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NAS: Single bay vs dual and Synology vs QNAP

Andy T

Senior member
Jul 24, 2008
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1
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I want to get a diskless NAS that will primarily be used for backup purposes. Since I am not contemplating RAID, does it make sense to get a dual bay NAS, even though I will be starting with a single HDD?
I am also researching dual bay and narrowed it to:
Synology DS218j 2-Bay
or
QNAP TS-228A-US
On paper, it seems that QNAP is better because it has more RAM. But in use, is one better than another? QNAP also offers dual or quad CPU option. Would I see much benefit from quad if it's mostly for archiving (streaming videos is a possibility).
Anything else I overlooked?

Thanks!
 

BogdanH

Member
Feb 20, 2011
33
2
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I'll try to keep it short...
If NAS is supposed to be your only backup storage, then having (at least) two bay NAS is a must -both slots populated, of course. Per default, most NAS are set to RAID 1 (mirroring) which means, if one (of two) disk dies, you just replace faulty disk with new one, and that's it: no data loss. Chances that both disk die at the same time are very small, I think.
QNAP or Synology is your personal decission. I decided for Synology DS216j over a year ago (reason being price & local availability). About CPU power and RAM amount.. my personal opinion: for home use, you won't notice the difference -even if whole family would access NAS at the same time. To answer the question: more powerfull CPU and a bit more RAM is preffered in case you plan to stream hi-res videos from NAS to more than one client at the same time.
About videos...keep in mind, there's difference between streaming videos and accessing video files for watching. For private (family) use, you will probably just access files (on TV or some mediaplayer or on another PC's) and playback them as they are. In such case, only transfer speed matters, which is limited by your (W)LAN system. Streaming videos is different.. to simplify: you define (by NAS video app setting) what kind of video you wish to deliver to clients. I.e. to save bandwith, you would stream videos in lower resolution than they're saved on NAS. With streaming, video is resampled "on the fly" and that's why more CPU power is needed.
Final words.. If I would need to buy new NAS now, I would probably get DS418j. Not that I have that much data to save, but one feels better by knowing, if space gets tight I could just add another drive.
Hope my writting was of some help.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
57,174
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www.uovalor.com
A single bay NAS is not a NAS, it's a portable hard drive enclosure. :p

There's little to no point to have a NAS without raid or room for expandability. I would buy 4 bay minimum and do raid 1 with 2 drives. Later on add 2 more drives and do raid 5. Though I'm not sure if you can easily convert from raid 1 to raid 5 with most consumer NAS boxes, so it's something to take into account.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PliotronX
Feb 25, 2011
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Just for files and backups? Any CPU and any ram is fine. The additional grunt is for advanced features.

Number of drives? Meh. A single drive is fine. The caveat being that it's no Les likely to fail than the drive in your computer. So if it fails, you terun the backup from your computer and you're good. But if you're like some people who "back up" by copying files to the NAS and then deleting them, that's not a backup, because only one copy of the data still exists.

So as long as you have all your data stored on at least two different devices, you're good.
 

PliotronX

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
8,886
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In the low end I feel you get more bang for your buck in the Qnap models. I prefer the QTS OS and I was able to get DNS forwarding going via SSH and dnsmasq but if Synology just has a forwarding app I would go with that if you need the function. Its difficult to say without having them to form your own preference but I don't think you can go wrong with either.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
30,469
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A single bay NAS is not a NAS, it's a portable hard drive enclosure. :p

There's little to no point to have a NAS without raid or room for expandability. I would buy 4 bay minimum and do raid 1 with 2 drives. Later on add 2 more drives and do raid 5. Though I'm not sure if you can easily convert from raid 1 to raid 5 with most consumer NAS boxes, so it's something to take into account.
Note: plan on blowing away the array when going from 1 to 5.

NAS = online storage with RAID protection, back it up to offline storage, cloud, both, etc....
 

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