A network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure is a brilliant piece of kit that's incredibly versatile. You can configure a NAS to be a surveillance station for IP security cameras, a media hub with Plex, cloud storage to replace a subscription, or simply a means to back up your home PCs.
The more feature-rich and powerful the NAS enclosure, the more expensive they generally become. Synology makes some of the best enclosures around and the DiskStation DS220j is one of its more affordable options. It's also one of the best choices for anyone looking for their very first NAS.
Better still, it's on sale right now for Black Friday, saving you $34. Now's a good a time as any to get started with network storage.
The Synology DiskStation DS220j is really good, especially when you take a look at the specifications. Inside you'll find two drive bays, which allows you to install two hard drives and enjoy TBs worth of storage space. This is much better than simply having a single drive installed inside the cheaper DS120j, which won't offer any kind of data redundancy. And who wants to lose data?
The two bays are joined by Realtek RTD1296 1.4Ghz quad-core ARM processor, 512MB of DDR3 RAM, two USB 3.0 ports, and one Gigabit LAN port. I focus on the usability in our Synology DiskStation DS220j review, praising the enclosure for how beginner-friendly it is to not only install hard drives but also to get up and running with Synology's DSM OS.
It'll run plenty of apps available from Synology and third-party developers, though you will have to avoid doing anything too intense on the NAS. Don't even try to store and stream 4K content that requires any form of transcoding. Whether you want a small place to store backups, files (and save money by canceling cloud storage subscriptions), or even configure home surveillance with IP cameras, it's all possible with the DS220j.
It's already an affordable enclosure, but Black Friday makes it an even more enticing prospect. Just remember that you'll need some NAS-grade hard drives, but these too can be frequently found on sale for Black Friday.
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