Best Synology DS218+ compatible hard drives

Synology DS218+
Synology DS218+ (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

The Seagate Ironwolf (opens in new tab) is a family of hard drives from a reputable brand that are specifically designed for use in a Network Attached Storage device. These drives are rated for continuous operation and come rocking some advanced features you can't find on desktop drives.

Seagate Ironwolf

For your Synology NAS, you need hard drives that were designed with continuous operation and reliability in mind. These fit the bill.

Who should buy this hard drive

Why you can trust Windows Central Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Those who are searching for a hard drive that was designed for use inside their Synology NAS (or any NAS for that matter). If you bought a diskless Synology DS218+ and need some drives to start transferring 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?

Seagate supplies a wide range of hard drives and the product cycles are rather long. Even if an Ironwolf successor is around the corner, it's worth using these drives as they're among the top of the segment.

Best NAS storage for your Synology D218+

The Seagate IronWolf series is the company's solution for NAS setups, rivaling the Western Digital Red. Advanced drive technology named AgileArray is implemented to offer enhanced performance and reliability over desktop drives, and these units can be installed in boxes that support up to eight bays.

Most importantly, these drives can be run 24/7 without shutdown. The IronWolf family of NAS hard drives come in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 7TB, 8TB and 10TB versions with 3-year warranties. Prices start at $60 for the 1TB capacity configuration. Do note that only configurations of 4TB and above sport rotational vibration sensors. The 6TB and above models also run at 7,200 RPM, which results in better performance.

If you need NAS hard drives, you need to look at Seagate Ironwolf.

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 NAS drive for as little as $60, although it can hit nearly $500 for larger Pro drives.

Throw two 8TB Seagate Ironwolf drives into the DS218+ and configure them into RAID 1 for redundancy and you'll have a massive amount of capacity to work with.

Alternatives to the Seagate Ironwolf

The other big player in the NAS hard drive business is Western Digital, which also has a dedicated range of drives for the NAS that work with a Synology DS218+.

Western Digital Red

Much like the Seagate offering, WD's Red series is ideal for a NAS.

Reasons to buy

Excellent value.
Solid reliability.
Designed for NAS.
Rated for long hours of use.

Reasons to avoid

Up to 4TB drives run at 5,900 RPM.

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.

Bottom line

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 any Seagate drive, 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), the fact you need to fork out more for 7,200 RPM models is a drawback.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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.

  • Why not making an article about compatible RAM modules for the DS218+ ?
    I read somewhere and saw a few videos about DS218+ being able to work with a 8GB DDR3L in stead of the "official" limit of 4GB.
  • Not sure if it'll work for the DS218+, but I placed an *GB module ( into my DS716+ before the hard drives were installed. Disabled disk caching and the NAS runs like a dream. Wakes up fast, apps open quickly and I have yet to hit over 5GB utilization with it serving videos, running surveillance station, VPN, Antivirus, and a few more apps.
  • Just grab some seagate 8tb backup drives for around 150 and shuck them. I've been doing this for years (started with the 2tb) and they've been completely solid. As a matter of fact I'm redeploying the (4) 4tb seagates from a ds214play and ds218+ into a ds411 that used to house the shucked (4) Seagate 2tb drives that will now be sold. Both the play and 218 have shucked 8tb and all have been going strong with zero issues. Thinking that one vendor over another or "specialty" drives make any difference is complete malarkey- and I've dealt with hundreds of these things. BTW, the 4 gig ddr3L works fine in the 218+. I tried the corsair 8gb, and it would take forever to boot. Ultimately, with several packages running 6 gigs total memory is fine and right now it's sitting at 15% Ute.
  • It's good to note that Synology fully supports IronWolf drives including the ability to purchase data recovery services and the ability to perform and schedule IronWolf health tests, along with the traditional S.M.A.R.T. testing.