Synology DS215j - Performance, Value and Verdict

Score

Sections

Synology DS215j – Performance

So how does the DS215j’s mixture of middling hardware and cutting-edge software come together? Much like the DS115j, the answer is: far better than you’d expect.

As you’ll see from the graphs below, the DS215j edges its single-bay brother in all tests. This means highly credible reading and writing of large files across our test network at speeds of 87.2MBps and 96.2MBps respectively, making it the most consistent budget performer we’ve seen.

DS215 speed

You’ll note that the D-Link DNS-327L, Thecus N2560 and WD MyCloud EX2 all have a slight edge on read speeds, but they fall away when it comes to writes. For those primarily reading from their NAS this may matter, though most users will prefer the more rounded performance of the DS215j.

The DS215j did even better when it came to our CPU- and RAM-intensive small files test, which drags a 2GB folder of over 2000 files across our network. Here it set new benchmarks in both reads and writes, averaging speeds of 33.1MBps and 26.6MBps respectively. The write speed is the big winner here, as read speeds are all closely packed in this category, making Synology’s decision to double the RAM from the DS115j a wise one.

DS215 speed noise

Where we do have slightly reservations, however, is the noise. Synology NAS are usually quiet as mice, but the DS215j measured 27dB at one metre when idle and 33dB when under load. As the graph above shows, there are many worse offenders, but given all NAS are tested with the same WD Red 4TB 3.5-inch HDDs, it’s disappointing to see the DS215 break from the company’s usual whisper-quiet performance.

But even 33dB is unlikely to be noticed in anything but very quiet rooms, so it should remain living-room friendly.

DS215j

Should I buy the Synology DS215j?

At this stage the only thing that could wreck the chances of a well-deserved award for the DS215j is pricing, but thankfully Synology has got it just about right.

At £138 unpopulated the DS215j is a little more expensive than I’d have expected, given that the DS115j retails for just £91. That said, this still makes it significantly cheaper than the unpopulated WD MyCloud EX2 (£199) and Thecus N2560 (£189).

The DS215j is also worth the additional £20 over the cost of the D-Link DNS-327 and Netgear ReadyNAS 102 (both £119). The strongest competition comes from the Netgear ReadyNAS 104, which costs just £150 and offers four HDD bays and, while its weak write speeds are a concern, those primarily looking for maximum storage space may opt for it instead.

Verdict

On paper the Synology DS215j doesn’t get the heart racing, but its combination of fast, balanced performance and class-leading software sees it stand out as the best budget two-bay NAS to date.

Next, read more Peripherals Reviews

Score in detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 9
  • Features 9
  • Build Quality 7
  • Usability 10
  • Design 7
Back
Next