Synology has designed the DiskStation DS418play to be a centralized multimedia hub, but it really offers a lot for all types of different users. First off this is a 4-bay unit giving up to 40TB of storage space in a very small footprint. 40TB is more than enough space for backing up quite a lot of different things. Also with Synology Hybrid RAID you don’t have to worry about losing data if you replace or upgrade your drives.
One thing I really love about Synology products is how easy they are to setup and use. The DS418play is no different. Setup takes no longer than 10 minutes and the DiskStation Manager (DSM) software is just like using an operating system so even if you are not familair with it you can easily find settings, make changes, etc.
Synology also has its “Packages” which are applications designed to run on the DS418play. These give you extra functionality to a traditional NAS. Some of these include backup apps, multimedia apps including Plex, business apps, and even developer apps like PHP, Ruby, and WordPress. One of the newer additions to the “Packages” is the Synology Drive, which works much like Dropbox and Google Drive. Testing it on our PC and iPhone it worked flawlessly and is a great way to have access to your files from anywhere as well as sync them across multiple devices.
Being that this is the “play” version of the DS418 we get hardware accelerated transcoding of 4K video. This means that you can actually stream 4K content to even the most under-powered device and the DS418play will do all the heavy lifting. We tested this with an Amazon Fire TV stick and it worked great with Synology’s DS Video app, but when we went to use Plex to do the same thing hardware acceleration was not supported. It seems you can only use it with Synology’s app, which is a bit of a let-down as many users will prefer Plex.
While its main focus is for video transcoding and multimedia storage the DS418play would be great for anyone from a home user to a small business. It really offers a lot and Synology is constantly adding more “Packages” which ultimately add more functionality to the device.
Right now the DS418play is selling at our favorite online retailer for $424.28. Remember that is without drives. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Synology DiskStation DS418play a 9 out of 10 score.
– Easy setup and configuration
– Synology Hybrid RAID
– Can add more RAM if needed
– Hardware accelerated 4K video transcoding
– Newer Synology Drive app is great
– Lots of “Packages” to add to the functionality
– 2 LAN ports w/ link aggregation and failover support
– Hardware acceleration only seems to work with DS Video app