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NAS devices are some of the most popular devices for home servers. They have a wide range of capabilities; people use them as storage devices, video surveillance servers, and media centers. People often use NAS devices for Plex, and Synology devices are perfect for that.
Whether you’re looking for a server to store your media files or one that can stream your movies and TV shows to multiple devices in your home, there’s a Synology NAS device that will suit your needs. With a wide range of options with varying performance, storage, and price, we’ll help you find the best Synology NAS for Plex.
This article will discuss some of the best Synology NAS devices for home use and those perfect for a Plex server.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Synology NAS
If you want to choose the perfect Synology NAS device for your needs, there are several factors to consider. Of course, the price might be essential since no home user wants to splurge on unnecessary features they’ll never use. However, there are other factors to consider, such as the following.
- Hardware Acceleration
Most Synology devices come with hardware acceleration. It’s a crucial detail that can determine whether your Synology NAS will allow for smooth playback of higher-resolution videos, such as your favorite movies and TV shows in 4K. Therefore, you should consider buying NAS devices with hardware acceleration or a dedicated GPU to deal with high-resolution files and power-hungry video codecs.
- Amount of Storage Space
Another important factor when choosing the best Synology NAS for home use is its storage space. Depending on what you’re using a Synology NAS for, the amount of storage space can be the most crucial factor when choosing which NAS device to buy. Of course, when it comes to Plex servers, it will depend on the quality of videos you want, and that will determine the amount of storage space you should need.
- CPU Power
Finally, the last factor to consider is CPU power. There are many different NAS devices, each carrying a different or similar central processing unit (CPU). People use NAS devices for various uses, so a NAS with a CPU as a storage server might need to be more capable to use as a Plex server, a media-streaming server, or a video surveillance server. Choose a NAS with a CPU that’s powerful enough to handle your Plex streaming needs.
Why Is Synology NAS the Best Option for Plex and Home?
There are many reasons people choose Synology NAS devices for a Plex server. Some of these reasons might be important to you, and others, not so much. However, it’s a fact that Synology NAS devices offer an excellent combination of reliability, performance, and ease of use, and that’s precisely what makes them perfect for a Plex or any other home media server. Other reasons include the following.
Synology NAS devices offer a competitive price and a wide range of features you can use. You can get a powerful NAS with many features and use it to serve multiple purposes, such as storing files, sharing them, as a backup server, and, most importantly, a perfect media server for Plex. That’s what makes Synology NAS devices very cost-effective.
- Flexible Storage
These NAS devices come with many drive bays; adding hard disks or solid-state drives to them is a piece of cake. They allow easy access to drive bays, making upgrading your storage space straightforward and effortless. It means you can quickly and easily upgrade your storage space as your media library grows without needing to upgrade the whole NAS device.
- Backing Up Various Devices
Synology is a well-established company that makes hardware devices such as NAS units and incredible software for them. That’s why you can back up data from any device you need with the help of their Data Replicator app, Time Machine, and Synology Hyper Backup. It includes desktops, laptops, phones, and other home devices you might find worth backing up.
Further reading: How to backup files to NAS
- Easy Sharing and Access
Besides its backup applications, Synology has a very easy-to-use operating system called the DSM. The user interface is quite friendly, and there are straightforward ways to share your files and folders with other users on the network. Your media library will be available from anywhere, allowing easy access to you and your family.
- Robust Security Features
One of the features that Synology NAS devices have and that many other NAS devices simply don’t is robust security. Synology’s NAS devices have firewall protection, two-factor authentication, and encrypted data transmission capabilities. It makes keeping your files safe and secure incredibly easy.
In case you accidentally deleted or lost some valuable Plex movies stored on your Synology NAS, there are several methods available to recover deleted files from Synology NAS.
- Fully Optimized for Plex
Because Synology NAS devices include an array of features that make them excellent as home media servers, using them for a Plex server is incredibly easy. They allow for a smooth experience when playing or streaming videos. Moreover, Synology’s operating system, DSM, comes with a package center where you can find Plex, which makes it easy to install, set up, and use.
Best Buy Synology NAS Options for Implementing Plex at Home
As previously mentioned, Synology NAS devices are fully optimized for Plex, meaning you can choose many different devices. However, some Synology NAS devices are better for Plex servers. It’s what makes any NAS device from the list below the best-buy Synology NAS and the best Synology for a Plex server.
Synology DS220+ is a compact NAS for data streamlining and multimedia management. The DS220+ allows for smooth data sharing, video streaming, photo indexing, and data protection. It’s perfect for home use and smaller offices, making Synology DS220+ an excellent option for users with simple needs.
The powerful dual-core CPU allows for faster response times and higher efficiency. You can manage files and folders across computers and mobile phones, categorize your photo collection, and use web applications.
- Support for 32 TB of space
- 2x RJ45 1GbE LAN ports
- Compact and easy to use
- Complete Plex optimization
The DS220+ comes with a 64-bit Intel Celeron J4025 dual-core CPU running at 2.0 GHz and bursting up to 2.9 GHz. There’s a single memory slot allowing you to add four more GB of RAM and upgrade to 6 GB of RAM, but the NAS comes with 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC memory as standard. It features two drive bays.
The base price for the Synology DS220+ is around $350 without any disks or about $500 for a version with two 4 TB hard drives included. However, you can find it for $300 on certain websites when on sale.
Containing four drive bays, Synology DS420+ is a perfect NAS device with SSD cache acceleration capabilities. Both home users and IT enthusiasts enjoy using the DS420+. It has a dual-core CPU and two built-in M.2 NVMe SSDs that you can use for cache acceleration. DS420+ is ideal for data sharing, video streaming, and categorizing photo albums.
Home users and small and medium-sized businesses use DS420+ NAS devices. It’s a versatile NAS perfect for storing, sharing, and backing up data. The DS420+ is also an ideal Plex media server.
- Two built-in M.2 SSDs for cache acceleration
- Four drive bays for 64 TB of storage
- Two RJ-45 1GbE LAN ports
- Dual-core CPU
The DS420+ features the same Intel CPU that’s also in the DS220+. It’s a 64-bit dual-core CPU that’s quite capable. There’s 2 GB of DDR4 non-ECC system memory and one free slot to upgrade the RAM. It has four drive bays and two M.2 drive slots. Moreover, it has two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and two RJ-45 LAN ports.
The DS420+ starts at $500, while a version with four 8 TB hard drives is about $900.
Synology DS720+ is a two-bay NAS device for home users and small-to-medium-sized businesses. It has many features, such as storing, sharing, and backing up data. Still, it is also an excellent Plex media server, as you can efficiently expand storage and grow your media library without buying a new NAS.
The DS720+ comes with Synology Collaboration Suite. It includes Synology Drive, Synology Office, Synology MailPlus, and Synology Chat, which increase the productivity and file-sharing capabilities of the NAS. They’re perfect for team collaboration, making the DS720+ ideal for businesses.
- Supports up to 32 TB of storage
- Two built-in M.2 SSDs for cache acceleration
- Quad-core CPU
- eSATA port
The DS720+ comes with a quad-core CPU running at 2.0 GHz and bursting up to 2.7 GHz. It features two built-in M.2 SSD you can use for cache acceleration and two drive bays for up to 32 TB of storage. DS720+ comes standard with 2 GB of RAM, but you can upgrade to 6 GB as there’s a free RAM slot.
Synology DS720+ starts at $500 for a version without any drives, but you can get a version with two 10 TB drives for about $800.
Like its smaller cousin, the DS720+, the DS920+ features the same quad-core CPU. The CPU in question is an Intel Celeron J4125, which runs at 2.0 GHz and has a burst frequency of 2.7 GHz. However, unlike its cousin, the DS920+ comes with 4 GB of RAM and four drive bays.
The DS920+ is quite a powerful NAS for home use or medium-sized businesses. Because it has four drive bays, you can effortlessly scale up your media server and grow it as you grow your media library, making it ideal for a Plex media server.
- 4 GB of DDR4 RAM
- 4 MB of cache on the CPU
- 64 TB max storage
- Two M.2 SSD slots for caching
The DS920+ has an Intel Celeron J4125 inside, a CPU with 4 MB of cache, and a TDP of 10 W, making it incredibly efficient. There are two M.2 NVMe slots for SSD which you can use for caching. The NAS comes with 4 GB of RAM standard, but you can expand it up to 8 GB. Moreover, there’s an eSATA port, meaning you can add additional HDD storage to the NAS.
Synology NAS DS920+ starts at around $750 for a version without hard drives, but a version with four 10 TB hard drives exists, costing $1,250.
Another Synology NAS device from the same lineup and with the same Intel Celeron J4125 chip inside is the DS1520+. However, unlike the smaller DS720+ and DS920+, the DS1520+ comes with 8 GB of non-ECC DDR4 RAM as standard, five drive bays, and offers dual cache slots for two M.2 NVMe SSDs.
Small office users and IT enthusiasts love this best-buy Synology NAS DS1520+. It’s perfect for Plex or any other media server and medium-sized businesses, as you can easily upgrade it to 80 TB of storage. Moreover, you can expand the storage by adding a Synology DX517 unit.
- Two built-in M.2 SSD slots with Synology SSD Cache technology
- Five drive bays for up to 80 TB of storage
- Quad-core CPU with 4 MB of cache
- Two eSATA ports for two additional DX517 units
Synology DS1520+ has a quad-core CPU with a 10 W max TDP, making it efficient. It has 8 GB of RAM out of the box, of which 4 GB are onboard and another 4 GB on an added SO-DIMM. There are two eSATA expansion ports and five drive bays.
The price of the DS1520+ is around $750 without any hard drives or around $1,450 for a version with five 10 TB HDDs.
Unlike the DS220+ above, the DS220j comes with a Realtek RTD1296. It has 512 MB of non-ECC DDR4 RAM as standard. The difference between the standard DS220+ and the DS220j is that the DS220j has a slower ARM CPU and fewer ports but is more affordable.
The DS220j might not be the best option if you’re planning to stream 4K Plex content, but for users who need a low-power, 1080p Plex server, it’s the cheapest Synology NAS out there, making it a perfect option for Plex.
- Compact size
- Cheapest Synology NAS
- Affordable for home users
- Plex compatible
There’s a quad-core Realtek RTD1296 CPU running at 1.4 GHz in the compact and affordable Synology DS220j. The DS220j features 512 MB of RAM, two drive bays for up to 32 TB of storage, a single RJ-45 1GbE LAN port, and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.
The Synology DS220j NAS starts at $170, making it the cheapest Synology NAS device on the list.
Synology DS1621+ is a mighty NAS device and one of this list’s fastest Synology NAS units. It’s compact yet has six drive bays for up to 96 TB of storage. Moreover, there are eSATA ports for up to two DX517 expansion units, making this NAS capable of handling over 250 TB of storage.
It’s ideal for storing massive amounts of data, such as hundreds of 4K movies and TV show episodes. Moreover, you can use it for other multimedia content, backups, and even virtual machines.
- Quad-core Ryzen CPU
- 4 GB of RAM with support for up to 32 GB
- Dual M.2 NVMe SSD slots for caching
- Six drive bays for up to 96 TB of storage
The DS1621+ is one of the fastest Synology NAS devices on the market. It has an AMD Ryzen V1500B CPU – a quad-core CPU with eight threads. The CPU runs at 2.2 GHz and has a TDP of 25 W max, making it a mighty NAS that is still very efficient. There are also multiple ports: four RJ-45 1GbE LANs, three USB 3.2 Gen 1, and two eSATA for DX517 expansion units.
The price of the DS1621+ is around $800 but varies depending on the region.
The Synology DX517 is a five-drive bay expansion unit that you can add to any NAS unit on this list with an eSATA port. It includes the DS720+, the DS920+, the DS1520+, the DS1621+, and the DS1821+, which you’ll learn more about below.
As it has five drive bays, you can add up to 80 TB of storage, but that capacity may vary with different RAID types you can use for redundancy and security of your data. The DX517 is the perfect solution when your home server runs out of storage.
- Five drive bays for up to 80 TB of storage
- Compatible with all Synology NAS units with an eSATA port
- Hot-swappable drive bays
- Perfect for a local backup server
As the DX517 is an expansion unit, it has no hardware except a power supply. There’s a 200 W power supply unit, even though the DX517 only uses up to 30 W power during access times. The unit features five drive bays compatible with both 3.5” HDDs and 2.5” HDDs and SSDs.
The base price of the DX517 is around $500, but a version with five 10 TB hard drives will set you back around $1,100.
Regarding NAS solutions for businesses and IT enthusiasts, RackStation RS1221+ is the answer. Unlike other Synology NAS units, the RS1221+ is for rack deployment and can handle heavy workloads and massive data.
The RS1221+ features the same CPU as the DS1621+, making it one of the fastest Synology NAS units. It’s a potent NAS unit with hardware acceleration, excellent performance, optimal storage capacity, and incredible ease of use.
- Quad-core AMD Ryzen V1500B CPU
- 4 GB of RAM
- eSATA port for expansion with an RX418 unit
- Up to 128 TB of storage
The Synology RackStation RS1221+ has a powerful quad-core, eight-thread AMD Ryzen V1500B CPU, running at 2.2 GHz. It has 4GB of RAM out of the box, but you can upgrade it to 32 GB of RAM in total. An eSATA port exists, and you can add an RX418 expansion unit with four drive bays, which means you can have up to 192 TB of storage.
The RS1221+ has a price of around $1,100 without drives.
IT enthusiasts love the DS1821+, as it has a powerful quad-core, eight-thread CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and eight drive bays. The DS1821+ is probably the fastest Synology NAS on this list. It’s so powerful that it might be overkill for home users.
Synology DS1821+ has hardware acceleration, extremely high capacity, and dual M.2 NVMe slots for caching and RAID configurations. It makes the DS1821+ able to handle everything from storing and managing massive amounts of data to doing backups, streaming multimedia, and dealing with virtual machines.
- Eight drive bays for up to 192 TB of storage
- Quad-core CPU with eight threads
- Ideal for SMB customers
- Two eSATA ports for up to 18 drives in total
DS1821+ features the same CPU as the DS1621+ and the RS1221+, making it one of the fastest Synology NAS units on the list. The CPU is the Ryzen V1500B, running at 2.2 GHz. The NAS has 4 GB of RAM, but you can upgrade to 32 GB. It has two NVMe SSD drive slots, four RJ-45 1GbE LAN ports, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and two eSATA ports for expansion.
The DS1821+ is one of the fastest Synology NAS units on the market and is available at around $1,000 without drives.
Related: Best NAS for Mac
Users are looking for ways to create backups, store their photos and videos, set up their home surveillance systems, and stream multimedia for their home devices. However, choosing the best NAS device to handle all that can be challenging, as you must worry about storage space, hardware acceleration, and CPU power.
That’s why we’ve created a list of the ten best Synology NAS devices you can use for Plex and other home-use needs. These Synology NAS are best-buy for Plex and home use because they’re cost-effective, offer flexible storage, have backing-up capabilities, and offer complete Plex optimization.