Choosing a affordable NAS in 2020<br>Synology DS220+, DS220j, DS218 or DS218Play

Choosing a affordable NAS in 2020
Synology DS220+, DS220j, DS218 or DS218Play

Good for backups. Geared for HD and limited 4K multimedia. Many apps available but the 512mb memory will limited performance.

PROS

CONS

Good for backups. Geared for HD and some 4K multimedia. Many apps available but limited performance for multiple user environment.

PROS

CONS

Great for backups, HD and some 4K multimedia, and Hot-swap drive replacement and backup functions (copy button). Compared to the DS218play it has increased memory and copy button. 

PROS

CONS

Great for all multimedia (HD, 4K) and easy backup functions (copy button) and is upgradable RAMHot-swap drives. The most powerful synology (2 bay) NAS in 2020.

PROS

CONS

Included Synology Features

Video Station

Video Station (DS Video app) helps you manage all the movies, TV shows, and home videos on your Synology NAS. Moreover, it can stream videos to various devices — computers, smartphones, media players, and TVs — to provide you with non-stop, fun watching experience.

Audio Station

With Audio Station and its mobile app DS audio, you can enjoy high-quality playback, listen to radios, manage your music collection, create personal playlist, and share with friends anywhere.

Moments

Users can instantly upload photos to their private storage and let auto-sort take care of the rest. Moments is the brand new photo solution for personal and home use.

PLEX Media Server

Enjoy Live TV & DVR, a growing catalog of great web shows, news, and podcasts. It's finally possible to enjoy all the media you love in a single app, on any device, no matter where you are. With the Plex server you can stream your video, music, and photo collections any time, anywhere, to whatever you want.

Surveillance Station

Protect your business, home, and other environments with reliable, intuitive Surveillance Station, delivering intelligent monitoring and video management tools to safeguard your valuable assets.

Desktop Backup

Simplified backup solution for your Mac, PC, and mobile devices.

drive_icon

Synology Drive

A versatile solution for file management and synchronization.

File Server / Web Server

Powerful built-in file management and sharing services.

Snapshot Replication

Schedulable and instantaneous data protection for shared folders and iSCSI LUNs for disaster prevention.

Security

Security

Comprehensive built-in security tools are constantly updated to protect your devices against evolving threats.

Plex Media Server

Do I need an expensive NAS to use Plex?

You don’t need an expensive NAS unless you need to transcode videos for other devices.  Transcoding takes a lot of processing power.  If you plan on streaming to DVD/Bluray players, roku, chromecast or mobile phones you will probably need to be able to transcode your videos.  We recommend getting the DS220+

What is transcoding?

Transcoding is converting a video/movie into a different format, bitrate or quality.  Some devices may not have the processing power to play your video file without transcoding.  If you want to make sure the majority of your devices will work we recommend the DS220+.  The DS220+ has a powerful processor and hardware transcoding to tackle the hard job of transcoding.

PLEX Media Server - Lets you stream to every device in your house.

Device that may need transcoding.

  • iPad or Android Tablet
  • iPhone or Android Smartphone
  • Smart TV or DLNA supported monitor
  • DVD/Bluray players
  • Roku, Chromecast
  • DLNA Devices
  • DLNA Sound systems such as Bose, Sonos and Sony.
  • PS4, Xbox One and Nvidia Shield

Transcoding can be a benefit for those with limited internet bandwidth, download limits or low powered devices.

NAS Device Software Transcoding Hardware – Accelerated Transcoding
SD
480p / 576p
HD
720p
HD
1080p
4K
SDR 2160p
4K UHD
HDR 2160p
SD
480p / 576p
HD
720p
HD
1080p
H.264 *
2160p
HEVC SDR
2160p
HEVC UHD
2160p
DS220j
YES
YES
SOME
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
DS218play
YES
YES
SOME
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
DS218
YES
YES
SOME
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
NO
DS220+
YES
YES
SOME
NO
NO
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES
YES

Our Pick

If you want a NAS enclosure that can transcode and be upgraded in the future the DS220+ is the clear winner. 

If you want a basic low cost NAS enclosure that is for backing up and saving files the DS220j maybe a great low cost fit. 

All of these NAS do a great job as a file server or backup device but if you want a NAS enclosure that can transcode and be upgraded in the future the DS220+ is the clear winner. 

Visit amazon to see the latest price and reviews.

DS220j DS218play DS218 DS220+
CPU Model
Realtek RTD1296
Realtek RTD1296
Realtek RTD1296
Intel Celeron J4025
CPU Architecture
64-bit
64-bit
64-bit
64-bit
CPU Frequency
Quad Core 1.4 GHz
Quad Core 1.4 GHz
Quad Core 1.4 GHz
2-core 2.0 (base) / 2.9 (burst) GHz
System Memory
512 MB DDR4 non-ECC
1 GB DDR4 non-ECC
2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
2 GB DDR4 non-ECC – upgradable (6Gb Total)
Network interface
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
2 x Gigabit Ethernet
Link Aggregation / Failover
Internal File System
EXT4
EXT4
Btrfs, EXT4
Btrfs, EXT4
Internal drive bays
Two (maximum 16TB each bay)
3.5-inch HDD
2.5-inch HDD/SSD (via optional mount)
32TB of total storage
Two (maximum 12TB each bay)
3.5-inch HDD
2.5-inch HDD/SSD (via optional mount)
24TB of total storage
Two (maximum 12TB each bay)
3.5-inch HDD
2.5-inch HDD/SSD (via optional mount)
24TB of total storage
Two (maximum 16TB each bay)
3.5-inch HDD
2.5-inch HDD/SSD
32TB of total storage
Hardware Encryption Engine
Yes
Yes
Yes
AES-NI
Hardware Transcoding
No
No
No
Yes
Transcoding Engine
10-bit H.265 4K Ultra HD or single channel full HD video transcoding
10-bit H.265 4K Ultra HD or single channel full HD video transcoding
10-bit H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-2 and VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 30