSD’s compatibility to avoid misuse but they could at least allow CMR NAS and Enterprise WD and Seagate drives. Btw starting and shutting down a nas everyday what does it do to the disks? Does it prolong the life of the components? Even though they are designed to run 24/7
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      29. Be clear on the SSD storage pools, its not that other units do not support it, they do… Rather, this is just fleecing customers – Synology don’t want to enable on other models, as they want you to believe its “unique” to certain models an encourage you to buy the newer model, and throw the old one out (Yeah, great environmentally-friendly move there!
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      30. Synology Hyper Backup doesn’t even support OneDrive natively. DSM and Synology apps seem consistent, but there also seems to be a walled garden that limits what you can do with a Synology NAS.
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      31. Umm I hate to say it but your wrong on both accounts of BTRFS and encryption. I just got their lowest end current model the ds223j and i have both of these options. I however didnt enable encryption as it will make transfering data slower and im not worried about my NAS getting stolen.
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      32. I have a Synology DS918+, but the way I’ve always tried to use it is to basically make my setup idempotent as it were. What I mean is everything I host on there, I just host it with Docker using Docker Compose, so if I ever got another NAS, or built my own server – whether it was Unraid, TrueNAS Scale, or just plain Debian, I ought to be able to just install Docker on it, then copy my docker folder over to it (which contains the docker-compose.yml and all the persistent storage for my containers), then run: docker-compose up -d, and all my stuff should basically just work, without being dependent on a particular operating system or vendor.

        The only “first party” Synology things I use tend to be monitoring and backup. I do use Hyper Backup to backup my important stuff to Backblaze B2, but I’m wondering if Hyper Backup makes a backup that only a Synology NAS could read. If my NAS died would be be able to recover my data without buying another Synology NAS?
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      33. Great overview mate. My only gripe, as always, is no DTS support on video station. I have to transcode my videos before putting them up on the Nas. Why don’t they simply charge the user a fee for a license to which I am willing to pay? Being I don’t use Plex, does Plex play DTS videos on a Synology NAS? Thanx Robbie & G’day! ????????????????????
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      34. I’m somewhat of a novice and this may be a dumb question, but HDDs seem like plug and play hardware, why would some drives not be compatible with Synology NASes?
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