Should you buy a NEW Synology or OLD Synology NAS Model in 2018

A Guide to Buying the Right Synology NAS Now

If you are considering buying a new Synology NAS in 2018, chances are that you are looking to buy the newest models. This is completely understandable, a network attached storage device is a solid, long-term investment for you or your business and the last thing you want to do is purchase your new NAS server, only to find out a newer, shinier and more powerful version is right around the corner. Often the main reasons people buy the latest NAS is because:

  • Latest CPU and firmware revision is used, to ensure high power and efficiency
  • Future proofing, ensuring that in the event of upgrade/replacement, parts are available
  • Software support to the highest degree and most recent version
  • Compatibility with other recent hardware that has been released after the older model
  • Newer NAS devices are often designed to be more energy efficient, as this is a growing trend and a popular specification to design towards

There are all valid concerns, however, it is worth knowing that contrary to what many think, it is often the case that older Synology NAS are actually better. There are numerous reasons for this:

  • Several older Synology NAS such as the 2016 released DS916+ use CPU such as Intel Pentiums, that, though less power efficient, are much better suited to traditional applications that people use on custom NAS build
  • In most cases, the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM 6.2) is exactly the same on the entire NAS range and updates are very regular
  • The hardware and software architecture on all Synology NAS runs on a Linux backend and therefore in order for the hardware on one NAS to support particular peripherals or media, it means that it will be supported on all others
  • The power consumption between even a 2-Bay and 8-Bay NAS is relatively small and unless you are using a NAS flat out (constant read/write actions), the power consumption will lessen greatly in standby mode, regardless of which NAS you use. Likewise, the power consumption between a new 4-Bay and an old 4-Bay is tiny.

ARM vs X86 CPUs – How important is CPU Power and Efficiency when buying your first NAS

Like all areas of technology, NAS brands have to find a line between their new up and coming units and their established older favourites. It is not always that new unit is better than old (oh the Synology DS916+ – how we miss you!) and so we thought we would give you the chance to see the new units that are coming, alongside their closest Synology NAS available right NOW.

Synology Home & Backup NAS Comparison for 2018

There is always popular demand for a 1-Bay NAS and Synology are giving you a new unit to add to their 1 HDD family, with the DS119J. With modest specs and a price tag that promises to be close to that of the DS115j – is this the new purchase for your network this Autumn?

NEW NAS– The Synology DS119J

The new kid on the block. Announced at a private event in Germany, the Synology DS119J is a dual-core ARM-based NAS and just 256MB of memory

  • Dual Core CPU of 64-bit Architecture
  • CPU model unconfirmed, but likely a RealTek RTD1293 (TBC) at 1.4Ghz Dual Core
  • (DS218J features a Marvell Armada 385 88F6820 but that is 32bit)
  • 256MB of Memory – Cannot be Upgraded
  • Supported latest 12 and 14TB drives (mention of 16TB…hmmm)
  • 1-Bay of HDD or SSD Storage
  • Almost identical chassis to the DS115J NAS Design

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BUDGET NAS- The Synology DS115J

Released back in 2014/15, it is very, very low powered. It features a single core 800Mhz CPU and 256MB of DDR3 memory. It is woefully underpowered but does support the basic needs for media, backups and surveillance of upto 5 cameras. Plus, really, really cheap!

  • 800 MHz Marvell ARMADA 370 88F6707 single-core (ARM)
  • 256 MB DDR3 RAM
  • mounting for 1x 3.5-inch SATA Revision 3 HDD
  • 1x gigabit ethernet
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 1x 55 mm cooling fan
  • 36 W external power supply
  • 71 x 161 x 224 mm

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BETTER NAS – The Synology DS118 NAS

Currently the most powerful 1-Bay NAS from Synology. It features a quad-core 64-bit ARM CPU, 1GB of DDR4 Memory, 4K transcoding, USB 3.0 throughout and by comparison, the DS115J and DS119J are cars to drive to the shops and back – the DS118 is a Ferrari. Yes it costs a good 60-70% more, but it is jsut better in every single way.

  • Processor: Realtek RTD1296 quad core 1.4GHz.
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR4.
  • Gigabit Ethernet Ports: 1.
  • Rear panel connectors: 2 x USB 3.0
  • Cooling : Active, 1 x 60mm fan.
    Maximum hard drive size supported: 12TB.
    Internal File System support: EXT4.
    Dimensions (D x W x H):  224 x 166 x 71mm.
    Weight: 0.7kg.

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Synology SMB and Multimedia NAS Comparison for 2018

4-Bay and 5-Bay Synology NAS are easily the most requested NAS from the guys at Synology (with a new 2-Bay coming a very close 2nd) and there is a new kid on the block coming this September/October in the DS1019+ 5-Bay. However it does feature VERY similar specs to the DS918+ and for some of you, there’s no need to wait months just to pay extra for 1 more HDD Bay.

NEW NAS– The Synology DS1019+

When we first heard about the DS1019+, we at NASCompares were pretty surprised. Synology already has a long running series 5-Bay device in the form of the DS1517+ released last year and with this new device arriving with very, VERY similar hardware to that of the DS918+ 4-Bay (same CPU, same Memory, Same Chassis, Same NVMe SSD slots, etc) we struggled to see how it fits in line with the rest of the synology range. After discussion with Synology, it would appear that they intend to re-order their NAS range and give people a better range of solutions that on the one hand are more geared towards home, multimedia and smaller businesses, as well as flesh out their range of mid-range business solutions more geared for VMs, 10GBe upgrades and large-scale file management. The DS1019+ Iis very much part of that first group, whereas the DS1517+ is in very much the latter business category.

  • Intel J3455 Quad Core CPU
  • 1.6Ghz, burst to 2.3Ghz per core
  • 4GB of memory, up to a maximum of 8GB
  • Familiar Synology Chassis design
  • The DS1019+ can be expanded to 10 Drives with the DX517
  • Supporting the latest hard drives upto 14TB and SATA based 2.5″ SSD
  • 2x NVMe SSD Slots for installing super fast SSD for read and/or write caching

BUDGET NAS- The Synology DS918+

As mentioned earlier, the DS918+ is very, very similar to the DS1019+ and in fact is only distinguishable by the fact it has 4 HDD/SSD bays, compared with the 5 Bays in the DS1019+. Of course, the DS918+ is slightly lower in price by around 40-50 pounds, consumes a pinch less power, makes the toniest pinch less noise and is the nearest fraction smaller – but for many users these details make all the difference and therefore the DS918+ is the budget alternative to the DS1019+

  • Intel J3455 Quad Core CPU
  • 1.6Ghz, burst to 2.3Ghz per core
  • 4GB of memory, up to a maximum of 8GB
  • Familiar Synology Chassis design
  • The DS918+ can be expanded to 9 Drives with the DX517
  • Supporting the latest hard drives upto 14TB and SATA based 2.5″ SSD
  • 2x NVMe SSD Slots for installing super fast SSD for read and/or write caching

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BETTER NAS – The Synology DS3018xs

If you looked at the Synology DS1019+ and thought it looked a little underpowered, were worried that 5 Bays were not quite enough for  your RAID 6 config, or are sad at the lack of 10GBe potential, then you will need to spend a good chunk of cash more to get a much better NAS that is still similar in framework – the Synology DS3018xs is very much that great alternative.

  • Powerful 6-bay NAS optimized for data-intensive applications in small and medium business
  • Ultra-high performance of over 2,231 MB/s sequential reading and 265,000 sequential IOPS reading
  • Dual-core Pentium D CPU with AES-NI and 8GB (up to 32GB) DDR4 ECC SO-DIMM RAM
  • PCIe 3.0 slot for optional 10GbE add-on card or M2D17 adapter card for dual M.2 SSD as cache
  • Four built-in 1GbE (RJ-45) ports supporting failover and Link Aggregation
  • Scalable up to 30 drives with two DX1215 expansion units
  • Advanced Btrfs file system offering 65,000 system-wide snapshots and 1,024 snapshots per shared folder Backed with SRS, Synology’s next-business-day replacement service

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Synology Routers and Networking Comparison in 2018

Though Synology has only been in the business of routers for just over two years, they already have some excellent hardware and their SRM software is pretty impressive too. Their latest offering for the end of 2018 is the MR2200ac Mesh Router, which can work standalone, or by hooking into and extending your existing network – pretty cool. Not interested? Then we definitely recommend the RT1900ac for those on a tighter budget, or the RT2600ac for those with a little more to play with and want the POWER!

NEW Router– The Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router

Now that Synology has some valuable experience in the production of routers, several units on offer and the newly updated and improved Synology Router Manager (SRM) software up and running, they are now entering the next big popular area of routers – Mesh. In brief, a Mesh router is a smaller router device that connects wirelessly with your existing wireless network (coming from the same brand of router or mesh router) and then passes the signal along, stronger and for greater area coverage. It is a growing trend for businesses that need wifi over a large area (conference centres, hotels, schools, etc) to use a network of well-placed mesh routers over an entire building to give coverage to a much bigger area than a single router could cover. Additionally, it means that you do not lose connectivity or cause device confusion when moving between wireless access points (as you would with a powerline adapter or router set up in slave mode to carry the network a great distance). The Synology MR2200ac mesh router will give you all these advantages PLUS it arrives with the SRM 1software onboard. Lastly, the device can be used as a standalone router – so you can get a Synology mesh router now and add another or another router later on too.

  • Qualcomm IPQ4019 quad-core CPU
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi – Single SSID with 802.11 k/v/r
  • 1x USB, 1x WAN and 1x LAN
  • Arrives with Synology Router Manager 1.2
  • Dedicated Mobile App
  • Can be used Standalone or  in conjunction with your own router
  • Bespoke user, calendar and time management

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BUDGET Router- The Synology RT1900ac Router

If you are not looking to cover a wider area of your building/home office with your wifi enabled router, but still like the idea of a controlled network where you can assign priority to different users – then perhaps the slightly older RT1900ac router is the one for you. Though it does not have the mesh functionality, it does have the SRM 2.1 software on board and with 3 separate antennae so you can have greater controlled coverage of your wifi and assign device priority, permissions and event scheduled access.

  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 1900ac router
  • Dual-band 3×3 MIMO
  • Dual-core 1GHz
  • 256MB DDR3 RAM
  • External antennae x3
  • 4x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x SD card Reader
  • Dimensions: 206 x 160 x 66mm
  • SRM 1.2 Software

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BETTER NAS – The Synology RT2600ac Router

Looking for all the features (except mesh) but with even more power under the bonnet? Say hello to the more powerful RT2600ac. With more ports, a better CPU, 4 antennae, better ventilation and even more functionality in SRM 1.2 than either of the previous two routers, this is definitely the most powerful Synology router of them all.

  • 1.7GHz Dual-core processor for fast, uncompromising performance
  • Powerful 4×4 802.11ac wave 2 radios with MU-MIMO and up to 2.53Gbps breakthrough wireless speeds
  • Smart Connect for seamless transition between maximum speed or range
  • Hardware accelerated Layer 7 traffic control and monitoring
  • Dual WAN capable for load balancing and failover support
  • Create advanced VPNs with WebVPN, Synology SSL VPN, and SSTP VPN capability
  • Powerful add-on packages to enhance security, file sharing, and additional functionality
  • Revolutionary interface, powered by Synology Router Manager (SRM)

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Synology Business & Big Storage NAS Comparison in 2018

Business and network attached storage – a winning combination, right? However, all too many businesses have difficulty defining the line between maximum storage and maximum internal hardware. The DS2419+ promises to be a NAS that finds the middle ground with it’s newer gen Intel C3000 Atom CPU and PCIe slot, plus 12 HDD bays. Not that impressed? Then in that case, maybe try the DS2415+ right now for less!

NEW NAS – The Synology DS2419+

When it comes to buying your first NAS, many users will have a clear idea of the priorities they have. Aside from price (which, let’s face it is the ultimate decider for many) the biggest deciders are internal hardware and maximum storage. It is the reason that many NAS serves will go to great lengths to highlight the maximum IOPS (individual operations) and expandable storage options. Whereas a number of the NAS mentioned above focus on the power/internal hardware, Synology does have a history of producing 12-Bay NAS that is designed with HUGE storage in mind. Normally to get this level of HDD/SSD bays, you would need to start looking at rackmount. So a compact desktop chassis that can hold well in excess of 150TB, even in a RAID 5 and still be able to add more is very attractive. Hence why there is a big buzz for the affordable, well balanced and huge storage enabled DS2419+. It features a C3000 series Intel Atom, upto 16GB of memory, 4 LAN ports and that popular PCIe slot for adding 10GBe – definitely a good one!

  • The DS2419+ arrives with the Atom C3538 CPU, 2.1Ghz CPU
  • The NAS features 4GB of DDR4 memory, up to a maximum of 32GB
  • Familiar 12-Bay Synology Chassis design
  • The DS2419+ can be expanded by connecting the DX1217
  • Supporting the latest hard drives upto 14TB and SATA based 2.5″ SSD
  • 4x LAN ports (RJ45)
  • 2x USB Ports
  • PCI slot for adding 10GBe, SSD cache cards such as the M2D18 and M2D17 and 40GBe

BUDGET NAS- The Synology DS2415+

If you are more interested in bulk storage, that power and speed, then you will be able to save a few quid and look at the older DS2415+ Diskstaiton NAS. It features exactly the same storage volume options as the new DS2419+, as well as the 4 LAN ports. However, it has an older C2000 CPU and no PCIe slot for adding 10GBe. The result is that if you are looking for a backup storage server NAS that needs great space and expansion options, but you do not intend to push it amazingly hard, then you will be much better off with the older Synology DS2415+

  • CPU Model: Intel Atom C2538
  • CPU Frequency: Quad Core 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3
  • Drive Bays: 12
  • Max Internal Capacity: 96TB
  • External ports: USB 3.0 x4
  • Dimensions: 270mm x 300mm x 340mm
  • Weight: 9.24kg
  • System Fan: 120mm x 120mm x 2pcs
  • Warranty: 3 years

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BETTER NAS – The Synology DS3617xs

What if you want POWER and STORAGE – greedy aren’t you! The good news is that there IS a desktop NAS that means with your needs, however, it is a good chunk more expensive. The Synology DS3617xs arrives with a quad-core Intel Xeon based CPU that is insanely more powerful than that of the intel atom in the DS2419+ and DS2415+. It also arrives with up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, 4 1Gbe LAN ports and a PCIe slot that lets you add 10Gbe connectivity too. If that was not enough, it even has the option for adding 24 more HDD/SSD drives with adding two of the DX1215 expansion chassis (the other two NAS only let you add an additional 12 drives). Again, this is an expensive NAS, but it is still the perfect option for those looking for both POWER and STORAGE.

  • 2,358 MB/s sequential throughput reading and 406,760 sequential IOPS reading
  • Intel Xeon D-1527 quad-core CPU and 16 GB (up to 48 GB) DDR4 ECC SODIMM
  • Scale up to 36 drives with 2 x Synology Expansion Unit DX1215
  • PCIe 3.0 slot to support optional high-performance network interface card
  • Advanced Btrfs file system offering 65,000 system-wide snapshots and 1,024 snapshots per shared folder
  • Complete virtualization solution for VMware®, Citrix®, Microsoft® Hyper-V® and OpenStack®
  • Backed with SRS, Synology’s next business day replacement service

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