Synology DiskStation DS220+ vs. DS218+: Which NAS is best?

Should you upgrade from the DS218? Only if you need to.

Choosing the best NAS involves picking an enclosure that has all the internal specifications you’ll need for all the tasks you plan to run. The Synology DiskStation DS218+ was replaced with the DS220+, but should you still consider it? This guide will run you through the differences and whether you should upgrade or stick with the old.

Best home NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Synology DiskStation DS220+
  • Faster Intel Celeron J4025 processor
  • The same excellent DSM OS
  • Upgradable RAM
  • Additional 1Gb port
  • No 2.5 or 10 Gb LAN ports
  • No M.2 SSD slots for cache

Synology DiskStation DS220+ is a fantastic two-bay NAS with a powerful Intel processor and upgradable RAM. This is a great value NAS for the home with the ability to transcode 4K media through Plex.

Old but great

Synology DiskStation DS218+

Synology DiskStation DS218+
  • The same excellent DSM OS
  • More affordable
  • No 2.5 or 10 Gb LAN ports
  • Less capable
  • RAM non-upgradable
  • No M.2 SSD slots for cache

DS218+ is the older generation of the DS220+. It has an ARM processor, the same amount of RAM and drive bays, but only one 1Gb LAN port. You should only stick with this NAS if you don’t need more performance.

The DiskStation DS220+ is clearly the more powerful NAS here and that shouldn’t come as a surprise since it’s one of the best NAS out there. It’s the later model and comes with better internal components, but the highlight improvement is the Intel Celeron J4025 processor.

Synology DiskStation DS220+ is a great upgrade

IF you’re purchasing a NAS right now and have the choice between the Synology DiskStation DS220+ and the older DS218+, I’d recommend going with the newer model every time. While it does cost a little more, it’s vastly superior in every way.

Synology DiskStation DS220+Synology DiskStation DS218+
CPUIntel Celeron J4025
(2 cores, 2.9GHz)
Realtek RTD1296
(4 cores, 1.4GHz)
Drive bays2x (SSD/HDD)2x (SSD/HDD)
Expansion support
Cooling1x 92mm fan1x 92mm fan
Ports2x 1Gb LAN
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x 1Gb LAN
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x USB 2.0
PCIe slots
Power draw~14.69W~14.99W
Dimensions165 x 108 x 232.2 mm165 x 108 x 232.2 mm
Weight1.30 kg1.3 kg

The Intel processor is far better than the Realtek ARM chip, even though it has two fewer cores. The 2GB of DDR4 RAM can now be upgraded to a total of 6GB, though I’ve seen reports of owners being able to push the max RAM further than the official limit.

While there are still two drive bays, the addition of a second 1Gb LAN port allows for the two networking connections to be aggregated to improve bandwidth. Power draw is lower on the DS220+ too. It’s well worth the extra money.

Synology DiskStation DS218+ is still good enough

So, you shouldn’t outright buy the DS218+ over the DS220+, but should you stick with the NAS or upgrade to the DS220+? That question depends entirely on what you use the NAS enclosure for. If you fancy home-based media streaming through Plex Media Server, you’ll definitely need to replace the older NAS.

The Realtek ARM processor simply isn’t going to cut it anymore. The DS220+ also brings other notable improvements like upgradable DDR4 RAM if you need even more memory. Then there’s the extra 1Gb LAN port for more throughput on the network level. You could keep the DS218+ and use it as an internal file storage server.

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Synology DiskStation DS220+

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ is the company’s mid-range enclosure and is perfect if you’re just starting out with your first NAS.

Synology DiskStation DS218+

Synology DiskStation DS218+

DiskStation DS218+ is an older NAS than the DS220+, but it’s still more than capable of running as a file server. You will need to upgrade for Plex transcoding, however.

By Richard Edmonds

I've been covering the tech industry for more than a decade and have tinkered with NAS for just as long. Follow my ramblings and more right here on NAS Master!

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