Best 4/5 bay NAS- Synology 2018


Best for Plex, Surveillance, Performance, Connectivity, Energy saving, Warranty, Transcoding


Whether you are buying your first NAS server, or you are upgrading your pre existing Network Attached Storage device, there are a great many advantages to investing in a solid 4 or 5 Bay NAS solution. Not withstanding the obvious advantages that being able to populate it with a larger number of drives than a simple 2-Bay NAS, there are a host of other reasons including but not limited to

  • Increased Air Flow to keep things cool
  • Better external Connections and quantities to access your DATA directly
  • Better expansion options and often able to connect 2 or more NAS Expansion units
  • Much higher Read and Writes/ Uploads and Downloads thanks to greater LAN port access numbers
  • Often lower in price comparatively as you can achieve higher storage volume capacities in a RAID 5 across 3 or more drives, than the 50% capacity loss of RAID 1.

However knowing you want to buy a Synology 4-Bay NAS or 5-Bay is just the beginning. Synology are often regarded as one of the best brands in NAS (sharing the limelight with the likes of QNAP NAS, Netgear NAS and those old Pros at WD NAS) and currently have six main NAS devices in their 4/5 Bay NAS range of 2018. Today we will compare Synology NAS and find out the which NAS is the best NAS for you. Which is the most budget friendly NAS and most importantly of all, which NAS is write for you.

Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Performance

Second only to NAS price, the performance of a 4 or 5-Bay NAS will be one of the biggest things affecting your NAS purchase. The Hardware under the bonnet of each NAS will greatly affect the overall performance of the NAS server for the tasks you have in mind. Of these units it is clear very early on that it is the Plus series NAS that have the greatest CPU and RAM options available. This coupled with the ability to expand that memory in the NAS from 2GB upto 8GB is a welcome option to those that want to upgrade a NAS years into it’s lifespan.

That said, you should not overlook the cheap NAS at the end of the line as they all do still feature at least 1GB of RAM and Dual Core ARMv7 CPU’s. This does mean that they are unsuitable for Plex Media Servers in terms of transcoding HD and 4K media, as well as VMware and Virtualisation in general, but still never skip them if you need a solid, robust NAS that can perform traditional Network Attached Storage tasks and DLNA NAS services in your home or office.

 
 ds 918plus  ds 1515  ds 1515+  ds 918plus  ds 918plus  ds 416j
DS918+  DS1517+  DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
£449.00  £605.00    £386.00  £322.00  £246.00
Intel Celeron J3455 64-bit Quad Core 1.5 burst up to 2.3 GHz  Intel Atom C2538 Quad Core 2.4GHz  Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core 1.7GHz Intel Celeron J3355 64bit Dual Core 2.0 burst up to 2.5 GHz  Realtek RTD1296  64-bit Quad Core 1.4 GHz  Realtek RTD1293 64-bit Dual Core 1.4 GHz
4GB (1 x 4GB)  2GB - 8GB  2GB  2GB  2 GB DDR4  1 GB DDR4

Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Connectivity

 As mentioned earlier, buying your first 4-Bay or 5-Bay NAS opens up a larger degree of connections and how you access your NAS data. Once again, it is unsurprising that the most expensive NAS are the Best NAS in this field. Featuring upto 4 LAN ports to provide Link Aggregation (that can upto quadruple your transmission speeds), comprehensive USB 3.0 ports to connect several external devices at 5GB/s speeds and eSATA at 6GB/s. However if you choose to buy a Synology NAS from the J or PLAY range, then you will see reductions on all these fields and if direct NAS access is a deal-breaker for you, then you would be wise to spend the extra and for a Synology PLUS series NAS.

 
 ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus ds 918plus  ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
£449.00  £605.00    £386.00  £322.00  £246.00
2xLAN 4xLAN 4xLAN 2xLAN 2xLAN 1xLAN
  PCIe slot for M.2    -    
 2x USB 3.0  4x USB 3.0  4x USB 3.0  2x USB 3.0 2x USB 3.0   2x USB 3.0
 1X eSATA  2X eSATA 2X eSATA      


Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Expansion

 

NAS expansions are becoming increasingly popular and with the age of NAS being firmly established these past 5 Years or more, many people are starting to see their available NAS capacity dwindle from Terabytes, the Gigabytes and scarily into Megabytes. Hence the popularity of NAS expansions, whereby you can connect an external NAS Expansion via eSATA or USB 3.0 (differs on different NAS and I recommend you check in advance before buying) and rather than having to delete your old data, create a new directory or have to buy a whole net NAS server and drives, it increases the available storage in the volume you have created. This coupled with the drop in the prices in Hard Drives in the last 2-3 years and capacities getting bigger and bigger, it means it is often CONSIDERABLY more cost effective to upgrade your NAS with an expansion that buying a new setup entirely.

In the Synology 4-Bay or 5-BAY NAS range, the key thing to look for is an eSATA port as that is how the Synology 5-Bay expansion DX517 NAS connect and this is possible with only 3 of the Synology Desktop 4/5 Bay NAS, The Synology DS918+, The Synology DS1517+ and the Synology DS1517.

 ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus  ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
£449.00  £605.00    £386.00  £322.00  £246.00
expand to 9 drives expand to 15 drives  expand to 15 drives      
RAM 6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB)      6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB)    

 

Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Power Consumption and noise

Network Attached Storage devices can be left on for days, weeks, months and (though not advised without the occasional restart) years! This can mean that for many users (especially Home users, but not limited to just them) that NAS power consumption can be an important factor. Four and five Bay NAS on paper consume more power than their 1 and 2 Bay brother and sister, however once you take into account the amount of power consumed by number of Drives and via multiple LAN access, the power is quite use is quite relative. Obviously the higher the CPU frequency, the number of cores and the amount of RAM plays a big factor, as does the drives you use. All the stats shown are for filling the boxes with 2TB WD Red WD20EFRX drives and the results are quite telling. However it should be clear that he more budget friendly NAS are lower in power consumption due to their hardware being less demanding. If however you want full capability at the lowest power consumption possible in a Synology 4/5 Bay NAS, I have no hesitation in recommending the Synology DS918+ 8GB as the best NAS in a like for like, use for use comparison.

 ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
19.8 dB(A)  26.2 dB(A) 22.3 dB(A)  20.5 dB(A)  20.2 dB(A) 19.1 dB(A) 
 28.8 W (Access) 
12.6 W (HDD Hibernation) 
42.1 W (Access) 
23.1 W (HDD Hibernation) 
 38.39 W (Access) 
21.63 W (HDD Hibernation) 
 29.01 W (Access) 
5.57 W (HDD Hibernation) 
 26.49 W (Access) 
8.78 W (HDD Hibernation) 
 21.22 W (Access) 
8.97 W (HDD Hibernation) 
       DS416play 12.5W    

 


Best 4 bay Synology NAS functionality

 

It should come as no surprise that on balance, the more you spend on your NAS, the better the features and services you can perform. The higher end PLUS series NAS provide features that are much further outside the traditional NAS comfort zone of light users and if you are more experienced in NAS, want higher level features or just want a NAS to grow with, I would recommend the Synology DS918+ and the Synology DS1517+ NAS for you as they provide greater scope to expand and integrate with existing services in your home and office.

 

 ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus  ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
Citrix Ready   Citrix Ready      
VMware vSphere 5    VMware vSphere 5       
 SSD Read/Write Cache  SSD Read/Write Cache  SSD Read/Write Cache  4K videos to be converted and played on the fly  File server  
 File server
 NVME      Dual 1GbE LAN ports  Video Transcoding Video streaming 



 

Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Speed

 

 ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
80 Download Tasks 80 Download Tasks 80 Download Tasks 80 Download Tasks 30 Download Tasks 30 Download Tasks
           
226 MB/s reading and 222 MB/s writing  1179.13 read 542.73 write 436.32 read 449.69 write  226.29 read 220.84 write  226.02 read 170.49 write   112.94 read 108.88 write
encrypted  225 MB/s reading and 221 MB/s writing1     334 MB/s in reading and 269 MB/s  226 MB/s reading and 185 MB/s writing  encrypted  224 MB/s reading and 139 MB/s writing   112 MB/s encrypted sequential reading throughput and 87 MB/s encrypted 
           



Best 4 bay Synology NAS for PLEX

 

ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus ds 918plus  ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
Plex Server Plex Server Plex Server Plex Server - -
SD (480p/576p) SD (480p/576p) SD (480p/576p) SD (480p/576p) - -
HD (720P)  HD (720P) HD (720P) HD (720P) - -
 HD (1080P) * HD (1080P) * HD (1080P) * HD (1080P) * - -
 nas for plex   nas for plex  nas for plex nas for plex     

 

 

Best 4 bay Synology NAS for shared folders

 

ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
512 folders 512 1024 256 256 256
512      256  256  128
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
 
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
 
  • EXT4
 
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
 
  • EXT4
 
  • EXT4

 


Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Surveillance


 

ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus  ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
Maximum IP cam 40 Maximum IP cam 40 Maximum IP cam 40 Maximum IP cam 25 Maximum IP cam 30 Maximum IP cam 16
2 Free License 2 Free License 2 Free License 2 Free License 2 Free License 2 Free License
1200 FPS @ 720p (1280x720) 
840 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080) 
400 FPS @ 3M (2048x1536) 
300 FPS @ 5M (2591x1944) 
180 FPS @ 4K (3840x2160)
1200 FPS @ 720p (1280x720)   1200 FPS @ 720p (1280x720)    750 FPS @ 720p (1280x720) 
375 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080) 
250 FPS @ 3M (2048x1536) 
200 FPS @ 5M (2591x1944) 
120 FPS @ 4K (3840x2160)
900 FPS @ 720p (1280x720) 
300 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080) 
240 FPS @ 3M (2048x1536) 
150 FPS @ 5M (2591x1944) 
110 FPS @ 4K (3840x2160)
80 FPS @ 720p (1280x720) 
240 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080) 
150 FPS @ 3M (2048x1536) 
100 FPS @ 5M (2591x1944)   



Best 4 bay Synology NAS for Transcoding

 

ds 918plus ds 1515  ds 1515+ ds 918plus ds 918plus ds 416j
DS918+   DS1517+ DS1517 DS418play  DS418  DS418J
Hardware Transcoding Engine 

--- --- Hardware Transcoding Engine 

Hardware Transcoding Engine
only 10-bit H.265
MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2
May have some problems with few files 
--- 
  • 2 channel, 30 FPS @ 4K (4096 x 2160), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC) or 
    2 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)/MPEG-2/VC-1


  • 1 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p(1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/MPEG-4 Part 2 (XVID, DIVX5)/MPEG-2/VC-1
  • 1 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p(1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/MPEG-4 Part 2 (XVID, DIVX5)/MPEG-2/VC-1
  • 2 channel, 30 FPS @ 4K (4096 x 2160), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC) or 
    2 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)/MPEG-2/VC-1
  • 1 channel, 30 FPS @ 4K (4096 x 2160), H.265 (HEVC), 10-bit or 
    1 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)/MPEG-4 Part 2 (XVID, DIVX5)/MPEG-2/VC-1
---
4K 1080p 1080p 4K 4K ----
4K Group 1.
Any container or file extension in 4K 2160p (4096 x 2160 or 3840 x 2160) with codecs H.265 (HEVC) and H.264 (AVC), and in 1080p with codecs H.265 (HEVC), H.264 (AVC), MPEG-2 and VC-1 can be transcoded up to 1080p by Synology NAS in 4K Group 1. The maximum supported frame rate per second (FPS) is 30. These containers can be MKV, MP4, AVI, TS, MPG, WMV and more. 
Group 1 - Type 1.
Any container or file extension with codecs H.264 (AVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1 can be transcoded up to 1080p
These containers can be MKV, MP4, AVI, TS, MPG, WMV and more.  
 Group 1 - Type 2.
Any container or file extension with codecs H.264 (AVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1 can be transcoded up to 720p by other Synology NAS models in Group 1 - Type 2. These containers can be MKV, MP4, AVI, TS, MPG, WMV and more. 
 4K Group 1.
Same as DS918+
4K Group 3
Any container or file extension in 4K 2160p (4096 x 2160) with codecs H.265 (HEVC), and in 1080p with codecs H.265 (HEVC), H.264 (AVC), MPEG-4 Part 2 (XVID, DIVX5), MPEG-2, and VC-1 can be transcoded up to 1080p by Synology NAS in 4K Group 3. The maximum supported frame rate per second (FPS) is 30. These containers can be MKV, MP4, AVI, TS, MPG, WMV and more. However, these containers/file extensions might come in codecs other than the ones mentioned. In that case, videos cannot be transcoded to 1080p. At this time, 4K Group 3 does not support transcoding any container or file extension in 4K 2160p with codecs H.264 (AVC). Please refer to this this article for more information on the container formats. Other codecs are not supported.
 
--- 

How and where do I sign up for Plex? How much does Plex Cost?

The Plex Application for your NAS, Mac, PC, Android device is free and available in the NAS App store, iTunes and Google Playstore at no additional cost. Though the free apps, serving as an excellent introduction, will soon feel limited and we advise that if you upgrade to the Plex Pass subscription service for vastly improved options and add-ons. To begin setting up your Plex Media Server, you will need to head over to Plex and set up your account (use the below link) so you can have all your movie, TV show, music, and photo collections at your fingertips. Anywhere you go, on the devices you love.

Create_a_Plex_Account_today_with_your_NAS_server_app

If however you wish to skip straight to the good stuff and set up your Plex Pass Membership immediately so you can get your Plex Media Server at 100%, use the link below to take walk you through setting up your Plex Pass today!

PLex Pass for your NAS Mac PC Android Roku Chromecast Amazon fire Media 2



If You need a help choosing right nas for the purpose, do not hesitate to call our NAS experts on 020 8288 8555
Or email us here

Now when you have chosen you NAS box, it is time to get right drives for the purpose.

choose right hard drives for your nas



1 COMMENTS

Rosco Bailey bailburg@bigpond.com 2017-04-17 14:34:43


person iconHi. I'm about to build my 1st NAS but am a little confused. Qnap don't start using ECC Ram in their systems until the TS-1685. That means eg the 5 Bay TS-563 is using Non ECC ram. After I upgraded my own built PC last year, I had a redundant Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H m/b complete with Intel 4790K CPU & 32 GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 RAM on my hands. I thought I would use them in my NAS build, but all the experts said I needed ECC ram. So I shelved the idea of my own build & started looking at commercially available NAS units. QNAP look better than Synology but not with Non ECC ram. If Qnap get away with using Non ECC Ram can I safely go back to using my redundant h/w?? Your comments welcomed. Have a great day Rosco
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