Why does everyone mention Synology when they talk NAS storage?

This is a general curiousity of mine. Does Synology in the USA have a giant marketing budget? Or do they have a particular link into the Mac community that I’m unaware of (besides them having given units to the ATP hosts)?

In Australia, Synology are here, but so is QNAP. I just retired my QNAP TS-421 which gave me more than 7 years of reliable service.

Then there’s Western Digital and Netgear.

I’m curious as to how Synology has become a defacto element in the description of a NAS.

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For me it’s their superb productline and technical features. My Synolgy has been running faultless for 6 years now, and still gets updates.

(Though Qnap might be the NAS option that is closest in comparison.)


WD has suffered numerous embarrassing episodes, from gaping flaws in its self-encrypting drives, to an idiotically hard-coded backdoor in its MyCloud drives. QNAP is quite good, and it gets good reviews, but the depth and breadth of freely installable apps on Synology set it apart. Given the small price differences between comparable units I can see why many people prefer Synology.


I bought mine because of the user base here on MPU, and the support from third-party software vendors.
If I had it to do over, I’d probably get a Mac Mini and RAID external drives on it.
It would be about $300 more for my setup, but I’d have another Mac.


NAS used to be the only way to get reliable large amounts of storage, even if one didn’t need the networked capability.

Nowadays, there are a lot of solutions for high-density direct attached storage, so you really need to consider whether you need the NAS features to justify a NAS.

The docker/virtual apps feature of Synology is nice, but if you really want to run virtual apps, you would be much better off getting a high performance cheap computer or running parallels or VMWare (or even free VirtualBox) on your Mac directly (if you have the memory and CPU power).

The reason - Synology is a *Nix based peripheral so you will be dealing with being the “admin” of an appliance that has it’s own GUI/UI, and it’s own set of security issues, app updates, etc.

The “soft cost” of managing a different platform can be more than what you bargained for and the slightly higher cost of adding storage a different way or using another computer as a “virtual machine server” while using all the same management skills might be the better deal.

Also, macOS still has software-based RAID support for two drive RAID mirror built-in so you can get two relatively inexpensive but fast USB-C or USB 3.1 drives and make your own storage system relatively inexpensively now.


I did considerable research on NAS options (although I ended up with a much less expensive solution) and Synology seemed always to come out ahead on bang-for-the-buck, reliability, and (relative) ease-of-use. QNAP was a very close second, falling back only because its UI isn’t quite as easy to use. Drobo would have won easily on ease-of-use but fell short mainly due to numerous reports suggesting its reliability is lacking.

Occasionally I revisit this research just out of curiosity, and I have yet to see differing results.

That of course is IMHO, YMMV, etc.

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I’ve never seen an ad for Synology at all here. Western Digital and Netgear have both had some significant issues. Synology is well supported, has tons of free installable apps and just plain works. We’ve had 1 or more NAS systems in operation here for many years. Our current system has been running since 2008 with minor upgrades and disk drive replacements. Our first one was a Netgear but we quickly moved to Synology.

For us it’s a no brainer to run a NAS. With (at last count) something in excess of 12 major computers and a plethora of tablets and embedded systems (I have no idea of how many, I alone have 7 for LambTracker development, hubby has lots for his work too) a NAS for central file sharing is a necessary option. Our machines are a mix of Macs and Linux systems. Tablets run Android, iOS and more.

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We have at work a lot of QNAP systems in use. They have a better buid quality and in theory, with the Linux subsystem, you can do whatever you want with them if you know what you do. At home I use Synology. However, since we lost our IT guy at work we are left puzzled because of software issues. We are now switching to Synology.

If you are used to the command line, fluent in LInuxish go with QNAP. If you want an UI which you can understand the few times you log in every six months, than go with Synology.