Best 5 Synology DS418Play The Best In the Market on Cyber Monday 2021

While it’s a temptation to assume your home or office can benefit from the addition of a NAS device, don’t make this assumption without exploring what kind of use you will get out of one. One increasingly popular use for home users for a NAS is to store and serve up your personal music, movies, and pictures across all of your different devices.

For some, this can imply having a Plex server to stream almost all their legitimately supported or created content (ahem) to a good TV, phone, tablet or PC. Beforehand if you wanted to stream 4K content in particular-such as to several TVs and devices simultaneously- that required using a genuine computer as the server. However, NAS boxes such as the DS418play are a lot more than just powerful enough to handle media-type files, and backup and other services.

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Media-focused NAS devices are popular to store self-created video and pictures, but most higher-end smartphones can only record clips in 1080P. If you want 4K resolution, Google Photos won’t allow it unless you are paying for the storage. Even when you buy extra space, streaming from your own cloud storage to a TV could be difficult on all however the most speedy internet.

The DS418play is a multimedia NAS box that helps you store and stream large volumes of video and photos on your network. Built-in backup options mean you never have to worry about photos of your vacation being erased.

You don’t need the backend server. Just plug a USB drive into this $350 Synology DS418PLAY NAS unit and back up all of your camera’s pictures there.

Though it isn’t too expensive, at $336.37, and features an elegantly designed enclosure as well as a good reputation for reliability in that genre of gear, the Synology DS418play seems to be best suited for people with home entertainment needs rather than small business users who need strong networking capability.

Synology DS418play price & availability

The DS418play is normally sold diskless, so you can install the precise drives you desire. But if you’d like it pre-installed, some retailers do sell this NAS box with hard drives but for a price that’s often more costly than if you got it yourself.

The DS418play is offered in two memory configurations: 2GB of RAM for $370, and 4GB of RAM for $450.

*To upgrade the memory yourself (a straightforward job), 4GB of suitable RAM costs around $35/ $30/ AU$50*

Synology recommends using NAS (network-attached storage) hard drives for a 4TB Seagate Ironwolf Pro drive costs $180/ 120/AU$260.

Design & features

The DS418play is made around a now slightly dated Intel Celeron J3355 dual-core CPU, that may burst up to 2.5GHz. As the CPU does technically include Intel Graphics, there aren’t any HDMI outputs; there’s just 2GB of RAM provided on board and an additional 4 slot available for expansion (a maximum Synology already implements 2GB of RAM in its DS418Play by default, and so it is worth the effort to include at least another 2GB slot. The bays are easy enough to pop out and with a little force you can get at the RAM.

The 418play boasts dual Gigabit LAN ports on the back, which can increase available bandwidth by combining both links. The NAS is setup to take advantage of this during link aggregation and creates a failover port too. The 418play also offers dual USB 3.0 ports (one in the front and one in the back) for connecting external storage devices.

The four bays are tool-less and can handle 2.5 and 3.5 drives, or you can lock them with a small screwdriver key available in the package The NAS supports both the Btrfs and EXT4 file systems, which means it’s capable of storing up to 48 TB (terabytes) in total.

The 418play utilizes the AES-NI hardware encryption and it won t lose any performance with the software activated.

It should also be noted that the NAS box itself is smaller than some of its competitors. It will easily fit next to, and behind, your modem or router if you have them set up in a cabinet. You’ll need to plug it into separate power brick though; these can be cumbersome pieces of hardware. Included in the box is two Ethernet cables so outside of hard drives there are no additional expenses.

Despite the decent ventilation, there can be a downside to having dual 92mm fans instead of one larger fan. Quiet mode will yield higher temperatures for your hard disks, but it’s an option you can take if you find yourself bothered by the noise created by two smaller fans.

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Setup & software

Setting up your Synology DS418play is easy. If you’ve got plenty of storage available, just slide them in and plug it in to power and local network, configure your browser to find.synology.com, then use the quick start guide included with instructions and diagrams for a foolproof setup process!

Setting up the Synology DS418play involves downloading updates during its initial setup. You can choose the type of RAID setup you prefer from the available options during this process. Furthermore, it makes is easy to swap out older smaller drives and replace them with larger ones without requiring the rebuilding of the complete RAID array.

Synology, the company that manufactures our favorite NAS operating-systems, has produced superb hardware as well. The user interface is convenient to use with all their features and makes it simple to manage your device. Synology even offers an online demo to try before purchasing at https://demo.synology.com/en-global.

Beyond the media focus, Synology also offers a lot of software that can be downloaded and operate on the NAS. For instance, it backs up your computers and cellular devices; records footage from networked security camera systems; acts as an individual cloud; and more. Though the DS418play can unlock other Synology NAS devices, it cannot run virtual machines. These programs are helpful in a lot of situations and this would be cool if there w as support

Synology offers a variety of apps that cover everything from file management to note taking. Although it is disappointing to have to use different software for streaming videos, music and photos, one benefit may be that you won’t need to worry about the updates breaking the functionality of different apps. The applications themselves are excellent too, and worth taking the time to explore.

The DS418play is focused on serving media. Most notably, it can transcode two 4K video streams simultaneously–a feature that may not suit those who are just looking for a traditional NAS server. As 4K video content becomes more popular, it could be a great substitute for future-proofing.

To put it briefly, transcoding enables you to stream content on your NAS and also play it back on any device in a variety of different formats. Additionally, some recent models of TV and smartphone may not always play 4K video properly.

When typing, you may want to use sentence fragments for variety. The DS418play, being as it could adjust the resolution of this video to match the playback device. This is also helpful in avoiding any scaling issues and will do away with network bandwidth use by not having to transmit that complete 4K file. This feature is especially helpful for offloading streaming onto a smartphone when your broadband connection does not have 4G capacity.

The DS418Play also supports Plex, which is the most popular way to store media. Take a look at Plex.tv when you haven’t yet experienced it before–it’s supported by lots of TVs and media players, and provides a Netflix-like interface for accessing your content. The Plex server software is available for download via the Synology App Package Centre or you can visit the Plex website to manually install it.

The DS418play can store your media and stream to multiple devices.

Adding more RAM is worth doing, and it involves taking out the drives and inserting your new stick into the slot.

Performance & testing

We tested the Synology DS418play with 2GB of RAM, 4x Seagate IronWolf Pro HDDs and a hybrid RAID setup.
To emulate an average network, we connected to the NAS through Gigabit Ethernet LAN connections simultaneously.

For the four-drive model, the hard drive speeds are mostly limited by your internet connection and that shouldn’t pose a problem for common streaming consumers with even two 4K streams. For more advanced users with specific network requirements, having the ability to aggregate both network ports together is a godsend.

The DS418play performed well and had no issues streaming media to multiple devices simultaneously. Transcoding worked seamlessly too, though it took a little bit of fiddling to get Plex ready to go. The DS418play happily maxed out our network with large file transfers at 108.5 MB/s reading and 109.2 MB/s writing

As mentioned, we discovered that the NAS does get a little noisy under load, but it does a fairly decent job of containing the hard drive noise considering its compact size.

The DS418play is a great option if you’re looking for a Plex media server as it can run on this unit.

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Final verdict

The Synology DS418play is not an HD media streaming NAS box, as it lacks HDMI 720P functionality.
It may be a good option for someone who enjoys 4K media content and doesn’t need the specific capabilities of HD resolutions with this NAS device.

But, the DS418play has some downsides. For starters, Synology set it at a high $370/450/AU$660 price tag – not what we would have expected for a company with such a successful product line. Even though our colleagues loved its interface and capabilities, it doesn’t fare well when compared to rivals like Western

Still, if you are looking for an affordable NAS player and want the features that this particular storage device offers

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