Today I’m reviewing the Synology Network Dual Disk Drive – DS218 +. This network device is released by Synology – a sort of Apple, only among network drives. The drive is focused on individual and home use. Among other devices of this class from the company Synology, it belongs to the upper segment in performance and is designed for a wide range of tasks. SynologyDS218 + is built on an x86 platform from Intel and incorporates a 64-bit dual-core Intel Celeron J3355 processor with a core frequency of 2.0 GHz, in turbo boost mode increasing to 2.5 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, soldered directly to the motherboard. RAM has the option of expanding to a maximum of 6 GB using a separately purchased 2 or 4 GB bracket.
The drive is delivered in an ordinary gray cardboard box with a pen, on the upper and side faces of which small colored stickers are glued with the model designation and brief characteristics in English.
The box surprises with its small size relative to the device itself. Opening the box, we find two compartments inside, in one of which is the device itself, wrapped in a soft bag with instructions and a warranty card, as well as all the cables necessary for connecting in another compartment. To prevent accidental damage during transportation, the drive is laid with a piece of foamed polyethylene.
The kit itself consists of:
- the drive itself;
- an external power supply wrapped in a pimply film;
- power cable in a bag with lightning;
- network cable in a sealed bag;
- a small sealed bag with 4 screws needed to install 2.5″ format disks;
- instructions in English and Russian.
NAS has a removable front panel, with a film glued on it. The panel itself is glossy and collects fingerprints well.
Having removed the panel, we find two quick-detachable frames for installing disks. Next to each of them points marked their priority.
Also on the front panel there are indicators of the operation of the device itself, the connection to the local network and the operation of both disks, one USB 3.0 port, a power and reset button. On both sides of the drive has the inscription Synology, which has a embossed surface.
On the back of the device are two more USB 3.0 ports, one connector for network connection, a power connector and a fan.
To install the discs, push the latch up and pull the frame towards you by the conveniently located handle.
On both sides of the frame, two retainers must be removed to hold the disc. Then put the disk into the frame, and install the side clips until it clicks.
By the way, note that the frame itself is equipped with four small rubber gaskets, which obviously serve to reduce the noise and vibration that occur during the operation of the disk itself.
The frame with the fixed and installed disk must be inserted into the drive and pushed all the way. Everything, the disk is installed. The same operation must be repeated with the second disk if both disks are installed at once.
Then put on the protective decorative cover.
Next, we connect the external power supply and network cable to the router, after which the device is ready to be turned on. After switching on, it is necessary to install the operating system and perform the initial setup of the drive. This is done through the web interface of any other device connected to the same local network. The following file system types are supported – EXT4 and Btrfs. When you install two disks at once, the drive will prompt you to select the type of array. The following types of RAID are supported:
- Synology Hybrid RAID;
- RAID 0;
- RAID 1.
You can configure QuickConnect – access to the device via the Internet from anywhere in the world using a login and password. After the configuration is complete, the DSM desktop is loaded, and you can proceed with the installation of the necessary packages. By default, several packages are installed – you just need to pull their shortcuts to the desktop. Among them, the most used in the home environment – DownloadStation, VideoStation, FileStation, PhotoStation. These packages are necessary for organizing a media server for storing a home archive of photos and videos, uploading and distributing films.
In general, the drive has a huge number of features, not least due to its powerful platform – backup and backup of both multimedia and images of local computers for their quick recovery; own mail server; creating a VPN server, setting up virtual machines, organizing cloud storage, real-time transcoding, video surveillance server, etc.
The interface is quite friendly and somewhat reminiscent of ordinary win-systems, so it will not cause a stupor in an inexperienced user. It is possible to use the built-in tools to view the SMART disk, set a check schedule for monitoring the health status of the HDD, and if the parameters deteriorate, notify the user by email, for example.
Disks, by the way, are supported up to 14 TB inclusively, the compatibility list is on the site and is constantly updated.
You can separately configure the drive on/off by time, the time off of the indicator lights or their brightness. During operation, the noise from the device itself is not audible against the general background of the average room, however, clearly distinguishable noise comes from the installed disks, so I do not recommend installing a NAS in the bedroom.
In terms of performance, I want to note the following – at the moment (usage time about a week), CPU utilization of more than 80% could not be observed. The temperature of the HDD did not rise above 31 degrees, while the fan was set to minimum speed. The device has the required performance margin for several years and more than covers the needs for home use. In conclusion, I would like to recommend this NAS to those users who in the foreseeable future need two drive bays and need a sufficiently powerful device for their range of tasks, especially since the needs will grow and the power reserve will be in demand.I hope my review will help you make your choice.
The article is written on the basis of materials of this site.