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Synology DiskStation DS220+ vs. DS220j: Which NAS is best?

Which NAS is best for your needs?

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ and DS220j are two completely different NAS enclosures but aren’t priced out of reach. One comes with an Intel processor, best suited for running virtual machines or Plex Media Server, while the other is more affordable thanks to slower specifications.

Best NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Synology DiskStation DS220+
  • Faster Intel Celeron J4025 processor
  • The same excellent DSM OS
  • Two drive bays
  • 4K media transcoding
  • Better value
  • No 2.5 or 10 Gb LAN ports
  • No M.2 SSD slots for cache

The 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.

Best value NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220j

Synology DiskStation DS120j
  • The same excellent DSM OS
  • Two drive bays
  • More affordable
  • Slower ARM processor
  • No 4K transcoding support
  • No 2.5 or 10 Gb LAN ports
  • No M.2 SSD slots for cache

The DS220j is a two-bay NAS that undercuts the DS220+ in price, but this affordable enclosure comes with an ARM processor. It’s not as powerful, but it makes this NAS perfect for those looking for their first server.

Synology has numerous NAS models available and some of them are featured in my best NAS collection. If I were to make a decision based on functionality and value alone, it would be the Synology DiskStation DS220+, but the DS220j is brilliant for those looking to save money or buy their first NAS.

Synology DiskStation DS220+ is my favourite NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220+

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ is the more powerful NAS enclosure out of the two, thanks to the Intel Celeron J4025 processor contained within. This dual-core chip is capable of running up to 2.0GHz. It’s also got 2GB of upgradable DDR4 RAM and a few LAN and USB ports.

It’s where the Synology DiskStation DS220j falls a little short, powered by a Realtek RTD1296 ARM processor and 512MB of DDR4 RAM, which cannot be upgraded. There are the same USB ports but one fewer LAN port. If you want the best performance and functionality, the DS220+ is the choice for you.

To make matters worse, the DS220+ supports the btrfs file system, which is a more advanced version of ext4. The DS220j only supports the latter. The more expensive NAS server will still be current for many years whereas the DS220j will start to show its limitations once you attempt to perform more advanced tasks.

It’s the best choice for those wanting to save money, but really if you can stretch an extra $90 for the cost of your home server, I would since the Intel processor will be able to handle many more tasks, including running a Plex Media Server and 4K media transcoding.

Synology DiskStation DS220+Synology DiskStation DS220j
CPUIntel Celeron J4025Realtek RTD1296
RAM2GB DDR4 (max 6GB)512MB DDR4
Drive bays2x (SSD/HDD)2x (SSD/HDD)
Capacity36TB36TB
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
PCIe slots
Power draw~14.69W~12.46W
Dimensions165 x 108 x 232.2 mm165 x 100 x 225.5 mm
Weight1.30 kg0.88 kg
Price$300$210

Save money with the Synology DiskStation DS220j

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ is a pricey NAS, coming in at $300. The DS220j is considerably more affordable, thanks to the weaker specifications. Where this enclosure truly shines is as a first NAS purchase or if you need to simply store some files at home on the network.

The DiskStation Manager (DSM) OS is available for both NAS enclosures, meaning no matter how little you spend on a Synology NAS you’ll get the same excellent operating system. This software is brilliant in allowing you to get up and running in a few moments. Then there’s the excellent third-party app support.

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 DS120j

Synology DiskStation DS220j

The DiskStation DS220j is one of Synology’s most affordable NAS enclosures, but it’s still more than capable as a file storage hub.

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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