NAS devices facilitate easy data storage and access over an IT network in any business or organization. Here’s a comparative guide on the top three NAS devices: Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster.
What Is a NAS Device?
A NAS device or Network Attached Storage device is a centralized file server that can be accessed through a shared network for secure and fast data storage and retrieval by authorized employees.
One of the top advantages of using a NAS device is that it increases your organization’s storage capacity without requiring heavy investment. Also, you can set up a NAS device in several ways based on your requirements.
Setting Up Via a Network: Small and medium businesses commonly use this method to set up NAS devices. It helps users connect over a network to easily store and retrieve data from a shared database without compromising speed, cost, and security.
Setting Up Directly to Your Computer: You can also attach a NAS device directly to your computer. This is suitable if you want to increase your computer storage at home or even for your small business.Â
While hard drives or SSDs (Solid State Drives) are more commonly used, Thunderbolt cables and ports are common for Mac users. DAS (Direct Attached Storage) has also become a common way to set up a NAS device on your computer at home or in the workplace.
Setting Up With Cloud Storage: Cloud storage is rapidly gaining adoption worldwide due to its advantages, such as robust and secure data backup, easy file sharing, secure storage, improved file encryption, and simple remote syncing, to name a few.Â
Network-attached storage devices based on iCloud, Azure, Amazon Web Services, and others are being deployed rapidly to cater to the requirements of diverse SMBs and large businesses.
Synology DiskStationOpens a new window is a popular NAS device used to run the Synology DSM (DiskStation Manager) OS. DSM OS is a web-based operating system dedicated to a Synology network attached storage device, crucial to organizing, storing, and securing your business’s data.Â
The DiskStation is a tower that features up to 12 bays, each for a specific purpose. Whether organizing and centralizing your business’s diverse multimedia data, syncing, managing, and sharing various files, or simplifying system management and administration, Synology DiskStation offers a compact solution for all.Â
Synology DiskStation ensures simple data storage and access and helps enhance your business’s productivity by improving collaboration among various teams. Furthermore, it helps improve multiple other areas for SMBs through its user management, surveillance, virtualization, and other solutions.Â
QNAPOpens a new window is a widely used NAS device that streamlines and improves file storage, retrieval, management, and sharing. One of the key USPs of QNAP is its dedicated data backup solution that guarantees secure data storage and adds an additional layer of security while offering a complete guideline on this and setting up and upgrading the NAS.Â
One of the exclusive perks of using QNAP for your business is it offers a complete QNE network solution that includes QNE, QuCPE, and AMIZ Cloud to build an advanced virtualized IT room with minimized TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). It is equipped with a QTS operating system that is suitable for entry and mid-level QNAP NAS. Be it Linux or ext4, the QTS operating system ensures secure and reliable storage for various apps with different features while simplifying access to the cloud.Â
TerraMasterOpens a new window is another famous NAS device that is highly sought-after by SMBs. It offers a range of competitive and high-performance data storage solutions, including RAID, NAS, and DAS storage, to name a few.Â
Focused on offering high-speed transmission and virtualizing diverse applications, TerraMaster can accommodate your business’s file storage, access, and management requirements and also comes with an exclusive set of compensation promises to cover product failures or system issues.Â
TerraMaster offers a range of NAS devices with different versions â€“ TOS 1.0, TOS 2.0, TOS 3.0, TOS 4.0, and TOS 5.0 for its range of NAS devices, including Tower NAS, Rackmount NAS, and Thunderbolt3 Storage, to name a few. One of the prime benefits of using TerraMaster is it offers a wide range of dedicated network attached storage solutions for SMBs, personal/home cloud storage, enterprise network storage server, SOHO RAID storage, and Thunderbolt3 storage, to name a few.
Comparative Overview of Features Offered by Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster
|1.4 GHz Quad-Core
|1.7 GHz Quad-Core
|1.4 GHz Quad-Core
|512 MB DDR4
|1 GB DDR3
|Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-214
|Compatible Drive Interface
|SATA (Unspecified Version)
|2 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s))
1 x RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
|2 x RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
3 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s))
|1 x RJ45 (Gigabit Ethernet)
2 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gb/s))
|RAID 0, 1, JBOD, Synology Hybrid
|RAID 0, 1, JBOD, Single
|RAID 0, 1, JBOD, Single
|Installed Operating System
|DSM (Linux Based Operating System)
|QTS Linux Kernel 4.4.2
|Max Concurrent Connections
|Windows 7 or Later
macOS 10.11 or Later
|macOS 10.10 or Later
Windows 7 or Later
Windows Server 2008 or Later
Android 5.0 or Later
|Supported File Systems
External: EXT3, EXT4, FAT, HFS+, NTFS, exFAT
External: EXT3, EXT4, exFAT, FAT32, HFS+, NTFS
|Internal: BTRFS, EXT4
External: EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
Features Review of Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster
Synology DiskStation, QNA, and TerraMaster give each other tough competition regarding their features, functionalities, and performance. Here’s the features review of Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster.
Protocols for file services
Synology DiskStation comes with a DSM (DiskStation Manager), a Linux-based operating system used on the Synology network attached system. It offers an extensive range of file services that are focused on providing compact support for various networking protocols, including the prime ones such as â€“
- FTP â€“ File Transfer Protocol for transferring computer files over TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) / IP (Internet Protocol).
- rsync â€“ Remote data/file synchronization protocol that helps synchronize a local computer file with a remote one.
- SMB â€“ Server Message Block protocol that is used to let a computer application read/write files or request services from a server program.
- AFP â€“ AppleTalk Filing Protocol to let Mac users access outside system files.
- NFS â€“ Network File System protocol links a server with multiple clients through a â€˜mount’ comment.
- WebDAV â€“ Web-Based Distributed Authoring and Versioning protocol allows users to manage and modify files on remote web servers in a collaborative way.
QNAP also offers an extensive range of file services focused on popular file transfer protocols such as â€“
- Telnet â€“ A protocol that lets you access remote computers over TCP/IP network.
- OpenVPN â€“ A tunneling protocol to ensure data security through AES-256 encryption during its transmission over the internet.
- PPTP â€“ Point-to-Point tunneling protocol to secure data by encapsulating data packets.
- SSH â€“ Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell protocol facilitates secure data exchange between two computers over an unknown/ untrusted network.
- CIFS â€“ Common Internet File System Protocol that utilizes the client-server model to share files among distinct network systems.
TerraMaster offers a broad range of file services for various file transfer protocols like â€“
- DLNA â€“ Digital Living Network Alliance protocol is used to share files over a wi-fi network.
- SAMBA â€“ A software package that includes a range of applications that work on Server Message Block Protocol.
- LDAP â€“ Lightweight Directory Access Protocol that is used to authenticate users by using the information from directories.
- SNMP â€“ Simple Network Management Protocol used to monitor and manage devices over a WAN (Wide Area Network) and LAN (Local Area Network).
Besides the above protocols, Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster also work on many common file transfer protocols, including HTTP, HTTPS, NFS, FTP, AFP, and many more.
Verdict: As discussed above, Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster all offer competitive services for various file protocols.
Synology DiskStation is equipped with the Linux-based operating system DSM. This web-based operating system offers a complete solution for not only file access, storage and security but also lets you easily manage the digital assets of various formats for your business.
QNAP, on the other hand, is equipped with the QTS Linux Kernel operating system that offers a stable and simple solution for file storage and retrieval on a shared database system by using a shared network. As the latest version of this operating system optimizes the best of the platform’s features, it offers a more advanced solution for your file transfers, management, and security.
TerraMaster’s TOS 4.1 operating system is equipped with both the functionalities of USB UPS and Network UPS. It improves the process and speed of file storage, access, and transfer and caters to the dynamic business requirements that involve a lot of users with multiple NAS devices.
Verdict: Though Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster are equipped with advanced OS, QNAP and TerraMaster are both the winners here.
Synology Diskstation has a great compatibility factor for its range of 1-bay to 24-bay Synology products such as DS120j, DS115j, RS217, RS214, RS1619xs+, RS818RP+, and others. Also, it comes with excellent in-built compatibility for its diverse ExpansionUnit, EmbeddedDataStation, Accessories, Rail Kit, and others. Whether it’s from HDD/SSD, UPS, DLNA device, or any other category, Synology DiskStation NAS are highly compatible, and you can choose as per your storage and business requirements.
QNAP is also quite reliable in terms of compatibility no matter what type of product, model and category you opt for. They offer well-defined compatibility lists for NAS with differential bays (1 to 30) and models (TS-332X, TS-328, TS-531P, TS-563, and others) and perform regulatory tests to ensure compatibility.Â
The compatibility score for TerraMaster‘s NAS is also quite high. Based on the series like A-SRAMD3-2G, A-SRAMD4-4G, TDDR-2G, and others, capacity, model number (ST20000NE000, ST14000VN0008, ST10000VN0004 etc.), one can easily find out the compatible models from their chart.Â
Verdict: QNAP is the winner in terms of compatibility, while other NAS devices are also quite competitive in terms of this feature.
The cost of Synology DiskStation depends on the model, the number of bays, your storage requirements, and other factors. On average, the price can range from $500 to $4000.
QNAP NAS prices can range from $400 to $1000 or even more, based on your requirements.Â
TerraMaster NAS devices come with a range of differential prices from $150 to $1400 on average.
Verdict: In terms of cost, QNAP and TerraMaster both are winners as they are quite affordable based on their feature-sets.
Which NAS Device to Choose
To opt for the right NAS device for your business, you need to define your key requirements and their respective offerings for each of them. Synology DiskStation NAS is suitable for â€“
- Advanced File Management
- System Administration
- Business Productivity
- Dealing with Ransomware
- Storage for Content Creators
- User Management
- Data Backup
- Media Organization
- Cross-Site Synchronization
- Edge Computing & Storage
QNAP NAS devices, on the other hand, can be suitable for the following use cases-
- Secure Business BackupÂ
- Versioning and Snapshots
- FC-SAN Solution
- Cold Data Storage
- RAID Protection
- All-Flash Storage
- High Availability Storage
- Smart Video Surveillance
- S3 Compatible Object StorageÂ
Some of the key use cases of TerraMaster NAS are as listed below â€“
- Enterprise Files Back UpÂ
- Files managementÂ
- Centralized Files Storage, Access, and Management
- Data Backup
- Files Security Management
NAS devices are no more optional but a necessity, especially in this era of growing digitization and remote work culture. The above comparative discussion will give you a clear idea about these popular NAS devices and help you make the right decision.Â
Synology DiskStation, QNAP, and TerraMaster, all have their own strengths and USPs, and as per your prime requirements you should choose the best one.
Disclaimer: Unless stated otherwise, any information provided in this review does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement for the products listed in the article. All information in this article is provided in good faith; however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of products that are reviewed. The viewpoints expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not reflect the views of Spiceworks Ziff Davis or its affiliates.Â
Edited by Jayant Chakravarti
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