Affordable

DS218+

Expandable

DS718+

The DS218+ is the best option if you're new to the world of NAS and only need a unit to contain a few TBs of data. It's also fairly quiet, only having a single fan on the rear. The only drawback is when you begin to run out of storage space.

$250 at Amazon

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Limited capacity
  • Less powerful CPU

When planning ahead, you may find that you will need more than the storage capacity the DS218+ provides. This is where the optional expansion unit can come into play, bumping the total storage of the DS718+ to 84 TB.

$399 at Amazon

Pros

  • Slightly more powerful CPU
  • Easy to expand for more drive bays
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • More expensive

The DS218+ is recommended by Synology to be ideal for those who are new to Network Attached Storage and we have no reason to disagree here. It's perfect if you're only just starting out. Where the DS718+ differs is by allowing the use of an expansion unit for an additional five bays. That's 84 TB of storage space, which can come in handy if you plan on storing a lot of data.

It's all in the numbers

Synology DS218+

Looking at the two NAS models side to side may lead you to believe they're both identical, but that's not the case. Synology hasn't made them too different, which makes the decision making much easier for the consumer. All you need to know is one can make use of a further five bays, while the other cannot.

The pricing has the DS718+ a full $100 more expensive than the DS218+, which makes sense when you consider the use case for each NAS. The latter is a simple unit with two bays — that's all you have to work with. The DS718+ throws in support for an optional expansion unit. The internals are largely the same, only the processor having two more cores in the DS718+, but you shouldn't notice much of a performance bump.

DS218+ DS718+
CPU Intel Celeron J3355
Dual-core 2.0GHz
Intel Celeron J3455
Quad-core 1.5GHz
RAM 2 GB
Expandable to 6 GB
2 GB
Expandable to 6 GB
Bays 2 2
Expansion - 7
Capacity 24 TB 24 TB + 60 TB
LAN ports 1 2
Weight 1.30 kg 1.74 kg
Power 60 W 65 W
Warranty 2 years 3 years

The addition of one year for the DS718+ with its warranty also makes it worth the additional cost. That said, Synology NAS units are sturdy machines that will last way beyond the warranty period, so it's entirely down to whether you will ever need to add more capacity to your NAS.

Affordable

Synology DS218+

Perfect for those looking for a budget-friendly NAS

Powered by a dual-core Intel processor, it's possible to run a bunch of services on this NAS, effectively turning it into a media center. You can easily stream content to other devices around the home and even use it as file storage.

Expandable

Synology DS718+

The scalability of this NAS is perfect.

Taking advantage of a slightly more capable Intel processor, the Synology DS718+ can hook up to an expansion unit and enjoy a further five drive bays for up to 84TB of capacity.

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