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5 Best VPNs for Synology That Work in 2017

Joel Tope

Joel Tope

September 11, 2017

Synology is a Taiwanese firm that specialises in Network Area Storage (NAS). While it’s not the cheapest (and it’s possible to create your own NAS at home using DD-WRT or Tomato), Synology is definitely at the top of it’s game. It offers much that you would be hard pushed to achieve otherwise. This includes everything from simple NAS to nearly everything web-related. The company’s success lies in the depth of advanced features and simple plug and play management system if provides. This gets you going with even the most complex of tasks.

Quick Links to our best 5 VPNs for Synology

  1. VyprVPN
  2. TorGuard
  3. ExpressVPN
  4. HideMyAss
  5. ibVPN

Synology NAS devices can both connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel (via the VPN client) or host VPN connections (via the VPN server). Even though setting up the VPN server is undoubtedly useful, we’re going to be focusing on the VPN client. The client is what’s needed to connect to one of the VPN services mentioned in this article.

Why should you bother with a VPN connection on your NAS device? Well, there are several benefits. It:

  • Uses encryption to protect against eavesdropping and wiretapping, to prevent third parties from intercepting and reading your files
  • Prevents packet sniffers from reading transmitted data
  • Allows you to use geo-location-related plugins

Unfortunately, VPN tunnels have overhead, which will ultimately slow down your connection. Nevertheless, it is worth trading bit of speed for increased security when you’re accessing sensitive data. Also, as Synology devices can connect to OpenVPN servers, you should be able to connect your NAS VPN with the majority of leading providers.

The following are the best five VPNs for Synology. Let’s take a closer look.

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
VyprVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Fast servers
  • Affordable pricing
  • Prevents VPN blocking and DPI
  • Affordable pricing
  • Three-day free trial
CONS:
  • Decent guide, but lacks images
  • Standard version doesn't include anti-DPI features

VyprVPN is the best VPN for Synology. This service has a lot going for it. It's owned by a parent company named Golden Frog, which is based out of Switzerland, and offers affordable pricing. I really like how VyprVPN manages its own servers, instead of outsourcing hardware and virtual machine management to third party services.

It supports OpenVPN, which is the strongest security option for your NAS device. VyprVPN's website even includes guides that detail the process of setting up the VPN tunnel. Although I did find the guides adequate and succinct, I think they could have benefited from highlighted pictures.

VyprVPN has a network of servers that's larger than that of the average provider. To date, VyprVPN operates servers in over 70 countries, giving you plenty of connection options. It even has a proprietary Chameleon feature that prevents VPN blocking and protects against Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Last but not least, note that the Premium version is moderately priced, at $6.67 per month. This offers up to five simultaneous connections.

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2. Best VPN for Synology: TorGuard

TorGuard Homepage
PROS:
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Prevents Deeps Packet Inspection (DPI)
  • Servers in 50+ countries
  • Anti-DPI features
  • WebRTC, DNS leak and IPv6 leak protection
CONS:
  • Monthly plan is a bit pricey
  • No support for peer-to-peer (P2P) and BitTorrent

TorGuard VPN is the second best VPN for Synology devices. TorGuard has incredibly detailed guides with images that walk you through the whole process. This service will unblock censored content just like other VPN services, but the real advantage of VyprVPN is its extra security features. VyprVPN blocks Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), Domain Name System (DNS), and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) leaks. It also has a feature that prevents Deep Packet Inspection.

Right now it has servers in 50+ countries. While that may not be as many countries and locations as services like ExpressVPN and HMA VPN, TorGuard has servers in more countries than most other services. I do like how granular the pricing model is, and you can sign up in monthly, three month, six month and annual increments. The cost ranges anywhere between $9.99 and $4.99 per month depending on which plan you choose, but all the plans allow up to five simultaneous connections.

There are only two shortfalls in my opinion. The first is the lack of support for P2P and Bittorrent, which could be a huge problem if you stream media via Popcorn Time. Also, I thought that the monthly plan was priced a little too richly.

3. Best VPN for Synology: ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today!
  • Fast and reliable servers
  • Fantastic Synology guides
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands
  • Three simultaneous connections per account
CONS:
  • No free service or free trial
  • Pricier than most other providers

ExpressVPN is one of my favorite VPN services. It's a great fit for those who wish to connect a VPN with their Synology storage device. There are high quality guides on the ExpressVPN website that show each step of the setup process, with high quality images highlighted for your convenience. I was impressed with the clarity of the tutorials.

There are other reasons to love ExpressVPN too, including a reputation and history of providing fast and reliable servers. Additionally, it has a rather large network of servers, located in 145 locations scattered across 94 countries. This VPN can be used on more than one device at the same time; currently, the allowance is three simultaneous connections per account. Anyone who dislikes digital services based on US soil doesn't have to worry, since this service is based out of the British Virgin Islands.

There are, however, two pain points that I dislike about ExpressVPN. The first is that there isn't a free version of the service, though it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than most other services. Secondly, I don't like that it costs more than most other services. ExpressVPN is certainly nearer the higher end of the pricing spectrum, but the annual plan is significantly discounted and only costs $8.32 per month.

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4. Best VPN for Synology: HideMyAss

HideMyAss Homepage
PROS:
  • Expansive network with servers in 190+ countries
  • Sleek Android app
  • Cheap pricing
  • Free HTTP proxy and anonymous email
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
CONS:
  • Complied with governmental coercion in the past

HideMyAss (HMA) VPN is the fourth best VPN for Synology NAS devices. The service was originally started by a firm called Privax, which was based in the UK. Recently, however, it was acquired by security giant AVG, though the service hasn't undergone extreme changes as a result. For example, HMA VPN still has servers in more countries than any other consumer-grade VPN service on the market.

The exact number of countries HMA VPN hosts servers in fluctuates from month to month as new servers come online. That said, HMA does always seem to host servers in more than 190 countries. Given that the average VPN service provider hosts servers in 20-40 countries, HMA has an astoundingly expansive network. Plus, this service throws in a couple free goodies, such as a free HTTP proxy and an anonymous email service.

The annual plan only costs $4.99 per month, which is pretty darn cheap. However, the biggest complaint that most people have against HMA VPN is that it has complied with governmental coercion in the past, though the future might look different now that it has been acquired by AVG.

5. Best VPN for Synology: ibVPN

ibVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Favorable for BitTorrent
  • Kill switch feature
  • Romania-based provider
  • Web browser extensions
  • Five simultaneous connections
CONS:
  • Not the fastest service
  • Some misleading logging policy wording

The last great VPN for Synology devices is ibVPN. ibVPN hosts servers in 63 locations, in 47 countries. This service has some great extra security features, such as the ability to use Tor over a VPN tunnel and a double VPN feature that encrypts data twice for extra protection. It even comes with a proxy service if you don't need encryption for your connection.

Furthermore, ibVPN is a great choice if you use P2P networks or any BitTorrent-related service, such as file downloads or Popcorn Time. The software even has a kill switch feature to halt download activity in the event of a tunnel disconnect. Yet another great thing about this service is that it's not based on US soil. Instead, it's a Romanian company, putting it far outside the jurisdiction and direct control of the NSA.

ibVPN allows a generous five simultaneous connections per account. The only thing I don't like about this service is that its privacy policy has some roundabout and misleading ways of conveying information.

Synology VPN Considerations

A Note Regarding PIA VPN and Synology

At the time of writing, numerous users in the Private Internet Access (PIA) forums are complaining of issues, bugs and configuration problems with PIA. As such, I currently recommend that you stay away from PIA if you want to use a VPN with a Synology device. Users are also complaining of long and drawn out calls with the support department, which is doing PIA’s reputation little good.

Multiple users commented in the forums that the support agents were unable to resolve their issues because they weren’t trained to support and troubleshoot Synology. Likewise, I would imagine that Synology staff are not trained to support PIA VPN, so it’s a bit of a paradox.

Please don’t misunderstand me, however. I actually love Private Internet Access VPN and think that it has a lot to offer. That said, I wouldn’t use it in a scenario that includes Synology due to the complaints and common problems reported by multiple users. If you want to read up more on these issues, you can find the threads on PIA VPN’s website and forums.

Troubleshooting Your NAS

If you already have a VPN service and just can’t seem to get it working right, you have a few options. Firstly, if your VPN offers technical support, open a ticket. Additionally, you could try to connect with a different protocol. You could also check your VPN provider’s website for troubleshooting guides.

I’d also recommend taking a look at the Synology site itself. It could be that routing issues or other related problems are to blame instead of your VPN provider. Checking out the Synology VPN guide might save you a ton of frustration!

Best Synology VPNs: Conclusion

In this day and age, you can never be too careful. I advocate the use of VPN tunnels every time you power on your computer or mobile device, just as a precaution. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s always better to stay safe with a VPN tunnel than it is to risk a third party stealing your data.

On a NAS device, if you’re copying or downloading large amounts of data or archives, it’s best to use a VPN. Such data would likely include some information (text files, personal images, videos, and so forth) that you wouldn’t want a hacker or government organization seeing. Lastly, remember to use OpenVPN whenever possible. It’s much stronger than Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) connections, which are the only other two protocols compatible with Synology.

Best VPNs for Synology: Side-by-Side Comparison

Joel Tope

Joel Tope is a technology writer with a smattering of active certifications, such as the CCNP, and experience as a network engineer. Though passionate about security, he has an eclectic understanding of information technology. In his free time, he loves to run marathons, travel, and dig into the latest thriller novel.

4 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Synology That Work in 2017

  1. I’m new to the world of constantly using VPNs on my devices. I recently decided to invest in NordVPN, another VPN that supports Synology that you did not mention. I’ve successfully been able to connect it to the VPN, but the only thing I don’t understand is whether or not people on the VPN will be able to access my services. If I open up ports for SSH, WebDAV, SMB, etc, will these be open to attack for whoever is also using the VPN? Just want to be able to securely access it on my local network!

    1. Hi Brian,

      Using a VPN does not make you vulnerable to attacks from other users of the VPN (you each have a separate end-to-end encrypted connection to the VPN server). You may share an IP address, but this does not make you vulnerable to attack. Opening any ports, however, always makes you vulnerable to attack via those ports (VPN or not – using a VPN will not increase your vulnerability).

  2. Vypr gave my home IP for use by the DMCA. I was using their Austin server to connect to a torrent. Pretty disappointed in this company now. Only private unless someone asks it seems to me.

    1. Hi Darren
      Can you provide more information for us about this? We’d be interested to hear more – though Vypr does say they will respond to DMCA.
      Peter

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