Using Synology NAS for all my home central storage needs since over a decade.
Their DSM makes management easy for non tech savvy people as well, and also easy to explain stuff to other people at my household. And it comes with all the stuff you need. Don’t miss anything.
Sure you could use a QNAP as well. Comes probably down to personal preference in the end in some small details.
Wouldn’t bother building my own NAS for the same reason I like OSMC and the Vero 4K so much. It just works and instead of fiddling with the basics I can do some customization and configuring specific stuff important to me instead of wasting time on boring basic stuff I can have out of the box.
In the long run DIY NAS are PITA to manage because they are lacking a unifying interface and you have to built so much stuff yourself and keep it up to date. Nah, not worth it. Buy a box, throw disks in, configure services you need and that’s it. They just work. Also no bloatware, you can remove any service easily.
So Syno or QNAP is the way to go. In the end it comes down if you like DSM or QTS (the user interface) more. The difference in hardware are marginal as well as in software - the stuff you will actually run.
As said I use Synology but that is basically grounded in the fact that QNAP wasn’t there a decade ago for my needs.
If you are new to the NAS game I recommend grabbing on of the cheap two bay NAS like a Synology DS218+ (or what ever is current there). You can plug external USB drives to such units without problems (naturally no RAID for them) for the time being if you run out of disk space. But it’s a cheaper way to see if a NAS is for you compared to buying one with way more HDD bays right away.
Then a year or two later you know what size you will need or what services you like at home. In the end you spent most money on the HDDs anyway. And no problem to have an older smaller NAS running at the same time as a bigger one. Have two running here.
My Syno runs as a media file server (using SMB everywhere, not touching ancient NFS), some backups, DDNS, DHCP, VPN, MySQL for Kodi only and some smaller local services here. That is stuff the cheap two bay things with ARM processors can do.
QNAP can do the same naturally. So choose your poison and start with a cheap two bay NAS and see if you like it. Only real way to find it out.
And don’t bother setting up a Windows Server or god beware run Win 10 as a server. Really, just don’t bother at home. There is zero advantage in doing so for a home/SOHO server.
I currently run a DS2415+ with a DX1215 expansion unit (24 x 4TB WD Red Pro drives in a RAID 6 configuration) and a small older two bay NAS (think it’s a DS214+) that acts primary as a media ingestion system now and given the CPU power of the DS2415+ I let it run encoding jobs as well. Naturally that stuff is connected to an UPS as the power I have isn’t really clean.
Two older Diskstations, also two bay, went to my mother’s home (with a couple of external USB HDDs) and a friend so he had something for central storage).
If needed in the future when I go 4K I setup a second NAS and again start slowly not fully loaded with HDDs and expand as needed. Yes, RAID resizing takes forever, but well what can you do…
All former dedicated server stuff is gone and I moved everything where feasible to the cloud and the Synos do all the work needs for my Windows, Mac, Linux boxes.
Sure that’s an enterprise grade setup. But it’s no problem to use a two bay NAS with a shit load of external USB drives you expand as you go. It will work fine but naturally you have no HDD failure protection then - but well you notice when HDDs go bad…