Synology released a lot of NAS servers in the last four months, and the DiskStation DS223j is its most affordable yet. It takes over from the DS220j, and it retains the same design with faster Arm cores and double the memory.
The DS223j debuted for $189, but for Cyber Monday, it is available for $151 — 20% off its usual price. This is the most affordable Synology NAS by some margin, so if you're just getting started with a home server and want something on a budget, the DS223j is worthy of consideration.
Synology DiskStation DS223j:
$189 $151 at Amazon
The DiskStation DS223j is a good entry-level NAS, and this model has double the memory and faster cores than its predecessor. If you just need a basic NAS to store media, the DS223j is adequate. But if you want software extras, you should consider the DS224+.
Before you go ahead though, there are a few caveats. As the DiskStation DS223j is billed as an entry-level server, it doesn't offer any upgradability. You cannot increase the memory, there's just one Gigabit Ethernet port at the back, and while you have two drive bays and can easily add a second hard drive down the road, that's about it. That's the case with the likes of the DiskStation DS224+ as well, but at the least you can easily add more RAM to that server should you need additional memory.
You don't get as many software features as the Plus series servers either. If you just need a basic NAS server to store photos, videos, and your media library to connected devices in your home, the DS223j gets the job done. But if you want to use a NAS as a Plex media server and need extensive software features, you should really consider the DS224+.
The good news is that the DS224+ is down to just $254 at the moment. You're paying more, but you are also getting a much more powerful NAS that has double the amount of RAM out of the box and a great Intel Celeron J4125 platform that's ideal with Plex.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.