When comparing Apple Time Capsule vs Synology DS216-II, the Slant community recommends Synology DS216-II for most people. In the question“What are the best NAS enclosures under $300?” Synology DS216-II is ranked 5th while Apple Time Capsule is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Synology DS216-II is:
(called USBCopy) Attach your media to the front, press the Copy button (labeled C on this version) and wait till it's done (no need to have it attached to any PC and no need to login to the NAS as well). By default, the backups get compressed to a single archive per backup and are named after their device name and timestamp attached (changeable within the settings). Older/other versions also had an SD-Card reader, this one doesn't (but it seems to have an eSATA port) so you might search for an alternative if you need the SD-Card reader.
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Pro Its a time capsule
The software is set up to integrate more transparently with Apple's Time Capsule features of MacOS and iOS, reducing some of the setup needed for a non-Apple brand NAS.
Pro An Apple a day...
This is the perfect solution if you are a heavy Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV user. Store movies, music, backups, and more using Time Machine. Access all of that information just as simply, using the built in software for Mac. It really is a calming feeling when all of your tech just talks to each other without you having to go through extra effort.
Pro Single-button press backup functionality (ports and button on the front)
Attach your media to the front, press the Copy button (labeled C on this version) and wait till it's done (no need to have it attached to any PC and no need to login to the NAS as well).
By default, the backups get compressed to a single archive per backup and are named after their device name and timestamp attached (changeable within the settings).
Older/other versions also had an SD-Card reader, this one doesn't (but it seems to have an eSATA port) so you might search for an alternative if you need the SD-Card reader.
Pro DiskStation Manager OS is rock solid
DiskStation Manager OS is by far the best commercial NAS-OS out there when it comes to expandability, usability, and stability. No other system comes close, unless you build one yourself and use an Open-Source NAS-OS that you fine-tune to your needs.
Pro Synology has by far the best LTS of any comparable manufacturer
Even 10-year-old NAS storages still get updates for their OS (called DSM). The only thing that limits you is the hardware.
Pro Full flegged x86 CPU
See this for tech-spec.
Pro Company-level advanced BTRFS file system with built-in data integrity check
See further details on Synology's page
Pro AES-NI hardware encryption engine
Encryption performance at over 113.01 MB/s reading, 111.66 MB/s writing.
Pro Usability (WebOS)
Product and software work seamlessly with any operating system (since it's a WebOS running in the browser). Product software has easy to follow icons and GUI that allow users to use it as a VPN, time machine, media server, etc.
Con Combining multiple needs increases impact during a failure
With both router and backup / NAS in one device, if either part fails you risk losing both services. I had one and had the hard drive fail, which would have meant losing my wireless service while it was out to be repaired, so in the end I lost my backup / central network share capability.
Con Cross compatibility issues with PCs
Apple is notorious for not allowing easy cross compatibility with PC's. That doesn't stop you from connecting your PC to it, you just have to go through some extra steps.
Con Lack of storage
Not much a way of upgrade options. Unless you are savvy and willing to forgo a manufacturers warranty, then the sky is the limit.
Con Too many variants, pricing is not always logical
With, without an SD-Card reader; with, without a copy button and front ports. Model numbers also don't seem to follow any logic so you have to be careful when buying here. Also with some, you can switch the RAM model yourself while on many others it's soldered to the mainboard. You don't need the latest model. Be careful selecting one to fit your needs and pocket when buying (they're pretty good even when they're used - just use new HDDs and you're fine).
Con Not made for 4K streaming addicts (PLEX)
Yet so are typical other NAS from other manufacturers unless they are tailored for the purpose. Synology calls these NAS boxes "play" e. g. DS216play. They often have other drawbacks.
You have to spend more to get hardware level support for proper media-streaming. This is, however, not the usual task for a NAS and is only interesting if you need to stream 4K files (most often other bottlenecks are in-place like a slow network connection anyway). For streaming 1080p this NAS should be fine.
If you need serious streaming look elsewhere.
Con Requires a bit of work if you want to get the most out of it
It's clearly not made for people that want to buy a device and just use it but those that take some time to set it up. Once you're done, it runs, and runs, and runs (till you want to do more, which you can since it has Package-Management built in that enables you to download new packages and extend the functionality of your simple NAS).
While the cost is not as high as some, there are similar storage size options for cheaper prices. This price tag, like most, is for branding and the high quality product you get from Synology.
Con Slow support
Technical support is not the go to option for a solution, with long wait times, and open cases taking up to weeks to resolve (that is with persistent follow up).