Synology Photos vs Google Photos: Which is Best?

  • Post author:WunderTech
  • Post published:May 24, 2024
  • Post last modified:May 24, 2024
  • Post category:Synology
  • Reading time:5 mins read

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One of the most common use cases for Synology NAS devices is managing photo collections. Whether you’re a photographer or a home user that just wants a location to store your photos, storing them on a Synology NAS is a great, private option. The downside is that from a functionality perspective, it’s limiting compared to a tool like Google Photos. However, let’s break down some of the key differences between Synology Photos vs Google Photos to determine which option is best for you.

Synology Photos vs Google Photos

Synology Photos is designed for both home and business users who value privacy and have large photo and video collections. The storage is limited to the total storage on the NAS, meaning that you can have tens of terabytes of photos and videos if you’d like. Storing the same amount on Google Photos may be impossible, but we’ll get to that when comparing the cost.

synology photos overview - personal space

Privacy and Data Ownership

  • Synology Photos: With Synology, you retain 100% data ownership, and Synology does not have access to your data. Overall, it’s a completely private experience.
  • Google Photos: Google Photos operates on cloud servers, which means the idea of privacy is suggested, but you generally have no idea where the data will end up, unlike with a Synology device that can be completely disconnected from the internet if desired.


  • Synology Photos: Uploading performance is technically limited to the NAS, meaning that if you’re using 10GbE networking, your theoretical limit is 1250 MB/s. For most people though, you’ll be limited to around 125 MB/s with a default Synology NAS (1GbE).
  • Google Photos: The upload/download performance of Google Photos depends on your internet speed. Even with a 1Gbps network connection, you’ll be limited to download/upload speeds of around ~125 MB/s. Synology Photos will be better from a pure download/upload performance perspective.


  • Synology Photos: Pay for the NAS and hard drives. The cost is extremely different based on the Synology NAS you purchase. No additional fees after this outside of hardware failures.
  • Google Photos: You’re limited to 15GB free, and will have to purchase one of the storage plans to upload more.

People & Subject Recognition

Google Photos and Synology Photos both offer people and subject recognition, but the truth is that in my practical usage, Google Photos is far better. It’s not to say that Synology Photos is bad, but it’s just not good in comparison. Google Photos is probably the best overall option in this area, however, so it’s not surprising.

albums in synology photos

Why Choose Synology Photos over Google Photos?

If your goal is to store photos and videos in a private environment, you can’t go wrong with Synology Photos. However, from a pure functionality perspective in terms of usage, it’s just not there when comparing it to Google Photos. I’d use Google Photos if you want an easy-to-use platform, you’re willing to pay for storage, and don’t care about privacy. However, if privacy is a concern in the slightest, Synology Photos is the way to go.