Synology DS212j & DS213air: Which 2-Bay NAS is better?

Synology DS212j is one of the most popular 2-bay NAS models available in the market. With the recent introduction of DS213air, Synology now has two 2-bay NAS [Network Attached Storage] models/appliances that are (almost) in the same price range. Please note: When I checked, the difference in pricing between the two was only around $25 USD. But prices keep changing. In this post, let us explore which one might be better for you, and what might be the key differences between the two models.

First. let us look at some important specifications of Synology DS212j:

  • Number of hard-drives supported: 2-Bay (Max 2)
  • Hard-drive sizes: 3.5″ (Default) or 2.5″ (With optional disk holder)
  • Max. Hard-drive capacity: 8 TB (2 x 4 TB)
  • CPU: 1.2 Ghz
  • Memory: 256 MB DDR2 RAM
  • Hardware Encryption Engine: Yes
  • External Hard Disk Drive interface: 2 x USB 2.0
  • LAN Port: 1 x Gigabit Port
  • Wireless support: Through an external Wi-Fi dongle (not included)
  • Power Consumption: 17.6W (Access), 5.5W (Hibernation)
  • Weight: 0.94 Kg
  • Warranty: 2-Years

The specifications for Synology DS213air is similar to DS212j. But DS213air has the following advantages over DS212j (among others):

  • In Synology DS213air, wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity is built-into the device (along with wired connectivity)
  • CPU frequency is 1.6 Ghz (instead of 1.2 Ghz)
  • The optional disk holder is not required to insert 2.5″ HDD
  • It has the more recent/faster RAM type – DDR3 (instead of DDR2)
  • DS213air has two faster USB 3.0 ports (instead of USB 2.0)
  • It supports 2048 user accounts to be created (instead of 512)

If you compare the prices of Synology DS213air and DS212j, the former is more expensive than the later. But, it does come with many additional/advanced features as mentioned above. Hence, if you have the budget or if you think Wi-Fi connectivity will be an asset in your network set-up (either now or later), you could consider buying the Synology DS213air.

That said, Synology DS212j is a tried and tested model and it has already got many positive reviews. This model also has a slightly lower noise level and power consumption. Of course, for a quality 2-bay NAS device, the cost of DS212j is quite competitive. Both the models come with many of the wonderful features offered by Synology DSM, the operating system (the actual brain) behind its NAS systems.

Irrespective of which one you buy, you can be assured that you will get a good NAS appliance for your home/small business usage.

Further Info/features: Manufacturer’s web-page for Synology DS213air, Synology DS212j

Price (USD)/Buy from (Amazon): Amazon web-page for,

Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS213air
Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS212j (White)


Suggested Accessories:

Western Digital 1,2,3 TB hard-drives.

Alternative 2-bay NAS Models to Consider (Higher cost, performance):

Synology DS213 NAS appliance

Synology DS213+ NAS appliance

Detailed Comparison:

Click here to view a full comparison between all the four Synology NAS models: DS213+, DS213, DS213air & DS212j. These are the popular 2-bay NAS appliances/models currently available from Synology. Do check the manufacturer’s website for any recent additions to their 2-bay NAS line of products.

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