Synology or Windows NAS - Which do you prefer/use?

Hi Folks!

after I bought my Vero4k I was again thinking about setting up my NAS again.

Because the Vero4k replaced my Windows 10 Media PC, I thought to myself:
“Hey, why not set up a W10 Nas?!”

After some fiddeling and playing around with the SMB Share option directly build into Windows, I ran into the SMB / Fstab etc. problem which is discussed heavily in this forum…

So I wanted to know from you guys:

What do you use? And why did you chose it in the first place? I’m really curios! (and what are your experiences with the performance?)

A Windows based NAS, A OOB NAS like Synology or a Linux Based System?

Greetings from rainy Germany!

I use a Windows 2012 Storage Server virtual machine as storage for my movies and music. I’m using SMB right now, but doing some testing on NFS because Windows 2012 supports NFS 4.1 quite nicely, and it’s not hard to integrate Linux UID/GID into Windows with a Windows domain.

Using Windows is key for me, as all my movie file creation toolchain is Windows, and it’s just easier to store the final product on a share on a domain-joined computer. And, that’s my advice…use the storage system that lets you most easily manipulate the files for the harder things (adding artwork, renaming files, etc.), because playback using OSMC is mostly a read-only task. You only have to create the connection to your NAS once on OSMC/Kodi, while you likely manipulate files a lot using non-OSMC/Kodi methods.

So, if you can set up a Linux-based NAS (either OOB or build-it-yourself) to allow you to manipulate the files the way you want, then that’s probably the best way, as NFS from OSMC is easier (IMHO), even for a one-time setup thing.

NAS, and Synology is for me the good choice. Good choice because Synology make a lot of work to make DSM (the Synology OS) up to date. I use it now since some years (before Storcenter Iomega, EMC, Lenovo).
With DSM use Win or Linux for your workstations isn’t more your problem, only a NAS configaration.
NFS, SMB,FTP, SFTP… you can do it.
If you buy a NAS

  • take care for the model (inside DSM you have Intel or AMD or ARM processor, etc) and the easy Synology upgrade is “only” the same processor line. When I’ve updated from DS1415+ to 1515+, I’ve only put the disc(s) from box to box (in the right order!!) and power on the new NAS, some minutes later it’s works like before.
  • the free slots inside your NAS and the disc.
    I’ve started with 15TB, now I’m with more then 32 TB.
    When you have some free slots you can add new discs without pb, and also If needed you can change the disc inside your NAS (hot swap)
    For me today the “best disc” is the HGST 6TO, but you can start with 2-4 TO discs, and change it later.
    Synology has a lot of User pages take a look.
    And take time to look, for a OSMC(KODI) mediacenter the NAS is the basic choice.

Edit: I use Kodi since some years, i’ve “use” some networks storages, and also some “Kodi” box(s), like PI, CuBox, Vero.
The most money that I’ve “used” or lost was for “cheap” Nas. Discs you can try to resell.
Two point:
TV serie “New York Section Criminelle” the preferred of my wife need 325 GB with pictures, fanarts actors etc.
and the Kodibox (Sam don’t change your pricing PLEASEEEE) is only some “tear”

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I use my Windows 10 machine as a NAS, but I do that because even though I moved Kodi onto a RPI3 with OSMC, the DVR software I use (NextPVR) is Windows based. So I was going to have to have the Windows machine anyway, and I’m not doing much to stress the machine out. I also found SMB this way to be problematic with OSMC, so I spent a few bucks and bought a NFS server for Windows 10 (HaneWIN NFS, not sure what the protocol is for linking to other software, so just search for it). Using the built-in Kodi NFS client with that along with a few adjustments to the caching on OSMC, and everything has been fine.

I built my own NAS system based on a description on with using openmediavault (Linux based) as operating system. And it was a great decision. I not only use it as NAS, I also now run a personal cloud (nextcloud) on it etc. and could do much more if I want.

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Thanks for your answers, interresting to see that everyone has a different approach!

@pkscout what did you change on the hanewin settings or on osmc to get it work? I downloaded the programm to see if it fits me needs but I dont see my shares in Kodi…

@quintz I don’t remember specifically changing anything. When I set up my NFS exportsI used IP range authentication (which seemed the simplest and pretty safe on my home network). So as you can see from here:

E:\ -name:dvr_media -range
C:\Users\ -name:dvr_users -range

I have two shares that are available to any machine within the 10 IP address range listed. These addresses aren’t given out by default by the DHCP server, so there’s little chance a machine will randomly get one of these. I then did a static DHCP lease so that my OSMC box always get With that when I go into Kodi and browse to the Network File System option I always see the Windows box’s IP address in the list. Once I select that I can pick one of the two shares from my NFS export.

Personally I do prefer QNAP over Synology as I find it easier to use. Anyway, despite both QNAP and Synology have Samba capabilities NFS is the way to go, either direct Kodi source add or via /etc/fstab mount

I use a Synology DS1812+ with eight 4-TB WD-Red drives in a RAID-6 array.
All my media is served by a single shared directory called media. This directory is shared as both NFS and Samba.
The NAS is running a MySQL server for OSMCs library serving 3 Raspberry Pi 3s.
My main linux computer has full access to the shared folder as does my work Winblows PC.
This model also has 2 GigE ports which I’ve configured in a LAG group in my switch.

This old 2012 model is getting long in the tooth and I’m looking at the 2018 models for something new.

Thanks for your hint with haneWINS @pkscout , I installed it now, opened the firewall ports and now it works like a charm!

Now I am really overthinking the idea of getting an OOB NAS, a Windows based NAS has really a lot of advantages. On the other hand, my Asus Motherboard with the AMD chip I use is soo slow… :-/

Another Vote for openmediavault.

Got myself a HP MicroServer early last year (G8, it was really cheap) and then added 2 HDDs for storage and an SSD for the System (i had laying arround). Will add two more drives soon for more space.
I really love this system, its very easy to get going and there are a lot of great tutorials out there. Everything can be done using the webinterface but you can of course take advantage of the full underlying debian system if you want to do more.
The HP is a “real” server built for 24/7 usage with a great remote managing system so i can keep it out of sight and still do troubleshooting and complete reinstall over the network (not that i needed this yet).

At the moment its hosting my kodi media and library and a nextcloud instance for my personal cloud which is great (dyndns and letsencrypt make this very polished) and some other web servers for testing.

Synology over Windows. No contest. I use various types of NAS at work and the Synology translates well to home use. QNAP have an advantage especially if you want to direct connect a screen. There is though a price premium. The opensource NAS have their place too - but you have to be a bit hands on.