Synology DS918+ (2019) for serious SMB NAS speed
4.3Overall Score

The Synology DS918+ (2019) is a four-bay, network-attached storage device supplemented by up to two M.2 PCIe NVMe caches – the result is around 116MBps sequential read/write over a 1Gb Ethernet LAN. Double that if you use LAN aggregation.

I suspect you are asking why you need network-attached storage (NAS), let alone a Synology 918+. The answer at the basic level is it is a local ‘cloud’ storage using up to four hard disks (4 x 16TB or nine with an expansion module). It is capable of doing so much more that I only touched the surface in this review.

And the other confusing thing is what the hell is a Synology DS918+? Synology makes dozens of NAS types so I would suggest you head to its NAS selector and let your fingers do the walking.

The Synology NAS selector reveals some interesting issues to consider, and unfortunately, they are not in layman’s terms.

  • File server & synchronisation means everyone on the corporate (or home) LAN can access files and folders
  • Data backup means that all computers on the LAN can backup data to the NAS and synchronise data as well (if you create something on a laptop when travelling)
  • Productivity – it can enable real-time collaboration with all on the LAN
  • Multimedia hub – store audio and video and stream over the LAN
  • Virtual machine – for techies you can host virtual machines and use Docker containers

The Synology DS918+ sits above our previously reviewed DS418Play as both have 4K transcoding. If you did not need that the NAS selector would recommend a lower-specified and hence lower cost unit.

We wanted to review this because of the M.2 PCIe NVMe slots and the impact on file transfers.

Ideal Synology NAS uses

Just think of it as a big bucket of reliable storage. Reliable in that it can (and should) use RAID. In layman’s terms, it uses two/four drives as if they were one/two and if one goes down you can hot-swap (pull it out while it’s on) and replace it, and the RAID will rebuild without losing files.

For a small business, it sits in the corner quietly gathering valuable data, and when there is a fire, you can pick it up and go! Or it can automatically synchronise to the cloud – even better for said fire.

It can host your WordPress web and email server. It can enable remote password protected file and folder access to staff, clients and suppliers. Think of it as your own DropBox.

Or a photography studio may use it to store bulky RAW photos. It’s even fast enough to edit them on although its internal speed is about 200MBps compared to a PCIe NVMe at over 3000MBps.

Or a home enthusiast could store their audio and video libraries on it. While it will transcode 4K video, you may just use it as a DLNA server and let the display device do that.

There are so many tools for this that its best you have a look.

Synology DS918+ NAS storage (2019 version)

Website here

Synology DS918+

Cost: Under $750 unpopulated from major technology suppliers

Drives: Seagate Iron Wolf NAS drives in 4 to 14 GB from $300 to $770. You need at least two.