NAS advice?

Thinking very hard about pulling the trigger on one. Don't need a lot of storage really. Seeing people run local servers etc is what attracts me more. I'm guessing Synology is the front runner.

I'd love a rack mount one but they seem to be pretty pricey and large.

I've long thought it would be really cool if someone made a 1U chassis that you could put maybe a pi in and some drives.

I bought a QNAP about 10 years ago and then replaced it about 4/5 years ago with another more powerful QNAP TS-451. It is still running strong and keeping up with my needs. I don't know Synology at all but have read comments here where some prefer it over QNAP. Know @vsman has several videos on QNAP on his YouTube channel so he might have some input here too. I am likely a light user of my NAS as they seem to be meant for small businesses.

I originally bought one to have backups of my multiple PCs in a RAID configuration. I also ran a mail server since at the time Mindspring/Earthlink only allowed me to have 100MB storage in my inbox :rofl: and I needed somewhere to offload emails and attachments. I also owned a Logitech Squeezebox and I ran the server component on the NAS as well since I had a large music library. With streaming services these days I don't listen to as much music on my NAS as I did years ago but it is all still accessible.

Once I upgraded to my current NAS, Virtual Station (ability to run VMs) and Container Station (ability to run docker containers) came out and I have since leveraged those features. I have docker containers running NodeRed, Grafana, InfluxDB, HomeBridge, and EchoSpeaks. The NAS also has MySQL/MariaDB running so I use NodeRed to offload events and logs from my HE hubs into a database for longer term storage. The NAS also has video streaming capabilities. Via AppleTV I can access my video library on my NAS to stream to my TV.

I personally have enjoyed owning one. I believe it has been well worth the investment for me but of course like any computer you will be replacing hard drives from time to time and that adds up. But I typically buy them during Prime or Black Friday sale events.

All of this said, QNAP and Synology have a similar feature set to run everything I describe above so you won't go wrong with either vendor.

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I bought a Synology DS918+ a few years ago. Didn't really need it but I constructed some questionable logic to justify it to myself (my wife never tells me no, so I have to police myself).

It's nice having everything in one place, especially if you are a multiple computer household. I also like that I could quickly disconnect and grab the NAS in case of an emergency, like a hurricane evacuation. For added safety, I have the whole thing backed up to Amazon Glacier storage. Only costs a few dollars a month and well worth it.

Can't say it's any better or worse than any other brand, but I'm very happy with it.

Indirectly, it's also had additional benefits. I finally collected all the photos I had on various computers and phones and put them in one place, all organized. Likewise, I ended up scanning and getting rid of tons of receipts and other documents that accumulated over the years. Most of which I'll probably never need, but it's no longer taking up physical space and I can find something easily which has definitely come in handy a few times. When you have what seems like unlimited storage space, you don't have to worry about whether to keep something or not.


If you don't need the storage would you be better served with a small home server running Proxmox or OpenMediaVault? They can handle the running VM's and containers to do whatever you like. Upside: you can run them on just about any hardware you have lying around. (OMV will run on a Pi) So you can spend as much or as little on the hardware as dictated by your demands and wallet. Downside, you don't get the polished interface and built in raid that comes with a QNap or Synology.

That being said, I have a Synology DS1618+ that I've been very happy with. But I wanted Network Attached Storage and the data redundancy that I can get from a 6-bay NAS in addition to its ability to run all sorts of services for my home network.

Full disclosure, I've never used Proxmox or OMV personally.

i bought a cheap netgear readyNAS to use for a iSCSI target for my needs. it is rack mounted, 4 bays. it's not as nice as synology (also have a DS918+), but it gets the job done. going into the web GUI is a pain, but once you set up what you need, the rest of the stuff works nicely. haven't had any issues with my databases or VMs while hosting my storage from it

Synology 920+ is amazing. It just keeps showing me more things that I can do with it.


Best decision I made was to change my Synology to an Intel CPU so I could run docker (DS920+).

All my automations go through node-red. Charting is via Granfana & InfluxDB. Homekit via Homebridge and HomeAssistant for shits and giggles.

My pick is an Asustor NAS. I use it to store all my music and DVD's. I use Makemkv and have all my music and video plus drone footage stored and use Plex to access the video on all my devices. It really works great. You can do a lot more with it than what I have done but it serves my needs. I use Seagate Ironwolf drives. Total of about 12TB.

Just add drives

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Get the NAS, you won't regret it. There's lots of neat things you can do with it that everyone here has already mentioned. I have a Synology and a friend of mine has a QNAP, both are very similar in functionality and ease of use. The two pieces of advice I would give you are:

  1. Make sure the NAS can host both docker containers and virtual machines.
  2. Make sure that the NAS can do hardware video transcoding, if you're not using plex yet, you will. Here's a list published by plex where you can see which devices offer hardware transcoding: Plex NAS Compatibility - Google Sheets
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My faithful Drobo 5D is on life support and it looks like Drobo is too. They have announced they are not compatible with the latest MacOS and it doesn't look like they are in a position to provide that upgrade, especially for a 10 year old unit.

I have thought about NAS but my use case is photo archiving and editing. I could go with just a G-Drive pro but I really would prefer the reliability of RAID. I don't have a need for shared storage. I was thinking about Synology but for my use case I really think directly attached Thunderbolt storage is going to be the way to go. I'm leaning toward the Promise32 line of arrays. Apple actually sells them, reviews and performance both seem solid.

Any thoughts from this crowd?

I'm using a drobo 800 that seems to be going strong (knock on simulated wood). I run iscsi though.

The 5D is working OK though every once in a while it goes offline and I have to re-enable stuff to get it to work again. I've replaced 3 drives in 10 years, which I think is pretty good. No data loss or downtime. I've also been through two external power supplies. So it's sort of like the digital version of my grandfather's ax. I would just rather migrate off of it BEFORE it fails. I have both local and cloud backups so restoration would be a pain but certainly not a crisis. My biggest concern is that I will do some MacOS upgrade, the array will go offline, and that will be the end of it.

Yikes it's nearly double that cost in the UK

Wow! This is a really attractive price! Form factor looks pretty compact too. You're saying this is what you run?

Oh! Oops I see that it's just an expansion device

No I run a Drobo 810. Just saying you can get raids pretty cheap

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I guess I could actually get that and attach it to a pi it seems like. Be a nice budget setup

Don't even need that, just get a $20 raid card

Well except for the form factor benefits

Download the Hubitat app