Review of Synology DISKSTATION DS218J (2 Bay NAS Drive)March 12, 2018
Thanks to Andre and PR agency of Synology I had the opportunity to review this awesome NAS Drive DiskStation DS218J. After using it for more than a month, I am fully satisfied and recommend this product for Personal Cloud or even for usage for SMB’s. It is cost effective and a lot of options as packages with Synology apps. It has helped me to connect with my family with sharing special moments and content without getting into too much of hassle.
Just to let you guys know, It was child’s play to set up my own personal cloud and did it with ease and in a short time.
Before I share the review of my experience with Synology DiskStation DS218J, The “j” suffix in the name denotes that the device is an entry-level NAS meant for home and home office use.
I would like to take through the product and process of the setup which was very easy.
Synology DiskStation DS218j is a 2-bay NAS server which perfectly fits home and personal users to build your own personal cloud. Simple yet powerful, Synology DS218j offers effortless data sharing, multimedia streaming, and cloud synchronization. Synology DS218j is backed by Synology’s 2-year limited warranty.
It is 165 x 100 x 225.5 mm is the size with white piano finish plastic body (as per my review unit). It has 92 x 92 x 25 mm fan to keep the unit and hard drive cool. It has two 3.5-inch hard disks bay and it’s possible to fit 2.5-inch hard disks and SSDs, but only with an adapter – it requires the Type-C model. The Synology logo on the sides is also perforated which also helps to keep the circulation of air to the hard drive. Weighing only 0.87kg (without the hard drive) it is light to strong. It has CPU (Marvell Armada 385 88F6820 dual-core 1.3GHz) with built-in Memory (DDR3 512MB). Compatible with Hard drive (2 x 3.5” or 2.5” SATA HDD/SSD (drives not included)) and has 2 USB 3.0 ports. It can work with Network Protocol (SMB, AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, CalDAV, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN ™, L2TP) and file system (• Internal: ext4 • External: ext4, ext3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT2). It can support RAID type Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR), Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1.
How to Setup?
Synology DiskStation DS218j package includes power cable, Ethernet cable and screws for fixing the hard drive in the bay.
I was also provided with 2TB Seagate IronWolf hard drive for review from the PR agency. Seagate IronWolf is specially designed for NAS Drive with 5900 RPM.
On sliding the left-hand side of the cover, I could fix the Hard drive in the Disk Bay 2 with ease and then fixed up with screws to make it immovable in the bay. After closing the bay cover, connected the power cable and Ethernet cable to my router.
As my laptop is already connected to the same router. I downloaded Synology-assistant-6.1-15163 (8.5MB) from the Synology download centre. On running the software, it detected automatically the Synology DiskStation DS218j and followed the instruction step by step and created my first personal NAS Drive.
After the disk management is ready and it gives you step by step instruction to create your account on Synology website (Quick Connect), this can be used to connect remotely from any part of the world and access your files. Typing quickconnect.to/ followed by your own QuickConnect ID into any web browser will bring up the NAS interface – you don’t even need to open any ports on your router.
Synology has provided ready applications which is available free on the website and can be downloaded once you are registered with Synology. You can install Cloud Server station, Upload images on the photo station, you can upload music under the different genre readily available in the apps. You can upload movies and share with your family and friends and also setup your own Camera Surveillance Station. For Apple user there is ITUNE server system, so instead of paying extra for the storage for apple music and videos, you can link your ITUNE music and video and keep it stored at your personal cloud.
One of the best apps which I found was the Moments by Synology, this app work with the algorithm of the image and uses the information provided while clicking the photo or video. For example, if you have clicked a photo in the restaurant and geo tag is ON. You can later search for all the images with concern geo tag or concern person name. It can identify the human face which has been labelled earlier by you and creates a collection of all the images on Moments so in one glance you can view all the concern person images on your Synology Drive. The app keeps on collecting data as you keep on uploading on Synology NAS Drive. This part it has IOS and Andriod app available so you can view the images and video any part of the world. I have also created additional users for my family and they are in India and they upload and download movies, music and share their personal images on my Synology NAS drive.
Another great feature is the Surveillance Station. Where you can set up your own home surveillance camera system. You need to buy the IP based camera which can connect with your router and you can monitor from any part of the world with Smartphone Synology App.
Cross-Platform File Sharing
Synology DS218j supports comprehensive network protocols, ensuring a seamless file sharing experience across Windows, Mac®, and Linux® platforms. Windows AD and LDAP integration allow DS218j to fit quickly and effortlessly into any existing network environment without the necessity to create identical user accounts. Cloud Sync keeps your Dropbox, Google™ Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Baidu and Box storage in sync with your personal DiskStation at home. The Cloud Station Suite allows you to sync files among multiple devices — Windows PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android™ tablets/phones — effortlessly keeping everything up-to-date. DS218j combines seamless file sharing capability with enhanced security, even over the internet with HTTPS, built-in firewall, and multiple IP and account intrusion auto-blocking mechanisms.
Synology claims DS218j consumes only 17.48 watts during access and 7.03 watts during HDD hibernation, which is power-efficient and budget-friendly to serve as a 24/7 personal storage server.
Synology DS218j MRSP – $177
One of the best product for your personal NAS storage system compared to others in the market. From installation to ready for usage happened in a short time. Synology DiskStation provides Disk management apps on Android and IOS platform, so you or your family members can use it from part of the world with the access of the internet. You can set up your personal photo gallery with moment app which uses an algorithm to detect human faces and once labelled help you create a group of images of the concerned person. It also identifies non-human things like buildings and food and keeps on learning and updating from the internet. There several other packages available free like Music station, Video & Movie library, Office, notes, etc.
There are many NAS drives available on the market. But in my experience, Synology has a clean and neat looking DSM interface. It is quite brilliant that you can operate your NAS as if it were a desktop computer, right through your web browser. It may be one of the less expensive Synology models on the market, but there’s nothing entry-level about the DS218j’s performance or features. It’s a near-perfect NAS.