Synology DiskStation DS918+ Review; Powerful for Home and Office Use - TeknoGadyet

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Review; Powerful for Home and Office Use

INTRODUCTION:

The advent of different advancements in technology has brought significant changes in our lives, and one example that some of us might not even thought would happen is that through these changes, we found ways to have an alternative to the traditional way of working jobs. With the internet, efficiently working from home has become possible, and through this, owners of small and medium-sized businesses are empowered.

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Review; Powerful for Home and Office Use
Synology DiskStation DS918+ Review; Powerful for Home and Office Use

With the emergence of digital marketing, SMB owners need to consider establishing their digital presence so that their businesses will reach more people. And what comes after the word digital are the words 'storage' and 'memory.' Now that even 1TB of storage seems inadequate, it's important to be knowledgeable about devices other than SSDs and hard drives.

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Retail Box Philippines
Retail Box

If you're one of those who'd rather choose working or managing business right at the convenience of your own homes, then you'd come across the right article to read. Here, we'll be featuring the Synology DiskStation DS918+ Network-Attached Storage (NAS), a powerful, future-proof home media server fit for home-based workers and SMB owners.

Synology described the DiskStation DS918+ as "engineered for high-performance and data-intensive tasks, designed to meet on-the-fly encryption and scalability demands." Based on the performance the DS918+ showcased us, we can guarantee that this device packs more than its monetary worth.


UNBOXING:

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Retail Package Philippines
Retail Package

The retail package consist of all the things you need to set-up and run the Synology DS918+ 4-Bay NAS. Aside from the unit, we have the power adapter, power cord, two pieces LAN cables, quick installation guide, keys, and screws if users opted to use 2.5-inch drives.


DESIGN:

Google anything about the Synology DS918+ and you'll most likely to initially notice its relatively expensive price tag. No need to fret though, as the Synology DS918+ is a good investment, given what it can do with its design and performance.

Synology DiskStation DS918+
Synology DiskStation DS918+

The DiskStation DS918+ comes dressed in all black. Its size is not that big and not that small with its dimensions of 166 mm x 199 mm x 223 mm, just enough to not consume a large space, making it ideal even in small homes and offices.

See Also: Synology Diskstation DS1819+ 8-Bay NAS Launches in PH for Php57,999

Some of the design elements of the DS918+ mirrors that of the DS916+, except that it has exposed trays and key locks, which frankly is a very convenient addition for us. With this, the Synology DS918 Plus allows effortless access to the two SO-DIMM memory slots, saving you the hassle to screw loose everything just to access the hard drive, NVME SSD, and the RAM.

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Front
Front

Up front, the Synology DiskStation DS918 Plus also has five LED indicators located at the upper right side, the topmost one indicates the overall status of the NAS, while the remaining four are for the status of its four drive bays, one for each bay. The device's power button that also doubles as the power indicated is situated at the lower right corner, and just above it is another USB 3.0 port.

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Back
Back

At the back of the Synology DS918 Plus sit two 120mm fans that quietly spin at 1900 RPM, serving as its cooling system. It has two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can be used parallel in order to increase throughput, and an eSATA port which allows expansion in case the DS918 Plus has to go even more beyond to meet your storage needs. Another USB 3.0 port is also found at the back together with a Kensington lock.

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Bottom
Bottom

What also makes the DiskStation DS918 Plus special is it has two built-in M.2 NVMe SSD slots located at the bottom, which you can utilize to further boost the read and write speeds of the said NAS as they allow fast system cache creation. However, please take note that these are not for actual storage, you cannot use them for such function, again, only for caching duties.


STORAGE AND PERFORMANCE:

While its design has a minimalist look, it is quite more practical, and useful too, than its predecessor. But, don't be deceived by its simple outside appearance, inside, the Synology DS918 Plus has pretty powerful internals. It comes with an Intel Celeron J3455 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and can be further improved to up to 2.3GHz.

The DS918 Plus can also carry a large sum of files of up to 48TB, for each of its four bays can have 12TB of storage using either 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drives. But, if in any case this is still not enough for your needs, you can further expand its storage using the five-bay Synology DX517 extension, wherein each bay can also accommodate 12TB drive. This means that you can have a whopping total of 108TB! The drives are hot swappable, and can be configured to RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10. If you are not techie enough to do the RAID configuration or haven't set up a NAS before, you can use the custom SHR or Synology Hybrid RAID instead.

Also Read: Synology Launches DiskStation DS119j for only Php6,499

As per Synology, sequential reading and writing are over 225MB/s and 221MB/s respectively, however, based on our test using the default ext4 filesystem format, we only managed the DS918+ to reach a read and write speed of 118MB/s and 105MB/s.

Aside from what we mentioned above, another thing our team liked about the performance of the Synology DS918+ is that it can actually transcode two 4K streams with 30 frames per second at the same time, including H.264, H.265, MPEG2, and VC-1 codecs.

But just like any tech item, the Synology DS918+ has its own caveats, one of which we didn't like that much is its limited 4GB of DDR3L RAM by default. Generally, the bigger the RAM means the better a device is, and with the controlled RAM that the Synology DS918+ has, you might have to be a little conscious of running too many apps at the same time. If not for this, this 4-bay network attached storage would be a completely flexible and scalable storage solution. But, as an old saying goes, you can never have it all. Thankfully, there is another SO-DIMM slot available that you can use to install another 4GB RAM, bumping up the memory to a total of 8GB, the maximum it can support. However, there are reports from users able to install up to 16GB of RAM in total, and use them without issue, like running four VMs.

Setting up the Synology DS918 Pus is a seamless task to do, and one need not to be a techie person just to have the Synology DS918+ up and running. All we had to do was plug the power cable, connect the Ethernet ports to the router, then head to Synology Web Assistant. Upon initial setup, you will also be asked to input the name and password for your NAS for security reasons. All it took us was 10 minutes tops to have the Synology DS918+ up and running.

One of the best features on-board the Synology DS918+ is its QuickConnect service, which allows users to stream music and videos from the DS918+ no matter where they are. The said feature can be accessed through the DiskStation Manager panel.

And, speaking of the DiskStation Manager (DSM), which is another interesting feature of the Synology DS918+ which turns your computer into a Linux device accessible through a browser, this feature loads the Synology DS918+ with a number of useful and essential applications. With the DSM practically turning DS918+ as a “real” computer, it can house or install apps like Download Manager, Media Server, and DNS Server.

Related: Seagate, Synology Launch IronWolf Health Management for DiskStation Manager

Aside from this, it also has the High Availability Manager wherein users can create an ecosystem of NAS by pairing two more Synology NAS, which basically means an even massive memory and storage. Also, through the DSM, the Synology DS918+ can be used to run virtual machines.

As an office tool, it can be a good alternative to Google’s G Suite, especially if you are after control and privacy, and not comfortable with the cloud. To do so, simply install Synology Drive, Synology Calendar, Synology Chat and Synology Office, and you have a useful office applications that are suitable for a small group. By the way, the Synology Cloud is also compatible with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint.


FINAL WORDS:

Synology DiskStation DS918+ Review
Synology DiskStation DS918+ Review

Given all the things that the Synology DS918+ can do as a perfect and upgraded home storage, buying this device as an investment, especially for home-based workers and those managing a small business is a no brainer. With its fair share of special features, with the Synology DS918+, you'd most likely spend the next five years without worrying about storage. The Synology DS918+ 4-Bay NAS is priced at Php30,800.

Synology DS918+ 4-Bay NAS Specs (Philippines):

Processor: Intel Celeron J3455
RAM: 4GB DDR3L (8GB max).
Transcoding: H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-2 and VC-1 at 4K30.
Drive bays: Four (3.5/2.5), two NVMe SSD.
Max storage: 48TB (12TBx4)
Cooling: Two 92mm fans.
Ports: Two Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0, and one eSATA.
Power Consumption: 28.8W
Weight: 2.28Kg
Dimensions: 166mm x 199mm x 223mm.

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