Is the Synology DS220+ Worth it?

The Synolgoy DS220+ is a powerhouse in a tiny little case, it can handle everything you throw at it. Today, we’ll be reviewing if the DS220+ is worth it.

When looking for a NAS that has it all, you may be looking at vendors like Synology, QNAP, or maybe even making your own with FreeNAS.

Starting at $299, well, really $300, the DS220+ is well priced for the starter market. But, it really has some strong specs. It can read 225 MB/s and write 192 MB/s, assuming the drives you purchase can ramp up that fast. SSDs won’t have a problem.

Be aware that this is a 2 bay unit. This means you only have the options of using RAD 1 for redundancy or RAID 0 for stripping, which just combines the drive speeds.

Front and Back of The Synolgoy DS220+, It’s Sleek

The Synolgoy DS220+ plus is very sleek, finished in black with beautiful LEDs all over.

ds220+ front

The front features 4 LED status lights. These indicate if the LAN ports are plugged in, and if the 2 disk slots are working.

ds220+ ethernet and usb

As you can see, the DS220+ has 2 ethernet ports, a usb 3 port, and of course a power port for the adapter. There is also a giant 90mm fan that you don’t see. It’s above these IO slots.

The Synolgoy DS220+ CPU – It’s Fast

intel j4025

The Synolgoy DS220+ features a dual core processor, the Intel Celeron J4025. This CPU has something called AES-NI, AES-NI is integrated circuits built into the CPU. This allows it to handle crypto functions without wasting actual CPU power or raising the CPU usage % in the machine. AES-NI is not anything new, but always good to have in boxes like these that will be multi-purpose. For example if it ran a web server, AES-NI can be used for the crypto key exchange when setting up a TLS/SSL session. With this new CPU, Synology is claiming ALMOST a fifth of speed improvement as compared to the DS218+.

The J4025 was first introduced in late 2019, the chipset is 14nm, which is not the latest. Currently intel is pushing out 10nm, but that’s hard to find. 14nm still gets great power to performance ratio. This CPU is used in every market, tablets, NAS units, laptops, and even PCs. It has about 4 Megabytes of L3 cache, and an average frequency of 2Ghz which can go up to almost 3Ghz. All of this uses about 10 Watts on average, but when bursting, this can probably get to 15 or 18 watts.

The Chipset on the J4025 does have a built in graphics card/processor. It has the UHD 600, which has many features like hardware transcoding via Intel’s Quick sync. And it supports resolutions all the way up to 4k.

Synolgoy DS220+ Memory – 2GB up to 6GB

The Synolgoy DS220+ comes with 2GB of DDR4 memory, which is new for Synology as the DS218+ has DDR3L. Of course it can be expanded, like every other Synology unit. Although you can purchase 3rd party RAM modules, Synology also started selling their own branded RAM, which for 4GB is about $90. This gives you a total of 6 because you can still keep the 2GB you have.

It even comes with a few (two to be exact) licenses for home cameras, so you can hook them up via the network to this, and store the video there.

When purchasing the DS220+, most people go with low RPM drives, 5900 RPM drives are pretty common. The Seagate Iron Wolf NAS drives are great for this. A 4TB drive will cost you about $105.

The Synolgoy DS220+ Is Packed with Apps

Common Applications people install in DSM:

  • Many people choose to install antivirus, CLAM, which can scan the NAS files
  • A VPN server, OpenVPN is great and free. You can securely connect to your home network with it.
  • Mail Servers, be weary about this as these are often targets of SMTP relay attacks, but are very cool when you get them working. Make sure to read guides.
  • Automated backup apps, there are a plethora of apps that automate the backup to another NAS, drive, or offsite or to the cloud.
  • Developers will also be pleased to hear that can run: Docker for containers, a Git repo to host their code, web servers with Apache or Nginx that can process PHP, Python and other languages. Heck, you could run a blog on the DS220+.

Overall, we love the Synology DS220+, it’s a great NAS with a fast CPU, and packed with features.