The DS218+ NAS versus DS216+II – Synology Plus Series NAS Comparison

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Choosing the best 2-Bay Synology NAS between the DS218+ and the DS216+II

Synology DS218+ NAS Unboxing 4Choosing whether to buy a brand new released piece of hardware or saving some money and getting a year or two older is always a common decision. This has become an especially frequent decider due to companies choosing to release their products with such frequency that often you are left wondering how actually ‘old’ something is. The latest releases from the NAS brand Synology have caused quite a stir among buyers and it has left many wondering if this slew of new releases are better than their 2016 series elders. We have focused on many of these successors and today want to focus our attention on the ‘Vice President’ of flagship Diskstation NAS, the DS218+ Synology and how it compares with the mid 2016 released Synology DS216+II. Both feature some great hardware and though now as powerful or as upgradable as their flagship front-runners (the DS716+II and DS718+), they are both very popular devices. So, which one should you buy? Which one is better? Which one deserves your data?

What can you do with a Synology NAS Diskstation?

Whichever Synology NAS you choose, rest assured that you are buying one of the most capable and adaptable network attached storage devices available. Either one will provide:

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  • Synology DSM Operating system Free and updated regularly
  • BTRFS and EXT 4 File systems to choose from
  • Support for RAID 0, RAID 1 and the always popular and adaptable SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID)
  • Host a virtualization Platform – setup and run multiple VMs, supporting multiple Operating systems and enhanced by the Docker app, Container Station
  • Personal and business software applications included free like Synology Office (docs, spreadsheets, pdfs, etc), Synology LiveChat, Synology Mail, Photo Station, Video Station, Music Station, Download Station and more

Accessing my PLEX NAS media server

  • Both units cab be used as a fantastic Plex Media Server
  • Serve as a cross-platform service – bridging connections and transfers of files between Mac and Windows systems over the network
  • Heavily support backups, archiving, remote replication and comprehensive snapshot technology meaning you will have an equal amount of backup options whichever you go for. As well as migration, connection and interaction with existing cloud services like dropbox, Google Drive, ElephantDrive and Synology C2
  • Create a comprehensive Surveillance solutions, supporting multiple IP cameras and even arriving with some licences included

So, regardless of whether you buy the Synology DS218+ or the DS216+II, you have a very solid NAS to build from.

Synology DS218+ NAS, Why should you buy it?

The DS218+ NAS was released in September 2017 and arrived alongside a number of high-profile Diskstation NAS. Check out our unboxing below:

What are the Pros and Cons of the Synology DS218+?

 PROSDESIGN – I absolutely love this new chassis. Robbie on our YouTube channel, when asked to compare it with the DS216+ case, described it as comparing the new Robocop movie with the older one. Much more modern shape and design, a good mix of sharp edges with all the curves in the right places

FEATURES – On a hardware level, you are going to be hard pushed to find a better 2 bay in this price range. Only the Synology DS718+ gives you better hardware options, but at a price of just £280+ without VAT, this is hard to beat

PERFORMANCE – Featuring a great J series CPU from intel in Dual Core and 2GB of memory, this unit can perform all of the very latest applications from synology in DSM 6.2

VALUE – Synology have really turned a corner on their NAS series with this upgrade to the DS218+ flagship home two bay NAS. This is a worthy successor to the DS216+II and highly recommended.

Intel Celeron J3355 DS218+ NAS CPU

 CONS

DESIGN – Still features that odd removable front panel, instead of lockable trays.

FEATURES – Just one LAN port mans that link aggregation is not supported

PERFORMANCE – That dual core CPU, though an x86 chip that is highly suitable as a plex media server, is just a little underwhelming for creating even a single standalone VM use.

VALUE – If you reduce the size of your hard drives for this NAS by even 1TB each, you can afford the more powerful DS718+

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The sYnology DS218+ Review Score

Synology DS216+II NAS, Why should you buy it?

The Original Synology DS216+ was released in January 2016 and was almost immediately compared with the DS716+. Later that year however, due to CPU shortages, a new and improved version of this device was released – The Synology DS216+II. Below was our response at the time:

What are the Pros and Cons of the Synology DS216+II?

 PROSDESIGN – Clean design, Metal and in keeping with the rest of the Synology 2 Bay Series 

FEATURES – Good solid Synology NAS with all the support you would expect from their PLUS series. 

PERFORMANCE – Excellent Read and Write transmission speeds via a single LAN port as well as AES-NI Encryption and 4K support is a bonus. 

VALUE – For the money, you are getting a well-rounded NAS and most certainly on of the leaders of the 2 BAY NAS market today.

Intel Celeron N3060 DS216+II CPU

 CONS

FEATURES – The inclusion of USB 2.0 and only 1 gigabit LAN port is a little underwhelming. 

PERFORMANCE – Though the performance figures are very good for a 2 Bay devices, you may see occasional performance dips when accessing excessive media streams and with Plex. 

VALUE – Lack of HDMI port may put off media users to a lesser degree

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The synology DS216+II Review Sore

Should you buy the Synology DS218+ or the DS216+II – Conclusion

Choosing between them ultimately comes down to that CPU and that ability to upgrade that memory. The CPU in both is very similar (though the DS218+ J3355 CPU is far more efficient and gives you more in the grand scheme of things) and if you have a choice between these and DS218+ you need the NAS for more than just media – Go for the DS218+.

Still not convinced? Below are the specifications and how they compare:

CPU
Synology NAS Model DS216+ Front

Synology

DS216+II NAS

The Synology DS218+ 2-Bay Diskstation NAS Unboxing and Walkthrough 5

Synology

DS218+ NAS

Where to Buy?

£250+ ex.VAT

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£280+ ex.VAT

buy-your-nas-today-with-span-com-today

CPU Model Intel Celeron N3060 Intel Celeron J3355
CPU Benchmark 989 1313
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency Dual Core 1.6 burst up to 2.48 GHz Dual Core 2.0 burst up to 2.5 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine  YES  YES
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI)  YES  YES
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-2 and VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 30 H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-2 and VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 30
Memory
System Memory 1 GB DDR3 2 GB DDR3L
Memory Module Pre-installed  N/A 2GB (1 x 2GB)
Total Memory Slots  1 2
Memory Expandable up to  N/A 6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB)
Storage
Drive Bays 2 2
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 7 – But cannot be added to the RAID. Independant Storage  7 – But cannot be added to the RAID. Independant Storage
M.2 Drive Slots  N/A  N/A
Compatible Drive Type* (See all supported drives)
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Capacity 20 TB (10 TB drive x 2) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) 20 TB (10 TB drive x 2) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Hot Swappable Drive    
External Ports
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 1 1
USB 2.0 Port 2 0
USB 3.0 Port 1 3
eSATA Port 1 1
USBCopy  YES  YES
File System
Internal Drives
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
External Drives
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT*
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT*
Notes
  • exFAT Access is purchased separately in Package Center.
  • exFAT Access is purchased separately in Package Center.
Appearance
Size (Height x Width x Depth) 165 mm x 108 mm x 233.2 mm  165 mm x 108 mm x 232.2 mm 
Weight 1.25 kg  1.30 kg 
Others
System Fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 1 pcs 92 mm x 92 mm x 1 pcs
Fan Speed Mode
  • Cool Mode
  • Quiet Mode
  • Full-Speed Mode
  • Cool Mode
  • Quiet Mode
Noise Level* 18.2 dB(A)  19.3 dB(A) 
Scheduled Power On/Off  YES  YES
Wake on LAN/WAN  YES  YES
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 60W  60W 
AC Input Power Voltage 100V to 240V AC 100V to 240V AC
Power Frequency 50/60 Hz, Single Phase 50/60 Hz, Single Phase
Power Consumption* 17.40 W (Access)
7.40 W (HDD Hibernation) 
17.23 W (Access)
5.4 W (HDD Hibernation) 
Warranty 2 Years 2 Years

Hardware Specifications – Differences in Blue

DSM Specifications

Storage Management
Supported RAID Type
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • Basic
  • JBOD
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 1
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • Basic
  • JBOD
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 1
RAID Migration
  • Basic to RAID 1
  • Basic to RAID 1
Volume Expansion with Larger HDDs
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • RAID 1
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • RAID 1
Volume Expansion by Adding a HDD
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
Maximum Users 200 1000
Cloud Station Server    
Maximum Number of Concurrently Connected Devices 256 500
Maximum Number of Synced Files (btrfs) 500,000 / single file reaction time 858 ms 1,000,000 / single file reaction time 681 ms
Maximum Number of Synced Files (ext4) 500,000 / single file reaction time 859 ms 1,000,000 / single file reaction time 341 ms
Notes
  • The maximum number of concurrently connected devices refers to the maximum number of devices that can remain connected at the same time. For more information on file processing capability, please refer to the reaction time for file processing.
  • File reaction time refers to the preparation time required for other devices to start downloading a 1KByte file from a Synology NAS after the file has been added to the NAS. RAM expansion was not used during testing.
  • Non-encrypted shared folders were used during the aforementioned testing.
  • The maximum number of concurrently connected devices refers to the maximum number of devices that can remain connected at the same time. For more information on file processing capability, please refer to the reaction time for file processing.
  • File reaction time refers to the preparation time required for other devices to start downloading a 1KByte file from a Synology NAS after the file has been added to the NAS. RAM expansion was not used during testing.
  • Non-encrypted shared folders were used during the aforementioned testing.
Free Email Accounts (Licenses required for additional accounts) (Licenses required for additional accounts)
Recommended MailPlus Client Number Up to 5 (Btrfs) / 5 (EXT4) Up to 45 (Btrfs) / 45 (ext4)
Maximum Server Performance 220,000 (Btrfs) / 216,000 (EXT4) emails per day, approx. 6.7 GB (Btrfs) / 6.6 GB (EXT4) 181,000 (Btrfs) / 194,000 (ext4) emails per day, approx. 5.5 GB (Btrfs) / 5.9 GB (ext4)
Media Server    
DLNA Certification  YES  YES
DLNA Compliance  YES  YES
Office    
Maximum Users 200 200
Maximum Snapshots per Shared Folder 256 1024
Maximum Snapshots of all Shared Folder 4096 65536
Surveillance Station    
Maximum IP cam (Licenses required) 25 (including 2 Free License) (See All Supported IP Cameras) 25 (including 2 Free License) (See All Supported IP Cameras)
Total FPS (H.264)* 750 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
300 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
160 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
100 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944) 
750 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
375 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
250 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
200 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
120 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Total FPS (MJPEG)* 300 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
120 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
90 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
60 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
450 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
250 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
160 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
130 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
Total FPS (H.265)*   750 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
750 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
450 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
250 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
200 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Video Station    
Video Transcoding 4K Group 1 (See more) 4K Group 1 (See more)
Maximum Transcoding Channel Number
  • 1 channel, 30 FPS @ 4K (4096 x 2160), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC) or
    3 channels, 30 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)/MPEG-2/VC-1
  • 2 channel, 30 FPS @ 4K (4096 x 2160), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC) or
    2 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)/MPEG-2/VC-1