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Synology DiskStation DS1821+ Review (July 2024)

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a powerful and versatile NAS (Network Attached Storage) device that aims to cater to the needs of both home and small business users. This 8-bay model offers a wealth of features, including a robust hardware platform, a user-friendly interface, and a comprehensive suite of applications. With its ability to handle demanding workloads and provide secure data storage, the DS1821+ is a compelling option for anyone looking to build a reliable and scalable storage solution.

This review will delve into the key features and performance aspects of the Synology DiskStation DS1821+, providing an in-depth look at its capabilities. We will assess its hardware specifications, software interface, and performance benchmarks to determine how it stacks up against the competition.

Furthermore, we will explore its versatility by examining its wide range of applications, including file sharing, media streaming, backup and disaster recovery, and virtualization. We will also address its security features, which are crucial for protecting sensitive data in today’s digital world.

By the end of this review, you will have a clear understanding of the Synology DiskStation DS1821+‘s strengths and weaknesses, helping you decide if it’s the right NAS device for your specific needs and budget.

Name: Synology DiskStation DS1821+
Image: Synology DiskStation DS1821+
Price:
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Introduction: A Powerful NAS for Professionals and Enthusiasts

Introduction: A Powerful NAS for Professionals and Enthusiasts

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a powerful network-attached storage (NAS) device designed for professionals and home users who demand high performance, reliability, and a comprehensive feature set. This 8-bay NAS boasts a robust design, ample storage capacity, and a wide array of features that make it an ideal solution for data storage, backup, media streaming, virtualization, and much more. With its quad-core Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, and support for multiple hard drives, the DS1821+ delivers lightning-fast data transfer speeds and smooth multitasking capabilities, making it a powerhouse for demanding workloads.

Beyond its impressive hardware, the DS1821+ shines with its intuitive and user-friendly software interface. Synology’s DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system provides a rich ecosystem of applications and features, including file sharing, cloud syncing, backup and recovery, multimedia streaming, virtual machine hosting, and much more. The DS1821+ also comes equipped with comprehensive security features, ensuring the safety and integrity of your data. Whether you’re a professional photographer needing a secure storage solution for your images, a small business owner looking to centralize data and backups, or a home user who wants to stream media to multiple devices, the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ offers a compelling combination of performance, features, and reliability.

Design and Build: Sleek, Sturdy, and Scalable

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ exudes a professional aesthetic with its sleek, black design and compact footprint. It boasts a sturdy metal chassis that feels robust and well-built, capable of housing up to 18 drives. The front panel features a clear, easy-to-read LCD display that provides essential system information and navigation, making it a breeze to manage. One of the standout features is the DS1821+’s expandability. You can easily scale your storage capacity by connecting up to two RX418 expansion units, increasing your storage potential to a whopping 180 drives, ensuring your NAS can grow with your needs. The design prioritizes airflow and cooling with multiple ventilation slots, ensuring efficient heat dissipation even with a full load. These thoughtful design choices make the DS1821+ a reliable and long-lasting investment for your data storage and sharing needs.

Hardware Performance: Powerhouse with Ample Storage and Processing Power

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ boasts a powerful hardware foundation designed to handle demanding workloads and large data storage needs. At its heart lies a quad-core Intel Celeron J4125 processor, clocked at 2.0 GHz with a burst frequency of 2.7 GHz. This processor, combined with 4GB of DDR4 memory, enables lightning-fast data processing, ensuring smooth operation even when multiple users access the NAS simultaneously or perform intensive tasks such as video transcoding. The DS1821+ also offers generous storage capacity, accommodating up to 18 drives. This allows you to build a robust storage solution for a wide range of applications, from large media libraries and backups to demanding virtual machine environments. Notably, the DS1821+ supports Synology’s innovative “Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR)” technology, which optimizes storage utilization and provides a balance between performance and data redundancy. The combination of ample storage, powerful processing, and efficient RAID technology positions the DS1821+ as a true powerhouse for professionals and enthusiasts seeking a reliable and scalable network-attached storage solution.

Software and Features: A Comprehensive and User-Friendly Experience

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is packed with a comprehensive suite of software and features, making it a versatile and user-friendly NAS solution for both professionals and home users. At its core is Synology’s intuitive DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, known for its ease of use and powerful functionality.

DSM offers a wide array of pre-installed applications catering to various needs, including file sharing, backup and recovery, multimedia streaming, and more. The interface is clean and well-organized, making it simple to navigate even for novice users. Key features include:

  • File Sharing: Synology’s file sharing capabilities are top-notch. You can easily share files and folders with individuals or groups, control access permissions, and set up secure connections using protocols like FTP, SMB, and AFP.

  • Cloud Sync: Integrate with popular cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive for seamless data synchronization and backup.

  • Backup and Recovery: Robust backup and disaster recovery solutions are essential for protecting your valuable data. The DS1821+ offers comprehensive backup options, including local backups, cloud backups, and time-machine backups for Mac users. You can also create snapshots of your data for easy rollback to previous versions.

  • Multimedia Streaming: Enjoy your multimedia library seamlessly with Synology’s built-in media server. Stream your movies, photos, and music to various devices on your network or even remotely using the DS video, DS photo, and DS audio apps.

    Read more on 20 Best Network Attached Storage Media Players for 2024

  • Virtualization: The DS1821+ allows you to run virtual machines on your NAS, enabling you to host multiple operating systems, applications, and services. This provides a highly flexible and cost-effective solution for virtualization needs.

  • Security: Security is paramount for any NAS device. The DS1821+ offers robust security features, including built-in antivirus protection, intrusion detection, and firewall settings. Synology’s DSM updates are regularly released to patch vulnerabilities and enhance system security.

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  • Monitoring and Management: Synology offers comprehensive tools for monitoring and managing your NAS, including system performance, storage usage, and network activity. You can easily access these features through the DSM interface or the Synology mobile app.

  • Application Support: Synology’s Package Center provides a wide range of applications, from productivity tools to development platforms, that can be installed and integrated into your NAS. This allows you to customize the functionality of your DS1821+ to suit your specific requirements.

With its wide range of software and features, the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ provides a complete and user-friendly NAS experience for both professionals and home users. Its ease of use, combined with its powerful capabilities, makes it an excellent choice for data storage, file sharing, multimedia streaming, backup, and more.

Network Performance: Fast and Reliable Network Connectivity

The DS1821+ boasts impressive network performance, ensuring smooth and reliable data transfer speeds. Its dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with support for Link Aggregation, provide a combined throughput of up to 2 Gbps, enabling high-speed file transfers and seamless streaming. The Link Aggregation feature combines the bandwidth of multiple network connections, effectively doubling your network speed. This is crucial for large file transfers and demanding tasks like video editing or 4K media streaming.

Furthermore, the DS1821+ supports various network protocols, including SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, and FTP, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems. The robust network connectivity also enhances the NAS’s ability to function effectively as a central hub for file sharing, backups, and multimedia streaming within your network. This makes it a perfect choice for businesses and individuals who require fast and reliable network connectivity for their data storage and sharing needs. You can also take advantage of the built-in VPN server and client, enabling secure remote access to your files and data from anywhere.

Security Features: Robust Protection for Your Data

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ boasts robust security features designed to safeguard your valuable data from unauthorized access and potential threats. It incorporates hardware-level encryption, ensuring that your data is protected even if the physical device is compromised. The built-in antivirus engine actively scans incoming files and detects potential malware, preventing infections from spreading to your network.

Synology’s comprehensive security suite extends beyond basic protection. It includes features like firewall management, intrusion detection, and access control, allowing you to customize security settings to suit your specific needs. You can set up user accounts with different access levels and permissions, limiting access to sensitive data based on individual roles and responsibilities.

Furthermore, the DS1821+ supports encrypted network protocols like HTTPS and SSH, ensuring secure communication between your NAS and your devices. This is particularly crucial when accessing your data remotely, as it prevents eavesdropping or data interception during transmission.

The DS1821+ also incorporates security features designed to mitigate the risks of ransomware attacks. Its snapshot technology allows you to create regular backups of your data, providing a point-in-time recovery mechanism in case of a ransomware attack. You can roll back your system to a previous, uninfected state, minimizing data loss and restoring your system to its previous operational state.

Synology’s commitment to security extends to regular software updates, delivering the latest security patches and fixes to address emerging vulnerabilities. By keeping your NAS firmware up to date, you can ensure that it’s protected against the latest threats and exploits.

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ provides a comprehensive suite of security features that go beyond basic protection. With hardware-level encryption, antivirus scanning, firewall management, access control, and other security tools, you can be confident that your data is protected against a wide range of threats, ensuring peace of mind and data security.

Ease of Use: User-Friendly Interface and Setup Process

Setting up and using the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a breeze, even for users unfamiliar with NAS devices. The intuitive DiskStation Manager (DSM) interface greets you with a clean and modern design, guiding you through every step of the setup process. Installing the drives is straightforward, and the DSM’s guided wizard makes configuring the NAS a simple and efficient task.

Whether you’re setting up shared folders, managing users and permissions, or configuring network settings, the DSM provides a clear and concise interface that simplifies every task. The interface is highly responsive, making navigation smooth and efficient. Even advanced features like setting up VPN servers or managing virtual machines are made remarkably accessible thanks to the well-organized menus and straightforward instructions.

The comprehensive online documentation and extensive user community provide additional support and resources, ensuring you have all the tools needed to navigate the DS1821+ with confidence. Synology’s commitment to user-friendliness is evident in every aspect of the DS1821+’s design, making it an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced users.

Storage Management: Flexible and Efficient Storage Solutions

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ offers impressive storage management capabilities, catering to both individual and enterprise needs. Its flexible storage architecture allows for various configurations to meet diverse requirements. With support for multiple RAID levels, you can prioritize data redundancy, performance, or a balance between the two. The DS1821+ also supports Synology’s innovative Btrfs file system, providing advanced features like snapshotting, data integrity checks, and self-healing capabilities, ensuring the safety and integrity of your precious data.

The DS1821+ seamlessly integrates with Synology’s intuitive DSM operating system, offering a comprehensive suite of storage management tools. You can easily monitor disk health, manage storage space, and configure RAID groups effortlessly. The DSM’s user-friendly interface allows you to create shared folders, set user permissions, and control access to your data with granular control. This empowers you to maintain a well-organized and secure storage environment for your data.

Furthermore, the DS1821+ supports various storage expansion options. You can add additional drives to the unit’s internal bays or connect external storage devices via USB or network protocols. This flexibility enables you to scale your storage capacity as your needs evolve. Additionally, the DS1821+ supports Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager, allowing you to create and manage virtual machines on the NAS. You can use these virtual machines to host applications, run operating systems, or experiment with different software environments.

The DS1821+ combines efficient storage management with powerful features, ensuring that your data is protected, readily accessible, and easily managed. Whether you are a creative professional, a business owner, or a tech enthusiast, the DS1821+ offers a robust and scalable storage solution that will meet your current and future needs.

Backup and Recovery: Comprehensive Backup and Disaster Recovery Options

The DS1821+ offers robust backup and recovery features, ensuring your valuable data is protected and easily restored. It supports a wide range of backup options, including:

  • Time Machine backups for macOS: Effortlessly back up your Mac computers to the DS1821+ using the built-in Time Machine feature.
  • Windows backups: Utilize the included Synology Hyper Backup software to create comprehensive backups of your Windows PCs, including system files, applications, and user data.
  • Cloud Sync: Seamlessly sync your data between the DS1821+ and popular cloud storage providers like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, ensuring your files are accessible from anywhere.
  • Versioning and Retention Policies: Set up granular retention policies to keep multiple versions of your backups, allowing you to restore data to a specific point in time.
  • Snapshot Replication: Create instant snapshots of your volumes, ensuring a point-in-time recovery point even if your data is accidentally deleted or corrupted. These snapshots can be replicated to another Synology NAS or a remote server, providing an extra layer of protection.
  • Disaster Recovery: Utilize Synology’s advanced disaster recovery solutions, such as Active Backup for Business, to create a robust and efficient backup and recovery plan for your critical data. This feature allows you to recover virtual machines, physical servers, and even Microsoft 365 data to the DS1821+ in case of a disaster.

With these comprehensive backup and recovery options, the DS1821+ ensures your data is safe and readily available when you need it most. Whether you’re a home user or a professional, you can rest assured knowing your data is well-protected.

You can find more information on 7 Best Network Attached Storage for Streaming with Remote Access

Multimedia Applications: Stream and Share Your Media Effortlessly

The DS1821+ excels in multimedia management, letting you effortlessly stream and share your media collection. With its powerful hardware and Synology’s intuitive software, you can build a centralized media library that’s accessible from any device.

Stream Your Media Everywhere: The DS1821+ acts as a media server, allowing you to stream your movies, photos, and music to any device on your network. You can use the built-in DLNA server to connect to compatible TVs and media players, or utilize the DS Video app for mobile streaming. The DS Audio app provides a seamless way to manage and enjoy your music library, while Photo Station lets you create online photo albums and share them with friends and family.

Share Your Media with Ease: The DS1821+ allows you to share your media with others easily. You can create public folders for friends and family to access your media, or use Synology’s QuickConnect service to set up a personalized address for remote access. This feature makes it simple to share vacation photos, family videos, or any other media you want to make accessible.

Enhanced Multimedia Experience: The DS1821+ goes beyond simple streaming and sharing, offering advanced multimedia capabilities. You can use Synology’s Plex Media Server to create a personalized media library with automatic metadata and artwork. Plex is compatible with a wide range of devices, ensuring you can access your media on any platform. The DS1821+ also supports transcoding, which allows you to convert media files to formats compatible with different devices, making them playable on any screen.

Beyond Streaming: The DS1821+ also offers a suite of multimedia tools that elevate your experience. Synology’s Surveillance Station allows you to use IP cameras to monitor your home or office, while the Audio Station app lets you create a personal radio station and stream your favorite tunes. With its comprehensive multimedia features, the DS1821+ becomes a true entertainment hub, centralizing your media and enhancing your enjoyment.

Virtualization Capabilities: Run Virtual Machines on Your NAS

The DS1821+ is equipped with Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), a powerful tool that allows you to run virtual machines (VMs) directly on your NAS. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities, enabling you to host various applications, operating systems, and services on your NAS. You can run anything from a lightweight web server to a full-fledged Windows or Linux desktop environment.

The DS1821+ is a perfect platform for running VMs due to its powerful hardware. With its quad-core processor and ample RAM, you can run multiple VMs concurrently without compromising performance. The VMM interface is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy to create, manage, and configure your VMs. You can easily allocate resources like CPU, memory, and storage to each VM based on your requirements. The DS1821+ also supports hardware-assisted virtualization, which significantly enhances performance and allows for seamless integration with your physical network.

One of the biggest advantages of running VMs on your NAS is the flexibility it provides. You can create isolated environments for specific applications or projects, ensuring that they don’t interfere with other services on your NAS. You can also test new software or configurations in a safe, controlled environment without affecting your main operating system. Additionally, if you need to migrate or move your VMs, you can easily transfer them between different Synology NAS devices.

Virtualization on the DS1821+ also offers cost savings. Instead of purchasing dedicated servers or physical hardware, you can utilize the resources of your NAS to run your VMs, reducing your overall hardware and power consumption. This makes it an ideal solution for budget-conscious individuals and businesses.

While the DS1821+ doesn’t support the latest virtualization technologies like nested virtualization, it still offers a robust and versatile virtualization platform that is more than sufficient for most users. Overall, the DS1821+’s virtualization capabilities are a powerful addition to its suite of features, allowing you to extend its functionality and create a more flexible and efficient IT environment.

Price and Value: Competitive Pricing and Excellent Value

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ offers a compelling balance of performance, features, and value. While it sits in the mid-range of Synology’s NAS offerings, it punches above its weight, providing a powerful and versatile solution for both home and professional users. Its price point is competitive, especially considering its impressive hardware specifications and expansive feature set.

Compared to other NAS devices with similar storage capacity, the DS1821+ often comes out ahead in terms of value. Its robust hardware, including the quad-core processor and ample RAM, allows it to handle demanding tasks like transcoding video and running multiple virtual machines without breaking a sweat. Additionally, its software features, including Synology’s intuitive DSM operating system, comprehensive backup and recovery tools, and a wide range of multimedia applications, provide a level of functionality and user-friendliness rarely seen in this price range.

While you might find cheaper NAS devices with similar storage capacities, the DS1821+ distinguishes itself through its overall performance, versatility, and the peace of mind that comes with Synology’s renowned reliability and customer support. It’s an investment that pays off in the long run, providing a robust, future-proof solution for your data storage and management needs.

Conclusion: A Highly Recommended NAS for Professionals and Home Users

The Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a highly recommended NAS for professionals and home users who need a powerful and versatile storage solution. Its exceptional performance, comprehensive features, and robust security make it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications. From backing up critical data to hosting multimedia libraries and running virtual machines, the DS1821+ delivers exceptional functionality and reliability. Its user-friendly interface and intuitive setup process make it accessible to users of all skill levels. Whether you are a creative professional managing large files, a tech enthusiast building a home lab, or a family looking for a secure and reliable data storage solution, the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is an outstanding investment that delivers on its promise of high-performance and versatile storage.

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Alternatives to Consider: Exploring Other NAS Options

While the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a compelling choice, it’s essential to consider other NAS options that might better suit your specific needs and budget. Let’s explore some alternatives that offer diverse features, performance levels, and price points.

QNAP TS-1677X: This NAS from QNAP boasts a powerful Intel Xeon processor and up to 16GB of RAM, making it a top contender for demanding workloads like virtualization and multimedia transcoding. It offers similar scalability to the DS1821+, with the ability to expand storage capacity and connect multiple devices. QNAP’s software interface is intuitive and feature-rich, offering robust security and data management tools.

Asustor AS6704T: Asustor focuses on user-friendliness and versatility. The AS6704T packs an AMD Ryzen processor and up to 32GB of RAM, ensuring smooth performance for demanding tasks. It’s equipped with multiple network ports and supports a wide range of applications, including multimedia streaming, virtualization, and cloud storage. Asustor’s ADM operating system is known for its simple interface and comprehensive features.

TerraMaster F5-422: If you prioritize affordability without compromising performance, TerraMaster’s F5-422 is a great option. This NAS packs a quad-core Intel processor and up to 16GB of RAM, delivering impressive performance for everyday tasks. It offers a generous number of drive bays and supports multiple network connections, making it ideal for home users and small businesses.

Western Digital My Cloud Pro PR4100: This NAS from Western Digital is geared towards home users and small businesses looking for a reliable and easy-to-use solution. The PR4100 features a quad-core Intel processor and supports up to 16GB of RAM, offering solid performance for media streaming and file sharing. It includes advanced security features and user-friendly backup options, making it a great choice for data protection.

The decision ultimately depends on your specific requirements. Consider factors like storage capacity, processing power, network performance, ease of use, and budget when comparing these alternatives to the Synology DiskStation DS1821+. You can explore each option’s features, specifications, and user reviews to make an informed decision that aligns with your needs.

In conclusion, the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a powerful and versatile NAS that is well-suited for a wide range of users. Its high performance, robust features, and easy-to-use interface make it a great choice for home users, small businesses, and creative professionals alike. While the price point may seem steep, the DS1821+ delivers exceptional value for its capabilities and offers a solid return on investment.

The DS1821+ stands out with its impressive performance, boasting fast file transfer speeds and efficient multitasking. Its expandable storage capacity allows for future growth, ensuring you’re prepared for your evolving data needs. Synology’s user-friendly DSM operating system simplifies management and provides a wide array of applications to enhance productivity and security.

Beyond its core functionalities, the DS1821+ also excels in media management. With its support for various multimedia formats, it effortlessly serves as a central hub for your media library, enabling streaming and sharing with ease. The robust security features and reliable backup solutions instill peace of mind by safeguarding your valuable data.

Overall, the Synology DiskStation DS1821+ is a compelling NAS solution that delivers exceptional performance, versatility, and reliability. Its rich feature set, combined with its ease of use, makes it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a powerful and secure storage solution.

Find more on 7 Best Network Attached Storage for Cloud Backup and Streaming with Gigabit Ethernet

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