There’s a common reason for purchasing NAS devices for one’s home: this is to control and manage data, rather than passing these to third-parties like Amazon or Google for storage and processing. Aside from keeping data, modern-day NAS devices also provide a variety of features and uses like Plex, web servers, logging stations, databases, and a lot more.
Just recently, Synology reported about their three latest applications that install on the DSM – the operating system that powers up all of Synology’s NAS devices. The first is the Drive, which is the rewrite of the company’s Cloud Station Suite. It establishes the process of syncing and identifying data across numerous devices so all your files are available on the NAS. Today let’s take a look at the Synology DS218+ and see what is has to offer.
Synology DS218+ Review – What’s in the Box?
Just like the other devices that we’ve seen from Synology, the DS218+ comes in a recyclable cardboard box that doesn’t just save on the overall cost, but it also saves the environment. This is a really good idea from Synology since a lot of companies are already looking for means to preserve and safeguard the environment.
At the top of the box, you’ll find a plastic handle which makes it easier to carry. On the front portion, you will find “Synology Diskstation” written on the lower left part, while the upper right corner showcases a sticker featuring an image of the product, plus some of its features. Turn the box and you’ll find another sticker at the back; thing is, there are more details about the product written here.
Inside the box, you will find the DS218+ itself, along with a smaller cardboard package which contains a couple of cables, some documentation, and a power adapter.
Synology DS218+ Review – Cost Effective and Big on Features
This NAS device features a Gigabit LAN port which allows logical transfer speed of up to a total of 1,000 Mbps. It also features three USB 3.0 ports, as well as an eSATA port to link extra drives. On the front portion of the device, you will see the status LEDs for the DS218+, a LAN connection, as well as two drives; though if you only installed one drive, the other LED light will remain unlit.
Additionally, you will also find one of three USB ports, the power button, and a USB copy button that allows you to directly copy files when you have an external drive linked to the device.
On each side of the Synology DS218+, you will see a drilled company logo which helps the airflow; there are also a couple of holes underneath the NAS. To extract the hot air coming from the device, the 92-millimeter fan at the back of the DS218+ does the job; with that, the NAS device, and all the other sensitive parts of it are adequately ventilated.
If you take a look at the back of the DS218+, you will also find two other USB 3.0 ports, the power port, the Gigabit LAN port, the Kensington Security Slot, the eSATA port, and the power port.
The Synology DS218+ has a 64-bit, dual core Intel Celeron J-3355 processor that is partnered with 2GB of RAM. This provides exceptional data transfer speed, a huge storage volume control, as well as a 10-bit, 4K H265 video transcoding on the go. The device features two memory slots, where the second lets you add an extra 4GB to get a total of 6GB.
When it comes to the encrypted transfer speed, this is quoted at about 113 MB/s for read, while write is quoted at 112 MB/s.
The maximum raw capacity of this NAS device can accommodate up to 24TB; that is storage set up with the RAID0 that provides you with maximum data writing speed and storage space. The Synology DS218+ also supports 4K video transcodes at a total frame rate of 30 FPS, SATA SSDs and HDDs, DLNA, RAID 0 & 1, BTRFs & EXT-4 file systems for the available drives, as well as the Hybrid RAID of Synology.
As for the multimedia consumption, the Synology DS218+ is possibly your best choice because of the solid video transcoding efficiency that it has. The NAS device is also part of the 4K Group1 which is the top classification for devices produced by Synology. It includes only those NAS units that come with the “plus” designation in their names.
Also, the DS218+ features a small footprint which is most likely due to how the two bays are positioned within the device. These bays are fixed in a vertical manner and can be located behind an easy to remove front panel. This allows the NAS device to have a slightly narrow appearance, something that we think is actually pretty convenient.
Excellent File Sharing and Management
For easy file management and sharing with the DS218+, you’ll need to make use of the File Station. It’s a web-based management tool that is secure, fast, and designed to let you easily drag and drop files. You won’t have to go through any of the complex setups on your PC or Mac.
The advanced filtering and search tools allow you to better share and organize files with a link, making things more convenient as well.
Easier Backup Solution
With the company’s inclusive multi-versioning solution, you will be able to safeguard your NAS and computer against any malicious attacks such as the increasing encryption-based ransomware dangers.
4K Multimedia Servers
With the DS218+, you’ll be able to stream and access all your favorite 4K content no matter where you are. The device supports 10-bit 4K H265 online transcoding; plus, you can also play and convert 4K videos from any mobile device, computer, and other media players that don’t really support UHD formats.
Better and Easier Access with Quick Connect
Quick Connect will let you easily access all your files stored on the DS218+. You can do this over the internet without troubling yourself with setting up port-forwarding rules, DDNS, or any other tricky network settings.
Quick Connect will let you link using a secure and customizable address so you can immediately access work and media files on any internet connected device without the extra charges.
Sync Files Across Devices
The Cloud Station Suite gives you real-time data syncing all across devices, as well as other Synology NAS devices. Intelliversioning is what keeps all the vital file versions to better use storage space.
Using the Product
When we tested the Synology DS218+, it was able to handle high-resolution videos, it could quickly download files from the internet, and it also worked seamlessly when the DSM was open in the browser. The responsiveness of this NAS device was also evident compared to the DS418J since it has more RAM and a better processor.
When it comes to the download speed over the internet, it was the highest and actually the best that we’ve seen over 30 MB/s. It’s great since the processor wasn’t overworked by this type of task and the NAS remained responsive even during instances of large downloads. The same goes for watching videos via Synology’s video player, the Video Station, which runs on the browser.
The company offers you three varieties of operating modes for the fan, with “quiet” being the default mode. If you switch to cool or full-speed, it boosts the fan’s rotation to lower the temperature.
Considering that the Synology DS218+ can support RAM expansion and handle 4K just shows that the device is a great option if you’re looking for a NAS that’s good for long-term use. And as more 4K content is becoming available, it’s good to know that the DS218+ will be able to handle these with ease.
For its RAM, we really think that it’s already efficient enough, but it’s also great that you can add more to it if you really need to.
The center of all the updates is the company’s Synology Drive which acts just like a mix of File Explorer and Dropbox. This is automatically installed as a dependency when you install the Office or Moments apps. The Synology Drive is able to bring together multiple file portals on the NAS device; plus, it can readily simplify data management by syncing files across numerous platforms.
To accomplish all your needs for office collaborations, Drive also gives you easy and quick sharing features to guarantee that you won’t lose any important files that you have stored.
The Drive is also made to simplify the management of data on Synology NAS devices since it is a complete overhaul of the company’s file syncing Cloud Station Suite. You’ll be able to sync your data across numerous devices while also creating easy office collaboration with your colleagues.
Synology Drive Features
A Drive for Personal Storage
The drive allows you to use centrally control and manage all your files. You can individually set varying permissions for each of these when necessary.
Team Folder Collaboration
This is for shared folders that are created by you, the administrator. You’ll be able to allow teams to work simultaneously on various documents while keeping this neat and organized in a shared folder.
Desktop Client for Local Syncing
This is supported on MacOS, Windows, and even Linux. It’ll allow users to readily sync files from various folders to their laptops and PCs.
Assimilation with Universal Search and Office
The Synology Drive is the hub for Office. This makes building cooperative documents and team collaborations easier and more organized. Also, finding various files via universal search becomes more effortless and convenient on your part.
Only Sync Necessary Files
You can selectively sync the most commonly used files to your computer such as shared items from other accounts.
Carry Out Tasks on Local PCs
Easily get notifications and share your files straight from your desktop client to increase your work efficiency.
Protect your Data via History Versions
Guarantee the safety of all your data and files with history versions. These allow you to restore your files to an earlier point in time.
Web Portal and LAN Connections
You can readily browse your files using mainstream web browsers while also managing them via customized labels and team folders. Also, you can influence the LAN transmissions of the internal IT, allowing you to access files conveniently via File Explorer.
The following system requirements necessary to run the Synology Drive include the following: Internet Explorer 10 or later, Chrome, Firefox, Safari 10 or later, Chrome – Android 6.0 + on tablets, and Safari – iOS 10.0 + on iPad.
How it Works
Once you install the Synology Drive on your DS218+, the only thing that you will see is the file manager. Of course, you will be able to see all your accessible folders, as well as standards such as the Recycle Bin and your recent files. Compared to the classic File Station, Drive distributes the view while simultaneously extracting complexities for a lot of users. This is done by not displaying all files on the NAS device, and instead, displaying these on your own Drive.
There are also desktop and mobile applications that provide additional function and easy access to your DS218+; plus, the desktop version is also available on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. Though the mobile app appears like a file explorer, the desktop application adds more function to easily sync data between folders on your computer and the DS218+.
It acts just like your personal Dropbox so this is pretty convenient especially if you’re someone who doesn’t want to share your data or files with a third party. Additionally, it is also a great way to ensure that certain folders on your system are backed up automatically to the main repository.
Synology Office for Additional Editing Support
Office is the company’s perceptive browser-based collective editor. The application lets you create, share, and also work on various slides, documents, and even spreadsheets without any trouble. You will also get to enjoy a very useful online real-time collaboration and file editing tool while simultaneously keeping all your files on-site.
The Office 3.0 is completely built-in with the Synology Drive, so with that, you will be able to access and control all your Office data using the Drive package. Also, the share and sync functions of the Drive can be used and worked on Office as well.
Generally, it acts as a substitute for Microsoft Office and it provides network users the chance to easily edit spreadsheets, documents, and slides. This is possible using the DS218+ from Synology, both on its own and collaboratively. If you have already utilized Google Docs, know that Synology Office is somewhat similar and works the same way.
Synology Office functions within a web browser and lets you create spreadsheets, type documents, as well as create presentations. The best thing about it is that it lets you collaborate with other individuals; just share your document with coworkers or friends and everyone will be able to see and edit these in real-time.
Install Synology Office to readily use the online collaborative editor which offers three different file types including Spreadsheet, Document, and Slides. All of the Synology Office files will be managed and controlled within Drive while its editing tools will aid you in creating these files with efficiency and ease.
As for real-time syncing and saving, these will let you and your group achieve productivity while simultaneously guaranteeing data security.
Although this doesn’t have all the features of Microsoft Word, Synology Office still has everything that a lot of people would need on a daily basis; and overtime, we’re sure that there will be more features included to meet all the needs and requisites of niche groups.
Synology Drive – Compatibility and Where to Download
With the Synology Drive application, all of your files will be easily accessible. The software supports both Android and iOS, and is downloadable via Google Play or the App Store for free.
Having additional local storage for your smartphone or home computer backups can be difficult. If you’re having issues with this, then you could start utilizing cloud storage. Synology’s cloud backup, Synology C2, is a great service for both home and business use.
Synology C2 is generally a cost-efficient solution for backing up your files. With this, you’ll also be able to guarantee the security of your data being transferred and stored on the cloud since this is supported by Synology’s meticulous encryption technologies.
Features of the Synology C2
After you invest in Synology’s NAS devices such as the DS218+, it is still possible to accidentally lose files due to human error and other disasters. However, Synology C2 offers you a plan for available data on the cloud, resulting to the boost in business continuity.
Improved User Experience
Synology C2 features a simple interface so you will only need a little learning curve for this. The innovative design and presentation of data gives you smooth interaction which makes tracking information hassle-free.
Expert in Data Protection
Synology has been well-known for providing reliable solutions for data protection; and this time, the company is has taken it to the next level.
C2 Backup: Extend your Backup Experience
With C2 Backup, you can complete your data protection from your Synology NAS to the cloud. This backup service on Synology C2 is designed for both home and enterprise use. With additional copies of your files in the cloud, you can ensure data safety and availability in case disasters happen.
To make things short, C2 Backup simply backs up your Synology NAS system in the cloud.
Features of C2 Backup
Synology’s C2 Backup offers a complete solution for your data protection and you will be guided through each step with technical support, service consulting, as well as RMA.
Budget-Friendly Protection for your Cloud Data
Hardware investment, additional human resources, and the lease of data center tend to be a financial burden for most IT teams. C2 Backup offers not only complete features sets, but these plans also come in lower costs which is really convenient for all.
Enable military-grade AES-256 and RSA-2048 encryption technologies to keep your important data safe from prohibited access. Without the private key, others cannot access these. If you’re after safety and protection, this will definitely be an advantage.
Schedule Backup Tasks
You can automatically run backup tasks at certain schedules and you may also have this repeated at a specific time. This helps enhance your productivity.
Maintain File History and Availability
The Synology C2 Backup supports multiple versions of Synology’s NAS, allowing a range of recovery points. Your data will also be protected at all times and you will be given access to important data.
How it Works
The C2 Backup works by giving you hourly instead of just daily backups. The company allows you to choose hourly or daily file backups depending on the plan you choose: up to eleven backup types for the past 30 days, as well as the option to restore from your web browser. This could come in handy if something unexpected occurred to your office or home DS218+ NAS unit.
Its data retention versioning can also be customized, and the size of all the versions is part of your storage usage. Deduplication is also done on your backup data to decrease storage cost and usage. Also, you will be able to restore files via the web. If you’re a new user, you’ll also get a free 30-day trial for this.
Before anything else, you will need to have a Synology account to be able to setup your C2 backup. It’s basically the same account you have for your Quick Connect or DDNS together with other Synology services and licenses. If you have a couple of Synology devices that are linked to the same account, the storage limit will be pooled across these devices.
Overall, the DS218+ NAS from Synology is an excellent device. Its compact body can store two full-size mechanical hard drives; plus, it has a software solution that comes with a user-friendly interface and comprehensive features.
For the NAS device’s build quality, it is extremely solid and we really liked that this included a 92-millimeter fan on its rear to keep its internal parts cool and within its thermal operating limits.
The DS218+ is one of this year’s most popular NAS units for its price and performance. At a good speed level, it allows you to do the things that modern NAS devices need to do. However, the DS218+ can also be upgraded and expanded, and it also has numerous free useful applications that you can take advantage of.
If you’re looking for a NAS device, we highly recommend Synology’s DS218+. You won’t go wrong with this choice and it has sufficient power that will last you the next five years.
Where to Buy
You can get your hands on a Synology DS218+ NAS for around $459AUD. For more information head on over to the Synology product page.