Synology DS218J vs DS218play

Both NAS devices are 2-bay cloud devices which are identical in structure. They have the same certifications and are supported by the same protocols. And they offer a SATA hardware interface (AES encrypted).

The Synology DS218J:

  • Delivers a bit higher sequential writing throughput under RAID 1.
  • Is comparatively quieter and environment-friendly.
  • Is comparatively economical.

On the other hand, the Synology DS 218 Play:

  • Has a better processor.
  • Has a greater installed memory.
  • Delivers higher encrypted data throughput.
  • Exhibits comparatively better appearance.
  • Supports more operating systems and VPN server connections.
  • Consumes comparatively less power.

Synology DS218J possesses a 1.3 GHz Marvell Armada 385 Dual-Core processor. Its installed memory is limited to 542MB of DDR3 and offers 5 RAID modes (0, 1, JBOD, SHR, Basic). Its external ports include 2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x GBE LAN port. Its maximum raw capacity touches 24TB and the sizes of its bays are 3.5 inches each. Moreover, it offers 10 VPN server connections and is backed up by a 2-year warranty.

Synology DS218play is equipped with a 1.4 GHz Realtek RTD 1296 Quad-Core processor. It features a 1GB of DDR4 RAM but supports the same five RAID modes as supported by its rival. It also has three ports (2 x USB 3.0 and 1 x GBE LAN). Like its counterpart, its bay size is 3.5” and its maximum raw capacity is up to 24TB. However, its VPN connections are extended to 15 and its warranty span is also limited to 2 years.

Comparing Both Devices:

Synology DS218J

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Synology DS218 Play

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In competition with its peer, Synology DS218play is the victor. It has a better processor and greater installed memory. It delivers faster-encrypted data throughput and supports more operating systems. Also, it offers more VPN server connections which adds to its cost.

SpecificationsDS 218JDS218 play
Processor1.3 GHz Dual-Core1.4 GHz Quad-Core
Installed Memory542MB DDR31GB DDR4
Max. Raw Capacity24TB (2 x 12TB)24TB (2 x 12TB)
Ports2 x USB 3.0 1 x GBE LAN2 x USB 3.0 1 x GbE LAN
Number of Bays2 x 3.5”2 x 3.5”

Structure and Design

Synology DS218J is a white-coloured vertically designed cloud device. Its front is equipped with LAN, status and drive lights aligned vertically on the extreme left edge.

Near the bottom left corner, there is a power button and indicator.

The upper half of its rear is occupied by the system fan and below it a USB 3.0 port is present.

Moreover, a reset button, an RJ-45 LAN port, a power button and a Kensington security slot also inhabit its back panel.

Synology DS218play is entirely identical to its counterpart in its external design and structure even though its weight and dimensions are also equal to that of its opponent.

The only difference is in colour. This device is coloured black with a polished and sleek outlook.

Its front panel is equipped with the same LED indicators and power button on the same positions.

Moreover, its system fan is of the same size as that of its peer.

Structure & DesignDS218JDS218play
Dimensions (L x W x H)8.88” x 6.5”x 3.94”8.88” x 6.5” x 3.94”
Weight (lbs)1.92 lbs1.92 lbs
System Fans1 x 92 mm1 x 92 mm

However, both devices are identical twins in their structure but the polished black exterior of DS218play grants it a more attractive appearance.

Compare them with other devices:


Synology DS218J is powered by a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor which allows it to deliver 113 Mbps of reading and 112 Mbps of writing sequential throughputs under RAID 1.

However, its encrypted data throughput is limited to 105 Mbps of reading and 58 Mbps of writing.

Whereas, Synology DS218play being powered by a 1.4 GHZ quad-core processor delivers 112 Mbps of reading and 112 Mbps of writing sequential throughputs under RAID 1.

Its encrypted sequential throughput is also up to 112 Mbps for both reading and writing.

 Throughput Under RAID 1DS218JDS218play
Reading (Mbps)113112
Writing (Mbps)112112
Encrypted Data Throughput
Reading (Mbps)105112
Writing (Mbps)58112

However, DS218J delivers a slightly higher writing throughput under RAID 1 but DS218play is far better than the former in encrypted sequential reading and writing speeds.

Supported OS and Browsers

DS218J supports the following OS:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS 10.11 or later

Whereas, the OS compatible with DS218play are:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS 10.11 or later

Both support the same browsers.

Hence, both devices support the same browsers but Synology DS218play also support Windows 8.1, which is not compatible with its competitor.

Environmental Conditions

Synology DS218J offers a slightly narrower range of operating temperature but its storage temperature and operating humidity ranges are equal to that of its foe.

Synology DS218play has the same operating altitude as offered by its rival but it is comparatively noisier.

It may be due to its higher-speed quad-core processor which is more likely to heat up and the system fan rotates at greater speed to cool it down, resulting in more noise production.

Environmental ConditionsDS218JDS218play
Operating Temperature5°– 40°C 4°– 40°C
Storage Temperature-21°– 60°CSame
Operating Humidity5% – 95%Same
Operating Altitude5000mSame
Noise Level (dBA)18.219.9

Hence, Synology DS218J produces lesser noise, so it is comparatively environment-friendly.

Electrical Conditions

Being powered by an AC adapter, DS218J demands 100 to 240V of AC input power.

Its power frequency is from 50 to 60 HZ.

However, it consumes comparatively more electricity in typical and rest conditions.

DS218play is also powered by AC adapter. Its AC input power and frequency range is the same as that of its peer.

It demands 60V of DC input power but consumes comparatively less energy in working and rest states.

Electrical ConditionsDS218JDS218play
Power SourceAC AdapterSame
AC Input Power100 – 240V ACSame
Power Frequency50/60 HZSame
Power Consumption17.48W (Typical) 7.03W (Rest)16.79W (Typical) 5.16W (Rest)

DS218play, consuming comparatively lesser power is more friendly towards electrical conditions.


When it comes to price, DS218J is comparatively economical.

Being cost-friendly it is usually preferred by most users.

DS218play is not noticeably expensive as compared to its counterpart.