Synology DS120j: The Budget-Friendly, Feature-Rich NAS for Home Users

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The Synology DS120j is an affordable and user-friendly network-attached storage (NAS) device perfect for home users looking to centralize their data and multimedia storage. This entry-level, single-bay NAS offers a great balance between price and functionality, making it an ideal choice for those new to the world of NAS devices. With an intuitive operating system and a wide range of supported applications, the DS120j is designed to make your digital life more organized and accessible than ever before.


Synology's Reputation for Quality and Reliability

Synology is a well-established company known for producing high-quality and reliable NAS devices. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Synology has built a strong reputation for offering feature-rich and easy-to-use solutions. The DS120j is no exception, as it upholds the company’s commitment to delivering reliable products at a competitive price point.

Unboxing the Synology DS120j: What's Included

When you purchase the Synology DS120j, you’ll find everything you need to get started right away. Inside the box, you’ll receive the DS120j NAS device itself, an AC power adapter, a LAN cable, a quick installation guide, and a pack of screws for installing your hard drive. It’s worth noting that the DS120j does not come with a hard drive pre-installed, so you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Synology DS120j Hardware Specifications

The Synology DS120j features a Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720 dual-core 800 MHz processor and 512 MB DDR3L RAM. While these specifications may seem modest compared to higher-end NAS devices, they are more than sufficient for home users seeking a cost-effective and reliable storage solution. The single-bay design supports a 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch SATA HDD or SSD (up to a maximum capacity of 18 TB), allowing users to customize their storage based on their specific needs.

Setting Up the Synology DS120j

Setting up the DS120j is a simple process, even for those with limited technical knowledge. First, you’ll need to install your chosen hard drive by opening the case, connecting the drive to the SATA port, and securing it with the provided screws. Next, connect the DS120j to your router using the included LAN cable and plug in the power adapter.

Once connected, you’ll need to install the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system on the NAS. To do this, visit the Synology website and download the latest DSM version for the DS120j. Then, follow the step-by-step setup wizard to create an administrator account and configure your storage settings.

Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM): An Intuitive Operating System

One of the standout features of the Synology DS120j is its user-friendly operating system, the Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM). Designed to be intuitive and easy to navigate, DSM provides users with a wide range of tools and applications to manage their data, backup files, and access multimedia content. The DSM interface is highly customizable, allowing you to create shortcuts and organize your applications to suit your preferences.

Data Protection and Backup with the Synology DS120j

Protecting your important files and data is a top priority for any NAS user. The Synology DS120j offers several

ways to ensure your data is safe and secure. While the single-bay design does not support RAID configurations, it does offer data protection features such as the built-in Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) technology, which provides a simplified storage management system and data redundancy.

Additionally, the DS120j supports various backup options, including backing up your data to an external drive, another Synology NAS, or a cloud storage service like Synology C2, Google Drive, or Dropbox. With the help of Synology’s Data Backup & Replication application, you can easily schedule automatic backups and restore files as needed.

Multimedia Streaming and Entertainment with the Synology DS120j

One of the primary uses of a NAS device for home users is to store and stream multimedia content. The Synology DS120j excels in this area, providing a comprehensive multimedia server solution. With the Video Station, Audio Station, and Photo Station applications, you can easily organize and access your movies, music, and photos from any device on your home network.

Additionally, the DS120j supports DLNA/UPnP, which means you can stream content directly to compatible smart TVs, gaming consoles, and media players. For those with a Plex Media Server subscription, the DS120j can also function as a Plex server, offering an even more seamless and feature-rich multimedia experience.

Remote Access and Mobile Apps

Another key advantage of the Synology DS120j is its support for remote access, allowing you to access your data and multimedia content from anywhere with an internet connection. By setting up a QuickConnect ID or using Synology’s DDNS service, you can securely access your files without the need for complex network configurations.

Synology also offers a suite of mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, including DS file, DS audio, DS video, and DS photo. These apps make it easy to access your data and multimedia content on the go, ensuring you always have access to your files when you need them.

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The Synology DS120j is designed with energy efficiency in mind, consuming just 9.81 watts during operation and 4.68 watts when the hard drive is in hibernation mode. This low power consumption not only saves you money on electricity bills but also makes the DS120j an environmentally friendly choice for your home storage solution.

In terms of noise level, the DS120j is relatively quiet, with a noise level rating of 18.2 dB(A). This makes it suitable for placement in living areas or bedrooms without causing significant disruption.

Expandable Storage and Compatible Devices

While the Synology DS120j is a single-bay NAS, you can easily expand your storage capacity by connecting an external USB drive to the USB 3.0 port located at the rear of the device. This allows you to increase your overall storage capacity without having to invest in a larger NAS or additional hard drives.

Moreover, the DS120j is compatible with a wide range of devices, including Windows, macOS, and Linux computers, as well as smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android. This ensures that all members of your household can easily access and enjoy the benefits of the NAS, regardless of the devices they use.

Security Features and User Management

The Synology DS120j offers a range of security features to keep your data safe from unauthorized access. With built-in firewall protection, the DS120j can block malicious traffic and prevent unauthorized users from accessing your network. You can also configure access permissions for individual users and groups, ensuring that each person has the appropriate level of access to your data.

Furthermore, the DS120j supports HTTPS, SSL/TLS, and SSH encryption protocols, which provide an additional layer of security when accessing your data remotely or transferring files over the internet.

Seamless Integration with Smart Home Devices

For those with smart home devices, the Synology DS120j can be easily integrated into your existing smart home setup. By installing the Synology Surveillance Station application, you can turn your NAS into a powerful surveillance solution that supports IP cameras and allows for remote monitoring and recording. This ensures that your home security footage is safely stored and easily accessible when needed.

Moreover, the DS120j is compatible with popular smart home ecosystems, such as Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. This allows you to control certain features of the NAS using voice commands or through your smart home app, adding an extra level of convenience to your daily life.

Regular Software Updates and Community Support

Synology is known for its commitment to providing regular software updates for its NAS devices. By keeping your DS120j updated with the latest DSM version, you can ensure that your NAS is protected against the latest security threats and has access to new features and improvements. Synology also maintains an active online community, where users can find support, share tips and tricks, and discuss their experiences with the DS120j and other Synology products.

Final Thoughts: The Synology DS120j Delivers Value and Versatility

The Synology DS120j is a versatile and affordable NAS solution that delivers an impressive array of features and capabilities to home users. From data protection and multimedia streaming to smart home integration and remote access, the DS120j provides a comprehensive storage solution that caters to the needs of modern households. With its user-friendly design, energy efficiency, and regular software updates, the Synology DS120j is a valuable addition to any home network, offering convenience, security, and peace of mind.

Read more about NAS Systems in Gerneral Here

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Christopher Laut

Hi there! My name is Christopher Laut, and I am a tech enthusiast with a passion for all things related to technology. I love to explore and learn about new gadgets, software, and emerging technologies. As a writer for this tech blog, my goal is to bring you the latest news, reviews, and insights on the world of tech. I will be covering topics ranging from the newest smartphones to cutting-edge artificial intelligence and everything in between. I am excited to share my knowledge and opinions with you, and I hope that my writing will inspire you to learn more about the fascinating world of technology. Thank you for visiting this tech blog, and I look forward to connecting with you!
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