Read our detailed review of Synology DiskStation DS920+ NAS 2020. Synology’s popular four-bay NAS gets a long-awaited update. But how significant is it?
Synology’s four-bay DS920 + NAS is the follow-up to 2017’s incredibly popular DS918+. At a glance, not much has changed and the fact it runs the Synology’s constantly updated software means there’s virtually no difference in operation, either.
Nonetheless, the improved memory and processor speeds make this a welcome update to Synology’s vast army of enthusiasts and if you’ve been thinking of buying a NAS, this may be what you’ve been waiting for.
The NAS has four, lockable 3.5-inch drive bays which offer easy, hot-swappable access to what’s inside. There are also two, M.2 2080 NVMe drives for fast caching and increased storage.
At the rear is an eSATA port which can be used to connect additional drive bays plus a USB 3 port that can connect storage, a printer or a mobile internet dongle. There are two Gigabit Ethernet ports which will suit most domestic requirements. However, SMBs who rely upon these NAS boxes to service multiple users on a LAN may find this limiting.
They also mean that the NVMe drives can hit a bottleneck when it comes to post-browser operations. However, they’ll still improve the performance of onboard Virtual Machines and video processing (for surveillance cameras or PLEX videos). It’s relatively silent at 20dBA with most noise coming from your choice of external hard drives.
A major attraction of Synology is the plethora of well-featured software which comes licenced with the DiskStation Manager operating system. A vast library of native (and third-party) apps enable each NAS to act as a powerful, hybrid cloud which is a cost-less alternative to the expensive, multi-seat, subscriptions from mainstream players.
They include server software for business-grade email, file sharing, back-up, music, media, messaging, surveillance cameras and much more. All bespoke apps have been significantly tweaked over the years to run with excellent memory management.
The NAS is also useful if you need to maintain full control over your organisation’s cloud-based data as everything can be backed up – even when using third-party cloud services. That’s particularly useful if you’re worried about an ex-employee deleting important emails from G-Suite that you can’t otherwise get back.
Well, owning a NAS sound irredeemably complicated, be assured that the vast Synology community has libraries of how-to videos and instructions on setting-up every type of application.
If you own a DS918+ you’d have to be a major enthusiast to want to upgrade to the DS920+ and new buyers should tarry too: the older model costs $750 compared to the $1,000 DS920+.
If you rely on your NAS for business then the 2GHz, quad-core Celeron processor plus 4-8GB DDR4 RAM will make a difference to multi-user performance over the older 1.5GHz 4GB of DDR3, but it’s doubtful domestic users (using it for PLEX and back-ups) will need the incremental performance boost.
Whichever, you choose, a four bay Synology NAS is a great domestic entry point that can easily expand into a fully-featured SMB work-horse and, as such, should be at the top of the list for many buyers.
- 2GHz Intel Celeron J4125 4-core gaming CPU;
- 4GB DDR4 RAM (expandable to 8GB);
- 4 x lockable 3.5-inch drive bays;
- 2 x NVMe M.2 2080 drives,
- eSATA; USB 3.0;
- 2 x 1Gbe Ethernet ports;
- Synology DiskStation Manager operating system.
Simultaneously a great expandable entry point for NAS newbies and a powerful, feature-laden office server for SMBs.