Let me just start by saying that I work in IT but have very limited experience working with NAS which I will get into and please excuse my horrible grammar.
Where to start, I love this NAS it has so many features. I have been looking for an NAS for a while now and originally went with the WD My Cloud Ultra EX2 which was great for the price, but didn’t have enough functionality/customization and I ended up returning it after the first two weeks, you can see my full review here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R8PN85WLZ812R?ref=pf_ov_at_pdctrvw_srp At the same time I was looking at the WD I was looking at the Netgear ReadyNAS 422, but wasn’t really impressed with the cloud and iOS apps functionality. When I decided to return the WD I looked around the web to find alternatives to the 422 since I wasn’t really impressed by it, then I saw some professional reviews and saw the the DS218+. The thing that really caught my eye was the copy button, but after researching some more, I really liked the Synology DSM or Disk Station Manager, which for those that don’t know is the name of the operating system. It felt like you were working on an actual computer running linux, a lot of customization, and the ability to work on your documents through your browser without downloading and uploading them again. I knew that there would be more of a learning curve with the Synology, but they met my user guide requirements which WD could not, to break down what I mean by user guide requirements. Synology had a ton of user manuals, how to guides, a large community which was willing to help noobies(me), and their support was very quick to reply to my questions (most if not all questions where answered same day by email!) When I was looking I was originally going to go with the DS218+ since it was exactly what I needed and wasn’t that much more expensive than the ReadyNAS 422, but decided to go with the DS718+ for it’s expand-ability, for those that don’t know the difference between the 218+ and 718+, the DS718+ has two Ethernet ports (which for me didn’t matter), it had a Quad Core Processor, and the biggest reason it had the ability to be used with an expansion unit so that you can add an additional five drives into one volume. I heard that the 218+ can use the expansion unit too, but it would show up as a separate volume, I’m not sure if this is true or not but it sounds likely. Beware though the Synology took a lot longer to set up than the WD, but the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives. For those interested in testing it out before purchasing Synology has a demo of the DSM on their website. Also to note on my Mac I’ve noticed a much more fluid experience using the DSM on Chrome over Safari.
Anyway for the Break Down of Pros VS Cons: +Super Customizable +Computer Like UI +More Like a Server than a NAS +Great User Tools, ie support, guides, community +Expandable Unit and RAM +A lot of Apps +Many Cloud options +Free Custom Domain (Ends in synology.me) +Solid construction +2 Step Verification -Expensive -Lock and Key feel cheap -Synology RAM is expensive compared to other RAM brands -No Drive app for Apple TV, this won’t bother most, but I prefer to navigate using the folders over a Media app solution. It would also be nice to view powerpoints directly from Drive over Airplay. Not important if you are on a local network since you could just use an app that uses SMB, I personally use FileExplorer TV but would prefer Drive support for Apple TV and while we’re at it Xbox -Due to customability setup takes more time -No ability to hide certain Volumes, ie external hard drive used as backup -System always seems to be indexing (haven’t really figured out what this is for yet, it seems to have to do with the ability to search for files, but it shouldn’t be indexing if no changes are made) -Synology Drive opens in a new window instead of in DSM -Haven’t found a use for USB copy yet -Steep learning curve for beginners