Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

Synology DiskStation DS223j Conclusion


Synology DiskStation DS223j Verdict + Award

The Synology DiskStation DS223j is a cheap but solid 2-bay NAS system. Its plastic chassis feels cheap, but it packs all of the key features most home users would need.

You get an affordable RAID 1 backup solution, with fast Gigabit LAN connectivity, and two USB 3.0 (rebranded as USB 3.2 Gen 1) ports at the back for when you need to copy files to or from a USB flash drive or portable HDD.

It also gives you access to the excellent Synology DiskStation Manager operating system, as well as hundreds of add-on packages which you can use to add capabilities to your NAS.

Synology updates its DiskStation Manager regularly, which is great, because it fixes bugs that may cause considerable grief. For example, when I started testing the DS223j, I encountered a problem accessing it on macOS with a VPN enabled.

No matter what I did, the Mac computer simply could not “see” or “locate” the DiskStation on the network. The only way was to disable the VPN. Fortunately, the problem “magically” went away a few updates later. *

Mac users will also be happy to know that it supports Time Machine backup. While it requires some simple setting up, it works perfectly… which is not something I can say about the MyCloud EX4100!

Prosumers might want to spend a bit extra to upgrade to the non-J version – the DiskStation DS223 from the Value series. Not only does it come with a front USB port (for more convenient use), it allows you to hot swap drives.

If any drive fails on the DS223j, you will need to power it down and open it up to swap out the drive. On the non-J version, you can simply slide out the old drive and replace it with a new one without even powering down the DS223 NAS. But of course – this is a nice feature that most home users probably won’t need.

Performance-wise – the DS223j runs on the same Realtek RTD1619B process as the non-J model. Its four Arm Cortex-A55 cores is more than fast enough for transferring files. Its CPU usage is usually less than 50%. Even when I ran data scrubbing, its CPU usage was around 15% on average.

And if you are wondering about whether you can live with just 1 GB of RAM on the DS223j, yes, you can. The RAM usage is usually less than 20% on our DS223j.

Generally, if you want something cheap and good from Synology, you can’t go wrong with the DiskStation DS223j. For these reasons, we think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

* It would have lost the award if Synology did not manage to fix the accessibility problem for macOS.


Synology DiskStation DS223j : Where To Buy?

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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