Upgrading to a QNAP or Synology NAS after a Seagate Home NAS

Upgrading from Seagate NAS to Synology or QNAP

I’m looking for replacement of my old (6+ years) Seagate Home network drive. Some of the features that I’m looking in the new NAS:

  1. Storage redundancy RAID 1 (don’t need more than 2 disks)
  2. Backup both Mac/PC
  3. Photos backup for phones (to replace google or Amazon)
  4. Sharable folder structure to something like BOX where can create users and privileges.
  5. Internet access to folders
  6. Video and Music server (that works with AppleTV i.e via THE App)
  7. Budget – probably 300ish with drives.
  8. So far I found two vendors Synology and QNAP but would like to get more opinion from the community.

From Synology, I was looking at DS218j and from QNAP some like QNAP TS-251B.

With ds218j I’m afraid I won’t be able to accomplish everything with that RAM and CPU and that I may have to go with ds218 or ds218play.

Price point perspective – they match
From the hardware perspective – QNAP wins with more RAM + Video Transcoding + dual nic and hot-swappable (even though it may not be needed but its there for the same price)
Warranty – Synology wins with 2 years vs 1 year on QNAP
Software – This is where I struggle. Who has greater app support? Both can backup your machines and photos. Synology got its own nice video station app where QNAT you can do plex (although they have video app on AppleTV)

Bart, USA

Choosing the Right NAS Drive for Software and Hardware

Thank you for your question Bart (solid name, by the way). First and foremost, whichever NAS device you decide to buy, it will seem like an incredible step up after the relatively simplistic Seagate Home NAS device you currently own. This is no the fault of Seagate, but rather than network attached storage drives have really, REALLY evolved in the last 5 years and factors such as innovations in hardware efficiency and software R&D by both QNAP and Synology have been quite amazing in such a short space of time. You already sound like you have done a fare amount of research already, but jsut in case you didn;t already see it, I have a Synology vs QNAP first time buyer guide that details how both respective companies approach NAS, their priorities and what they can do. Take a look using the link below:

Synology or QNAP – EVERYTHING you need to know

Both Synology and QNAP NAS will be able to support the software requirements you describe, to be precise if I had to give a winning vote to each brand on these factors, it would be:

  • Storage redundancy RAID 1 – Synology (as they have their own SHR Fluid RAID system on some NAS devices, whereas QNAP NAS only standard RAID)
  • Backup both Mac/PC – Synology (Their Active Backup Software on Intel Powered NAS is user-friendly and very proficient, QNAP have lots of backup software though)
  • Photos backup for phones – Synology (They have Synology Moments on their Intel/Plus series models, whereas QNAP has QuMagie, but it is still in Alpha, but does have lots of photo and backup apps)
  • Sharable folder structure – QNAP (They have a better-controlled range of options with privileges and access rights, but Synology’ is close!)
  • Internet access to folders – QNAP and Synology (both as good as each other, easy and straight forward)
  • Video and Music server – QNAP (With greater support of 3rd party software to play media across the internet and network – But Synology has amazon Alexa Skills and Fire TV apps to download for Plus model NAS)
  • Budget – QNAP (better hardware vs Price, although the software is a tiny bit less intuative than Synology as they prioritize the software)

I am well aware that it looks like a draw, of 3.5 for each NAS brand. However, the point you need to focus on here is that the Synology NAS range and it’s excellent first-party software, such as Synology Moments, Synology Drive, Synology Active Backup and more, only work to their fullest on Intel CPU based devices, so the PLUS series of devices (also, the PLUS range is the only ones in the Synology range with 3 years warranty. The J, Play and Standard series all have 2-years). My point is that if you are looking at J series NAS in your budget (which you seem to be), then you would be buying a poorer Synology NAS and getting a much poorer software experience. Whereas the more affordable QNAP, such as the QNAP TS-251B, TS-228A or TS-251A all provide a much better representation of the QNAP software and hardware platform, as well as a good platform to base your storage environment around!

What is the Best Synology or QNAP NAS to Buy in 2019?

Also, even a low-end QNAP will be an absolute BEAST compared to your current Seagate Home NAS network drive. So, in summary, if you are going to buy a Synology, you need to buy the Synology DS218+ NAS at the lowest, or you not getting what you want in the NAS. If you are ok for a teeny, tiny learning curve (and I really do mean that small!) and want the features and functionality of a modern NAS, at a good price, then go for the QNAP NAS range. I recommend the QNAP TS-251B, the DS218+ Synology NAS if you have the budget, or if things are tight, the TS-228A.

QNAP TS-251B NAS

Best Offer Price

Synology DS218+ NAS

Best Offer Price

QNAP TS-228A NAS

Best Offer Price

I hope this helps you and you end up getting the NAS server that meets with your needs. Now, can I ask you for help? Running this website and helping everyone with free advice isn’t easy. If you REALLY want to help me keep this site alive, if you choose to buy from Amazon, please use one of the Amazon Adverts in the articles to take you there. Then this site will get a % back from whatever you purchase in ad revenue and it keeps this site free for everyone. Just costs you a click and it’s completely safe. Thanks for enjoying my platforms!
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Kind regards and with my thanks,

​​​​​​​Robbie

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