The Seagate Ironwolf is a family of hard drives from a reputable brand that is specifically designed for use in a Network Attached Storage device. These drives are rated for continuous operation and sport advanced features you won't find in traditional desktop drives.
Who should buy this hard drive
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When considering the Synology DS119j (or any NAS for that matter), you need a NAS hard drive or at least a drive that is designed for continuous use. It's possible to use a desktop hard drive you'd normally use in your PC, but we wouldn't recommend it, especially if you're storing sensitive data. You'll be hard pressed finding a better storage solution than the Ironwolf series from Seagate.
Is it a good time to buy this drive?
There's never a bad time to purchase a mechanical drive. Prices are low and the current selection of options from Seagate are excellent for NAS use.
Best NAS storage for your Synology DS119j
Trusting Seagate with your data is a wise decision when looking to set up a NAS. The company packs some considerably advanced technology in the IronWolf series of hard drives, which are specifically designed for continuous operation in networked storage. Unlike traditional desktop hard drives, features like AgileArray offer enhanced performance and reliability and Seagate IronWolf drives are also certified for use in NAS with up to eight bays.
What's probably more important for NAS owners is the ability to run these drives 24/7. The IronWolf family of NAS hard drives come in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 7TB, 8TB, and 10TB with 3-year warranties. Prices start at around $60 for the 1TB capacity configuration, though you may want to pick up the 2TB model, especially if you're considering a RAID configuration.
Unfortunately, only the 4TB and above IronWolf drives sport rotational vibration sensors. The 6TB and above models also run at 7,200 RPM, which results in better performance. If the base models aren't quite enough and you'd like the best of the best for NAS storage, IronWolf Pro is the next step up with slightly more expensive drives but increased supported bays, workload rates, and an extended limited warranty.
Depending on what you're looking for, it's possible to get away with a basic NAS drive for as little as $60, although it can hit nearly $500 for larger Pro drives.
Alternatives to the Seagate Ironwolf
Another major brand in the hard drive business is Western Digital, which also has a dedicated range of drives for NAS that work with a Synology DS119j.
Western Digital Red
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Western Digital drives are known to be top quality and last a long time. The Red family aren't the fastest hard drive series on the market, but using them in a RAID formation can certainly make up for this unless you'd prefer to fork out more for the Red Pro drives.
It's a tough decision between Western Digital and Seagate. Both companies offer similarly priced drives with almost identical features but we've never had an issue with Seagate drives, which are used for testing all NAS units we receive for review. While Western Digital drives are just as good (if not better in some cases), though the fact you need to fork out more for 7,200 RPM models is a drawback.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.