What you need to know
- Synology's latest entry-level NAS is the 4-bay DS420j, now available for $299.
- The NAS comes with a quad-core Realtek chipset, delivering a decent boost in performance from its predecessor.
- You can slot in a total of 64TB of storage, making the DS420j the ideal NAS for streaming media across your home network.
We're previously looked at Synology's enthusiast DS1019+, but if you're just looking for a NAS to store photos and videos and stream content on your home network, the value-focused J series models are a better bet. Synology has introduced a new 4-bay model in the series, the $300 DiskStation DS420j (opens in new tab).
The DS420j shares the same design as the DS418j, but there are a few internal upgrades. The NAS is now powered by a quad-core Realtek RTD1296 chipset that goes up to 1.4GHz, making it that much more versatile when it comes to handling multimedia tasks. The NAS also has 1GB of DDR4 RAM, four drive bays that can each accommodate a 16TB hard drive, one Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, and two 80mm fans.
The NAS is the ideal entry point for those looking to get started with Synology's Surveillance Station, which lets users easily set up security cameras on their home network without having to rely on a cloud-based system. Like all Synology products, the DS420j is powered by DiskStation Manager, a web-based OS that is highly configurable. You get the ability to seamlessly back up your data from your phones and other devices, sync files across platforms, and stream media to all devices on your home network over DLNA.
Now that Synology has introduced a 4-bay model in the J series, a 2-bay option shouldn't be too far behind.
Synology DiskStation DS420j
The DS420j is a great way to get started with a home server, with the four-bay NAS facilitating 64TB of storage. You get robust tools for backing up data from all devices on your home network, media streaming, and there's also a cross-platform file syncing service.
- $300 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
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.
If you purchase a NAS you must buy one other thing for it: A UPS.
NAS don't like power issues, so a UPS (which are pretty cheap considering) is a must purchase for one.
Also, put your main router/switchs on the UPS too. It's a cheap way to protect your investments (and your configurations) from power issues. Brownouts and blackouts are a worse issue than spikes. Any good power strip can protect you from a spike (as long as it's not lightning, nothing can protect you from that. For that you have insurance policies and off-network backups.)
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