Our work processes at GADGETS involve a lot of file sharing. First, there’s the document file of the article. Then there are the accompanying photos and other supporting graphic elements that our creatives need to put together the key visuals. There are also footages that our video team edits to produce our semi-weekly digital newscasts. To manage all these, our team has relied on NAS devices as well as cloud storage for a smooth and efficient workflow. We check out the new Synology DS220j to see how well it performs.
The DS220j is a very compact unit, and the white plastic casing is a refreshing change from the usual drab black of most NAS devices. Instead of the usual slide-in drive bays, the two halves of the casing cleverly pull apart to reveal the two drive slots inside. In front is a column of LED indicator lights to show Status, LAN, Disk1, and Disk 2. At the bottom is the On/Off switch.
Much of the back is occupied by the circular fan vent, below which are the 1GbE LAN port, two USB 3.0 ports, the power supply jack, and the reset pinhole.
The DS220j is powered by a 64-bit 1.4GHz quad-core Realtek RTD1296 processor complemented by a DDR4 512MB memory. As mentioned earlier, it has two drive bays that can accommodate 3.5” SATA hard drives or 2.5” drives with optional Type-C disk holders. Each drive can have a maximum 16TB capacity, so depending on your requirements (and budget), you can have up to a total of 32TB on your personal cloud storage.
USER EXPERIENCE: 4.5/5
Perhaps the one thing that most impressed me about the DS220j is how fast it is able to accomplish file transfers. Backing up a folder containing 15GB worth of files took only 15 minutes, definitely faster than my current NAS.
As the device does not come with hard drives pre-installed and I didn’t have any fresh drives on hand, I simply swapped out a couple of drives from my current NAS and popped them in. It was pretty much plug and play, with the DS220j showing up quickly on my network.
For those starting with a totally fresh unit, you can download the Synology Assistant on your PC or the DS Finder app on your smartphone to quickly locate your device. It’s then a simple matter of following the steps to complete the setup tasks.
The DS220j is also ideal for entry-level users who need to backup, store, access, and share thousands of photos, videos, music, and other data safely and securely across multiple locations and devices. If you’ve signed up to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive, the DS220j offers the same convenience, except that you don’t need to pay a monthly subscription fee, and you don’t need to worry about losing your files in case there’s a network glitch or some other catastrophe.
With the DS220j, Synology has also built in a host of useful functionalities to make file management faster and more intuitive. The powerful Disk Station Manager (DSM) NAS operating system has apps to help you configure the drives, create shared folders, and have a multimedia server. In particular, the Synology Moments package is a photo management utility that lets you upload, sort, organize, access, share, and backup your photos and videos quickly and conveniently.
To set up the Synology DS220j, you actually need to get the hard drives on top of the disk station casing. Searching on Lazada, prices of the DS220j start at around PHP 12,000 and, depending on the brand and capacity of the drives you choose, the entire kit can range from PHP 20,000 to over PHP 30,000.
For many, this could be a steep initial outlay, but if you need a reliable back-up storage device for your files, the one-time expense will be worth it as you won’t need to pay the monthly/yearly subscription fees of cloud storage platforms like Google Drive, DropBox, iCloud, etc.
It’s hard to put a price on the peace of mind that comes from being able to manage all of your data in one central location, have access to your files anytime and from anywhere, share data and photos across multiple devices, and avoid losing precious files with multiple backup solutions. These functionalities truly make the Synology DS220j a worthy investment.
- CPU: Realtek RTD1296 64-bit 4-core 1.4GHz
- Memory: 512MB DDR4
- Drive bays: 2 x 3.5” SATA; type-C disk holder optional for 2.5” SATA
- External ports: RJ-45 1GbE LAN; 2 USB 3.0
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 165 x 100 x 225.5mm
- Weight: 0.88kg
- System fan: 92x92mm; modes – full-speed, cool, quiet, low-power
- Power supply: 60W 100V~240V AC
- Does not come with drives built-in
- Requires basic technical know-how
Perfect for digital pack rats who can’t bear to hit the delete button.
Reviewed by Maribelle Alba
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE November 2020 Issue