Written by Richard

Compare: DS218+ vs DS218play

The Synology DS218play and the DS218+ may seem like two identical black boxes at first glance, but they're actually quite different on the inside. This article compares both models and explains what the difference are, so you'll find out which Synology DS218 NAS is suitable for you.

Synology DS218+

Room for 2 hard drives | 2GB RAM + Dual-Core CPU | 4K streaming and Plex
no longer available
  • Watch videos in 4K resolution (30 fps) with Plex and the Synology app.
  • The Synology DS218+ supports 2.5 and 3.5-inch internal HDDs.
  • The DS218+ doesn't play 4K videos with 60 frames per second.

Synology DS218play

Space for 2 hard disks | 1GB RAM + Quad-core CPU | 4K streaming
in stock
  • Watch 4K footage with 60 frames per second.
  • The DS218play doesn't support Plex.

Main differences between DS218+ and DS218play

DS218+ DS218play
Processor 2GHz Dual-Core 1.4GHz Quad-Core
USB ports 3 connectors 2 connectors
Plex support Yes No
Video quality 4K 30 fps 4K 60 fps
Hardware encryption AES-NI Standard encryption



Synology DS218+

  • Processor: 2GHz Dual-Core processor
  • RAM: 2GB RAM
  • USB ports: 3 USB ports
  • Drive sizes: 3.5 and 2.5 inches
  • Plex support? Yes
  • Maximum video quality: 4K resolution with 30 fps
  • Hardware encryption: AES-NI

Synology DS218play

  • Processor: 1.4GHz Quad-Core processor
  • RAM: 1GB RAM
  • USB ports: 2 USB ports
  • Drive sizes: 3.5 inches
  • Plex support? No
  • Maximum video quality: 4K resolution with 60 fps (smooth)
  • Hardware encryption: Basic encryption

Video streaming


Synology DS218+

Play videos in 4K with 30 fps with Plex and the Synology app

The Synology DS218+ streams and transcodes saved media to mobile devices and computers, similar to the 218play model. You also use the DS Video or Video Station app for this. Thanks to the Intel processor, the Synology DS218+ supports Plex so you can stream your entire media library to all of your devices.

DS Video

Synology DS218play

Play videos in 4K with 60 fps with the Synology app

The Synology DS218play is specifically designed to stream and transcode video files from your NAS to your smart TV, media player, or smartphone. Use the Video Station or DS Video app to do this. Install these on your NAS and your smartphone or tablet, or on your television with Android TV, or your Apple TV. Stop worrying about file formats, because your NAS converts these live so you can play every video smoothly in 60 frames per second.

Cloud functions

Synology DS218+

Synology DS218+

Make multiple encrypted backups of PCs and USB flash drives

The DS218+ is designed for and aimed towards small businesses or home offices. Thanks to the large RAM (2GB), you can make more and faster backups with the DS218+ in comparison to the 218play. The extra USB lock and the USB copy button allow you to duplicate files from a USB flash drive directly to your NAS. On top of that, the DS218+ encrypts your files with the powerful AES-NI hardware encryption. Use your apps with the Synology apps or QuickConnect when you're on the go.


Synology DS218play

Make some backups for holiday photos and personal files

The DS218play is an NAS that's suitable for streaming media at home. Of course, you can also use the DS218play as cloud storage and backup management. You can automatically schedule backups with the extensive Synology DSM software. Thanks to the Synology QuickConnect website, you can access all files on your DS218play when you're outdoors.


Both Synology NAS were designed for a different type of use. Do you want a simple media streamer that plays and transcodes all types of video files in 4K resolution with 60 frames per second? The Synology DS218play is suitable for you. Would you like to use Plex, or do you want your cloud storage to have multiple functions, such as simultaneous working together, advanced encryption, an USB copy function, and the ability to make backups fast? The more powerful DS218+ is suitable for your situation.

More advice on NAS?

Streaming movies and series with your NAS is obviously the most fun, but did you know that you could use your NAS as your own cloud storage? And that you can automatically make backups so you won't lose any files?

> Go to more advice on NAS

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Article by:
Richard NAS Expert.

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