Synology DiskStation DS224+ with the front cover off

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. QNAP TS-262: Which NAS is best?

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Shopping around for the best two-bay NAS can prove challenging when multiple brands have an endless sea of enclosures. Two of which are the Synology DiskStation DS224+ and QNAP TS-262. These NAS enclosures have an Intel chip and cost less than $400, but which should you buy for the home or office? I’ll compare prices, specifications, software, and performance to help you make the right decision.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

Better price

Synology DiskStation DS224+
Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: Synology)
  • Powerful Intel CPU
  • User-friendly OS
  • Upgradable RAM
  • Cheaper MSRP
  • No HDMI output
  • No M.2 SSD slots
  • 1Gb networking

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ is a relatively safe launch for the brand. It has an Intel chip, 2GB of RAM, is cheaper than the TS-262, and has an excellent OS with plenty of available apps.

QNAP TS-262

More performance

QNAP TS-262
QNAP TS-262. (Source: QNAP)
  • Powerful Intel CPU
  • User-friendly OS
  • HDMI output
  • M.2 SSD slots
  • 2.5Gb networking
  • RAM cannot be expanded
  • More expensive

This powerful two-bay NAS enclosure has an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of preinstalled RAM, two M.2 NVMe SSD slots, and 2.5Gb networking. There’s even an HDMI port for media streaming.

If these NAS enclosures were to have a battle, they would both trade blows accordingly. Neither wins outright as it all depends on what you plan on using the NAS for. The Synology DiskStation DS224+ is better suited to storing data and allowing multiple people to access installed apps and services. QNAP’s TS-262 is the king of specifications and the available HDMI port makes it a good fit for running a media server.

Looking at the price and specs

You’ll need to part with around $280 for the luxury of owning the Synology DiskStation DS224+. This is a slight discount on the MSRP of $300 but it’s considerably cheaper than the QNAP TS-262, which costs $370. Saving $90 can cover the cost of a NAS-grade hard drive, bringing the overall cost of the NAS down considerably.

Where the QNAP TS-262 price makes sense is when you look at the specifications. The Intel Celeron N4505 processor is a punchy chip with two physical cores that can hit speeds of 2.9 GHz. The DS224+ has the tried and tested Intel Celeron J4125 with four cores that can hit 2.7 GHz. QNAP loads the TS-262 with 4 GB of RAM whereas only 2 GB is found on the DS224+.

System memory is important for NAS enclosures as it runs the OS, installed services and apps, and everything else you wish to do on the server. The more RAM available, the more you can do before running out of system resources. The QNAP TS-262 cannot have its RAM expanded, but the DS224+ from Synology can take 6 GB.

Synology DiskStation DS224+QNAP TS-262
CPUIntel Celeron J4125
(4-core, 2.7 GHz burst)
Intel Celeron N4505
(2-core, 2.9 GHz burst)
RAM2 GB DDR4 (max 6 GB)4 GB DDR4 (max 4 GB)
Drive bays2 SSD/HDD2 SSD/HDD
Capacity40 TB40 TB
Expansion support2x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x1
1x PCIe 3.0 x2
Cooling1x 92 mm fan1x 70 mm fan
Ports2x 1 GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x eSATA
1x 2.5 GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x HDMI
Power draw~14.69 W~12.45 W
Dimensions165 x 108 x 232.2 mm165 × 105 × 226.5 mm
Weight1.30 kg2.61 kg
Price$300$369

QNAP does have a party trick with the TS-262 in the form of two M.2 SSD slots. These can take NVMe SSDs with incredible transfer speeds for enabling caching and act as a type of RAM. This is something that the DS224+ is incapable of providing. But that’s not all as the TS-262 has an additional PCIe 3.0 x2 slot for expansion cards, such as a 10Gb network link.

Synology doesn’t allow the DS224+ to work with expansion units, so once you’ve used up the available drive bays, you’re out of luck. QNAP can allow for an additional 16 bays to be unlocked through an expansion unit such as the TL-D800C. This can transform the QNAP TS-262 into a powerful multimedia server for more than one usage.

The two enclosures have similar weight and dimensions, though you can expect the TS-262 to use more power with M.2 drives, an expansion card, and an expansion unit all connected to expand functionality.

Great budget-friendly NAS

Running Synology’s DSM on the DS224+ is a joy with the available performance, the years of work on optimization, and a friendly UI that makes getting around no issue. You’d think two-bay NAS enclosures wouldn’t have the guts to run more intensive apps and environments but their Intel processors have multiple cores and threads to handle primary and background tasks.

QNAP’s QTS operating system is also great to use and the TS-262 has more than enough horsepower to run everything, including Plex Media Server. Where the TS-262 shines is with the dedicated HDMI port, which can be used to direct stream media to a connected TV or monitor, bypassing the need to use the network or transcode. Either NAS has ample performance for the home and office.

Whether you need to store some files and backups or run a few services, the ability to utilize an Intel CPU with a decent amount of RAM makes the DS224+ and TS-262 worth considering. The DS224+ is considerably cheaper but it doesn’t have the capabilities to expand up to 320TB of capacity. QNAP made sure to include more advanced features for the higher price tag, offering something for power users.

Which NAS should you buy?

I recommend the Synology DiskStation DS224+ if you want to save the most money. It’s a great little NAS to get started with and DiskStation Manager remains to be one of the most user-friendly operating systems out there. It may not have all the fancy expansion features as the QNAP TS-262, but it costs less and will get you up and running in no time.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

Synology DiskStation DS224+
Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: Synology)

Synology’s DiskStation DS224+ is designed for storing data and running a few apps. It’s more affordable but less capable than the TS-262.

For those who want something more from their NAS, there’s no question the QNAP TS-262 is the enclosure to buy. It has more RAM from the factory, two M.2 slots, a PCI expansion slot, support for an additional 16 drive bays, and faster networking. So long as you don’t mind spending a little more on storage, this is the better NAS.

QNAP TS-262

QNAP TS-262
QNAP TS-262. (Source: QNAP)

Go with the QNAP TS-262 if you care more about setting up a compact media streaming platform with Plex Media Server or an alternative service.

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