Best Synology NAS Devices

  • Post author:WunderTech
  • Post last modified:February 25, 2024
  • Post category:Synology
  • Reading time:18 mins read

This article will look at the best Synology NAS devices to buy! Synology offers consumers various devices that you can purchase, but picking between them is often an incredibly difficult task.

The goal of this article is to give you a baseline that will help determine which NAS device is best for you. We will be focusing on the best Synology NAS consumer-grade devices in this article. Synology offers small to medium-sized businesses plenty of rack-mounted options, but that won’t be our focus today. Keep in mind that, unlike a NAS OS like TrueNAS, you must purchase a Synology NAS to use the DSM operating system.

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Best Synology NAS Devices: Our Favorite Picks in 2024

There are various Synology Diskstation devices that you can purchase, and most of them are very similar. We’ll highlight the overall best Synology NAS options in various categories and highlight the key differences based on our extensive testing and validation.

Synology DS923+: Best Overall Synology NAS

Best Synology NAS Devices

The Synology DS923+ is a four-bay NAS with a super fast AMD Ryzen processor and 4GB of DDR4 ECC memory. Simply put, it’s the best Synology NAS for almost everyone. What I like the most about this NAS is it’s upgradeable. Everything from the memory to the networking (10Gbe), as well as NVMe drives which can be used for SSD caching or volumes.

Click here to purchase the Synology DS923+ on Amazon

  • Pros
    • Four drive-bays will be more than enough for most users.
    • Upgradable RAM, networking, NVMe
    • Ability to use BTRFS
  • Cons
    • Cannot use hardware transcoding for media servers.
    • Must purchase the Synology 10GbE network adapter.

If your budget allows, the Synology DS923+ is the NAS you should purchase and the best Synology NAS for most home and small business users. Here are a few important additional points when considering the DS923+:

  • If you want a four-bay NAS but want to save money or you are looking for hardware transcoding, the Synology DS423+ is a great option as well, though it isn’t upgradeable and is an overall inferior device.
  • The Synology DS1522+ is the exact same thing as the DS923+ but has an additional drive bay, so if you want more storage options, go with that.
Synology DS1522+
  • You can expand the Synology DS923+ or DS1522+ to nine total drives (eight for the DS923+) if you add a DX517 expansion unit.
  • If you’re interested in increasing the network performance to 10GbE, you’ll have to purchase an E10G22-T1-Mini (which is used for the Synology DS923+ and DS1522+).
  • Purchase 4GB D4ES02-4G if you’d like to upgrade the memory in the DS923+ or DS1522+.
  • If you’d like to use M.2 NVMe cache or volumes, purchase the SNV3400-400G.

Synology DS223j: Best Budget Option

Synology DS223j

I never recommended J-series Synology devices as they didn’t support BTRFS, though the Synology DS223j is an exception. The DS223j now supports BTRFS and is an overall great option for users looking to break into owning a Synology NAS and learning about Synology DSM.

Click here to purchase the Synology DS223j on Amazon

  • Pros
    • Incredible price for a 2-bay NAS device.
    • Ability to use BTRFS.
  • Cons
    • Underpowered CPU, and only 1GB of non-upgradeable memory.
    • 1 RJ-45 network port (as opposed to the two that normally come standard)
    • Overall, underpowered device and should really only be used as a budget NAS.

Ultimately, purchase this device if you want the get a Synology NAS and use it for limited file storage purposes while keeping budget in mind. If you want a two-bay NAS that’s a little more powerful, I’d recommend looking at the DS224+ below.

Synology DS224+: Best for Beginners & Home Users

Synology DS224+ - best synology nas devices.

The Synology DS224+ is the best Synology NAS for beginners and home users. For the most part, you’ll be able to do everything you need with this device, assuming that two bays are enough. It comes with an Intel-based processor which can be used for hardware transcoding, making this a great option for Plex, and boosts good overall performance.

Click here to purchase the Synology DS224+ on Amazon

  • Pros
    • Intel J4125 Processor can be used for hardware transcoding.
    • Ability to use BTRFS
    • Upgradeable memory, but only a maximum of 6GB of RAM.
  • Cons
    • Non-upgradable networking, NVMe
    • Limited to two drive bays (no expansion options)

This is going to be a great device for beginners as you can learn all about the Synology DSM operating system, but if you’re looking for expansion options or upgradability, this device isn’t going to be a good fit. Here are a few additional notes about the DS224+:

  • If you truly think that you won’t need more than two bays, the DS224+ is a great option, but look at the Synology DS723+ if you want expandability and the ability to upgrade to 32GB of RAM.
Best Synology NAS Devices
  • For redundancy, you’re stuck with RAID 1. If you’re purchasing the DS723+, you can buy an expansion unit (though it costs enough to warrant buying a NAS with more drive bays up-front).

Synology DS1621+: Best for Power Users

which synology nas buy - Synology DS1621+

The Ryzen processor in the Synology DS1621+ boosts better performance across the board than the processor in the DS923+ or DS1522+. Not only that, you can upgrade the memory to 32GB if you’d like.

The power supply is also contained inside the device (which is generally of higher quality) and is the lowest model that has this (all other devices with smaller drive bay totals have an external PSU).

Click here to purchase DS1621+ on Amazon

  • Pros
    • Six drive-bays are going to be enough for almost everyone.
    • Upgradable RAM, networking, NVMe
    • Ability to use BTRFS
  • Cons
    • Cannot use hardware transcoding for media servers.
    • Must purchase the Synology 10GbE network adapter.
    • Overkill for most users.

From an expansion perspective, you can add 10GbE to this device through the PCIe expansion bay using the E10G18-T1, which isn’t possible with the other smaller bay units (you must use the proprietary Synology 10GbE NIC for the DS923+ or DS1522+).

E10G18-T1

If you’re talking purely hardware, the Synology DS1621+ is the most premium NAS you can get, though it’s going to be overkill for most home users. Here are a few additional important points:

  • If you’re looking for more drive bays, the Synology DS1821+ is the exact same thing as the DS1621+ (same processor, memory, etc), but it has two additional drive bays.
which synology nas buy - Synology DS1821+
  • If you want to upgrade the memory, purchase 8GB D4ES01-8G.
  • If you’d like to use NVMe cache or volumes, purchase the SNV3400-400G.

Synology DS1621xs+: Most Powerful Device

I left this for last since it’s overkill for 99.9% of people who are looking to purchase a consumer NAS. Plus, this falls more into the “prosumer/enthusiast” category, but if you check out any of the tutorials on this site, you might have bigger plans for your NAS so a more powerful device might be desirable.

which synology nas buy - Synology DS1621xs+

Click here to purchase the Synology DS1621xs+ on Amazon

This is the most “powerful” consumer/prosumer NAS you can purchase in desktop form. The biggest draw is 10GbE support out of the box, but this can be added to either the DS1621+ or DS1821+ models for a reasonable price.

Overall, it’s hard for me to recommend this model to anyone, but if you “need to have the best” and don’t want to go with a rack-mounted model, this is the one.

Selecting Hard Drives for your New Synology NAS

If you’ve taken the time to compare the best Synology NAS devices, it’s very important to purchase the correct hard drives. Since NAS devices run 24/7, and the hard drives are directly next to each other, the increased vibration and heat must be taken into consideration.

Simply using desktop hard drives is not sufficient and you need to protect your investment and data by selecting the correct type of hard drive. We have a dedicated article that you can check on the best NAS hard drives to pair with your new Synology NAS.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

I am hoping that this article helped clarify the best Synology NAS devices that you can buy for home use. These network-attached storage devices aren’t the only ones that you can purchase, but for most people, they’re the best options and I’d generally classify them as the most popular options in various price ranges.

There are other models as well (like a twelve-bay DS2422+ or a DS1823xs+ that is overkill for most and generally won’t fall into the category of “best Synology NAS devices”). We aren’t going to go over these since there are very few individuals who will need that type of storage capability.

When you get your NAS, please check out our Synology NAS Setup & Configuration Guide! There are also tons of different tutorials on this site that will help you set up and configure your new NAS!

One thing that’s important to remember is that you’re generally buying Synology devices for the software (DSM operating system). If you compare these devices head-to-head to other NAS manufacturers, they might seem underwhelming. However, those other devices will be underwhelming (most likely) from a software perspective, and that’s why Synology is still king in this space.

Thanks for checking out the article on the best Synology NAS devices! If you have any questions or want to help clarify what the best Synology NAS device for you specifically is, please leave a comment!

WunderTech

Frank is an IT professional with 13+ years experience and the creator of WunderTech. He focuses on sharing his experience with others on computer hardware, servers, software, networking, and self-hosted apps. He has a BS in Computer Information Systems and an MBA. Learn more about Frank in his bio.