Home Use NAS in 2024

NAS experts, data hoarders, and techies, what is the go?

My current understanding is that the Synology units are the best off the shelf units you can buy but seems to start at $500 for a 2 bay with a relatively weak processor.

QNAP and Terramaster cop mixed reviews and still seem quite expensive $400 for 2 bay.

I've been looking at some of the N100 units from AOOSTAR and UGREEN which seem to start at around $300 for a 2 bay unit, i imagine the software ill be dodgy or shit so likley end up on unraid or OMV.

It will be replacing a HP micro PC connected to a few external drives that really just does plex and some document and data backups.

I want to think I could live with 2 bays but I probably need the ability to expand without (profanity) around.

Since I'm sure a few of you have done the diligence before my question is what is the best play here?

EDIT: If you have any hardware recommendations ❤️ links.

Poll Options

  • 179
    Pony up for Synology
  • 7
    Terramaster
  • 29
    QNAP
  • 4
    UGREEN
  • 1
    AOOSTAR
  • 85
    DIY OMV/UNRAID
  • 22
    Other

Comments

  • +1

    Synology - 24 bay with extra 10Gb NIC has not missed a beat - software is fine - it is connected via 3 vlans and also runs a small mail server.

    • +2

      Sounds awesome but that is extreme overkill/overbudget for my use, i'd be compelled to datahoard.

  • +5

    So why you need replacing the HP?

    • Janky, can handle 1x 2230, 1x NVME, & 1x 2.5 but gets hot AF and throttles.

      Started looking at JBOD and RAID enclosures and here we are….

      • +1

        I run a simple setup with an 8 bay Icy Box JBOD enclosure and use SnapRAID for backups. The enclosure cost me just under $500 delivered and SnapRAID is free software. If you want a smaller enclosure there are cheaper options.

        I decided that hardware RAID and NAS were extras that I didn't need as I didn't want something running 24/7 and chewing power when I wasn't using it. My disks are just for backing up media and documents, so when I want something off the drives I can easily slide the appropriate one out of the enclosure and plug it in to the machine I want to use it on. The drives all operate independently with one dedicated drive being used for the parity file with which recoveries can be processed if another drive fails.

        This might not be sophisticated enough for your needs but I just thought I'd give you an alternative to a fully integrated / paid system.

        • What happens if the dedicated parity drive fails?

          • +1

            @Cousin IT: There is a .content file that is also created when the parity file is generated which contains a full file list of items in the parity, checksums and timestamps. This needs to be stored in at least N+1 locations where N is the number of parity drives you have. I have mine on the parity drive and also on the computer I use to run SnapRAID. Basically if your parity drive fails, you can put in a new drive and regenerate the parity file using the .content file and the fix command, like you would any other drive.

            Guidelines here outline how many parity files are suggested for the number of disks you're running which will increase the chance of recovery. As an extreme example, here is a post about a successful 4 drive recovery using 4 parity drives on a 70TB+ array with 24 drives.. I only have 4 drives + parity in my array.

            Like every backup / data protection system it's not completely flawless, although it does have a lot of safeguards built in if you follow the guidelines correctly. In addition to the advantages that I've already mentioned, another good thing is that if one drive fails (including your parity) your other drives are still completely usable while you source a replacement drive (which I understand isn't possible with most RAID configurations).

        • This is a rad setup but its only taking me deeper down the rabbit hole!

  • +5

    Synology is your best bet.

    In saying that, I'm running TrueNAS myself with my 6x6tb SAS drives on a PC I found on marketplace for $50.

    • This was the original plan but I'd prefer a smaller footprint and low power consumption/heat/sound output.

      • +1

        get a mini PC and add m.2 SSD + 2.5" HDD to it for extra storage.

        I run 8 TB NAS at home for probably within your budget (bought items when cheap)

        mini pc -$69
        4tb m.2 NVME ssd - $130 ish I think
        4tb 2.5" HDD -$135 ish I think

        • extra work on software and setup.
        • Hi,
          Do you have any Mini PC recommendations that would be comparable (or better) to something like the Synology DS723+?

          Thanks

          • @rbecsc: See your situation first, what you really need?

            How often transfer data?
            Mostly upload or mostly download/stream?
            At home only? Or need outside home too?
            Need RAID backup ?? Or single drive is okay with you (how valuable is the data)?
            Is this gonna be the only place you backup every once in a while?
            You gonna plug any external devices to the storage?? Or only network backup needed?

            The higher demands you have, the better you'll be with like Synology or it DIY replica xpnology (i think i misspelt it). The lower your demands more you could stay with home DIY solution (from simple SMB share to like true nas)

            • @USER DC: @USER DC, thanks for your help.

              Primary usage is for data storage and retrieval, not streaming or converting media.

              Environment is SOHO. Ideal setup is 2-bay with mirroring (RAID 1).

              External drive plugged in for external backup.

              From research, DS723+ fits the bill, but looking at cheaper options with same or better performance and more hardware flexibility as Synology is moving to a closed hardware model.

              Thanks!

  • +1

    So I had a HP micro N40l running Windows back in the day. Sucked for plex transcoding but direct play was okay.

    Moved to a synology 918+ that's been rock solid. Software is Great, running Docker and lots of other fun things. Now my HP microserver runs truenas with 4 old drives and backups my synology.

    Personally I think synology is a way to go for no fuss but next time I'd build my own nas.

    • +2

      That is the next problem, RAID isn't back up…

      • +3

        100%, I had 2 drives fail recently from power failures. Just backed up from my other nas. Bought a ups, 3more hdds and backup off site to my bros nas interstate.
        Expensive hobby lol

      • +1

        Yup, I RAID 1 my NAS but I have a folder allocated for anything that I consider critical which is synced to cloud storage as backup.

      • Obligatory #raidisnotabackup :)

  • +9

    DIY with unraid is by far the most cost effective if you have built a PC before.

    I recommend Wolfgang's channel and Ibracorp on YouTube if you want to know where to get started. East digital on eBay or their website is a good source for Nas drives.

    • I have and keep coming back to this is probably the answer, I'll check these out.

      I'm on the fence between go all in on a synology unit or build something, but the cases and UX with DIY just aren't as polished.

      • DIY with Xphenology (Synaptics rip)

      • If you are thinking Unraid, it's best to get in asap. They're adjusting their payment model to annual subscription instead on single purchase soon.

        I love Unraid. Upgraded from a very old and sad synology (recent synology models didn't have several things I wanted at the time) and haven't looked back.

        Requires a little bit of know-how and tinkering, but it was so worth it for me. The community is really great too if you get stuck.

        • Sounds like I've missed it, if unraid is gonna cost $300 syno might be the goer.

          • @shadyscab: In that case, have a thorough research of TrueNAS Core and see if it's a suitable option for you. Otherwise definitely opt with Synology in my opinion.

          • @shadyscab: Yup its about $385 now. I'd go Syno or TrueNAS instead.

        • Soon being last Wednesday.

          • @gamerkonks: Yep, this was clearly addressed earlier by OP and tanksinatra

  • +4

    I've been using Synology and QNAP for many years at customer sites, both with good success. I have always preferred the flexibility Synology offer.

    Now that Synology are going to great lengths to create a closed ecosystem with hardware locks to sell their white label (rebranded) accessories, drives, memory and io adapters their brand strategy is starting to remind me all too much of Apple, and it grinds my gears.

    It sounds like you have simple requirements, if you only really need basic storage and like to tinker then go the DIY route, otherwise Synology will give you flexibility and ease of expansion down the road.

    TIP: If you do buy a NAS appliance, always get more bays than you think you need, or at the very least, ensure it has optional expansion units.

    • +1

      I read QNAP had a couple ransomware issues so wasn't that keen.

      Thanks, good advice, looking more and more like it'll be a diy job.

      • +9

        Any web exposed hardware is going to have those issues, particularly since it always seems to be attacks on unpatched machines rather than zero days.

        QNAP just happens to be really big so when they patch something and release the notes, they're letting hackers know there's an attack vector and those hackers know the average home user is going to be as adept at security updates as an Optus employee. Synology has had the same issues in the past. DIY is only safer via obscurity but people do still scan for open ports these days.

        Just ignore the urge to share your plex drive with friends, or host a website, etc and you'll be fine. I've yet to hear about a QNAP issue where things were web exposed when they shouldn't have been.

        • -2

          Synology has had the same issues in the past. DIY is only safer via obscurity but people do still scan for open ports these days.

          This is completely untrue.

          If you're setting up a DIY solution and opening up to the web, then you would be doing so via a reverse proxy running on a web server. The reality is that web servers are tested for critical exploits far more rigorously and are under significantly more scrutiny vs. proprietary solutions like Synology or QNAP.

          DIY is safe not because it is obscure, but because it is not obscure. When you use standardised, enterprise-grade technology, you have the entire world working together to prevent and patch exploits. How many do you think are employed by Synology to do similar?

          • @p1 ama: Just curious.
            How many diyers here have developed code for open source software to patch an exploit…?

            • +1

              @alexdagr8: Likely very few, but all of the largest tech companies in the world - e.g. Google, Apple, Microsoft, all regularly contribute to open source code bases.

              That's the basis of the GPL license - basically a requirement of making modifications to a source code is that you also publicly release it under the same license (i.e. a copyleft license).

              But the security point is beyond just who contributes, it's more about using enterprise standard software and tools. If you're trying to open your server to the internet, for instance, a reverse proxy using Nginx is going to be far safer than any Synology solution because Nginx is a widely used, widely tested package.

      • +2

        I read QNAP had a couple ransomware issues so wasn't that keen.

        Just don't expose your nas direct to the internet and you pretty much solve any of these issues.

        Throw a wireguard or OpenVPN tunnel in front of it (and the rest of your lab devices you may want to access).

      • +1

        +1 on Syno. I've been using them commercially for well over 15 years. Synology is not immune to ransomware (i.e. SynoLocker). DSM has had its fair share of critical vulns recently too. See https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-1113…. DSM has had ransomware protection in the form of immutable snapshots since DSM 7.2. See https://kb.synology.com/en-global/DSM/tutorial/what_is_an_im…. Ensure that is enabled for all shared folders or LUNs. Remember, that ransomware attacks can also be initiated via other vectors (e.g. social engineering, exploitable vuln, credential theft, etc.). So ensure you have EDR installed on your endpoints and AV the Syno itself (Antivirus Essential). Regularly patch and harden your Syno per https://kb.synology.com/en-us/DSM/tutorial/How_to_add_extra_…. As others have advised, never share your Syno on the net under any circumstances. Get a half-decent firewall router or mesh wireless router that supports VPN (e.g. Firewalla Purple, ASUS ZenWiFi AX). Ensure MFA is enabled on your VPN. Hope that helps.

        • +1

          Get a half-decent firewall router or mesh wireless router that supports VPN

          If you are in the Synology ecosystem you might also look at their routers as they can do VPN

          • @spaceflight: You can always spin your Linux in your Synology VM run a wireguard or tailscale for VPN no $$ involved

            • @skillet: You could, but if you need a router then it would make sense to get one with a VPN server built in.

              Running a VPN on the NAS may also mean that the HDDs are spun up just to support the VM / VPN which would use a lot more electricity compared to a router.

          • @spaceflight: Don't seem great value for the money.

      • I got hit with ransomware running a Synology. It's more down to your security settings rather than the brand of NAS.

  • +2

    I'm using a QNAP and a USFF PC for Plex and other services.

    If I was buying again, I'd more than likely DIY but I would also strongly consider Synology(need to research vendor lock in mentioned above).

    • This was my main concern, it doesn't look like they've done any major updates in a while so I don't want to jump in before they go full apple/enshitification.

      • I've had a Syno (DS218j) for a few years now. In that time, they've released a major OS version (DSM 6.x to DSM 7.x).

        If you're worried about vendor lock-in just get one that's capable of running Docker. Then the vendor is basically irrelevant, you just run stuff in containers.

    • This is me.

      My QNAP is OK, got it on clearance for around $200 for 2-bay.

      Still might DIY or Synology if it ever dies.

  • +3

    I have extensive experience with QNAP (10+ devices) and, based on experience with their support, I wouldn't even consider them.

    Synology is the simplest and most complete out-of-the-box experience. Don't buy the cheapest "j" or "play" models though, get a "plus" ideally with an Intel rather than AMD processor.

    I've got my eye on an Asustor Flashstor NAS. Dual 2.5Gbe or 10Gbe, all nvme SSD (6 or 12 bays), decent CPU, up to 64GB memory, can use their operating system or TrueNAS Scale/Core. Not cheap, but could be the way to go.

    • Agree on all counts, I like the asustor but seems ssd's are at least double the price of mechanical drives and the cost of the unit itself.

  • I've been running my Gen8 (I think) HP Microserver for quite a few years with Xpenology. Runs flawlessly once you get it up and running (it's relatively straightforward if you're not tech illiterate), and make sure you turn off auto-update.

    I setup the same thing on a friend's N40L, too. Haven't heard a peep of an issue from them. So you should at least give it a go.

    Mine's got 8GB of RAM, and it serves everything I need via your normal Synology packages (Plex, etc.), or via docker (pihole, Home Assistant, others).

    • This was what I wanted originally but can't seem to find any locally and for the money people are chasing online you're in new hardware territory.

      I starts down the OX rabbit hole and eventually just concluded it was a hackintoshesq venture and probably too hard basket for my needs, sounds like it has been rock solid for you though?

      • My bad. I misread when you said 'HP micro PC' I read it as microserver.

        I'm too old/not bothered to go through the other routes for a NAS. I'm happy to just get an appliance these days and not deal with the hassle. I'm good with my Xpenology because my Gen 8 is a fully supported platform.

        • I ripped out my Xeon upgraded Gen 8 micro pc mobo and power supply, stuffed a N100 board with plenty SATA ports into the casing and instantly improved the idle power from 45w to 10 watts with one SSD and two HDD. You have to get creative with power supply, there's enough space to stuff an external power brick.

          • @skillet: Did you document your build anywhere cause this sounds sick, I'm shocked at how good n100's are, which N100 board did you go with?

      • 100% on the 'Hackintosh' analogy.

        If that's not your thing, then that is absolutely fair. I love the Synology software, but their hardware is underpowered (unless you spend a fortune). I converted an old PC running a i7 3770 and 16Gb RAM to an Xpenology NAS running 6 drives when my old Synology was no longer up to scratch. A little fiddly to set up, but been perfect for 5 years since. Trade off is power consumption vs performance but given that the hardware was effectively 'free' (old PC that we were retiring and replacing anyway), I can justify that. If you do go the Xpenology route, just ensure you're using established known, working hardware (usually a few generations old) - trying to build one off brand new release hardware is unlikely to work (well).

        If you want no fuss, modest power usage/performance, then a DS923+ or similar would be my recommendation.

  • +2

    G8 Microserver with hardware raid controller, ecc ram, xeon chip. Was fun hunting down all the parts when I built it and hasn't missed a beat in years.

    • You upgraded to the Xeon yourself?

      • +1

        Yep. That was actually one of the hardest parts to source as they don't make the low power Xeon chips any more and the old ones are quite hard to find at a reasonable price.

  • ive a qnap ts464
    runs 3vms two of which are win10, the third is home assistant.
    have 4tb of personal stuff and 4tb of media.
    took a few months to set up right. but is now perfect.

    data hoarder in me wishes i had more bays, but, in practice no actual requirement.

    it has 32gb of ram
    4x ssds in the big bays
    2x nvmes internally
    and i bought a cheap qnap second hand expansion for 2x more nvmes which are unused at the moment.

    • So all your stuff is solid state? How long has that been alive for?

      • all ssd
        since amazon prime day 2023 :)

      • i mainly write once

  • +3

    I just have a used PC with a 6th gen i5 and a few drives. Cost me bugger all. I used this tutorial to install Proxmox and run ZFS RAID from there + Jellyfin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu3t8pcq8O0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWumbDlbzLY

    Worth a look

  • +2

    Word of warning about Unraid, they’ve recently gone subscription based (USD $36/year + initial licence fee). Given the expected life of a typical home NAS (say ~5-10 years), I’d argue that they aren’t really a cost-effective option anymore.
    It’s annoying because they offered great drive flexibility.

    • -3

      I just checked the unraid licence options. There's 3 tiers of licence and they were all single payment. No subscription. Not sure where subscription comes in.

  • Qnap user here. 2 bay with upgraded 2gb ram. Never had an issue with using it as a file storage, surveilance camera, and video playback through DLNA on tv. Its exactly what i use it for.

  • +2

    Using unraid here. Love it. Had tried OMV and ubuntu server in the past. Lifetime license is more expensive now, $249 USD (and only option is unlimited storage, whereas you could buy a cheaper lifetime license for only 6 or 12 storage devices in the past). I found with unraid it was a lot easier and faster to troubleshoot any issues than the previous options, very stable and it just works. I wish I had gone straight to unraid, have been using unraid for maybe 1 yr now.

    I believe there are some premade NAS / kick-starter NAS bundled with unraid that you could look at.

    If going DIY route I would definitely look at unraid if you can stomach the cost. They have free trial for 30 days, once trial expired you can keep using it as long as you don't reboot the server, and you can get 2 free trial extensions, so theoretically you could use it for 6-12 months for free before committing to buying it.

  • +1

    Unraid user here. I had ab old pc witha 5th gen I5 processor in it and decided to buy the silverstone CS380 case to rehome it in. this has a backplane for up to 8 drives and i have the option to upgrade things like RAM and network card (10gb+ someday). The silverstone CS380 also comes in mini form factor too but i didn't have the microATX to put into it so had to go the taller tower version. I wish i had the MicroATX mobo as it would have been way more compact and fit the NAS look.

    I decided to pay for the unraid lifetime license which was about $130AUD ($99USD) and i have to say… Unraid is very polished and flexible. You can run VM's and Docker container apps. there's a very active and solid community releasing new apps and updating existing ones everday.

  • I have a ds218 play. Had it for a few years and mainly used for plex and central file storage. It is only a 2 bay unit but has two usb ports at the rear which are used to add external drives for expansion. I use the internal drives as mirrored to store important or treasured data and have the two external drives for other files. I have a backup copy of all files elsewhere. The internals are 4 tb and the usbs are 4 tb. My set up gives me 12tb of unique storage with a further 4tb mirrored. The ds218play has a relatively weak cpu but it does the job for me. The rear usbs provide an easy way to increase capacity. The unit is small and runs 24/7. It is simple to operate and the software is very convenient. Also allows the sharing g of some large files when i occadionally need to. So i would not dismiss a low power 2 bay unit outright as an option for simple home use.

    That said I'm not sure i would buy another one since a home made setup using a refurbed sff desktop might be a more powrful option next time. I might try using a spare old laptop as a test unit to see how difficult a home brew setup is to maintain and use and what if any disadvantages it has. In october 2025 i also have some desktop pcs that will be retiring when win 10 support ends and i might repurpose them if the laptop trial is ok. I'm not too worried about power consumption as the solar panels at home will help out.

  • I went with a QNap TS464 purely for the Intel CPU which performs better than the Synology variants for media playback and transcoding. Id say Synology is more polished overall than QNap though.

    I have installed 4x 12tb HDD, 2x 1tb m.2 drives and 32gb ram. Its running all sorts of docker containers pretty well only really limited by the Intel Celeron now.

    Id probably just recommend going a Synology, maybe the ds923?

    • Are you using hardware transcoding on Plex? Curious how well the 464 handles 4K playback.

  • +2

    I am pretty impressed with synology support.
    I had a database issue on my 7 year old bottom of the line DS214SE, didn't really expect to have any kind of support, but lodged a ticket anyway and they actually remotely accessed (with permission) and fixed the problem for me. Not paying maintenance or anything, just a cheap home NAS purchased years ago from Austin..

  • +1

    If you do decide to go off the shelf, i'd go for more than 2 bays. You would be surprised how much you go through, by the time you have some backups, video etc. You will quickly forget about the upfront cost if you get a 4 or 6 bay unit, and will be set for the next 10 years

  • +1

    Keep the mini pc and put unraid on it. Good community, lots of yt videos on how to. Cheap, relatively easy, I run unraid and plex on an salvaged 1151(?) xeon and ddr3 ram.

    • It functions fine, the problem is not being able to scale storage and the thermals, looking into RAID/JBOD boxes and backplanes and it's 300-400 for something that will cop 4 3.5 drives or you have to cobble together a power supply for an internal unit.

  • Give the Asustor a try, I'm pretty happy with my Asustor Lockerstor 4 AS6604T. Write up here - https://sathyabh.at/nas

  • Had a 4 bay qnap and a synology. Then changed to ovm before jumping ship to unraid picked up a 8 drive bay [4 x 3.5" and 4x 2.5] 2 x cpu with 128gb ecc ram dell precision ws off ebay for $500. Plex, medusa, home assistant, AI
    Unraid is noob friendly, ovm would crash and the fixes often took hours or research and advanced linux command line. If unraid breaks just reburn usb and or restore docker folder.

  • as someone whos messed around with large bay nas' for like 20+years, im currently down to a couple 4bays for home use but my next move would probably be to a 2bay raid1 with an 3rd ext drive setup taking a weekly snap.

    it's just simpler… drives are getting so big now, like why wouldnt you chuck 2x20gig drives together, rather than needing like 4x10gig drives or something. sure you can have massive amounts of data, but surely you can't need all of it always? its the tiered storage idea. my next move will probably be a huge 2bay for media & a smaller 2bay for personal data and other data im shifting off to colder storage.

    obviously depends on your use case and size, my thinking used to be always leave it on 24x7, but more and more it's met reality (and electricity costs) and has just become turn it on when i need and off when i dont… dont need your plex library on 24x7, and even if you did can remote turn it on anyhow.

    • Also depend son how many you have invited to the plex server. And with solar as well - costs are minimal really.
      Likewise throw in a handful of cameras for various coverage of outdoor areas - Front - back sides - shed - etc.

      • yeh fair point too… when i was running multiple racked servers for storage, i def had whole extended family and friends porting in. nowadays everyone i know is mostly into whatever the algo of streaming nonsense is serving them, even the wife…

  • +1

    Going to be lazy and ask instead of googling. What do you guys use these for?

  • I just keep my PC on 24/7 and use that as a NAS. I have 10x SATA SSDs installed and running RAID6. Total 14TiB usable storage after RAID6 overhead. Read speed is around 3000MB/s and write speed varies between 250-1500MB/s depending on what application is doing the writes.

    I use Storage Spaces to do the RAID6, but I find that the write performance is not very good, because Storage Spaces seems to write to a 3way mirrored RAID0, then write to the parity RAID6. I suspect this behavior occurs because some applications generate sync writes, and so Storage Spaces logs the write to the 3way mirrored RAID0 partition, then writes to the parity RAID6. However the 3way mirrored RAID0 partition (which is automatically created by Storage Spaces) seems to only use 3 of the 10 SSDs, which causes the huge write bottleneck.

    So I will only recommend using Storage Spaces if you are looking to do a mirrored RAID0 / RAID10 configuration, where the performance is quite good, and avoid Storage Spaces for parity RAID5 / RAID6 unless you are willing to tolerate very slow write speeds.

    I am thinking about trying ZFS, from what I have read about it online it sounds promising but it only works on Linux. I will probably switch to Linux when I upgrade my PC since Windows Server is becoming more like Windows 11 and no longer bloatware free, because Microsoft decided to randomly install Azure Arc with a windows update, and set the app to run on startup and display an annoying popup on my desktop.

  • It really depends what you want to do with it, how many will be accessing it directly and what features you want. I'd recommend DIY, and would myself but also I love the simplicity and reliability of having a Synology (DS920+). Had a DS212J with 2x 6tb drives for years until buying the 920+ in 2022 on a good Black Friday deal and it's now populated with 2x 16tb and 2x 6tb (old drives, still going strong after 8 years, but will be replaced in due course).

    It's really easy setting up all the things I need on Synology including my Plex server (why I chose the DS920+ over the more recent ones as I have to transcode and mux subs a fair bit) and regular backups etc. and apps to access it on all my devices. Plus SHR is great for mixing hard drive sizes if you plan on expanding as you go.

  • +2

    My vote goes to unraid. As with any DIY solution you get a lot more performance for your money , yet easy enough to set up even for a beginner (there are plenty of tutorials out there) , the hardware can be upgraded easily when needed, has lot of flexibility with storage (can use different size disks, optimize your storage array with an SSD cache, no need to stick to a proprietary file system), and you can do a lot more with the software too (For example I use my current unraid server as a home server and a HTPC connected to a TV with GPU passthrough).
    The only downside is the slightly higher power consumption, which can be around $50 a year (depending on your config). However, the initial cost savings over getting an off the shelf NAS can more than make up for it. For example, my first unraid server was built with an HP 800 G1 (Core i5 4th Gen processor and 16GB of RAM) which I bought for under $200 from an e-recycling shop many years ago. That PC is still far more capable than a typical 2-bay $500 Synology/QNAP NAS you can buy off the shelf (Celeron CPU and 2-4GB of RAM). The $300 saving can cover your electricity bills for 6 years, but you can stretch this even more if you reduce the power consumption of your PC by configuring it to sleep when not used.

  • I have owned 2 qnaps and 2 synology units, as well as run my own on a n54l HP microserver.

    I think qnap has better hardware for the same price as synology. But the software needs to be considered too, and I find Synology is better as an all round package.

    If you just want it to work out of the box (or are time poor) - synology
    If you are on a budget and have the time to troubleshoot and tinker around - build your own eg truenas.

  • +2

    I have a DS220+ and its been great,
    you can unofficially go up to 16GB of ram but my dockers have been humming along with the standard 2GB

    Main reason I would upgrade is to get 2.5G LAN but it does everything i want it to do.
    Lack of USB support is pretty annoying, but I can live with it, you can do passthrough for VM but not docker.

    Also i think buying a NAS vs building your own is most NAS's are pretty optimised in terms of power consumption, my DS220+ has a 60W power supply but normally chuggs along at 12-15w for most of the day, its on 24/7 so take power consumption into account

  • +2

    DIY TrueNAS SCALE based on Debian Linux so its runs docker

  • If you want to go down the DIY route, highly recommend the unas cases https://u-nas.com/

    I imported one of their 8 bay units a few years ago. loaded it up with 2 SSD's for tier 1 cache then populated with 10GB drives. using a ASRock C2750D4I Mini ITX Server Motherboard with Atom Avoton C2750 Octa-core. This lets me run a few VM's including my plex and loads of storage. Hasn't missed a beat. painful to build butt came in LOT cheaper than the equivalent off the shelf and way more powerful than anything you could buy at the price point.

    • Awesome, thank you.

  • Have quite a few nas devices including several synology nas, but i prefer diy myself i also use 2nd hand enterprise gear for example im running 4 x Dell md3460s with 60 x 4tb sas drives in each. Many other netapp devices run true nas scale on all.

    For those that will ultimately ask chia

  • Probably best diy home 8 bay nas would be this ive built 3 albeit different mobo. Jonsbo n3 available from ple (new stock arriving soon)

    https://youtu.be/GNMtmUOCtwI

  • Had a Synology ds411j for yonks, PSU brick died and currently running from an old PC power supply instead. Software has been great. Using their hybrid raid and will likely be upgrading to a proper Synology unit soon.

    Really it's just a backup for all photos, documents etc. yes I have cloud accounts with M$ (O365 OneDrive) and google but feel better knowing I have my own copy at home too.

  • +4

    If you only need 2 bays get a second hand ex business HP / Dell / Lenovo workstation that can take at least 2 3.5" disks. Find something reasonably modern / low power consumption and you'll have way more power behind it than the off the shelf units.

    Personally I'd run Proxmox on it and under that use LXC containers for everything, but I work in this space. As others have said there's unraid, OMV, freenas and a bunch of other NAS-tailored linux distributions that'll do everything you want and hold your hand through the whole process. Some even support virtual machines.

    • +1

      Something like this takes 2 X 3.5inch HDDs, 1 X 2.5 inch HDD, 2 X NVME, has the T low power processor.

      https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/225907482467?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mk…

      Either that or a HP Elitedesk SFF - anything 8th gen (G4 and up) should take 2 x 3.5inch HDDs and has 2 NVME slots.

      • +2

        Yep they're perfect.

        I've got an elitedesk 800g3 or 4 that's going to be replacing my main server shortly. Managed to get a 6 bay hotswap 2.5" SSD enclosure to fit in the 5.25" drive bay(s). Cheap raid controller for the extra inputs off aliexpress.

        I think room for 2 internal 3.5" disks but I could probably work out how to cram more in if I needed to.

        Dirt cheap(free in this case outside of upgrades / storage), 64gb of ram (I run a few personal backup servers and test things for my business off my servers) and plenty of grunt for what I need.

        • This was my plan untill I started mathing up, I didn't realise they had 5.25 bays?

          • @shadyscab: They only have one 5.25" and a slim optical drive bay. They don't have the 5.25" populated by default, turns out this was a gen4 not 3 though.

            I actually got around to installing everything yesterday. The 6 bay hotswap thing I have requires 2 molex power inputs so I've had to jerry rig a second PSU for now, there are no molex available on this. I've been royally RIPPED on some quality sata->molex adaptors (startech) off amazon and will get it all installed shortly.

            I haven't done benchmarks but cheap siliconpower ssds in a raid6 perform so nicely for what I'm doing. just using mdadm and lvm-thin under proxmox (there's a logic to this).

            Looks like I can fit at least 3 3.5" disks internally and a lot more if I get creative.

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