Should you Buy the Synology DS118 or the Synology DS116 NAS?

Synology DS118 versus the DS116 – Which NAS should you buy?

Synology has become pretty much the go-to name in network attached storage over the years for home users who just want a solution that can be setup easily, filled up with data and then largely ignored. They are not the only NAS brand out there, but they are the most user-friendly and hassle-free NAS brands out there. They have also been breaking into a largely untapped market with the release over the last few years of a single bay (so just one Hard Drive or SSD) equipped NAS servers. This year they released the Synology DS118 1 Bay NAS (follow up to the DS115j and DS116) and it is safe to say that this new release is better than those older Synology NAS in every single way! Today’s article is not about which is a better NAS between the DS118 and DS116, but which one should you buy. If both units are the same price, you can stop reading and buy the DS118 now… once again, it is better in every single way. But what if you see the DS116 featuring a big discount? Or you currently own the Synology DS116 NAS and are considering the upgrade? These are the questions I want to answer in today’s article.

Why should you Buy the Synology DS118 NAS?

In terms of design, for such a compact and cost-effective device, it is possibly one of the best cost v hardware NAS that Synology has ever produced. Supporting many common NAS applications and functionality such as transcoding, 4K Playback, surveillance recording from IP Cameras, Apple Time Machine, Plex support and more. Don’t let the size fool you. The only downside, despite the high performance, is that this is based on the fact it is an ARM processor and therefore will always pale in comparison to a solid x86 based Intel or AMD CPU.

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What is the Performance of the DS118 vs the DS116 NAS?

When it comes to output, it performs better and with more efficiency than the older DS116, the DS118 quad-core Realtek CPU and DDR memory mean that you have a good balance of power underneath the bonnet. However, it is designed more with efficiency than power in mind and therefore you should factor that in when buying. Though once you start looking at tasks that factor higher amounts of rendering, transcoding or much broader multimedia tasks across multiple streams at once, you will start to struggle.

Which Synology NAS is the Best Value?

In terms of cost and value, it is hard to argue with so much ability and output at this price range. You need to overcome the lack of RAID protection and Intel CPU, but after that, you will not be disappointed. Easily one of the top 10 NAS devices we have seen so far. That said, if you have used NAS in the past, especially a device released this year) then the DS118 will not exactly blow your socks off. For its size and price tag, it is an excellent NAS, but more designed with first time NAS users, micro users or those on a tight budget in mind.

What are the disadvantages of the Synology DS118 NAS?

A Single HDD NAS, as many already know, lacks RAID protection. This should certainly be a factor to take into consideration when considering a NAS to store all your data. However given this wasn’t a problem that you didn’t already face with the DS116 NAS, whilst also using the same chassis as the DS116 NAS, the DS118 NAS is a compact, low power use, low noise and discreet size. If you are looking for a NAS you cancelled in a cupboard or drawer somewhere, this may well be the perfect NAS for you.

ds116 dlna

When should you consider buying the Synology DS116 NAS?

As amply described above, the Synology DS118 is easily the better device of these two units, but given that current at the time of writing this article the DS116 NAS is already a pinch lower in price, at what point is the price of the Synology DS116 NAS low enough to justify purchasing it? With both NAS devices hovering around the £130-140 mark without VAT, you should 100% still buy the DS118, however, if you see the Synology DS116 at a price below £99 including TAX, then definitely consider it.

Should I upgrade from the Synology DS116 to DS118 NAS?

The hardware and therefore the software performance on the DS118 is certainly a big leap from the DS116. Featuring improvements in multimedia (upto 4K playback and transcoding), improved performance in encryption read/write, larger support of download and file tasks in the background, sufficient power to fully utilize the new home and business applications in ‘Synology Office’, ‘Chat 2.0’, ‘Synology Drive’ and ‘Synology Moments’ – it is easy to see why it is a better NAS. However, unless you are sure you intend to take advantage of at least two of those new and improved features, you do not need to upgrade yet. Give it another year and see if we see a DS119 NAS.

Where can I buy the Synology DS118 NAS?

Possibly the most impressive part about the Synology DS118 NAS is the price. The unit can be pre-ordered now at Amazon at just £150+ ex.VAT and if you want to install a 2TB WD Red Drive, the whole thing will come in at 2 Terabytes of storage at just over £200+ ex.VAT. For a comprehensive, 4K Media and full network backup solution to all your home and multimedia needs, that is an incredible price Take a look below on how to order and more:

The Synology DS118 NAS

Synology DS118 NAS

  • Release Date – RELEASED
  • £140+ ex.VAT
  • 1-Bay for HDD or SSD
  • Realtek RTD1296 Quad-Core 1.4GHz CPU
  • 1GB DDR4 Memory
  • 4K Transcoding
  • EXT-4 FIle system
  • DSM 6.1 Support (6.2 in Beta)

How do the specifications compare on the DS118 and DS116 NAS?

Below are the official specification and performance figures from Synology themselves on these two devices. Why not take a look and double check that the device will do the things you need before you buy your NAS. See you next time!

Model Synology DS116 Synology DS118
Price £130+ ex.VAT £140+ ex.VAT
CPU Model Marvell Armada 385 88F6820 Realtek RTD1296
CPU Architecture 32-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency Dual Core 1.8 GHz Quad Core 1.4 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine YES YES
Hardware Transcoding Engine   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): 30
System Memory 1 GB DDR3 1 GB DDR4
Drive Bays 1 1
Compatible Drive Type
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD (with optional 2.5″ Disk Holder)
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD (with optional 2.5″ Disk Holder)
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD (with optional 2.5″ Disk Holder)
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD (with optional 2.5″ Disk Holder)
Maximum Internal Raw Capacity 12 TB (12 TB drive x 1) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) 12 TB (12 TB drive x 1) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
External Ports
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 1 1
USB 3.0 Port 2 2
File System
Internal Drives
  • EXT4
  • EXT4
External Drives
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+*
  • exFAT*
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT*
  • HFS+ is read only, max 2TB volume size.
  • exFAT Access is purchased separately in Package Center.
  • exFAT Access is purchased separately in Package Center.
Size (Height x Width x Depth) 166 mm x 71 mm x 224 mm  166 mm x 71 mm x 224 mm 
Weight 0.7 kg  0.7 kg 
System Fan 60 mm x 60 mm x 1 pcs 60 mm x 60 mm x 1 pcs
Fan Speed Mode
  • Cool Mode
  • Quiet Mode
  • Low-power Mode
  • Full-Speed Mode
  • Cool Mode
  • Quiet Mode
  • Low-power Mode
Brightness adjustable front LED indicators YES YES
Power Recovery YES YES
Noise Level* 16.4 dB(A)  16.7 dB(A) 
Scheduled Power On/Off YES YES
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 36W  36W 
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* 10.68 W (Access)
6.28 W (HDD Hibernation) 
9.4 W (Access)
4.22 W (HDD Hibernation) 
Warranty 2 Years 2 Years
Storage Management
Supported RAID Type
  • Basic
  • Basic
SSD Support
File Sharing Capacity
Maximum Local User Accounts 2048 2048
Maximum Local Groups 256 256
Maximum Shared Folder 256 256
Maximum Shared Folder Sync Tasks 2 2
Maximum Concurrent CIFS/AFP/FTP Connections 128 200
Maximum Users 10 500
Cloud Station Server    
Maximum Number of Concurrently Connected Devices 128 200
Maximum Number of Synced Files (ext4) 100,000 / single file reaction time 1038 ms 100,000 / single file reaction time 617 ms
Download Station    
Maximum Concurrent Download Tasks 30 30
DLNA Certification YES YES
Maximum Users 10 100
Maximum Simultaneous Editing Users 10 30
Surveillance Station    
Maximum IP cam (Licenses required) 16 (including 2 Free License) 15 (including 2 Free License)
Total FPS (H.264)* 480 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
400 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
160 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
80 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944) 
450 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
180 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
110 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
80 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
40 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Total FPS (H.265)*   450 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
450 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
210 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
120 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
60 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Total FPS (MJPEG)* 320 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
120 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
90 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
54 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
210 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
70 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
50 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
30 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
Video Station    
Video Transcoding Group 2 (See more) 4K Group 3 (See more)
Maximum Transcoding Channel Number  
  • 1 channel, 30 FPS @ 4K (4096 x 2160), H.265 (HEVC), 10-bit or
    1 channel, 30 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080), H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)/MPEG-4 Part 2 (XVID, DIVX5)/MPEG-2/VC-1
Environment RoHS Compliant RoHS Compliant
Packaging Content
  • Main Unit X 1
  • Welcome Note X 1
  • Accessory Pack X 1
  • AC Power Adapter X 1
  • RJ-45 LAN Cable X 1
  • Main Unit X 1
  • Accessory Pack X 1
  • AC Power Adapter X 1
  • RJ-45 LAN Cable X 1
  • Synology DS118 versus DS116Quick Installation Guide X 1

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