Synology DS218+ Review
The Synology DS218+ is the best network attached storage (NAS) for your home or home office. This affordable NAS is easy to set up and use, plus it comes with features and apps you can add as your needs grow. Starting around $299 without disks, you can build out the Synology DS218+ to meet your storage needs.
I’ve spent years hassling with external hard drive after external hard drive to manage my growing storage needs as laptop storage sizes shrank with each upgrade. Before the Synology DS218+ I relied on 3 external hard drives to hold photos, raw 4K footage and Final Cut Pro libraries. Now I only need the DS218+ and an external SSD that travels with me occasionally.
The Synology DS218+ earns a Gotta Be Mobile Editor’s Choice Award for delivering a reliable, affordable Network Attached Storage solution that is easy to setup and use, even outside your home.
The DS218+ is a small, but very powerful NAS that can hold two full size hard drives. You can buy this with hard drives already installed or add your own. It supports a range of storage setups and options. Synology sent this review unit with 2 10TB IronWolf HDDs installed in Raid 1, which keeps my data mirrored across the two drives in the event of a failure.
One thing I love about the Synology DS218+ is the size of the device. The modern-looking design fits in perfectly in my home office and it was easy to connect to my home network with the built-in ethernet port. There is a small fan built in to keep the NAS cool, since this is essentially a small computer, but I don’t hear the fan often. The only noise is from the hard drives. The build quality is great, with a solid feel all around and a handy front cover that pops off for access to the drives.
The Synology DS218+ came with the hard drives already installed so setting it up on my network took less than 10 minutes. That included connecting the unit to my network, following a setup wizard and then adding it to shared storage so I can access it on my Mac from inside Finder. It’s easy to set the DS218+ up so that your computer treats it like a directly connected drive.
After the initial setup it’s easy to add new features using DSM, which is the built-in OS for the DS218+ which allows you to change settings, configure remote access and even install apps directly to the NAS so that you can add new features to the system. When setting up remote access it is possible to use your router to configure it, or even just use the built-in QuickConnect feature and login remotely with your Synology account. I use the QuickConnect option since it is the easiest to setup and use.
The package center includes apps that make it easy backup and sync files to other cloud services, like Dropbox or Google Drive, and to use the the DS218+ as a multimedia server that can serve up and even transcode 4K video files, act as an audio server or iTunes server and organize your photos.
I am primarily using the Synology DS218+ to hold my older Final Cut Pro libraries. I am also using it as a Time Machine Backup and to hold the photos and videos I shoot for car reviews. I am not transcoding and using it as a media server right now, but the nice part about this NAS is that I can easily add that and move how I use it past the home office into home entertainment.
On top of the build in full size hard drives for storage there are two USB 3.0 ports on the back that can be used for additional storage or to add a wireless adapter. There is one built-in ethernet port to connect to a network. There is also a front USB port and there are LED activity lights.
I rarely hear the fan running when I am not heavily using the Synology DS218+, but I do hear the hard drives in action. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but it is an added noise in the home. The software allows you to configure the disks to shut down when inactive, but I haven’t found this necessary to implement. The only time I hear the noise is when walking directly past the office. After a month it faded into the background enough that it doesn’t bother my wife. The DS218+ is small enough that I could easily move it into the basement where I have another network connection, but for now it will remain here.
Power users may not find enough processing power to handle all of their needs, but for smart storage that I can access anywhere the Synology DS218+ is the perfect home office upgrade.