Synology: Difference Between NAS and NVR

Synology Difference Between NAS and NVR

The operating system of Synology NAS and NVR devices is called DSM (DiskStation Manager) and both devices support the latest OS called DSM 7. To access the video surveillance potential on both the NAS and NVR you need to download a software called Surveillance Station via Package Center. Synology introduced Surveillance Station for the first time in 2008, and has been improving it ever since.

DSM 7 Synology Install Surveillance Station

Here’s the difference between a Synology NAS and a Synology NVR.

NAS: Network Attached Storage

NVR: Network Video Recorder

  1. Synology NAS: 2 free default camera licenses. If you want to use more cameras for video surveillance on your Synology NAS, you’ll need to buy additional camera licenses which run at about $50/each depending on where you buy them from.
  2. Network Video Recorder: 4 free default camera licenses. If you want to use more cameras for video surveillance on your Synology NVR, you’ll need to buy additional camera licenses at about $50/each depending on where you buy them from.
  3. Deep Learning NVR: 8 free default camera licenses. If you want to use more cameras for video surveillance on your Deep Learning NVR, you’ll need to buy additional camera licenses at about $50/each depending on where you buy them from.

How many IP cameras does my Synology NAS support? It depends on your NAS model. On average most NAS devices support more cameras than an NVR.
How many IP cameras does my Synology NVR support? The DVA3221 supports 32 IP cameras.

  • A Synology NAS with Surveillance Station installed does not support Face Recognition or Deep Video Analytics.
  • A Synology NVR with Surveillance Station installed supports both Face Recognition and Deep Video Analytics.

A Synology NAS is cheaper than an NVR and, if you don’t need Face Recognition or Deep Video Analytics, then it’s perfectly fine to use a NAS for video surveillance. But because video surveillance requires quite a lot of resources, it’s best and advised to have your other activities (e.g. Docker containers, personal storage for your data) running on a separate NAS. The more video cameras you have up and running with your Synology NAS, the better it is to run only video surveillance on said NAS.

Below is a screenshot showing the Surveillance Station Software installed on a DS720+ NAS through Package Center.

Surveillance Station DS720+

Below is a screenshot of the Surveillance Station Software installed on a DVA3221 NVR through Package Center. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are two new icons depicting Deep Video Analytics and Face Recognition. The two applications are missing on the NAS version of Surveillance Station, but they are present in Surveillance Station for NVR devices, like the DVA3221.

Surveillance Station DVA3221

  • Face Recognition: Identify employees and key or prohibited personnel in real time to deliver better on-prem security.
  • Deep Video Analytics: Powered by GPU computing technology, broadens the scope of motion detection applications, increases accuracy, and integrates multiple interactions with Surveillance Station functions.

Note: If you want no more than 2 IP cameras for video surveillance, go with a NAS which includes 2 free default camera licenses.
Note: If you want to install more than 2 IP cameras for video surveillance, whether for your home or business, go with an NVR which includes 8 free default camera licenses.
Note: You cannot use a single NAS to host cameras at multiple locations such as your home and your business office – you’ll need a NAS, or NVR, at each address.
Note: You can transfer a purchased license from one NAS to another. Just delete it from the NAS it’s currently installed on, and it will become available to use with another NAS or NVR.
Note: The DVA3221 NVR supports the expansion of two DX517 units thanks to the two eSATA ports on the back.

This post was updated on Sunday / January 30th, 2022 at 11:09 PM