Synology DS118 1-Bay Multimedia NAS Review



/ 11 months ago

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Introduction


Synology DS118 Photo view front right

The DiskStation DS118 from Synology is truly power in the tiniest form factor possible. The NAS packs a quad-core processor with hardware transcoding and encryption engine, DDR4 memory, and it is only 71 mm wide. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the DS118 and talk about where it would be useful.

DiskStation DS118 Hardware

The DS118 is perfect for those who don’t need drive redundancy but still want a powerful setup. It is powered by Realtek’s RTD1296 processor which is a 64-bit quad-core with a speed of 1.4GHz. Synology coupled the processor with 1GB DDR4 memory.

The processor has a powerful hardware encryption engine which works so good that encryption shouldn’t have any real impact on the performance. On top of that, the CPU comes with hardware transcoding engine for 4K content. Not every device can handle 4K files. Even when they can handle and play them in a smaller resolution, the bandwidth would be wasted. That’s not a worry when you use the power of transcoding.

Synology DS118 Photo view rear right

Externally, the NAS comes with two USB 3.0 ports for storage drives, printers, and network dongles along with one RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port. That isn’t a whole lot, but it is sufficient for most people’s needs.

Use the DS118 to Synchronise Your Devices

Synology’s DS118 only has space for one drive, but that isn’t necessarily an issue. When we consider the widely available hard disk drives with up to 12TB, the DS118 has more storage capabilities than needed by most. All that storage could be used to synchronise your data across all your devices, or just make it available to them.

With DSM, Synology’s operating system, you get basic cross-platform sharing with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux/Unix support. FTP, sFTP, and TFTP protocols are also available for file transfers. Overall, a complete package. That already offers you great accessibility, but there’s more.

Synchronisation is made easy through the Cloud Station suite. It provides real-time data synchronisation across all your devices, such as computers, mobile devices, and other Synology NAS whenever a file is modified. You can configure it to match your needs, whether it’s one-way or two-way sync, only sync selective files and folders, and resync from returning from offline modes.

The whole thing is secured in a multitude of ways. From file versions and point-in-time recovery to 2-step verification, encryption, and compression. The Cloud Station suite offers it all.

Synology DS118 Photo view front left

Remote Connections when Away

Synology makes it easy to connect to your NAS, no matter where you are. It starts with the QuickConnect feature which is a free DDNS service for all Synology owners. With it, you can give your NAS a name and get a remote address with which you can connect to it. That makes the feature accessible to anyone, no matter their level of technical knowledge. There are no complicated setups.

Synology offers mobile apps for all three major mobile systems and that’s a huge bonus. Whether you have an Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile-powered smartphone or tablet, Synology has you covered. There is a full set of Synology DS apps available for all three systems. Access your documents, view your photos, stream your videos, or listen to your music are just some of the options you have.

A Feature-Packed Media Server

Using the DS118 as a media server would be an obvious choice. You have a large enough capacity option to do so, you have a processor powerful enough to handle 4K content, and a hardware transcoding engine.

Application wise, Synology has their own Stations. You get Audio Station, Photo Station, and Video Station along with their companion apps DS Audio, DS, Photo, and DS Video. But that isn’t all, there’s also a UPnP media server and Plex server to complete the setup. Such an availability should satisfy the needs of almost anyone.

As mentioned earlier, it’s easy to access your DS118 from anywhere. It’s also possible to stream your favourite 4K content anywhere, anytime. DS118 supports 10-bit 4K H.265 online transcoding via Video Station and DS video, allowing 4K videos to be converted and played on your computers, mobile devices, or other media players that don’t support Ultra HD formats.

Synology DS118 Photo view rear left

Easy File Access and Management

Files can easily be managed through one of the many file protocols supported, but you aren’t limited to that. You can do so from any device which has a browser and has access to your NAS. File Station is a web-based, fast and secure management tool built to allow easy, drag-and-drop operation. It does not require any setup at all, only a browser.

Advanced search and filtering tools allow for easy organization. You can also share files with easy links to anyone you wish. The File Station supports own connections via SMB, FTP, AFP, NFS, and WebDAV.

Synology DS118 Photo installed 1

Feature Highlights

  • Quad-Core Processor and DDR4 Memory
  • Hardware Encryption Engine
  • Hardware Transcoding Engine for on-the-fly 10-bit 4K H.265 transcoding
  • Eco-Friendly, Silent, and Power Efficient
  • Tiny Footprint

Hardware Specifications

You can view the official description, full details and specifications as well as find appropriate downloads on the official product page.

Software Features

Synology DS118 Specifications Software

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “Synology DS118 1-Bay Multimedia NAS Review”
  1. Jordi Albert says:

    Great review Bohs!!

    I would like to ask you a question: is it possible to connect an USB WiFi dongle to the DS118? I was thinking about the ASUS AC56, but can’t find any data of it. Even on Synology web site, there is no option to look for Wifi dongles for the DS118. Starting to wonder if this is a problem of data not being actualized for the DS118 model, or maybe it is not compatible at all.

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    Jordi

    • Bohs Hansen says:

      In general, Synology’s DSM does support wireless network and Bluetooth dongles – however – I haven’t tested it on the DS118 directly. There might be issues with specific USB dongles due to driver support, but most should work. At this point, my best advice would be to generally search for which USB WiFi adapters other people successfully have used on Synology NAS. It doesn’t matter which device in the end, whether it’s the DS118 or another DiskStation.
      I don’t have any WiFi dongles in the office currently except for a “slow” Linksys AC600 one (WUSB6100M), so I can’t test it for compatibility with the AC56.

      Alternatively, you could try and contact Synology directly through their support. They might be able to come with more specific information in regard to the ASUS AC56.

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