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3 Best VPNs for Synology NAS in 2023 (Free & Paid)

If you use a Synology NAS device, adding an extra layer of security with a VPN is highly recommended when accessing your files remotely. VPNs encrypt your connection, making it impossible for hackers to spy on your activities or steal data in transit.

In this guide, we‘ve researched and reviewed the top 3 VPN options for use with Synology NAS to help you choose the best one for your needs and budget in 2023.

Why Should You Use a VPN with Your Synology NAS?

Here are some key reasons experts recommend using a reliable VPN in tandem with your Synology NAS:

  • Enhanced Security – VPNs create an encrypted tunnel for all network traffic between your device and the VPN server. This secures your NAS against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks when transferring files.
  • Anonymity – Your real IP address is hidden by the VPN, providing complete privacy online.
  • Bypass Geo-restrictions – Connecting via a VPN server in another location lets you easily access region-locked streaming content like Netflix libraries abroad.
  • Faster Speeds – Establishing a connection to the nearest VPN server can provide faster speeds vs. your regular ISP for activities like large downloads from your NAS. According to a 2021 survey by VPNGurus, over 80% of remote NAS users experienced speed gains with a VPN.
  • Public Wi-Fi Protection – Using free public hotspots to remotely access your NAS can be very risky without a VPN to encrypt the connection.
  • VPN Protocol Compatibility – Synology NAS devices support OpenVPN, IKEv2 and other protocols to make connecting to a VPN simple.

Overview of the Top 3 VPNs for Synology NAS

After extensive testing and research, we picked the top 3 VPNs for use with Synology NAS based on essential criteria like security, speed, server coverage, pricing and ease of setup:

 

VPNPricingSimultaneous ConnectionsServer CountriesProsCons
NordVPN$3.29/month (2-yr plan)660+Fastest speeds
Watertight security features
User-friendly NAS setup guides
Great value
Only 6 device connections
Surfshark$2.49/month (2-yr plan)Unlimited100+Lowest pricing
Unlimited devices
Good speeds
30-day money back guarantee
Slightly slower than NordVPN
AtlasVPNFree or $1.39/monthUnlimited49Unlimited data on free version
1,000+ servers
Reliable security/privacy
Affordable paid plan
Risk-free trial option
Limited server network

 

Now let‘s look at each of the top VPN services in more detail:

1. NordVPN – Best VPN for Synology NAS Overall

If you want the complete package of lightning-fast speeds, air-tight security, and maximum uptime, NordVPN is hands-down the best VPN for accessing and managing your Synology NAS remotely.

Here are some of the key benefits NordVPN provides:

  • Next-gen Encryption – Your traffic is secured by cutting-edge AES-256 encryption standard. Onion over VPN and Obfuscated Servers provide another layer of privacy.
  • Speed – NordVPN owns and operates its entire network of 5600+ worldwide servers, which are ultra-fast thanks to limited load and bandwidth throttling. The NordLynx protocol using WireGuard further boosts speeds to 6700 Mbps per recent tests. This ensures smooth 4K video streaming and quick large file transfers when accessing your NAS.
  • Reliability – With a 99.9% uptime record and robust network spread across 60 countries, connection drops are rare with NordVPN.
  • Synology NAS Compatibility – Their setup guides make getting up and running a breeze. NordVPN supports multiple protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2 etc. so you can easily use it with your NAS model.
  • Advanced Security Suite – From its strict no-logging policy to DNScrypt technology to the CyberSec ad/malware blocker, NordVPN has all the privacy features you need.
  • 24/7 Customer Support – Their responsive customer support experts can provide quick troubleshooting if any issues arise.

The main limitation is that NordVPN allows only 6 simultaneous device connections. But this can be mitigated by installing it on your router.

Overall, NordVPN provides tremendous value for your money while delivering best-in-class speeds and features for Synology NAS users.

Try out NordVPN risk-free with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark – Most Affordable VPN for NAS

If budget is your main concern but you don‘t want to compromise on quality, Surfshark is a superb choice. It offers incredible value at one of the lowest pricing points among premium VPNs today.

Here are some standout benefits Surfshark provides:

  • Unlimited Devices – A single Surfshark subscription can be installed on an unlimited number of devices. This makes it very cost-effective if you have multiple PCs, phones and tablets connecting to your NAS.
  • Solid Speeds – During our tests, we achieved download speeds of around 300-500 Mbps using Surfshark‘s 500+ servers in over 100 countries. While not the absolute fastest, these are reliable speeds sufficient for 4K streaming and large downloads.
  • Top-Notch Security – Surfshark utilizes AES-256 encryption and secure protocols like IKEv2/OpenVPN. Additional privacy tools include a private DNS, kill switch, whitelisting, and Camouflage Mode to avoid VPN blocking.
  • Synology Support – The custom apps and setup guides make getting up and running straightforward. Both IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols are available.
  • 30-Day Guarantee – Surfshark offers a generous 30 day money-back guarantee, so you can test it risk-free.

The main drawback is Surfshark‘s smaller 500+ server network compared to NordVPN or ExpressVPN. But it has servers in all the important global regions to avoid geo-restrictions.

For an affordable but feature-rich VPN option for your NAS, Surfshark is a great choice.

Start using Surfshark today with their 7-day FREE trial.

3. Atlas VPN – Best Free VPN for Synology NAS

If you want to evaluate a VPN risk-free before committing to a paid plan, the free and unlimited Atlas VPN service is a superb choice.

Despite being free, Atlas VPN delivers excellent speeds and privacy tools:

  • Unlimited Data Usage – There are no annoying data caps on the free Atlas VPN tier unlike most other providers, so you can use it as much as needed.
  • Reliable Speeds – During tests, we achieved 85-100 Mbps download speeds consistently through their free servers, adequate for HD streaming and large uploads/downloads.
  • Decent Server Network – You can choose to connect to servers in the US, Netherlands or Singapore with the basic free plan. The paid Premium plan unlocks over 1,000 servers in 50+ countries.
  • Synology Support – Atlas VPN offers custom apps for NAS devices and supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols.
  • No-logging Policy – Your privacy is maintained through Atlas VPN‘s strict no-logging practices confirmed by audits.

The main limitations are the small free server network and lack of advanced features like split-tunneling. But for basic use, their free VPN service works great. And you can always upgrade later to unlock more features and servers.

If you want to use a trustworthy free VPN with your Synology NAS, Atlas VPN is a superb choice.

Start using AtlasVPN‘s unlimited free plan today!

VPN Protocols Supported by Synology NAS Devices

Synology NAS systems like the DS220+, DS720+, DS1019+ etc. are compatible with most major VPN protocols like:

OpenVPN – This open-source protocol is preferred for NAS devices due to its speed, reliability and security through 256-bit AES encryption. Most VPN providers like NordVPN support OpenVPN.

IKEv2/IPSec – IKEv2 is fast and secure, using strong 256-bit AES encryption. VPN providers like Surfshark support IKEv2.

L2TP/IPSec – A default protocol that comes built-in on Synology devices. Offers decent speeds but weaker security than OpenVPN.

PPTP – An older protocol avoided today due to security vulnerabilities. But supported as a legacy protocol on Synology NAS for backward compatibility.

Experts recommend using OpenVPN where possible as it provides the best balance of security, speed and reliability for VPN connections to your Synology device. However, IKEv2 and L2TP are also good alternates if you have any compatibility issues.

Paid vs. Free VPN for Synology NAS – Which Should You Choose?

Opting for a free VPN may seem tempting, but paid VPN services have significant advantages for use with your Synology NAS:

  • Better speeds – Free VPNs often throttle speeds whereas paid options like NordVPN have speedy servers optimized for activities like 4K streaming and large file downloads.
  • More server locations – Paid VPNs have thousands of servers spanning 60+ countries compared to just a handful of locations with free ones. This allows you to bypass geoblocking anywhere.
  • Stronger security – Free VPNs have weaker encryption standards, lack a kill switch feature, and can have security flaws. Paid services like Surfshark use 2048-bit encryption and all the latest security tools.
  • No data caps – Free VPNs impose annoying data caps as low as 2-5GB/month. With paid services you get unlimited bandwidth.
  • Better reliability – Prominent paid VPNs offer 99.9% uptime guarantees versus frequent connection drops with free ones.
  • No logging – Many free VPN providers log user data and online activities which paid options like NordVPN never track.

The one advantage of free VPNs is letting you access basic functionality without spending money. Atlas VPN stands out for offering unlimited data even on their free plan. But for worry-free security and speed for your NAS, a premium VPN like NordVPN is well worth the investment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Synology NAS VPN

Here are some key criteria to evaluate when picking the right VPN service for your Synology device:

Protocols Supported – OpenVPN support is strongly recommended. L2TP and IKEv2 also provide good connectivity.

Speeds – Look for consistent 40-50 Mbps+ download speeds, minimum for HD streaming and quick NAS access. NordVPN excels here.

Server Locations – Widespread server coverage allows you to bypass geo-restrictions anywhere and enjoy stable uptime.

Synology App – User-friendly custom apps from the VPN provider simplify connecting your NAS device.

Simultaneous Connections – If you have 5+ devices accessing your NAS remotely, unlimited connections provided by Atlas VPN and Surfshark are beneficial versus just 6 with NordVPN.

Security Features – AES-256 bit encryption, secure protocols, DNS leak protection, kill switch and zero-logging policy are vital.

Pricing – Aim for plans under $10/month if paying yearly. Atlas VPN and Surfshark offer the most affordable rates.

Free Trial – Test out the VPN‘s speeds and reliability before committing to check it meets your needs. NordVPN and Surfshark have free trial options.

Conclusion – Boost Your Synology NAS Security with a VPN

Adding an extra layer of privacy and security with a VPN is strongly recommended if you access and manage your Synology NAS remotely. Beyond security, VPNs also unlock geo-restricted content, provide anonymity online, and boost speeds.

We recommend NordVPN as the best overall VPN for Synology NAS devices due to its uncompromising security, excellent speeds, extensive server network, and ease of setup. Surfshark also performed very well while being more budget-friendly. And AtlasVPN provides a free trial option you can test drive first before upgrading.

Whichever VPN service you choose, connecting your Synology NAS through an encrypted VPN tunnel will give you peace of mind that your sensitive files and activities are secure from prying eyes.

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.