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Best Media Server For Synology NAS- 2024

Explore the ultimate media experience with Plex on the best media server for Synology NAS. Centralize your music, movies, and more, efficiently and cost-effectively.

Plex is a popular option for people wishing to set up their own home media servers. Plex Media Server allows you to host and stream all of your music, movies, programs, and other media in one spot. If you already have a large collection of purchased media, using a NAS enclosure to handle this service is a terrific way to save money.

best media server for synology nas

To get the most out of Plex, a powerful server is required. However, a decent enclosure would suffice. It is feasible to make your own, which is the preferred way for individuals with the necessary skills. What if, on the other hand, you want to buy one of the finest NAS for Plex, plug everything in, and get started? A few solutions are available from various firms, but not all of them are appropriate for Plex, which might be resource-intensive.

Plex Media recommends numerous NAS devices, including the ones listed below:

  • QNAP
  • Netgear 
  • ASUSTOR
  • Synology 
  • Seagate
  • Western Digital 
  • TerraMaster

Before you spend your money on a NAS, keep in mind that the lower the price, the less probable the system will be able to successfully transcode and stream 4K content to other devices. What exactly is transcoding? It is the process of transforming media on the fly from one file type to another.

Things may not go smoothly if a TV, tablet, or phone needs assistance from your server to play, and it isn’t nearly up to the duty of processing the demanding request. The Plex server would have to transcode the file (which demands significant computer power) and transmit it across the network.

So, how does one ensure great transcoding performance with Plex? Examine the CPU used by companies in the NAS devices you’re evaluating. Plex has an excellent NAS guide that demonstrates how well each supported NAS system will run. Is it capable of transcoding in 720p, 1080p, or 4K? You may easily check by utilising the following site.

Plex Media Server is not compatible with all NAS enclosures and processors. More inexpensive NAS machines with less powerful CPUs will trail more costly NAS servers with beefier internals for 4K media streaming and simultaneous connections. This spreadsheet will demonstrate the capability of each enclosure for NAS media transcoding.

An Intel-powered NAS will generally provide the best performance, but a high-end ARM CPU can suffice if you don’t have the extra cash to invest in a more expensive option. For storage and other features, be sure the NAS has all you need, which will vary depending on the situation.

The server would then need to transcode the movie into a format the receiver device could understand. So, if the device you need to watch a 4K movie on happily runs the formats you’ve saved on the NAS, you’re great — it’s only when you need to convert that a strong CPU is required.

Purchasing a network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure is an excellent method to save money on cloud subscriptions while also bringing all of your data into your home or workplace. On these servers, you can even host applications like Plex, which allows you to stream music, movies, and other media. Not all NAS enclosures are suitable for running Plex, which is where this list of alternatives comes in. Here are the best NAS systems for Plex.

PLEX RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OUR NAS

QNAP TVS-672XT

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Core i3-8100T

Bays: 6

RAM: 8GB DDR4 (max 32GB)

LAN: 1x 10Gb, 4x 1Gb

HDMI: 2.0

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REASONS TO BUY

  • + Powerful Intel Core i3 CPU
  • + 6x drive bays (72TB capacity)
  • + 10 GB LAN
  • + Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • + Excellent QNAP OS

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Pricey
  • High power draw

The QNAP TVS-672N-i3 was created with media consumption in mind. The HDMI ports on the back of the enclosure indicate this. Furthermore, QNAP chose a powerful Intel Core i3-8100T processor, which can perform 4K transcoding.

There are two 2.5Gb Ethernet ports for faster speeds (when connected to a compatible network), as well as complete compatibility with VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization technologies. QNAP hasn’t skimped on security, including complete NAS encryption as well as an antivirus.

With XBMC, an Intel Core-i3 processor is accompanied by 8GB RAM (upgradable to 32GB) and HDMI out. Overall, this equipment is an excellent Plex server and a fantastic NAS box with six bays.

Synology DiskStation DS920+

SPECIFICATIONS

CPU: Intel Celeron J4025

Bays: 4

RAM: 2GB DDR4 (max 6 GB)

LAN: 2x 1Gb

HDMI: No

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REASONS TO BUY

  • + Powerful Intel processor
  • + 4x drive bays (64TB capacity)
  • + 2x 1Gb LAN with link aggregation
  • + Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • + Excellent Synology OS

REASONS TO AVOID

  • No M.2 slots
  • Limited capacity with RAID
  • No 2.5Gb LAN

The Synology DS920 is the finest affordable NAS enclosure for Plex. It has four drive bays for plenty of storage capacity, an Intel Celeron processor that is relatively stable, and a slew of features like upgradable RAM and dual 1Gb LAN connections with link aggregation support.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a 4K-capable NAS. The DS920+ is a dependable solution, with an Intel Celeron J4025 CPU, 2GB DDR4 RAM (up to 6GB supported), and two 1Gb Ethernet connections. This CPU is capable of 4K transcoding, allowing you to lay the groundwork for a fantastic home media server.

Regarding Plex and watching material, the DS920+ can handle up to 4K H.264 and output it to a competent display, though we’d recommend only keeping 1080p in mind for transcoding. You’ll be right as long as the recipient device supports the same format as the 4K movie.

And, because it’s the DS920, you can install an expansion unit to increase the four included drive bays to nine, which the DS220+ and DS420+ cannot.

TerraMaster F2-221

SPECIFICATIONS

  • CPU: Intel Celeron J3355
  • Bays: 2
  • RAM: 2GB DDR4 (max 6GB)
  • LAN: 2x 1Gb
  • HDMI: No

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REASONS TO BUY

  • + Intel Celeron processor
  • + 2x drive bays (128TB+ capacity)
  • + 2x 1Gb LAN
  • + Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • + Affordable

REASONS TO AVOID

  • OS is okay
  • No 2.5Gb or 10Gb LAN

More cheap NAS enclosures, such as the TerraMaster F2-221, have two bays. It’s not the most powerful, but it does include an Intel Celeron J3355 processor. As long as you don’t need to transcode anything, this small server can handle 4K videos.

The TerraMaster F2-221, which is powered by the Intel Celeron J3355 processor, may be an economical option for NAS solutions, but don’t let that low price deceive you into believing it’s not a capable unit. We’re talking about 4K Ultra HD video playback and H.265 (HEVC) compatibility. This enables high-quality content to be sent to a television set. What distinguishes the F2-221 is how simple it is to set up and configure. It takes no time at all to install Plex, copy movies across, connect to an Xbox Series X/S console, and connect to other in-home devices. You may toss music, video, or photographs at the TerraMaster device and it will handle everything with ease.

While this NAS can transcode 4K footage, the two disc bays limit storage space for such large files.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

CPU                                Intel Celeron J4125

Memory                  2 GB  DDR4

Drive                             Bays 2                         

Ports                  2x 1GbE, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x eSATA 

 Caching                                   No

OS                               Synology DSM

Price                                         $300

Dimensions                 165 x 108 x 232.2 mm

Weight                                 1.3 kg

 

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Pros

    • Good specs for the price

    • Intel CPU for 4K transcoding

    • The best NAS OS

Cons

    • Not a great upgrade over the DS220+

    • 1GbE networking

    • No M.2 SSD slots

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ had huge shoes to fill when it replaced the popular DS220+ NAS. It features a more powerful CPU than the DS920+, which is one of the most popular options for running Plex Media Server. The DS224+, with its more powerful processor, is more than capable of supporting Plex and other more intensive NAS services. Even if other users are utilising the enclosure and/or streaming other media, transcoding 4K content will be simple.

In terms of specifications, this NAS falls a little short when compared to the competition. TerraMaster has greater specs for a lower price, but it does not support Synology’s superb DSM NAS operating system. The DS224+ includes 2GB of expandable DDR4 RAM, two storage bays, and two 1GbE connectors in addition to the processor. At $300, it’s a good-value NAS.

Choosing the Best Plex NAS

Choosing the finest NAS for Plex entails selecting an enclosure with the greatest processor for the task at hand. Any NAS that can run Plex Media Server would suffice if you merely want to listen to music. Transcoding content requires a little more power, which Intel Celeron CPUs with integrated GPUs provide. We like the QNAP TS-464 because it has a powerful Intel Celeron processor for transcoding 4K material, four disc bays for storing a large amount of data, fast 2.5GbE networking, and an HDMI connector. It’s a reliable home or office NAS.

FAQs for Best Media Server for Synology NAS

Q1: What is a media server and why should I use one with my Synology NAS?

Ans: A media server is a software application that stores and shares media files such as videos, music, and photos across your network. Using a media server with your Synology NAS allows you to centralize your media library and stream content to multiple devices, such as smart TVs, computers, and mobile devices, ensuring easy access and better organization of your media files.

Q2: What are some of the best media server options for Synology NAS?

Ans: Some of the best media server options for Synology NAS include Plex Media Server, Emby, Jellyfin, and Kodi. Each of these offers unique features such as extensive device compatibility, user-friendly interfaces, support for multiple file formats, and powerful media management tools.

 

In conclusion, finding the best media server for Synology NAS can revolutionize your home entertainment. Whether it’s managing a vast collection or streaming seamlessly with Plex, this choice enhances convenience and cost-efficiency. We hope this guide empowers your media server journey, ensuring an enjoyable and streamlined experience. Happy streaming!