What is better than Synology?

Synology is one of the most popular brands of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices for home and small business use. Synology NAS devices are known for their user-friendly software, extensive features, and reliability. However, there are some alternative NAS solutions that may be better than Synology for certain use cases.


QNAP is another well-known NAS brand that competes directly with Synology. QNAP NAS devices tend to have more advanced hardware specifications compared to similar Synology models. For example, QNAP NAS often have faster processors, more RAM, and support for more drive bays than Synology devices in the same price range.

This makes QNAP a better choice for users who want maximum performance for intensive tasks like 4K video editing, running virtual machines, or hosting databases. The additional headroom in hardware resources also future-proofs a QNAP NAS to better handle expanding storage needs.

QNAP’s QTS operating system has nearly all the same apps and features as Synology’s DSM software. This includes multimedia apps, backup solutions, web hosting, virtualization, and more. QTS is regularly updated by QNAP to add new capabilities and security enhancements.

One advantage of QNAP over Synology is that it offers more hardware variety. QNAP has a wider range of NAS models to suit different storage requirements, from compact 2-bay devices up to enterprise-class systems with 24 bays or more. Synology’s lineup is more limited in terms of bays and maximum storage capacity.

QNAP Pros:

  • More powerful hardware components
  • Wider variety of NAS models
  • Comparable QTS operating system

QNAP Cons:

  • Higher cost for similar specs
  • QTS seen as less user-friendly than DSM


Asustor is another major maker of NAS devices that competes with Synology. Asustor NAS units typically fall in between QNAP and Synology in terms of price and hardware capabilities.

Asustor NAS devices offer good performance and features while being a little more budget-friendly than the premium QNAP models. Asustor uses its own ADM operating system, which has a similar focus on ease-of-use as Synology DSM.

One advantage of Asustor is that it offers a wider selection of budget-range 2 and 4 bay NAS models. This provides an alternative for home users who want an affordable NAS with the basics for file sharing, backups, etc. Synology’s lineup starts a little higher in price.

However, Asustor NAS devices lack some of the processing power, RAM, and storage expandability offered by QNAP and Synology. Serious home labbers or businesses may require those higher-end features.

Asustor Pros:

  • More budget-friendly models
  • ADM OS is user-friendly

Asustor Cons:

  • Lower-end hardware specs
  • Smaller product selection


For ultimate customization and expandability, some tech enthusiasts opt to build their own NAS device rather than buying a pre-configured unit. This DIY approach lets you hand-pick components to meet your exact performance and storage needs.

A DIY NAS involves getting a case that can accommodate multiple drive bays, along with a motherboard, CPU, RAM, network adapter, storage drives, and power supply. Free NAS operating system software like FreeNAS or OpenMediaVault is then installed to manage storage and services.

The benefit of a custom-built NAS is that you can choose powerful server-grade components to outperform even the best QNAP and Synology models. Your storage capacity is also unlimited – just add more drive bays and hard drives as needed. And you can select whichever software features you want.

However, this DIY approach requires advanced technical skill. Compatibility between components needs to be checked. Assembly and configuration is more hands-on. You’ll need to troubleshoot issues yourself rather than rely on an all-in-one consumer NAS solution.


  • Fully customizable performance
  • Scalable to petabytes of storage
  • Choose your own software features


  • Requires technical expertise to assemble and configure
  • Higher upfront cost than pre-built devices
  • No included support or warranty

Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server is a version of Windows designed for home NAS use. It offers file sharing, backups, remote access, and RAID capabilities using easy wizard-based setup.

To build a Windows Home Server, you just add the software to an old Windows PC or purchase a refurbished system intended for home servers. This can be a cost-effective way to repurpose old hardware into a basic NAS.

However, Windows Home Server development ended in 2011, so it lacks features and security of modern NAS operating systems. There is also limited hardware support and expandability compared to a purpose-built NAS device.

Windows Home Server Pros:

  • Inexpensive NAS option
  • Easy to configure

Windows Home Server Cons:

  • Outdated software and security
  • Limited features and expandability
  • No ongoing support or updates


In summary, Synology NAS devices offer a great balance of performance, features, and ease of use for home and small business consumers. However, alternatives like QNAP, Asustor, DIY NAS, and Windows Home Server may be preferable in certain situations:

  • QNAP provides more powerful hardware and flexibility for demanding use cases.
  • Asustor offers more budget-friendly entry-level NAS options.
  • DIY NAS lets you customize a high-performance storage server.
  • Windows Home Server can repurpose old PC hardware for basic file sharing.

For most home users who want an easy-to-manage NAS, Synology represents a smart choice. But one of these other solutions could be better depending on your specific storage needs and technical expertise.

NAS Solution Pros Cons
Synology User-friendly OS, good performance, reliable Pricier, limited hardware expandability
QNAP Powerful hardware, good OS, lots of options Expensive, OS less user-friendly
Asustor Affordable basic models, easy-to-use OS Lower-end specs, smaller selection
DIY NAS Fully customizable, unlimited storage Technical expertise required, no support
Windows Home Server Inexpensive NAS option Outdated software, limited features