Big brother of the Synology DS120J, the new Synology Diskstation DS220j offers certainly better features from all points of view, expanding the capacity of disks (with much more possibilities of managing them) and a more capable processor.
It always remains an entry level model, suitable for those who need a NAS in the living room, perhaps behind the TV, but with some extra power that never hurts.
Synology Diskstation DS220j, the review
Aesthetically, the Synology Diskstation DS220j does not differ much from its younger brother: the plastic shell is beautiful to look at, especially in the living room, where it looks good next to the television.
Elegant and formal, it also looks good next to a TV
On the front we find the power button and the four operating LEDs (which cannot be turned off, too bad) while in the back, just below the generous cooling fan, two USB-A 3.0 connectors accompany the power socket and the Gigabit Ethernet connector. .
All here, there are no frills, apart from the large Synology side lettering, purely of beauty: to insert or modify the internal disks you need to open the compartment, protected by two screws, which offers total access to the slides and the motherboard.
The internal slides allow the use of 3.5 “and 2.5” disks, both mechanical and solid state (SSD): we opted for a hybrid solution, with an 8 TB WD RED mechanical disk plus one 500 GB Angelbird SSD.
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The brain behind the Synology Diskstation DS220j is a 64-bit ARM Realtek RTD1296 processor, with 4-core 1.4 GHz and 512 GB of RAM, so a more powerful processor but the same amount of RAM as its little brother.
The Power Gap is not perceived in daily use and management, but it does allow the use of multiple apps and in some cases, like Plex, it is clearly a key difference.
Among other things, having two bays it is possible to play a little with RAID sets to propose a single volume given by the sum of the two, or always a single volume, with a second for redundancy, depending on the purpose of the NAS.
Among the Apps there is also Plex, which we downloaded and organized immediately
The ARM Realtek chip is very quiet and does not heat up that much, also offering some interesting calculation spikes on some apps, especially those related to video and monitoring.
The problem, in the humble opinion of the writer, is that one or two mechanical disks inside, produce an excessive thud, probably given by the space and shape of the case.
A noise that, if placed next to the TV is perceptible, and is given only by the mechanical discs (the WD RED units still have a vibration reduction system). Tested with SSD drives, the Synology Diskstation DS220j is a beauty and you can also keep it on your bedside table, it is so quiet.
The NAS is suitable for hosting both mechanical disks and SSDs: given home use, the seconds are better
While waiting for the new DSM 7, which is estimated to debut within the year, the review was carried out with the DSM 6.2.3 operating system, which is always proven to be excellent.
The number of Apps is very good (only a torrent client is missing), with some of those produced by Synology that are really interesting such as Moments for photos, Drive for synchronizing documents with Mac and Windows and Audio Station for music (a way to have all your music always online, for free).
The QuickConnect service is excellent to connect to your NAS also from the outside, a practice that we used a lot when, on the beach, we used here and there the music and photos on the iPhone, directly from the deckchair to the living room.
For those who do not have office ambitions but just want a NAS in the living room that, in addition to the backup of the computer (or computers, of course) also offers some services such as Plex, the management of music and photos from smartphone or tablet, then this Synology Diskstation DS220j is definitely a good choice.
Better than the Synology DS120J model because the fact that it can accommodate two disks offers greater safety margins, although of course there is a price increase.
The USB sockets on the back can accommodate removable drives, both for backup and for data transfer. For example, we used the WD_Black P10 to move our backup to inside the NAS, so as not to stress the network for the first transfer
Our opinion is that, to provide the best possible service, you should opt for SSD drives, because the noise issue in the living room or bedroom is important, unless you have a closet where to put it (and where the ethernet arrives). .
The services are there, the operating system is solid and full of solutions, the compatibility with mobile is so high that, if you want, you can do without the Mac or PC from start to finish, a detail that for some could become pivotal.
• Excellent exterior design • Quiet (with SSD) • Excellent price / performance ratio
• With mechanical discs it offers a perceptible thud • A little more RAM was preferable
• 172,90 Euro (without discs)
Synology Synology DS220j is present in large chains of appliance stores, but you can find it, on offer, also on Amazon.it. We used 8 TB WD RED mechanical drives and Angelbird 500 GB solid state SSD for the test.