Review: Synology DS220j is the perfect NAS for beginners

The inexpensive DS218j will get a refresh, and it is higher than ever.

Selecting network-attached storage (NAS) relies on what you propose on doing with it. There are many fashions obtainable from numerous distributors, although Synology stays as one of many extra well-liked choices, primarily right down to worth and the superb DSM OS.

The DS220j is an improve that replaces the present DS218j, launched in 2018. This newest mannequin comes outfitted with new internals and a barely refreshed design. It is excellent in case you’re simply beginning out within the great world of NAS.

Synology DS220j

Synology DS220j

Backside line: Trying to purchase your first NAS for the house? DS220j is a wonderful place to begin.


  • Can run Plex
  • Small and compact
  • Gigabit LAN
  • Nice for newcomers
  • Glorious software program


  • RAM non-upgradable

$170 at Amazon

What you may love concerning the Synology DS220j

The DS220j is similar affair we have come to anticipate from Synology with its extra inexpensive, compact NAS servers. It is a white plastic field that appears just like the DS218j in each method, apart from the internals. The DS220j is, in essence, a non secular successor to the DS218j, which got here out in 2018.

The entrance of the NAS LED indicators and a small opening for the rear fan to drag air by (in addition to the aspect panels). The 2 sides have a cutout Synology branding that doubles as consumption vents and the rear of the NAS homes a single 80mm fan, two USB Three ports, and a Gigabit LAN port.

For internals, just like the older DS218j, Synology selected to go together with 512MB of RAM and two drive bays. That is an inexpensive, entry-level mannequin, so one should not anticipate top-level efficiency. The processor has been bumped barely from a 32-bit dual-core Marvell Armada 385 88F6820 CPU to a 64-bit quad-core Realtek RTD1296.

The 512MB RAM and ARM processor aren’t the perfect in the marketplace, and you will not have the ability to transcode HD motion pictures, however for file storage and light-weight media streaming (music, images), the DS220j is completely outfitted. Storing every part on this NAS is carried out utilizing the 2 drive bays, which might be kitted out with as much as two 16TB HDDs for a complete of 32TB of capability.

Using Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) — which you completely ought to — will depart you with about half the obtainable storage to be used, so when you’ve got two 16TB drives, solely 16TB will probably be usable. RAID is an effective method of constructing certain you’ve gotten redundancy if a drive someway fails. However no HDD will fail on account of warmth because of the general design.

Unpacking the DS220j is straightforward, and every part is secured with high-quality supplies. The drive bays themselves aren’t detachable, nor are they hot-swappable. The NAS might be break up into two after eradicating simply two rear screws, which offers entry to the 2 drive bays, one atop the opposite. That is one trade-off you need to dwell with in comparison with dearer NAS fashions.

After hooking up the NAS to a community, all it’s worthwhile to do is hearth up a browser and cargo the IP — you need to use your router interface to find this, or obtain the Synology Assistant. The DiskStation Supervisor (DSM) OS preliminary setup wizard greets you by asking for numerous particulars, together with organising an elective Synology account.

CPURealtek RTD1296
1.4Ghz quad-core
Max storage32TB
Guarantee2 years
Ports2x USB 3.0
1x Gigabit Ethernet

Whereas not required, a Synology account is helpful because it ties your NAS to Synology’s servers. Most households have dynamic exterior IP addresses, which implies the IP you utilize to entry your NAS when not at residence will change sooner or later, breaking connectivity. A Synology account addresses this by retaining the IP handle present on Synology’s aspect for exterior entry.

Plex does this mechanically itself, so in case you do not fancy utilizing a Synology account, it isn’t required. And talking of Plex, the DS220j can certainly run the media server service with out difficulty, although, as is the case with lesser-powered ARM processors, transcoding will probably be severely restricted for film streaming. Different third-party software program is supported, in addition to Synology’s personal apps, by the bundle heart.

The bundle heart is only one a part of the DSM OS, which is likely one of the most user-friendly interfaces round. It is easy to navigate, and even newcomers will have the ability to make vital alterations to the DS220j with out messing every part up. For switch efficiency, the DS220j ought to have the ability to hit 80MB/s, which is not too dangerous at this value level.

What you may dislike concerning the Synology DS220j

Taking into consideration simply how inexpensive this NAS is, there’s not a complete lot to dislike concerning the DS220j. It is an entry-level NAS, and so rocks simply two drive bays and a restricted quantity of RAM. The latter is extra an annoyance as a result of lack of upgradability, however if you wish to carry out extra superior and demanding duties on a NAS, you may want a extra expensive server.

The drive bays are a bit fiddly too. In contrast to different NAS fashions, this server requires you to take aside the outer casing to achieve entry to the 2 drive bays, and one sits atop the opposite. Ought to it’s worthwhile to take away the drive from bay two, you’d must first extract the opposite drive. A slight difficulty, however might be written off as a result of measurement and value.

So must you purchase the Synology DS220j?

The Synology DS220j is completely positioned for NAS newcomers. Whether or not you want a small unit for file storage and for saving backup information or a house media server to stream music, this small and mighty NAS is able to all of those duties. It is on the subject of extra superior options like film transcoding and a number of account entry the place the small quantity of RAM and CPU might trigger a difficulty.

out of 5

If you happen to’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly NAS, the DS220j is a superb place to begin. Testing the waters to see if a NAS is an effective match in your community, whereas leaving room for enlargement by shifting up the Synology NAS catalog, this is a wonderful NAS price contemplating for small deployments.

Synology DS220j

Synology DS220j

$170 at Amazon

A fantastic worth NAS for newcomers

Geared up with a 64-bit quad-core ARM processor and two drive bays, the DS220j is completely positioned as an entry-level NAS for newcomers. It is only a disgrace concerning the non-upgradable 512MB RAM.

About Rich Edmonds

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