NAS for home use

Hi, new here.
I hope this is the right place to post this.

I’m looking for a NAS (home use) and I am overwhelmed by the NAS Systems on the Market.
What I plan to use it for: Windows Backup, save Videos (small YT-Ch), small Webserver (maybe later SQL stuff) and bit of Multimedia.
My teacher said a 4 Bay and Raid 5 would be good for my usecase.
I kinda want a good OS so I think Synology and Qnap are the best options.
Any recommendation?

And my final question, WD Red or Seagate Ironwolf?
I would appreciate any help.


We have 2x Synology DS1618+ which are real nice and include Active Backup that backs up Windows PCs and is super ez to use and to restore from. Also includes HyperBackup that you can use to make encrypted backups to another Synology server or to a bunch of different “cloud” services. Super ez to manage so even I can do stuff with it.

We have 6x 8TB WD Red in one and 6x 10TB WD Red in the other and they’ve been running fine for >2 years. We have them both set up with RAID 6.


Definitely a Synology. I have had terrible experiences with QNAPs. As much as I like Free/TruNAS, Synology has a much lower barrier-to-entry as far as technical knowledge and skill goes. Unless you’re confident with ZFS and FreeBSD, you should go with Synology.

I would stick with Ironwolf drives just because there’s 0% chance that they will be SMR, otherwise you’ll need to do some research on which exact WD Red model you’re getting (SMR is bad for NAS).


A Synology Plus series would likely fit your bill.

If you want some serious horsepower to do all you’re doing, the DS1621+ seems like a great option.
Otherwise I would pay attention to the 720+ or the 920+ which has the Celeron J4125.

Be careful for the 420+ which has a J4025.

My recommendations revolve around the potential to be used for multimedia, if not for that, almost any model in the Plus lineup will do.


8TB and up are safe:

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if you’re comfortable building one out I would recommend the DIY solution. There are countless vids on selection and OSs. The most highly suggested one is trunas core (freenas) or unraid (not really a nas solution imo). If youre windows centric I know that which a pro lic you can run windows storage spaces.

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The quirky option:

  • Get a pair of <5W hard drives (they’re not the cheapest but there’s large options as well)
  • Get a pair of Nano Pi Neo 3 … 2G ram option
  • Connect them using a cheap usb3 - SATA adapter.
  • Learn Linux (basically setup debian or Alpine btrfs and rclone and samba)
  • Move one of the off-site, for more safety.
  • Done.

Enjoy your cheap NAS.

The more capable version:

  • Get a fractal node 304
  • Get 6x 18T WD Gold drives , or seagate exos (start with two).
  • Build an AM4 system inside based around a B550 and 5600X
  • Debian + LVM per drive + luks + btrfs.

Why btrfs and not zfs?
They’re both copy on write with checksumming and built-in compression and built in raid. Btrfs will let you reconfigure drives and raid levels as you need more space even without unmounting. ZFS is more of an industry standard, but more expensive to run on the account of being harder to expand. (e.g. can’t really go from 3 drive raidz1 to 4 drive raidz1 without wiping data and starting over).

Ultimately, it all depends on $ and actual needs. But when it comes to Home NAS start small go big later imho.
Two Odroid HC2 / HC1 or one HC4 + armbian/openmediavault :slight_smile:

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Welcome to the forum! I personally recommend skipping commercial products. Get your hands dirty and build your own (with our help :wink:). Especially if you want to use the box for more than just a NAS (like running VMs on it). If you want it to be strictly a NAS box, use TrueNAS Core. If you want to run VMs on it, like a VM for a website and another VM for a database and another VM for backups, use Proxmox. Proxmox is a hypervisor that could be used strictly as a NAS (but why would you do that?) and TrueNAS Core is a NAS OS that can also be used as a hypervisor. TrueNAS Core is more similar to offerings like Synology.

For HDDs, I’d recommend Ironwolf.

If you give a budget and a target capacity, we could do a build for you and we could compare with commercial offerings from Synology.


First of all, thanks for all the replys.
To everyone that recommented to build my own NAS: I think that building your own NAS is really cool, but my knowledge isn’t that great yet (especially linux basics lol) so rn I’m looking for a plug and play solution.

@Novasty I actually thought about buying the 420+ but ofc I saw the 920+ and that it has a better processor. Is it worth paying the bit higher price?


IMO with what you have posted and your use-case in mind, a mid range + Synology or something around there.


If the price difference isn’t too big, the 920+ would be far better. Also another thing to keep in mind is how Synology does their naming scheme.


So a DS920+ is a 2020 NAS that can support 9 drives. 4 drives to start and an additional 5 drives with the DX517 expansion unit.


Synology and to the hell with their small drive number nas

RAID6 is better than raid5 id opt for a 6-8 bay dont go 4 or less. Yes they are cheap and attractive but you probably want the two drive failure robustness of raid6 because what happens when a crappy SMR wd red fails?

As for drives id take the iron wolfs at this point

Toshiba also make a cheaper MG tier 2 line which is worth looking at. They make a great N300 line as well

One more thing: RAID6 is not a true back up solution :wink:

there’s also a prior comment which I like

Honestly if you do AM4 ZedFS limits your space by the amount of RAM you have so software raid I am finding is better.

(Im sort of in the boat of scoping out my NAS build too


Want to piggyback my agreement RAID6 minimum. Synology then supports a simple external backup HDD (readable to other systems) or hyper backup.

As you grow with needs it can support storage to hypervisors, Plex, various self hosted cloud services for storage, security NVR etc.

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SHR2 If you’re using Synology’s hybrid raid, which isn’t all that horrible.


I mentioned btrfs… since it’s more flexible on raid and therefore cheaper for home use — you start with raid 1 and 2 drives ; then rebalance into raid 10 once you 4 drives, and then into raid 6. You can do this without a nuke-n-pave or a second system / box of drives; to hold your data while you reconfigure the array.

Also, it’s lighter on the ram… just as a plain old filesystem.


Honestly I think the OP would get a great experience out of spending a good amount of money building his own. There are people in this thread that will conflict with that and its fine. Synology is a great turnkey solution

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The difference is like 40€ soo…
I think I’ll go for the 920+

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Even thought I don’t want to build my own I’m curious.
Bc when I don’t like the Tower Designs wouldn’t I go for a rack-NAS to get smth bigger?

If you have a rack at home and noise isn’t an issue or are willing to install one, they’re great. They fit a ton of drives.
Cubic shaped cases like that node-304 will allow for larger quieter fans and a decent amount of storage.

I’m assuming based on your described use case (a bit of sql a webserver) you’d benefit from a better multipurpose system and a bit more airflow for a cpu.