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QNAP Vs. Synology NAS main image QNAP Vs. Synology NAS image



Synology Vs. QNAP

Many manufacturers are offering NAS storage in the market. But you will often see the products of QNAP or Synology, which by far dominate the sales of NAS devices. Both of these brands quickly understood the potential of NAS servers and focused on developing the user experience.

They have thus developed a range of models that meet the needs of most of the users. But the range of products is so extensive that it is often difficult to choose between QNAP vs Synology. Because it would be a shame to end up with a NAS server that is not suitable for your intended use, we compare the two brands here to guide you towards knoweing which one will best suit your needs.

Table of Contents

Operating System:

The operating system of a NAS server is the backbone of the device. QNAP or Synology have both developed their own operating system that equips all their boxes. And that's what makes the greatest strength of these two manufacturers, their OS being known to be the best on the market . The two operating systems - DSM for Synology and QTS for QNAP - are designed in the same way. You access your NAS through a desktop like a computer on which there is a menu bar and a number of icons that give you more in-depth access to the various features of the NAS. The graphically rich interfacelooks like what is done on a smartphone or tablet. You will not be lost.

Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

Synology NAS servers have been equipped with the DSM OS since 2004. Since then, they have been continuously updating their operating system once or twice a year. DSM is based on Linux and equips all of the brand's boxes. The OS environment strongly resembles a Mac . The facility has been pushed to its maximum. The environment is beautiful and easy to understand for novice users, but if you are an initiate you will have a little more trouble finding where the management of the most technical parameters is hidden.

Synology NAS OS tends to handle quite a lot of default actions in the background by itself without you knowing it. Some will not find it embarrassing but again insiders could criticize that there is no user authorization request. The applications developed by Synology are of a higher quality than Qnap. You can find everything you can expect from a NAS server. File sharing, centralized backup, RAID storage management  and virtual storage. Apps for multimedia enthusiasts and home management are also integrated into DSM. All at no additional cost (except for rare applications developed by third-party companies that require the purchase of a license).

The number of applications available depends on the processor on the NAS server. Some apps will not appear if they are not supported by the box but there are more than enough. 

QNAP Turbo Station (QTS) from QNAP

Following the updates of the operating system developed by QNAP, the brand has managed to catch up with its developmental delay against Synology, especially since the QTS 4.0 version (at the time of writing this article the latest updated version is the 4.3.5). Instead, QNAP drew inspiration from Android and Windows for its Linux-based QTS operating system. Like Synology, QNAP has also pushed the intuitive side but while offering a lot of easily accessible technical information . The user can go further in the personalization of his environment and will have more control over his machine.

You can, for example, with a simple click, have access to the temperature of your box, your available storage space or a set of operating indicators. By hovering the mouse over a folder, you have access to its size. Lots of little details that will delight those who want to get into the technique but who may lose a little beginners.

The applications developed by QNAP are quite limited compared to Synology. But many applications developed by third-party companies are available, more than with DSM. 

What is the best operating system?

Neither of them stands out significantly from our QNAP vs Synology game regarding the operating system. DSM and QTS are excellent OS and we look forward to each update to discover the batch of new features that Synology and QNAP have managed to integrate into their OS. If you like to tweak and understand what each button is used for, you will probably get around less quickly with QTS. If you are looking for simplicity and don't want to waste too much time in settings, then DSM is ideal. So QNAP vs Synology, we have a slight preference for Synology which keeps a small historical lead on the ease of handling the NAS and the stability of its OS.

Remote access: Advantage to QNAP

This is one of the main advantages of a NAS server: remote access to saved data. Whether with Qnap or Synology, all boxes are accessible remotely from a smartphone running Android, iOS and even Windows Phone. Several applications are designed to access your files via the internet in wifi but all are not created equal.


To stay on its positioning of ease of use, Synology offers ten different applications according to needs, accessible and functional with a single click. General file access with DS File, photo access with DS Photo, video playback with DS Video or audio with DS Audio. You can even monitor the recording of your surveillance cameras , the progress of your downloads or even synchronize your data. The applications are clean and easy to use, but technically limited in return . Unfortunately, Synology does not offer third-party apps for mobile devices.


QNAP has the equivalent to Synology with Qfile, Qvideo and Qmusic. The apps are more technically advanced and more numerous . QNAP Surveillance Station, for example, allows you to go further in the settings than Synology Surveillance Station. There are about fifteen applications developed by QNAP. Add to that many third-party applications and you can greatly increase the functionality accessible from your smartphone. The strength of QNAP NAS is that it is possible to couple these applications togetheras for example with IFTTT (If This Then That). This application allows you to automate certain tasks. You will be able to create applets like "If someone tags me on a Facebook photo, then upload it to my NAS server" or "When a file is saved to Dropbox, save it to my NAS". The possibilities are enormous. But on the other hand, this can cause instability of some third-party apps .

Who offers the best remote access?

As with the operating system, you will have to choose between strong and stable but limited applications offered by Synology or innovative and scalable but more technical apps with QNAP NAS. In our QNAP vs Synology match, who wins? We are more in favor of simplicity, but we are all the same leaning towards QNAP which offers a personalisation of mobile access which is still sometimes a little bit unstable but leaves room for great changes.

The different models of QNAP & Synology NAS

Whether it is QNAP or Synology, each has a wide range of NAS servers that cover almost all budgets for a use of the box that will suit the greatest number. In general, QNAP offers slightly more efficient equipment in their case as well as more connectivity on the medium-high-end models that are not found at Synology. For example, you can connect a live screen to your QNAP NAS or access it remotely using a remote control. The brand's high-end models also offer more opportunities for developmenttechnical characteristics by offering in particular PCIe expansion slots. However, Synology outperforms QNAP on the Raid configuration. In addition to the classic Raid levels that you can discover in our article on this subject offered on all NAS, Synology goes further and offers an innovative Raid system , the Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR). If you use several hard disks of different sizes, no more wasted space in Raid configuration, the SHR uses all the space available on all hard disks.

We have chosen to classify the boxes by level of range to facilitate comparison. Synology categorizes its J Series servers, Value Series and Plus Series which corresponds to entry level, mid-range and high-end. On the QNAP side, the boxes are classified in the three previous categories and separated between QNAP NAS for home and QNAP NAS for business, which makes 6 different ranges. These can be used at home but offer more advanced technical characteristics. In general, there is no miracle recipe, the more you go up in price, the better the performance of the components. It's up to you to see if you need an HDMI port, the latest processor available on the market, the power to process encrypted data, etc. If you have any doubts, go to our buying guide to equip yourself with a NAS server.

1 bay models

1 bay NAS servers are not the most popular because although they offer most of the features that other NAS servers do, they are not capable of mirroring. You lose one of the great interests of a NAS. This explains why there are quite a few 1 bay models at QNAP or Synology.

2 bay models

The most popular NAS are the 2-bay ones.

4 bay models

4-bay NAS servers are not sold very much for individuals because having a box and several hard drives represents a significant budget for a household . Moreover, unless you are keen on photos or have a large collection of HD movies, few people need so much available storage. Conversely, 4-bay servers allow additional RAID configurations and are scalable. You can only buy two hard drives as a start and invest later in the other two.

And the winner is?

Well you may be disappointed but between Synology or QNAP, no winner really stands out. We are on a similar market positioning with a wide range of products meeting all needs, an intuitive, easy-to-use and easy-to-use experience. DSM and QTS are both excellent operating systems and offer multiple features that fully justify buying a NAS server from one brand or the other. Users who don't want to hear about tweaks and don't want to spend time setting up their NAS server will be better off choosing a model from Synology. Those who like to dig into the settings, who want to push the customization to the maximum will be happier with QNAP.

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