Synology DS119j Ultra-Low Cost Single Drive NAS

Synology DS119j Front Three Quarter
Synology DS119j Front Three Quarter

The Synology DS119j is a sub $100 NAS from the company designed to be a first NAS which has a curious feature: it utilizes a single drive bay. The reason that this is somewhat curious is that a single drive device is susceptible to failure. Synology’s product team is releasing the DS119j for a simple reason: it hits an under $100 price point at only a $99 MSRP.

Synology DS119j Overview

Synology provided us with a diagram with all of the key hardware features of the unit:

Synology DS119j Hardware Overview
Synology DS119j Hardware Overview

Unlike higher-end NAS designs, there is a single RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port instead of dual ports found on many other NAS units. There is no onboard USB 3.0 with only USB 2.0 supported. Powering the unit is a Marvell A3720 dual-core CPU at 800MHz that cannot handle full line rate encryption speeds over 1GbE. There is only 256MB of RAM, which is not enough to run many if any of the great Synology software suite that is a key selling point for other units.

With a single bay, if you assume a 5% AFR for hard drives, a user utilizing this device as primary storage would have about a 1-in-20 chance of losing their data each year.

Although the price is competitive, key features that you would want to see such as reliable data storage, the ability to write encrypted data at line speed (the DS119j is rated for up to 67MB/s encrypted writes, or about half of a 1GbE link speed), and the ability to run Synology’s excellent software suite is absent. While there may be cases where users want a 1-bay ultra inexpensive NAS, we suggest using the Synology DS218+ as a starting point in the company’s line-up as it is a significantly better NAS:

Synology DS119j Key Specs

Here are the key specifications for the Synology DS119j:

CPU Marvell A3720 dual-core 800MHz
Hardware encryption engine Yes
Memory 256 MB DDR3L
Compatible drive type 1 x 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA HDD (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 100V to 240V AC
Power frequency 50/60Hz, 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)


  1. I can see this being useful as a network attached/on-site backup. Something that maybe gets used daily for short writes, and only read fron when fetching data. It would be terrible as a sole backup, but with off-site redundancy this could be useful.

  2. Don’t really understand the recommendation for a NAS 3x the price of this unit. If someone was looking at a $100 NAS, a $300 recommendation doesn’t make sense. I’m sure a lower end 2 bay would work…

  3. Maybe they’ve tried to stay in Synology’s product line? Those Asustor 2-bay with 10g or the 3-bay QNAPs are under $250.

  4. “ODROID-HC1/HC2” – I’ve got 2. Only thing is the heat. Build quality of those can be hit and miss. Some arrive DOA.


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