My Synology DS212+ is getting slow and has crashed and the WD Red drives keep showing bad sectors. I figured it was time to get a new NAS. I’ve been watching your videos (brilliant), but am still confused by what’s available. I am used to Synology, by frustrated by some of the ways they do things, so open to QNAP (having read the good things you’ve said).
My NAS needs to be used for access to documents, large numbers of (very) high-res photos, and videos. I looked at the DS218+, QNAP TS-231P2, and a few others, but am now getting more confused than ever.
The DS212+ is very old plusseries NAS from Synology. The new replaced model is indeed DS218+. Plus series generally means that it will cope with the latest technology available to the public. So in this case, it comes with transcoding engine built in letting you stream and transcode even 4K video files. It also features USB3 ports for fast backups. Synology have invested a great amount of time and money into the software development. It now competes with cloud service like Dropbox with their free ap Synology Drive. Moments app is also amazing with face recognition function built in. There are many more functions and app – all included in the price.
TS-231P2 is very different and much worse spec NAS. If you need something comparable to DS218+ then you can look at TS-253Be which will perform equally good. But if you have used Synology for so long time, Qnap might feel a bit too complicated.
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What can I connect to a NAS?
Wireless Speaker Sonos
The great thing about Sonos is that you don't need to pay for music subscription service. With the cheapest NAS at home like DS115j or any other, you can have your backups done for all of your devices and still use your network drive as a Sonos music library. Sonos will connect to your NAS via your network and let access your provided music library. If you have little more of IT knowledge, you can even set up your Alexa or Sonos with Alexa built in to play music on your voice commands ("Alexa! Ask DS Audio to Play Music!").
Nowadays it is so cheap to upgrade your old TV and make it smart. All you need is Google Chrome or EZcast alternative plugged into your HDMI port at the back of your TV. Now you have great functionality added to your TV to send a video file directly from your NAS to a TV. No need for wires and chargers and other mess. You can use your phone as a remote to go to your movies or family videos and cast that content on your TV during family or friend gatherings.
Amazon Fire TV
You may not have a smartphone, or you just simply prefer to control your content with a remote in that case Amazon Fire TV will be a great addon to get to your TV. It also plugs into your HDMI port and will play content from your NAS to a TV. No wires no mess.
nVidia Shield TV
It gets even better! If you want some more entertainment and all previously mentioned functions - nVidia TV is a great thing to get. You can use it for playing games and watching movies from your NAS. The greatest thing is - shield TV does video transcoding. So even if you have a cheap NAS with a weak CPU, in a combination of shield TV you can now automatically on the fly change video file size and format for a destination device. It is a great way to reduce network load and let older devices to play video content which normally was not supported on the device.