QNAP vs Synology: Things to Consider in Choosing the Best NAS Device

qnap vs synology

Getting started with NAS (an acronym for Network-Attached Storage) is very straightforward, just like realizing why it is important to own one for use in your home or at the office. However, the same assertion cannot be made about choosing the best NAS for personal or business use as the search for a nifty solution can soon get overwhelming and occasionally confusing.

2 options hold sway in the NAS device ecosystem: QNAP vs Synology.

When you surf the internet looking for the most powerful NAS for home use or other purposes, it is almost certain that you will come across at least one device from any of these 2 manufacturers. The reason behind this dominance is due to the fact that product releases by both brands have enhanced user experience, as well as specialized hardware, dedicated to addressing the needs of storage.

In this write-up, we will be comparing the 2 platforms, focusing on a number of factors, including Plex Media support, operating system, compatibility, interface, aspects, and so on.

QNAP vs Synology: Support for Plex Media Player

One of the major reasons that people purchase NAS devices is support for Plex Media Player. And since both solutions are one of the best, the 2 have support for Plex Media Server. But QNAP units transcode Plex Media Server in a more efficient manner compared with its Synology counterpart. This implies that if you are primarily purchasing a Network-Attached Storage device to make use of it with Plex Media Server, your best choice is a QNAP product.

QNAP vs Synology: Interface

As regards interface, DSM, Synology’s OS comes with a beginner-friendly interface. Every one of the technical workings of this device is kept out of immediate contact (read: hidden) and the operating system does a major part of the work in the background for you.

On the other hand, QNAP is ideal for you if you are technical-minded and have a knack for taking control of gadgets in your own hands. Over 50% of the technical info of NAS devices, powered by QTM, can easily be accessed since they’re at the front of your interface. This lets you gain easy access, with just the click of a button, to storage info, file sizes, device temperature, real-time CPU usage, and so on. You can tweak settings, easily, based on your preferences.

QNAP vs Synology: Operating System

While Synology NAS devices are designed with the operating system, Diskstation Manager (DSM), QNAP is based on the QTS OS. DSM OS desktop setting or interface has some common features, relatively, with Apple’s MacOS, whereas QNAP’s QTS operating system is comparable with Android or Windows.

QNAP vs Synology: Mobile Accessibility Comparison

All the recently released units from Synology and QNAP offer access to a range of mobile apps for iOS, for Android, and even for Windows Mobile. If you prefer to access your Network-Attached Storage device from a smartphone, you should be familiar with the specific offerings of each brand.

The important thing to note is that both Synology, as well as QNAP NAS devices, come with suites of apps designed to work online. However, which of the 2 wears the crown?


It offers around 10 first-party apps — DS audio, DS file, DS cam, DS finder, and others — which are all compatible with mobile. They all belong to the Synology suite and are created with a special focus on simplicity. Though some users might like the fact that the interface of all Synology apps isn’t loaded with too much info, technical-minded users might see these as limiting.

You can make use of DS Video for video playback, DS Photo for picture access as well as DS File for general access. Additionally, you are given a separate selection of first-party applications that are designed for easy download, synchronization, in addition to surveillance. Again, accessibility is the priority, so you shouldn’t expect any technical layers to the apps.

Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t have third party support for mobile. It makes up for this downside with an improved degree of stability within every mobile app.


It brings a much larger fleet of first-party apps for mobile phones, which are around 15. However, other than those applications they developed, the platform provides support for several third-party apps, giving you improved functionality from your mobile.

QMusic, QVideo, and QFile are quite self-explanatory mobile apps, but there is also, Notes Station, a collaborative note-taking app, along with QRemote, a Remote control app. This may appear not to be much, and it is not actually if you stop here. But the key power of QNAP apps arises from the ability to couple the applications with other ones, including IFTTT as well as IoT, for creating a personalized mobile experience.

But since QNAP units are created to be compatible with a wide range of apps, both first-party and third-party, a couple of things will unavoidably go wrong. Bearing this point in mind, you should expect to encounter some instability if you try various 3rd-party mobile apps.

QNAP vs Synology: Mobile Apps Suite

While QNAP, arguably, offers the better collection of mobile applications for their NAS devices, you might notice some instability if you try to experiment with the possibility and do some refining for the process as much as feasible.

If you would like to exploit the opportunity to make use of other third-party apps with your NAS device, you shouldn’t look beyond QNAP. But if you want simplicity as well as stability instead of the ability to experiment with various connectivity possibilities, you can go for a Synology unit.

Which Is the Better out of the Two?

Some years back, Synology was quite stronger than QNAP with respect to hardware, features, app support, and so on. Today, QNAP now slugs it out with Synology in a closely fought contest. The 2 of them have support for 3rd-party applications, smartphone connectivity, file storage, cloud synchronization, in addition to other major features that are necessary on a NAS device for managing and configuring installed drives. But a major difference between them is the interface; for this reason, you should choose Synology if you are not tech-inclined or are purchasing a NAS unit for the first time.

But if you’re familiar with the working principle of a NAS device and want to have things done faster and also install unofficial third-party apps freely, you will find the robust hardware of QNAP ideal. (Though as regards the software, Synology and QNAP strike a tie.)

Posted by Deji

Deji is a freelance writer and Physics graduate from the University of Ibadan. Passionate and meticulous, he is a keen follower of developments around the world on a number of issues ranging from science, tech, history, politics, among others. Deji loves playing football and meeting people. Please, follow on Twitter and Facebook

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