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Synology is probably the best NAS system and almost always a good investment. The web-based graphical DSM software is the best available and continuously updated. The DS418 line has dual LAN ports to provide Link Aggregation. This allows you to transfer data at up to 226MB/s over 2 Ethernet lines (with each line maxing out at around 110MB/s which is basically as fast as Gigabit Ethernet can go).
However, if you are considering the DS418, spend the extra $50 and get at least the DS418play. Synology’s marketing info can be confusing regarding exactly what the difference is between the models (i.e. what do you really get for the “j”, “play”, “+” suffix). In the product side-by-side comparisons, they all show similar capabilities. For example, all the DS418 models show that they will play the same media. However, the DS418 won’t hardware transcode media files (you have to get at least the DS418play for that). Even if you don’t care about DLNA transcoding, the DS418 uses a Realtek ARM CPU which won’t run Plex, Dockers, or probably most future server tech. The DS418play and up are based on Intel CPUs which will hardware transcode, run Plex, VMware and Dockers and is way more future-proof. The Intel CPUs also provide a bit more horsepower for encryption and other server activity. If you are going to spend the money, get at least the DS418play. If you are really into streaming, the DS918+ can stream 2 4k videos simultaneously while the DS418play can only stream one at a time. If multiple users need to stream 4K videos simultaneously or you want to use the eSATA port to connect the 5-Bay expansion DX517 NAS, then you have to spend the big bucks on the DS918+. Otherwise, the DS418play is your best bang for the buck.
This is my second Synology. I intended to order the DS418 Play, but ordered the non-play by mistake. I deducted one star because the pricepoint between the two is minor and the play is much more flexible. This is primarily due to the intel processor the play uses, so it can run more apps and transcode on the fly etc. The only benefit of the non-play DS418 is that it uses a slightly more power efficient processor so if power savings is your thing, you might prefer it.
I've been wanting a Synology for quite some time. Before this, I was using an iOmega NAS with 3TB of storage for a couple of years. I've outgrown the storage and used this opportunity to purchase this DS418.
The set up is really simple. I purchased (4) 3TB Western Digital Red drives and let it configure SHR. The interface is like most Linux-based NAS (QNAP, Asustor, etc) so you're able to do some customizing and adding 3rd party apps.
I use this for just about everything (photo backups, Plex media storage, cloud sync, security camera recording, and FTP). I wish it came with more RAM because I don't think this particular model allows you to upgrade. What I don't like about this is that it's completely plastic. My iOmega has a metal chassis, but this one is plastic inside and out. Regardless, this unit should last me about 2-3 years.
The unit itself is nicely designed and compact. Four hard drives will fit in the unit, and you can configure the RAID how you want. The interface via desktop or your phone is simplistic, with advanced features buried within the menus. For power users, this unit will work flawlessly given its transfer speed. For novice users, it may take a while to setup as the instructions which come with it are virtually non-existent. If you are a novice, use your PC/MAC to setup the unit by typing into a web browser "find synology" or something similar. It will be found automatically if connected to an ethernet cable attached to your network. I have had the unit for less than two months, but so far I have not had any problems.
I bought this as an upgrade from an older 2-bay NAS from another manufacturer that ran reliably for 11 years straight. However, when 2020 arrived, that device started defaulting to "2000" as the year for new folder names (even thought file dates were correct for this year). With no solution found on that company's site, I researched newer 4-bay units and settled on the DS419 paired with four (separately purchased) WD RED 3.5" HDDs.
3.5" HDD install was tool-free and problem free. Initial parity checking of the installed disks (about 14.56 GB total) took about 10 hours.
I intended to configure this as a single RAID 10 volume, but the "Storage Manager" defaulted to an "SHR" (Synology Hybrid RAID) , requiring me to remove that volume and reinstall. I did this before moving any data to the NAS.
Otherwise the user interface is solid and relatively easy to navigate. Windows users will probably want to download the Synology Assistant program to assist with mapping folders in the NAS at lettered Windows drives (especially if you are using the NAS for backup of content on a PC, as I am).
The "Package Center" contains dozens of Synology and third party applications to enable many advanced functions.
Overall, strong NAS for both experienced and journeyman users.
I have had this product now for over a month. Too early to give it 5 stars on all fronts, but so far, I am pleased with this unit. Easy to set up and run. Lots of good documentation and works with all my machines so far. I have 3 Windows machines and 4 Linux machines and I am able to support all of them with this one device. I have not used all the features yet, but I am planning on testing out the iSCSI and other advanced functions. It is populated with 3 WD 4TB Red Drives and 1 6TB red Drive. So far, I would recommend this unit.
Update: after many hours of troubleshooting, it turns out one of the drives that I had installed initialized properly and gave no indication of the failure within DSM, however the drive was causing the software to lock up. The responsiveness is back to what I was expecting with higher end models.
Original: I have used other Synology products before and this model is just frustrating. I have spent 4 hours trying to get it initialized and configured and cant get it working. The UI is normally good, but on this model it is unresponsive and cannot load half the time.
This is a great network storage device. My only complaint is with the user interface. It is not the most intuitive design and not a great design for those who don't have a wealth of experience with servers. It really seems like the software could be made more user friendly. Other than that. it's a great product. I didn't want to give it 4 stars just due to it's interface but that's part of the package and is the only thing keeping me from giving 5 stars.
I have had this for awhile. It's pretty rad. I docked it a star for not being able to transcode plex. It can do it's own transcoding using DS Video, which is essentially Synology's Plex. The 418+ and 418play can both transcode plex I believe. Be sure to check the plex website before purchase if you plan on using it for that.I don't really NEED it, but it would have been a nice to have. It's memory is also not expandable. Those negatives aside, it's a pretty good product.