While we tend to anticipate that best networks can account from the accession of a arrangement absorbed accumulator accessory (aka a NAS box), not every home or appointment will get abundant use to absolve the cost. One added accepted NAS use for home users is for autumn and confined up claimed media collections to all their altered devices.
For some, this agency active a Plex server to beck all their accurately backed up or created agreeable (ahem) to a acute TV, phone, book or PC. In the past, if you capital to beck 4K agreeable – abnormally to assorted TVs or accessories at already – that meant application an absolute computer as a server. But now NAS boxes such as the DS418play are added than able abundant to handle this affectionate of media duty, as able-bodied as the acceptable tasks of backups and a accomplished ambit of added services.
Media-focused NAS accessories are additionally acceptable added accepted to abundance self-created video and pictures. Best higher-end smartphones can almanac 4K footage and booty accomplished pictures. But accepted accumulator options such Google Photos alone lets you abundance 1080P video for chargeless – not 4K. Alike if you pay for added space, alive from your billow accumulator to a TV can be a attempt on all but the fastest internet.
And that’s area a multimedia NAS box comes in handy. The DS418play allows you to abundance huge amounts of video and photos, and again calmly beck them all to any accessory on your arrangement (or alike remotely, if you accept the bandwidth) after impacting your internet connection. It additionally provides an added advancement advantage for adored memories, and has endless of added functionality congenital in.
That said, aback you amalgamate this asylum with several NAS drives, it is an big-ticket arrangement upgrade, so it’s important to counterbalance up the pros and cons to amount out if the DS418play is appropriate for you.
Though it’s bunched and unassuming, the DS418play hides a able Intel CPU inside.
The DS418play is about awash diskless, acceptance you to install the specific drives you desire. That said, if you appetite the closing pre-installed, some retailers do advertise this NAS box with drives, but at a amount that’s about added big-ticket than if you did it yourself.
The diskless DS418play is awash in aloof one variant, with 2GB of RAM – which will set you aback $370/£450/AU$660.
If you appetite to advancement the anamnesis yourself (an attainable job), 4GB of acceptable RAM costs about $35/£30/AU$50.
It’s awful recommended to use NAS adamantine drives – a distinct 4TB Seagate Ironwolf Pro drive costs $180/£120/AU$260, and you will appetite at atomic two at first.
CPU: Intel Celeron J3355 (dual-core)
RAM: 2GB (upgradeable to 6GB)
Drive Bays: 4 x 3.5”/2.5” (hot swappable)
Max Capacity: 48TB (12TB x 4)
LAN ports: 2 x RJ-45 1GbE
USB 3.0 ports: 1 x front, 1 x rear
Hardware accumulator encryption: Yes
Hardware encoding: Yes, up to 4K (4,096 x 2,160 pixels)
Dimensions: 166 x 199 x 223 mm
Weight: 2.23 kg
Warranty: 2 years
The DS418play is congenital about a now hardly anachronous Intel Celeron J3355 dual-core CPU, which can admission up to 2.5GHz. While the CPU does technically accommodate Intel Graphics, there are no HDMI outputs. The NAS comes able with 2GB of RAM, added an abandoned aperture that can handle an added 4GB, for a absolute of 6GB. While the NAS handles itself able-bodied with 2GB, it’s able-bodied account the accomplishment to add at atomic an added 2GB. It’s additionally actual attainable – aloof pop out the drive accolade and the RAM aperture is calmly accessible.
Round the back, the 418play has bifold Gigabit LAN ports, which abutment both articulation accession and failover. Articulation accession is abnormally attainable in this case, because it agency that with the appropriate arrangement setup, you can bifold the accessible bandwidth to the NAS. The 418play additionally has bifold USB 3.0 ports (one in avant-garde and one back) that can be acclimated to affix alien accumulator devices.
The four drive accolade are tool-less and hot swappable, and can handle both 2.5” and 3.5” drives. They are additionally lockable with an included key, but this isn’t that defended and can calmly be jimmied accessible with a baby flathead screwdriver. The NAS supports Btrfs and EXT4 book systems, and with abutment for up to four 12TB drives it can abode a massive absolute of 48TB absolute storage.
The 418play additionally offers hardware-based AES-NI encryption, and doesn’t lose any apparent achievement with it’s switched on.
The NAS box itself is absolutely compact, and while not absolutely what we’d alarm a looker, it’ll calmly alloy in aing to your modem or router. It does use a seperate, and adequately ample adeptness brick that can be a claiming to adumbrate away. On the added side, included in the box are two LAN cables, so there’s annihilation added you charge to buy a from drives.
While it has appropriate ventilation, the bifold 92mm admirers can be blatant beneath amount compared to a distinct beyond fan. There is an advantage to run them in quiet mode, admitting at the amount of college temperatures for your adamantine drives.
Four hot bandy drive accolade accomplish it attainable to abide the DS418play with either 3.5” or 2.5” drives.
Getting the Synology DS418play up and active is asleep simple. Slide in some drives, bung it in to adeptness and your bounded network, and again point a browser at http://find.synology.com. To accomplish it absolutely foolproof, included is a printed-out quickstart adviser with instructions and diagrams.
Chances are, if it’s affiliated to the internet, the DS418play will appetite to download a arrangement amend during this antecedent setup, which is important to do. These antecedent accomplish additionally alert you to accept your RAID type, including the Synology amalgam RAID arrangement that optimises for accumulator accommodation while giving solid redundancy. It additionally makes it attainable to bandy out earlier abate drives and alter them after accepting to clean the absolute RAID array.
The Synology NAS operating arrangement is one of our favourites, and it’s able-bodied laid out and attainable to use. While the accouterments ancillary is important, accepting a abundant user interface makes it abundant easier to get all the altered appearance set up and working. Synology alike has an online audience of its interface so you can try it out afore affairs at https://demo.synology.com/en-global.
Aside from the media focus, Synology additionally provides a huge cardinal of apps that can be downloaded and run on the NAS. Of course, it backs up your computers and adaptable devices, can almanac footage from networked aegis cameras, act as a claimed cloud, book server, and more. Sadly though, alleviate some added Synology NAS boxes, the DS418play can’t run basic machines, which can be a attainable way to agreement with altered operating systems, or run software that’s not accurate by the NAS.
While the web interface is an accomplished way to administer the NAS, Synology additionally offers apps for smartphone or book control. Rather than putting all the functionality into a distinct app, Synology has congenital added than 10 abstracted ones which awning accumulated from book administration to demography notes. While it can be agilely annoying that you charge abstracted apps to beck videos, music and photos, accepting them seperate does beggarly you alone charge to grab those you charge – and that any updates for one can’t breach functionality for the others. The apps themselves are about accomplished too, and able-bodied account exploring.
For those appetite college throughput, the bifold Gigabit LAN ports can be aggregated together.
The key appearance of the DS418play all circumduct about administration media. Best importantly, the accessory has the adeptness to transcode two 4K video streams at the aforementioned time. If you’re apprehensive why absolutely you ability appetite to do that, or aren’t already actual into confined up your own media, again you apparently don’t charge this affectionate of feature. But as 4K video agreeable becomes added popular, it could absolutely be a abundant advantage to accept for future-proofing.
So what absolutely is transcoding? Well, on a NAS after it, streamed media is beatific to the playback accessory (be that a TV, computer or smartphone) which again decodes it and plays the content. The botheration (especially with earlier TVs and lower-end smartphones) is that some accessories won’t be able to comedy specific codecs, or will comedy them poorly. Additionally, alone adequately contempo archetypal TV and smartphones can alike comedy aback 4K video at all, and not consistently well.
With transcoding, the NAS itself handles the codec support, and re-encodes (or transcodes) video agreeable in a architecture the playback accessory can absolutely handle. For example, if you shoot a 4K video on your smartphone and abundance it on your NAS, your TV ability not absolutely be able to comedy it back. With the DS418play, it can acclimatize the resolution of that video to clothing the playback accessory – for example, transcoding that 4K footage to 1080p. This additionally helps abstain any ascent issues, and can abate arrangement bandwidth use by not defective to accelerate the absolute 4K file. This is abnormally attainable aback alive to a smartphone over a 4G abstracts connection.
The DS418play additionally supports Plex, which is by far one of the best accepted means to admission your media. If you accept not accomplished it already, analysis it out at Plex.tv. Plex is accurate by endless of media players and acute TVs, and gives an excellent, Netflix appearance interface to your media. The Plex server app is accessible for download from the Synology App Package Centre, or you can grab the actual latest files anon from the Plex website and install them manually.
So in added words, the DS418play can abundance all your media, and appropriately beck it to all your devices. Being able to handle two streams could be a benefaction for beyond households, as you’re not bound to arena aback on alone a distinct accessory at once.
Adding added RAM is able-bodied account doing, and is as simple as demography out the drives and slotting your new stick in.
We activated the Synology DS418play able with 2GB of RAM, application 4x Seagate IronWolf Pro HDDs, and active Synology’s amalgam RAID. To challenge a archetypal network, we activated application a Gigabit Ethernet LAN, with admission active to the NAS, a desktop computer and Hisense acute TV.
With a abounding amount of four drives, the throughput is mostly bound by the arrangement affiliation itself. That won’t be a botheration for best archetypal users, as alike two 4K streams won’t bathe the accessible bandwidth. That said, for added avant-garde users, accepting the advantage to accumulated the two arrangement ports calm is great.
The DS418play performed well, and had no issues alive media to assorted accessories at once. Transcoding formed flawlessly too, although it took a bit of bribery to get Plex up and running. The DS418play appropriately maxed out our arrangement with ample book transfers, at 108.5 MB/s account and 109.2 MB/s writing.
As mentioned, we begin that the NAS can get a little blatant beneath load, but it does a appealing appropriate job of absolute the adamantine drive babble because its bunched size.
The DS418play can run a Plex media server, which is a absurd way to admission your claimed media collection.
The Synology DS418play is an absorbing NAS box, in that it’s awful geared appear lovers of 4K media but omits accompanying functionality such as an HDMI port. For many, that’s a acceptable thing, as they won’t be advantageous for appearance that will go unused.
But then, with that limitation, you ability apprehend Synology to accept been a bit added aggressive on the DS418play’s price, abnormally back it’s aing to a year old at the time of this review. But admitting the actuality the Synology OS and user interface is one of our favourites, at $370/£450/AU$660 the DS418play faces annealed antagonism from it’s rivals.
Still, if you appetite a exceptional media-serving acquaintance and alone charge the specific appearance that this accurate NAS offers, the DS418play is OK amount on the whole.
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