Synology DiskStation DS223: Boost your home network

Synology is one of the leading manufacturers of network attached storage (NAS) devices for homes and businesses. The Synology DiskStation DS223 is one of their newly released 2-bay NAS units designed for personal cloud storage and basic multi-user file sharing.

With its dual core processor, the DS223 provides solid performance for core NAS capabilities like file storage and transfer, backup, media streaming, and running lightweight apps. It’s an affordable option for individuals or teams looking for an entry-level NAS with the trusted DSM operating system.

Synology portfolio.
Synology DiskStation key features portfolio.

Key features of the Synology DiskStation DS223 include:

  • 2 drive bays with support for up to 32TB of storage
  • Quad core CPU and 2GB RAM
  • Up to 225 MB/s sequential read and write speeds
  • Hardware encryption engine for encrypted data protection
  • Multimedia streaming, sharing and transcoding
  • Works as network backup destination
  • Can run add-on apps like Plex, WordPress, tools for developers and more
  • Scheduled backup capabilities
  • Remote access and file syncing

With its balance of performance, features and compact size, the DS223 is a great choice for personal NAS usage, light business file sharing, and home media serving needs.

The DS223 is a compact 2-bay NAS designed for home and small office use. Despite its small size, it packs powerful hardware and features.

  • Physical dimensions are about 6.3 x 3.9 x 7.4 inches and weighs around 4.1 lbs without drives installed. This makes it easy to place the NAS on a desk or shelf.
  • There are 2 drive bays that support both 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives up to 16TB, for a maximum storage capacity of 32TB. This is ample space for most home or small business needs.
  • For connectivity, the DS223 has 2 gigabit ethernet ports that support link aggregation/failover for increased bandwidth or redundancy. There is also 2 USB 3.2 ports for adding external drives.
  • Inside is a Realtek RTD1296 quad-core ARM processor clocked at 1.4Ghz. This gives good performance for common NAS tasks like file transfers and running background apps.
  • 1GB of DDR4 RAM comes pre-installed, which can be upgraded to 6GB total for improved multitasking if needed. The default 1GB is sufficient for most use cases.

Synology’s DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system provides a robust software suite for the DS223 NAS. DSM offers an intuitive web-based interface to manage storage, backups, security, and multimedia applications.

Synology personal cloud solution.
Home cloud.

Key software features include:

  • File sharing via SMB, AFP, NFS, FTP, and WebDAV protocols. The DS223 can act as a file server for Windows, macOS, and Linux clients.
  • Built-in backup solutions like Hyper Backup, Synology Drive Client desktop application, and Snapshot Replication provide data protection and syncing.
  • Multimedia apps like Video Station, Photo Station, Audio Station, and iTunes Server allow you to manage and stream your media library. DLNA and AirPlay support.
  • Synology Office includes Document Viewer, Spreadsheet, and Slide apps for collaborative editing.
  • Surveillance Station offers video monitoring and recording for IP cameras. Up to 20 camera licenses included.
  • Virtual Machine Manager sets up virtual machines for test environments. Docker support for running containerized apps.
  • Cloud sync with public cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3.

The software features make the DS223 a versatile hub for small office/home office usage. Power users can also take advantage of the extensibility provided by Synology’s Package Center and third-party app ecosystem.


The Synology DS223 is equipped with a dual-core 1.4 GHz CPU and 1GB of DDR4 memory, which provides decent performance for home and small office use. Here are some key performance specs and benchmarks:

  • Reported sequential reads of over 110 MB/s and writes of over 112 MB/s. Random 4K reads of 16,000 IOPS and writes of 19,000 IOPS.
  • In real-world tests, the DS223 was able to achieve sequential file transfer speeds of around 105 MB/s for reading and 100 MB/s for writing when copying files over a 1GbE network connection.
  • When tested with the CrystalDiskMark benchmark over a 1GbE network connection, the DS223 scored sequential reads/writes of 112 MB/s / 109 MB/s and random 4K reads/writes of 1,647 IOPS / 1,517 IOPS.
  • The DS223 received an overall score of 1,472 on the NAS Performance Test conducted by NASCompares. This puts it in the lower mid-range for modern NAS devices.
  • Plex transcoding performance is decent, able to transcode a single 1080p H.264 video stream. It will struggle with multiple simultaneous transcodes.

So in summary, the DS223 provides moderate performance that is sufficient for basic file sharing, media streaming, backup tasks and light virtualization workloads. It can handle 4K video transcoding via Plex, but only for a couple of concurrent streams at most. For anything more demanding, a higher-end Synology NAS would be recommended.

Use cases

The Synology DS223 is a versatile NAS that can serve several purposes for home and small business users. Here are some of the main use cases where the DS223 performs well:

Synology mobile app connectivity.
Mobile connectivity sync feature.

Media Storage and Streaming

With two bays for hard drives, the DS223 provides ample space for storing media files like photos, videos, and music. It works seamlessly with Synology’s media server software to let you stream media on demand to devices around your home. Support for transcoding allows smooth streaming even for phones and tablets.

Network Backup Destination
The DS223 makes an ideal backup destination for other devices on your network. Use Synology’s Active Backup tools to automatically back up Windows PCs, Macs, and Synology NAS devices. Or just map the DS223 as a network drive for easy drag-and-drop file transfers.

Small Business File Sharing
With decent specs like a dual core CPU and up to 6GB RAM, the DS223 can handle file sharing duties for small businesses. Access files remotely via web portal or map network drives. Control user permissions and folders. And link to cloud storage for offsite backup.

The DS223 offers robust security features to keep your data safe. It supports AES-NI hardware encryption to efficiently encrypt files stored on the NAS. There are multiple options for encryption, including synology hybrid RAID, internal volume encryption, and shared folder encryption.

An built-in firewall provides network application level protection, ensuring only trusted applications have access. You can customize rules based on IP address, port number, and protocol to filter traffic.

For external access, the DS223 offers a VPN server to allow remote users to securely access the NAS resources over the internet. Supported protocols include PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec. This allows employees to securely access work files when working remotely.

Synology’s DSM operating system has additional security measures like auto-blocking and IP monitoring to prevent unauthorized access attempts. Together these security capabilities ensure your sensitive data is fully protected on the DS223 NAS.

Energy efficiency

The Synology DiskStation DS223 is designed to consume minimal electricity and allow users to maximize energy savings. The NAS storage has a low power consumption of 22.6W running and only 5.37W when in hibernation mode.

Synology sync.
Synology DiskStation for shared workspace.

For power-saving features, the DS223 offers scheduled power on/off and Wake on LAN (WOL) to remotely power on the NAS. There are also multiple hibernation modes that help reduce power usage:

  • HDD hibernation – The hard disk(s) enter hibernation mode after being idle for 10 minutes, saving power without affecting user experience.
  • System hibernation – If the system is inactive for a defined period, the DS223 will automatically go into hibernation mode to reduce power usage to a minimum.
  • Schedule hibernation – Users can schedule when the NAS hibernates based on activity level so it’s ready when needed and idle when not in use.

With its energy-efficient design and comprehensive power-saving technologies, the Synology DS223 provides an environmentally friendly network attached storage solution. The various hibernation modes ensure the NAS consumes minimal electricity without sacrificing performance or usability.


The DS223 is designed to be easily expandable as your storage needs grow. Here are the key expandability features:

Synology DiskStation DS223
Synology DiskStation for office collaboration.
  • Max drive upgrades supported: The DS223 comes with two drive bays, but can be expanded to a maximum of two drives. You’ll have the flexibility to start with what you need now, and add additional drives later as storage demands increase.
  • Memory expansion options: The DS223 comes with 2GB of DDR4 memory pre-installed. However, the memory is expandable up to 6GB, allowing you to boost the performance and multitasking capabilities by adding an additional 4GB memory module. With the extra memory, you’ll be able to run more apps simultaneously and experience faster transfer speeds.

So in summary, the DS223 offers easy drive and memory upgrades when the time comes. You get an expandable NAS solution that can grow as your needs change over time. The ability to add more drives and memory makes this a flexible, future-proof investment.

Pricing and Value

The Synology DiskStation DS223 NAS has a retail price of around $270, which positions it as a budget-friendly NAS storage solution. This pricing is very competitive among other 2-bay NAS devices with similar specifications.

For example, the QNAP TS-231P3 retails for around $330, while the Asustor AS2202T goes for around $300. The TS-231P3 and AS2202T have very similar hardware to the DS223, with dual-core Celeron processors, 2GB RAM, and two drive bays. So the DS223 manages to undercut both devices on price while offering nearly equivalent performance.

Compared to past Synology 2-bay NAS models, the DS223 also represents an excellent value. Its predecessor, the DS218+ retailed for around $300 at launch with the same processor but only 1GB of RAM. And going back further, the DS216j from 2015 launched at over $170 with a much slower CPU.

So at $270, the DS223 punches above its weight, delivering speedy 10GbE networking and an efficient Gemini Lake processor at a very wallet-friendly price point. For budget-conscious buyers looking for their first NAS, the DS223 represents one of the best values currently available among entry-level 2-bay devices. It makes for an ideal starter NAS, providing ample storage capacity and smooth media streaming at an affordable cost.

The Synology DiskStation DS223 is a compact, energy-efficient NAS that provides users with robust storage and backup capabilities. Overall, it’s a great option for home users or small businesses looking for an affordable NAS with plenty of features.

Synology DiskStation DS223
Synology DiskStation IO.

Some of the main pros of the DS223 include its:

  • Compact size that can fit in small spaces
  • Energy efficiency that keeps power consumption low
  • Strong performance, especially for a 2-bay NAS
  • User-friendly DSM software with lots of apps and features
  • Solid data protection and backup capabilities

The main drawbacks are:

  • Only two drive bays, limiting maximum storage capacity
  • No PCIe expandability like higher-end Synology models
  • Processor not powerful enough for extensive transcoding or virtualization

Overall, the Synology DiskStation DS223 is ideal for home users who want an easy-to-use NAS for file storage, backups, media streaming, and running light apps. It’s also suitable as a starter NAS for small businesses on a budget. With its low price point, the DS223 offers excellent value.

Users who need more drive bays for expansion, advanced virtualization capabilities, or extensive transcoding performance may want to look at higher-end Synology NAS units. But for most home and small business usage, the DS223 hits a sweet spot of affordability and essential features. Its compact size, energy efficiency, DSM software, and solid performance make it a great choice for a starter NAS.

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