Synology 2-Bay NAS Backup Lineup Review For 2018 – Network Attached Storage For Home And Small Office

Synology is a brand that builds devices for network storage and has a massive lineup of NAS models, in other words, Network Attached Storage models. The many different models are for the diverse requirements of people.

But the tricky part is understanding which model does what because at first, they will all look very similar. That is a reason I wrote this best Synology 2 bay NAS review to describe some of the features which make them suitable for particular uses. This way you can see what your requirements are and choose your best NAS with 2 hard drives accordingly.

 DS216se DS218jDS218playDS218DS218+DS718+DS216+II
Max Raw Storage Capacity 24 TB (12 TB x 2) 24 TB (12 TB x 2) 24 TB (12 TB x 2) 24 TB (12 TB x 2) 24 TB (12 TB x 2) 84 TB (12 TB x 2 + 12 TB x 5) 24 TB (12 TB x 2)
CPU800 MHz Dual Core 1.3 GHz Realtek RTD1296 Quad-core 1.4GHz Realtek RTD1296 Quad-core 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron J3355 Dual-core 2.0 GHz Intel Celeron J3455 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Intel Celeron N3060
Memory256 MB DDR3 512 MB DDR3 1 GB DDR3 2 GB DDR4 2 GB DDR32 GB DDR31 GB DDR3
USB Port 2 x USB 2.0 2 x USB 3.0 2 x USB 3.0 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 3 x USB 3.0 3 x USB 3.0 1 x USB 3.0
RAID Type Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 NDSynology Hybrid Raid, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 NDNDSynology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1
Max IP cameras 514NDNDNDNDND


Synology DS216seThis Synology DiskStation DS216se 2 bay NAS is part of the Synology SE series and holds the most basic NAS devices from Synology. This model is best for times when you do not require a lot of critical backups or energy because it offers only a basic, very non-critical backup.

An advantage of DS216se is the space utilization. The drivers are out, and one can see what is inside, there is no space wasted. All the elements in this are of use, from the PCB to the tapered edge to make the power button and LED fit nicely and even the fan for the drivers.

Unlike most models and devices of the sort, this one, in particular, is pretty easy to set up and is very powerful. One can customize how they backup information into their Google Drive or an external hard drive, USB thumb drive or another device of choice.

This is also great for people with smaller workspaces or just a tiny space dedicated to this device. The low power server is also loved by customers, as well as the many options for configurations and access.

A con of this product is that one cannot use an existing NTFS or file system disks with this as all the data on it will be wiped out. Another mentionable con of this product is the drive sled. This comes with only 4 stickers and drive brackets which are too small for some people and customers prefer them to be embedded instead.


Synology DS218jThe Synology DS218j is part of the Synology J series which is often termed as affordable. But its features should not be considered compromised due to the low price for this is one of the most effective lines they have. This model is best for people who require a lot of surveillance for the surveillance camera comes with not a few, but 5 video camera heads for a good 360 degree view.

An advantage of DS218j is that this is great for beginners, anyone looking to get their very first NAS station should be looking at this model. The reason being it is pretty simple to set up, and once it has been successfully set up the operating system automatically gets the user packages recommended for them which they might find useful.

Also, if one is using a supported router, the DiskStation will automatically change and forward ports on the router. It has a number of apps and options which can cater to a variety of different needs and tastes. Another pro is that it does not require a monthly bill as most subscription services do.

A con is that it is harder to use than a regular subscription service, it does not have a tray to swap out the HDDs. Also, this does not pair well with Windows 10, so one can face troubles mapping the drive.


synology DS218playThe Synology Disk Station DS218play is part of  Play Series. This unit from the Play series is perfect for people who require the use of lots of multimedia content. That is because it is built around Intel CPUs and 64-bit architecture which can support tasks related to multimedia performance. So be it a speaker setup, a smart TV, iPad or Android devices, this can work all efficiently with this media server.

An advantage of DS218play is that it has a high-speed processor which can stream clearly to high resolutions like 1080p or 1080i without maxing performance in other stations. The Synology units are also very solid, and the OS is very stable. These are expandable and even come with RAID protected storage device. Setting it up is very easy because it comes with a lot of help documents and videos about this are easy to find online.

A con is that the file browsing is slower than you could expect, and so is the transfer, especially with Mac OS X computers. Some users have even stated it as unusable with Mac OS. The software is not loved by most because it is also not very compatible with other operating systems, not just Mac OS and can malfunction destroying drives and information accidentally instead of preserving them.


Synology DS218The 2-bay Synology DS218 is part of the 2018 series, which makes it one of the newest models in town. With a 2 GB DDR memory, this one has 4 times the power than its previous versions, which make it very ideal for anyone looking for a lot of potential in their device.

Pros of the DS 218 include its backup storage which is very efficient. Sharing files too has never been easier because this makes it a piece of cake. Set up is also very easy, and not just for professionals but for amateurs as well. Setting up on the local network is very simple as well. The web interface is straightforward and intuitive.

Cons of this product include the fact that this NAS is not supported by PLEX which puts off some buyers because this information is not explicitly stated to consumers during the time of purchase. Also, the fact that few of Synology’s NAS devices are not available on this particular model which happens to be new is a con for most buyers.

More information about the DS 218 model is available in my review of DS218.



Synology DS218+The Synology 2 hard drive NAS DiskStation DS218+ is a part of Synology’s 2018 and PLUS series. The plus here indicates that this has an extra year of warranty. It has a live transcoding feature which can stream up to two concurrent H.265/H.264 4K videos, so it is perfect for anyone who requires to stream videos for their work or entertainment purposes.

Advantages of DS218+ includes that this is great for beginners and should be on one’s list if they are out to buy their very first one. It has many apps and can be expanded as needed without hassle making it very functional.

The manufacturer’s website offers thorough instructions on how to set it up and how it works which makes it great for amateurs. The DSM software is easy to use and very robust. The remote access feature is also efficient for it can work from far.

Con of this product is that there is no automatic backup for this device. Some users have also found this to be extremely slow when uploading to Amazon cloud services. Others have claimed it does not work as well with 4k movies as stated. The performance is also slow-ish for an entirely new model, and transfer is very slow as well.

You can learn more about this series in my Synology DS218+ review.


Synology DS718+The Synology DS718+ is also a part of Synology’s 2018 and Plus line. This means it is a 2018 model that has an extra year of warranty. When speaking of ideal use or what this model is best for, it is the camera. If anyone requires their device to capture excellent recordings at high pixels for their work purposes, this one from the 2018 and Plus line is perfect for them.

Pros for this include that this comes with a selection of apps and is very easily expandable. All this together makes this functional. The website from the manufacturer has detailed information on how to set this up, so it is good for beginners, or someone looking to purchase their first one. The DSM software is efficient and hardwearing, and so is the remote access feature which can work from some distances.

A con is that there is no effect when it comes to backing up devices, and a common mistake is thinking it has an automatic backup like most other models because it does not. Uploading to Amazon Cloud is also a hassle, and watching high pixel movies are not very comfortable either.


Synology DS216+IIThe Synology DS216+II NAS DiskStation belongs to the year 2016 model line with an added warranty and a new processor. The personal cloud storage feature is one of the best in this NAS. Syncing is super easy, which makes this great for anyone who needs to connect with multiple devices at once. It also has offline editing options which are like an added bonus.

An advantage of this unit includes the syncing feature, which makes accessing files super easy from anywhere. The server is excellent but will require a bit of knowledge to work it. The Syslog server works great and is very handy security feature if the router or firewall can send logs, which enables one to monitor their logs graphically. When ports are open, it is easy to see if hackers are trying to access your network.

As for the cons, the backup software is not the best. It does come with one, but it is not very efficient at backing up all the data. The system cannot do a complete system image. This unit also does not possess the power to transcode in PLEX.


This is the Synology 2 hard drives lineup for 2018. If more storage space is required, please check out the 4 bay models lineup review.