Best Value NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Synology DS220+

Best Budget NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220j

Synology DS220j

The DiskStation DS220+ is a fantastic NAS enclosure. It's rated as one of our favorites for both the home and Plex, rocking a capable Intel processor and two drive bays. This is the NAS to get for getting started.

$300 at Amazon

Pros

  • DSM 7.0
  • Two drive bays
  • Better Intel processor
  • Excellent Plex support
  • More ports

Cons

  • More expensive

Should you be a little strapped for cash and don't feel comfortable spending multiple hundreds on a server, there's always the DS220j. It may not have as good specifications, but it's a solid NAS for beginners.

$170 at Amazon

Pros

  • DSM 7.0
  • Two drive bays
  • More affordable

Cons

  • Weaker ARM processor
  • Will struggle with 4K Plex content
  • Fewer ports

Overall, the DS220+ is the better choice for most buyers and is one of the best Synology NAS out there. You should only consider the more affordable DS220j if you plan on using it for file storage alone, are buying your first NAS enclosures, or are on a tighter budget. You will run into issues trying to do more with less capable internals.

DS220+ vs. DS220j Specs

Category DiskStation DS220+ DiskStation DS220j
CPU Intel Celeron J4025 Realtek RTD1296
RAM 2GB DDR4 (max 6GB) 512MB
Drive bays 2 2
Capacity 24TB 24TB
Expansion support - -
Cooling 1x 92mm fan 1x 92mm fan
Ports 2x 1Gb LAN
1x Rear USB 3.0
1x Front USB 3.0
2x USB 3.0
1x 1Gb LAN
PCIe - -
Power draw Up to 14.69W Up to 12.46W
Dimensions 165 x 108 x 232.2 mm
(6.5 x 4.25 x 9.13 inches)
165 x 100 x 225.5 mm
(6.4 x 3.93 x 8.87 inches)
Weight 1.30 kg
(2.86 lbs)
0.88 kg
(1.94 lbs)
Price $300 $170

DS220+ is a more powerful NAS

Synology DiskStation DS220+Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

The largest difference between the two NAS enclosures is the specifications. Inside the Synology DiskStation DS220+, which is the more powerful unit here, you'll find an Intel processor. The Synology DiskStation DS220j only has a Realtek CPU. There's also a restriction of just 512MB of RAM inside the DS220j and that cannot be upgraded. The DS220+ has 2GB standard with a capacity of 6GB.

The number of available drive bays is the same, so too is the storage capacity and expansion support (lack thereof). The Ds220+ is also more advanced in the ports department. While the DS220j has a solid loadout with two USB 3.0 and 1Gb LAN, you will find an additional USB 3.0 and LAN port on the DS220+.

To better differentiate the NAS enclosures within its wide portfolio, Synology makes its more affordable NAS units white, while more powerful mid-range servers are black plastic. Then you have the premium models that are covered in an all-black metal shroud. The DS220j is white plastic and the DS220+ is black plastic.

The design differs ever-so-slightly, with the DS220+ arriving with a removable front panel to help prevent a serious build-up of dust inside the drive bays. It's easier to remove the trays themselves without additional tools, while with the DS220j you need to pull apart the chassis.

Both have the same excellent OS

Synology DS220jSource: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

You may think the DS220j is out of the question, but things get interesting when we talk software. While it's a little less powerful than the DS220+, it runs the same exceptional DSM 7.0 OS from Synology. You'll be able to enjoy most of the same features of the more pricey DS220+.

Performance, when connected to the NAS using a browser or an official app, is pretty good. It's only when you try and push the server beyond its capabilities like media transcoding through Plex and other intensive tasks do you encounter issues or hurdles. Really, costing less than $200, you shouldn't expect much from the DS220j for power users.

So long as you pair up either NAS with the best Synology NAS hard drives, you'll have a great little server at hand.

DSS220+ is the better NAS overall

We gave the DS220+ full marks for the value on offer. 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 DS220j in almost every way, aside from price.

Best Value NAS

Synology DS220+

Synology DiskStation DS220+

The best affordable NAS for the home

Synology got mostly everything right with the DiskStation DS220+. It has a really good processor, upgraded DDR4 RAM, two drive bays, and dual 1Gb LAN ports, but it's just a shame about the lack of 2.5Gb LAN or M.2 slots.

DS220j is great for a first NAS

Whether you're tight on available funds or want the first NAS you try to be an affordable one in case something goes horribly wrong, the DS220j offers unmatched value. At less than $200, it's a great option for those looking for a cheap way to save money on cloud storage subscriptions.

Best Budget NAS

Synology DS220j

Synology DiskStation DS220j

A great value NAS for beginners

Equipped with a 64-bit quad-core ARM processor and two drive bays, the DS220j is perfectly positioned as an entry-level NAS for beginners. It's just a shame about the non-upgradable 512MB RAM.

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