Synology DS120j Product Review

Posted on 27 November 2022

Are you looking for web hosting?

Start today from just £2.99/month

Our super-fast web hosting comes with the Direct Admin control panel, super-fast SSD drives, NGINX-Apache config for top performance, brotli compression, 99.9% uptime, daily backups and 1Gbps connectivity

Sign Up

Synology’s budjet DS120j may be on the lower end of pricing but backs some amazing features for people and small businesses looking for a cheap NAS box.

Being a web design & development company we store data and as part of our backup stratergy we utilise a DS120j for backing up our Hyper-V server to as well as other media

Sub £100 NAS box

Although driveless, you can pick up this single drive NAS box for £100 or just under. For our own used we installed a 8TB SMR drive for archiving data. We run RAID 1 SSD’s and also backup to a RAID array with CMR drives but for the use of this setup, we wanted as much space for as little cost possible.

Fitting the drive is fairly easy and when the NAS box arrived it was a case of sliding it in half, plugging the drive in, installing 4 screws and then another 2 screws on the box itself.

Included in the box is the instruction manual and power supply. The good thing about this box is it’s probably one of the lowest wattage ways to get 8TB of storage available on the network. (about 10 Watts)


The DS120j sports a single 1Gbps ethernet connection, 2x USB 2.0, a kensington lock, DC power connector and FAN at the back.

At the front we’ve got 3 green LED indicators for drive activity, lan activity and status. Further down there’s a blue power indicator built into the button. As with all Synology boxes it seems well made (although likely would be a benefit for many if it had a faster USB connector)

Software included

This box comes with DSM like with all Synology boxes and because of the spec you’re going to struggle with Plex transcoding but for uses like a basic NAS/iSCSI device you’ll be golden.

Are you looking for web hosting?

Start today from just £2.99/month

Our super-fast web hosting comes with the Direct Admin control panel, super-fast SSD drives, NGINX-Apache config for top performance, brotli compression, 99.9% uptime, daily backups and 1Gbps connectivity

Sign Up

Synology also offer apps for setting up, monitoring, accessing files, etc. These work well.

Can this NAS be used for iSCSI?

Yes. That was a big deciding factor in our case at Plexaweb. Using the Synology SAN Manager we were able to setup an iSCSI lun and connect up our Windows server for block storage. As the only device accessing the DS120j in our envrionment is the server. It was the right way to get things setup for backup. SMB is good too and works well on this box but if you’re looking to backup one server without an an expensive SAN setup this is a good way to go.

Can this NAS integrate with Active Directory?

Yes it can be joined to a domain although it can’t run an Active Directory server.

Setting up

Setting up the software was easy, setting up an iSCSI LUN was easy too.

Would we recommend it?

If you’re looking for a cheap NAS that does as it says on the tin and doesn’t cost a lot to run, yes! It’s important to note this model won’t run BTRFS.

From the data sheet:



CPU Marvell A3720 2-core 800MHz
Hardware encryption engine Yes
Memory 512 MB DDR3
Compatible drive type 1 x 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA HDD3 (drive not included)
External port 2 x USB 2.0 port
Size (HxWxD) 166 x 71 x 224 mm
Weight 0.7 kg
LAN 1 x Gigabit (RJ-45)
Wake on LAN/WAN Yes
Scheduled power on/off Yes
System fan 1 (60 x 60 x 15 mm)
AC input power voltage 100 V to 240 V AC
Power frequency 50/60 Hz, single phase
Operating temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Storage temperature -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)
Relative humidity 5% to 95% RH
Maximum operating altitude 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
Hardware Overview12345678910DATASHEET | DiskStation DS120j

General DSM specification

Networking protocol SMB, AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, CalDAV, iSCSI, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN™, L2TP)
File system • Internal: ext4
• External: ext4, ext3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+, exFAT4
Supported RAID type Basic
Storage management • Maximum single volume size: 108 TB
• Maximum internal volume: 1
File sharing capability
• Maximum local user account: 512
• Maximum local group: 128
• Maximum shared folder: 256
• Maximum concurrent SMB/NFS/AFP/FTP connection: 50
Privilege Windows Access Control List (ACL), application privilege
Directory service Windows® AD integration: Domain users login via SMB/NFS/AFP/FTP/File Station, LDAP integration
Security Firewall, shared folder encryption, SMB encryption, FTP over SSL/TLS, SFTP, rsync over SSH, login auto block, Let’s Encrypt
support, HTTPS (customizable cipher suite)
Supported client Windows 7 onwards, Mac OS X® 10.11 onwards
Supported browser Chrome®, Firefox®, Edge®, Internet Explorer® 10 onwards, Safari® 10 onwards; Safari (iOS 10 onwards), Chrome (Android™ 6.0
onwards) on tablets
Interface language English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Dansk, Norsk, Svensk, Nederlands, Русский, Polski, Magyar,
Português do Brasil, Português Europeu, Türkçe, Český,

Packages and Applications

File Server & Synchronization
Synology Drive
Provide a universal portal to synchronize your files across various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and
iOS. The built-in universal portal allows you to access data anytime and anywhere.
• Maximum number of hosted files: 10,000
• Maximum number of concurrent connections for PC clients: 5
File Station Virtual drive, remote folder, Windows ACL editor, compressing/extracting archived files, bandwidth control for specific users
or groups, creating sharing links, transfer logs
FTP Server Bandwidth control for TCP connections, custom FTP passive port range, anonymous FTP, FTP SSL/TLS and SFTP protocol,
boot over the network with TFTP and PXE support, transfer logs
Cloud Sync
One or two-way synchronization with public cloud storage providers including Alibaba Cloud OSS, Amazon Drive, Amazon
S3-compatible storage, Backblaze B2, Baidu Cloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, hubiC, MegaDisk,
Microsoft OneDrive, OpenStack Swift-compatible storage, Tencent COS, WebDAV servers, Yandex Disk
Universal Search Offer global search into applications and files
iSCSI Storage
iSCSI Manager • Maximum iSCSI target: 10
• Maximum iSCSI LUN: 10
Data Protection & Backup Solution
Hyper Backup Support local backup, network backup, and backup data to public clouds
Backup tools DSM configuration backup, macOS Time Machine support, Synology Drive Client desktop application
Shared folder sync – maximum task number: 2
Productivity & Collaboration
Note Station Rich-text note organization and versioning, encryption, sharing, media embedding and attachments
Moments Offer photo editing and sharing features, similar & duplicate photos detection and iOS and Android mobile applications
Other packages Video Station, Photo Station, Audio Station, iTunes® Server
Surveillance Station Maximum IP camera: 5 (total of 150 FPS at 720p, H.264) (Including two free camera licenses; additional cameras require the
purchasing of additional licenses)DATASHEET | DiskStation DS120jAll-in-One Server
VPN Server Maximum connection: 10, supported VPN protocol: PPTP, OpenVPN™, L2TP/IPSec
Mail Server Supported Mail Server Protocols: POP3, SMTP, IMAP, Support LDAP/AD account
Mail Station Webmail interface for Mail Server to receive emails from multiple POP3 mailboxes, customizable SMTP server
Web Station Virtual host (up to 30 websites), PHP/MariaDB®, third-party applications support
Other packages DNS Server, RADIUS Server, Log Center
Storage Analyzer Volume and quota usage, total size of files, volume usage and trends based on past usage, size of shared folders, large files,
most recently modified files, least recently accessed files
Antivirus Essential Full system scan, scheduled scan, white list customization, virus definition auto update
iOS/Android™ applications Synology Drive, DS audio, DS photo, DS video, DS cam, DS file, DS finder, DS note, Moments
Other packages Additional 3rd-party packages available on Package Center

Environment and Packaging

Environment safety RoHS compliant
Package content
• DS120j main unit
• Quick Installation Guide
• Accessory pack
• AC power adapter
• RJ-45 LAN cable
Optional accessories
• VisualStation VS360HD, VS960HD
• Surveillance Device License Pack
• 2.5″ Disk Holder Type C
Warranty 2 years

Share this post with your friends, followers and connections!

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.