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

Synology DS220+
Synology DS220+ (Image credit: Synology)

The DS220+ is the better NAS as it's the latest model, replacing the older DS218+. It's one of the best Synology NAS available. I would only recommend the DS218+ if you can find a good deal and don't require all the benefits of using the latest NAS from Synology.

DS220+ vs. DS218+: Specs

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CategoryDiskStation DS220+DiskStation DS218+
CPUIntel Celeron J4025Intel Celeron J3355
RAM2GB DDR4 (max 6GB)2GB DDR3L (max 6GB)
Drive bays22
Expansion supportN/AN/A
Cooling1x 92mm fan1x 92mm fan
Ports2x 1Gb LAN
1x rear USB 3.0
1x front USB 3.0
1x 1Gb LAN
2x rear USB 3.0
1x front USB 3.0
1x eSATA
Power drawUp to 14.69WUp to 12.46W
Dimensions6.5 x 4.25 x 9.13 inches
(165mm x 108mm x 232.2mm)
6.4 x 4.25 x 9.14 inches
(165mm x 108mm x 232.2mm)
Weight2.86 pounds
2.86 pounds

DS220+ is a more recent and powerful NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

There are a few notable differences between the older DS218+ and newer DS220+, including design and specs. The front end has been redesigned to look a little sleeker and more premium, though you will notice a lack of eSATA support with the newer enclosure.

Inside the Synology DiskStation DS220+, which is the more powerful unit here, you'll find an Intel Celeron J4025 processor. The Synology DiskStation DS218+ has an older and weaker Intel Celeron J3355. There's also DDR3L RAM inside the DS218+, even though you can install up to 6GB.

The number of available drive bays is the same, so too is the storage capacity and expansion support (lack thereof). The two NAS also come with identical ports, except for the eSATA port on the DS218+. It's easy enough to remove the drive bay trays in both enclosures and they're cooled by the same 92mm fan.

Both have the same excellent OS

Synology DS218+

Source: Synology (Image credit: Source: Synology)

While the DS218+ is an older NAS, should you already own one you will be able to upgrade to the latest version of Synology's DSM OS. DSM 7.0 OS is a substantial upgrade for all supported NAS and can give your older Synology NAS a new lease of life. You'll be able to enjoy most of the same features of the more pricey DS220+.

Performance with the DS220+ and DS218+ is excellent until you try to transcode 4K media. This requires considerable computing power and will render your NAS almost unusable for other tasks while this intensive process is underway. So long as you choose the best Synology NAS hard drives, you'll have a great time with either NAS.

DSS220+ is the better NAS overall

We rated the DS220+ well and gave it our best award for its value and performance. It's one of the best NAS for home, as well as for Plex, making it a better choice if you plan on doing more intensive tasks on the home server. It's better than the DS218+ so long as you don't need an eSATA port.

DS218+ could be a better deal

If you're a little tight on cash and don't mind using an older NAS, the DS218+ could be a worthwhile purchase if you can locate it for a decent price. It's only a little less capable than the DS220+ and can still run Plex without many serious issues. It does have one feature the DS220+ doesn't: an eSATA port.

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.