Synology DS920+ 4-Bay 1GbE NAS Review

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RAID 5 Encrypted Performance Tests

We ran our tests with a RAID 5 using a folder encryption configuration, and most users would use this with a 4x HDD configuration. Using a single or several folders for encryption needs free’s other folders such as Movies where encryption is not useful and may impact playback performance.

Synology DS920+ RAID 5 HD Video Playback Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 HD Video Playback Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 2x HD Playback Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 2x HD Playback Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 4x HD Playback Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 4x HD Playback Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 HD Playback And Record Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 HD Playback And Record Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Content Creation Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Content Creation Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Office Productivity Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Office Productivity Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 File Copy From NAS Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 File Copy From NAS Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Dir Copy To NAS Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Dir Copy To NAS Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Dir Copy From NAS Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Dir Copy From NAS Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Photo Album Encrypted
Synology DS920+ RAID 5 Photo Album Encrypted

Our encrypted benchmarks of the Synology DS920+ 4-Bay 1GbE NAS show again that it’s up to the task of encryption use. Most of our test samples handle encryption well, except for older units that struggle with encryption cases.

Final Words

The Synology DS920+ 4-Bay 1GbE NAS should again be one of Synology’s top sellers with the new release and upgraded DS920+. The 4-Bay DS+ series from Synology has shown to be reliable workhorses and perform very well over the years. It clearly outperforms units like the QNAP TS-453A and some others, and here an upgrade would make sense. The DS916+ and DS918+ still perform well. Upgrading may make sense if these units saw heavy use over the years but otherwise, there is not a lot to be gained from the new unit. Unless you felt the need to replace to cycle in newer hardware, it is fairly difficult to make the case to swap to the DS920+. At the same time, it is hard to argue with the small upgrade as the Celeron J4125 is a better SoC.

One thing we would have liked to see on the DS920+ is 2.5GbE networking, many new systems and motherboards are including this, and we see no reason why the DS920+ should not have it given pricing. Some of the 2.5GbE NIC vendors are selling ICs for about the price of a candy bar in California. With that market knowledge, we think this was a big miss saving nickles to offer only 40% of the networking speed.

Many users search specifically for 4-bay 1GbE NAS units. In this space, the user-friendliness of Synology DSM and the tools that surround it are first rate. While we may have wanted a few hardware tweaks, Synology’s main strength is in providing class-leading software.

Overall, this is a unit that worked well and that many users will be happy with it if they simply want a 4-bay 1GbE NAS. We may have pointed out a few changes, but realistically, Synology is iterating on a successful formula in this space where it is extremely popular. If we take a step back, it is easy to see why the Synology DS920+ will be a winner in this segment. A big part of that is simply due to the software and partner ecosystem that Synology has invested in and that its customers rely upon.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Given the lack of 2.5 GbE I cannot see how you can give such high score. It is nice to have upgradable RAM and NVMe slots, but this NAS is definitely limited by 1 GbE only.
    Seeing that this year’s motherboards (both AMD B550 and Intel Z490) are moving to 2.5 GbE more or less as standard it is a shame to not include it in a medium-range 2020 NAS.

    Disclaimer: I have owned two Synology NASes over the years. Currently I am running a FreeNAS machine. I really like Synology for their ease of use, but the prices are high for the hardware you get.

  2. Same for me. I was looking into replacing my DS214PLAY. Yes this will be much faster, but not multi-year future proof.

    I’ll wait untill QNAP releases its hero OS and look for a 4disk+2,5GBE prosumer nas there.

  3. If you’re happy to give up the USB 3 port, you can install custom drivers and use a 2.5GBE or 5GBE Ethernet to USB adapter.

  4. @Ned Yes that is certainly an option, but it’s annoying that Synology didn’t pay the $2 to $5 cost to have it integrated.

  5. Unfortunately I have to agree with the previous comments : I like the Software but I don’t understand, why the HW is that limited. The price can’t be the reason. In case of the 220+ the memory upgrade options are worse than with the 218+ due to the soldered memory. The processor power is useful for virtual machines but with that little memory? I will stay with my 218+ /16gb machine

  6. Comparing this to the new QNAP TS-431X3 and QNAP TS-431KX it’s obvious that Synology is nickel-and-diming their NAS lineup to prevent the cheaper options to cannibalize the more expensive SMB lineup in an artificial manner. With current HDD capacities not being meaningfully different for most purposes it’s sad to see that Synology is artificially segmenting their lineup to protect the likes of DS1618+ or DS1817.

    in all the STH performance tests it’s obvious that the bottleneck is 1GbE.

    @Wannes take a look at the above mentioned QNAP models, I’m getting either of those optiosn as soon as they’re in stock locally to me to replace a DS213

  7. The SoC upgrade seems pointless when limited by 1gb networking. Even the lowest targeting market (home users wanting their first NAS) are starting to upgrade to 2.5 and beyond.

  8. To jump on the bandwagon of 1GbE; having never owned a Synology but looking to buy a system, can the two interfaces be aggregated? If I have a managed switch supporting LACP, can I at least get 2Gb throughput (understanding the limitations of TCP sessions)?

  9. In the hopes that someone from Synology will eventually see these comments and see how incredibly painful this whole 1GbE issue is, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon. I also switched over to FreeNAS, but desperately want to switch back for lower power consumption and ease of use. They know their OS is great, but hey, if QNAP ever comes out with something better (I see someone mentioned hero OS, will have to look into that), Synology will be a thing of the past. This nickel and dime mentality they can’t seem to get over is the reason I will always put my $1k else where. Sorry Synology, get your head right.

  10. I agree with you guys. I hope Synology reads the review and comments.

    You can LACP two ports, but this is a low-end NAS meant for SMB. 2.5g is incredibly more useful than 2 1g ports.

  11. I get why it only has 1Gbe in that ifs an inexpensive solution to NAS often installed on 1Gbe networks. My issue with Synology is the cheap software. People rave about it but in the end they cut so many corners and their solution often feel half baked. DSM 7 may fix this but its been delayed for more than a year. Their warranty is painful at best and their prices are high for the name. Overall I’m surprised this scored more than a 6.0.

  12. It seems a little unfair to compare the Synology DS920+ against the aging Qnap TS453A when the 2020 TS453D has been released.

    Bother units use the same processor and the 453D adds 2.5Gbe connectivity.

    Might be worth updating the charts to compare these to see how they stack up.

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