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NAS Reviews

Features

As I've noted in previous reviews, Synology NASes share a common operating system. The current operating system is DSM 6.2.1. Complete information on DSM 6.2 is available here. You can read or download a comprehensive data sheet for the DS119j, including specifications, here. The full DSM 6.2 User Guide can be found here. Of course, some of the features found in the high-performance NASes, such as real-time 4K video transcoding and virtualization won't be available on this and other entry-level models.

Synology has a live demo so that you can browse the DSM 6.2 interface. This link will give you a 30-minute session to explore the user interface. Of course, some admin features and well as cloud storage and file synchronization are disabled in the demo.

The screenshot below was created from the currently available live demo site. It shows desktop performance widgets, desktop program icons, and the control panel. You can switch between open applications using the task switcher in the upper left corner of the screen.

Synology DSM 6.2

Synology DSM 6.2 desktop

Performance

DSM firmware version 6.2.1-23824 Update 1 was loaded onto the DS119j and performance tests were run using the Revision 5 NAS test process. All tests were run using a Western Digital Red 1 TB (WD10EFRX) (x1 SNB supplied).

While the DS119j had Read performance scores comparable to the other two NASes, it trailed them in write-related tests. For the DS119j, the File Copy Write was only 72.2 MB/s vs. 99.8 MB/s for the TS-128A and 109.6 MB/s for the DS118. The DS119j also had similar iSCSI read performance scores, but its iSCSI write performance again trailed the other two NASes.

For backup tests, the DS119j only has USB 2.0 ports. Comparing it to the QNAP TS-128A USB 2.0 backup tests, the DS119j trailed for all three filesystem formats.

Synology DS119j , QNAP TS-128A, and Synology DS118 Benchmark summary comparison

Synology DS119j, QNAP TS-128Am and Synology DS118 Benchmark summary comparison

The NAS Ranker screenshot below shows that the Synology DS118 still ranks #1 for the three one-bay NASes in the charts. For NoRaid Class NASes, there is a direct correlation between price and performance. The most expensive NAS, the DS118, earned the best Total NAS ranking, while the least expensive NAS, the DS119j, came in third.

Total NAS Rank for NoRAID NASes

Total NAS Rank for NoRAID NASes

Looking at the category rankings, the Synology DS118 ranked #1 in all categories with the exception of Backup and Mixed Read Write. Drilling down into the category scores, the DS119j tied with the DS118 for the Read Benchmark category score (#1) and tied for the Video category with the QNAP TS-128A (#2). The DS119j placed third for Backup - most likely because it lacks a USB 3.0 port as well as poor Rsync throughput which was about half of the other two NASes.

NAS Ranker Performance Summary

NAS Ranker Performance Summary

Closing Thoughts

We continue to recommend purchasing a 2-bay (minimum) NAS for the fault tolerance you gain with a RAID configuration. But if you're dead set on purchasing a single-bay NAS, the good news is that are three products with prices ranging for $100 (DS119j) to $180 (DS118).

With its less powerful hardware, the DS119j performed below the other two NASes on many tests and also lacks USB 3.0 ports. If you're on a limited budget, the QNAP TS-128A offers better performance than the DS119j for $30 more and has a USB 3.0 port for better backup performance. However, for $30 more, you're likely to only notice a performance difference for backups to USB 3.0 drives and maybe network copies to the NAS.

If you're going to consider spending $180 for the DS118, a much better choice might be either the $169 two-bay QNAP TS-231P, or the $169 Synology DS218j. Both of the two-bay NASes offer RAID 1 fault tolerance, USB 3.0 ports and have good rankings within the RAID1 NAS class.

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