QNAP vs. Synology NAS: Which Is Better for Media Streaming?

QNAP vs. Synology NAS: Which Is Better for Media Streaming?


When it comes to choosing a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for media streaming, both QNAP and Synology are popular options. To determine which is better, let's compare their key features and performance in this aspect.

1. Media Streaming Capabilities:

Both QNAP and Synology offer comprehensive support for media streaming. QNAP NAS devices come with the QTS operating system, which includes the popular multimedia server application called "QNAP Media Center." On the other hand, Synology NAS devices use the DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, which incorporates the "Video Station" and "Audio Station" applications for media streaming. Both platforms support popular streaming protocols such as DLNA, UPnP, and AirPlay.

2. Transcoding Performance:

One crucial factor for media streaming is the ability to transcode media files on-the-fly. QNAP NAS devices are known for their powerful hardware, which includes Intel processors with Quick Sync Video acceleration. This hardware acceleration allows for efficient and real-time transcoding of media files, ensuring smooth playback on various devices. In contrast, Synology NAS devices generally have a weaker CPU, which may affect their transcoding performance for high-resolution media files.

3. App Ecosystem:

Both QNAP and Synology boast extensive app ecosystems that enhance the media streaming experience. QNAP's QTS App Center offers a wide range of multimedia apps, including Plex Media Server and the HD Station for multimedia playback. Synology's Package Center provides similar applications such as Plex, Emby, and the media player app called Kodi. These apps enable users to organize and stream media content effortlessly.

4. Network Connectivity:

For seamless media streaming, a robust network connection is essential. QNAP NAS devices offer a diverse range of models, including those equipped with multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports and even built-in 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections. Synology also provides NAS devices with Gigabit Ethernet ports, ensuring stable and high-speed transmissions. Additionally, both brands support Wi-Fi connectivity through compatible adapters, enabling wireless media streaming.


In summary, while both QNAP and Synology NAS devices excel in media streaming capabilities, QNAP tends to have the edge in terms of hardware performance and transcoding capabilities. However, Synology's DiskStation Manager offers a user-friendly interface and an extensive range of media streaming applications. Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual preferences, budget, and specific media streaming requirements.

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