Best Synology NAS for Plex

When you start looking at Synology NAS devices, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for. First, you need to consider storage space, meaning how much total volume you’ll need. To determine this, you’ll have to get an understanding of how much you’d like to store on your Synology NAS and the hard drive size you’d like to use. Plex will run on any Synology, so having the total storage space that you need is incredibly important.

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How Much Storage Space Do I Need? – What is the Best Synology NAS for Plex

The first thing you should do is use Synology’s RAID calculator to get an idea of how much storage space you’ll have after accounting for RAID. Plug the numbers into the RAID calculator and try and determine how many bays you’ll need in your Synology NAS, then proceed.

Do I Want to Use Hardware Acceleration?

First off, Hardware acceleration is NOT required for most people. However, you should understand if you’d actually like to use as it as the Synology NAS device you select must be compatible with Hardware Acceleration. It’s difficult to explain if Hardware Acceleration is necessary for each individual circumstance, but you should read and understand exactly what it does to confirm if you do or do not need it. Then, look for the Hardware Acceleration Compatible info below to ensure you get a device compatible with Hardware Acceleration.

what is the best synology nas for plex

Best Synology Devices for Plex

The devices below are the best Synology NAS devices you can purchase for Plex.

After you’ve selected your NAS, make sure you buy the best Hard Drive you can!

Two-Bay – Best Synology NAS for Plex

best synology nas for plex

If you’re going to go with a two-bay NAS, get the DS720+. This will allow you to eventually expand, if necessary, by purchasing an expansion unit as media files tend to grow in size as resolution grows. The DS220+ is a great option as well, but you will not have the option to expand if necessary.

Hardware Acceleration Compatible

Link to purchase a DS720+ on Amazon


Four-Bay – Best Synology NAS for Plex

ds920

The DS920+ has the same processor as the DS720+, but two additional bays. If you think that you’ll need to expand a DS720+ at some point in the future, going with the DS920+ is a better idea. Many people consider this the best Synology NAS you can buy for Plex, due to the combination of storage space and the processor.

Hardware Acceleration Compatible

Link to purchase DS920+ on Amazon


Five-Bay – Best Synology NAS for Plex

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The DS1520+ has the same processer as the DS720+ and DS920+, but five bays rather than four. This is the biggest device that you can go with that supports Hardware Acceleration!

Hardware Acceleration Compatible

Link to purchase DS1520+ on Amazon


Six-Bay – Best Synology NAS for Plex

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The DS1621+ has a different, AMD Ryzen Processor than the DS720+/920+/1520+. For NAS purposes, this is a great unit as you can add a 10Gbe expansion card and it comes standard with ECC memory, but this is NOT compatible with Hardware Acceleration. This will run Plex great, but if you want/need Hardware Acceleration, go with the DS1520+.

Hardware Acceleration NOT Compatible

Link to purchase DS1621+ on Amazon


Eight-Bay – Best Synology NAS for Plex

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Similar to the DS1621+, this unit does not work with Hardware Acceleration. However, it’s a great device to run Plex on if that’s not a requirement. This is a superior unit in terms of actual NAS performance, but possibly not with Plex depending on your goals.

Hardware Acceleration NOT Compatible

Link to purchase DS1821+ on Amazon


Synology NAS Plex Setup Instructions

There are three ways that you can set up Plex on a Synology NAS. The first is by using the Plex Package, the second is by using Plex and Docker, and the third is by using Plex, Docker, and Hardware Acceleration. Once you get your Synology Plex device, follow the tutorials below to learn how to set up Plex properly!

How to Set Up Plex using the Plex Package

How to Set Up Plex using Docker

How to Set Up Plex using Docker and Hardware Acceleration

Conclusion

When looking at the best Synology NAS for Plex, you really only have three options if you’re interested in using Hardware Acceleration. The DS720+, DS920+, or DS1520+ are the only Synology NAS devices that will work with Plex Hardware Acceleration. However, not everyone needs Hardware Acceleration, so going with the DS1621+ or DS1821+ is a great option.